The Harvey Milk Institute presents:
The Femme Gender Conference

Conference Schedule

Panels
1) Femme: Challenges and Rewards
2) Femme as Gender: An Evolving Identity

Workshops

Related Cultural Events and Performances
The Copa Cabana: A Femme Fatale Club
Kick the Door off the Hinges
Femme Show: My Persistent Desire

Conference Dates: Saturday & Sunday, May 30 through 31
Conference Location: Mission High School, 18th Street between Church & Dolores Streets
Contact: Harvey Milk Institute, Kevin Schaub, 415.552.7200, HarvMilk@aol.com,
http://members.aol.com/harvmilk.
Enrollment: $25 to $95, Sliding Scale, Pre-registration strongly encouraged.
To Register onLine visit our WebSite: http://members.aol.com/harvmilk

Sponsored in part by Olivia Cruises & Resorts—Vacations for Women.
The Femme Gender Conference aims to promote exploration and discussion of gender issues and to create community on the frontiers of gender. The conference is expected to attract artists, activists, academics and others from across North America who are interested in femme identity, culture, and history. People of all genders and sexual identities are encouraged to attend.
A keynote speech, two plenary panels, and numerous workshops will give conference attendees the opportunity to explore the fixed and changing expressions of femme identity among lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual women and men and transgendered people in various communities — including communities of color, women in the sex industry, and older and younger people — and across class lines. The conference represents a continuation of a public discussion begun at last year’s Femme Gender Conference, sponsored by the Harvey Milk Institute as the first in a series of conferences exploring gender.

The weekend will also include a film and video program presenting short works that explore key aspects of femme identity, art, and culture, as well as a series of cultural events featuring femme performers.

Conference Schedule:

Saturday, May 30
Registration begins: 9 a.m.
10 am: Keynote address, Chrystos
10:25 am: Panel #1
Noon to 1:30 pm: Workshop Session 1
1:30 to 2:30 pm: Lunch Break
2:45 to 4 pm: Workshop Session 2
4:15 to 6 pm: Panel # 2

Sunday, May 31
10 am: Re-registration/check-in
11 am to 12:30 pm: Workshop Session 3 & Film Screenings
12:30 to 1:30 pm: Lunch break
1:30 to 3 pm: Workshop Session 4 & Film Screenings
3 pm: Closing plenary/performance TBA

Opening plenary:
Introduction:
Tracy Schmidt and Kevin Schaub, Conference Coordinators
Keynote Speaker: Chrystos
Panelists and speakers include: Happy Hyder, Joann Loulan, April Miller, Shar Rednour, Karla Rosales, Liz Highleyman, Kate Bornstein, Karen Bullock-Jordan, Lani Ka’ahumanu, Julia Query, and Mark Silver

Panels

1) Femme: Challenges and Rewards
Being femme brings with it a variety of challenges and rewards. Historically, femme/butch represented a vibrant and supportive lifestyle and community, but in the 1970s, many of the new wave of lesbian-feminists reviled femmes as imitating heterosexuals and oppressing non-femme women. Because many femmes do not look like stereotypical lesbians, they have in some cases been able to avoid the harassment and violence that butches have faced, but at the cost of their visibility as lesbians. The 1990s have seen a resurgence of femme as an identity, and a new generation of femmes is making sure that they are seen and heard. Despite the challenges they have faced, femmes have reaped the rewards of their own brand of power: intense femme-femme friendships, and fabulous sex. This panel will explore these and other aspects of identifying as femme.

2) Femme as Gender: An Evolving Identity
Theorists past and present have conceptualized femme as a gender identity that is related to — but goes beyond — the traditional binary categories of female/male and woman/man. Femme as a unique gender has its own relationship to sexuality and power. Increasingly people are redefining what it means to be femme and are exploring femme gender identity beyond the traditional definitions within the lesbian community. Some people move in and out of a femme identity, and some see femme as something that they do, rather than as something that they are. This panel will explore evolving notions of femme as a unique gender identity.

Workshops
Four sets of workshops presented during the two-day conference will cover practical and theoretical issues relating to femme culture and identity, including building femme community, butch/femme relationships, femme/femme intimacy, femmes of color, bi femmes, young femmes, femmes in midlife, transgender femmes, femmes and transmen, fat femmes and body image, switch femmes, femme history, femmes in popular culture, passing, alternative sexuality, femmes in the sex industry, fag and drag femme, parenting, a butch finishing school, a series of workshops for male femmes, performing versus identifying as femme, and a butch/femme dialog about power.

Calls for Submissions

Seeking submissions for an anthology about creating relationships & desires with transgendered & gender-defiant people. I am collecting pieces about the interplays of gender, attraction, sexuality, power, identity & community. The anthology will be by & about people who have something to say about loving & lusty relationships with transgendered, multigendered, gender-defiant & gender-questioning people of all descriptions. This is a chance to get at what it is in us that is queer for gender & what this means within the communities we come from. Editor Rachel Lanzerotti is a femme dyke activist in SF, who is attracted to people regardless of genitals but because of gender. Deadline: 8/1/98. For guidelines, SASE to: R. Lanzerotti, 584 Castro St, Ste. 245, SF, CA 94114 or Email rlanzerotti@igc.org

Does your gender identity or presentation fail to fit into one of the “accepted” categories? Are you creating new gender identities for yourself and your communities? Liz Highleyman and Tracy Schmidt are seeking essays for an anthology exploring how people are moving beyond traditional gender categories to suit their unique identities. Essays should address the “big picture” of how gender works—or doesn’t work—as a social construct. We are also seeking poetry, photography and graphics. People of all races/ethnicities, sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to contribute. Please send submissions to: Gender, 584 Castro Street # 272, San Francisco, CA 94114 or via e-mail to gender@black-rose.com. Deadline August 1, 1998.

Femme Conference
Related Cultural Events and Performances

The Copa Cabana: A Femme Fatale Club
Date: Friday May 22
Time: 8:00pm
Location: Luna Sea, 2940 16th Street #216 C
Tickets: $10 to $15, Sliding Scale
Contact: 415.863.2989

A glimpse into a forties cabaret. Sultry singers who croon love and lust. Comediennes who laugh at stereotypes, and remind us just how precious we are. Featuring singers who remind you of Billie, Alberta, Josephine and Pearl. Comediennes who will make you laugh until you cry. Curated by Kebo Drew.

Kick the Door off the Hinges
Date: Saturday May 23
Time: 8:00pm
Location: Luna Sea, 2940 16th Street #216 C
Tickets: $10 to $15, Sliding Scale
Contact: 415.863.2989

A night of poets and spoken word artists exploding through limitations to remodel Femme in their own images. What does it mean to say that they are Latina, Black, Native Hawaiian, Asian, Jewish, Native American, Fat, Kinky/Vanilla, multiracial, Top/Bottom, and any combination thereof? These mighty Femmes will skate the edges of those definitions and burst the boundaries that confine them. Curated by Kebo Drew.

Femme Show: My Persistent Desire
Date: Friday May 29 and Saturday May 30
Time: 8:00pm
Location: Luna Sea, 2940 16th Street #216 C
Tickets: $10 to $15, Sliding Scale
Contact: 415.863.2989

The weekend of the Femme Conference. Join the excitement of this hystoric event as performers, dancers, and musicians explore desire, power, eroticism, beauty, passion and history. See what Femmes from Seattle, San Francisco and New York do with their specific and persistent desires. Curated by Kebo Drew..