The True Meaning of DIY

Kara, I’m so glad you archived the panel and so sorry I missed it! I was in Toronto, at the biggest, oldest queer theater and festival in North America, the Rhubarb Festival at the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Neal was performing his Beyoncé concert DVD reenactment. (Here’s a photo I took from the front row, where I was sitting with Glenn Marla.)

The festival was such an inspiring scene, like the twine vagina art but cool and in the form of a bunch of thirty-minute plays followed by an awesome dance party.

I saw the hottest lesbian couple of all time at the latter — the one lady who was in a suit that kept falling open to reveal her breasts and had a drawn-on mustache told Neal, “See that tall girl over there? That’s my girlfriend! Woo-hoo!” And the tall girl was this ridiculously curvy, fun lady wearing the tightest dress of all time. They were so psyched for each other.

In fact, everyone at this cabaret night after Neal’s show seemed super psyched. There was a middle-aged L.L. Beanish lesbian in an Audrey Hepburn black dress and gloves, with school-teacher glasses, and a bunch of super hot young club kids, and some old guys and all of them were dancing together to Michael Jackson, Ke$ha, and Le Tigre. I’ve never seen a more mixed crowd freak out in unison when “P.Y.T.” came on.

Anyway, talk about DIY. Everyone in there had participated in creating this world where they were happy. I am not much of a dancer, but I was on the floor until 2 am.

That night reminded me of the real meaning of DIY: realizing nothing out there is what you want and so going ahead and making it happen. I feel like there’s been a sort-of co-opting of the term by, like Etsy or the knitting pages of certain magazines to make DIY be more about crocheting vagina pillows or something, but the true DIY is radical.

When we started this blog it was just because we were looking for stuff about the 90s to make sense of that whole period of our lives that we are super ambivalent about and we couldn’t find anything out there. So now we are trying, post by post, to sort through all the confusion and flannel. (I was just remembering how kind of crazy fascistic p.c. got in, like, 1995, and I really want to talk to you about that.)

Anyway, this sounds super obvious now that I am writing it out, and a total cliche (be the change you want to see, etc.) but it was a real revelation to me how little things like a dance party can feel so important.


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  1. Pingback: The ’90s Woman Alphabet «

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