Thursday, March 10, 2016

One Voice Choir

I was early to the film Kate Bornstein is a Queer & Pleasant Danger (Sam Foder, 2014), early enough to hear the LGBT One Voice Choir do their warm up. Their choirmaster is the music director for the Unitarian church on 16th Avenue, a music PhD and a fabulous musician, and so are the choir members. I listened to “Walk a Mile in your Neighbour’s Shoes”, “How Could Anyone Tell You, You were Less than Beautiful”, and “It Take a Whole Village to Raise Our Children ”. The scores were thick and rich and the singers, all of them talented musicians in their own right. I was the only one there for the warm-up as well as for the performance – double the pleasure.

Kate Bornstein (2012)
We saw the film which was followed by a QA. 

Kate Bornstein was there in person as the Mount Royal College 2016 Faculty of Arts Distinguished Speaker.

Ze has written Gender Outlaw, and Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and other Outlaws, among other titles.

I haven’t read any of her hir books, but I do intend to pick some up from the library.

She says of hirself, "I don't call myself a woman, and I know I'm not a man". Kate prefers the gender neutral pronoun"ze/hir" in place of "she/her" or "he/him".

I am behind on my Queer Theory, so when I came home I spent an hour or two out on the internet trying to get myself placed with more information. I haven’t taken a Women’s Studies Course for a long time.   Feels like an eternity, really.  Film is always on my mind, not that there isn’t Queer Film Theory, but I haven’t immersed myself in that either.

The choir was beautiful – professional. The film was full of close-ups and wonderful clips of dialogue. The Q&A period was lively and eventually brought to a close because there is a point at which the audience has to go home. The moderator, James Demers of Fairy Tales Presentation Society, told people that they could line up and ask questions but that it was time for those without those questions to go home.

The line-up for questions was half up up the theatre isle.

At one point Kate Bornstein told us hir age: 68 years old and then asked if there was anyone older than that in the audience. I did raise my hand. She looked out into the audience at me and said, “You old fart.”

Kate may have it right.

My only regret of the evening was hearing that Gloria Steinem had been in town the night before at the University of Calgary. Ouch to missing that.



  1. What a great night Arta! So glad you came with me and enjoyed my choir singing. Loved the sprinkling of pronouns you used in the post. Kate is was fantastic and what an honest and courageous life she has lived. See you at the next exciting LGBT movie!

  2. Thanks for the alert that the event was being staged. I love the Plaza -- truly community theatre. There is probably not a night goes by when something really interesting isn't happening in that venue.

    And now to go to the internet and find out when La Scala is being done in the theatres. It is either tomorrow night or Sunday.