FOUR Elements Fitness in Oakland, California December 10th from 7pm-10pm ** Update: $1,000 was raised and donated to Trans Lifeline **
See photos here
The FOUR Elements Art Series presents COLOR GUARD: AN EXHIBITION OF BASEBALL BATS AS LGBTIQ+ FLAGS by the Degenderettes.
This is a new era of queer pride, and flags no longer cut it. Gay culture has had many symbols of identity and celebration but few for holding our hard-won space: since the rainbow flag of the 70s, a broad array of striped flags have propagated as popular symbols of LGBTQ+ identity, but while fabric is fabulous in the breeze and sunlight, it hasn’t protected us in the dark of night. As folks gained visibility they have suffered from it: murders of trans women of color has continued to rise these last few years in spite of perceived mainstream acceptance. In response to the June 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting the international feminist-genderqueer art club, The Degenderettes, assembled a color guard to perform at pride parades to show that LGBTQ+ culture is alive and well and will not be bullied. In place of traditional wooden rifles and sabers, the Degenderettes twirl the classic American symbol of home defense, baseball bats, because this is not a war between nations, it is a fight that has come to their door. As anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes spread across the country in the wake of the election, legitimate fear permeates every corner of queer existence, and so the Degenderettes have made these bats available for LGBTQ+ people to keep behind their own doors as symbols of resilience.
You can always order versions of these bats for your own use, either before or after the show, through degenderettes.com, shipping worldwide, which benefits Degenderettes activities directly.
If you buy a bat from this Four Elements exhibit, not only is there no shipping cost, but proceeds will be donated to Trans Lifeline crisis hotline.
The Degenderettes is a club started in 2014 by feminists and genderqueers in SF & Oakland with an array of urgent agendas: mutual protection of visible queers, sexual assault defense, preservation of women’s history, forming trans mentor relationships, challenging toxic masculinity, disseminating images of queer resilience, etc. It has since grown into an international network with chapters in a handful of major cities across North America, Europe and Australia. In addition to local chapter events, they have published an all-chapter comics zine, hosted an irreverent gallery show with a birth certificate shredder & a jacket soaked in menstrual blood, and printed thousands of tamper-resistant “all gender restroom” stickers that are now going up on multi-occupancy bathrooms around the world. In addition to the baseball bats they produce merit badges for people who stand up to the gender police. They are currently working on a safety app that will allow women & queers to collectively hold space instead of just getting home safe, and are networking resources for queer survival under the Trump administration. If that all sounds like a blast and you want to become a Degenderettes prospect, please locate your closest chapter to find a sponsor.
The FOUR Elements Art Series is a new, vital platform for artists working in a range of media and at different stages of their careers to present their ideas. In addition to furthering their own artistic practices and experimentation, artists are also invited to respond directly to and activate the space through unique classes, actions, happenings, and events.
COST: This is a benefit for Trans Lifeline and suggested donation is $10+ but if you would like to give more or have limitations and can’t give, any amount will be accepted and no one turned away for lack of funds.
FOUR Elements Fitness will also be donating 50% of any regularly priced memberships purchased during this event to Trans Lifeline.
Please RSVP – space is limited. Partial door Fees support the Four Elements Art Series – refreshments and the space (40%)