Tag Archives: little light

Girl Talk

 Marlene says:

I have written here about the first Girl Talk a couple of years ago. I was very excited about it. I am now even more excited because I have been asked to speak this year. In fact, it happens next week. I’ve been mulling over all sorts of clever things to say about why you should go see it, but the truth is that this is simply a very special event populated by some of the smartest people I have ever met/heard/read. If nothing else, you can come watch me sweat while I try to keep up with people I consider my heroes.

I’ll be posting more about it after the event.

Girl Talk: A Trans & Cis Woman Dialogue Thursday, March 24th, 2011 7:00pm – 10:00pm San Francisco LGBT Community Center – Ceremonial Room 1800 Market Street between Octavia & Laguna Tickets: $12-$20 (no one turned away!) (Link to BrownPaperTickets site: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/163744 I strongly recommend that you get tix in advance — we sold out very fast last year.)

Queer cisgender women and queer transgender women are allies, friends, support systems, lovers, and partners to each other. Trans and cis women are allies to each other every day — from activism that includes everything from Take Back the Night to Camp Trans; to supporting each other in having “othered” bodies in a world that is obsessed with idealized body types; to loving, having sex, and building family with each other in a world that wants us to disappear.

Girl Talk is a spoken word show fostering and promoting dialogue about these relationships. Trans and cis women will read about their relationships of all kinds – sexual and romantic, chosen and blood family, friendships, support networks, activist alliances. Join us for a night of stories about sex, bodies, feminism, activism, challenging exclusion in masculine-centric dyke spaces, dating and breaking up, finding each other, and finding love and family.

FEATURING: Mira Bellwether, Gina de Vries, Tara Hardy, Tobi Hill-Meyer, Marlene Hoeber, Sadie Lune, Elena Rose, aka little light, Ray Rubin ***Curated & hosted by Gina de Vries, Elena Rose, & Julia Serano.


MIRANDA BELLWETHER is a 28 year old trans dyke and student. She is a femme, a queer, a dork, a loudmouth, and lots of other things. Her interests include the 1920s, literature, masculinity, homos, conversation, rodents, and of course sex and sexuality. She is the creator and editor of “Fucking Trans Women,” a zine about the sex lives of trans women and our lovers.

GINA DE VRIES is a genderqueer femme, a queer Paisan pervert, and a writer, performer, and activist with a long history doing political organizing in and with queer, trans, and sex worker communities. She is the founder and co-curator (with Julia & Rose) of “Girl Talk: a trans & cis woman dialogue,” and is very proud to be producing the show for the third year running. Gina edited the queer youth anthology [Becoming] in 2004. Her writing has been anthologized dozens of places, from the academic to the pornographic. Her publications include Coming & Crying: true stories about sex from the other side of the bed, Take Me There: Trans & Genderqueer Erotica, Bound to Struggle: Where Kink and Radical Politics Meet, The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Partner Violence Within Activist Communities, $pread: Illuminating the Sex Industry, Femmethology, Girl Crush, and Curve, make/shift, and On Our Backs magazines. Gina was the head curator of the San Francisco in Exile queer performance series from 2006-2010. Shows she’s produced include “Ecstasies & Elegies” (for International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers), “Rebel Girl: a riot grrrl nostalgia show,” and “Cherry: queering virginity.” Gina has performed, taught, and lectured everywhere from chapels to leatherbar backrooms. Recent university appearances include Harvard University, Yale University, and Reed College. She regularly teaches writing for WriteHereWriteNow queer & trans writers workshop in Boston, Massachusetts; regularly presents on issues ranging from sex work to intersex activism for the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program of the Reproductive Rights Activist Service Corps; and works a day job fundraising for St. James Infirmary, the nation’s only clinic run by and for current & former sex workers. She is the founder and facilitator of Sex Workers’ Writing Workshop, a writing class for current and former sex workers at San Francisco’s Center for Sex & Culture (where she also serves on the Advisory Board). A graduate of Hampshire College, Gina is currently pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing at San Francisco State University, where she is working on a memoir and a book of short stories. Find out more at ginadevries.com, and keep track of her on the daily at queershoulder.tumblr.com.

TARA HARDY is the working class queer femme poet who founded Bent, a writing institute for LGBTIQ people in Seattle, WA. She is a founding member of Salt Lines, the all woman performance poetry group that toured the U.S. in March of 2009 and 2010 in honor of Women’s History Month. Tara has been finalist on National Poetry Slam stages 7 times and is currently the highest ranking woman in the Individual World Poetry Slam. She’s been the Seattle Grand Slam Champion three times, and was elected Seattle Poet Populist in 2002. Tara has been the keynote speaker for Seattle University’s Lavendar Graduation, Humboldt University’s 2009 Kink on Campus presented by the Women’s Center, and Seattle’s 2008 Dyke March. A daughter of the United Auto Workers, and activist in the Battered Women’s Movement, she is committed to art as a tool for social change. Her upcoming book, Bring Down the Chandeliers, is due from Write Bloody Press in the spring of 2011. To contact Tara, or arrange for a performance, email wordyfemme@hotmail.com. Her webpage is www.tarahardy.net. You may find her on MySpace at www.myspace.com/tarahardygetsbent

TOBI HILL-MEYER (www.HandbasketProductions.com) is just about your average multiracial, pansexual, transracially inseminated queerspawn, genderqueer, transdyke, colonized mestiza, pornographer, activist, writer. She has given talks on several campuses and her writing has appeared in And Baby Makes More: Known Donor’s, Queer Parents and our Unexpected Families, Who’s Your Daddy?: And Other Writings on Queer Parenting, and Best Lesbian Erotica 2010. She directed and produced the first porn film by and for trans women, Doing it Ourselves: The Trans Women Porn Project, and just finished work on her latest film, The Genderfellator, a campy sci-fi pornographic parody of a little known transphobic film from 2007. Her zines and films can be found at HandbasketProductions.com.

MARLENE HOEBER is a long time queer, kink, trans, sex-positive, feminist, social justice activist and a devout pervert. She is currently Director of Collections at the archive of the Center for Sex and Culture. Marlene was a founding member of the world’s first college campus based BDSM organization in 1991. She has worked in diverse trades such as dildo manufacturing, jewelry, motorcycle repair, tool design and laboratory management. Her hobbies include target shooting and cognac “tasting”. Her writing can be found at Fukshot and Body Impolitic.

SADIE LUNE is a multimedia artist, absurdist, sex worker, and pleasure activist. She has won awards for her films and performances, exhibited explicit whore-positive work in museums, and shown her cervix internationally. Her writing on art and sex is published in books and magazines in the United States and Europe. Sadie is currently working on “Biological Clock” a queer fertility ritual performance as part of her ongoing project Teaching Myself to Love. She is looking for patrons, sperm donors, and a wife of any gender. Sadie lives in San Francisco with her three snakes.

ELENA ROSE, a Filipina-Ashkenazic mixed-class trans dyke mestiza, is a writer, preacher, scholar, and survivor from rural Oregon. Dedicated to the projects of radical love, community building, and queer ministry, she writes online as “little light” at http://takingsteps.blogspot.com and elsewhere, serves on the advisory board of the Allied Media Conference in Detroit, and was a charter member of the Speak! Radical Women of Color Media Collective. A sweet-talking monster at the mic, Rose has performed to sold-out crowds up and down the Pacific coast, from multiple headline shows in Portland to collaborations with the Bay’s Mangos With Chili and Seattle’s TumbleMe Productions, and has twice been a San Francisco Pride Featured Performer with the National Queer Arts Festival production, Girl Talk: A Cis and Trans Woman Dialogue. Her writing has found its way everywhere from law school classrooms and academic conferences to bathroom mirrors and protest marches, and has met print in magazines including Aorta and Make/Shift. After the dust settles on Rose’s coast-to-coast tour this spring, she will be busy finishing her first book, Mountain of Myrrh, to be published by Dinah Press. Rose currently resides with her wife in northern California, where she stays busy being in good stories. She carries a pen, her ancestors, and the mismatched ID of a citizen of the borderlands with her at all times.

RAY RUBIN is an FTMTF anti-capitalist that spends most of her day asking people for money. She is an activist for Lower-Haight, gluten-free, post-PCOS, rickets survivors who listen to public radio. She’s especially fond of independent publishing & has written for a number of zines that can be found at the free section in Dog Eared Books.

JULIA SERANO is an Oakland, California-based writer, performer and trans activist. She is the author of Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity (Seal Press, 2007), a collection of personal essays that reveal how misogyny frames popular assumptions about femininity and shapes many of the myths and misconceptions people have about transsexual women. Julia’s other writings have appeared in anthologies (including Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation, Word Warriors: 30 Leaders in the Women’s Spoken Word Movement and Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape), in feminist, queer, pop culture and literary magazines and websites (such as Bitch, AlterNet.org, Out, Feministing.com, Clamor, make/shift, and others), and have been used as teaching materials in gender studies, queer studies, psychology and human sexuality courses in colleges across North America. For more information about all of her creative endeavors, check out www.juliaserano.com.

Girl Talk/A Cis and Trans Woman Dialogue

Marlene says:

A couple of weeks ago, the National Queer Arts Festival hosted an event called “Girl Talk: A Cis & Trans Woman Dialogue.” Several queer cis and trans women spoke about their interactions, shared community, relationships, commonalities and conflicts.

I’ve been to plenty of queer speaking events and this one stands out both in its consistently high quality and its subject matter. I’ve been to events where trans women have spoken and some spoke of their sometimes difficult relationships with the larger queer women’s community. The most famous conflict between trans women and the larger queer women’s community is the issue of trans exclusion from many “women only” spaces.

As far as I know (and I think I would) this is the first time a group of queer cis and trans women have gotten together for the express purpose of speaking about our shared experience publicly. Listening to the show, I was struck by how obvious and straightforward much of it seemed. I don’t mean that in a belittling way, but rather I think it is a testament to the brilliance of the women speaking. For those of you with little context for this, it might seem like you’re hearing just another group of women tell what they have to tell about themselves and the world around them. That’s exactly right, but at the same time, until this night these thoughts had very little public airing. These things were mostly spoken softly between friends.

Gina and Julia (details below) gave the world something very special by curating this show. The .mp3 of the whole event is here.

The second to last speaker is Dorian Katz, my girlfriend. I am the Marlene she is talking about. While she is speaking, she is showing slides of her paintings. Here is a gallery of the images she showed while speaking.

Any one of these women’s opinions or work would be enough to be impressed by. Having them all in one place is shockingly good. This event is what originally sparked my recent post about holding back.

The speakers:

Ryka Aoki de la Cruz is all over the place doing everything. I’d swear she never sat down if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. She was recently honored by the California State Senate for her “extraordinary commitment to free speech and artistic expression, as well as the visibility and well-being of Transgender people.”

Tina D’Elia makes movies, writes plays, and makes the world a better place working at CUAV.

Gina de Vries curates events, blogs here, and here, teaches writing workshops for sex workers, and I hope that she doesn’t mind me declaring publicly that she’s a total sweetheart.

Dorian Katz makes me smile a lot and paints and draws and writes and makes mischief. Her artwork appears in The Human Pony and she will have illustrations and an essay in Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues, which will be out in October.

Nomy Lamm is a total badass who does tons of stuff, including Sins Invalid, Homo-a-go-go, Make/Shift magazine, and Fist of the Spider Woman.

Julia Serano is the kind of smart that just makes you say “Damn!” If I say more nice things about her on this blog, I’m going to start sounding like she’s paying me.

Elena Rose writes online here as “little light,” serves on the advisory board of the Allied Media Conference in Detroit, and is a charter member of the Speak! Radical Women of Color Media Collective. Her writing makes me teary on a regular basis.

Lauren Steely knows hella stuff about rocks and sneaks up on you with how funny she is.

Debbie says:

I was in the back listening to this event (apparently quietly enough so that Marlene and Dorian didn’t even know I was there). I want to second Marlene’s recommendation of the whole thing, and especially to say that Ryka Aoki de la Cruz and Rose Sims, neither of whose work I was aware of before that night, blew me completely away. So did Gina, Julia, Nomy, and Dorian, but I expected those to be fantastic. Not to mention the other people whose work I didn’t know, who were also extraordinary. My only disappointment was that I wished the curators hadn’t called it a “dialogue,” because that left me expecting more interaction. What I got instead was wonderful, however.