“I am a body liberation activist, so I think everyone should feel comfortable in their bodies, not just fat folk,” Bevin said. “It is so sad to see how, even in gay culture where our predecessors worked so hard for our sexual liberation that we reiterate body policing and body hatred. It’s true in the Chelsea boy scene as much as it is true in the New York City lesbian scenes.”
She pointed to the bear scene as an example of a size-positive scene that emerged for gay men. “The bear scene is really well-organized and seems really size positive. I think it is a radical act to sexualize fat people in our culture and it is great to see it happen for boys,” she said.
One thing that I have noticed is that promoters in the Brooklyn nightlife scene tend to use the word “queer” in its fliers and advertisements rather than the words “gay” or “lesbian” or terms like “for women” or “for girls.” For many people, the words “queer” and “gay” are interchangeable, and I picked Bevin’s brain about the meanings of all of these terms and especially as they relate to New York City nightlife.
“’[Q]ueer’ expresses a sexuality that acknowledges a diversity of gender beyond a binary,” she explained. “’Gay’ and ‘lesbian’ refer to a binary gender. The people I hang out with express and/or embody so many different genders, sometimes all at once. Using the term ‘queer’ to designate a dance party I think makes it a safe space for them to feel okay being their authentic selves, rather than having to fit into a mold.”
Rebel Cupcake exists in the same genre as Hey Queen! and the original
Williamsburg queer dance party, the now-defunct Panty Hos. At any of
those parties, you are likely to find a mishmash of hipster twinks,
bears, androgynous women and men, lesbians with whimsical hairstyles
and oversized glasses, and of course, queer fat femmes. Rebel Cupcake
was even graced with the presence of a man who walked in with a toga
and ended up dancing in his skivvies.
The inaugural Rebel Cupcake featured a burlesque show featuring, among other performers, Sarah Jenny, winner of the 2010 GO Mag’s best emcee award, and J.D., Mr. International Bear.
So what’s next for Rebel Cupcake? Bevin said she plans to book local
bands, such as Inner Princess, and more burlesque and drag acts. The
next Rebel Cupcake is June 17 and will feature, among other
performers, Rosie Lugosi, The Femme Vampire, who will fly in all the
way from Manchester, England.
And what’s in store for Bevin? “Nothing short of creating my Femmpire!”
Hunter Valentine’s quest for world domination — CD prerelease party
at Proposition at Slate Lounge May 7, 2010 and Tour de NYC, May 11, 2010
It’s been a good year for Toronto transplants Hunter Valentine. The all-female pop punk trio was voted the best band in New York City by the readers of GO Magazine and on May 11, the band released its Tommy Boy debut and third album, Lessons from the Late Night. In celebration of the release, Hunter Valentine embarked on Tour de NYC, a one-day whirlwind tour of New York City.
Kiyomi McCloskey and Laura Petracca of Hunter Valentine
I caught up with Hunter Valentine at their CD pre-release party at the always jammin’ Friday night party for ladies, Proposition, where they answered a few questions about their favorite hangouts in the city and about Tour de NYC.
Since this column chronicles events and nightlife in New York City, I
asked lead singer Kiyomi McCloskey to tell us her favorite hangouts for
women in the city. She told me that the band members, when in town,
generally hang out in Brooklyn. After moving from Toronto, the band
settled in Bushwick, Brooklyn. (Real estate types have dubbed Bushwick
“East Williamsburg” in an attempt to make the neighborhood sound hip,
hoping to drive up real estate prices, but when that happens, artists
and musicians can’t afford to live there anymore, and then they are
faced with the threat of having to move to, say, New Jersey.)
Since we don’t want Hunter Valentine moving to New Jersey, we’re
just going to call it Bushwick. McCloskey said that Hunter Valentine’s
schedule has been jam-packed, so she has not had much of a chance to
hang out in the city, but she gave props to Hotel Motel, a monthly
women’s night at Tandem Bar in Bushwick; Gay Face, an occasional party
held at the East River Bar in Williamsburg; and Metropolitan, a gay bar