Happy Birthday to one of my Mums

Teresa and MaeveToday is my mother, Teresa’s 60th birthday. She’s an excellent parent, friend and mentor, and her party on Saturday night was so good people left the gig upstairs to crash our shindig and boogie to my brother Rowan’s excellent playlist. The party theme was Mods vs Rockers and Teresa rapped her thank you speech (complete with backing track) chronicling her life’s highlights & challenges. There was weird dancing. Where Teresa goes, there’s always weird dancing. Following the speech she shared celebratory tequila shots with a couple of her kids and the young people who’ve lived at her house.

My sister Grainne and her partner Hayden made 6 different cakes! A rainbow layer cake. Orange almond cake. Flourless chocolate cake. Passionfruin sponge. Baked cheesecake with toffeed blueberries. You haven’t lived til you’ve bitten into a fresh blueberry encased in hard toffee. Holy shit. The bar tab had no rules so my sister smashed a shit-ton of martinis, we tried to do acrobatics then fell down.

My brother DJed an excellent mix of Dolly Parton, Blondie, 60s & 70s hits with a smattering of stuff too cool for me to recognise. He responded well to our chants of ‘MORE BRITNEY’. He and I performed a medley of songs about England Teresa sang while we were growing up. My Old Man’s A Dustman was particularly well-received, as was Jerusalem.

Testament to their maturity, growth and love for their children, my other Mother, Louise was also at the party (they split 10 years ago). She could be found on the dancefloor with her top off. When I suggested she put it back on her mate Dinah flashed me her boobs in protest. Bear in mind both Louise and Dinah were designated drivers. aka sober.

My mum’s friend, Mystery, who used to be lead singer of a feminist punk bad took the stage for a surprise song then hauled my brother up for a duet. Viv, my ex-girlfriend who lives like a fairy in Teresa’s backyard, took photos.

The party was packed with wonderful people and joy, all a testament to the community Teresa has built over her 60 years. The moral of this story? I love my family, Happy Birthday Teresa, here’s to many more. xxx

Read her 55Upitty profile. She taught me that if people aren’t telling your story, you better tell it yourself: http://55upitty.com/2012/04/18/teresa/

Drop dead Fred, my family is worth 1000 of you

Last week I was in the audience for the Q&A special that aired following the documentary about Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Between a Frock and a Hard Place. I asked a question but it went very much unanswered by the entire panel, especially notorious homophobe, Fred Nile. My question was meant to be one of positivity and progress, about how our community can share the best of our experiences with mainstream society. Unsurprisingly, this went over his head and, if I am honest, I don’t think the rest of the panel addressed it well either.

So, I decided to answer the question myself, and Daily Life were kind enough to publish my thoughts on the matter. Read my article, What Fred Nile can learn from my queer family, here.

As an aside, I had started writing an article about the experience of sitting in the audience for LGBTQ&A. I was going to write about the Nile supporters in the audience who radiated hate, about sitting next to and around people who hate my ‘lifestyle,’ about how angry I felt watching the panellists have to listen respectfully while Nile (and questioners in the audience) said such awful things.

The Daily Life editor encouraged me to focus not on my hurt and anger but on the original premise of my question, on what positive things children from queer families can offer the wider community. As an emerging writer, working with editors who help me take my writing to the next level is a privilege. For that, I am very grateful.

Here’s a photo of one of my Mothers and I reacting to Nile:

Maeve Marsden Teresa Savage Q&A

Please support The Social Outfit!

The Social Outfit is a wonderful Newtown social enterprise that offers employment and training to refugee and new migrant communities. They do amazing work (and make stunning clothes) and they’re currently crowdfunding the next phase of their growth. I implore you, please go check out their ING Dreamstarter page and consider chucking some dollars their way.

Crowdfunding is hard and this is such a worthy project doing such important work. Please support them.

I said this at length in a feature article about The Social Outfit on Daily Life.TheSocialOutfit_Hero_web

Who ever thought I’d write about wedding fashion?

Assumptions about gender and clothing are always frustrating, especially for those who break away from expected norms. I wrote about how ideas about gendered clothing play out when two women get hitched for Daily Life. I also got to put lovely pictures of my friends in!

But who decides how men and women should dress and look? Is there an arbitrary points system that defines whether someone is feminine or masculine? Flat shoes? 2 points to masculine. Long hair? 3 points to feminine. A bow-tie? 1 point to masculine. Earning 75 cents to the dollar of your male counterparts? Ding, ding, ding, you win the woman-prize!

 

If we’ve learnt anything about gender in recent years, surely it’s that there’s much more to it than ‘man’ and ‘woman’. Could we finally, once and for all, allow individual human beings to define their own gender and dress in whatever they like without comment?

The George Brandis Live Art Experience

Some bloody genius is protesting Brandis’ arts cuts by getting people to photoshop old Georgie’s face onto art works. They tend to be either hilarious or terrifying and you should check them out on facebook and twitter. We made our very own contribution to the campaign, below. For more information, visit bit.ly/freethearts

On Misandry, Misogyny, Friendship and Social Media

I wrote an article for Daily Life provocatively titled ‘How I learned to stop hating men.’ It was meant to be a play on the stereotype of the ‘man-hating feminist’ but it was really about my legitimate distrust of men after experiencing misogyny throughout my youth, and about how I only became friends with men after I started meeting them on social media, where you can ‘try before you buy’ and find men who are genuinely feminist in their approach to the world.

It’s a hard topic to nail and one I could spend ages writing about. It’s also far more complex than you can get across in a short article, with the history of men’s oppression, the unique circumstance of my family (my brother is the only man in my nuclear family) and other factors at play that have caused my friendship circle to expand like age and career changes. But I gave it a red hot go!

Read the article here

Please support my production company!

Earlier this year, I quit my full time job to pursue freelance writing, performing, producing and directing full time. It’s going well! But being able to support myself (which I do) and being able to pay my collaborators, take creative risks, go on tour and record an album? Different things!

With this in mind, I’ve launched a Patreon account for my, my production company, blackcat productions (which I run with Phoebe Meredith) and our cabaret act, Lady Sings it Better (as well as all the other projects we’re developing).

Patreon is like the crowdfunding platforms you might be familiar with, but instead of one-off donations for a single project, it’s more like traditional patronage. Ongoing donations that give artists, writers and creatives a regular income. It means we can plan ahead, safe in the knowledge that we’ll have money in the bank for tour expenses, insurance, web hosting, artist fees and so on.

We’re asking those who love our work to pledge just $1 per month so we can make more work, take more risks and pay the artists we employ a fare fee for their work. If we reach our milestone of $1000 per month in donations, we can make an album and ALL our donors will get free downloads of the songs we record. All the donation levels have different perks and offers like discount show tickets, cabaret-grams (personalised video messages), private concerts and more.

Working in the arts is a privilege and we love it. We’ve received immense support from our friends, family and fans, and we’ve responded by working hard to create wonderful shows (we also try to keep our ticket prices low!). If you can spare $1 per month (or more!), please head over to our Patreon page or watch the video below to learn more: