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MS. GINGER, 2007

COLUMBUS, OH 

MS. GINGER 2011: I think I would name this portrait “hold it right there!” in part because all I could think while it was being taken was “don’t move, don’t screw up the photo!” and because it was a moment when I was actually still–a true rarity, especially then. When this was taken in 2007, I was teaching, performing burlesque nearly every week, and beginning to help organize IDKE X. The photo was snapped on a Sunday evening after an especially hectic month of performances, organizing, and living life. My partner of nearly eight years says she loves that I almost always have a smile on my face, but that smile didn’t make it into the portrait–which four years later, I’m okay with. Frankly, I was tired, both literally and metaphorically, and I think my non-smile reflects some of the seriousness I felt both then and now.  Something about the Embodiment project draws out from me a deliberate, delicious thoughtfulness. To me, Embodiment is about recognition, being called out by name–and I think this is part of why I wanted to participate. As a queer femme, I’m often invisible, even in queer communities. Being visible, being recognized as embodying queer was and is thrilling and empowering, for me and I hope for all those who experience the project.