Frequently Asked Questions
These questions were answered for an interview over on the Bad Kitty Blog.
How would you define queer? (Or, what is the commonly accepted definition of queer?)
Oh boy. This is both the simplest question and the hardest one for me to answer. So, Queer is the “Q” at the end of LGBTQ. For a long time, queer was used as a derogatory term, but has since been reclaimed by many as a sort of umbrella term. It encompasses all types of gay-ness, non-binary gender-ness, and hopefully includes anyone who feels “other” than a 100%-male-or-female who is only attracted to those who are 100%-the-opposite-gender.
What do you think about the pole industry’s tolerance for the queer community? What are we good at? Where do we need to improve?
To me, this is the million-dollar question. I think the pole community is great at being incredibly open about sensuality, sexuality and body-positivity. But at the same time, not so great at being open and supportive of non-traditional gender roles, non-traditional expressions of sexuality, and non-traditional relationships.
This definitely varies in different parts of the pole community and different parts of the country. But there is a somewhat cookie-cutter ideal of what “sexy” looks like. I think this is why groups like Dangerous Curves and Black Girls Pole have completely taken off and built such strong communities – to start to smash those standards. Because feeling beautiful and sexy in your own skin is not dependent on size, shape, color, gender, or any other standard that supposedly defines beauty.
Are Allies welcome, or is this a Queer-only space?
We’ve described it as a group for people who are Queer and/or Questioning. To me, “Questioning” means Ally, but an ally who is willing to participate. In the same way that having people in a pole class who are not participating is discouraged, I would discourage people who are not willing to question their own gender and sexuality from joining. Having people in the room who are not participating can make everyone else feel judged. It makes it difficult for everyone else who is participating to fully explore and open up.
So if you are in any way interested in learning more, please join, but please be willing to examine yourself and your own relationships. Just because you are participating and questioning, doesn’t mean that you are queer. I truly hate labels – to me queer means “the label that is not a label.” It’s a sort of broad category for people who accept the idea that gender can be fluid and is not limited to our genitalia.
by the AYCO Youth Advisory Committee
We created this document as a guide to the sometimes complex world of gender, in the context of teaching and mentoring youth in circus arts. Societal acceptance of all gender identities and expressions is a very important issue for our generation. We believe it is especially important in the circus world, since circus has traditionally welcomed members of society who live a little differently than the majority. Circus is for everyone! Read More
by S.T. Shimi
So…in case you don’t know me and my 5 million hashtags #fiercefemme, #relentlesslygay etc. on social media… I identify as bi/queer/femme, and have since the mid-90s when I was young and single and all about Lilith Fair and Riot Grrl, as any self-respecting member of Queer Nation might ;) As a performance artist, I’ve always made work over these decades that’s inspired by all the intersections of my identities. Read More
by Danielle C.
As polers, we live and play inside a rather niche community. It can seem small at times, but there’s a huge amount of diversity within our world, including a strong LGBTQ presence. Last year, I heard about the creation of an online group for LGBTQ polers, and I thought it was an awesome idea given that inclusivity is a self-proclaimed cornerstone of the pole community. I recently sat down with the group’s co-founder, Liz Kinnmark, to talk about the group and her experiences within the community. Read More
Queer Pole Showcase
Friday, June 1, 2018, 9:30-10:30AM
Loews Sapphire Resort, Orlando, FL
A Queer Pole Showcase 🏳️🌈 will be debuting at the 2018 International Pole Convention. We've been talking since last summer about what it means to us to be queer within the greater pole community. Now we have the chance to tell our stories the way we tell them best: on the pole. Come on out and watch, cheer, and support!
Performers will be: