Slutwalk Reminder

Hi Everyone

This is a reminder that we will be doing our thing to protest rape culture, victim blaming, and slut shaming and thus promote consent and a positive attitude towards sex and sexuality next Saturday.

For those of you who do not know, Slutwalk was started in Toronto in 2011 in response to a police officer public stating that women needed to stop dressing like sluts if they wanted to avoid being raped. Since then the movement has spread throughout the world.

As a transgender woman, a parent of girls and a member of society I take this very seriously. I am also aware that transgender women are often hypersexualised by cisgender men and thus at a greater than average risk of sexual assault. Many men seem to think that women in general should be sexually available to them and some seem to think that transgender women are basically just in it for the sex and thus even more available to them: they seem to think that we are consenting to whatever they have in mind just because we are in a dress: heads up, ‘It’s a dress, not a yes!’ Transgender women run additional risks in that often sexual assaults (and even possibly consenting sexual encounters) seem to turn violent at an alarming rate. ‘Trans panic‘ is even considered a legitimate murder and assault defence in some parts of the world.

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I therefore think that all people, but especially women and transgender women have a vested interest in promoting a culture of consent where unless consent is explicitly and freely given no sex can happen. Often behaviours, beliefs and societal norms are so ingrained that people are unaware of the toxic and dangerous nature of these behaviours, beliefs and norms. We need to expose people to alternative ways of thinking about things and let them realise the danger we run by allowing sexual assault to be normalised. Men have an important role to play here too. If they themselves are not the perpetrators of an assault, then they are certainly the father, the brother, the uncle, the friend or some other male relation to the perpetrator. When they fob things off as ‘locker room talk’, or manly banter they are complicit. Men also sometimes find themselves in societal situations where abuse is normalised. We need to educate and empower men to speak out.

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I therefore believe Slutwalk is something we all, but perhaps especially the transgender community (in its broadest sense) should support.

After the (short) walk we are planning on going to Lucio’s Pizzeria in Blackheath for a spot of lunch. We would love it of as many of you as possible would join us. It is an opportunity to do a good thing, have a day out and about in a safe and accepting environment and then have lunch with some likeminded folks to meet new people, socialise and maybe get some support.

You can dress as you wish (just take a look at the weather forecast, it can be quite hot at this time of year, dress appropriately). It is a very safe environment in which some cisgender women feel safe enough to be topless and there are always a few transgender people around as well as cisgender men showing solidarity with woman by appearing in drag (which can be problematic, but I think we can give them a pass, because they are doing it for the right reasons, not to poke fun at anyone). So, dress as you wish, come and participate and have fun. Just make sure you have footwear that you can walk a kilometre or two in, stilettos may be a bit of a push…

The details:

Slutwalk:
Pirates Club
25 Braeside Road
Greenside
Johannesburg
From 10 am to 1 pm

Lucio’s Pizzeria
231 Beyers Naude Drive
Blackheath
Johannesburg
From after we finish the walk until around 4 pm

Please note that we need some indication of numbers so, that Lucio’s can be sure that they can accommodate us, so please RSVP by no later than 4 pm on Thursday 27 September.

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Report Back: Summer Nights at Amuse

We had our first social of 2018 at Amuse Cafe in Linden on Tuesday night… and what a night it was. For those who couldn’t make it, here is some information to fuel your regret.

The night was billed as a Summer Nights Social. The idea was to provide gender non-conforming people in Gauteng, regardless of how they identify, with an opportunity to meet up, chat and generally just socialise in an informal, friendly and accepting environment. My good friend Anna from the Emporium of Delights and All Things Nice kindly agreed to bring some of her costume jewellery stock with her, so there was something to do if the conversation got a bit boring.

We had started advertising the event just over a month ago and there had been quite a bit of interest in the event, but you never know how many people will turn up on the night. I was expecting somewhere between 10 and 15 people based on the interest levels we had, but we have had events where we were expecting 20 people and only a handful arrive, and we have had events where we were only expecting five people and then 15 arrive on the night. I was therefore very pleased that in the end 13 people arrived over the course of the evening. This is a very good turnout for a weeknight and we were very happy. A big thank you to everyone who turned out to support us. Organising these events takes a fair bit of effort and we literally make nothing out of the event, so events that are poorly supported can be very soul destroying. When we get a decent turn out, my heart literally sings.

As usual, I had some dressing ‘challenges’ of my own to overcome (you can read all about them in a few days’ time at Daniella’s Ramblings if you so wish). I was somewhat unsure what to wear. Should I be casual (Amuse is a fairly casual venue) or should I glam it up? Or what? I settled on a pair of skinny jeans, my new off the shoulder pink top, beige cowboy boots and some accessories. Luckily Irene had some spare time and was able to do my makeup for me. I think she did a fantastic job.

 

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After dressing, makeup and a few errands (for more details please read my personal blog), I arrived at the venue just before 6 as I wanted to make sure that I was on time and be able to assist Dirck (from Amuse) with information (or anything else) should he need it. I was sitting at the table Dirck had reserved for us (thanks Dirck), sipping a coke and responding to WhatsApp’s when someone walking past asked me (very politely), ‘excuse me, but are you Daniella?’ I looked up and saw someone, a good looking young man to be sure, standing in front of me. I had no idea who they were. I looked blankly at him and said that indeed I was. He could see that I was at a complete loss and said, ‘you may know me as Heidi’. OMG it was my Facebook friend and local drag queen Heidi van Kleef. I had only met Heidi in real life once before, at a show of hers and I had never seen her without her glitter, hair and heels before. The presence of a beard also threw me off the scent to be fair. We were able to spend some time catching up on the outdoor veranda (it was a very pleasant late summer evening) and actually talking to one another in person. It was lovely.

Soon some guests started to arrive. Heidi had been asked by Dirck to stand in as host(ess?) for the evening as he had to attend an urgent meeting. Anna was the first to arrive and she joined us, and we celebrated Heidi’s recent promotion at her day job with her. Then Nicole arrived. Anna, who lives so far in the East of Johannesburg that we have to check the time zones before phoning her, had never been to Amuse before. She seemed quite taken by the charm of the place. Then she noticed the sculpture of the naked male torso. She felt compelled to touch it and I managed to get photographic evidence before dragging her away from it.

 

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Anna fondling the art work.

Clearly it was time to move in doors… Claire, Liza, Grizelda and Irene all arrived in quick succession and soon we were all happily chatting away. The service was good as always and our throats were soon lubricated. After a long day hard at work most people were hungry, and I think almost everyone ordered something to eat. The food was up to the usual standard and one of the things I really like about Amuse is the portion size. Many restaurants charge a lot more for a plate of food and they seem compelled to compensate by giving you far too much to eat. Amuse follows a less aggressive pricing strategy and their portion sizes are smaller, but I find this preferable. It is a far more ‘European’ model (as opposed to what I have seen at North American restaurants) and I think it sets Amuse apart. It also makes an evening out far more affordable.

After everyone was finished Anna opened her box of tricks and a number of people sampled her range of accessories that were on offer. It seems she was happy enough with the amount of stock she sold, so thanks to everyone who supported her.

I really enjoyed myself and it was fantastic to meet so many people new to the scene in Johannesburg. And of course, it was fantastic to catch up with old friends and talk with people who we seldom get to interact with face to face. I particularly enjoyed meeting Michelle in person. We have been on line friends for a very long time but had never met in person before and seeing all the other new faces made me very happy too.

I hope everyone had as much (or more) fun as me. As to all of you who would like to come to one of our events but have not been able to, all I can say is that you are missing out. There is no need to come en femme if you are too scared (although there is no reason to be scared) and nobody will judge you for what you wear. We would love to meet you all in a fun, relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Hope to see you at the next one (watch this space for details).

Once again, a big thank you to everyone who came out and I hope to see you all again soon. Thank you to Anna for providing us all with an opportunity to acquire more bling and of course thank you to Dirck and the rest of the Amuse team for being professional and so welcoming to our little community. Finally, a big thank you to Irene who did people’s makeup on the night, was such a good hostess and who helps and supports me so much!

 

Time to PARTY Like a Rock Star

Newsflash

Awesome news, The Gay Club is hosting a party on 24 June.
The party is a Queen of Hearts Drag Party and it looks like  it will be a lot of fun.

Obviously being en femme will be accepted and you will definitely not be the only one out and about en femme! The Priscilla’s team would be more than happy to help you prepare for this fabulous event in any way we can. Specifically, we can provide the following services should you need them:
Makeup: make yourself look your very best*
Shopping for the perfect outfit for the party (either as a professional service, or just to go with you and help you out)
Storage facilities for all those awesome clothes after the party
A venue to get ready at for the party
A place to stay when you get back (should you need it)
Clothing, wig and shoe hire (assuming you do not want to buy your own)
Fashion and other style related advice
Feel free to contact us if you have any queries, need help in addition to the services listed or if you want to book with us (please note all services must be booked in advance, we cannot guarantee availability without a booking).
Priscilla’s is not exactly next door to the Gay Club, but we are only 30 or so minutes away, so convenience is not much of an issue.

Here are all the details from the club’s Facebook event:
Follow us down the rabbit hole during the month of June …
The month of June is GAY WONDERLAND MONTH at The GAY Club SA!
Get READY for our DRAG EXTRAVAGANZA PARTY: THE QUEEN OF HEARTS DRAG PARTY!!!

Whether it’s your first time in Drag or you are a seasoned Queen, join us on Saturday 24 June and help us celebrate the Divine art of DRAG!!

Headlining DJS back by popular demand are The Prince & Charm to sizzle up the dance floor in glorious LGBT wonder

Doors open 8pm- 4am
Entry :
R25 between 8-9pm
R50 between 9-10pm
R60 after 10pm
Drag Queens free entry before 9pm

Dress Code: Dust off your cha-cha heels and join us in your best DRAG LOOK! This can include (but not limited to) Full drag, androgynous, drag king or any of the many other forms of DRAG!
*Please note dressing up is not a requirement , but it will be more fun to do hehe)

Take note : No under 18’s , ID’s upon request, no bad attitudes or hate speech ,will NOT be tolerated
(R.O.A.R.)

The Gay Club can be found at the corner of Gibb & North Rand Roads, Boksburg (upstairs from Silverado’s Pub & Grill).

This looks like it is going to be a lot of fun and there will be a lot of gurls out and about. For those of you concerned about such things, please do nit be concerned by the word ‘gay’ in the title. You will be welcomed as a member of the LGBT community regardless of your sexual preference. Being a crossdresser/transgender means you will be accepted and you will certainly not be pressured into anything you do not want… The very worst that can happen is that nobody will offer to buy you a drink/hit on you all night! Kidding! Seriously, you will be welcomed and accepted and you will be free to be yourself. If you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact us and we will happily talk you through what to expect. As to those of you who are looking for a little romantic action… Well until you get out there, you will never know!
I hope to see you all there!

*Please feel free to check out these links for some examples of Irene’s work.