The richest girl in town. (fightingwords) wrote,
The richest girl in town.

Hella Pretty Army Benefit for Fran Varian Wednesday!

Only two days left until the Hella Pretty Army benefit for Fran Varian -- which means you only have a week left to get your early bids in for the auction!

All of the items available for auction are listed in the hp_army_auction community. Details on how to bid are here. A reminder of why we're doing this is at

Items on the block include:

* A signed copy of Dorothy Allison's Trash!
* Really cool shoes!
* A Good Vibrations goodie bag!
* Literary action figures!
* Gift certificates galore!

Go take a look at the fun, fun stuff we've managed to gather.

And as for the show--I'll be doing a burlesque number:

The Hella Pretty Army: A Benefit for Fran Varian
October 1, 2008
Doors at 7pm, show at 7:30pm
$10 - 20 (no one turned away for lack of funds - but it IS a benefit, so please give what you can)
Center for Sex and Culture
1519 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 552-7399

On October 1st, 2008, an army of San Francisco's revolutionary and passionate writers, musicians, performers and art makers will come together at the San Francisco Center for Sex and Culture to throw a big-ass party and benefit for Fran Varian.

Poet, activist and organizer Fran Varian has spent her life creating art, and poetry that is intense, powerful and a political punch in gut. Giving voice to the women, the fighters, the poor, the queer, the disenfranchised, Fran has spent her artistic life fighting for people's rights and voices. In addition to her art - she has also spent her entire life as a health worker, counselor and activist for the rights of women around health care and reproductive freedom. Ironically it is a lack of access to health care that has brought Fran to a serious health condition. Recently diagnosed with late-stage Lyme disease, Fran is literally battling for her life after 14 years of mis-diagnosis allowing this disease to destroy her system. At this stage of the illness there is only one type of treatment that has shown positive results, and this benefit is fighting for the funds to ensure that Fran can complete the full cycle of treatment.

With performers including Mark Growden, Lauren Wheeler, Vagabondage, Meliza Bañales, Katrina James, Steven Schwartz, Gina de Vries, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Storm Florez and more, a silent auction that includes one of a kind art, couture fashion, handmade chapbooks and more, plus rumors of an onsite kissing booth, the night is sure to be a celebration of life, art and the power of people coming together to help someone who has dedicated her life to helping the community.

If you would like to help Fran win the battle against Lyme disease you, can donate on her LiveJournal profile here:

Come to the show and join Fran's Hella Pretty Lyme-Fighting Army!

The Performers...

Mark Growden is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, singer, painter, printer, and father based in SF. Some people think he smells good.

Lauren Wheeler is a recovering slam poet who has competed twice at National Poetry Slam. She has performed at Cornell University, where she studied English Literature, as well as in Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Austin, TX, and throughout the Bay Area and was a core organizer of the ForWord Girls poetry and spoken word festival in San Francisco in 2002. Her work has appeared in Lodestar Quarterly, Other Magazine, and 365 Tomorrows. Lauren is also spins records (yes, vinyl) as the eclectic DJverse and can often be found go-go dancing on a box at the DNA Lounge or performing burlesque at the Hubba Hubba Revue as the witty and wry Lola Vauntz. Check her out at

Walking the dirty streets of the big city and the farm towns, Vagabondage sings you tales of lonely alleyways, late night bus rides and unfortunate incidents with spicy spicy food. Comprised of a poet, an actor, a storyteller, a ham, a vaudevillian, an accordion player, two guitar players, a kazoo player, and two singers, this duo will sing songs to make you laugh, cry, and raise your glass and sing along.

Steven Schwartz is not Andrei.

Katrina James had her first short story published in 1998 and has been creating a steadily growing body of tales ever since. She also co-produced the cult public access show kittypr0n and has acted in and worked behind-the-scenes on several San Francisco stage productions, including Night of the Living Dead, Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Twilight Zone, and Zippy the Pinhead. She currently spends her days disguised as a mild-mannered office manager.

Meliza Bañales is originally from Los Angeles. She has taught writing at UCSC and SFSU as well as at numerous conferences and workshops. She has been writing and performing for the last fifteen years. She published her first poems when she was seventeen in The Lesbian News. She went on to become the first Latina to ever win a Poetry Slam Championship on the west coast in 2002(Oakland), the 2002 winner of the People Before Profits Poetry Prize, and published her first book, Say It With Your Whole Mouth, at the age of twenty-five which went on to be nominated for the Poetry Center Book Award in 2004.

Gina de Vries is a queer femme writer, rabble-rouser, and paisan. Her fiction, journalism, memoir, and smut have appeared dozens of places, including: Baby, Remember My Name, Dirty Girls, TransForming Community, That's Revolting!, Bound to Struggle: Where Kink & Radical Politics Meet, make/shift magazine, and Curve magazine (where she was a columnist from 1997-2004). Currently, Gina curates shows for queer performance series San Francisco in Exile, blogs for national LGBT blog Bilerico, and teaches a writing workshop for sex workers at Center for Sex & Culture. She can be cruised online at

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer Sri Lankan writer, performer and high femme powerhouse. The author of Consensual Genocide (TSAR), she has performed her work widely throughout North America and Sri Lanka, including performances at Yale University, Oberlin College, University of Southern California, Swarthmore College, louderARTS, 2006 Pride Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka's second ever Pride), and the immigrant rights rallies and benefits for queer youth centers down your block. Born and raised in the east end of the Rust Belt, aka Worcester, Mass, she left the United States for ten years at age 21 to learn from Toronto's radical South Asian and queer of color literary and political communities. Obsessed with documenting queer/trans of color, mixed-race, Sri Lankan, high femme and survivor stories, her work has been anthologized in Homelands: Women's Journeys Across Race, Time and Place, We Don't Need Another Wave, Colonize This!, With a Rough Tongue: Femmes write porn, Without a Net, Dangerous Families, Geeks, Misfits and Outlaws, Brazen Femme, Femme, and A Girl's Guide to Taking Over the World. She writes regularly for Bitch, Colorlines, Hyphen and Make/Shift magazines. From 2003-2007 she produced Toronto's acclaimed Browngirlworld queer/trans of color spoken word series and is one of the co-creators of Toronto's Asian Arts Freedom School, a writing and radical Asian history program for APIA youth. Newly relocated to Oakland after running away from America for a decade, she is completing her MFA in creative nonfiction at Mills College, touring her one-woman show, Grown Woman Show (which will be produced by the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center at SomArts in June 2009), and finishing her second book, Dirty River, a memoir of coming of age as a young queer mixed brown survivor in the late 90s. She is a member of the Revolution Starts At Home Collective and INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, and a co-founder of The Femme Sharks, a posse of tough, loud-mouthed femme girls of color who are the leaders and defenders of our communities. She is a keynote speaker at the 2008 Femme Conference and a 2008 Poetry for the People Student Teacher Poet at UC Berkeley. She remains in love with the unending possibilities of transforming of oppression and abuse, with fierce queer and trans POC genius and toughass central Massachusetts girls. Her websites are and

Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Storm Florez is a Mexican Amaricon FTM, genderqueer singer/songwriter, performance artist, and live sex show instigator. Storm currently lives in San Francisco. He has performed his music and spoken word across the US and co-produced and performed in the pornarific cabaret Trans as Fuck in San Francisco in 2004 and in West Hollywood in 2006. He recently curated and performed in Trans as Fuck at the National Queer Arts Festival on June 7th. Storm's National Queer Arts Festival performances have also included: Intercourse (2001), Viva La Joteria (2004), Home Queer Home and Transforming Community (2007). Other venues and events include: Transgiving (Los Angeles), CB's Lounge (New York), Mable Peabody's Beauty Salon and Chainsaw Repair (Denton, TX.), WIMINFEST, (Albuquerque, New Mexico), Gender Pirates (San Francisco), Fairybutch (San Francisco), Perverts Put Out (San Francisco), Mixed Fruit (San Francisco), the San Francisco Trans March and the San Francisco Trans stage at SF Pride. Storm's writing has been published in BANG magazine (out of Stockholm, Sweden), From the Inside Out: Radical Gender Transformation, FTM and Beyond (Manic D Press) and his own self published The Pussyboy Chronicles and The Pussyboy Chronicles Volume 2 (Sticky Press).

And more!

If you have something (your time/silent auction items/performance) to donate for the show, please leave a comment.

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