queer media

Oaklash: the Bay Area’s love letter to eclectic drag

Two PM comes around in a classic car showcase warehouse and it echoes –

“Everybody, welcome to the show!”

Alaska Thunderfuck’s ‘HIEEE’ fills Classic Cars West on an unsuspecting Saturday afternoon. The famous show-opening number draws a crowd around a set stage as the notorious WooWoo Monroe kicks off the second annual Oaklash drag festival.

Born in 2018, Oaklash celebrated its second year over April’s last weekend. It kicked off with an opening night party Friday at Eli’s Mile High Club where performers and live bands gave the Bay a small taste of what was to come over the next two days.

After Monroe’s lip-synced instructions of flash photography being absolutely mandatory and tipping these [performers], the day kicked off its first set. With about five performances clocking in at half an hour and a DJ set filling the next half, each eight-hour day allowed over 50 Bay Area local and visiting artists to grace the stage – the festival hosted over 100 performers, vendors, photographers, bands, and more.

Queeries got the chance to sit down with a myriad of incredible individuals all working with the festival in one way or another and, phew, does it take a village. …

Coming Out For Someone Else

Don’t

That’s the short answer. Of course, it isn’t as simple as that. Being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and living a thrilling, freeing gay life every day, you start to pick up some skills. One of those is picking out your fellow brothers and sisters before you’ve even met them. What I’m talking about is a “gaydar.” It’s a popular phrase, coined somewhere in the 1990s, but some say it was first heard in the show “Futurama.” I tried to do some research, but it was all very limited. So if you find out where it comes from, let me know. But back to this article! A gaydar is a tool one possesses in sensing someone else’s sexuality. I’m sure if you’re reading this blog, you know exactly what I’m talking about. But if you don’t – it might be time to get out of the house more often – but I’ll do you a favor this time and help you out a little bit.

10 Hilarious Queer Comics to Watch Out For

Stand-up comedy is a tricky subject for a marginalized audience. Though we may all know queer icons like Ellen DeGeneres, Margaret Cho, or Tig Notaro, queer comics can seem to be few and far between. And in the age of #MeToo, when we are realizing that many comic icons like Louis CK and Bill Cosby are sexual predators, we are more aware that mainstream comedy does not represent minority communities than we ever have been before. Worse still is the fact that despite queer comics being underrepresented, cis-heterosexual comedians still place us as the punchline to homophobic and transphobic jokes that are often horrifyingly violent, such as Tracy Morgan’s homophobic tirade in which he says he would “stab” his son for coming out as gay, or Lil Duval’s appearance on variety show The Breakfast Club when he joked about killing a sexual partner if he found out she was trans. The occurrence of disparaging jokes against the queer community is not limited to just these two examples, either–it is disturbingly common and routine in sets from non-queer comedians to presumably non-queer audiences.

Media Review: “It’s Okay to Be Gay” – Doug Armstrong

In a new comedy EP, Doug Armstrong sings the kinds of songs we can relate to.

Doug Armstrong’s debut comedy EP “It’s Okay to Be Gay” is quite the joyride. From beginning to end it is filled with light-hearted, positive humor that can make any confident, gay man like myself want to shout from a rooftop “I like dick, balls and bum!” – a line from the “What I Like About Guys,” the last song on the EP. Each song sends off a positive message and informs the public of the daily struggles of what gay men go through.

Visbility: A Two Sided Sword

Queer visibility is something that that I’ve always considered to be positive. It excites me to see gay and trans folks represented in the media. After reading an article titled “For LGBTQ Regugees in the United States, ‘Visibility is a Two-Sided Sword’” by Oscar Lopez, I found a new perspective on visibility. I realized that visibility is a complex, multifaceted subject. Blinded by my privilege, I hadn’t considered the ways that visibility differs from person to person.

Sam’s Guide to Gay Media #3: 5 Awesome LGBTQ Writers You Should Follow on Twitter

Besides reading really, really good writing, nothing is quite as beneficial to a budding writer’s evolving skills as following really, really good writers. Below, I’ve compiled a list of five of my favorite LGBTQ writers and editors on Twitter. I’ll link to a few of their best pieces of advice, funniest or most insightful tweets, or most exceptional written/edited pieces.

Follow these lovely folks, some of whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with personally, for queer AF humor, awesome links to pieces they’ve written or edited, and nuggets of writerly wisdom. Enjoy, and happy reading! Let me know who your favorite LGBTQ writer or editor is in the comments below.

Cameron Esposito’s “Rape Jokes” and the Importance of Diversity in Comedy

Trigger Warning: post contains sexual assault mention

 

Cameron Esposito starts her new one-hour set with an honest, and, yes, funny, discussion of sexual assault: “What can I do at work if I can’t talk about your sweater?” she asks in mock confusion. Her fitting and layered response: “Work.” This is what Esposito implores for all of us in her new stand-up special Rape Jokes, which has already accomplished much of what it set out to do. Offered for free on-demand viewing through her website, its viral status has earned it glowing reviews on major media outlets, and among her fans: from devoted followers of her career, to the new recruits to her brutally honest, timely, loveable, and funny comedic style. And most importantly, the special has brought on the tough conversations that we need to have in the #MeToo era. This is not to mention the over $30,000 which it has raised––through modest donations for a download of the entire set––for RAINN, the largest non-profit in the United States dedicated to ending rape and sexual violence.

 

Esposito’s central idea behind Rape Jokes is the reclamation of rape jokes by survivors of sexual assault––including Esposito herself. She uses a fluid, story-based comedy style that weaves witty insights about her personal life with important questions about a society built around patriarchal rape culture. From growing up “very, very Catholic” with a lack of proper sex education, to being shamed into the closet during college, to her sexual assault by a friend and classmate, Esposito shows how the shame and lack of education surrounding sex in our culture works to both promote sexual violence, and to hide it from view. Esposito shows that jokes about sexual assault can be funny from the proper perspective. She urges us to understand that when rape is used for its shock value, we are only further desensitized to sexual violence, and taught that it is something to uncomfortably laugh off.

 

RoyalTea: Medulla Oblongata

“That might sound a little pretentious.  Medulla’s a little pretentious, though. You can put that in.”

 

Hey all!  Welcome back for the newest installment of RoyalTea, where we corner and pester the drag performers you should be following! Performers who can thrash and bash, who aren’t afraid to get down and dirty and who DO NOT smoke cigarettes, thank you very much.

Welcome to her channel: this week, we got to interview local Hudson Valley queen, the aptly named, Medulla Oblongata (The Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End).  When you’re in her trance, she is a cone-shaped neuronal mass responsible for your autonomic (involuntary) functions ranging from vomiting to sneezing.  We sit down and discuss the chaotic and unpredictable whirling entropy that shrouds Medulla’s life.

Welcome to Queeries Blog!

Hello and welcome to the official launch of Queeries Blog!

This blog has been in the making behind the scenes for a few months now and we are so excited to bring the work of the 16 amazing artists to the public!

Founded by Raine Grayson, a playwright, director, and activist, Queeries is a platform for LGBTQIA+ identified artists to share their work, thoughts, and experiences with the world. We have a myriad of different artists and writers contributing to Queeries – journalists, sculptors, poets, authors, burlesque performers, actors – all from different perspectives and identities. It is meant to inspire, inquire, educate, and provoke as the contributors share with you all their art and themselves.

This blog will offer up to the world a work as varied as it’s contributors – we will share with you tips and tricks of our various trades, interviews, podcasts, featured artist slots that lift up the work of our artists (and all LGBTQIA+ identified artists), the stories of our own journeys, our relationship with the world and the media around us, and so much more. Like life, we are unpredictable. As artists and creators, our work is ever changing. However, we are excited to share with you.

Check back on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays every week for new posts!