The muse, the mySTIQUE, the mandible
If you've attended one of our events in the last year, you may have noticed a sharply dressed skeleton in attendance, greeting our guests, posing for photos, or even participating in a game of spin the bottle. Well, we figured it was time to formally introduce our beloved TanYeah and to share her origin story along with why we chose to showcase her for our 2nd Annual Pride festival...
TanYeah was born on a sunny morning in Fall, by sitting next to a 2 year old eating cereal, having a disheveled blonde wig placed upon her head, and a bottle of Hornito’s shoved in her hand. Pictures were taken. Laughs were had. The wig was from a recent production of a certain musical in which a certain actor wore it in their portrayal of a character named Tanya. Hence, TanYeah! With Halloween, and Trick-or-Tease: We'll scare our own pants off...upon us, we utilized TanYeah as a model for our promotion of the event, and in the process, developed considerable affection for her. She quickly became a staple at every CULT function.
SO this is TanYeah’s first Pride! The Queer community has historically been ostracized, marginalized, and invalidated; being treated like any other human being has been a constant struggle. Even now, as we speak, contingents of religious extremists, some in government leadership positions, would move to dehumanize us, undermine our personhood, and question our inherent morality. While it doesn’t feel good, we still know we deserve life, liberty, and happiness, just as much as any other skeleton. But what’s almost more upsetting, and frankly counterproductive, is the internalized bigotry coming from inside the house. Because even within our own acronym, there is judgement, invalidation, and hypocrisy. Transphobia and Bi-Erasure are alive and well, and that’s really disappointing. Allies are discredited. We should know better than to assume we know a person’s heart and history. When the LGBTQ+ community has been begging for inclusion and acceptance since it’s inception, how cruel to gate-keep queerness for those who don’t pass muster.
Take TanYeah, for instance. We can’t assume her preferences. We’ve seen her on dates with both men and women; she has a very close relationship with E-Bony (pictured above). We don’t know her body count. We know she struggles to sit in a chair normally. She presents as high femme, but we’ve never actually asked her her preferred pronouns. Who gets to decide if TanYeah is Queer, and furthermore, “Queer Enough?”
So, this year, TanYeah is going to set the record straight, or, not straight, as it were...TanYeah is coming out! And she doesn’t need the approval or validation from the gays or straights or the church or the state or the Supreme Court! Her identity, her orientation, her presentation, are determined by her alone! And so are yours! You are VALID. You are WORTHY. You are SAFE. You are LOVED.
Underneath it all, we’re all just skeletons, like TanYeah, moving around these silly imperfect bodies, searching for community and acceptance and love. Be kind. Be human. Remember that “Love is Love.” We’re not so different, when you get right down to our bones.