Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Pride at the 2016 Texas Queerlesque Festival

"Moon Pride
I want to be your power

Tears flow down a cheek, eyes burn red
Someone cries of love violently, like a flash of lightning
Even if you're in pitch black darkness, you're not alone, you know?
The Moonlight illuminates us" - "Moon Pride" by Momoiro Clover Z

I meant to make this post a couple weeks earlier, but lab life got really hectic.  On top of that, I've been working on shows.  In fact, my next one is tonight!

I also got interviewed by Asexual Artists.  It fills me with pride to have been able to represent both the burlesque and ace communities.  Click here to read the interview.

Photo by The Naked Lens
The Asexual Artists feature provides a good segue into the topic of my next post, the inaugural Texas Queerlesque Festival.  It was place where I could show off my pride as a genderqueer, grey-asexual burlesque dancer (who also does drag but Tony was absent).  Being cognizant of my straight-passing, cisgender privilege, I initially hesitated.  I didn't want to take another, more deserving person's spot.  Then I remembered that I belonged as much as anyone else because my identity is my own and my art clearly reflects the queerness that makes up who I am.  I submitted "Moonlight Serenade" since it had queer inspirations and got in! 

"Moonlight Serenade" had been previously rejected from other festivals so I thought about what needed improvement: less focus on doing actual tango steps, more face, more sparkles!  This all sounded good, but then I changed my anxiety medication right around the festival.  I went from one set of side effects to another.  At the same time, I can't completely blame my meds for the lack of preparation.  Even with a day off from work, I was behind on costuming and incredibly scattered-brained.  You could probably tell at the shots taken during the performer portrait session.

What made me even more agitated was that I was the second performer in the line-up.  However, once The Companion delivered my forgotten items (to which I owe him greatly), I buckled down and got in the zone.  I steamed my cape, fixed my false eyelashes, put on Glam Jam (which feels good even on sunburned skin) and slipped on my ace pride socks (a special addition to my costume, inspired by the desire to show that asexuals do belong in the community) with enough down time to chat with fellow performers to wind down from all the anxiety.  Then it was showtime.
Photo by The Naked Lens

I don't know if it was the magic of my ace pride socks or the sound of fellow Sailor Moon fans screaming over the rest of the audience, but I felt a great adrenaline rush that matched my solo debut.  It was my best performance of "Moonlight Serenade" to date.  Even with a few rushed spots, I was very happy.  The cherry on top was Lady Lola LeStrange's utter excitement over the fact that I was portraying Tuxedo Mask.  Moonies unite!

The upside to being second on the first night of the festival was that I could now chill and enjoy everyone else's performances.  And boy were there a lot of awesome ones!  It made me proud to be a part of the queerlesque community and inspired to work even harder for next year.  On top of that, the people were so friendly that hands down, this is a festival I will recommend over and over again.

I was on such a high that I actually drove to Sue Ellen's by myself for Jeez Loueez's Twerk and Jerk workshop.  Driving is a great source of anxiety so this is a big deal.  It was a scary experience, but the workshop and wind-down party made me forget about it until I had to go home.  I have to mention how cool it is for Jeez to include the history of twerking in her class.  It's both necessary and fascinating.

Sunday Wind Down Party
The inaugural Texas Queerlesque Festival was amazing, and so many people worked hard to make that happen.  I thank each of them for their efforts, and I'm proud that despite its conservative image, Texas is able to have a space where queer performers from all around the country can show their art.  I came away knowing where I need to improve as both a performer and an individual, and hopefully I can come up with something worthy to be in the next show or at least find more ways to be involvedbe it socializing, attending more workshops, or volunteering.


  1. This is awesome to read about and I hope to see more events like this for myself in the future.

    1. I hope so too! There will be a festival next year, and I'll definitely promote it as we get closer to the date.