My bearded lady tattoo done by my friend, Mark at Gold City tattoo in NC.
I ran away with the circusAni DiFranco
‘Cause there is still some honest work left for bearded ladies
It’s not the same going town to town
Since they put everyone in jail except the Cleavers and the Bradys
Anonymous asked: fuckyeahqueeredbeards? fuckyeahqueerbeards? fuckyeahbeardedqueers? fuckyeahhairyradicals? fuckyeahunacceptablebeards? fuckyeahbeardpower?
thank you for the suggestions! i will think about it and possibly choose one of yours. :)
I want to be able to include people who don’t identify as ladies (sometimes I don’t even identify as a lady!) but still get rude statements about their facial hair because of what gender people perceive them to be. Instead of using “ladies” what term would you all like to see being used? I’d love suggestions! :)
So, to be honest, I’m feeling a little emo to write something about my mustache that is going to do it/my experience with it/me justice tonight. BUT tonight is the night I said I’d do it, so I’m doing it.
My awesome roommate Malcolm took the pictures included in this post for me. He is pretty fancy .
I feel like you should have a name by now, but you don’t. So, the whole reason I set out to grow you out is that I realized I’d been removing you for HALF of my life. That’s 13 whole years! Thirteen years of being ashamed of hair on my face, of wondering if I’d remembered the hairs at the corners, of wondering if someone was going to comment about you when we kissed for the first time.
Thirteen years is a long mother-fucking time.
I was pretty sure I had this shit down when I started to grow you out. I made it easy for myself, committed to this one step at a time (I’m still shaving the rest of my lady-beard) but man, I was NOT prepared for all the feelings I was going to have about this.
Yes, yes, I hear you. I know that I’m going through KIND OF A DIFFICULT TIME (generally) in life right now. That’s true. But man.
After a lot of thought, this is what I have decided it comes down to:
Living in my body is really fucking radical.
Now, that might sound a little self-centered, or whatever. But if it is, good. Because I need practice at being self-centered. And really. There is privilege that comes with my body for sure. I’m acknowledging that. But I live in a really visibly fat body. I make choices about how I dress that body that I’m not ready to give up to make my body less confrontational for people. And now, I live in a fat body that comes with a mustache (in addition to many other socially-unacceptable forms of body hair*).
But damn, mustache. I LIKE YOU. You are REAL SOFT. I wish that this picture could show people how soft you are, but they will have to trust that I am smiling because you are so very soft.
Mustache, you’ve also been turning it out in the quantity department. I really didn’t think there were as many hairs as you’ve grown! I think this is one of the main reasons that I’m trying (one day at a time) to keep growing you. I’m trying despite the increasingly odd looks from coworkers, women in grocery stores, and teenage boys outside of gas stations. I want to know what my body is capable of.
I’m sorry for you, mustache, that I’m so (lady) femme. As I say that, I feel like I should delete it, but I’m going to leave it. Because I really do feel it. When I first started growing you out, someone told me, “don’t do that! all the fucking genderqueer kids are doing that these days. it’s so trendy.” Well, it isn’t trendy for me, because you’re not drawn on, and you’re not stuck on, you’re not held up on a stick. I grew you with my very own - VERY FEMME - abundance of VERY AWESOME androgens. I hate that it isn’t trendy for lady femmes to rock ‘staches. I get angry.
I know, mustache, we know some lady femmes who rock ‘staches. Well, pat those femmes on the back, they are doing hard, pioneering work! And their coworkers probably look at them funny.
I promise to keep taking it one day at a time. I promise to trust myself. I promise to actually tell Jennifer who waxes my eyebrows that I’m growing you out on purpose. I promise to keep talking about you. Just promise to be gentle with me, and to understand if/when I can’t do this anymore.
I love you more than I ever imagined I could,
PS - You look super-fine with glitter lips.
*let’s be realllll, most all body hair is unacceptable on women.
One of my bands, Lexie Mountain Boys, is an all-female, all-improvised performance entity that has taken myriad forms since its 2005 inception. We often used beards during our performances, initially as a goof of metal dudes for a piece called “Headbang The Rainbow” in which we all wore beard/ mustache combos (some made of our own hair), jeans and white t-shirts. The performance culminated in head-dunks into rainbow-color paint buckets, then hair thrashing onto a white bedsheet. Through hundreds of performances we’ve allowed people draw their own conclusions about our work; we tend not to issue statements as to the purpose of any particular piece nor do we assign specificity outside the action itself.
The beardwork expanded to suit full-drag performances; I would mascara my natural mustache and facial hair, dress in a jumpsuit, wear men’s shirts and stuff in a beer belly. Many of my personal favorite Mountain Boys shows involved beardwearing: leaping into a pool at a SXSW house party, performing with Akron/ Family with beard as merkin under white shorts, slumping on a couch drinking beer and doing calisthenics opening for Celebration at 2640 in Baltimore, long white beards with tie-dye and third eyes for Baltimore Round Robin tour 2008, construction helmets, goggles, beards & day-glo vests in Manchester UK 2009.
During that same 2009 tour of Europe/ UK/ Sweden, we brought our beards in addition to an elaborately sequined getup as comfort-food option, a backup to wear when we felt that the more complicated costumery would render us somehow vulnerable. The beards became a point of reference for our work; journalists would often ask “What’s with the beards?” The broadest conglomeration of answer to this question might sound something like: They both protect and empower us. They enabled us to divorce ourselves from traditional patriarchal judgement of the female form in music and entertainment by rendering our activity as confounding and genderless. The beards were ceremonial masks, a conduit through which our everyday selves could transcend and perform without fear. They made us feel hot and powerful.
These days, my stage beard smells lightly of soured milk and has plastic flowers deeply embedded in its curly knots. I wear it occasionally as a hairpiece. My actual human face is covered in thick hair and I’ve waxed my unibrow into oblivion: it won’t grow back the way it was! From my days as a large hairy teen keen to bleach to my adult years where I tend to the growth with razor and wax, I’ve always fought my true mustache because it is so large and dark and I’ve justified the carnage by leaving my armpits unshaven as a concession. I enjoy the option of having it both ways; my hair grows so quickly and so thickly that within days of shaving, waxing etc I’m back on my way to square one and I enjoy occasionally removing my eyebrows to distracting pencil-thinness. Eventually, though, I’ll tire of the effort put towards keeping the thicket at bay and spend my remaining days braiding all of it together, top to bottom.
some sketches from in-development comic/dream journal/catalogue of non-normative sexuality. influenced by helene cixous’ dream diaries and the desire to see more than the straight male idea of queer femme sexuality in comix!
submitted by patchthatsweater