The Ultimate Queer Guide to SXSW 2019
Often imitated, never duplicated, we’re here to keep it real kweer
By Sarah Marloff and Beth Sullivan,
8:00AM, Fri. Mar. 1, 2019
It’s here, it’s queer, it’s back again for another year. That’s right, y’all, it’s your ultimate guide to all things LGBTQIA-Z at this year’s South by Southwest. The massive 10-day fest returns Friday, March 8 and runs through Sunday, March 17, and – might we say – it’s looking v queer from over here.
Check out our guide below and don’t forget, you can find me – Sarah, Austin Chronicle Qmmunity editor – talking about queer spaces and the death of lesbian bars Sunday, March 10, with Anita Dolce Vita of dapperQ, and Lesbutante & the Boss creators Kelly Frances West and Michelle Daly. But I digress. Here’s your queer guide to SX 2019. – S.M.
Friday, March 8:
The Category Is: Trans Resilience, 11am-noon, JW Marriott, Badge required
A panel on the trans liberation movement moderated by Kikis With Louie host Louie Ortiz-Fonseca, featuring Jennicet Gutiérrez of LGBTQ and Latinx rights org Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, and trans youth activist Aidan Williams.
F*&k Your Beauty Norms: The Power of Trans Beauty, 12:30-1:30pm, JW Marriott, Badge required
Genderqueer/trans author Jacob Tobia returns to SXSW with a panel on the politics of trans beauty, plus a sneak peek of their forthcoming memoir Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story.
Everyone’s Kinda Queer: The Future of LGBTQ Media, 3:30-4:30, JW Marriott, Badge required
Journalist (and former Chronicle contributor) Daniel Villarreal discusses current trends in LGBTQ media and emerging topics in the “queer American political and pop-cultural” imagination.
LGBTQ+ Meet-Up, 5-6pm, Fairmont, Badge required
Consider this a speed networking event for SX’s queer attendees. Ready. Set. Go!
Becoming Leslie, 5:30pm, Rollins Theatre, Badge required
Tracy Frazier's wistful look at when and how a gender-bending drifter landed at Sixth and Congress, in beard and thong, and became an icon that defined an Austin era.
2019 #BigGayKickoff, 6-10pm, Oilcan Harry’s, Free
It’s not really SXSW until therepubliq and the Austin LGBT(q) Chamber of Commerce say so.
State of Pride, 6:15pm, Zach Theatre, Badge required
Fifty years after the Stonewall riots, this doc examines the significance of the LGBTQ Pride movement through interviews with qmmunity members around the U.S.
”Mack Wrestles,” 8:15pm, Atom Theater at ACC, Badge required
This documentary short chronicles the life of trans wrestler Mack Beggs and his experience navigating the stigma faced by transgender athletes.
Get In The Van, 9pm, Iron Bear, Free
Sure, they’re not calling it a SX party, but between DJ Daddie Dearest and that looker Dr. Beard, their beats will bring all the boyz to bar.
L&B Official SXSW LGBTQIA+ Bash: ATX Power Featuring dapperQ, 9pm, Sellers Underground, Free
Celebrate the start of SXSW with Lesbutante & the Boss. Get there at 9pm for a meet and greet with panelists from dapperQ’s Anita Dolce Vita’s Saturday panel Blurred Lines and Sunday’s RIP Lesbian Bars panel. Then dance your face off – it’s SX!
Saturday, March 9:
Encryption and Minority Communities, 9:30-10:30am, JW Marriott, Badge required
A panel on the state of LGBTQ folks using encryption to protect themselves from discrimination and prosecution as well as efforts to weaken such encryption protections.
The All Genders, Lifestyles, and Identities Film Festival just so happens to be the fifth longest running LGBTQ+ film fest in the North America and Austin’s longest running film fest, but For SX, these queers host an annual brunch mixer for q-filmmakers.
“Lavender,” 11:45am, Alamo South Lamar, Badge requiredBoy A meets Boy B, Boy B has husband, all three get tangled in an unconventional relationship in this short film that would make Dan Savage proud.
The Future Is Fluid: How Gender and Sexuality Has Changed, 12:30-1:30, JW Marriott, Badge requiredA gaggle of queer and trans leaders in media, business, activism, art, and modeling talk about the fluidity of our present and future.
We're Here, We're Queer and Changing the Film World, 2-3pm, Austin Convention Center, Badge required
Leaders in the queer film fest circuit expound on their insights beyond the festival, from connecting filmmakers with mentors to securing financing.
"Lockdown", 3pm, Alamo Lamar, Badge required
(Seemingly) straight people keep making films about queer folks, and here's another one about a teen girl, Marie, who hatches a plan to make her best girl friend "come to terms" with Marie's romantic feelings toward her. We don't know, y'all.
Amber Ruffin and Jenny Hagel Present: Late Night Trashcan, 3:30pm, JW Marriot, Badge required
Writers of Late Night with Seth Meyers share jokes, sketches, and desk pieces that they've pitched and got rejected. Laughing this hard is good for the queer soul.
Blurred Lines: Beauty in a Gender Fluid World, 3:30pm, Four Seasons, Badge required
dapperQ’s Anita Dolce Vita and Dev Seldon round out this panel of four speakers discussing how shifts in gender-based beauty boundaries and consumer identities are impacting the landscape of of the beauty and cosmetics industry.
Does Queer Media Have a Future?, 3:30-4:30pm, JW Marriott, Badge required
We at Qmmunity think the future of queer media is pretty dang bright; here, editors-in-chief of LGBTQ publications The Advocate and Out Zach Stafford and Phillip Picardi, respectively, give their takes on the topic.
“The Making of Chase Humes,” 4:15pm, Rollins Theatre
Trans high school student Chase Humes stars and directs in this short doc on his experience coming out to his family and friends.
LGBTQ+ Entrepreneurs Meet-Up, 5-6pm, Fairmont, Badge required
Described as a “casual meet up,” this queer networking event hopes to empower the queer community within the business world.
“Trans in America: Texas Strong,” 5:45pm, Alamo South Lamar, Badge required
Executive produced by ACLU, this film follows mother/daughter duo (and recent Austinites) Kimberly and Kai Shappley as Kai, who is trans, navigates life at a school where she’s banned from using the girls’ bathroom.
Becoming Leslie, 6:30pm, AFS Cinema, Badge required
See Friday, March 8.
A night of queer art, cocktails, light bites at a secret location to be revealed with ticket purchase.
Broad City's Abbi Jacobson joins 420 with Matt Besser, 9pm, Badge required
Weed comedy with our girl, Abbi. (We can dream, ok.)
Y'all or Nothing: A Queer Texas Showcase, 9pm, Cheer Up Charlies, Free
This showcase is back for its seventh season and this time round curators Tish Sparks and Jeremy von Stilb (of Contrast Film Fest) have decided to spotlight the queer talent of Texas featuring New Dad celebrating an album release, Louisianna Purchase, Cap'n Tits, Spicy Town, p1nkstar, and a short film program curated by Contrast to really embrace SX’s many facets.
The Garden Left Behind, 9pm, Alamo South Lamar, Badge required, but individual tickets will be available space depending
Making its world premiere at SX, this bittersweet (emphasis on bitter) film by Flavio Alves follows Tina, an undocumented Mexican trans woman living in New York with her undocumented grandmother. The cast and crew will be present for the premiere. For Sarah’s full preview, see our March 7 issue.
State of Pride, 9:15pm, AFS Cinema, Badge required
Sunday, March 10:
Film Keynote: PJ Raval, 11am, Austin Convention Center, Badge required
One of Qmmunity’s favorite local filmmakers has been added to the SX2019 lineup to discuss his work, including Call Her Ganda, which is currently nominated for a GLAAD Media Award.
“Mack Wrestles,” 11am, AFS Cinema, Badge required
Queering, 11am, Alamo South Lamar, Badge required
Catch the pilot episode of Leticia De Bortoli’s web series about a girl who’s just trying to live her best queer life when her mom surprises everyone by coming out.
The Future of Gender Identities in Art and Media, 11am-noon, JW Marriott, Badge required
“Gen Z marketing, millennial advertising agency, and content production company” Adolescent Content’s LGBTQ directors talk about how Gen Z is changing gender identity and expression norms via art and technology.
Standing with the Queer Community in a Deep Red State, 11am-noon, JW Marriott, Badge required
Equality Texas’ Lou Weaver and Rachel Gonzales with Jade Lenore Leduff of Black Transwomen Inc. gather for a discussion on current threats against the LGBTQ community in Texas and how straight, cis allies can support.
Featured Session: MasterClass with Jodie Foster & David Rogier, 12:30pm-1:30pm, Austin Convention Center, Badge required
The actor and director will discuss her career spanning more than 50 years – from her role as Clarice in The Silence of the Lambs to her directorial career, which includes two episodes of the queer-ish Netflix series Orange Is the New Black.
Featured Session: Elisabeth Moss with Brandi Carlile, 12:30-1:30pm, Austin Convention Center, Badge required
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Brandie Carlile and The Handmaid's Tale's Elisabeth Moss (who also starred in Carlile's music video for "Party of One") swap stories about portraying the rock & roll lifestyle, both onscreen and in real life, ahead of Moss' upcoming punk-rocker flick Her Smell.
RIP Lesbian Bars: Creating Spaces for LGBTQ+ Womxn, 12:30-1:30pm, JW Marriott, Badge required
A conversation on the importance of creating space for queer women, from everyday events and community gatherings to Pride celebrations. Moderated by Michelle Daly of Austin’s Lesbutante & the Boss, with dapperQ’s editor Anita Dolce Vita, our very own Qmmunity Editor Sarah Marloff, and Kelly Frances West – the other half of Lesbutante & the Boss.
Broad City Series Finale Screening, 2:15pm, Zach Theatre, Badge or film wristband required
Get ready to laugh – and cry – because Abbi and Ilana will be here to screen the final three episodes of Broad City.
Pig Hag, 2:30pm, Stateside, Badge required
Surprise, surprise, a straight girl finds solace in the company of her gay dude friends in this feature-length film making its world premiere.
CyberBabes: 2019 Femme And Queer Showcase, 6pm, Cheer Up Charlies, Free (RSVP required)
Heads will spin at this all-star conjoining between p1nkstar, Y2K, and BossBabes. Together, they’re highlighting the best from femme and queer musicians, DJs, and artists. Like who, you ask? Alok Vaid-Menon, Dorian Electra, La Morena, Las Ofrendas, Hentaii, Ruby Knight, and more, plus performances by these hostesses with the mostesses.
The Garden Left Behind, 7:15pm, Rollins Theatre, Badge required
See Saturday, March 9.
Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre's ASSSSCAT with Broad City's Ilana Glazer, 8pm, Esther’s Follies, Badge required
SX comedy at its best.
SX Spite Nite, 8pm, Dozen Street, $5 suggested donation
A night of music, mayhem, and drag performances by Austin’s awesome Zane Zena, Chique Fil-Atio, Liz Dexia, and Rosalind Hussell.
Monday, March 11:
“Trans in America: Texas Strong,” 11am, Rollins Theatre, Badge required
See Saturday, March 9.
Saint Frances, 2pm, Stateside Theatre, Badge required
A refreshingly bright, inclusive film about the life events women don’t talk about complete with true-to-life millennial angst and lowkey queerness. For Sarah’s full preview, see our March 7 issue.
“Lavender,” 2:15pm, Alamo South Lamar, Badge required
See Saturday, March 9.
Mother of My Children, the debut album from Katherine Paul was “written as her loved ones protested at Standing Rock, during the dissolution of a queer romance, and after the death of a beloved mentor,” wrote Pitchfork in September, describing the album as a “work of intersectional mourning.” Bonus, DC’s punk act Priests play a 9:40pm set.
Going Beyond the Gender Binary in the Workplace, 5pm, JW Marriott, Badge required
Panelists demystify “what gender is (and isn’t)” and how businesses can work to build a more gender-inclusive environment.
Pig Hag, 7:30pm, Alamo South Lamar, Badge required
See Sunday, March 10.
Tuesday, March 12:
Saint Frances, 11:15am, Alamo South Lamar, Badge required
See Monday, March 11.
Featured Session: When Life Becomes Art, 12:30pm, Austin Convention Center
The L Word (which is returning to TV sometime by the end of this year, btw) creator Ilene Chaiken joins a bevy of other TV execs for a panel on "leaning in to current events and political movements" to create television that resonates with viewers.
HBO’s Human By Orientation Campaign Launch Party, 6pm, Brazos Hall, Badge priority
Big Freedia and VINCINT are joining forces with HBO to kick off the Human By Orientation campaign to highlight the "universal humanity of all people regardless of ethnicity, orientation, or gender identity" to expand humanizing dialogue and celebrate otherness. DJ Girlfriend DJs too.
Sailor Poon at Hotel Hot Burrito Unofficial SX Kick Off, 7:15, Hotel Vegas, Free
Find ‘em on the Vegas Patio Stage. Plus more great acts (including Big Bill, set time below).
Sarah Shook & the Disarmers, 9pm, Beerland, Badge required
Big Bill at Hotel Hot Burrito Unofficial SX Kick Off, 10:45pm, Hotel Vegas and Volstead, Free
Wednesday, March 13:
The Garden Left Behind, noon, Alamo South Lamar, Badge required
See Saturday, March 9.
Featured Session: Lance Bass, 12:30pm, Austin Convention Center, Badge required
The former *NSYNCer will discuss his “jack-of-all-trades” career as a singer, host, actor, producer, writer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and cosmonaut.
Queering, 2:30pm, Rollins Theatre, Badge required
Hit Like a Girl, 4pm-midnight, Love Goat, Free
New Jersey’s indie/emo/pop band fronted by queer, nonbinary artist Nicolle Maroulis can be found on the lineup for the Ground Floor Booking Showcase.
Becoming Leslie, 7:15pm, Alamo Ritz, Badge required
See Friday, March 8.
State of Pride, 8:45pm, Alamo South Lamar, Badge required
Sarah Shook & the Disarmers, 11pm, Continental Club, Badge required
The wicked sounds of this honky-tonk queer won over Beth earlier this year. See her interview with Shook here.
Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers, 12mid, Continental Club, Badge required
Thursday, March 14:
Pig Hag, 11:45am, Alamo South Lamar, Badge required
See Sunday, March 10.
Featured Session: Laura Jane Grace, 2pm, Austin Convention Center, Badge required
The musician, author, and activist will discuss her career spanning more than 20 years, from Against Me! to the Devouring Mothers and so much more.
Hit Like a Girl, T-Rextasy, and More at Untitled Fest 2019, 2pm, but set times TBD; See Facebook for location
“Trans in America: Texas Strong,” 5:15pm, Alamo South Lamar, Badge required
See Saturday, March 9.
Black Belt Eagle Scout at She Shreds X Nylon Official SXSW, 7:30pm-2am, Cheer Up Charlies, Badge required
As She Shreds promises, a safe spaces for “womxn, nonbinary, and LGTBQIA+” folks.
Stargayzer 2019, 7:30pm-2:30am, Rain, $5 after 10pmBack for its fifth anniversary, this queer’d SX showcase highlights queer acts from across the country, with DC’s Crystal Waters, Chicago’s Fee Lion, Will Sheridan from NYC, and more. Hosted by Sabel Scities, so expect some show-stopping drag too.
Friday, March 15:
OUT LOUD, 11am-9pm, University Baptist Church,
Mixing music and sex ed. Local queer orgs will be onsite to talk sexual health, healthy sex practices, and provide free HIV and STI testing, while benefitting Outyouth, the Q, and AIDS Services of Austin.
Noisy Ghost PR + Graveface Records 5th B-Day Bash, 2-10pm, Kitty Cohen’s, Free
A show partially curated by queers, featuring some great acts including Portland’s The AM and Shouldies queerly outta Atlanta.
Mouth by Mouth Fest, 5pm-2am, French House, $5
A DIY showcase with riot grrrl, punx, and the sweet electro sounds of p1nkstar. Plus Flea from San Antonio, Denton’s Thin Skin, Big Bill, and more.
Saint Frances, 5:15pm, Alamo South Lamar, Badge required
See Monday, March 11.
“Lavender,” 5:15pm, Stateside, Badge required
See Saturday, March 9.
South by North Lamar: Celebrating the Power of Women in Music, 6pm, BookWoman, Free
Austin’s feminist bookstore once again hosts a musical showcase of kickass artists including Violet and the Undercurrents, Kate Howard, Sue Young, and more.
Pussy Power House Presents: Double Take!, 7-10pm, Museum of Human Achievement
Corinne Loperfido, of that big house with the big – er – accessories, is back in town and hosting a SX-escape with a fashion show and NOLA-style dance party complete with DJ Rusty Lazer.
Symphoria: a 3p showcase, 7pm-2am, Third Place ATX, $5
A queer space featuring the acclaimed Black, queer nonbinary poet, editor, and educator Nia KB, riot queer meets "thrash-o-matic gender fuck wave" vibrations from Le fomo, and more.
Jackie Mendoza, 8:45pm, Seven Grand, Badge required
Laura Jane Grace, 9pm, Central Presbyterian Church, Badge or wristband required
CrazySexyQueer, 10, The Brixton, Free
Brought to you by our cheeky DJ GirlFriend featuring the sexiest and coolest queer talent from here and elsewhere.
Saturday, March 16:
“Mack Wrestles” 11:15am, Alamo South Lamar, Badge required
LGBTQIA + Pasta, 1pm-1am, The Audubon Society, $5 suggested donation
A queer-centric showcase featuring queer artists from across the country including Snailmate, GILT, Hit Like a Girl, Caleb De Casper, and more. Bonus: gluten-free pasta will be served “by the truckload” – that’s a lot pasta, use it to soak up the Tito’s that’s sponsoring the show.
La Rebelión: SX Edition, 2-10pm, Mala Vida
Unbounded Agency and Estudio 1070 promise an extra saucy serving for this spesh SX edition with DJs and drag queens from Florida, Mexico, and beyond. That includes a bbs Y2K and Belladonna, plus Geexella, La Fiebre, and Nurrydog.
“The Making of Chase Humes,” 2:15pm, Alamo South Lamar
TCA X SXSW 2019, 7pm-2am, Edwin’s Sports Bar, Badge holders prioritized
Pink Privilege, 8pm-2am, The Main, Badge holders/wristbands prioritized
Don't let the fest end without hanging with the Pink Elephant Radio crew for their official LGBTQ hip hop showcase featuring Bobby Lytes, Omb Bloodbath, Kidd Kenn, Aina Breiyon, and more.
Thelma and the Sleaze, 9:10pm, Elysium, Badge required
(Note: Thelma and the Sleaze also play Burgermania 8, with some other great queer’d acts, at Hotel Vegas Saturday, March 16, or Sunday, March 17, but the time has not yet been set.)
Gina Chavez, 11pm, Cooper’s BBQ, Badge required
Double Scorpio’s SXXXSW Party, 10pm, OCH, Free
Our beloved local purveyors of “Gay America’s favorite cleaning agent” inject some XXX into the Fest with a party in celebration of their new jockstrap line, featuring ATX’s Daddie Dearest and Dr. Beard, Nola’s Trax Only, plus live gogo dancers.
Sunday, March 17:
Lesbian Wedding: Gay As a Balloon, 2pm-2am, Sahara Lounge, $5-10 suggested donation
Close out SX 2019 with a big, queer bang and balloon animals too! Beth Schindler, like she does, is pulling out all the stops for this one. Resident lover p1nkstar will perform as will Florida’s Tenny Rudolph, San Francisco’s Messy Lover, our very own Mama Duke, Genital Panic, and so so so much more to wash that cake down. (We suggest you start practicing those moves now cuz there will be a pull up contest to show off yer butch – or femme, or nonbinary – muscles.
Believe it or not, events unrelated to SXSW continue to happen. There’s drag shows, queer baseball, fundraiser brunches for queer ors, and more can be found on our Qmmunity calendar. Make sure to check that out too.