Qmmunity: On Hedwig, Hate Crimes, and Not Backing Down

Plus, Austin’s queerest pre-Valentine’s events

Daniel Rowan as Hedwig matches fire with fire. We do too. (Photo by Kirk Tuck)

I've been thinking a lot about the state of Austin's queer community – blame on the hate crime against Spencer Deehring and Tristan Perry, the Texas Lege, or an invite to discuss this on KOOP last Tuesday. I can't help wonder – ever since Bob Dailey of "Civil Rights and Wrongs" asked me – has the assault on Spencer and Tristan left us feeling less safe? Perhaps too complacent with Austin's "gay-friendly" reputation? Truthfully, I don't know. I know their attack rattled me, as did the one on Jussie Smollett days later in Chicago, and Pinky – a trans woman who was shot numerous times – in Houston on Jan. 24. I'm rattled. Fed up, but I don't think what happened here is indicative of Austin being a less safe place, so much as the country becoming a safer space for bigots, racists, transphobes, homophobes, and misogynists to act out their hate. I marched with this qmmunity on Saturday, wondering – as one rally speaker believes – will we ever live in a world without hate crimes? I'm not sure. But surrounded by so many – from the rally organizers, to the folks of Austin Black Pride, Queerbomb, Austin Pride, Out Youth, City Manager Spencer Cronk, Council Member Greg Casar, and members of the city's LGBTQ Quality of Life Commission (to name a few) – I know we're not backing down and I know we're not alone. We will be in the streets and in the halls of the Capitol until we see and experience real change. If anything, these attacks must inspire us to keep our sleeves rolled up, our boots on the ground, and our voices loud.

2 To Do

Hedwig and the Angry Inch Director Dave Steakley set his Hedwig vision against the backdrop of Zach's Goodnight Moon. The show – the 2014 Broadway incarnation as opposed to the 2001 film or the 1998 off-Broadway production – is "sprinkled" with Austin references, says Steakley, and like previous versions uses punk rock as a rebellious response to the White House's support of "conversion therapy, the rolling back of LGBTQ rights, and attacks on trans soldiers in the military." Hedwig, said Steakley, "matches fire with fire." Steakley promises this genderqueer rock musical is a "hell of a lot of fun," and the music performed by Daniel Rowan and Leslie McDonel "truly rocks." Wed.-Sun., through March 3, times online. Zach Theatre, 202 S. Lamar. $30-165.

Valentine’s Gay 2.0 A queer AF dance party to put you and yer boo in the mood. Single? Then get ready to (queerly) mingle to the sweet sweet sounds of GirlFriend, p1nkstar, and Belladonna. Wed., Feb. 13, 10pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. Free.

Q'd Up

Celebrating LGBTQ Leaders A night honoring successful LGBTQ entrepreneurs. Thu., Feb. 7, 6-8:30pm. Galvanize, 118 Nueces. $5-10. www.startout.org.

UnBEARable: Year of the Pig (Bottom) Bulimianne and Chique are back! Thu., Feb. 7, 10pm-1am. The Iron Bear, 121 W. Eighth.

KIND Hearts Our fave toy shop hosts a party for our fave clinic with shows from Chique Fil-Atio, Papi Churro, and Miss Ann Thrope. Fri., Feb. 8, 7-8:30pm. Q Toys, 6800 Burnet Rd. Free. www.qtoysaustin.com.

Anti-Valentine’s Day Burlesque Get breathless with some Austin bombshells. Fri., Feb. 8, 8-11:30pm. Come & Take It Live, 2015 E. Riverside. $20-80. www.batcitybombshells.com.

L&B Ladies’ Night Slip into something more danceable for this gal pal party. Second Fridays, 9pm. Sellers Underground, 213 W. Fourth. Free.

Union Suit Party An xtra-cozy pajama party. Fri., Feb. 8, 9pm-2am. The Iron Bear, 121 W. Eighth. Free.

Bey My Valentine Fat Bottom Cabaret and their Midnight Menagerie are heading into 2019 hot with this Bey-inspired opener. Sat., Feb. 9, 8:30-11pm. North Door, 502 Brushy. $10-75.

La Rebelión A night of drag, reggaeton, and sweaty dancing. Sat., Feb. 9, 10pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River.

PPP: Stevie Nicks Drag Tribute Stand back and let these gold dust women go their own ways. Sat., Feb. 9, 10pm. Elysium, 705 Red River. $7.

LGBTQ Texas Lege Session Info The Texas Freedom Network on the Lege and queer rights. Sun., Feb. 10, 12:45-1:45pm. Congregational Church, 408 W. 23rd. Free.

TGQ A pre-V-Day hang for anyone under the transgender and nonbinary umbrellas. Sun., Feb. 10, 6-9pm. Butterfly Bar, 2307 Manor Rd. www.fb.com/tgqsocial.

Queerbomb Planning Open to all interested in putting on year 10. Mon., Feb. 11, 7-8pm. The Q, 1023 Springdale, Bldg. 14. www.queerbomb.net.

Trans Advocacy Through Storytelling A workshop on empowering trans, intersex, gender nonconforming, and QPOC communities. Tue., Feb. 12, 7-9pm. allgo, 701 Tillery Ste. A-1. Free. www.allgo.org.

Want more queer? Visit austinchronicle.com/qmmunity

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Austin LGBTQ, Spencer Deehring, Tristan Perry, hate crimes, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Dave Steakley, GirlFriend, p1nkstar, Belladonna, Civil Rights and Wrongs, Bob Dailey

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