Oh hey, friend.
I said it would happen and it happened: I got busy and had to put this blog project on hold. But tonight, my good friend, will be the last thing in a month-long bombardment of social and cultural things. I’m looking forward to having it done and getting my life back, but in the meantime I’d like to share what I’ve been up to with y’all and soon – soon – I want to talk about why it’s taken me so long to reengage with the community.
Credit: This post’s feature image was taken by Julia Grace, and is by far my number one favourite shot from this year’s Pride Festival. For me it encapsulates what it’s like to be queer in Brisbane. It’s everybody or nobody here, and I’m so very proud to exist in a city where queer folk lift each other up.
Brisbane Writers Festival
Alright. So earlier this month I enjoyed a spot of volunteer work with Brisbane Writers Festival (BWF). I got to engage with authors like Nevo Zisin (Finding Nevo) and Jay Carmichael (Ironbark), and became more acquainted with local authors like Zenobia Frost (Salt and Bone) and Krissy Kneen (just click here). Most exciting, however, was the opportunity to meet other queer volunteers who’re excited about the same things I’m excited about.
For me, volunteering for BWF allows me to expand my understanding of media (specifically queer media) and how we interact with it as both consumers and producers. Now there aren’t many of us queer nerds getting around these days with everyone more concerned with politics and defining what community means to them. But when we do find each other we are comrades for life. One highlight for me was catching up with a fellow WEPie who is bound to do amazing things in the coming years. I learned new things about this friend and their relationship with trans literature, and I’m grateful for their recommendations. I dare say the two of us will end up working on a project or two together (whether they like it or not).
Heaps Gay Trash Palace
Another BWF highlight was heading to Heaps Gay Trash Palace with award-winning novelist Nevo Zisin… even though I felt embarrassed about myself for fangirling too hard. Let me tell you now that it’s hard to dance next to someone you idolise: wobbling vaguely to the music, constantly apologising for how you dance, and heading to the bar too often for liquid confidence. This is something to work on before Festival of the Photocopier next year.
But all in all it was a fantastic night! There were flapper dancers dressed as ibis. There were the Architects of Sound. And my favourite, a contortionist dragqueen I haven’t been able to track down, who displayed their lips on an iPhone strapped to their face as they lip-synced. [Click here] to see their gallery and read the vibe.
The last September project (other than tonight) was marching with these beautiful creatures along Brunswick Street on the way to Brisbane Pride Festival. I hope to write about the folk at Wendybird a lot in the coming months as they help me feel connected to queerness and community. As one of their volunteers, I’m proud to share their vision of redefining community as an action – rather than a thing or a place – and look forward to helping queer folk find commonality with one another outside their tribes.
We met with Shaun D’souza at Brisbane Youth Service to help their clients get ready before meeting with the Wendybird march team on the street. The speeches were long, but the coffee kept us going and I was proudly standing next to a friend on their first Pride. The march itself was the usual buzz of excitement that I missed last year. We’d set the Wendybird Community Hub up the night before, and the hub crew were waiting for us there with water and hugs. More about these folk later, too.
Queer Literature Night
Tonight, September 26
Finally, tonight, I’ll be hosting an evening of queer literature at Avid Reader with these local babes: Shaun D’souza, Paige Wilcox (The Book that Lives and Bleeds), Rae White (Milk Teeth, Enby Life), James Goldsworthy (PASTEL Magazine), Carlo Angelo (Rogue), and Jess Rankine (Queef Zine). We’ll be discussing the first three’s publications and writing processes, and the latter three will join me for a panel on what zines can teach folk about independent publishing and self care. Super excited.
And that’s it! I hope.
For now I’ve a ton of Masters work to catch up on and a few workshops coming up. In the coming weeks Id like to cover Chantel Keegan’s Trailblazers Podcast, finalise the cast of my Broken Chains DnD podcast, and tell y’all why I’ve been avoiding the ‘zine scene’ for so long. If any of that sounds interesting to you then don’t forget to like this post and follow my WordPress.