Amazon Syren is a queer, poly leather femme, a sex-workers' rights activist, and a Professional Naked Girl. She's also a witchy glamazon who sings opera, writes poetry, reads tarot, grows veggies, works magic, spins her own yarn, cooks, preserves, and darns a lot of socks. The secret ingredient is always love. She lives with her wife and an assortment of metamours in 1821.
DIY is very close to her heart.
She has opinions! Which is what I love! We discussed the business of being tall women (she's 6'4" and I'm just under 6'2"), from slouching to people's surreptitious checks to see if we are wearing heels.
We also covered her 'femme muse' Musetta from La Bohème, queer hanky codes, what a newly minted dyke wears to pride in 2008,
DIY is a big deal with her, from knitting and handspinning yarn to gardening, preserving and cooking. She also weaves and sews. As an urban homesteader, the 'little house in the big woods' thing is no joke.
We discussed the terminology around ethical non-monogamy, and the idea of being "solo” poly, which she points out has no meaning unless you're working from a coupled default position. She also clarified the differences between pansexual and queer poly (spoiler alert it's hetero-normativity).
And please find Amazon online via her twitter, @amazon_syren, and also her two blogs:
Urban Meliad and Syrens.
Thank you so much Amazon! It was a pleasure. ♥
Amanda died in September of 2016. Rest in power Amanda, you left a huge legacy and I was privileged to talk to you for this episode.
I encountered Amanda Harris’ work via a Gender and Media class. I love her Femme Spaceproject and was so excited to talk to her for this episode! Amanda is a queer high femme charmer from the South. She was the co-curator of Y’all Come Back: Stories of Queer Southern Migration in the 2015 National Queer Arts Festival, where she exhibited portraits in her EXODUS series.
Her photographs have been published in Glitter & Grit: Queer Performance from the Heels on Wheels Galaxy, G.R.I.T.S.: An Anthology of Southern Queer Womyn’s Voices, Towards the “Other” America: Anti-Racist Resources for White People Taking Action for Black Lives Matter, as well as various online sources including Al Jazeera America. She believes in the future of the femme oligarchy and the power of portraits to tell stories.
Amanda’s art and activism has been informed and nurtured by online femme community. We talked about femme visibility and marginazation in queer and other spaces. She also talked about taking the conversation beyond queerness to include race, class, ability, emotional labour, privilege of butch and masculine of centre people –and letting femme stand alone—femme sex, and femme on femme relationships
I liked hearing her perspectives on collaborating with vs exploiting femmes from marginalized groups. On the topic of privilege, she referred me to an article online by Cyree Jarelle Johnson,here.
….also to a wonderful resource for femme articles and resources—intiated and collated by Blyth Barnow, reflecting the wisdom of large community of facebook femmes!
Of course in the bonus round I asked Amanda for her book and music recommendations.
She mentioned author Amber Hollibaugh, whose book My Dangerous Desires is a favourite of mine too.
The Persistent Desire: A Femme-Butch Reader
She recommended work by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha whose most recent book isDirty River I totally recommend too!
And…Amanda contributed to a recent book, Glitter & Grit: Queer Performance from the Heels on Wheels Femme Galaxy. which I’m gonna try to get my hands on soon!
Her music recommendation is GAYmous which you can find on FB
Amanda’s latest project Y’all Come Back Now, is here, and looks amazing. Thank you so much Amanda! You’re a charmer for sure. ♥
**all photos from www.femmespace.net/femmespace used with permission