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Women Without Borders

Down on 183 King, there is a movement of women around the world growing into economic self-sufficiency through the art of their hands. Ibu, which on the islands of Indonesia mean a woman of respect, is a studio and showroom that collaborates with women in 79 cooperatives that are changing the world of fashion. Susan Hull Walker, founder and creative director of Ibu, travels around the world and meets women who have traditional textile skills such as spinning, dyeing, weaving. She meets these women and sees their culture and stories being told through the clothes and textile they produce.

Ali Macgraw, who you might remember from the movies Love Story and Goodbye, Columbus, is now an activist and IBU extraordinaire, collaborated with longtime friend Susan, to design a collection that celebrates the craftsmanship of women from around the world. The collection includes clothing, shawls, shoes, bags, and jewelry that are now available to shop at Ibu. The collection is a definition of powerful women who practice traditional age old textile methods that have been passed down from generations.

After a year of designing and traveling around the world, this past Wednesday, Ali and Susan presented the collection to a group of 400 people. Guest got the chance to watch the collection as it made its make debut and shop the collection. BEAU was there to give you a peek of the inspiring event.

Clothing is the cultural language and Ibu is making each piece statement from the group of people who inspired and produced it.Join the movement. Wear the Change. Shop the Ali4Ibu collection and to learn more at www.ibumovement.com

Photo’s by Cristian Diaz

Story by Jonatan Guerrero Ramirez

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Spoken Word Charleston

“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”  -Robert Frost

Here in Charleston, the poetry spoken word movement is making its mark on the Lowcountry. Spoken word has been around for many years and is performed by people of all walks of life: Poets, musicians, alchemists, cosmonauts, artists, wordsmiths, free spirits, robots.

In our LGBTQ community, spoken words are demonstrated to express one’s self and share a thought or experience with others. TyQuan Morton of Charleston began writing poetry in the 5th grade, but it wasn’t until recently that he started taking it more seriously. Two years ago, he hit the spoken word stage of Charleston and has been going to open mics around the city to let his voice be heard. Last week, he hit the stage at Fabulon, an LGBTQ friendly art gallery with an art school space where people can collect and create art while inspiring other students. This was the first of more to come “Fabulous Nights” presented by The Unspoken Word and We Are Family. Fabulous Nights begins a series of events in this creative space where all queer and trans folks are welcomed and everyone can perform and enjoy poetry, music, stand-up comedy, and more.

The night was alive with heart felt art as people performed and shared poetry. TyQuan’s poetry was personal and he let his audience feel the emotions of the words through music. “Spoken word is for everyone,” TyQuan says, “You find your voice, but also realize finding your voice takes time. And no matter what it is, someone will fall in love with it.”

I surrender my body to your circadian rhythm and dance, to these words I am unfamiliar with and do not have time to examine…

On Venus, I can open this painted Pandora box in my chest, so you can leave your carbon footprint…

Earth’s gravity has denied this sonnet from my lips”

-TyQuan Morton

To join the Spoke Word movement, submit poetry to www.charlestonpoets.com

To stay up-to-date with open mics and slams, follow The Unspoken Word on Facebook @UnspokenWordsmiths

Photo’s and Words by Jonatan Guerrero Ramirez

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Bring Your Own Bag

I don’t go out much anymore. My assessment of LGBT nightlife in Charleston can be summed as this: If gay bars are the oceans, bachelorette parties are that single use plastic bag that sticks in the marshes and chokes our turtles.

Listen, I’m all for inclusion of “us” and “them.”  It’s awesome that we can go to most bars on any given night and not be seen as a novelty or a threat. Or that we can take our best girlfriend or bro to our bar. On a recent Saturday night, one of my besties and I ventured out to our local gay watering hole (that’s a great name for a bar btw), and the gays were outnumbered by straight girls 3 to 1.

Barbie, I get why you want to come to our bar. Better music, you won’t be harassed by douche bags, drinks are cheap and strong! But here’s the thing ladies, don’t come in our house and be disrespectful. On this particular night, I noticed all of us were pressed against the bar and the floor was filled with the squeals and screeches of at least 3 brides and their minions, I mean bridesmaids.

Rupaul recently made some waves with his comments about this topic, “People who live in the mainstream and the status quo think that everyone else is there to serve them. They think: ‘Oh, you must be here to make me look good. That’s what gay guys are right? You’re an accessory for my straight life.’”

Let’s start by asking what purpose does the gay bar serve? For our straight counterparts, a bar is a place to hang with your friends, get drunk, maybe get laid. Yeah, it’s all those things for us too! But, it’s also a haven of sorts for us. A place we can safely Kiki with our friends (if you don’t know what that means, you’re not allowed in), a hunting ground of sorts for people with similar “interests” let’s say.

I love my A’s in the LGBTQIA alphabet soup, but when I see these gangs of bridal celebrations in the bar, I don’t think, “oh, look how supportive they’re being of us!” Instead, it’s weirdly exploitative. It doesn’t feel like a celebration of gay people, or the joy of having gay friends. It feels more like the novelty of gay people. And heaven forbid it’s Drag night! Then we simply become the props from some shitty rom-com.

I get that me pounding the exploitation drum is rich in comparison to what women deal with, but can you imagine a bachelor party attempting to have their party at a lesbian bar.

That being said, here are few tips to the straight ladies to make your night a bit easier to navigate:

1. Bring your gay friend. Show the tribe that you’re not just tourists in our big gay jungle. If you don’t have one, please, don’t draft one of us to fill that role for the night.
2. Sweetie, you might be the queen of the night, but this ain’t your kingdom. Give us room. Just as you came here because you don’t want some dudes boner rubbing up on you, I don’t need your breast up on me…but I’ll totally take that boner.
3. Trying to make a drag queen kiss you is not the same as kissing a girl. It is not your Katy Perry moment.
4. Just as we don’t want to be your props, leave yours at home. Want to fit in? Leave the sashes, crowns, etc… at home.
5. Try not to take it personal. We invented shade, perfected the art of the read. If you don’t like some side eye, I’m sure there’s a Wet Willie nearby.
6. It’s not that you’re not welcome in our home, it’s that you’re a guest in our home.

 

 

All RuPaul is asking for — what we are all asking for, is show some respect, some etiquette“Check yourself, before you wreck yourself! ” And the mic falls from my glitter guy hang.

Photo by Abigail Marie

Words by Steven Willard