BVLA 2010 Chair Jeanne "JR" Cordova Chats with Velvetpark
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Vp Editor Julia Watson and intrepid Butch Fashion Correspondent CaramelTeddy are off to the Butch Voices LA Conference this weekend. Meanwhile, BVLA 2010 Chair Jeanne "JR" Cordova was nice enough to take time to sit down and talk with Julia over the internets about queer culture in SoCal, the expanding borders of butch identity and what one can expect from attending the festivities and gender badassery set to go down this weekend in West Hollywood.
Julia: JR, you’ve played and continue to play such a vital role in the lesbian community from its inception here in California in the 70s. You’ve been an activist, a journalist, a political organizer, an entrepreneur, and now you’re serving as Chair of the Butch Voices LA 2010 Conference. How did you get involved with BV?
JR: I fell for an invitation from Butch Voices to throw a Conference in LA. I'd just returned from the first ever Conference in Oakland and was real high from the sight of hundreds of butch shoulders. So I said yes to them! And now I'm on the Board too.
Julia: Yeah, I had a look at the blog entry you posted after last year's con in Oakland. Can you talk about what it was like to walk into a room full of 100s of butch-identified folks for the first time?
JR: It was 300 butch-identified folk. It felt like a veil of secrecy had been lifted. Like the first time I put on glasses when I was 20 and saw that the world really had sharp definition.
Julia: Incidentally, this butch-lovin' femme is trying not to drool a little at the thought of 300 pairs of butch shoulders in one room.
JR: Oakland felt like lesbianism in High Def! I felt finally liberated to publicly celebrate myself as a butch.
Julia: I think it's a genius idea, bringing butches from all over together to create community and discuss gender identity and the unique experiences of people from all over the butch spectrum.
Living lesbian history legend, BVLA 2010 Chair,
and Flirty McShirty Jeanne "JR" Cordova.
JR: It was a power thrill for me.
Julia: So let's unpack "butch" a little, because it can be a controversial and misunderstood term.
JR: Ok, I'm a packer. Go ahead.
Julia: Ha! Even among folks who embrace the term as part