Qmmunity: If You Know, You Know

OUTsider explores queer crevices and more in their 2023 fest

OUTsider 2023 artist Andie Flores (Photo by Jay Ibarra)

You know it when you see it isn't just about pornography. That inexplicable YES-ness can also apply to queerness, which is the subject of this year's edition of Austin's classic DIT (Do It Together) OUTsider Fest. Titled Shapeshifting Underbellies, 2023's fest is all about "hiding in plain sight." From Feb. 15 to 19 at the Vortex, folks who grab their fest badges ($109, or $49 for students/youth/those in need at outsiderfest.org/badges) can enjoy the artistic revelry of folks like Erica Nix & Nikki DaVaughn, Andie Flores, SHENUT, and more. Bringing that artistic excitement to y'all are two familiar folks in new positions with OUTsider: Artistic Director Josh Tadeo and board President Sarah Schoonhoven.

Tadeo has been in love with OUTsider since former Artistic Director Curran Nault introduced him to it. "It's very much [Nault's] baby," he explains, "and a testament to the power of D.I.Y." That power is the spark of creative energy ignited in each new lineup of artists and fostered by the festival's intimate nature. "OUTsider encourages artists and audience members to engage with each other," he says, "and because quite a few pieces are informed by academia, fruitful rhetoric arises." Schoonhoven met Nault through a 2019 meeting held by UT-Austin's LGBTQ staff & faculty association. She approaches her work in event programming with an eye toward serving her community. "In a lot of ways event planning is an act of caring, of making space for a group of people to have positive experiences together," Schoonhoven explains. "That spirit drives my passion for events, and for OUTsider."

This year's Shapeshifting Underbellies theme was actually inspired by last year's Legacy Award performers Kiki and Herb and the idea of underground spaces like cabarets. With Shapeshifting Underbellies, Tadeo aims to encapsulate the enigmatic queerness of locations on the marginalized edges of society. Through the theme, he hopes to pay homage to cruising culture, Fifties queer liberation fronts, and all the queer crevices of society that are currently becoming inaccessible due to racist, ableist, and anti-queer forces. "The theme transports audiences to a time and place where if you knew, you knew," Tadeo says, adding, "[There] is power in being unseen, the power of concealment. The novelty of 'you just had to be there to understand' is the sentiment we are vibing with."

Q’d Up

Young, Funny, and Black All-star Black comics in a show that benefits Black Trans Leadership of Austin. Fri., Feb. 10, 10pm. ColdTowne Theater, 1700 E. Second. $20-40. coldtownetheater.com.

Love POP! A community market made with love. Sat., Feb. 11, 11am-3pm. Top Drawer Thrift, 4902 Burnet Rd. fb.com/topdrawerthrift.

QVC x ABW Market Queer Vinyl Collective turns (vendor) tables. Sat., Feb. 11, noon-4pm. Austin Beerworks, 3001 Industrial Terrace. instagram.com/queervinylco.

Cuff It An R&B/slow jams night with BabiBoi & Diamond Dior Davenport Sat., Feb. 11, 9pm. The North Door, 908 E. Fifth. $5. instagram.com/babiboibitch.

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls Screens with Penelope Spheeris' short "Hats Off to Hollywood." Sat., Feb. 11, 7pm. AFS Cinema, 6406 N. I-35 #3100. austinfilm.org.

Loves It! A drag duet show hosted by Brigitte Bandit and The Trans Era. Sat., Feb. 11, 9pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. cheerupcharlies.com.

Lust & Leather Kink conquers all at this V-Day party. Sat., Feb. 11, 7-10pm. Kind Clinic, 101 W. Koenig #300. $12.51. instagram.com/austinqueerconnection.

Kelly Kline's Legendary Drag Brunch It's the Rihanna Bowl! Sun., Feb. 12, noon-4pm. The Brewtorium, 6015-A Dillard Cir. fb.com/fridafridayatx.

Playdate A drag brunch at the Sad Girls Club. Sun., Feb. 12, 2pm. The Far Out Lounge & Stage, 8504 S. Congress. instagram.com/playdate.atx.

Lovers & Friends Bike Ride Get the romantic gears turning. Tue., Feb. 14, 7pm. Central Machine Works, 4824 E. Cesar Chavez. instagram.com/bikepalsatx.

Been Here: Queer, Black & Proud aGLIFF Queer Black Voices screens "All Boys Aren't Blue" with director Nathan Hale Williams. Thu., Feb. 16, 6-9pm. Carver Museum ATX. $20 early; $30 day of. agliff.org.

Queer Show Post-Galentine's queer music showcase. Thu., Feb. 16, 7pm. Sahara Lounge, 1413 Webberville Rd. $10. instagram.com/technicolor___.

Want more queer? Visit austinchronicle.com/qmmunity

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LGBTQ, OUTsider Festival, Shapeshifting Underbellies, the Vortex, Josh Tadeo, Sarah Schoonhoven, Curran Nault

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