Due to the great success of Butch Voices 2009, this year organizers have inspired regional conferences in Dallas, Portland, Los Angeles, and New York City. Prof C, along with Mr Sexsmith, and Kelli Dunham have organized the NYC event, happening on Sept 25th. Here is the lowdown for NYC from Mr Sexsmith. - GM
Moon: Why don't you just start off and give us the nitty gritty of what you are helping to organize.
Sinclair: Well, the Butch Voices conferences started last year with a national conference in Oakland and was so inspiring to many of the attendees that they took the core of the conference back to their own cities and decided to do regional conferences this year there was one in Dallas in July, and there are three coming up three weekends in a row in NYC, Portland OR, and LA.
Moon: How did you get involved?
Sinclair: Kelli Dunham had attended last years conference, and she has said it was one of the most inspiring things she's ever done. Kelli pulled me on board in New York to help with the media parts of our regional conference so I've been doing promotion, marketing, press releases, graphics, things like that. We've got a tight core team of six people who are handling most of the details and an extended team of volunteers who are helping the core team.
Moon: And do all the conferences share some sort of outline?
Sinclair: Hum, I'm not sure, actually. From what I've seen we all took the idea and ran with it a little bit differently. But Joe LeBlanc, who started the conference, has stayed really heavily involved with the main organizers so there are a lot of similarities.
Moon: So what can we look forward to?
Sinclair: Funny you should ask, the workshop schedule was just released today. Part of the BV mission statement is the core values of Community Building, Economic/Social Justice, and Physical/Mental Health so those are our three "tracks" that our workshops are built around and I think the other cities have kept that in mind as well LA seems to be a lot more Hollywood focused, they have a lot of filmmaking and visibility workshops
Moon: Do you want to give a run down of how that unfolds at the NY event?
Sinclair: We've got a lot of workshops happening. it's only a day-long conference, so it's pretty quick and tight, folks are going to have to break and fend for themselves for lunch. And because our space is limited, some of them are on top of each other, which I'm sad about, there are so many I'd like to attend!
Moon: Wait a sec, you are running the most fun workshop!
Sinclair: Oh yeah! I'm going to do a "Cock Confidence & Strapping It On" workshop, the logistics and nitty-gritty of strapping it on, but also how to have a little bit of bravado and swagger — is that the one you mean?
It will be fun and I'm going to be bringing toys to show off, different kinds of cocks, like the infamous "blow job cock" and a few harnesses, too. I'll be doing a harness giveaway at the end, a really good one from Aslan Leather.
Moon: Who donated the space for the conference?
Sinclair: Securing the space and having enough room has been our biggest challenge in the organizing so far. We decided on QEJ because we can afford it, and because it's accessible to wheelchairs, it's got a full elevator Queers for Economic Justice. also in that same office space is the Audre Lorde Project and Sylvia Rivera Law Project.
So we'll be taking over their offices for the day it was really important to us that we afford a space, that we support queer space, and that it was accessible , which means that we've got 4 workshops at a time. but hopefully that'll make for a lot of really exciting stuff!
Moon: Now where do the femmes fit in to this conference?
Sinclair: femmes and folks of all sorts of genders are very welcome to attend, of course. Allies are very welcome. You don't have to identify as butch to come, and in fact the write ups on the identity "butch" are pretty specific and very inclusive of all sorts of "masculine of center" identities; stud, AG, genderqueer, macha and trans folks of all sorts of identities.