So Gidge and I were going to go fishing for walleye, the Minnesota state fish. I don’t know if you can see it clearly, but that is a Minnesota boat, you can tell by the license. Walleye are the most delicious fish that have ever been eaten by anyone ever in the history of all mankind. That’s a fact. So, I am eager to get cracking and toss that line in the water. But where is Gidge?
When I first moved to Portland, a gay co-worker asked me to participate in “Queer For A Day” an event organized by Queer Nation. I happily agreed, not realizing that meant all day. I blithely pasted on my florescent green and safety orange stickers that boldly proclaimed “Dyke” and “Queer” in huge black lettering and enjoyed my latte at Pioneer Square with all sorts of other temporary queers. Then I went to work.
Like many people in political activism, I began as a canvasser, one of those people who go door-to-door talking to folks about the issues and raising money to fund organizing campaigns. I had no fear of reprisals from my employer over my bold signage, but when I learned we were going to canvass in East County in a particular neighborhood we canvassers called “mean dog turf” my stomach began to churn. This was no liberal bastion of tolerance. I was terrified. My friend who had invited me to join the Queer For a Day action assured me that no one would blame me for taking off the stickers given the circumstances. However, I decided that gay folks don’t get to take off their gender orientation and truly, part of the purpose of Queer For a Day was to expose gay rights supporters to the un-fabulous reality of gay life – bullying, violence and homophobia.
So, I wore my sticker and approached every door with trepidation and anxiety. I did not suffer any physical violence other than some spit at my feet and only got a smattering of verbal abuse during the night. On the contrary, most people were very nice and friendly, supportive of the national health care campaign I was working on and curious and intrigued by my stickers and my explanation of the Queer For a Day concept. I did get warned away from particular houses – neighbors telling me that so and so was an OCA member (the virulent anti-gay organization responsible for several anti-gay ballot measures). I happily took their advice since I was not looking for any excitement. However, even though the night was successful and mostly uneventful, I have never forgotten that feeling of fear as I knocked on each door, anxious over every single encounter, afraid of verbal abuse, hatred, and violence.
Queer for a Day began as a lark to please a friend, but in many ways, it changed my life. I took the stickers off at the end of the day and returned to my relatively safe straight life, but I learned that night that tolerance is not equality. Human rights and human dignity are meaningless if even one person is denied them. If they are not innate and immutable, they are nothing more than privileges subject to the whims of those in power. I had been one of those Saul Alinsky style activists who believed that if we only sorted out the economic justice issues, oppression would lose its power, but I learned then, that oppression is not just an economic wedge, it is the foundation of political division and disempowerment. The oppression of gender minorities, women and people of color are the foundation of economic oppression, not the other way around. So long as we can be divided and disempowered by social wedges, the future is bleak.
It’s been about 17 years since I was Queer For a Day and a lot has changed. Not enough. There’s so much more to be done, but I am hopeful and optimistic and I am wearing purple for Spirit Day –. It’s much more fashionable than neon stickers and not nearly as frightening. As to why purple – I think I will just play the Lavender Song from 1920 for you.
It was easy deciding what to wear for this second installment in the Raid Your Closet Challenge. There are pieces I will never throw out, no matter how old they are. Among them are most of my Paper Couture designs. This dress is from September 2011 and is still available. I chose it because it highlights how much more experimental and effective the Lu sisters are at working with the system layers. This skirt has a bit more shape and body than the usual system skirt – not because of the skirt glitch that gives us all donkey booty, but because they often made full skirts with system pieces. They took the system skirt beyond the skin-tight pencil skirt and played with form. They weren’t the only ones, but they were certainly the most successful. They have not released in over a year. I hope that means they are taking their experimental, boundary-pushing, technology-testing ways to mesh and are preparing to surprise us all. I hope that’s why we have not heard from them in so long.
Struggling to come up with a name for this 2451st post was keeping me from getting this done, but I remembered a few months back that someone had asked for blog post title suggestions. AS you can see, such suggestions need not make sense. This one came from Darkley Aeon, the Guerilla Avatar. I guess if I had a purple monkey, I would train him to do the dishes. Doing dishes is one of my least favorite tasks, mainly because I am one of those people, you know the ones that get water down the front of the shirt and on the floor while washing a plate, a cup and a spoon. I can splash my face and get soap in my eye when doing a sinkful of dishes which is why I tend to wash dishes 6 times a day – everytime I dirty a dish. So, if you have a purple monkey in need of a home, send him my way. I am sure he could wash dishes better than me. But could he style this outfit? I don’t think so. I think any monkey that allowed himself to be purple-ized would just make a hash out of styling anything but rainbows and butterflies.
I went over to Milvus to investigate ater reading about it in the Destination Guide. It looks amazing and I will definitely go back for more picture taking soon. It was near the top of the list in the Destination Guide so I was not the only one checking it out. It was quite busy – so I found a quiet corner for my snaps and stored the bookmark with a promise to go back soon.
This June gown from Entre Mares is indiscreet. Very indiscreet!
I have to confess to a bit of photo manipulation here just to keep my photo in the “safe” category for the Flickr censors. They are so frightened by nipples that one of their censors made my entire account moderate because of nipple shadow in a swimsuit – not exposure, but that bit of shadow painted on by the designer to simulate fabric covering nipples. The other so-called indecent photo was a low cut dress. In order to avoid another hoohah with another 30 some emails and appeals etc. with Flickr, I obscured just a bit of exposure on the bodice of this dress. Of course, that indiscreet glimpse among the curlicues of the bodice lace is the point – really – and covering it is not truly in the spirit of the design. It’s just that after the fight I had with Flickr, I am a bit paranoid.
So, I went for comfort, but not at the expense of style, not with these glorious pants andd Untone Quilt’s marvelous cardigan. A lovely pink thermal top from pig makes it complete.
I recently found a couple of darling black and white dresses, both heavily influenced by vintage styles, both from relatively under-blogged stores and oddly enough, I wore my hair in braids with both of them, though totally by accident. What was not an accident was my choice of shoes – the hottest shoes ever, ever, evah! But first, here’s a lovely black and white pop print from Lost Dreams with the useful and descriptive name Retro Dress.
This dress also has a pop print though the shape is a good decade older. It’s name is Delana Kisses, an unhelpful name unles you think those teardrop shapes remind you of Hershey’s Kisses or something. This is from ROC.
Now, this dress is as far in spirit from the white Odelia dress in my last post as the Norwegian song I will share in this post is from Tryggare kan ingen vara. This is a hot, sultry dress promising the the world just as the old Norwegian song Oleanna promised the emigrants who left for America. It’s the Norwegian version of the Big Rock Candy Mountain – in spirit. And this dress is as rich in promise.
This time the English and Norwegian versions are done together.
When I put on the wonderful flamenco-inspired dress Aibell from StoRin I fell in love with the skirt and its lovely form and structure. Flamenco made me think of Spain and of course of the magnificent traje de lus that a torero would wear in the bull ring. I had just the thing, an outfit from Bare@Rose that was typical Bare@Rose – complete and detailed and perfect from head to toe. Putting the two together seemed inevitable.
If you have been reading my blog for any significant length of time, you know I am a peach-a-holic. Peach, coral, salmon just are irresistible colors for me. And why not? They look good with every skin tone and flatter everyone in 1st and 2nd life. So, when I went over to check out Stylissimo – after falling in love with the blogger appreciation gifts they sent – and saw some peach in a vendor, well that works like a homing device with a built-in buy button.