Published on May 25th, 2012 | by Wild Gender
Take a Listen: Body Politics and Queer Feminism
By Emily Bowen
In the final installment of a four-part audio series by Emily Bowen, Allison unpacks her “queer-femme” identity, body politics, and a love of fabulousness.
“Part of accepting my queerness and the femme thing is a celebration of (what) I really like,” Allison says in the clip. “And (it’s) an understanding that instead of feeling vapid and shallow because I want to dress up … I realize however you dress or present yourself is really important, and individual, and special. In seeing that in other people, I can see that in myself.”
Allison, who identifies as a queer feminist, discusses a personal struggle to accept her body and relates that struggle to trans people and body politics at large.
“Once, I had a really skinny butch lover who was super into curvy women,” Allison says. “She used to describe curvy women as “shapely” in the most sensuous way. She’d say ‘I just love shapely women, the bigger the better.’ And I just thought that was the most awesome radical way to appreciate women’s sizes.”
The audio was originally shared as the cornerstone piece to the Tucson Gender Identity Project that took place in June of 2011 at the Fluxx Studio and Gallery in Tucson. The intent was to provide the audience with no way to categorize these individuals except their voice and definition of gender and how said definition applied to their own identity, said Bowen.
The Tucson Gender Identity Project itself was a collaborative event that brought together local spoken word and visual artists to Tucson’s first queer art space to engage in open dialogue about gender: both its external societal implications and the role it plays on the internal identity. The audience was invited to view and interact with art pieces as well as discuss their own reactions at a post show open mic.