Qmmunity: Billet-Doux to Bat City

Embrace Austin throws an in-person love letter to queer ATX, plus an all-queer music fest, Pride fun, and more

Ms Amazing Head, a member of both Love Letter's and ATX Queer Music Fest's lineups
Ms Amazing Head, a member of both Love Letter's and ATX Queer Music Fest's lineups (Photo by Jana Birchum / Graphic courtesy of Embrace Austin)

Dear Reader, how do I love thee? Lemme count the ways: 1) as friends; 2) as fellow enjoyers of H-E-B bakery sea salt tortilla chips; and 3) as cool queers (and allies) who enjoy a good love letter or two. See, love letters are old-school queer canon: a way to convey your affections in the most arduous yet beautiful fashion. This Friday at Wax Myrtle's, local org Embrace Austin will bring those wonderful written intimacy vibes with Love Letter, their first in-person fundraiser. Attendees will enjoy a lineup of trans music, including Chris Conde, who combines hip-hop, punk, indie rock, and noise to create their signature sound, and Ms Amazing Head, whose thrumming bars will also light up the Lustre Pearl South stage on Saturday at ATX Queer Music Festival.

Embrace began as a shelter-in-place virtual group of queer ATX organizers. From there, they've built a movement that's taken care of many queer and trans folks further marginalized by pandemic mishandling. As the work continues, those involved with the org find themselves in a situation familiar to LGBTQ+ organizers all over. As Embrace co-founder and Executive Director AJ Majd puts it, "we took care of folks around us and didn't prioritize ourselves," which is why they've decided two years in to throw an IRL party.

The fundraiser's title is in tribute to the many folks at Embrace giving their whole heart to their community. "This event is a letter to Austin reminding it that we still love it even if it consistently leaves us behind, makes itself less accessible and less inclusive," Majd says. "We will continue to profess our love for our communities here in Austin and beyond and ensure that we take care of each other." He adds that while Love Letter may conjure visions of big red hearts and sticky kisses, Embrace is aiming more philia than eros. "This love is different from romantic love," AJ puts it. "[This] is a love of friendship, community."

On a final note, check out Qmmunity online for a feature on this Saturday's ATX Queer Music Fest, with interviews from lineup members Transy Warhol and Thelonius Love plus event founder Genesis Vasquez. Get yer tickets for this stacked lineup of LGBTQ+ tunemakers, including p1nkstar, Caleb De Casper, and many more. It's officcially Austin Pride month, y'all!

Q'd Up

Queue'd Up! Hot Summer Nights edition: DJ Akasha Luxe, BabiBoi, and Maiko Saiko. Thu., Aug. 4, 10pm. Swan Dive, 615 Red River. instagram.com/queuedup.tx.

Love Letter See above. Fri., Aug. 5, 6-9pm. Wax Myrtle's, 506 San Jacinto. $25. instagram.com/embraceatx.

p1nkstar Fri., Aug. 5, 7pm. Mohawk, 912 Red River. mohawkaustin.com.

ATX Pride Market A mega-queer Pride vendor market. Sat., Aug. 6, 11am-4pm. Distribution Hall, 1500 E. Fourth. Free. thelittlegayshop.com.

ATX Queer Music Fest Queer music talent on two stages. Sat., Aug. 6, 2pm. Lustre Pearl South, 10400 Menchaca Rd. $5-15. fb.com/technicolorbooking.

Slay! Werk! Bewts! This camp drag classique is reanimated in time for Austin Pride. Sat., Aug. 6, 6-9pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. instagram.com/lavenderthug.

Cigar and Leather Social Hosted by Austin Gears. First Saturdays, 7-9pm. Sir Rat Leather & Gear, 2605 E. Cesar Chavez. fb.com/sirratleather.

Neon Rainbows DJ Boi Orbison lassos some signature queer country fun. Sat., Aug. 6, 9pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. instagram.com/boiorbison.

Boyz of Austin: Icons Get ready to scream for yer faves at this simply iconic show. Tue., Aug. 9, 9:30pm. Elysium, 705 Red River. $5-10.

Total DOMination A drag wrestling show hosted by Lucy Fur, with live music and free HIV/STI testing. Thu., Aug. 11, 8pm. Come & Take It Live, 2015 E. Riverside. $15. instagram.com/lucyfuratx.

Want more queer? Visit austinchronicle.com/qmmunity

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LGBTQ, Embrace Austin, Chris Conde, Ms Amazing Head, Wax Myrtle's, ATX Queer Music Festival, Austin Pride

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