Bebe le Strange


For me it's the women's short-shorts from awful american apparel that I wear to run downstairs for the delivery guy. It's my routine, for Sundays: P.N.D. and Vegan Thai and Air Conditioning. I just sang at the Bureau of General Services Queer Division at this rad party put on by lovely Shane Shane. I slept in most of the morning then went to the gym and that's it. I made lunch. I skipped the sunburn and I skipped the parade and I feel like the space to have a routine is special enough, right now. This time. Other times, different stories (naturally). Back to routine. Back to working my way through the Spike Lee cannon. Back to the shorts I kept from college. I wore them on Avenue A at 4 in the morning so many years ago. I want to thank Grandma and Grandpa. And everyone.


Locate that part in me

So, I'm hosting a FAG CITY reading at EVERYBOOTY at BAM tomorrow night. Lots of capital letters, I know. I filmed a little interview about the reading, which is up on the Spank website now. But check it out, you guys, the promotional video is cute and I sound like a total valley girl, whatever, but it's kind of a moot point. the event is sold out! I'm excited for that. I think it'll be super fun. But I'm not gonna try to convince people to come, because I can't. There are no more tickets (I don't have any). I'm assuming you bought a ticket and I will see you there! Either way, check out the video interview.

Such a whirlwind few weeks. I want to really get into the fact that I go-go danced at QxBxRx when xLimpwristx performed a few weeks ago, how insane and fun and weird that was. I want to talk about how I totally saw The Julie Ruin perform, opening for Body/Head, and how fucking FANTASTIC they were and how excited I am for their record to come out. I want to talk about how B0DYH1GH performed at the last (?!?!) Birdsong event the other, how special and wonderful it was. I may take some more time on those.

I went to some fun parties this past weekend and kind of made a mess of myself, in a good, summer-y way. Last night PLD and I went to the Riot Grrrl Book Signing event at the Marc Jacobs bookstore. It was kind of weird, I'm sort of a creep, because I already got my book and already got it signed. You should all buy it! It's so fantastic! And really surprising. Anyway we hung out with Kate who put together International Girl Gang Underground, and drank a bunch of that fantastic Sofia Coppola canned champagne. It was so much fun. Then we went to 100 Forsyth to see Juliana Huxtable and Chris Udemezue perform in the BLACK RAGE exhibition. Another fucking fantastic hit! A great night.

Look, the reason I wanted to post today is to share this video from ENCOURAGER, which I forgot I hadn't posted here. It's about déjà vu of you. I would love it if you watched it and maybe showed your friends who might like it too.

Going to a dinner party tonight, pretty excited about that.


"What is the question to the answer." Essay by Tammy Rae Carland

I recently tracked down a copy of Mr. Lady's excellent CD compilation from 1999, The New Women's Music Sampler (which features the legendary Need song "Girl Flavor Gum"). The big reason I wanted to find a copy of This CD is because of the essay by Mr. Lady co-founder and general genius Tammy Rae Carland:

What is the question to the answer.

What? Feminism is a political ideology that calls for the radical reordering of society. A reordering that doesn't simply invert the already existing power structure (which is a patriarchal one) but one that eliminates social control (financial, sexual, cultural, legislative, medical...) that leads individuals to believe they need a power structure. Feminism is a political call to action to bring an end to racism, sexism, homophobia, classism and all the other political, social and psychological oppressions. Feminism is more something you do and less of something you are. Feminism is a political analysis of society and not a counterculture. Why? Because if we listen to the noise of the mainstream (and not so mainstream) art/music/fashion press police we will come to mistake fetishism for feminism. If we allow them to write the history it will teach the girls that the revolution started in 1991 and ended in 1994 (or was that 1968 and 1972). Because they perpetuate 50 years of backlash for ever four years of activism. Because they will convince us/them that we have ARRIVED, that we are already THERE, that IT happened, that we are postgay, postfeminist, postriotgrrrl, postrace, postpoor, postoppressed. Because generation gaps are an invention of capitalism. Because we need to live in a place where we are truly alive, present, safe, and accounted for. Because we refuse to allow our writing, songs, art, activism and political histories to be suppressed or stolen. Because we refuse to be embarrassed about the mistakes and faults and to move forward with a political agenda bent on the freedom of all. Here's 2 MORE CENTS. I'm thru being cool. Punk is an aesthetic, feminism is a political practice. Mr. Lady is not a genre label but a political business dedicated to producing lesbian, feminist, and queer culture. Self made names and community labels are not oppressive. I refuse to be ashamed of a feminist and/or gay history that is both flawed and seemingly "unattractive" as well as important and politically effective. Art is important. Lesbians matter. love, Tammy Rae.
(With a little help from Joanna Russ, Shulamith Firestone, and Audre Lorde).

I so clearly remember reading this essay when I was in high school, and it kind of changed the way I thought about a lot of things. Revisiting it now, I'm so surprised that it was written so long ago. Re-reading it I got all teary-eyed and inspired, the way I did when I read this as a teenager. So I wanted to post it here in the hope that you might find it useful, inspiring as well.



I saw this girl walking down the street just now, into the new building (the luxury condos) and she was walking really fast, and kept her hand on her purse in front of her. For some reason I thought this funny way of walking was because she was hiding something. Maybe she was fleeing a scene. That's ridiculous though.

These new kids moved in around the corner and the other night they were having a party and singing along to music. It kept me up. I knew the song, though, it was a record by a band whom I've met here in New York City. I thought how strange to be kept awake by this voice. The next time I see this singer, I thought, I'll tell them about this. That I was kept up at night by the sound of their voice. But that's sort of creepy right? Telling someone that? Maybe it's creepier to live in Brooklyn and be upset about being kept up by the sound of neighbors singing. But you know, maybe it's also creepy to move to Brooklyn and pay too much for an apartment, just so that you can stay up all night getting drunk with your college friends, screaming along to your favorite records with the windows open. No one gets through life without being creepy.

It's been way too long. I sometimes want to be able to catalog everything I do here, on the blog, but maybe that's silly.

News from the past, from corners of the City. It's hard to breathe here, there's too much plaster dust in the air. Too many fumes. The renovations of apartments turns them, for a little while at least, toxic. These are the scale of the inconveniences our hero's ex is subjected to. An excuse to get out of town, to the coast, the lake, the river, the mountains. Some luxurious escape because the apartment isn't done yet. Scott Panther no longer takes the train. Those days are over. Maybe he would, if he was drunk, and with a big group of people. Or if someone (a cute milk-fed queer bro, hairy knuckles, a sport and/or car fanatic dared him to. No, of his own, Scott only takes cars. He's rich now. He worked hard, pretty hard for a few years. And he played hard. And all the hard work is paying off. He takes expensive vacations, and he's earned them. His friends are so happy for him. His friends' husbands say "Yeah well you have all this money if you're a queer and don't have a wife and baby to support." His friends husbands are right. But I'm queer and I don't have a wife or a baby to support and I don't go on these kind of fantastic trips. Is it that I haven't worked hard enough? I've certainly never made as much money as the Panther. But the Panther comes from money, I guess. The glory of being an only child.

Who actually gets what they deserve, right? I think that to feel like you actually have everything you deserve, that might be scary. At least as horrifying as feeling constantly deprived (I know that feeling). I think the only feeling that's not scary or morally wrong is to feel over-gifted all the time. I keep harping on this: we should be sending thank-you notes to waiters.

There's a deli in town that makes great sandwiches and they deliver all night, and they take credit card. They don't advertise this but some people just know. Scott Panther and I used to order from them all the time, at his old apartment (which wasn't very nice, not even a renovation could save it). We used to call in the middle of the night, after we'd have whatever form of sex we were going to have that night, and ask them to bring us fancy, elaborate sandwiches and European sodas. His room mate would usually ask them to bring her cigarettes, and a candy bar. They'd ask which kind, she'd give them some ideas but not a decision. The poor delivery guy would bike over at 4 or 5 in the morning and Scott would sign the credit card receipt and send him on his way. After the second time I found out that Scott wasn't tipping the delivery guy. I was mortified and I still am. But since then, from what I've overheard, he's worked really hard, and deserves happiness. Happiness and what else. I don't hold a grudge, I just think everyone could stand to be more thankful.

I've been lightly using the internet to hit on this cute guy. Last week I think I saw him on the train but we both pretended not to recognize each other. I think it was because I seem less attractive (older? younger? less masculine? chubbier?) than his imaginary extrapolation of my photos. Or maybe I think he was less attractive than his photos. Two can play at that game. Or maybe it wasn't him. Anyway, there's been nothing online and to be fair I'm too chicken and too distracted and too busy to follow up. I like the idea of a hermetically-sealed interaction, though. Hello and goodbye. Nice to meet and have known you.

They say that the future of space travel will be something along those lines. It will be bending the fabric of space-time. To make it buckle around you, so that you end up at another point in the fabric of the universe, but without a trail. It will be as if you were never there to begin with.

Which sounds, to me, like it entails so much cleaning.


Cold cold summer

I woke up early, in the middle of a dream which felt exciting but which i immediately forgot, to go to the gym this morning. before the thunderstorms. To see the future, read the forecast as I'm running on a treadmill. To see the map of the country, which parts they think are more likely to burst into flames today. In today's heat. Sometimes people ask me about the name of my zine, Scorcher. I saw it on TV, the weatherman said that's what the day would be. When I got home I was dripping with sweat. As I did my stretches, I heard the sweat drip off my forehead and land in little drops on the floor, at the same time that I heard the first raindrops started with their little clicks against the windowsill. It's raining outside, but that's not the only place it's raining.



She wakes up in the morning and get on a good stone. You know: diamonds, rubies, emeralds. In gold bands, soft enough to chew.

New CdG perfume series. I'm obviously excited. I look great in blue. Would I smell good in blue?

Yesterday, the neighbors next door built a church in their backyard and had services. There was a band and a choir and a preacher, who spoke in English and was translated into Spanish. It was supremely annoying, but I got angry at myself for being annoyed. It's church. But it's also loud.

Listening to Teena Marie's Emerald City, which I just found on vinyl for a song. Took it home to see it's on green wax. That's a lucky sign, right?

Today was an exceedingly difficult day. One of my work shirts ripped, on my left elbow. Which wouldn't bother me except it's a H&M CdG shirt I'd been lovingly taking care of. And that wouldn't bother me (shirts wear out, after all) if it hadn't also happened to every other my work shirts this week, the +J shirts I'd been wearing in rotation. They've all split on the left elbow. I've been trying to get them patched but it doesn't work. I've dry cleaned them so many times that the fabric's worn out. Simultaneous spontaneous shirt death. It's petty bourgeois, I know, but it did force a question: what will I wear to work now? This is a loaded question. I never know what to wear on my free time, but I used to always know what to wear to work: one of those three shirts. But now it's all up in the air.

I had a similar realization when I first moved to Brooklyn and my ipod broke. I had saved up for that iPod for months, and I used it to play backing tracks when I sang. So without that, I didn't know how to perform anymore. Maybe I wasn't a performer anymore, or not the same kind. It was scary but exciting. Can I have another realization, please? I'm halfway through my saturn return.

Also on Sunday, amidst the backdrop of a revival in the backyard, I did a bunch of chores. I went to the gym, I cooked, I cleaned, I did laundry. I got a haircut from the awesome Jess Paps and feel much cooler (in all senses). I met my long lost friend Izzie for dinner. We sat next to a pair of sexy boys but I ate with gusto nonetheless and had a really spicy margarita. It was perfect.

Saturday I saw Linda Simpson's photos at ClampArt in their NYC c. 1985 exhibition, which was so cool! A really touching and dynamic way of looking at a really complex time in New York. Linda's my favorite drag queen in New York, and her legendary zine My Comerade made me so excited to live here. I got to perform at her night at the Cock with Telfar (called SLURP, which always reminded me of the SLRP), and it was a definite highlight.

I was thinking about this video I saw of Vivienne Westwood, where she talks about punk rock:

I like this idea of a book as a punk rock accessory so on Saturday:

Afterward, I went to band practice with B0DYH1GH for our performance on Friday night at the BIRDSONG SHOW in Brooklyn. Which is going to be very exciting. Then we went to this awesome reading at Interstate Projects, featuring: Joseph Keckler, Xeňa Stanislavovna Semjonová, Samantha Thornhill, Anthony Thornton, Mary Walton, Lord Breaulove Swells Whimsy, and Joseph Whitt. It was SO MUCH FUN. I was really inspired by my awesome friends. It was outdoors, there was too much free red wine, it was great.

Friday night I got to read at the SUMMER CRUSH, opening for Ariana Reines. I gotta say, it was a super fun event, and I got to hang out with Kayla and Duchess Crystal, but I do feel like I totally bombed. It was okay, though. I like bombing (much to my professional detriment). I like doing a bad job sometimes. I'm just so excited to get to open for Reines, it's the same feeling of playing the same punk show as a band you like. Just to be on the same bill. Just to be in the room. You know? It's not different form being a fan; it includes that. Sometimes we think we need more than we do.

And then today was awful hard, really. In so many ways, all day. Most of it was my own doing, just me freaking out. But there are some things bugging me. Some worries. I feel really disorganized and stressed out, and like I can never catch up. But I came home and one of my room mates gave me a H&M CdG shirt he was getting rid of, which is gorgeous, and my other room mate gave me a glass of prosecco and I did a facial masque and ate a light dinner including pharmaceuticals and my room mate also gave me a spare cigarette he had hanging out, so it can't be all bad.

I just feel like, if you're really smart and if you practice a lot, you can function invisibly. They say it's impossible but we know (so many of us) that it's not impossible; camouflage is an ancient survival mechanism. And so I know, I think I know, that we can poison ourselves silently. I could be shooting myself in the foot without realizing it. And that's a scary thought. But it's not scarier than the alternative. 

Tomorrow I'm going to work then to rehearse some songs at BAX by myself, then to meditation then home to cook dinner (or something?). I'm going to try to get up extra early to go to the gym.

Sometimes I wonder about timing, or how long things take versus how long they feel like they take. Sometimes I think I am so tired of certain things not being done. I'm so frustrated for not having outgrown some aspects of myself. And other times I really miss things about myself that I used to believe were true. These are the negative parts and I'm trying to think of the positive parts. The positive parts are less glamorous.

I wrote a poem, for the beginning of the new issue of my zine. But now I feel like I can't publish it because it came true. And so now, I feel like life is trumping what I was trying to do, or something. The world took the words out of my mouth. Isn't that what breathing is? That's what Caroline says in meditation class; we think it's us doing it, with our brains but that's not actually it. That's not how it works.

I think I'm protecting myself and maybe that's a delusion. But at the same time, I don't think that by pretending that my brain was in charge,  I don't think that I could breathe underwater.

I had the lyrics all wrong, duh.


There Are Boys Who Could Be Monsters There Are Boys Who Fuck Her Dead

It doesn't matter how we got there, but at one point tonight, my Analyst did congratulate me for making it 29 years without killing myself or winding up in a mental institution. And I did enjoy that, I thanked him and I laughed.

I didn't reply: "Yes, but I pay you."
He didn't ask: "Do you think you're paying me to congratulate you?"

Came home to another message from a random stranger on the internet:

Do y'all know that Heavens to Betsy song: "These Monsters Are real"? It's amazing. One of the lyrics is: There Are Boys Who Could Be Monsters There Are Boys Who Fuck Her Dead.


Stay Dry

I would, you know, like to think of myself as someone for whom the weather doesn't completely dictate their mood, but that is a fantasy. I felt pretty much oppressed by the heat this weekend, bedraggled by the rain. It was a particular comfort to watch the sun burst through the clouds yesterday evening, standing as I was at a swanky queer art fundraising party on the roof of BAM, sipping as I was mojito número cuatro. Gorgeous, right?

The party was a ramp-up to the fantastic event happening for Gay Pride at BAM: EVERYBOOTY. Organized by SPANK and Earl Dax and Hey Queen, it features a ton of amazing performers, including a FAG CITY reading I organized with Becca Blackwell, Juliana Huxtable, Sam McKinniss and Khaela Maricich. The reading kicks off the night. it's going to be amazing. You should definitely buy tickets in advance! I have a discount code which I posted on my FB page, or can e-mail you if you like (billycheer@gmail.com). This is your advanced notice.

It has been a tremendously exciting week.

Last week I went to the NYU Fales library to celebrate the release of the Riot Grrrl Collection, published by the Feminist Press. It featured a panel with Lisa Darms, Ramdasha Bikceem, Johanna Fateman and Kathleen Hanna. It was so cool. I've seen some of the material collected in the book before, but definitely not most of it. It's a fantastic compendium, a way cool resource. It kind of makes me feel old, too? But in a good way. A great summer read. The panel discussion was interesting too, I feel like it's sort of surreal to try to relay the impact of zine culture in a sort of post-Internet world. One person (zinester/zine-star Kate Wadkins, of the totally essential zine International Girl Gang Underground) asked the panelists if they could give advice to their younger selves, what would it be? I thought this was a really interesting question, and Johanna Fateman's response, about giving herself permission to make art, to be a writer, was really inspiring. She said (I'm not directly quoting because I don't remember) that anyone who tells you that making art is frivolous or not important is stupid, and that the reason people say that is because they're mad that they're not making art. I don't know; this is basic, this is simple, but it's meaningful to me to hear an artist whose work I admire say something like that? My whole experience of Riot Grrrl (happening, as it did, so far after RG "ended" or whatever) was a call to arms in terms of making your own culture, so it's nice to be reminded of that message. There was a very nice vegetarian reception after the panel. I had a blast.

Oh my gosh, speaking of Riot Grrrl and herstory, today is the birthday of one of my favorite Riot Grrrl records, Bratmobile's legendary Pottymouth.

Happy 20th Birthday!

Pottymouth is probably the vinyl record that I listen to more often than any other one in my collection. Still. It's totally a classic. I love Bratmobile so much.

After the fun vegetarian reception, I ran over to Bowery Electric to see Miss Lydia Lunch perform with her new group, RETROVIRUS, made up of No Wave heavyweights, performing polished gems from Miss Lydia's back catalog.

Shitty photo.

OBVIOUSLY it was amazing and I almost wept. I never in a million years thought I'd get to see Lydia perform any of the 8-Eyed Spy stuff, "Shotgun Wedding", anything from 13 13. All of which was reinvented, stripped down, and gorgeous. Her voice is awesome. I absolutely never thought I'd get to see her sing  "Mechanical Flattery" (that's why I took the liberty to cover the song myself, duh). It was such a really magickal and special night.

And then the next fucking night, I went to see Lydia Lunch host a reading at the Pyramid Club, which was ALSO fantastic. Miss Geraldine Winnifred Visco was there, covering the event for a blog she writes for. She  gives a much better description than I could, and generously quotes me waxing rhapsodic on my feelings for Lydia Lunch. As if you didn't know. 

After the LL reading at Pyramid, I ran over to Julius' Bar for Mattachine, the coolest party in NYC, where a certain star of my favorite movie which begins in "P" and ends in "-arty Girl" performed a scintillating apocalyptic monologue, to the collected delight of all gathered.

Another epick Thursday night, right. I did beg off early just after that (though I was having too too much fun with my co-editors at Gay Sunshine Press, Mister PLD and Mister Boogers, respectively), because I had to save my energy for Friday, when I had the foresight and the good luck and the $20 to spend to go see Cibo Matto at Littlefield.

I'm such a bad photographer. I don't know why I even bother. The Cibo Matto show was soo good! I can't believe it's been like three years (?!) since I saw them before. And like ten before that. Littlefield is such a cool, small, well-run venue. It wasn't crowded, the audience was really happy. The new songs are so cool. Miho intimated that they're kind of going in a new direction. The new album isn't going to be so much about food as, based on the new bits we heard, about ghosts and a hotel where the ghosts are. It sounds weird, and it is weird, but it's also exciting. Nobody sounds like Cibo Matto. The new songs are really catchy and unexpected and groovy and heavy in a way that feels consistent with their sound but also new. I can't wait for the record to come out. We weren't given a hint as to when that would be, though. Fingers crossed.

Saturday, I hid from the sun and ate dumplings and kind of wasted my time, until the evening when I met up with Steven and Max B. to go to dear heart Ben Rimalower's now-legendary show Patti Issues at the Duplex. It just keeps getting better and better! I had a fantastic time. I love Ben and the show so much, and so did my friends. After the show we went to Marie's Crisis, then the Boiler Room (where you always run into so many friends, on the quest for cheap drinks), then sneaked home.

Sunday I also avoided the Sun, and the rain, and made it out in the afternoon to Tompkins Square Park for the HOWL Festival's LowLife performance, featuring Downtown and East Village legends saluting iconic East Village Goddesses. Some highlights include the always-motivating Bridget Everett, singing "I'm Waiting For My Man":

And Mx. Justin Vivian Bond, reading words by Cookie Mueller.

Fucking awesome. After that we met up with super Jill and Amber and Nath-Ann and went for drinks, then to a very nice rooftop party where I had too much summer fun, but did make it home before it started raining.

Excited to go to Meditation class tonight!