"We are rag dolls made out of many ages and skins, changelings who have slept in wood nests or hissed in the uncouth guise of waddling amphibians. We have played such roles for infinitely longer ages than we have been men. Our identity is a dream." - Loren Eisley, The Unexpected Universe
Originally I had planned on revisiting my "Identity in Burlesque" post in the context of the racial discussions that have cropped up in burlesque and cosplay, as well as a follow-up to National Coming Out Day. However, the former has been addressed by many already (please check out those links), and I don't really need to come out again. Rather I've been turning inward, and so that's what this update will be about.
|Repping asexuality and|
genderqueerness at the 2014
The last two questions seem frivolous, but they are a part of who I am. As much as I try to keep my mundane self out of Hana Li, we're still one person at the end of the day. Through my hamstring injury, which turned out to be a consequence of a lower back problem, I learned that you can't keep your identities completely separate when you share a body.
Likewise I cannot keep my politics apart from my art because my body is political on many levels. It's just like how burlesque (in its current form) is always sexual. I've seen that discussion pop up, and I debate whether I should jump in with my own two cents as a grey-asexual. Just because the art is sexual doesn't mean that the performer is. I know some of you may struggle with reconciling that, but know that I still struggle with being viewed sexually.
|O-Ren Ishii's Chinese side comes out at |
A Plumb Askew Revue: Popcorn and Pasties.
By Miracle Bennet
HAMU by Vivienne Vermuth
Maybe my inner O-Ren is an aspect of myself I need to further explore, but that brings me to the first question I had asked. Burlesque was supposed to be a way for me to express my feminine side. However, I have been unable to ignore my masculine side. I get my inspiration from male characters, and I'm more a pants type of gal than a glove-and-gown type. If you've been following my career thus far, you may have noticed that I am getting more androgynous. That's who I really am inside, and I've figured out how to incorporate my classic training to suit that aesthetic. I never intended to do drag, but that was inevitable with the way I have been progressing. Tony can do things that don't work well with Hana.
My next couple of posts are going to return to recapping my performances from the last few months. Instead of going chronologically though, I'm going to trace how I've learned to embrace my genderqueerness and how Tony Fo-Hawk came to be. I’m excited to have you along for the ride.
By Tanya Forno