The Conspiracy of lesbian writers

I rarely pick up either of this country’s two most mainstream lesbian magazines. Their glossy pages are occasionally alluring but there relevance to my life as a queer person in the NW seems quite limited. Nevertheless, I had several reasons to snatch this month’s Curve from Powell’s gay gay shelf.

My first motivator was a special dyke music section. And I would love to point you in the direction of these articles. Being so used to the free, if ad-driven, web, I want my content on-demand. However, you’re going to have to pick up the pieces of bound paper in order to read exactly what I’m talking about.

Team Dresch will forever live as not only my favorite band musically and politically but appearing during a huge turning point in my life. I had resigned myself to the occasional reunion show and furtively listening to Personal Best and remembering my youth forever more. I got a hint this summer with their mini-tour that they might be consistently playing music together again. I really couldn’t have asked for more, and yet, all of us obsessive fans are getting it, as Curve’s interview confirms that they’re actually working on brand new music! Who gets this great opportunity to get their favorite band back again? It must be something cosmic, however, like there’s only space for one extremely influential queer/lady band, as we seemed to have to loose Sleater-Kinney in order to get this.

The “Year in Dyke Music” goes on to profile the departed SK, as well as smartypants hip hoppers Northern State (I hadn’t heard anything from them since my college radio days, but hey, if they’re up-and-coming I’m all for it) and Canadian heartthrobs The Organ. Best known for their appearance on The L Word, The Organ are definitely intense, throaty rock that I quite enjoy and I’m glad they’re finally getting some traction in the states. But the lead singer, Katie Sketch, while hot, is so skinny she looks like an addict. I can’t help but think of the Ally Sheedy character in High Art. She is obviously thin enough for model status, as she also had a part in the super-fanshionista 2005 Marc Jacobs ad campaign. It seems unfortunate that out of so many hot lesbian bands only the heroin chic can be part of mainstream fashion. Where are the ladies of TD, SK, or The Gossip, all of whom are varying sizes that are certainly bigger than Ms. Sketch?

The other thing that caught my eye about this article was the writer. We’ve seen Mary Christmas before in our own hometown, when she wrote a small feature in The Willy Week about dyke central club nights. Is Mary Christmas really Mary McAllister, aka DJ Hotpants, and loving cohabitant to the famed Dr. Dresch? Or is she another of the queer music and club gaggle that adorn the PDX scene throwing us off with her clever pseudonym? I’m not sure why this mystery of Christmas has caught my attention except maybe that, as a queer media pusher, I always like to know who my peers in this town are. But perhaps I am also keen to know just because it warms my heart to see a Portlander is writing for Curve (apparently there are more. I’ll get to that later). Curve has a love for Portland that betrays their hometown, and was evident when they chose to host their New Years here. So if you love us so much move your a**es up here and truly discover the melting pot that is Portland’s gender fluid queerfest!

Yet another surprise I encountered that related to Curve magazine was an email from a mentor of a Queer Youth Group I attended in high school. Turns out she has ceased direct social work in favor of freelance gay writing. Much of it is print but she also maintains 2 blogs, one of which is a part of Curve magazine. I normally think of Curve as pretty SanFran centric (with a pinch of NYC thrown in perhaps) so I never would have guessed that it’s Lipstick/Dipstick columnists and bloggers were both Portlanders (although I guess it makes sense in terms of Curve’s I heart Portland obsession). I am pleased to learn this, especially because I was starting to think I was Oregon’s only dyke blogger. (Ok, perhaps a slight exaggeration. I gotta give a shoutout to Lelo in Nopo) And so in the spirit of the conspiracy of lesbian writers, nay perhaps the conspiracy of lesbians in general, I want to thoroughly promote the cheekily over-the-top humor of Kathy and Gina’s butch vs. femme advice column.

1 comment to The Conspiracy of lesbian writers

  • Lelo in Nopo

    Wow. Leaving a comment in this system is muy complicado. But besides that..
    Hey! Thanks for the shout out! Holla back to you Ally! Two things:
    1. Did you hear the news that Bitch magazine is moving from SF to Portland? Now there’s some awesome writing. Love that mag.
    2. There are other Portland area dyke bloggers. Well, they may not identify as "dyke", but you need to check out Recovering Straight Girl: Also, Pack of 2, Karen and Wendy…we’re out there, you just need to find them. 🙂