Last night I went to Roundhouse to hear Queerotica, a erotica/porn reading, that was part of Pride in Art. I thought the reading was going to take place in the theater, but instead it took place in the open space outside the theater where the art exhibition was located. I was surprised at how packed the place was, especially on a fireworks night. There was at least 150 folks assembled to hear some dirty stories read live.
All of the Little Sister’s staff were scheduled to read. First up was bookstore manager, and free speech activist Janine Fuller with three books in hand. First, she spoke briefly about Peyton Place by Grace Metalious, a trashy novel from the 50s that was turned into a television series in the 60s. Next, she held up Pat Califia’s (now Patrick Califia) Sapphistry: The Book of Lesbian Sexuality. Janine shared that she the first queer book she ever bought, and that she was extremely nervous when she bought it. Finally, Janine spoke about Jane Rule as a person who built bridges and made the walls come down. She described her with deep respect and admiration in her voice as someone who embodied dignity, reverence and a sense of community. She then held up Restricted Entry: Censorship on Trial and read Jane Rule’s powerful testimony from the court case against Canada Customs. Janine then ran back to work to relieve some of the other staff people so they could come and read too.
When Jim Deva, co-owner of Little Sisters, announced he was going to read some of John Preston‘s work, there was a small cheer from the crowd. John Preston, who was himself a leatherman, is known for writing deliciously kinky and literary pornography. He also wrote very powerful, quasi-academic, political essays. Jim decided to read one of these. Jim read part of the introduction from Hot Living, a safer sex anthology. John Preston died from AIDS related complications several months before the Supreme Court case and was unable to testify.
It wasn’t all heavy politics. Tony Correia read a hilarious and sexy piece about a man with a wrestling fetish. Amber Dawn read a funny, autobiographical piece about being “an old ho”. Afuwa Granger read a piece that was one side of a very steamy conversation. Mette Bach read a hot story about the sexual possibilities of a cucumber, that was initially bought with the intention of making Greek salad. It was wonderful to be in a room with such talented people who were pushing the envelope with their sexy, honest, and raunchy words.