Rebecca Havemeyer also engages Austin’s progressive queer community: she has presented a series of booze-related stretches for an Austin AIDS walk, offers regular comic relief on the local gay radio show (Outcast), serves as mistress of ceremonies at annual fundraiser for a queer theater group, and holds a monthly gay film night at the Ritz Alamo Theater called Celluloid Handbag. This month Ms. Havemeyer will present the film 120 Days of Sodom while downing a pint glass of whiskey and serving chocolate mousse. She hopes you will attend.
“Texas,” Havemeyer says, “is such a masculine state; it’s butch as they call it. The problem is when you hide your gay bug, put a blanket on it, you end up doing crazy things like cheat on your wife or have strange sex in the hotel. Just because you live where men are men and the women cook the cornbread doesn’t mean you can’t dance in a pair of heels. I hope I could build bridges to the other side and let people realize there’s a great gay smorgasbord and a welcoming community that accepts you as you are.”
Outside of Ms. Havemeyer’s community efforts, Soileau collaborates often with Austin’s queer organizers: he helped organize the Queerbomb gay pride events that stood in opposition to Austin’s highly corporatized Pride celebration and stays in regular close contact with local queer artists including the writers for the Austin Chronicle’s popular blog The Gay Place.
“For me, a lot of queers, all LGBTQIA,” Soileau says, “I think we’re really hungry for something different. We’re really digging into what we’ve been through and getting the gold out of it and starting to manufacture a new way of living within our community that recognizes many things that don’t get recognized in the popular high school [mentality that rules mainstream culture]. High school is always about sports, prom, and the pretty boy and pretty girl. And I’m tired of football and prom and popularity… there’s something really gorgeous about the kids hanging out at the other side of the gym and it doesn’t cost money to make something very well and prominent. It’s not about breaking away, we want to create our own style while educating the football players and prom queens. We want them to come to the other side of the river with us.”
You can order Christeene’s EP at Christeene.org.