BeBe hosted the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission’s Celebration of Courage event and awards ceremonies last week in New York City and San Francisco.
IGLHRC is an organization dedicated to human rights advocacy on behalf of people who experience discrimination or abuse on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. Some of IGLHRC’s earliest work involved building a movement toward the decriminalization of homosexual activity in BeBe’s home country of Cameroon. BeBe felt extremely honored to be involved in the week’s festivities, and we were delighted to document them.
We are so pleased to have been accepted for fiscal sponsorship by Women Make Movies!
Women Make Movies is a 501(c)(3) non-profit media arts organization registered with the New York Charities Bureau of New York State. As the fiscal sponsor, WMM accepts donations or grants on behalf of the filmmaker and takes the responsibility of administering the funds received in support of the development and completion of the film.
Established in 1972 to address the under representation and misrepresentation of women in the media industry, Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitates the production, promotion, distribution and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. The organization provides services to both users and makers of film and video programs, with a special emphasis on supporting work by women of color. Women Make Movies facilitates the development of feminist media through an internationally recognized Distribution Service and a Production Assistance Program.
Next Magazine has posted a fun new Q&A with the lovely BeBe. Do you know who her celebrity crush is? I didn’t. Also love the gown in this photo – Rae Ann constructed it using leftover scraps from all the pieces they have made together over the years.
BeBe has a new single coming out – and a gorgeous music video to boot!
Nick Hillyard shot and edited the music video for “I’m the Shit” in Minneapolis. He and his team did a terrific job! A release party for the single was held at the Gay 90’s, and BeBe performed the number live in front of an amazing audience of friends and family. An incredibly moving night.
A couple pics from the shoot:
Hey! In case you missed the party, here’s a bunch of press about it:
Entertainment Weekly did a blog post…
…as did Paper Magazine (check out Joseph’s killer photos)…
…and Homo-Neurotic (even more great pics – as well as our nominee for great blog title of the year)!
Many thanks to everyone who came out and supported our party. It was a really special night, and your encouragement means the world to us! xoxo.
Thanks also to Mimi Imfurst for emceeing the evening flawlessly.
Save the date – and start planning your outfit…..
BeBe is coming to NYC on Wednesday, July 29th for a fundraising party to benefit the completion of our documentary.
DATE: Wednesday, July 29, 2009
LOCATION: Blvd – 199 Bowery at Spring Street
TIME: After work, 7-11pm
COVER: $15 at door, $10 with RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
WHY YOU SHOULD COME:
1) The one and only BeBe Zahara Benet (and special guests) will be on hand for a rare NYC performance & to mingle!
2) We will be premiering our latest fundraising trailer for the film!
3) There will be a silent auction with amazing items up for bid!
4) We’ll have an early bird open bar & wine tasting – courtesy of our sponsor, Barefoot Wines & Bubbly!
5) You believe in supporting independent film, your friends, and people everywhere who follow their dreams!
We’ll be looking recession-fabulous. You should too!
Visit our Facebook Event Page:
Despite rumors that she would be in San Francisco for their Pride festivities, BeBe was at Loring Park representing her roots this past weekend for the Twin Cities Pride Festival. She signed autographs on Saturday at the Comcast/Logo booth, did back-to-back shows at the packed-to-the-gills Gay 90s on Saturday and Sunday, and rode the Gay 90s float with the rest of the gorgeous LaFemme girls in the parade on Sunday.
It was a whirlwind, but we got some great footage. It was also a real nice excuse to return to Minneapolis, catch up with BeBe, get the details on my friend Joey’s engagement, and see my family. Selected Taste-of-TC-Pride-Weekend memories: spiked cherry snow cones, fennel and tarragon tater tots, and a delicious Australian Semillon….
On Wednesday, May 27, BeBe was invited to speak to Our Youth, an organization designed to help GLBTQ youth and their straight allies in Jersey City, NJ. Approximately 75 high school age kids were there to meet BeBe (and to enjoy a delicious family-style dinner provided by Rob & his grandma!). Most of the youth were big fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and BeBe led an informal Q&A where she responded to questions about her experiences both on the show and in her real life. She emphasized how important it was for her to find the strength to turn external negativity into positive energy, cultivating self-acceptance and self-love while growing up “different” in Cameroon.
“If you shoot an arrow and it goes real high, hooray for you.” -Dorian Corey
It’s not every day you get to meet one of your heroes and see her film projected off a celluloid print!
The new-ish 92Y Tribeca hosted a screening of Paris Is Burning on Friday, May 8. The hit documentary about drag balls in 1980s New York City made a massive impact on independent filmmaking, popular culture (Vogue-ing, anyone?), and of course, drag queens everywhere. With almost 20 years passed since its 1990 release, the film now serves as a heartbreaking record and memorial of both a bygone era and some incredible individuals who did not make it to the other side of the AIDS crisis.
I attended the film with my editor, Ali, as well as a few of the awesome interns that have been supporting us this spring: Jewel, Matt & Stephen. Stephen had never seen the film, and Jewel hadn’t seen it since its theatrical release in 1991. BeBe’s world of drag and female impersonation, which has been based primarily in Minneapolis thus far, is vastly different from the one that Paris Is Burning covers. The communities and forums for drag performance have evolved significantly since then. But the passion, creativity and individuality of each performer on the Paris scene rings timeless and true.
Jennie Livingston, the director of the film, did a Q&A after the screening. She talked about some of the challenges she faced while making the film (it took her 7 years to finish, as they had to continuously interrupt their shooting schedule to raise more money to pay for the 16mm film & transfers), and shared anecdotes about the close relationships she had with a couple of the subjects – especially Dorian Corey and Willy Ninja.
I was thrilled to meet Ms. Livingston after the screening as well. She generously offered some invaluable words of advice and encouragement to our little team.