Take Those Potato Chips And Go

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Wednesday evening,

I went to a “sex communication” workshop at Gordon Ramsay restaurant. We had a private room, but the waiters were incredibly mindful and kept coming in with large smiles to make sure we weren’t short on drinks. A guy even started making a pizza. As an exercise, we had to tell our most embarrassing sex moment. A girl said that she was sick all over a stranger’s floor one night, and when she saw him again, he asked her to s**k him while watching Harry Potter. He then told her to leave.

Thursday morning,

I went for a DBS check at the crack of dawn. That’s a legal thing to ensure you don’t have any criminal records. I had to fill in a form with all the addresses where I’ve lived in the past five years. Given my inclination for house movings, that was the hell of a mission. I kept asking random questions to the lady who was in charge. “What about the phases when I was homeless? Like sleeping on a lot of different friends’ couch?” “Shall I include the house where I lived only 24 hours because my ex-girlfriend had a mouse phobia and she found a mouse trap in a kitchen cupboard on the first night?” “Will I get in trouble about the live-in guardian house that I was illegally sub-renting from a  friend when she was in Thailand for 9 weeks although she wasn’t supposed to leave for more than 10 days?”

It was funny.

Thursday evening,

I organised the first LGBT group gathering at work. We were seven people and I was the only girl. And the only single. And the lowest in the hierarchy. Everyone was kinda super married or “buying a flat together”. It was fun but I was once again feeling out of place within my supposingly own crowd, and my flamboyance didn’t help me that time. So I had two Pornstars – a fab passion fruit cocktail that comes with a shot of champagne on the side – and I went drunk to the 5 Rhythms dance class. The effects of alcohol made me cry and my face ended up covered with mascara. People asked me if I was fine. “Don’t worry, it’s the pornstars”, I said. Since then, I’ve decided to take a break from drinking.

Saturday afternoon,

I went to the Body Mind Soul show at Alexandra Palace. It was funny in a creepy way. It was all vegans, yoga teachers, magical stones and tarot readers. There were lectures such as ‘Find your inner Goddess’ or ‘Meditate with your dog’ (I swear that I am not making anything up). My flatmate Ο took me there because a friend of his was giving a talk about the Law of Attraction. O is heartbroken. While I was in the Californian desert without wifi, some domestic drama happened in London. My female flatmate left my male flatmate and moved out. So now, it is me & the boys at home. O & I decided to be partners in crime and do as many random things as possible to help each other on the path of reopening to life.

Saturday night,

O & I went to a party in an art studio in Archway. It was a beautiful white space with several artists studios and a DJ. I was wearing my poney pencil dress and drinking smoothie because alcohol makes me see life in a dark light (see above). I made a LOT of new friends. One of them wanted to set me up really hard with a super cool lesbian who wasn’t at the party. She even started Facetiming the girl to introduce me live. Thank God she didn’t pick up, cause I wasn’t exactly prepared for this. The cool girl is a high level barber. I am meeting her next week.

Sunday evening,

O & I watched The Seven Year Itch in our pyjamas. It is the cult movie where Marilyn Monroe stands over a subway grate which lifts her cult white dress and reveals her cult legs. It is a brilliantly written comedy. At some point, the poor married man trying to resist her charms kicks her out and says: “Please go! Take your potato chips and go!” We both cracked up. I told him that we must make a bet on that line. Whoever manages to bring a girl over and asks her to leave with “Take your potato chips and go” will win a priceless price.

Oh yay. I sense this is going to be a fun winter.

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GenderFuckers

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When did my gender confusion begin?

Probably 18 months ago in New York. I threw myself into dancing the 5 Rhythms, and I had multiple dance floor male attractions. I thought “Wow! Male energy is cool!” which had never really occured to me in real life. Some of these exalted attractions turned into proper desire, which has ongoingly thrown me off.

Till that point, my world had mostly been vertically split, a binary boy/girl division between whom I could like or not. But I’m finally finding out that there is no split, no opposition. Male and female energies are entangled in a circle.

I’ve started rethinking the concept of sexual orientation for my own self. My belief is that attraction is the result of a mysterious equation between people, which takes into account a yin/yang balance and their respective wounds. Gender is a minor factor. But I’ve been left with a conceptual void to identify how I feel.

If you screw the concept of sexual orientation, what do you replace it with? Bi-sexuality? Too binary. Pan-sexuality? Too voracious. The trendy concept of sexual fluidity? I don’t like fashions.

I learned the term ‘two-spirit‘ in San Francisco. It is a native Amerindian concept for people who have both male and female spirit in them. Amerindians were way more advanced than Westerners. They had four admitted genders instead of two. That’s the term that I like best amongst all the options.

It feels like there are new designations for human sexuality every month. Of course, you can always get away with it by saying “I refuse labels”, and I understand that. But look, I am an intellectual (LOL) and I am obsessed with articulating my thoughts and defining my feelings with accuracy. I therefore need a meaningful vocabulary for everything, including the map of desire. Isn’t violence supposed to be caused by a lack of words? Also, I’d rather pick a descriptive for myself before someone else does it wrongly for me.

I am agitated with all those questions because the beyond sexy Í came back in my world and in my bed.

He visited me last week, to bring me back the luggage that I left in Brighton after the Gay Pride (with my house keys in it, cause I love trouble). We went dancing the 5 Rhythms and he slept over at mine. He had no pyjamas, so I lent him my cropped T-shirt of the Kinsey Sicks – a drag-queen band – and my see-through black lace knickers, the largest I’ve got. He looked terrific in that outfit. I was wearing the male Ralph Lauren boxers that my New York gay husband gave me. I had an astral projection of what we were looking like while cuddling in bed and I laughed my head off. “We are gender fuckers”, I said.

We talked in the dark for a long time. We discussed our sexual attraction, which is the most natural yet the most odd thing in the world since, dare I say it, we are both gay as fuck. We don’t act on it, because this would make us momentarily straight and we are not ready to assume that. “I could make you feel very feminine”, he told me. I am sure I blushed in the dark. I am not saying I wouldn’t like that. He added: “We are genderly equal. You can be stronger at times and I’ll let go my feminine side, and the other way around.” I have been craving for gender equity. It is a total illusion to believe that there is gender equity between two girls. Fuck no. The most feminine-looking tends to be dominated at every level – I ironically wonder why?

My relationship with Í is awesome. I love him. He sees through me, beyond the shiny surface. He nails me. I am not used to people grasping me accurately. They usually see me either too good or too dumb, or they are thrown off by my contrasts and handle that for drama-queenness.

He diagnosed me “bisexual”. “For sure”, he insisted.

OK. Maybe. What now?

The Museum of Broken Relationships

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I am donating my fetish red Chanel lipstick to the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb.

I recently heard about its existence. α7, my flatmate in Berlin, visited me upon her return from Croatia. She said it would be the kind of place I would love, because it is full of anonymous human stories.

I’ve decided to submit an object for their collection because I want to leave a trace of my late love story somewhere outside of me. I am donating the gift that my ex-woman got me for my 30th birthday, both to unload my emotional burden and to raise awareness on contemporary homophobia. I want people to read about it in a museum. Sometimes, I realise that some people don’t really believe me when I mention homophobia. They imagine that everyone’s cool with gayness in the Western world because they are. No, everyone’s not cool with it. It might sound redundant, but it is a forever useful reminder to say that there’s a long way to go (and I won’t shut my big fucking mouth until I die).

I had to write my story in the donation form:

“That was it, we were breaking up over fucking homophobia and its mindfucking side effects. All that happened a month before my 30th birthday. Although we were in the process of breaking up, we were still loving each other, living together, doing everything together and having passionate sex. We decided to celebrate my birthday in style.

My 30th was the apotheosis of our life together. She threw me an awesome party, invited my sister as a surprise, paid for everything. There wasn’t an ounce of sorrow or regret that night. I was ecstatic. She got me a red Chanel lipstick to welcome me into womanhood. The shade was called ‘Pirate’. It was my first piece of Chanel make up. A revelation. I was feeling empowered wearing it. That’s almost the only item that I’ve kept from our life together. I donated most of her gifts.

After my 30th, that was it, things declined, we parted to our own individual path. That’s over a year that I haven’t seen her. I cut off every communication. I never want to see or hear of her again and I struggle to forgive her for all that she did. A friend of mine ran into her on the bus a few months ago. She finally came out to her parents. They reacted awfully. They told her not to come back to their house until she had changed.

She turned 30 this year, and because 30 is a special number in our story, I wrote her a letter to acknowledge her coming out and tell her I was sorry about her homophobic barbarian parents. She never replied. Our love is old history now, but she sometimes still visits me in my dreams. I want her to be fine. I know things would have turned out differently between us if same-sex love was more acceptable. We were a disastrous waste.”

Everyone is welcome to submit an object and tell the story that goes with it to the Museum of Broken Relationships: https://brokenships.com/en/join/send_your_exhibit

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Unravel

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I was born in July and all my life, my birthdays have been in different cities/countries, with different people. The context of my life anyway changes dramatically from one year to the other.

I love it.

This year, my birthday consisted in two sleepless nights. Saturday night was warehouse partying: home made semi-failed mojitos (I am terrible at crushing ice) & home made candy kebabs*. It took me an hour to put all the damn gummy bears on the skewers. My flatmate had a suspicious look at my fabulous creations and said: “Happy 5th birthday!” I liked the joke but felt misunderstood, just like my spiced berry kirs were. It turned all good in the end. We laughed a lot, debated about prostitution and feminism, I won the blind test, and we have candy kebabs for the rest of the month.

I spent the actual day of my birthday in bed to recover from the craziness and from life in general. The following night was what I call impromptu awesomeness.

My cult camera operator friend H was in town from Los Angeles to shoot a film in East Sussex. She was in London for one night only before catching her plane back to America, and out of all the days which Universe could have picked for this magical catch up to happen, it actually chose my birthday. Our friendship is sewn with threads of that Impromptu Awesomeness.

I met her at sunset in the East London hipster hotel where she was staying with the director of the movie she’s working on. He’s a super cool guy from Oklahoma who makes marriage sound fun and who promised to put me in contact with an astrologer/wisdom teacher/feminist writer/lesbian-gone-straight-gone-lesbian-again badass woman in her 60s. I am thirsty for some spiritual witchcraft guidance since my witch grandmother Paulette passed away.

I found myself face to face with H around midnight. I hadn’t seen her since we went down the aisle together as a bridesmaids duo for ε’s wedding last October. She was holding me back because I was walking down the aisle too fast and we were trying hard not to laugh.

We went to the photo booth of the hotel lobby because it is a tradition in our group of friends to immortalise every time that at least two of us are in the same city. We are so geographically scattered that every encounter counts as History.

We went to her room which had a huge sofa, mountains of cushions and diverse props and gadgets. We giggled at the hispter cheesiness of the decor. She had to wake up at 6 to go to the airport so we decided to talk through the night.

She sat on the floor and started packing her luggage. She asked me how I was. But in her own way, really meaning it and expecting a proper answer free from bullshit. She was packing her underwear at the same time. She was rolling them instead of folding them, and I first got intrigued, then hypnotised by the speed of her gestures. I was watching the rolling choreography of her hands as she was unravelling me. As if she sensed that she had to create a diversion for my focus in order to make me shed my resistance.

I am not a girl who verbalises much ; which certainly doesn’t mean that I don’t express myself. I just have the hardest time articulating things in a face to face dialogue, although I paradoxically write letters where I strip naked to the core. I have no scruples either exposing the most intimate details of my life into nebulous virtual networks. (It is actually not paradoxal but coherent).

I am shameless in writing but I need serious trigger into speaking. H led me softly into it. When I answered her first question, everything else followed. I understood at that moment that she really understands and cares for me. She just knows.

Our conversation got so deep and intensely in the moment that I felt in ‘Thelma & Louise’ for a second. I don’t know why. There is a scene where the girls are already on the run from the police, and Louise has a now or never type of conversation with her boyfriend in an anonymous motel room. They are seating face to face. She rethinks her whole life and their relationship because they have only a few hours ahead before dawn is breaking. She senses that she may not see him again. It is an irrelevant comparison at the extent that H & I are not planning to jump into the Grand Canyon, but as we also had a countdown against dawn, we had an emergency to spit out the real stuff about ourselves.

It’s interesting what two girls coming across as strong and dominant but claiming their right to be vulnerable talk about when they are meeting. When I met H, I almost instantly related to her experience of the outside world, of how we are white canvases where most people project their believes of who they think we are ; because we are blonde and smooth at the surface. But we are fucking ambitious and have our very personal vision of the world on the inside. And we are dying to express it.

We fell asleep in the end, for an hour and a half. I helped her carry her sophisticated camera operator gear downstairs and I hugged her in the London rain of July. I said one of the coolest lines ever: “See you in Los Angeles!” I am going for her birthday in the fall. We visit each other in our natural habitats for our big day. How does that rate on the scale of fabulousness?

I fucking love that girl.

The title of this post is an obvious tribute to Björk – Unravel (cover by my dear friends So & Lo)

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Dancer In The Dark

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In April, my faith took a break in the dark.

I spent most of my free time sleeping, not out of tiredness but out of general demotivation.

Then, I got the visit of a bunch of old friends who revived me to the core. My main husband λ came with his husband and we laughed and giggled. We went for a casual Sunday walk and ended up on an adventure in the middle of a magical forest and in the fields. The three of us together bought the most WTF dress ever, original vintage from the 50s & rainbow coloured. It was in the window of a gift shop with no price tag on it, because they probably never expected to sell it. It certainly did have a tag with my name though. I now deserve my own float at the Gay Pride, as the Godmother surannée of all the gay people in the world. I feel that the dress needs a second life after being stuck in the conventions of its original era – but after all what do I know? Maybe it was worn by the inventor of LSD.

I went with λ for a walk on a golf course in the WTF dress (there’s no better way to describe it) and I got stuck in brambles. He had to rescue me. He told me off because I wear my unbelievable clothes in the wrong context. He doesn’t know what it feels like to spin in a fluffy dress in the nature though.

α3, one of my iconic American friends, dropped me a kiss in London in between planes. We were 5 people for my queen size bed so I made a sleeping rota.

I’m writing this at Heathrow airport. My flight to Tel Aviv is delayed. Airports and transportations of all type are my favourite places to write. As soon as I feel the motion, ideas hit my head.

I woke up at 5am and headed to London City Airport. I saw the industrial buildings of the docks bathed in the light of the early morning. I remembered the couple of months when I lived there last summer. I’m more aligned with myself now.

At the airport, adrenaline for the adventure finally kicked in. I saw on a TV screen that it’s Eurovision tonight. Eurovision in Tel Aviv! I never forgot Dana International in her Gaultier dress with wings.

My first flight was delayed by 3 hours so British Airways gave me a food voucher and put me on a taxi to Heathrow with a bag of goodies and another guy heading to Israel as well. We had the best sightseeing tour of London ever, following the Thames river and admiring the legendary monuments. We got stuck in traffic by Big Ben at 10am sharp, so we could enjoy the sound of the bells. I hadn’t heard it since I moved back here in 2010.

I told the guy that I loved being a tourist in my city, to justify the silly pictures I was taking.

Now, that’s it, my flight is delayed again. I’m wearing my Virgin Mary earrings for protection as my colleague told me “Have a blast in Israel!” when I left work last night. It made me laugh. I’m not really scared.

My main worry now is that I’m going to miss the opening ceremony of the Eurovision.

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The Pina Bausch Series – Episode #1: Nelken

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This is the story of how Pina Bausch irrupted in my life, turned it upside down and inspired it for ever after.

It’s been 10 years of awesome relationship.

It all started in February 2005. I had been living in London for 3 months, working in an organic grocery that I hated.

I got involved a little with a customer who was an American university professor in his 50s (and a foot fetish but that’s a different story).

He knew my passion for dance as I had recently graduated in contemporary dance myself. One day, he came to the shop and told me that I had to go and see this famous German choreographer whose company was performing at the Sadler’s Wells theatre. I knew her name from my dance history course, but I had a fairly blurred knowledge of her work. The guy really convinced me. I don’t know why I took his advice although I otherwise didn’t have an immense respect for his opinion. This man only entered my life to point me the direction of the TanzTheater Wuppertal and vanished.

After work that day, I queued outside the theatre hours before the show, hoping for a last minute ticket as it was obviously sold out. I had £25 in my pocket. I couldn’t go beyond.

While I was waiting in line, a cab stopped in front on the main entrance and a very thin and pale lady dressed all in black got out. She had a little grin on her face. Someone said: “That’s Pina Bausch!” I saw her in the flesh twice in my life, and that was the first.

As time was passing by, I was renouncing to ever be able to make it to the show that day. Suddenly, someone touched my shoulder: “Are you by yourself?” Of course I was. “One ticket is available. It’s £25.” Bingo. I was holding the precious ticket like Charlie did when he got his toWilly Wonka’s chocolate factory. I still remember the name of the original owner in print on the magical door opener: “Cohen“. Bless you Mr or Mrs Cohen. Your no-show changed the course of my emotional life.

I was one of the last people to get in, and I was still breathless from rushing up the stairs when they turned off the light of the room. The stage was entirely covered  with a field of fresh carnations. Music from the 20s started playing. Women in long shimmering dresses appeared on stage carrying chairs. They put the chairs down and sat on them. Then, nothing. They were sitting still, looking at us with the old music crackling in the background. I got the goosebumps and a rush of tears, just like that. I felt so close to the dancers all of a sudden that I could smell their hairspray from the second circle. I got hit by proper genius just as if I got hit by love at the first sight. My life was taking a turn because someone was finally talking to me.

When the giant Lutz Förster performed The Man I Love by Gershwin in sign language (see video below), that was it, Pina had just put a ring on my finger. I never took it off.

It’s been my strongest theatre moment so far – and possibly one of my strongest life moment. I’m not exaggerating. I never want to see that show again because I want to carry my initial memory of it on my death bed.

After that night, I was ecstatic for a few days, life was suddenly wonderful. People around me didn’t quite get my excitement for what they thought was a dance show – solemn and pompous. I kept saying: “You don’t get it guys, you don’t get it, I can’t explain. You have to see.”

I vowed to see a Pina show every February of my life. I’m proud to say that I only missed 2007, 2010 and 2011.

But I compensated by going multiple times other years.

I saw Ahnen on the stage of the Sadler’s Wells last night. That’s the fifteenth piece I’ve seen in ten years. The dancers feel like some kind of family now, I know all their names, I see their evolution. I notice the newcomers. I’ve been in their trail for so long.

I wouldn’t miss for the world my yearly rendez-vous with the TanzTheater Wuppertal and the spirit of Pina.

The Pina Bausch Series – Episode #4: Dancing With Dominique

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In 2008, I was living in Paris. One morning of February, I got on the Eurostar to go and see Pina Bausch’s Café Müller and The Rite of the Spring in London.

I had to honour my vow to meet up with the TanzTheater Wuppertal every February of my life.

When I got off the train in the British capital, I walked a few steps on the platform, and my heart jumped. There was this tall, gracious and so familiar silhouette a few meters ahead of me. I travelled on the same train as Dominique Mercy, the most iconic dancer of the TanzTheater Wuppertal and long-life friend and muse of Pina Bausch.

It is not in my habits to act like a groupie, but before I knew it, I started running to catch him up. I engaged conversation with him, in French, of course.

-“Vous êtes Dominique Mercy? – Oui. – I am going to see you perform Café Müller tonight. I came to London just for the show! – What an honour!”

He replied as if he wasn’t one of the most idolised dancers of the world who had been acclaimed for decades on the most prestigious international stages. I could notice that among the dance artists, the more talented and recognised they are, the more humble and putting themselves into question they seem. Huge artists are humanly fascinating. They are a different breed of people. I feel privileged to have received little inspirational pieces here and there.

I asked him if he was ever teaching masterclasses. He said that he was sometimes invited at the Ateliers de Paris Carolyn Carlson as a guest teacher. We exchanged a few more words, and when our paths split, he turned at me and said “A ce soir!” (“See you tonight!”) What an exquisite human being. Equally beautiful on and off the stage.

I started monitoring the program of the Ateliers de Paris Carolyn Carlson, and my patience paid off.

In February 2010, two years after my lucky encounter at St Pancras International station with Dominique Mercy, I got accepted on a week intensive workshop he was teaching. That year, my February rendez-vous with the TanzTheater Wuppertal would be of the dancing kind.

On the first day of the workshop, I arrived early at La Cartoucherie de Vincennes, an awesome theatre complex near the woods right outside Paris.

We were starting in the morning with a technical contemporary class till lunch break. But we were going so much into the depth of the emotion and interpretation of the movement in each exercise that we ended up having lunch in the middle of the afternoon without realising. Time was suspended. We were magnetised. Every clue, every explanation that Dominique was giving us was a pure dance gold drop.

Dominique was restless in class. He gave his energy without counting, although he was already 60 at the time. (He is 65 now and still performing.) When we were doing the exercises 2 by 2 in a diagonal, he was doing the movements full out with each group, and we were about 30 young dancers in the workshop. By the time each of us had done the routine once, he had done it 15 times without showing any sign of fatigue.

He was singing along with the live musician, making jokes. He was so lively and funny in the studio. When one of us would call him to get an explanation or to ask to show a movement again, he was walking at the person making the sound of an ambulance, like “Rescue is on its way.”

He didn’t even bother eating real lunch, just nibbling a few biscuits. Dance really seemed to feed him.

After the break, we were learning an excerpt from the répertoire of Pina Bausch until the end of the day.

Dominique was teaching us a variation from Masurca Fogoa piece by Pina Bausch inspired by Lisbon. There is a movement at some point where we put our closed fist on our forehead. Dominique showed us the exact position of the hand. He then moved his fist a few centimetres up and said: “If you put your hand there, it conveys a different message.” He went back and forth between the two positions to let us appreciate the difference of meaning. Pure genius pedagogy.

Dancing with Dominique for a week equalled ten years of regular training.

What is striking about his teaching is that absolutely everything makes sense, just like a choreography by Pina Bausch. The roots and reasons behind every single prop or gesture are thought of just like in the science of our dreams.

The body and the psyche are coordinated together so that the spectator can actually relate to it. It resonates with everyone, because it has been thought of over and over again until it is charged with signification. There is nothing random or abstract about the language of Pina Bausch, that’s why her success as a choreographer was so huge across cultures and millions of people could identify to her dance-theatre. That dance language is so clever.

It was moving to observe Dominique from so close, to watch his legendary arms. He was filling the space in an impressive manner. His resemblance with Pina Bausch only stroke me in the studio. I hadn’t realised by seeing him on stage how much these two looked like dance twins. No wonder they found and recognised each other instantly.

The last day of the workshop, the rehearsal was opened to the public. Some people of the press were there alongside some anonymous lovers of Pina Bausch. It wasn’t a formal show but an intense and captivating work session like we had been doing the whole week.

I wanted to go and talk to Dominique at the end of the performance, saying I don’t know exactly what, asking how I could get involved with the company, something along those lines. But I didn’t. I didn’t see the point after all. I wasn’t sure of myself. I lacked courage.

Instead, at the end of the show and of this magical dance week, I got introduced by a friend to the girl who was going to become my girlfriend. She had just arrived in Paris for a few days. “Congratulations!” she said as she kissed my red and sweaty cheeks. A new chapter of my life instantly opened as the last one was barely closed.

Fate and its mysterious timings.

The pictures of the workshop are the property of Patrick Berger, photographer. I am the little blonde dancer at the far right on the last picture, in the purple tights. 

The Emotion Extinguisher

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I saw a dance-theatre piece by Pina Bausch on Wednesday, called “Auf dem Gebirge hat man ein Geschrei gehört” (‘On the mountain a cry was heard’).

Out of the 14 pieces by Pina Bausch that I’ve seen, this one was the most violent towards women. It is a beloved theme of the choreographer. Of course. She was observing people trapped like insects in the fish tank of human condition and putting that material straight from the theatre of life to the stage of a theatre. It is disturbing when what is happening on stage is barely an allegory.

Men were grabbing women, assaulting and torturing them. In return, women were yelling and struggling for their life and freedom, drowning in a thick layer of earth. It left me breathless with a strange yet familiar discomfort in the core of my body.

There is a recurrent scene throughout the piece where a group of men chase a girl and capture her to force her into kissing a man. It’s the most eloquent metaphor of marriage and hetero-normativity I’ve ever seen embodied. Absolutely brilliant. It acted on me like a real catharsis. It dig up emotions I attempt real hard to bury. I’m forever grateful to Pina Bausch to stage my feelings so I can flush them out at the theatre once a year.

I’ve built myself around a very strong implicit rule: “SUPPRESS YOUR EMOTIONS”. (“And even if you happen to feel something, don’t express it as much as possible, because they will use it against you”.)

There was no space for emotion in the household where I grew up. There was no space for emotion as a student. There is no space for emotion at work or in almost any of my human relationships. There was no space for emotion anywhere I’ve been apart from the theatre and the dance floor. My flow is well contained, in a determined square within a public place at fixed hours.

It remains a bottomless taboo for me to expose to my entourage “I’m desperate/sad/angry/scared”. Who cares?

All my life, I had to be in constant action. Emotion immobilises you because it is energy and thought consuming. I don’t want to be disturbed. I’ve therefore disciplined myself to be an expert at extinguishing my emotions as soon as fire breaks out on my inside. I am a firewoman to my own vulnerability. Vulnerability grosses me out. It always did.

A mysterious force has been slowly taking over me, though. Since the turn of the new year. Since Í guided me super gently into new erotic paths.

Something has been awaking in my core in the last months. An awareness that my body and emotions have always been disconnected. I have been gauging my unexplained split, my disability at being emotional in the intimate.

OK. I take infinite pride in fucking without feelings, because as a girl, it still shocks people and I find that particularly empowering (and funny). But even when I thought I was making love, I realise that I wasn’t. Feels like I wasn’t that present to myself or the other after all. Where was I? Lost somewhere on the queer activism field singing a sex-positive manifesto such as “Every time we fuck, we win”? I always had things to prove or a revolution to make.

What about my physical, spiritual and cerebral sensations?

Something’s warming up inside me. I will take a new turn soon, I will finally embrace something beautiful. What contour will it have? Everything is open.

I started 2015 in a strange way. My therapist explained me that the reason why the body and emotions would split so heavily is that a trauma happened. It took me a moment to understand what she actually implied. I fought the idea for as long as I could.

My first ever male attraction, which I’ve been experiencing for almost a year now, has been bringing up memories to the surface of my skin, triggering waves of odd images and hidden desires. I have been profoundly disturbed since our last encounter.

I don’t know if I will ever know for sure, but I am taming the thought that this revelation might be right.

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Auf dem Gebirge hat man ein Geschrei gehört by Pina Bausch – Picture by Uwe Schinkel

Allegory Of The Closet

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I was away to the Homeland for some time, busy sponging waves of human drama but not forgetting about my own.

I was told that Mother Earth is currently shifting energies, transitioning from yin to yang (or the other way around) which explains the series of catastrophes, diseases and fights since the beginning of the year.

Don’t we all magnetically feel an impending change coming? There may be hope for better tomorrows.

I am initiating my deep changes as well. OK, I say that all the time. But right now, I swear it is different.

I am feeling at a similar stage of my life as back in the summer of 2009. When my nerves broke. I often think about that episode. It’s the period of time when I finally got the courage to bury and mourn for my heterosexuality. I had to endure a nervous breakdown to officially come out of the closet.

I fucked a boy for the last time in the Spring of that year, the week that I started my internship as a cultural journalist. I was 25. He was a tango teacher from Columbia wearing Hawaiian shirts. It ended in my blood. After that, I buried myself in work around the clock and became the shadow of myself. At least, I wasn’t thinking. My subconscious – or some mysterious spiritual forces – started manifesting, though.

A very visceral and deep structural change operated in my guts despite myself. I was harassed by homoerotic dreams after seeing Sunshine Cleaning, an American indie movie. There was this party scene where the so desirable Emily Blunt wears a candy necklace. A girl eats from her neck. Oh man. I remember the shiver in my body in the obscurity of the cinema. I wanted to be the girls on screen. All the gay people in the world have their cult homoerotic scenes, the ones that triggered their own desire. (Ask around, it’s a funny game). I have 3: the sweet derrière of Mylène Farmer in the clip of Pourvu qu’elles soient douces (I was 7)Cécile de France in L’Auberge espagnole (I was 19) and the inénarrable Emily Blunt.

I am grateful that my desire finally grew stronger than my will.

With all the messy changes in my core and my broken nerves in the background, I got close to a girl I was working with. She was more or less at the same stage of her lesbian life as me. We were talking more and more about our doubts and desires during our evening shifts at the sublime and posh concert hall Salle Pleyel. The night before I flew to Toronto for my American summer tour, I made her sleep over at mine after my leaving party where we all ended up in our underwear. Everyone left and I don’t know how I made her stay. Then, I made the first move. I clearly remember the moment when she opened my lips to kiss me. Something flowed in my brain. Her tongue swept away all the remnants of the heterosexual preconceptions that I had of myself. She uprooted my certitudes and moved them to Lesboland.

I left to the Americas in the morning with a 9 week adventure ahead of me. I needed to digest my new identity far away from my mother tongue.

That’s funny, I saw that girl again last week. We remained good friends. She’s getting married in July to her girlfriend and is hoping to be pregnant by the end of the year. She picked the same wedding dress as her fiancée without knowing. As for me, I fuck coke addicts in cars and explore the world on my own. Everything’s at the right place. Our intimate worlds only collided that one night, and it was great that way.

Six years have gone by and I am again on the verge of a nervous breakdown of a different kind. How many times do I have to collapse to reach my true colours? I’m feeling the urge of a new coming out, as strong as the sexual one. I want my deep identity to explode to the face of the world. I believe I am a closeted creative soul and I’m ashamed to say that I want my life to be about that.

There’s something taboo in the action of creating something, because the result only exists in the eye of whoever will watch and like you, and I hate begging for attention. I like being liked, but I don’t want to do anything at all to make people like me. It doesn’t interest me to chase love and recognition. If you like me, good for you, but if you don’t, I won’t try one bit to convince you.

This is how I am a closeted creative girl.

Every single one of my skin pores is sweating for change though, and I am close to implosion, as if my creativity needed to get laid by the right person. I can’t think of a better image. Sex & creation are pretty much the same struggle.

Anyway, everything changes all the time and my life constantly bounces like a kangaroo, but there is one element of steadiness. A recurrent question burns my thoughts till obsession.

Who’s going to love me body & soul? And above all, who’s going to love my brain?

Photos by me (check out that framing!)

1. Grave of Mme Troboa Murcella Asskari (1970-1994) at Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris 2. ‘Trying to be Frida’ by artist Emilio Lopez-Menchero 3. Altered Image I by Deborah Kass (copy of a picture of Andy Warhol dressed as a girl) 4. Evelyn, the cat I live with 5. Simona, a lady I met at the Bull Dog in Brighton. We had the same coat and the same earrings. 6. Anonymous street art in East London 7. Billie Holiday in 1948 photographed by William P. Gottlieb 8. Summer, a cat who lived at my house for a month but left today because she was mean to Evelyn 9. Transgender Miss in Latin America 10. Collection of Jesus statues at my neighbours’ who got them from a movie set they worked on

La Chienne Sans Collier (The Bitch Without a Leash)

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I’ve been dragging around a growing feeling of misfitness in the last weeks.

I feel like a misfit at work, where my “originality” and assertion are getting suspicious and play against me. I am a misfit around people my age who settle in relationships whilst I am pushing the barriers of self-exploration always further. My aim in this life is to reach a level of zero self-censorship or self-judgement. Whatever I feel like doing, I’ll manage some day to not even question my desire and sink into it.

When the debate about gay marriage broke out in France, there was one speech that summarised it all and that I wish I had written.

It was the tribune written by the lesbian writer Virginie Despentes in the gay magazine Têtu in November 2012. In that text, she compares gay women to bitches (as in female dogs) with no leash. It’s brilliant. That’s the most accurate definition of lesbianism I’ve ever heard. This comparison applies not only to lesbians but to all the girls who are a bit too free, too loud or too assertive.

The original version reads: “Je sais, je comprends, ça gêne l’oppresseur quand deux chiennes oublient le collier, ça gêne pour les maintenir sous le joug de l’hétérosexualité, c’est ennuyeux, on les tient moins bien.” (“I understand that it may bother the oppressor when two bitches forget to put on a collar, it makes it more difficult to maintain them within heterosexuality. That’s annoying, you can’t restrain them that well.”) Apologies for the poor translation but you get the idea.

Since I read this, every time I’ve been in a social context where I am being criticised or where my nature makes me feel implicitly awkward or different – not necessarily related to my gayness, but more to my combination of femininity and power – I think of that image and it gives me courage.

Hum. Let me scan my memory. When did my bitch trouble start? I believe this feeling has been a long-life companion. I would almost be wobbly without it. As a teenager, I remember the women of my family trying to control my appearance and relationships and the men of my family trying to control my studies and future career. It wasn’t easy, but I won both battles. This was my fuck you school.

In what situations does my bitch-without-a-leash-ness feeling concretely manifest?

1/ When straight guys attempt to make me feel like I have no judgment upon what I like in bed and behave with me as if I didn’t mean what I say (see screenshots above – and that’s just a sample. I gave myself the mission to educate every single ignorant guy in the universe.)

2/ When some girls I got intimate with first enjoyed that I am a “power bottom” with barely no sexual limits, and all of a sudden only one of us was a slut. (Girls are so prompt to call another girl a slut. Lesbians are so prompt to become dreadful machos if you happen to be more fem than them. One has to explain me something: why is this power relation between dom and sub still going? Why is there an eternal despise for the one who enjoys receiving whether it is a boy/girl, boy/boy or girl/girl configuration? This kills me. Enjoying receiving sex is a sublime thing and should never be associated with slutness.)

3/ Because I don’t compromise on the way I present myself. I don’t want to trade my clothes to look more respectable, because if people stop for a minute and listen to what I say, they’ll see that I am and that my style has nothing to do with it.

4/ Because I am a lightning rod in the corporate world as I verbalise what everyone thinks but doesn’t really say. I know that I am perceived as unpredictable, because I don’t have a standard life and attitude. I got drunk with my senior manager the other night and in the flow of the conversation she said in a friendly way: “I don’t find you very obedient.” There we go. I took it as a compliment, but I should have checked out of curiosity whether it really was one.

5/ Family reunions. Not even worth developing as it is too obvious. My family knows about 20% of what is really happening in my life, and yet I have to tone it down.

6/ Simply walking alone in some cities is a constant reminder that you are a bitch without a leash (aka a man).

Last time I saw my therapist we got in a heated debate and I lost my nerves. I think I started shouting a little. I was asking the questions for a change: “In what moments of her life do you think a girl like me can feel like she is fully herself? How often do you think I can experience full freedom at the intensity that I need? There are three spaces of expression that I know of: the dance floor, writing my life on my blog, and potentially sex with a very intelligent and accepting partner.” 

I am still waiting on the third one.