Leslie and Lesley
On November 15, 2014 the novelist, historian, and transgender activist Leslie Feinberg died of Lyme disease. Feinberg’s passing leaves such a large empty space in what I consider to be “our” community, however much we disagree or make mistakes, I would not be a feminist or an adventurer without the gender warriors who braved great odds to slice a path for me and so many others.
I still can’t believe this has happened and can’t really do justice to my feelings in words. We have/had the same illness and I am acutely aware of the devastation it causes. The endless suffering, the fear that when you have a good day it will shortly end to be replaced by more pain and more suffering. Leslie bravely shared hire health journey on hire blog in a section called Casualty of an undeclared war . I can’t imagine how hard it must’ve been to write about Lyme while dying from it, largely due to an inept, unaffordable healthcare system. I could barely turn on the TV at my worst, and Feinberg managed to educate people while being in a really bad place physically. I highly recommend reading it to all those who suffer from this illness and their friends.
The world lost another Lesley not so long ago. Lesley Gore. When kids come up after shows to meet me and feel embarrassed that maybe they seem emotional or over excited or whatever I always tell them about the first time I met Lesley Gore.
I was at a party back to back with someone and when she turned around it was Lesley-fucking-Gore. I immediately began to sob. Lesley’s voice taught me so much about singing in between the lines. About making art under strange, often oppressive circumstances. The quality of her voice, so self assured, pitch perfect and yet always sounding like she had a secret, a smile, a barb, a bit of anger, something hidden behind every line. She also co-wrote “Out Here on My Own” from the movie FAME with her brother Michael. I sung a solo from it in at my 8th grade school dance never knowing the lyrics were written by someone I would later meet and sob in front of. The lyrics still speak to me now.
While Lesley passed in February and Feinberg last November I haven’t been able to write about their deaths as it has just felt too overwhelming. But today I want to raise an invisible toast to these two incredible people who have had such a positive effect on my life. All my love to their family and friends.
LA FRIENDS PlEASE DON’T MISS THIS
You know how people say that there are people in their family that they either would or wouldn’t be friends with if they weren’t already related by blood? My cousin Jane is like that for me. Cousins or not, we would’ve met and been friends, I’m sure of it. Becca Albee is also apart of my family in many ways, but even if she wasn’t I would love her art. Even if I hated her guts, against my better judgement, I would support her work, because I simply can’t stop. I’m like a groupie. I think she is one of the most talented artists working in the US today and she has a solo show up in LA and it’s only on through this weekend so I want to let everyone know. Who but Becca Albee could mix Color Theory, speculums, and feminist therapy into a thought provoking, gorgeous show? The flier below says the show ended already but it was extended till Monday March 9th so if you’re in LA and you are near 356 S. Mission Road please stop in and check it out. It’s totally worth it.
desert island disks
Suicide. ghost rider
Tee shirt Collaboration/Artist of the week
I am so proud to announce that my band The Julie Ruin collaborated on a limited edition band tee shirt with the amazingly talented Seth Bogart of Hunx and his Punx and Gravy Train Fame. Besides being a stunning front person for his many bands, he is also a visual artist, designer, and writer.