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Dirty Queer! X-Rated open mic…

X Rated. Monthly. Queer. Sliding Scale. An institution of queer life in Portland gets a QPDX writeup.

Crowd at the two year anniversary of DQ

Crowd at the two year anniversary of DQ

Dirty Queer (DQ for short), the country’s only X-Rated Queer Open Mic has been running for around two years now-and i’d never been! Bad Perry. I know. Come ‘ere darlin’, tell me off! Ok, ok. Nevermind!

But finally, finally…I managed to go last Friday and not only was I present for the readings and performances, I also got to interview host Sossity Chiricuzio and I read some of my own writing!

Sossity hosts the event and breaks the ice

Sossity hosts the event and breaks the ice

Talking with Sossity, I had a chance to ask about the beginnings of Dirty Queer-an event that was born out of Sossity’s need for a time and place to “read her own dirty poetry” out loud. And so she approached In Other Words Bookstore and organized the first Dirty Queer–to which 40 people showed up. (Considering DQ has almost no advertising, this is an amazing feat!) The format and vibe of DQ hit a nerve–with audiences almost doubling every few months, and now settling into a packed-but-not heaving average of 100 attendees. Sossity still doesn’t go out of her way to advertise the night-it promotes itself through word of mouth and social networking sites such as Myspace and Facebook. (That’s how you know it’s a good fucking time, people) Despite the fact that DQ is clearly Sossity’s baby “I plan my month around the second Friday”, she repeatedly emphasizes the role of community in the DQ experience. DQ isn’t just about reading or performing smut, it’s about coming together in a safe and accepting place where queer desires and identities can be explored outside of what heteronormative society deems acceptable. No one here is turned away for lack of funds (DQ asks for a $1-5 donation at the door), lack of experience, or lack of of hipster coolness. “No rockstars,” Sossity emphasizes, “everyone is equal.” It doesn’t even have to be sexy. But it has to be about sex. “It runs the gamut,” Sossity explains, “we have gone from an anal fisting scene to sweet vanilla sex in one evening”. And it doesn’t have to be poetry-it can be a song and dance routine, juggling, performance art, singing, playing music, reading prose or anything else that can be done on a stage with minimal props in 5 minutes or less.

Max Voltage performing at the two year anniversary

Max Voltage and friend performing at the two year anniversary

Dirty Queer is a uniquely Portland event–high minded, a little gritty, accessible, in-your-face, unapologetic, queer, earthy, lofty, do-it-yourself. It’s the only X-Rated queer open mic in the country, and Sossity is working on both a published book of DQ’s best works and a Greatest Hits compilation. DQ could exist in other cities, but it doesn’t yet. Sossity explains that it is “a labour of love!” and that anyone trying to set up something similar better be prepared to invest themselves for the love of it, not glory. But just the fact that Portland can easily sustain an event such as this gives kudos to both the organizer(s) and our lovely city that takes risks and supports it’s own. And it’s Sossity’s loving guidance and thoughtful approach that make the evening such an original and freeing yet inspiring and provoking space to be in.

Last Friday, work did indeed run the gamut from genderqueer, polyamouros stream of consciousness poetry to gay pig/bear ditties, from poetry about losing a lover to disease and extreme cutting to songs about holding hands, and there was even a piece about not having sex. Nothing is off limits at DQ, except material that crosses Sossity’s boundaries of consent: Children, animals, dead people or rape. So what did I get to read? I was lucky to score a 10 minute slot to read a short story about coincidences, the colour pink…oh, and fucking in the back of a car, in a restaurant, and maybe even in a bed, with lots of….well, that remains a secret.

Maybe you can catch it in the DQ podcast? Or maybe you should just come to the next DQ and ask me to give you a private reading! I will be there for sure…

Every 2nd Friday, 6-9 pm, in other words bookstore…

5 comments to Dirty Queer! X-Rated open mic…

  • Good writing. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed my Google News Reader..

    Matt Hanson

  • Cody Piie

    Great article!! Very well written, its nice to see something like this about such an amazing event that has truly brought our queer & queer-friendly community together! Sossity is an amazing woman she has done so much to create a safe and comfortable space for those who need it!

  • Max

    “Dirty Queer is a uniquely Portland event–high minded, a little gritty, accessible, in-your-face, unapologetic, queer, earthy, lofty, do-it-yourself.” fuck.yeah.

  • Cathy Corder

    Hi, what blog platform is this? Is it working for you or..? I would really appreciate it if you could answer this question! Thanks!

  • alleyhector

    It’s WordPress and in general I’ve had pretty good luck with it