“People who knew that I have a love of performing directed me toward Butchlesque. It not only opened doors in performing that otherwise would still be closed, but also laid the foundation for a whole host of new friendships.”
Indeed, Tea So tell has a bevy of new admirers who fill the seats whenever she appears in community theater projects. Her paintings were also featured in a recent Ybor City art show, where several of Butchlesque alumni turned out in support.
“I enjoy being a part of what brings the community together. Papi Chulo is the alter ego that is able to bring forth that excitement of connecting with the audience if even for just one night. What better way to enjoy being comfortable in my own skin?!”
Papi Chulo, as well as several other Butchlesque alter egos are just hours away from descending upon the Gulfport Casino Ballroom! There is still time to get your tickets to join them on New Year’s Eve! Doors open at 8:00 pm!
As one of our “single & ready to mingle” butches, Melinda “Stevie Aaron” Scott, enjoys leather tooling, an array of sports such as bowling, basketball, baseball & football, as well as guitar-playing & music. In fact, Melinda was once the principal French horn player in the U.S. Army Band in Chicago, Illinois.
Stevie is currently a registered nurse at a local jail. However, she once worked as a chef at the Playboy Resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin! Since that put her smack-dab in the middle of society’s definition of “the beautiful people”, I wondered how she viewed “Butchlesque”.
“Butchlesque has provided a fun, new & exciting outlet to share with our community… a glance into the world of butch fashion & the unique flair of each butch’s self-identity.”
Stevie is spot-on with that description. It’s in keeping with Butchlesque’s aim that, through participants displaying their individual perceptions of the “butch” identity, those participants open the door for all to consider possibilities that do not require renouncing one’s self in order to feel desirable & accepted. For those participants to recognize that the moment is theirs to be authentic, and to seize it not just for themselves but on behalf of others not on the catwalk, is a success in & of itself.
Stevie enjoyed a “rock star” moment on June 28th, when she was part of St. Pete Pride’s 27-82 Concert at the State Theatre sharing the stage with Geri-X, Daphne Willis — and headlining act Uh Huh Her!
We are excited to see her on New Year’s Eve and we hope to see you there, cheering on ALL of these rock stars!
Jakob O! Swagga (a/k/a Kaje) moved to Florida in 1997, by way of Asheville, NC, and has been in the Bradenton/Palmetto area ever since.
Kaje and her partner have been together for all of those sixteen years, from the day they met IRL, it was love at first sight! Being the thoughtful butch that she is, she encouraged her partner to go to college not long after moving to FL, knowing her turn would come… And it did! Kaje spent four years earning her AA, AS, and her BA, graduating in 2010 with a degree in Professional and Technical Writing from the University of South Florida (Go BULLS!!) One of her hopes is to land a grant writing gig with a non profit that focuses on either LGBTQI issues, or one with ties to Breast Cancer research. Keep her in mind, as she is still seeking just the right spot to land!
During her senior year at USF, she picked up a digital camera for the first time, and her second love was realized! For the past four years, you can see the progression of her passion and her eye, ever changing and always open. She feels drawn to nature, architecture, and found objects, as well as portraiture on all levels. Having spent time behind the lens at local parks and preserves, Kaje has been able to capture some incredible sunsets, among other features, and has been awarded First Premium in the Manatee County Fair for two years in a row. She has also spent time working with local residents to produce memorable family portraits, as well as having shot weddings in FL and NY! She has also been published by Sarasota County, Myakka City City Historical Society, and in a Sarasota brochure for the green movement. Her work can also been seen revolving through local galleries, and has been purchased by patrons from as far away as Texas and Virginia.
Kaje is looking forward to returning to Butchlesque for her third year, the first she was the event photographer, and she participated as a contestant last year… You better watch out! She also appeared at St. Pete Pride’s 2782 Concert.
Don’t miss Kaje! Click here to see some of Kaje’s photographs on Facebook.
Sterling Fury first worked with us as a model for our Butch / Femme calendar. She was immeasurably helpful with her contributions to costumes, props & staging.
A few months later she was on the catwalk at Gulfport Casino Ballroom, and the women swooned. She always has a calming demeanor, a quick smile — and that short, tight crew cut that the ladies wanna just brush their hands ever-so-softly across the very top of.
We were thrilled that Sterling accompanied us to the St. Pete Pride 27-82 Concert at the State Theatre on June 28th.
You’re going to love what she brings to the concept of butch identity & swagga on New Year’s Eve!
Laura Lyne Latimer Teal is another butch who has been with “Butchlesque” since its’ debut. In fact, she is the only contestant who has appeared in or attended every single Butchlesque event. Her career as an over-the-road truck driver takes her out of regular social interaction, and she saw the event as a way to meet new friends.
“I’d never been in front of others like that [on a stage] before, and it was great. Plus, I discovered that, while we do have a similar background, there are different types of butches in the LGBT community; we are not all ‘the same’.”
Indeed, “Butchlesque” showcases the diversity present within the microcosm of our masculine-of-center communities. We don’t gender-police who is “butch-enough” for “Butchlesque”. The words “perceptions of the butch identity” are key to our goal, and all participants are there by their own self-identification. As a result, each show is an exciting, surprising collection of interpretations of what “butch” means to each individual.
Bagpipers, bikers and cowboi’s — OH, MY!!! Come see the latest collection of butch interpretations when “Butchlesque” wraps up 2013 and ushers in 2014!
When I heard that Angela Brownell-Miller’s family members were going to be in the Gulfport audience last June 2nd (2012), I had unusual feelings of both admiration & envy. In spite of my own parents’ acceptance of my lesbianism, I doubt that we’d have found ourselves in that circumstance with Angela & her folks. It’s heartwarming & encouraging to see that, in the 10-year age span between Angela & me, LGBT individuals & their families are much more comfortable in melding their lives outside of family get-togethers.
Angela’s upbringing carries over to the Butchlesque community. From the moment that she signed-on for our 2012 show, she was “down” for whatever help we needed or any resource that she could provide. She was instrumental in preparing the catwalk, and she even brought in sponsors for the show.
We are proud to announce that Angela has moved into a new role behind the scenes as our Technical Director. Still..the catwalk calls her name, so she will take on the duel role of working with event planners backstage before stepping out with pride on the catwalk on New Year’s Eve.
Butchlesque has become another family to her. The kind where everyone pitches-in however they can. And wherever Angela’s skill set best fits, she steps up to the plate.
Don’t miss Angela on New Year’s Eve!
I remember the first time that I met Michelle Jahren. It was at a Halloween costume dance at the Gulfport Casino Ballroom. Michelle excitedly told Kim Herbel that she wanted to be in the next “Butchlesque” show. Less than eight months later, at that same venue, Michelle appeared on the catwalk in her country boi interpretation of “Chester Sullivan”.
“I decided to enter the Gulfport ‘Butchlesque’ show because I wanted to step out of my box & do something that I would not normally do. I had to learn how to step outside myself. I can now say, ‘I learned how to swagger across the stage!’ Along the way I found support, encouragement, creative ideas from my friends, and at the same time made new friends. Getting prepared for the show always made for a good conversation among family and friends.”
“Chester” was a hit with the femmes that night, from the top of her cowboi hat, to her rhinestone-encrusted six-shooter belt buckle, down to the pointy toes of her boots. When she mopped her brow with a handkerchief, a piece of straw in the corner of her “aww, shucks, ma’am” smile, she was rewarded with applause galore. The judges were wow’ed, too, and sent Chester home with the evening’s “Dapper” glass top hat.
Michelle is never one to take all of the credit, and she insists that having a good assistant was key to her win that night.
“My best friend Angela Paolillo helped me pick out clothes, shoes, and helped define the look of my hair that night. She became such an expert at getting me ready for the show that other contestants asked for her assistance backstage. Thank you, Angela, AND Butchlesque for letting me step outside the box!”
On June 28th, at the State Theater, “Butchlesque” un-boxed a very special edition of its’ show, in conjunction with St. Pete Pride’s 27-82 Concert. Michelle was there, with a 10-gallon hat full of butch swagga to wow the audience with!
We hope you’ll join us on New Year’s Eve as we raise funds for St. Pete Pride’s Community Grant program.
The final days of 2013 are winding-down, and you know what THAT means: the Butchlesque New Year’s Eve Show & Dance is fast approaching! Here are some things that you should do in anticipation of the big event:
1) Program your GPS device so that it takes you directly to the Gulfport Casino Ballroom. The address is: 5500 Shore Blvd. S., Gulfport, FL 33707. There’s plenty of parking around the venue, whether it’s on the street or in the parking lots adjacent to the volleyball courts.
2) Get a countdown timer app for your smartphone, and then plug-in this date & time: December 31, 2013; 8:00 p.m. That’s when the Gulfport Casino Ballroom doors will open! Since the show begins at 9:00 p.m., that gives you an hour to mill around, snap pics with our Butchlesque Photo Booth props, and meet all of your fellow celebrants! We have many people attending from outside of Florida, and you’ll all want to meet & mingle!
3) Figure out what you’re going to wear! Our Butchlesque contestants are going to be showing-off their finery in such categories as “Dapper” and “Beefcake”. What attire will YOU be stylin’ & profilin’ in? I’ve heard that one attendee has a camouflage tuxedo — a la “Duck Dynasty” — all ready to go for the occasion! You’ll also want to break-in your footwear beforehand because, immediately after the show, we will be throwing-open the ballroom floor for you to dance to all of the hottest club music!
4) Think about making a reservation at a nearby hotel. Ringing-in a new year can be EXHAUSTING! All of the dancing & cheering & imbibing…. We want everyone to have a happy — and SAFE — New Year!
5) And last but not least: when you get to the Gulfport Casino Ballroom, enjoy the many individual perceptions of the butch identity! Butchlesque is a forum for butch-identifying lesbians to bask in the appreciation & celebration of their community.
The Butchlesque cast & crew are gearing-up to make this event an extravaganza! Get your tickets at Butchlesque.com, and join us for the HOTTEST New Year’s Eve that Florida has ever seen!
If you’ve ever met Gail Cruz (“Gail Storm”), you know that she is an animal lover.
“I enjoy helping those who cannot help themselves. When animals are mistreated, it is up to those who can get the word out to stop & care for them. It is a responsibility and a privilege to help in ways that are not always monetary.”
Wow! What a huge heart!!!
Gail attended the very first Butchlesque show, and she has been a supporter at mingles & dances ever since.
“It looks like fun, and I so I thought, ‘Why not?’ Now I finally have the courage to get up on that catwalk and JUST DANCE. Because you only live once!”
We ALL only live once, and the 2013 Butchlesque New Year’s Eve event will only happen once! You won’t want to miss this great group of butches at the Gulfport Casino on December 31st! We’ve got a mix of veterans from previous shows and brand-new (some out-of-state!) faces who are going to send this year out with a tremendous Butchlesque BANG!!