So, 2017… What a shitshow right? Suffice it to say, a lot of shit went down in the world, in our country, in our community and personal lives. From the outside looking in, it seems apropo to just let this year die. But let’s dig a little bit. I’ve started a new tradition, the Fuck Yeah List. It’s a list of all the things that made me happy this last year. From big to little things, it helps me center and prepare for the new year. If you’re not sure what made you happy last year, how do you really know what will make you happy in 2018, versus “supposed to” goals that are just filler?
Here’s my 2017 Fuck Yeah List in no particular order:
- Headlined an international burlesque festival! I was so thrilled to teach and dance at the Itty Bitty Burlesque Festival in Quesnel, and meet and connect with performers I might never have had the joy of dancing with otherwise.
- Got a Bidet! Listen, this was one of my bougie dreams that I thought I’d have to move to a different country to get, but turns out, you can get a decent bidet on Amazon for about $25 and install it yourself with the barest know-how. I know we’re not supposed to talk about bathroom habits, but damn if I don’t love having a freshly washed butt, y’all.
- Led an interview with one of my sheroes, Jessamyn Stanley. If you don’t know her, do yourself a favor, and get on that queer, fat black babe’s train! Thank you Kim Baldwin and Parnassus Books, for the opportunity!
- Led a Panel for girls and gender non-comforming youth! I was so honored to lead “Loving Your Body Through Thick and Thin” for Girls to the Moon’s annual conference. Thank you for trusting me with your incredible youth and giving me the opportunity to stretch my speaking skills further.
- Was published in the Tennessean! This one is again thanks to Girls to the Moon for asking me to write an Op-Ed on body positivity, and I was shocked and pleased that it landed in the one publication I haven’t been able to feature in yet.
- Continued to survive as a full-time naked lady. To be completely honest this is less of a fuck yeah than an exhausted barely holding on most months, but I’m so thankful to be able to do the work that I do with the incredible support from my husband and community. Huge thank you to every single producer who hired me this year and trusted me to bring some artsmut to your stage. Y’all warm my heart and my house.
- Performing and teaching in New York City for the first time! I used to visit NYC every few years to see family, but it had been years since I’d been back. Thank you, Gogo, for the amazing trip.
Patreon! I’m thankful to have another gig that directly supports me making art and gives me the opportunity to experiment with video and photo shoots in ways that I wouldn’t otherwise.
- Collegiate Teaching Opportunities. I have a deep and abiding love for academia, so leading burlesque classes at colleges gives me great joy. Thank you to Vandy Sex Ed and Planned Parenthood for those opportunities.
- First Debs Retreat! I’ve been wanting to host a retreat for a while where we can let our hair down, get glittered up, and recharge and share fellowship. I’m so thankful for all the babes who participated and staff who made it happen. Here’s to more in 2018!
That’s a brief list of what I can share publicly for now, and just re-reading it makes my heart happy and hopeful for seizing new opportunities in 2018.