• laurie

Performance Party XX2: Transported

January 7, 2017

image credit: Jump-Start Performance Co

Ringing in the new year, as per usual, with Jump-Start's annual birthday party/fundraiser. From the press release:

What better way to ring in the new year and celebrate the beauty of the human spirit than with an evening of exuberant and eclectic performance? 
Music, Poetry, Performance Art, Dance, Theatre, Comedy, Magic, Weirdness, Fire and Fun!

Check out the Facebook page for specifics.

I'll be performing a new piece: TOILET TRANSPORT: In Response to Texas Senate Bill 6 (text below, I'll link to a recording when I get it recorded).

Toilet Transport:

In Response to Texas Senate Bill 6

Act I: Confession

I was always afraid of public bathrooms.

Not because of who might be in there.

Because of who might be outside.

Who might see me go in, even worse, who might see me come out.

Who might see me and know what I had done in there.

I hated my body.

I hated the things it made me do, just to stay alive. The eating. The excreting.

I didn’t want people to know that I did either one.

I developed a bladder of iron. I ate almost nothing, all day long,

so that I wouldn’t need to go into any public restroom, ever.

I’d come home from school, or from a date, or from a day of shopping with my Mom, or from anything, really, walking fine and hip-loose and free until I closed the front door behind me.

And then my knees would lock together and I’d crab-walk as fast as I could to my own private bathroom, where the transports of ecstasy and relief made me forget, for a moment,

my complicated relationship with my body and what it was doing…

And my father, who saw this pattern play out over and over again, would peer at me over his newspaper, roll his eyes and say…

“People have to pee.”

Act II: Illumination

Ladies, we have to start taking men to the bathroom.

And by “Ladies” I mean anyone who uses the women’s restroom when they’re out in public.

And by men I mean, frankly, old white Republican men in office.

Men whose fetishes, fantasies and fears are fucking us over.

They say they’re scared for us… all these predators circling around,

desperate to get inside our bathrooms.

Putting on skirts so they can sneak inside and see… what?

What do they think goes on in there?

We all strip down to our Victoria’s Secret lingerie ensembles,

have cute pillow-fights and practice being lesbians?

We get naked and sit on toilets, arranged in a ceremonial circle,

drink transcendental hallucinatory beverages and share the secret wisdom of women:

the best ways to pick us up, and whether or not dick size actually does matter?

Ladies, we have to start taking men to the bathroom.

We have to show them around.

Behold the blank, institutional expanse, free of nudity and lingerie, not one pillow!

Behold the individual, private stalls.

Notice how there is nothing to see here.

Except closed doors. Behind which there are probably just people peeing.

Because People have to pee.

Act III: Invocation

Tlatzlteotl. Aztec goddess. Fierce purification. Filth-Eater.

Embodiment of all the things we fear and despise,

most especially those things we fear and despise about women.

The bodies, and the fluids, and the reality of a being that is not a Barbie doll,

not shaped for display, not smoothed and white-washed for your pleasure. 

Bodies that eat, and excrete, that change and grow and age and die.

Fear of the body is fear of death, you know that right?

Fear of sexuality is fear of the body which is fear of death, you know that, right?

Fear of difference is fear of death too. You have to know that.

And so I call the Filth-Eater to eat the filth that grows from fear.

Because they’re not afraid for us, these men.

They let their fear of us turn into bigotry and then dressed it up in fear, again.

Respectable fear. Defensible fear.

Fear for us poor, vulnerable women-born-women whose little worlds might be rocked

if we found out we were stall-adjacent to a woman who came into her womanhood by a harder road.

Because yeah, we’re that fragile. And that deluded.

Here’s why their fear isn’t defensible, and we all know it:

Transwomen don’t hurt women. Men hurt women. And they don’t have to come into a bathroom to do it.

They do it sitting at a desk, writing legislation that punishes any body that doesn’t look like theirs.

Bodies they don’t like because they’re different, and they scare them.

I invoke the Filth-Eater to eat the filth born of that fear. Purify it.

Our bodies are not impure, their thoughts are.

Our bathrooms don’t need to be cleansed, their minds do.

Fierce Demander that all bodies, and all the ways they work, be respected and honored and free,

Eat their fears, and the hateful excretions of those fears, as your food, Lady.

So mote it be.

Because people have to pee.

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