So in his most recent address the mayor of NYC just encouraged us all to stay inside and read books! Thus I’ve been a little inspired and decided that Hurricane Sandy is clearly the ideal time to have a little special Roving Pack sale!
Here’s the deal: buy online @ www.RovingPack.com and you’ll get your copy mailed out as soon as the storm clears (and before I leave on tour for Europe) BUT you’ll also get a a PDF ebook copy emailed to you right now! so you can read your way through Sandy and find out what the wacky Roving Pack kids did when they were bored and stuck inside — hint it involved making a porn zine using a gorilla suit….
fine print: offer remains good so long as the NYC power holds and i can send email
Ok so i’m in the process of working on some longer blog posts all about identity, life, family and the ways in which we make our worlds real, or at least how I do and the kind of transformative personal growth that’s part of that. I was working on one in particular about letting life transform you, about being present in the moment and how all of that for me is really intimately connected to being a boy and the ways in which that’s central to who I am and how I strive to live a life filled with fun, and playfulness and magic and how for me that’s an innate part of who I am, and also part of what I want to be bringing to the world.
Anyway I’ve been writing a bit about that and I’d planned to get a blog up this morning and then…. well I got caught up LIVING what I was writing about and spent my morning PLAYING instead. Really though, isn’t that what it’s all about? I sure think so. If I can live every day taking time to actually play, and be silly and little and present in who I truly am and be in that moment without focusing on worry then I know I’m on the right track, that i’m my most authentic self, living the kind of life that I’ve been building, and the kind of life that I want to live. So what are you waiting for, GO PLAY!
In just a week, Sassafras Lowrey and I will be taking off to Europe for a whirlwind of performances, readings, and other shenanigans across the continent (and London)! Check out our new tour poster below to find out where we’ll be!
Hard to believe that in just over a week Kestryl and I will be flying off for the PoMo Freakshow Europe Tour!!! We’re so excited to meet amazing queers and queer artists in that part of the world and to share our work! We’ll be in 5 cities over 10 days. Check out all our tour stops!
PoMo Freakshow’s Europe Tour November 2012
Unless otherwise indicated each stop on the tour includes both Kestryl Cael’s performance work and a reading from Sassafras Lowrey’s Roving Pack
November 2 – Berlin
Roving Pack- 17:00-19:00 Faq infoladen Jonasstraße 40 12053 Berlin
XY(T) – 21:00-23:00 TranslnterQueer e.V. Glogauerstrae 19 10999 Berlin
November 5 – Paris
La Mutinerie 176 rue St Martin Paris 3. M° Rambuteau.
November 6– London
Bar Wotever – Queer Art & Culture Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Doors 18:00 – 24:00
November 8 – Amsterdam
De peper – Overtoom 301/ 1054 HW Amsterdam
November 9- Utrecht
Savannah Bay Telingstraat 13, 3512 GV Utrecht
20.00 hrs, An international evening of queer, genderbending performance and storytelling
November 10 – Amsterdam
Transcreen/filmhuis cavia – Van Hallstraat 52 1 1051 HH Amsterdam
For the past year and a half I’ve been on a bit of a touring hiatus in order to focus all of my time and attention on finishing Roving Pack. It was good to have the break, to be able to devote myself to getting this novel out onto the page, and then out into the world but I’ve missed all of you! With Kicked Out I had the incredible opportunity of visiting many many cities across the country to talk about LGBTQ youth homelessness, and facilitate storytelling workshops at colleges, conferences, homeless shelters, and community groups.
I’m available to do a variety of events from lectures and keynotes to readings and storytelling workshops. You can learn more about all my work/offerings at www.SassafrasLowrey.com but of my most popular lecture/performance offerings have been:
‘Roving Pack’ the debut novel by award winning queer author Sassafras Lowrey is set in an underground world of homeless queer teens. Readers follow the daily life of Click, a straightedge transgender kid searching for community, identity, and connection amidst chaos. As the stories unfold, we meet a pack of newly sober gender rebels creating art, families and drama in dilapidated punk houses across Portland, Oregon circa 2002. Roving Pack offers fast-paced in-your-face accounts of leather, sex, hormones, house parties, and protests. But, when gender fluidity takes an unexpected turn, the pack is sent reeling. Get a short taste of ‘Roving Pack’ the book Lambda Literary calls “Political, raucous, dark, and totally engrossing…”
Nobody loves you. Now what? Queer youth homelessness and creating chosen family
40% of homeless youth in the United States are LGBTQ identified and this silent epidemic’s impacts are felt by queer kids in the biggest cities to the smallest rural communities. In this engaging lecture Sassafras draws on hir personal experiences of queer teen homelessness and the stories of ‘Kicked Out’ anthology contributors. In doing so ze takes audiences beyond the shocking statistics to the tangible experiences of current and former homeless LGBTQ youth’s survival and created kinship networks. Designed to inspire action from allies and bring hope and belonging to outcasts of all stripes, this lecture facilitates audiences move towards building chosen family and kinship networks
LGBTQ Storytelling Workshops:
When we’re children we’re taught that some people are writers, and some people aren’t. What if everything we’ve been taught about writing is wrong? What if anyone can do it and have fun with it?! In hir storytelling workshops Sassafras breaks down barriers that keeps people from writing. Designed for folks who do not consider themselves writers as well as those comfortable with expressing themselves through the written word, these storytelling workshops are an opportunity for participants to discover the transformative power of storytelling. We will explore how writing can be used to gain a better understanding of our own journeys, as well as a tool for creating social change. You can see a complete list of workshops here and I’m always available to create something specialized for your group.
In November I’ll be on the road in Europe but am working on booking 2013 in the States (and maybe Canada!) If you’re interested in bringing me to your campus, bookstore, conference or community group please get in touch ( SassafrasLowrey@gmail.com ) and lets see if we can make something work!Thank you for your time and consideration and I look forward to talking with you about the possibility of working together in the Spring.
A year ago this weekend our entire world changed when Charlotte joined our family. I wrote about it a few days later (when the shock had somewhat worn off) both about being able to give her a forever home as well as personally what that meant to me, and the bordering on woo-woo connection she and I have connected to Snickers, one of the dogs I lost as a teenager. It’s been incredible having Charlotte as part of our family – I can hardly believe it’s already been a year since we brought her home. In some ways it feels like it was just yesterday, but most of the time I just can’t imagine our home and family without my favorite wild thing.
When I look at the progress she’s been able to make with overcoming her past traumas and shitty street dog socialization and I’m astounded. Baby gates no longer separate our house and she sleeps in bed with us at night, accompanied by our sweet and bossy old cats who keep all of us (including her) in line. Charlotte is special needs, and dog reactive (other than with Mercury whose her very best friend), she still needs special attention when out in public, has good days and bad days, but the measurable progress with rehabbing our rescue girl have been incredible. The fact that this week we will walk to the dog park in the mornings and she will successfully engage with other dogs leaves me choked up because a year ago that felt like something we’d never share.
I’ve partnered with dogs to earn elite sporting titles and done other “impressive” things with dogs, and yet when I look at Charlotte and see how far she’s come I’m every bit as proud as I’ve ever been of a dog. Charlotte takes such pure blissful pleasure in simple things – a favorite squeaky toy, rolling on the carpet, splashing in a Brooklyn lake. She’s teaching me patience, and most of all to remain centered in the moment and not allow myself to become overwhelmed by fear of what might come. Charlotte has Snickers eyes and I believe that it was him that brought us together – he knew that we had a lot to teach each other, and a lot of love to give one another. Happy Birthday Charlotte and here’s to another year of adventures.
you can see the Charlotte wild thing leg tattoo in this picture
With Roving Pack being so freshly released and my tour to Europe only a couple of weeks away the novel is still dominating a lot of my attention but since last weeks national release event I’ve been able to put a little more of my focus on my new anthology Leather Ever After. I haven’t talked about the book here on the blog nearly we much as I want to and I hope to start changing that. Leather Ever After offers kinky retellings of fairy tales- and believe me there is a ton of perverted source material in the original writings!!
Right now I’m in the final stages of working with writers on edits and revisions and the book is actually starting to take shape. This is one of y favorite times in working on a book where I can actually watch it go from separate individual pieces into something cohesive. It’s this point in the creative process where I can watch the stories weave in and out of one another and the book actually come together. To add to the excitement this week I got a very special email. My buddy the legendary Laura Antoniou whose work I came up in leather reading agreed to write the foreword to Leather Ever After and delivered it to me this week! Keeping the brilliant things she wrote a secret is really hard but it will be worth it – you’re going to have the book in your hands early 2013!
In many ways Leather Ever After is a purely fun anthology and in other ways for me at least it’s an incredibly powerful piece of community. It has been through leather that I have been able to build my strongest friendships, my family, and also to find and understand myself (more on that in a couple upcoming blogs). Despite the way leather has defined so much of my private life, I have until the last year really struggled to find my place within the community. Although I’ve been in the leather community for over a decade it wasn’t until last winter that I organized my first kink event – Queer Memoir: Leather, which I wrote about in more detail here on Leatherati. That event was a total game changer for me, over 100 leather folks from different corners of our community came out and as I commented on my reflective blog“ for the very first time in a large group of other leather folks I didn’t feel the (for me) awkward presence of posturing. Instead, I felt very much at home and as though I truly belonged. ‘This is my family. I found it all on my own. Is little, and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good’” What I didn’t say in the blog because it was all still falling into place was that it was at Queer Memoir: Leather that I was approached by the publisher. As a writer there’s something pretty magic about someone saying they want to work with you and within a week of conversations Leather Ever After was born and a call for submissions preparing to go live in the world.
For me it feels right on such a core level that this new book came about as a direct result of that event which was so personally transformative, and so deeply about leather family and community. Since then Leather Ever After has really been a big of a fairy tale come true- I received an overwhelming number of incredible submissions to the book and narrowing them down into the final selection of pieces was difficult but the result is a really powerful anthology that takes the theme in a variety of dark and brilliant places.
Last weekend was a great big family adventure weekend for me. My Uncle was down from Boston to celebrate the release of Roving Pack and on Saturday, he was able to join Daddy and I on our annual family trip to the pumpkin patch! I’m not a big fan of Halloween itself (too loud, too drunk, too scary) so for me the annual pumpkin patch trip really is the Halloween Holiday! One of the best things about the Queens County Farm Museum where we go to celebrate every year is that in addition to pumpkins and apple cider and cows and chickens and other farm animals is that they have a corn maze! It’s loads of fun and includes all kinds of activities like assembling your map with puzzle pieces you find within the maze and riddles and things. It’s also themed. This year, the theme was ONCE UPON A TIME!!!!! THE CORN MAZE WAS FAIRY TALE THEMED!!!!! I nearly fell over I was so excited and couldn’t stop thinking about Leather Ever After as my little leather family made our way through the maze and it was definitely some awesome inspiration as I sat down to do anthology work this week!
There aren’t many things that surprise me when it comes to queer youth homelessness, but sometimes even I am left furious and perplexed. Late yesterday Ann Coulter tweeted “last Thursday was national coming out day. This Monday is national disown your son day.”
No doubt about it, Ann Coulter is an extremist and I don’t normally take her seriously. That said, when we live in a country where 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ identified I have a difficult time reading a quote like this and simply dismissing it as the rant of a right-wing nutjob. Every single day in this country queer youth are being thrown out of their homes and families. For anyone, let alone an adult who (for better or worse) wields a tremendous amount of cultural power to say anything to say this, to turn the epidemic of queer youth homelessness into a cruel joke is to me ethically incomprehensible.
Mostly today I’m sitting here stunned that a person could be so cruel. I’m thinking too and most importantly about the youth I pray will never come across her cruel words. The reality is that there are hundreds of thousands of Queer youth Who don’t know Where they will sleep tonight. The facts that are as cold and hard as a city street is that 26% of youth who come out experience parental rejection and are kicked out of their homes. I know for a fact that includes young people who heeded our community call on National Coming Out day and payed a heavy price.
Even though i know that Ann Coulter is a bully, I cant help but wonder how she could sleep last night after posting that tweet when thousands of youth don’t have the luxury of a safe and warm bed to call their own. I don’t have a solution for how to fight this kind of bigotry. I don’t know how to work with or communicate with bullies like her. The only response I can think of is to keep talking, to hope that together as a community we make enough noise that any youth who might have heard her hateful speak also hear our messages of support and know that we won’t stand for anyone saying that queer youth homelessness is never something to laugh about.