INTERVIEWER: The visual portraits in Femmes of Power are potentially problematic. Do you think such works can attach too high an importance to surface appearance?
DLGV: A consequence of the visual propaganda we have all been subjected to is that we automatically ‘read’ images of feminine women in a particular way and make assumptions about her gender, sexuality and availability for cultural consumption.
I don’t believe that words alone can provide an alternative way of visualizing what it means to be female, femme or feminine in today’s world.
UD: Yes, and it’s also important to know that this is a rare book because it gives equal weight to image and text – and very few publishers are willing to produce such books!
That said, if you read the text, you will learn that the ways that our subjects queer femininity is about a lot more than aesthetics or visuals – it is about who it is done for – that is, about desire and relationships, the activist and creative work that they do, and so on.
Prefers the gender-neutral pronoun “they,” has spoken at home and abroad on such topics as racism, sexism, homo/transphobia, transgender issues, anti-oppression, anti-violence, multi-issue organizing and more. In addition to lectures and keynotes, their work manifests itself through skits, one-person shows, poetry, spoken word performance, workshops, readings and experimental film.
Ignacio is the founder of Poly Patao Productions. P3 is dedicated to producing sex-positive workshops, performance pieces, films, play parties, panel discussions, social/political groups and educational opportunities that are specially geared toward queer women, transgender, multi-gender, gender-queer, gender non-conforming and gender variant people of color.
They also helped found the the Queers for Economic Justice, a progressive non-profit organization committed to promoting economic justice in a context of sexual and gender liberation, as one of the board members.
between “tolerance” and “acceptance” of homosexuality in the Thai context: “Tolerance denotes a preparedness to endure, put up with, or permit to exist, but does not necessarily imply the lack of criticism or the favorable or approving attitude connoted by acceptance. It is possible to tolerate something even while considering it inappropriate, misdirected, or wrong.
"While virginity and monogamy are prized, the women learn to brave judgments about promiscuity and to calculate their bodies, services, and attentions in terms of cash. In these ways, the workers absorb the lessons that their racial, economic, and gender subordination (or their performance as subordinates) can provide a source of income and also that they can contract their erotic and affectional intimacy according to specific amounts of time and money."
Wilson, Ara. The Intimate Economies of Bangkok: Tomboys, Tycoons and Avon Ladies in the Global City. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004. pp 90.