We are The Ruined Surprise Party. We are the women, the queers, the dykes, the bois, the femmes, the trans*. We trample patriarchy with our stilettos and cry our makeup off in public.
We value honesty and vulnerability.
We celebrate living in the 21st Century.
We understand the strength in fragility.
We believe that queer and female voices are VOLCANIC.
Every human being lives a different truth.
We cannot allow our ideas and feelings to be constrained by masculine literary ideals.
Instead, we must accept that Good Art is any art that engages us - and that there is no “perfect” approach or technique.
Good Art can be a romance novel or fan art just as much as it can be a sonnet or a sculpture.
Good Art can be a teenage girl’s blog entry or a YouTube video or an interesting outfit.
We welcome anyone who identifies as female and/or LGBTQ. Allies are also welcome, but we will be the judge of who is and is not an ally. Membership is not moderated, but your posts and comments may be rejected or deleted if you display:
body policing behaviour
any behaviour we consider to be aggressive or upsetting/triggering
This includes usage of slurs, and “jokes” about subjects such as rape. Our space should remain as safe as possible.
For information about submission of work, click here.
We are the future of literature and art. We must take care not to damage that future. We must love and care for each other and ourselves, and take into consideration the needs and feelings of the entire group. If criticising each others’ work, we must be loving and respectful. If receiving criticism, we must both realise the value of the other’s opinion, and refuse to allow it to deter us from continuing to create, develop and improve.
EMBRACE IDIOSYNCRASY. EMBRACE INDIVIDUALITY. EMBRACE UNCONVENTIONAL WAYS OF CREATING AND THINKING AS WELL AS LOVING AND BEING.
Yours in Love and Rage,
The Ruined Surprise Party
This post is the first of a weekly series. I (Emery) will be recommending pieces of art/writing/etc (by both established and amateur creators) I have discovered on the Internet. If you've seen anything particularly fabulous, don't hesitate to submit it to me by sending a PM to my personal DW - idothisallthetime.
An enormous collection of queer love poems from Valentine's Day 2012. I'm still making my way through them. There's a wide range of voices, stories and relationships here. The writing is seriously fucking astonishing, oh man. It's like a box of chocolates with only the good ones in it.
Poems Written in 15 Minutes and Late at Night #1 by Calamity Mitchell.
Short, witty, adorable & surprising. Made me grin and make a funny squealy noise.
Forfeit by Sean Anderson
An eloquent and angry ode to the experiences of young gay men. I love the stream-of-consciousness run-on sentences. Andersen has a confident and powerful voice. Trigger Warning: Violent imagery. Sexual imagery. Discussion of homophobia. Usage of a homophobic slur.
PASTICHE FEMINISM VISION BOARD by ~robynriley
See Through by Andrea Gibson
A consistently good performer. I have mixed feelings about Andrea sometimes and the hero-worship she receives in queer communities - after all, she's a skinny white "androgynous" lesbian who often writes about Christianity. Regardless, I can't deny I love this poem. There are names and faces behind our apathy.
FEMINISM by ~BellaJaneGypsy
Sibande has created life-size sculptures and photographic prints of her creation, "Sophie". Really impressive & striking.
Liquorice by Azeala Banks
If you don't think music videos are art, I'm concerned you're not living in the 21st century. Azealia Banks' new video for Licorice is fucking amazing/badass/sexy/powerful/
That's all for this week, honeybuns. Tell me about your feelings in the comments! Which of these wonderful things are your faves?
Yours in Love and Rage,
I like girls and I like guys. I like giving a fuck about how women (and men, too, and any people in between) get treated in our society. I like talking about stuff and I like accepting things outside of the norms and I like asking more of people and I like questioning things and I like trying not to be ashamed of my body, my mind, my kinks, the dumb shit I do, the cool shit I do. I like people and their craziness and kindness and meanness too and I like that I still haven't entirely decided what queer means (and that I don't feel like I need to) and I like my friends, mostly, and I like how fucking balls-out insane the world is, a lot of the time. I like to get angry, and I like it when people touch this one spot on the back of my neck, and I grew up coastal so also, I like to swim.
And I like to write. So this should be fun.
Some days, I say that I’m gay. Other days, I say that I’m bi. Most days, I don’t say anything at all. I know I like women, and likewise, I know I like men. I know I like people who are neither or both. I just don’t have a certain answer. Every day is different, and every person is different. I’m okay with that, even though a lot of people aren’t. I feel comfortable being and accepting myself as female most days. Most days. Sometimes I don’t know what I think, never having been comfortable in women’s fitted t-shirts. I don’t know these things! How is anyone supposed to know? You don’t have to know.
As I said earlier, I like comics, and as I’ll say now, I like calculus and physics. As someone who identifies as female, these interests are totally outlandish- why would a girl like either of these totally ‘masculine’ things? Every time I tell someone I’m majoring in physics, they ask, “Oh, so you want to be a teacher?” No, goddamn it, I want to be a physicist. Women can be scientists. Women should be whatever they want. Anyone should be whatever they want.
Creating art, a mission of this community, doesn't actually make me feel good. It doesn't make me feel happy. Art makes me angry and sad and unfulfilled. It calms me too, sometimes. It’s almost relief, but not really, because nothing is ever good enough. When you’re really connected to something, you often over think. Sometimes when you're writing or drawing- you just need to stop, leave it honest and flawed and perfect. Over thinking is the ruin of creativity, and also why it’s taken me hours to write this.
In summation, I consider myself a full-time bitch and part-time artist. One day, maybe even a part-time scientist. I love drawing, painting, writing- and think, how many famous artists are cisgender men? Basically all! How many artists are not cisgender men? Overwhelmingly more than the number of famous artists make it appear. Be an artist! Be a writer! Be you in the face of everyone else.
Credit yourself. Credit female or queer artists- make us heard, make you heard.
Lots of confused feelings,
When I was sixteen, I spent a long time trying to find myself again. I started taking my writing and art seriously. It was my only escape; a means of expression that meant I didn’t have to worry about people (men) looking at me. I won prizes for the work I did, and grew confident. I started rediscovering myself and my body. I did like women, after all. It wasn’t a phase, it was part of who I was. I wanted to fall in love with a girl. I wanted to experience what I’d felt with my best friends when I was younger – the feeling that there was a secret passage between our minds and we could dip in and out of each others’ thoughts. (It’s probably not a complete coincidence that most of my childhood and adolescent best friends have ended up liking women as well.) I imagined how complete I would feel, kissing a woman, fucking her, taking care of her. It was one of the few things I’d ever been certain about.
I began to identify as queer. This time, nobody could tell me what that meant, because queer is a word heteros cannot use and do not understand. The second I started to use that word, I felt different. I was a genderqueer dyke, part filthy Bukowski, part glittering andro punk. I could be messy, I could fuck up, I could hide in my bed, and I didn’t have to punish myself for the things I felt.
Things are still shit though. I live in Edinburgh now, and don’t face the same tense, rigid silence about non-straight identities, but I do experience (sexual) harassment (from men) on the regular. I find it hard to make a space for myself here because I’m introverted and sometimes depressed and often don’t say much. LGBTQ+ spaces are dominated by gay cisgender men and a few women, who just don’t “get” trans* issues and think the word queer is pretentious (a few of them are even Tories).
This is why I need The Ruined Surprise Party. I want to create a space for people like me to make art, care for each other, and feel less alone. I want a safe place where I can escape from the real world and feel like I matter, even though I care about feelings, intuition and expression more than “objectivity” and intellectualism.
I want a place where feminine qualities are not just accepted, but celebrated, and where queer people can be any kind of queer.
Please: help me make this happen.
Come on in, sit down! Fancy a tea? Coffee? Drop of whisky? We hope to make you feel very comfortable here. This is a place for making friends and sharing tiny fragments of our souls, but not making a big deal out of it, 'cause let's face it, we're all humans here. We've all got souls.
This week is about getting to know us - we will be posting our personal introductions, as well as recommendations of our favourite art from around the Internet. We also want your work! That means your art, your writing, your creativity. Doesn't matter if you think it's silly - if you've got it, we want it. This includes fanfiction, fan art, personal essays, journals, bits of old AIM chat logs, and whatever you can think of, as well as your more conventional articles, poems, stories, photographs, drawings, whatever.
We've got lots of ways you can communicate with us - give Emery a shout on our Tumblr, Twitter or Facebook, or via her personal journal, idothisallthetime . Direct all your questions/problems/complaints/hatemail to her. Don't worry, she can take it.
Write! Make art! Make your voice heard! Connect to others in the universe! Don't hold back - if you've got anything to say, it might be the one thing that makes someone out in the wide world feel less alone. So say it!
Yours in Love and Rage,
The Ruined Surprise Party