Thursday, December 24, 2009
December 24, 2009 and Jan 14, 2010: Damien Luxe. Femmes Fight Back
Femmes Fight Back is a travelling roadshow that encourages people to talk about their various femme and sex worker activism projects, build queer and femme community, and remember femme heroines.
This interview was conducted in Dec. 2009, and aired on December 24, 2009 and January 14, 2010.
Part 1: Damien told me the story of the development of the Femmes Fight Back project, and tour, and the role it played in femme community building in her home city of New York, and in the places she went across North America, in her conversion van.
We talked about taking seriously the work you do, and considering this, when you talk about the projects you work on, regardless of how much or little you get paid for them. (A very important point! I am thinking about it all the time! It is my new motto for 2010).
Part 2: Damien talks about the role of sex workers and sex worker activism in the Femmes Fight Back project. Damien talks me about how sex workers and femmes are the 2 main axis of her feminism, and her world. Of course, these identities overlap. Damien identifies femmes for their (and her) fierceness, sense of power, agency and clear mindedness. And sex workers for their (and her) sense of choice, dignity and independance, being self directed, self motivated. Damien says "Sex workers in femme activism are the fierce ass mothers sisters neighbour boyfriends, girlfriends who are willing to put their minds and bodies on the line, because that is not a foreign concept to them".
We discuss Femme Visibility, and Femme Remembrance.
The role of femmes in the world of compulsive heterosexuality. The experience of sexual harrassment. The power of having a whole room of femmes together. What that means. Creating community and increasing femme visibility.
And then we talked about the butch nod and the femme glance. I have to say i love the butch nod. Thats when i see another butch person and its such a relief and thrill and we give a little nod to each other. Butch nodding was especially exciting when i used to go to community college on the edge of a suburb, and it was a very isolating experience. it was so good to nod to other butches in the halls.
Damien talks about the femme version of the butch nod. "I'm trying to give them a little shot of strength, like Boom, I'm trying to tell them that I love them.. I think being in a room with a whole bunch of femmes helps to develop the femme glance, instead of the nod."
We ended this episode discussing jealousy and competition within the femme community,
"Maybe we can both get what we want. this idea that there is only so much love to go around and only so much money is kind of capitalist in a lot of ways, you know?"
This is a rad, inspiring interview. Make sure you listen to it.
Damien performs under the name Axon D'Lux, and is regular in the world as Hadassah Damien.
Check out Femmes Fight Back, and other rad projects, at: www.axondluxe.com/ffb.html