Qmmunity: Queerness by Design

Plus Bizarre strippers, the DWNLD, and a whole lot more

Courtesy of The Austin History Center

Queer culture lives, breathes, and protests by design. Our images live as markers on the road map of queer history. It's why art historian and former Chron contributor Andy Campbell wrote a whole damn book on the important role design, art, and images have in shaping current queerness as well as our past (Queer X Design). From Keith Haring's lively figures to the rainbow flag – and, as Beth Sullivan points out as well, the new LGBTQIA flag – we've always used art to help define ourselves. Like many of us have reclaimed "queer," our 1970s predecessors seized on the pink triangle – originally a Nazi marking, like the yellow Star of David – as a sign of protest and pride. The triangle, IMPO, has become a symbol of our strength, our fight, a refusal to be silent. Just a few years ago, we welcomed with open arms the gay Babadook into our world. A symbol of our ability to laugh at ourselves ... and to perhaps acknowledge the impact depression has on our community. To accompany the Chronicle's redesign issue, Beth has curated a walk down Austin's memory lane of queer images, design, and protest signs from Stonewall through the Nineties – do yourself a favor and check it out.

But design is also ingrained in queer bodies. According to Mx. Merriam-Webster, to design is to "create, fashion, execute, or construct according to plan." And don't we ever – when queers run the world, it'll certainly look radical but make it fashion. The way we look – from our fashion to our hairstyles and sometimes even our body art – is part of our design plan to attract other queers, a badge of pride, a secret handshake, a sly wink. It's also a form of protest to what we can and can't and "shouldn't" wear. It's a way to proudly flag our otherness. Just look to Lil Nas X, Billy Porter, anything Megan Rapinoe (or Ashlyn Harris) wears off the field. Look around you; you'll see it there, too.

2 to Do

Le Bizarre Cabaret en Bleu Sail the beautifully blue seas of burlesque with Austin's premier all-trans revue and burlesque troupe courtesy of Papi Churro's master mind. Performances by Lee Dandy Velour, Marley Bell, Estée Slaughter, Ruby Knight, and Kara Foxx, plus special guests Odious Knightfähl and Jordan Harris. And Sylvia Hatchet is yer Mistress of Ceremonies. Fri., Jan. 31, 9pm-12mid. Scissor Sisters Hair Show, 6535 N. Lamar. $10-85. www.fb.com/bizarreburlesque.

The DWNLD: A QPOC Event Monday's never looked so fine. Swing on by this QPOC-centered event for good tunes, great specials, queer performances, and good company. First Mondays, 6:30-9pm. Butterfly Bar, 2307 Manor Rd.

Q'd Up

HCRA 2020 Kickoff Party Love. Ride. Repeat. Thu., Jan. 30, 6:30pm. Native Hostel, 807 E. Fourth. www.hillcountryride.org.

An Evening of Texas Sex Education Grandma Steven hosts a fundraiser for Texas Freedom Network. Thu., Jan. 30, 9pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. $5.

Monochromatic Dreams: Yvette Mayorga Multimedia installations from Chicago's Yvette Mayorga as she tackles race, identity, and gender with brilliantly pink visuals. Fri., Jan. 31, 7pm. MASS Gallery, 705 Gunter. www.massgallery.org.

Sir Rat Gear Social A safe space to slip into some fab gear and feel yer very hottest. Fri., Jan. 31, 7pm. Sir Rat Leather & Gear, 2511 East Sixth, Bldg. B Ste. A.

Access Control_0.04 Download Y2K Technologies' latest update for queer'd preloaded music and performances. Sat., Feb. 1, 9pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River.

Monthly Gear Night Getcher gear on if you're feeling fly. First Saturdays, 10pm. The Iron Bear, 301 W. Sixth.

Drag Queen Loteria A benefit for Hill County Ride for AIDS with Colleen DeForrest and Mandy Quinn! Sun., Feb. 2, 12:30-2:30pm. Drinks Lounge, 2001 E. Cesar Chavez. Free.

The L Word: Gen Q Trivia Are you a Gen Q expert already? Mon., Feb. 3, 7pm. Hops & Grain, 507 Calles.

Her Neighbor's Wife Book Launch With Lauren Gutterman A book on the "history of lesbian desire within marriage." Tue., Feb. 4, 6:30pm. BookWoman, 5501 N. Lamar Ste. 105-A. Free.

Unpacking Femme of Center A QTPOC-centered convo on what "femme of center" means and more. Wed., Feb. 5, 7pm. 8140 N. MoPac, Bldg. 2 #130.

Queer Film Theory 101 Presents: Killer Queens! Revel in a queer interpretation of Hollywood! Wed., Feb. 5, 8pm. Barrel O' Fun, 1911 Aldrich Ste. 120-B.

Want more queer? Visit austinchronicle.com/qmmunity

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Austin LGBTQ
Qmmunity: Queer Texan Pride Rides Again
Qmmunity: Queer Texan Pride Rides Again
Qmmunity rustles up queer events all over Central Texas

James Scott, June 3, 2022

Qmmunity: Cher-ing Is Caring
Qmmunity: Cher-ing Is Caring
The Goddess of Pop’s birthday begets cool queer ATX parties

James Scott, May 20, 2022

More Qmmunity
Qmmunity: Finding Your Pride
Qmmunity: Finding Your Pride
Drip Drop 10 brings urban LGBTQ music to the forefront, plus did you hear it’s Austin Pride this weekend?

James Scott, Aug. 19, 2022

Qmmunity: Fun & Fancy-Free
Qmmunity: Fun & Fancy-Free
Queer comedy variety shows fill the weekend, plus ATX Trans Pride rocks its big return

James Scott, Aug. 12, 2022


Austin LGBTQ, Papi Churro, Le Bizarre Cabaret, Andy Campbell, Queer X Design, Keith Haring, Beth Sullivan, The DWNLD

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle