Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Midsumma--A Queer Month

Here Queer Pride last a month and I was honored to be asked to participate in two events that took me to two contrasting parts of this sprawling city that reaches from the shores of the bay to the basalt plains stretching to Geelong. My first event was to celebrate the 2oth anniversary of Hares and Hyenas, the queer bookstore that is at the center of things here, not just queer but in all progressive ways. Crusader and Rowland, the owners and hearts behind this endeavor, make their bookstore as welcoming as they can to queer writers from abroad and here. On Saturday night, January 21st, I joined Benjamin Law, Jean Taylor, Jess Blackadder and Noel Tovey on that small stage backed by whorehouse red embossed wallpaper, reading from our Life Stories. The span of life adventures was wide, from the 29 year old Vietnamese- Australian Benjamin to the 78 year old Aboriginal and world traveled man of distinction, Noel Tovey. He and I were saved for the last part of the evening because we went the furthest back in our tellings. This was a great honor.

Then on Friday of the next week, I helped to launch the fourth Queer Culture Contemporary Art Exhibition, 2012 in the Joel Gallery, part of the Louis Joel Arts and Community Center, in Altona, a bayside community in the West of this city, over the Westgate Bridge far from what is so-often called the heart of things, city central. Oh but what a heart lies in the West. Again, I was honored to be among such fine queer artists, Richard Harding, Dovey Dee, Peter Leslie, Sprinkle Magic, Sue Manski, Anji Noor and Michael O'Hanlon, and be part of extending the center. Photographer Helen Rea took these images and kindly gave me permission to post them on this site with her copyright clearly marked. I will post soon what I read at both these events, but now before weariness takes me, I wanted to show that I was still doing my best to be part of the work and pleasure of my queer comrades.
Always my gratitude to La Professoressa and our Cello who let me rest and then say, he with his wet nose and pushy self and her with her love, get up, Joan, there is still more to do, more play to come.

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