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COOKIE TUFF, 2008

Ann Arbor, MI 

COOKIE TUFF 2011: This picture was taken at the time I was starting my second year of a PhD program in history and women’s studies in the Midwest.  I moved there in 2007 from San Francisco and it was a pretty difficult move for me, as a single queer fat femme in my 30s.  I’m wearing one of my burlesque outfits here, from my days with The Chainsaw Chubbettes and the Original Fat Bottom Revue/Big Burlesque.  I did a lot of burlesque in SF, but wasn’t performing much anymore; I was focused on studying the history of queer women performers in school, plus stripping down to pasties in a small college town where one is both a student and a teacher has its downsides.  As I write this almost three years later, I’m off to New York on a queer studies research fellowship to work on my dissertation on the classic blues women in the 1920s, and their relationships with women and the entertainment industries. My life is dedicated to documenting and being surrounded by badass women who are *unashamed* to put themselves in the spotlight and inspire and influence the world around them.