Why the reaction to Lena Dunham’s humour piece is more about sexism than anything else.
Even though we were angry and most of California had just passed Prop 8, it was an exciting moment. It was the moment that tipped the movement for marriage equality. We were angry but the energy was huge nationwide.
Being a married lesbian in the US was very unusual at that moment and performing to that crowd was a great experience.
Life being what it is, I’m now working on Everything Is Subject to Change, post-divorce. But I stand by everything I said here.
I found this piece by Kalia Douglas-Micallef in Toronto pretty interesting.
Even though she lives in a place with complete legal equality for lesbians and gay men (I’m not sure what the story is legally for trans* people) and even though she had activist parents and a supportive community she faced a lot of difficulties.
Canada can seem like an imagined utopia to Americans on social issues. It’s not. It’s a place full of people, like anywhere. I grew up there and I was given my own hard time as a kid, in part of being Jewish. In the 70s.
I don’t think you can stop everyone from being mean or hurtful. But you can set priorities as a community and consequences for behaviour and you can educate people. A kid is better off with a supportive family and a school where being gay is though, than being in school where being gay is ok but their family is not. 40% of homeless youth in the US are queer. Legal changes won’t be the thing that stops that or the kind of thing Kalia writes about.
“It feels like almost EVERY city has become either an overpriced “artisan” boutique or warzone. A by-product of the destruction of the middle class in this country. Here’s my personal list, based on the national median income of $50K (middle class) with $25K as the earnings that most successful artists can expect to earn from a combined day job and art sales.
Unaffordable to even middle class wages:
NY, SF, DC
Affordable with a middle class income, art part-time:
LA, Seattle, Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Portland, Austin, San Diego, Santa Fe
Affordable to work part-time in limited areas/situations, or outer suburbs:
Chicago, New Orleans, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Albuquerque, Raleigh-Durham, Dallas
Affordable to art full-time, with high crime rates:
St. Louis, Memphis, Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, Wilmington, Houston, Birmingham, Orlando, Buffalo, Albany, Hartford, Cincinnati, Columbus, Nashville
Affordable to art full-time with low crime rates:
Louisville, Iowa City, St. Paul, MN, past the exurbs of cities is the last 2 categories.
Mostly every place is unaffordable or too dangerous. Commerce seems to be moving past their need for artists to displace the working classes, especially on the coasts.”
– from a 2013 comment on a conversation following Patti Smith’s urging of young artists to “find a new city.”
My gut instinct is more really teeny small places. Where do you think is a great place to live affordably as an artist? In what country? Do you live in one of these cities listed above? What do you think? Oakland is in the affordable art part-time list for now and for some it may be in the full-time wither without high-crime depending upon which section you live in.