Awe in Austin, Asheville Panache

I had the great fortune of reading at Bookwoman in Austin recently, with my labelmate Paige Schilt. Her memoir, Queer Rock Love, is a paige-turner (see what I did there). I burned through my copy, eager to see where this engaging trio of big-soul’d weirdos would go next. The similarities between our books are that both Queer Rock Love and TRUNKY are situated in a particular political moment, and that this “moment” has great personal consequence for our health, welfare, and the integrity of our families.

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They also grapple with our spiritual challenges, our resistance to orthodoxy of any kind, and of course, we’re both hilariously self-effacing and ridiculous. Paige brings her effortlessly chic aesthetic in person, however, whereas I am more of the “pretend it’s MEANT to be wrinkled” variety.

Thanks to Louisa Spaventa Jackson, professor at Austin Community College, I got to perform with a slate of amazing genderqueer/trans/queer writers and artists, including Drew Riley (whose portraiture of trans/intersex humans is breathtakingly beautiful), and the sassy and ebullient drag poet/ess Foxxy Blue Orchid (Dino Foxx). Glorious night, glorious art!

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Malaprop’s in Asheville, NC, was lovely! Melanie, the events coordinator, had asked Tina Madison White to introduce me. Tina is the new executive director of Blue Ridge Pride (congrats!) and also just a generally rad woman who gave TRUNKY a deep and thoughtful read, the kind of which an author dreams of. I was given the best swag ever there, too, authors: a bag of amazing local coffee. Malaprop’s: you get me.

I am looking forward to Bluestockings (and the Lambda Literary Awards) in NYC in June, the LGBTQ Center in Raleigh, NC too, and then we shall see what appears on the horizon, which I trust will involve more gendered hijinks, various mammals, and the shared love and community we grow every time we meet.

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