Friday, April 8, 2011

Good As You meeting on 7th April 2011

So Vinay and I were talking about yesterday's meeting - I was awake in the morning, which is a minor miracle - and he mentioned that two Slovenian writers were going to be there. I tend to keep my Thursday evenings booked for GAY meetings, and this time I sent you lazy lot (so many maybes, and only one actual show!) emails and texts and Facebook harassings to let you know that good stuff was happening.

Anyway. I got there a little early and so had time to red little samples of the writers' work - Vinay had pamphlets of Contemporary Slovenian Writers (for prose and poetry separately) lying around - I didn't read through much of the poetry, but I did devour the prose - names I now aim to keep track of include Maja Novak and Andrej Blatnik.

Suzana Tratnik was in there too, with two short stories titled "Animal Kingdom" and "Reckless Boy". Suzana Tratnik is our first Slovenian writer/translator/activist - if I remember right she has three novels published. She founded (co-founded? can't remember) one of the earliest activist social groups in Slovenia, back in the 80s or so. She's currently not officially a member of any groups, and organises the Slovenian queer film festival with Brane Mozetic and others. I liked her stories - in translation they had a spare, lucid style. Minimal, intense, framing the subject matter for view without banging on about it blatantly. Reminded me a bit of Raymond Carver.

Brane Mozetic was our poet - I leafed through Banalities, his latest collection, but couldn't really focus since I was also trying to pay attention to the conversation around me. His (translated) verse seemed, from my brief reading, to be fluid, even tender. I need to read/hear him again before I can be sure, though. Mozetic is one of the organisers of the Slovenian queer film festival and is the editor of a small press, whose name I never asked for because I am an idiot. Like Tratnik, Mozetic was an early member of activist groups in Slovenia and I do not currently remember if he is still actively a member of any of them.

(Obviously they're both active, just not... members.)

The meeting was a bit of give and take - Tratnik and Mozetic asked about our general out-ness and our lives, we asked about the Slovenian queer scene - Slovenia is bloody tiny! It is weird and wonderful both. (There was this hilarious moment when we had to admit that we weren't sure where precisely Slovenia was, which means I have to be nice to Americans from now on for evermore.)

A WHaQ member from We're Here and Beer - yeah, that one, we love you, A! had asked me to write on this blog about the Moderate Lesbian. As opposed to the extreme over the top lesbian we here about. I asked about this extreme lesbian, the stereotypical Indian lesbian, in the meeting, and over a discussion that ranged from porn to What-Is-The-Stereotypical-Indian-Lesbian, we established that there doesn't seem to be a desi stereotype, that there isn't an established "Authentic Indian Lesbian", that since we are people we cannot be authentic artifacts anyway, and many other things which I shall discuss in a longer post. I'm linking this over the WHaQ email, by the way. One of the nice things, I do want to note right here, about not having a pre-established desi stereotype is that it leaves us free to be as true to our various lesbian, bisexual, unlabelled, transgender, asexual selves as we choose. We're free, or at least we could be.

S. was there, and WHaQ members might remember her current funding efforts for two partners fallen on bad times - the Good As You collection for the meeting was made over to her as a collective contribution.

Then most of us went to Koshy's. I haven't mentioned this before, but one of our new members attended the meeting, and she came to Koshy's too; it was a nice chance for me to get to know her better. I'm glad you were there, B!

Today, at 6:30, Tratnik and Mozetic are reading from their latest work at 1 Shanthi road, and I am now signing off since I want to get there on time.
{Edited to add: I've placed the post on my personal blog, mostly because the reading was not ncessarily a queer-themed one. The readings were excellent, though, so if you don't mine my pimping myself out here: The Reading.}

And again: those of us who feel comfortable going to a new group, to meet strangers, should try Good As You meetings. Good As You is a safe zone like WHaQ, and I think there are loads of us who would like the atmosphere. Think about it?

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