Litquake Lit Crawl LesboDad Lipflappin’

literary cogniscenti on the move
San Francisco literati on on the move at the LitCrawl, 10.14.06.

This past weekend, yrs truly had the honor of reading in public about my madcap journey to lesbian fatherhood. Litquake, San Francisco’s week-long literary festival, is dotted with readings, workshops, and performances celebrating writers and writing. Capping it off is LitCrawl, an inspired multi-venue event modeled after a pub crawl. Simultaneous readings are staged at cafés, bars, bookstores, and laundromats (you think I jest about the laundromats? feast your eyes!). It starts happening at one end of the action-packed Mission District, and then folks mosey southward, every hour on the hour, regrouping at different venues for different readings, ending up finally at a party for one and all. If your town doesn’t do something like this you need to grab it by the lapels and insist it does.

At “Mommy Lit: The Pleasures, Perils, and Politics of Motherhood,” I was thrilled to read with an impressive bunch of women probing motherhood from all sorts of different angles. Herewith, links to their sites/projects: Joan Blades, Katherine Ellison, Kate Hodson, Ericka Lutz, and Rachel Sarah. Peter Hartlaub, SF Chronicle pop culture critic and contributor to The Poop, the Chronicle’s parenting blog, graciously emcee’ed. (Here’s a nifty piece of his on Bay Area stay-at-home-dads that I read back in July.)

Characteristic of my liminal gender and parental state (both gal and not-gal; both mom and dad) I felt simultaneously at home and out of place reading with other straight women about motherhood. Go figure. I’m sure I’d have felt more out of place reading with straight men about fatherhood. But it’s not like I’m a gal without a country: I am convinced this non-bio lesbo parent community is at least the size of Liechtenstein, population-wise. It’s just that Liechtenstein wasn’t in the house Saturday night. Even so, my reportage was warmly received by an audience whom I’ll guess was 90% hetero women. I think it testifies to the fact that when those of us who are queer fight to create social, political, and emotional space for our parenthoods, we can’t help but expand the horizons of possibility (mostly around liberating gender roles) for other parents. It’s palpable, and it’s welcome by anyone chafing under the yoke of motherhoods and fatherhoods too narrowly defined. More liberated us; more liberated our kids. All good.

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