La Shaguita, Karissa McKelvey and Lil’ J are feeling inspired by all these posh lesbians in London …
En este episodio de Lesbihonest, La Shaguita te lleva a conocer el ambiente lésbico actual de Barcelona. So hold on to your pantalones and listen up, chicas! It’s time to go out!
En este episodio de Lesbihonest, La Shaguita viaja a Barcelona para conocer el pasado lésbico y LGTB de la ciudad. Check out this bilingual episode, part 1 of the Lesbi in Barcelona series.
En este episodio de Lesbihonest, La Shaguita sale a las calles de Sevilla, España para explorar la visibilidad lésbica en la feria de abril. Escucha la versión en español aquí:
In this episode of Lesbihonest, La Shaguita hits the streets of Seville, Spain to explore lesbian visibility at the Fair of Seville and within the city itself. Check out the English version here:
In episode #7 of Lesbihonest, which by the way is like super BILINGÜE/BILINGUAL, La Shaguita hits the streets of Sevilla, España to give you a glimpse into lesbian visibility at the Seville April Fair and in the city itself.
In this episode of Lesbihonest, La Shaguita finds love in the least likely of places: a greyhound bus station. This marks the first in a series of Lesbihonest On-The-Road specials. Shout out to Chris Devlin at WinWin for his music, “Future Again” featuring Angela Sarakan (a.k.a. La Shaguita). Check it out, yo! Oh, and here’s the print version of the audio.
Hello, hello everyone. Greetings from far, far away. I’m happy to announce that this episode marks the beginnings of our travels together. My closet has hit the road and I’ll be reporting back from Spain and the Isle of Lesbos and a few other mystical magical places. But anyway. If any of you have looked at your calendars you may have realized that Valentine’s Day was like, so ten days ago. Pssht, whatever. If you keep the play button on after this episode, and wait like a minute or so in anxious anticipation, you can listen to the totally self-involved bonus episode called Lesbi Not Valentine’s, which I made last year but for secret reasons never released. And incase you’re wondering, I have moved on since then. Well … maybe not totally, but whatever.
Anyway, as a single lady with an incredibly inactive dating and sex life, I didn’t really think I had much to say about the month of February this year, but I actually just spent 40 hours (yes, 4 -0, 40 hours) on a Greyhound from San Francisco to Austin and that gave me a lot of time to, you know, like, think about things and romanticize mundane occurrences and whatever.
If I weren’t such a mess I would have interviewed my fellow Greyhound passengers and put it all together into some sort of fascinating episode for you, but … sorry dudes/people, you’re just gonna have to listen to me this time.
Now, why do I want to commemorate a belated Día de San Valentín by talking about the Greyhound bus line and its associated experiences? The answer is simple. I’ve realized this fine month of February that it’s totally awesome to be a Single Woman with the guts to leave wimpiness and boredom behind and to seek connection with random but beautiful strangers. According to my friend’s facebook wall, a woman by the name of Carol M. Barrett once said: “Your relationship with YOU sets the tone for every other relationship you have.” Amen, Ms. Barrett! And let me add that if you don’t have the strength to love and respect your own self and those outside your immediate intimate circle, then maybe you shouldn’t be celebrating Belated Valentine’s Day anyway. Unconditional love should not remain with lover and beloved alone! No! You gotta share that shit.
So, back to my Greyhound Bus Line experience. The moment of truth on my 40 hour journey was when this girl with an unidentifiable object imprinted on her neck got on the bus in Dallas and announced that was like, “ugh, I was stabbed again the other day! That’s the third time I’ve gotten stabbed.” And by the way she was talking to this other woman who clearly had some mental health issues and whose whole bottom half of her face was totally smeared with bright red lipstick.
I feel like a privileged FuFu face when I talk about Greyhound because it’s not entirely necessary for me to ride it. And I know a Greyhound bus is not necessarily the most romantic place to celebrate February and we all probably wanted to be somewhere else but … whatever. You know? We were where we were.
Anyway. The girl who was complaining about her stab wound reminded me of another trip I took a few years ago, before I even knew what a broken heart felt like and before I gave a shit at all about belated V-Day and romance in general. And by the way, I swear all of this has something to do with love so just hold on.
So on that trip I got stuck at the Albuquerque Greyhound station. There was a forest fire nearby so the air was all smoky, and my nose was bleeding a little. I was lookin’ real forward to getting on the bus.
People started getting in line and a girl who was maybe in her early twenties came into the station crying inconsolably/just crying like crazy. She kept being like “I don’t want to go, I don’t want to go,” but an older woman who I learned later was her mom was really intent about her going. I sort of ignored the crying girl like everyone else when her mom left, and I don’t really know why – I mean, I really wanted to ask if she was ok but I just didn’t at first.
Then suddenly it was three hours later and the crying girl still wasn’t happy. But neither were the rest of us because a bus had come to pick us up but it was full. I don’t know if you have ever ridden Greyhound but it doesn’t seem to have a “sold-out” mechanism as part of the ticket process. I’m pretty sure that might have something to do with the fact that it primarily serves economically disadvantaged people and we all know that there’s no point in catering to the needs of people who have no choice but to spend the little bit of money they have on a shitty ass company. Right?
So anyway, one bus came, but it was full and left. Another came, same story. 3 hours passed, 4, 5, and then came the one that was gonna be our Savior Bus but nope. FULL. Thus it was that with growing hunger pains, continued nosebleeds from the nearby fire, and little to keep us entertained but each other, the evitable became inevitable: strangers in line began to …. Dun dun dun … SPEAK to each other.
“Hey, umm … are you all right?” I asked the crying girl. She wasn’t. She was coming down from a meth trip and her mom had bought her a bus ticket to Arkansas for rehab. “I’m getting real hungry,” said the voice of a middle aged white dude with disheveled hair and an untied left shoe. A baby’s daddy’s brother mentioned he was the proud new uncle of a 3 1/2 month premature baby who weighed 1.5 lbs when she was born but had finally made it to a healthy size. Someone was mad at the growing Burmese population in Amarillo, Texas, because she said they use store bathrooms without asking. A woman with no shoes on was joking about lighting bombs and then she suddenly screamed that she’d kill a mother fucker if he ever threatened to kick her baby again. Now, I was a witness, and the person she was screaming at actually hadn’t said that, but he did respond by calling her a bitch. Anyway, the point is – people were talking.
Four of us grew a particular liking to each other. Before I knew it the crying girl, the untied left shoe guy, a self-proclaimed nymphomaniac, and I were fantasizing about renting a car together and driving to Texas instead of waiting for another full bus to reject us. We didn’t end up renting a car, and that was probably for the best. But the untied left shoe guy, let’s call him Jim, did know where we could get some decent breakfast. And it might seem rude to eat at a homeless shelter if you’re not homeless, but Jim assured us that there was plenty to go around.
During our walk through downtown Albuquerque to the shelter, Jim told us he used to be on the streets but he was heading to Texas to take a truck driver training program and turn his life around. The self-proclaimed nymphomaniac –let’s call him Divine- pet my arm hair repeatedly and told me it felt like velvet. We stopped and talked to a street kid Jim knew. Divine encouraged him to pet my arm hair, but he thought a hug would be more respectable. The crying girl, let’s call her Julie, was pretty quiet but her tears had calmed down and she smiled and laughed from time to time.
At the shelter we each ate a sizzling bowl of oatmeal with raisins while Divine explained the origins of his sex addiction. He was thirteen years old when his young mom’s best friend lured him into the bedroom with her for the first time. She made a habit of it for the rest of Divine’s teenage years, and Divine didn’t fight it. Divine was in his thirties now, and he had come to Albuquerque solely for the Latina women even though his pregnant girlfriend was waiting for him back in the Carolinas.
Julie told us about her life in a reservation outside of Albuquerque. She wasn’t the only one of her friends who had gotten into drugs at a young age. Most of the adults in her life –parents, uncles, parents of friends- suffered from serious medical conditions like heart disease and diabetes. She kept referring to a “terrible thing” that had happened to her and that led her to try drugs in the first place. She didn’t want to discuss the details, and nobody pried.
Breakfast came and went. A nice guy who worked at the shelter offered me a used pair of tennis shoes but I told him to save them for someone who really needed them.
After breakfast we made our way back to the station, and a bus with empty seats on it did show up about 15 hours past schedule. Julie and I sat together and talked all the way to Dallas. We had all started our trips alone, but an odd twist of fate had gifted us with each other’s company for a fleeting but beautiful moment in time.
It’s been over three years since then. That means three Valentines Days have come and gone like falling leaves. But you know what? Every day is Love Day. Love is Julie’s willpower to finish rehab and go clean. It’s Jim’s determination to build a new life in Texas. It’s Divine’s honesty and affinity for velvet arm hair.
Love is having the guts to travel alone. And with friends. Or a lover.
Love is Greyhound in February.
“5 out of 6: Adventures on the Kinsey Scale” is a series of short stories about the constant readjustment and affirmation of identity from the perspective of a “mostly-into-women” bisexual cis-gendered female…
Her nerves crept up slowly as she entered the bar. The darkness seeped in from all angles as she looked at her phone, across the room, down again. Where was she? She didn’t even remember what she looked like. The profile pictures were not so fresh in her mind and the room was dark, so dark.
Kate sent a text. “Okay cool, I just arrived. I’m sitting at the bar in a flannel.. Of course”
Immediately, a figure, on the opposite side of the bar seemed to move off of their chair. Could that be her? Kate looked around and then back down at her phone, pretending she didn’t see that happen. She was so nervous that day, for some reason. It was odd to her because usually she didn’t get nervous meeting women. There were many blind-ish dates in the past few months, but none of them piqued her interest like this one had.
A young woman approached. “Hey.” They looked at each other with awkward faces that turned into awkward smiles as she stood at the bar. Kate wasn’t surprised she couldn’t find her at the bar earlier. She definitely didn’t look like her profile picture, or at least what she remembered of it. Cut her hair. Gained a couple pounds? Piercings. Queer.
Good, she thought.
She caught herself, immediately feeling guilty. Looks don’t even matter, anyway, she told herself. She wasn’t about to make that mistake again.
Pleasantries were exchanged. Hello, how are you doing? Great. Wonderful. What’d you do today? The usual kind of thing that no one actually cares about but they pretend, just so they can feel like they’ve been accepted into greater society. Somehow that made it better.
They both looked away across the bar. Kate was determined not to say anything about the fact that she should probably update her profile picture.
She stood up. She was pretty sure words were exchanged but it went by so fast and her inner monologue could barely keep up. Her mind often raced this way anyway, pacing, pendulums, mice running around in circles, the world crumbling every second over and over. The racing got worse when she was nervous.
Maybe I should offer to buy her a drink? Does she want to sit at the bar? I like sitting at the bar. Oh, she wants to sit at a table. I can do that. Should I get a drink first? Okay, so we’re going to sit down. Oh god, I feel so awkward. Why are you nervous? Snap out of it.
Kate barely could comprehend what the girl was saying before she had a response. She still wasn’t sure how that happened… how her inner monologue always decided to talk over her mouth, and how her brain seemed to always be flickering in and out between them. How did they get so disconnected? She wasn’t so sure.
“So, how do you feel about whiskey?” the girl said.
“Oh, you’re asking all of the right questions. One thing’s for sure, I really do know how to drink.”
“Well, there’s this drink I really like to get here, it’s got…”
As she explained the drink, Kate watched her hands, her mouth.
She moved fast. She’s nervous, too. Nice to know, I guess. She wished they could both just calm down.
“Want a beer?”
Kate took a sip and put it down. She looked around. Curtains, red, people, her head spinning a little bit. The music was too loud. She always hated the music, the way people played it in house parties. It’s always way too difficult to hear people. She guessed they do it on purpose to force one-on-one conversations and more awkward pauses so that you drink more. She never really enjoyed drinking that much, but she liked people. Drinking was just the common conduit so that’ll get them to loosen the fuck up. People are so uptight.
“How are you feeling?” Joe was a fine man-boy-child. He had good fashion sense. She looked at the collar of his shirt and wanted to grab it. He shaved, a little stubbly, had a nice jawline, tall. He was handsome. There were few men in the world that she found attractive enough to entertain dates with, and he was one of them.
“I’m great. This party is pretty cool,” she lied. It was actually only a half-lie, the kind of lie that doesn’t really matter, you just say it so people feel better about being around you. “What’s the occasion?”
“I’m not even sure, it’s someone’s birthday I think. My friend invited me.” He was a man of small words. Sucked on his beer. He looked normal, trying too hard. He kept looking around.. maybe he was a bit nervous but she couldn’t really tell if that’s just actually just how he was most of the time. Definitely an introvert. No extravert could sit behind a desk doing web infrastructure work for three plus years without some tendency to prefer being alone. She liked those people. Kept her sane, calm, and out of trouble. Except tonight, of course.
The party continued. People, chatter. Three or four women, mid twenties. Trying way too hard to look straight and available. They always seemed to look the same. She wasn’t ever into that, but she couldn’t deny that they were cute.
For some reason she was always able to enter into these situations and make instant acquaintances. Business cards, emails, phone numbers. She never knew how she did it, it just happened. Something about reading people. Something about getting under the surface of what they wanted. How they felt.
The trick is everyone just wants to be loved. Everyone feels vulnerable. All she needed to do was get them to feel comfortable. Be comfortable. Vibrate comfortable. It’s all about the energy, and she felt it.
“Wait, does that say brony?”
“Yeah, this is a brony party….”
The group cracked up laughing. Joe was cool and calm, entering into the conversation boldly but not too much to seem like he was actually into the brony stuff, even though he probably totally was.
“Well, it’s mostly a joke, you see.” He took a My Little Pony mobile that was hanging off of the ceiling into his hand. “Mostly no one cares, but …”
She just watched him.
He had nice hands, and a nice mouth.
I want to kiss that mouth. The way she thought of men she liked always focused on their bodies. She didn’t complain, though. They often did.
… and finds some good vibes with General Manager Jukie Schweit at Good Vibrations on Valencia Street in San Francisco.[audio https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thequeerlife/lesbihonest/So+a+lesbian+goes+to+a+sex+store+-+FINAL+2.mp3]
She showed us some dildos….
And we got excited by the Magic Wand…
And she showed us the back room…
– La Shaguita
Note: Everything you read here is opinion and should not be taken as fact or representative of what the LGBTQQI community believes as a whole. This article is written primarily for cis-gender/straight identifying reader. Those within the LGBTQQI community might find the statements herein obvious and repetitive. If you find anything offensive about my article, feel free to comment below.
Gender Binary Roles
What are gender stereotypes and what is the gender binary? It is the idea that gender roles are composed of or involving only two ways of functioning: as a man or as a woman, masculine or feminine. Because we grew up thinking that boys play with firetrucks and girls play with dolls, many parents find themselves at a loss when their child wants the opposite.
Why do we impose these labels? It is a whole lot easier to categorize people if they behave a certain way, then we can say, “Oh, so and so is gay, I know that because he likes to put on makeup.” We live in a society that needs to organize people into categories, when the reality is that every human being is unique.
I will now break down how the different LGBT sub-minorities are perceived to fit into the gender binary and how they break the mold.