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Q&A, The Builders Arms, Melbourne (with Jess McAvoy)

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We kinda meandered all over the place, and, although we started talking about the lesbian bar Glasshouse we settled on the mixed night Queer and Alternative (or Q&A) which ran from 1996–2013 on Thursday nights at the Builders Arms on Gertrude Street in Collingwood, Melbourne.

Find out more about Jess at their website

Jess McAvoy  00:00

These are all constructs. And as these constructs fail, we’ll start to see that it’s all a lot muddier and a lot greater than we give it credit for. It’s just that we struggle to let go of those concepts because we don’t quite understand how to freefall without dying.

K Anderson  00:18

I am K Anderson and you are listening to lost spaces. A podcast mourns the death of queer nightlife. Every episode I talk to a different person, about a venue from their past, the memories they’re created there and the people that they used to know. Jess McEvoy is a Brooklyn based performing artist, songwriter and musician who was born in Perth, Western Australia. Before they moved to the Big Apple, they lived for a number of years in Melbourne, forging their way on the Australian music scene. We kind of meandered all over the place in this conversation. And although we started talking about the lesbian bar glass house, we settled on the mix tonight queer and alternative or q&a, which ran from 1996 to 2013. On Thursday nights at the builders arms on Gertrude street in Collingwood, Melbourne.

Jess McAvoy  01:41

So I grew up in Perth in in the 90s. I was there from when I was born till 94. And then I went to Holland for five years and came back when I was online, I left I left when I was 10, came back when I was 14. So from 14 to 20, I was in Perth, and then from 20 to 31. I was in Melbourne.

K Anderson  02:05

And so for those that don’t know, Perth and Melbourne are on opposite sides of Australia. And Melbourne is maybe somewhat more exciting depends on my expert opinion. Well, sure, sure. But do you remember your first kind of days in Melbourne and what that felt like?

Jess McAvoy  02:25

I do quite distinctly I hadn’t been there, before I moved there when I was 19. So it was a pretty, pretty wonderful experience. I remember the first time I actually went into the central business district and popped out, I’d caught a train there from not that far away when I think about it in hindsight, but you know, it felt like a way away and popped out at Flinders Street Station. And I remember being 19 and looking around and feeling so overwhelmed by how many people were on the street in Melbourne in comparison to Perth. Of course now living in New York, it’s a completely different game. But yeah, you know, I’d taken on Melbourne as an independent person for the first time in my life. And it just it really did feel like the world was at my fingertips and I could I was going to be whoever I wanted to be in that moment. Like, it sounds pretty corny, but I really I still remember that, you know, I was 19 it was electric. It was it felt like endless possibility at the time.

K Anderson  03:26

And so did you move primarily because of music? Or were there other reasons? 100%

Jess McAvoy  03:31

Yeah, 100%. I mean, in part I was I was. And of course again, hindsight is 2020. But I, you know, a big part of me was was leaving for the sake of getting away from my family getting away from my mother. And Melbourne, Melbourne was the centre of that if I wanted to be a musician and a serious artist, that was really the only option in Australia at the time. So I jumped in a car at 19 and drove for four days with a friend to get across the Nullarbor. Oh, wow. Yeah, I did it. I did the nullable.

K Anderson  04:05

Yeah. And four days. What were your main takeaways about the difference between the cuisines in Perth and Melbourne?

Jess McAvoy  04:15

It’s, you know, it’s a funny thing. It’s very in my memory. It’s very tempered with the different states of who I was at those times. Perth. I was really fortunate when I was in Perth, because I became part of the music scene there when I was 16. So I started getting exposed to pop culture and nightlife pretty early. So by the time I started to recognise that there was a burgeoning queerness in me, I was sort of accessing it through the lens of music and from working in bars. So I started to meet there was this wonderful organisation called Women in music in Perth at the time and one of the women who ran the night was the First person that I fell in love with who wasn’t a boy. And, and so it was kind of through the lens of music. So I the access point was was a lot sort of smoother I think then then if I had been deliberately looking for somewhere to go or places to learn how to be clear, because of course, as you remember, we didn’t have the internet back then. So it was, it was a very different approach to kind of figure out these things and to look for some kind of community. So through that, I don’t know, I mean, I just remember, I remember accessing a couple of spaces like the court Hotel in North Perth, which had a sort of a section that had the pool table in it, which was lovingly referred to as the fishbowl. All of the, the lesbians would hang out in that room, because it had the pool table in it.

K Anderson  05:51

This is a recurring theme. In my interviews, I just have to say, no matter where you go in the world, if there’s a pool table, that’s where they expect the lead.

Jess McAvoy  06:00

And I’m not mad at it. There’s something about doing something constructive, while while connecting with someone, I think, you know, I mean, I’ve thought about this a lot. Because as someone who has kind of shifted identity in the queer scene quite a bit throughout my life, you know, now I identify as non binary. And so, you know, that puts me in what category am I now like, I still predominantly like to be romantic with with women, but um, you know, I’m not a, I’m not a dike anymore. And that’s kind of that feels much better. And, but I think that I do think a lot about how segregated the queer scene has always seemed to be, you know, by binary gender. And I think that that’s not it just sort of makes it a little bit more sense to me where the motivations are slightly different when you try to build some kind of a rapport with someone where the first port of call isn’t necessarily let’s go and fuck somewhere. You know, the pool table makes a lot of sense to me.

K Anderson  07:01

Yeah, although it is also a good space to fuck on.

07:06

Depends on how many bowls how many bowls are on the table? Yeah, um, you know, so so being in person.

Jess McAvoy  07:21

You know, that was a that was really cool to kind of learn how to play pool with a bunch of people. I mean, I’ve always liked doing constructive things in social spaces. So I don’t know, I think, you know, and because I was young than two, and it all still felt a little bit naughty. And I hadn’t really admitted to myself that I was gay. I mean, that that sort of stayed. difficult topic for me well into my late 20s. So when I think about the contrast between Perth and Melbourne, it’s actually more about a contrast of the feeling of a certain kind of freedom or a certain kind of secrecy. It’s a more it’s more about sort of my feelings of those experiences than the actual spaces themselves, I think.

K Anderson  07:59

Yeah. Okay.

Jess McAvoy  08:01

And I remember that there was like, one situation that was a fact what was it called? Connie’s connections. Connie’s and I just remember being there. And we my was promised probably a team with a bunch of people and then my maths teacher from my high school, rock out with my old geography teacher, and they were like, you know, making out on the dance floor. And the geography teacher was married to a woman and all this stuff was all super controversial, but I don’t know the bleed between childhood and deviants and, and, and trying to define yourself in a place where you already had a definition is kind of what Perth felt like, versus Melbourne felt more like, self definition, you know?

K Anderson  08:48

Okay. It’s really interesting, your reflections on that? I want to say gateway. But maybe that’s the wrong word into kind of better understanding your own identity by being exposed to other people’s identities, because I had the same type of thing with with music. And I think when you’re like, the acoustic scene, especially has quite a number of kind of queer identifying women. That turn the idea looked up to when I was kind of coming through that scene and had as kind of a reference point. I mean, you know, not to mention all of that music that came out of the 90s as well, that

Jess McAvoy  09:26

well, right. I mean, and that’s, and that you make a really good point in that respect, where that was a time where we had this huge influx of these really powerful women in music. I mean, that’s when the Spice Girls came out. But that wasn’t just their doing like this was part of a larger wave where, you know, Alanis Morissette had the highest selling debut album of any artist of all time, Female Artist of all time, at that time. You know, garbage was around York, PJ Harvey, like all these really powerful feminine figures, and so Yeah, I mean, I, I, for me discovering my identity plus I toured with Annie to Franco around that time, and was doing stuff with the waves. And so, it, it all feels very intertwined to me because a lot of my holding my identity close to my chest was very much motivated by not wanting to lose my music career. And so it wasn’t so much me moving into the world and going, Oh, where’s my queerness? How does that fit into my life? It was like, Oh, shit, I have this thing that’s going on with me. That is evidence to be dangerous to me into everything that I aspire to. You know, because there’s just too many examples still in Australian culture. I mean, it’s it’s shifting rapidly right now, because there is a corporate interest in diversity. But But at the time, yeah, at the time, it was really bad. And I experienced firsthand, quite a few things where I mean, I lost the interest of several record companies at the peak of my career, because they discovered that I was in quotations a dike. So yeah, it was never really a simple. I mean, it’s not simple for anyone. I’m sure everybody’s circumstances are incredibly convoluted, especially around that time in the world. But yeah, it’s just it’s just, it’s connected to so much about all of the choices in my life.

K Anderson  11:19

Yeah, so that’s really interesting, then. So you made a conscious decision to downplay when presenting yourself as an artist.

Jess McAvoy  11:26

Yeah, I felt that I had to, and I, you know, anytime I spoke about the subjects of my songs, that was always playing the pronoun game, as they’d say, until my late 20s, until my late 20s, I would, I would, and the thing that’s that I found really interesting. And I feel incredibly privileged to have been able to experience different cultures around this stuff, especially the different English speaking cultures, the contrast becomes very, very strong when you don’t have you know, a different language to contend with. But living in Canada for a couple of years, and I went even into a country town, and we did a house concert there for a couple friends of mine, and I. And I remember really distinctly, you know, in the midst of my in between song banter, which I’ve always prided myself on, saying something about Oh, and this is about this person, and they and they, and then they and this guy, this white dude just jumped up in the middle of the show, and goes, Hey, you can relax, just say she

12:28

just say she,

K Anderson  12:30

and so were you like, mortified? Or were you relieved.

Jess McAvoy  12:33

I mean, it was like I had like, because the thing is, I mean, you know, people’s intention is quite clear, you know, in their tone. And it came from such a loving place where he was so clearly pained for me watching me struggle with this, this fast, because I just felt that I couldn’t disclose. And it just, it sort of dropped the veil for me, and everything changed in that moment. And a couple months later, I went back to Melbourne, and I performed at a pub that I’ve performed that millions of times, and all of my, like I had, you know, a good 150 people there that were all regulars of my music. And I remember, it was the first time that I ever started openly speaking about the people that I was dating or you know, or that I’ve written the songs about and mentioning their actual pronouns, and I felt the temperature in the room shift. People who had loved me for years, I could feel that it wasn’t okay for me to be open. And they’d known me, they’d known me for years, they knew I was gay, but the fact that I was talking about it openly was really uncomfortable for them. So I feel really, really fortunate that I’ve had those contrasting experiences because I wouldn’t have been able to clock the level of homophobia that I was growing up with, and, and misogyny that I was growing up with, that I can safely say that, uh, you know, a massive motivating factor of leaving Australia was to get away from those limiting limiting beliefs that I have had firsthand experience of losing parts of my career to

K Anderson  14:06

pay so fascinating because I always like to, for me, when I started performing, when I started writing songs, like, it’s fairly difficult for me to hide my queerness. And so I was just like, wow, I’m just gonna have to lean into this. And yeah, and that absolutely cost me opportunities. And, and men meant that some people just weren’t receptive to hearing what I had to say because it was just some dirty equation. But in lots of ways, that’s really fortunate because I didn’t have to go through that experience of like, having people turn away from me who I thought were allies. Right. So yeah, that’s

Jess McAvoy  14:53

all thanks. I it’s honestly, I take it as a gift. I think you know, as a sis passing person and, and a white, a very, very white person. I’ve had so few blatant experiences of the disadvantages that I’ve experienced being queer. And so I think that it’s a gift. You know, much like any blatant trauma to add to have a very clear understanding of why these things have happened. So you can actually do something about it. I think, when it’s a little bit when it’s more subtle. You know, if I’d stayed in Australia, if I’d never left, I probably would have similar rhetoric rhetoric to a lot of people that I was around, you know, pre internet explosion, that it’s just like, Oh, no, this is just the way it is. Can’t she’ll be right kind of thing. And then you just kind of get along and you just expect that. Okay, well, this is just difficult. This is the kind of difficult that it is for everyone. Whereas now I know, it’s like, No, in fact, this is something that we need to find the change. Yeah, this is something that I’ve experienced firsthand, and it’s unacceptable. Whereas before, I wouldn’t have noticed, you know, I thought it was perfectly acceptable for me to fucking have to hide who I was. flimsy it was, but I thought it was acceptable, because that’s just what you do when you’re learning to survive, you know?

K Anderson  16:11

Yeah, yeah. And it’s your fault. Yeah, it’s not everyone else’s fault for being it’s your fault,

Jess McAvoy  16:16

because it’s my fault. Because I’ve been out and I also I have a choice because it would be it’s such a waste that I’m not, you know, gagging on caulk all the time. You know, like, I have a choice I could choose. You know, that’s and that’s a lot of people used to say,

K Anderson  16:33

Yeah, but you but you also can’t do you can’t like be to study, you have to be like the acceptable realms of study when you’re gagging on CoC, just like, I just, I just, I just need to remind you.

16:46

Yeah, there’s a certain level of slop that is acceptable in in society. Yeah. I mean, it’s so tedious.

K Anderson  16:53

Um, but so then, so then, so we like, if you’re talking, we’re talking about going to the glass door, boss, how sorry. Were you then always, you know, having having a certain level of fame? Were you always feeling uncomfortable? There were that that someone might recognise you?

Jess McAvoy  17:22

Well, I don’t know. I don’t know if uncomfortable is the right word. My ego was a pretty big component of my daily life back then. So being recognised or, or, you know, deemed as a little bit more special than other people was one of my goals at the time. So I wouldn’t say that there was any fear around people treating me differently in that respect. And, you know, most of my this is the thing that’s so baffling about being in the music industry, and especially at the time being a female identified human doing, you know, acoustic singer songwriter shit that was par for the course to have a roomful of lesbians in the space. It’s just that was it? My the majority of I may as well. Yeah, yes, of course. Um, so. So you know, it’s so it’s so weird, this facade of like, pretending that we’re not, yeah, who we are, because everybody knows, it’s just that you just don’t talk about it. So. Yeah, I mean, going, I mean, going to any queer spaces at the time was was fairly complicated for me, because I was in this sort of, like, this dual world where I was still trying to figure out who I was by being in these spaces, while also trying to hide who I was by being in all of the spaces that I felt felt that I already fit into. So, you know, going to the glass house. And, you know, there were a couple times where I would get the and when I was dating my first serious girlfriend at the time being refused entry because I didn’t look gay enough. Oh, that happened twice. It’s never happened to me. All you got to do is grow your hair long and have big tits love, and you’ll be fine.

19:20

On all Yeah, amazing. Yeah, yeah, I had that happen a couple times. And

K Anderson  19:27

even though you were with your girlfriend,

Jess McAvoy  19:29

yeah. And like and having these moments of going, do I need to, like make out with her in front of you? Like, what, What proof do you need and this is, you know, a butch dyke standing at the door, refusing his entry. So the you know, there was very much a sense of if you fit in, you could be part of it. And I feel so fortunate that I had found music when I did, because that was never a question. If you wanted to play, you could play Whereas being gay felt like you had to qualify.

K Anderson  20:03

But yeah, but there’s a whole other set of kind of conditions if you’re in a space with musicians performing, and especially if you’re female presenting?

Jess McAvoy  20:15

Well, yeah, I mean, that’s, that’s just the case of living in Australia. So a large part, that’s just a big part of just being an Australian culture. So I wouldn’t have taken that as being any kind of. Yeah, I mean, definitely, there have been the majority of experiences that I’ve had in my life of, of playing with male identified musicians has been that they just treat me like, I don’t know what I’m talking about. But that’s something that I got used to. It’s just you just, that’s just how it is. And it wasn’t until I started working with musicians in North America, where I started taking my own ideas seriously, and starting to recognise that, you know, the toxic masculinity in Australia is so pervasive that, you know, the men don’t even realise how much they don’t take me seriously. So, yeah, so I mean, it just as it all felt very par for the course for it to be difficult to find a space to fit in, in Australia. And I would imagine that that would be very similar for a lot of people who have had the opportunity to see it from an outside perspective from living in other cultures. But we’re just so easygoing about it, that you just kind of brush it off, right? We just keep going no buts about it, because it’s been trained into us that that’s not something worth fussing about.

K Anderson  21:29

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. But yeah, there’s that kind of perverse thing of, if you’re the one making the first then you’re the problem. You’re not identifying the problem. You are the problem,

Jess McAvoy  21:39

right? Yeah. And hence why when I’m standing at the door, and they telling me that I can’t come in because I’m not gay enough. I’m like, Okay, so how do I make myself gay? Or how do I, you know, or is this really the space for me? Rather than being like, Oh, fuck you. Let me well I want to do is drink around a bunch of quiz and, like, let me do that. But

K Anderson  22:00

do you want me to show you how good I am at all? Yeah.

22:04

Let me prove you on this table? Regardless of how many balls Yeah, yeah.

K Anderson  22:14

Oh, wow. And then so how do you like, I’m assuming you went back after being refused?

Jess McAvoy  22:21

Yeah, I think once I gained a bit more confidence, and this, these were in the early days that I was living in Melbourne, and I just started dating my partner at the time, and, you know, she had, she was studying gender at university. So I got to sort of learn all these things about queer theory and, and, and bits and pieces about feminist theory and things. So I started to kind of get a little bit more activism in me and, and get a bit more staunch about my identity and such. So. So yeah, went back to the glass house, but then, you know, started to find other spaces that were a lot more inclusive. And, and, you know, so there was this place in Collingwood, called the builders arms, where they ran this night on Thursdays called q&a, queer an alternative. And that felt cool, because it was like it felt it felt more like a voluntary participation kind of thing. But it wasn’t like you walk into a room, and then you’re this, it was that you go into a space and everybody’s dancing, and you don’t know who’s gonna be there. And you don’t know, you know, it felt a lot more queer rather than just like a bunch of lesbians and a bunch of gay guys.

K Anderson  23:29

And so why do you think that is it is like, so q&a was held in a non a normally, and normally not queer space, and right, once a week queer, and it was mixed gender, so it wasn’t leaning on, on yet. Agenda.

Jess McAvoy  23:46

Yeah, and I think because the organisers had sort of, like, set it up as queer an alternative, it wasn’t like it was, it was an alternative culture event. So the people who kind of, you know, I’ve always found it really interesting about like, because I, you know, I have a lot of friends who, you know, 10 to 20 years younger than me. And so they, we have a lot of conversations about being queer in the age of the internet versus not, because the contrast is so magnificent. And I think that I’ve always found it really interesting that spaces, and it was super necessary, right? It was really necessary to make these spaces so people could meet one another and find, you know, other queers and such but having that contrast of being in a music community versus a queer community at the time, it was always so baffling to me, that you would get in a room and everybody would like socialise based on the assumption that they have. We all have things in common purely because we’re all attracted to people of the same gender. And so to not have actual common interests outside of that you sort of get this alcoholic culture that are just all getting fucked up and kind of fucking each other because that’s really the the space that you’re in But then when you start to see these, these more alternative spaces opening up, and what’s so wonderful about some of the spaces in New York, like down the road here, there’s a place called the house of Yes, that their policy and their whole concept of their venue is around consent. And so like, you have to basically sign a waiver upon entry that says that you won’t touch anyone, you won’t approach anyone, you won’t do anything without specifically asking for consent. First, you’re not allowed to take photos of people like laying down all of these standard procedures of how to create a safe space. And as a result of that, this space is so inclusive, that you just feel safe, and you feel safe to be whatever you are. And I think that I’ve always really wanted spaces like that, where it’s just like, no one gives a shit. No one gives a shit, you just be who you are, you’ll meet other people that I have fought to be who they are. And that gives you a really diverse range of humans to socialise with. And I think that that’s always been something that I really craved as it as a young queer person was not a space where I get to slot into a category and adjust my personality and, you know, get the Birkenstocks in the Sun Belt, and dye my hair

K Anderson  26:15

and Indigo girl CDs, Indigo Girls,

Jess McAvoy  26:18

Franco and you know, and where the tank tops and the leather cuffs and things like that, which I did. But to have a space where where we get to push into all of these beautiful, different aspects of who we are. Because it’s such a identity is such a complex thing. And, and I think as we, as we get to look at Gen Z is and all of these wonderful young people who have access to information and the capacity to to moulded into these, these fantastical new concepts, we’re starting to notice that the complexities of human expression, it just wouldn’t work to have these really super binary spaces for queer people anymore, because we don’t, especially now that I, you know, I mean, I guess for me, I was craving representation of like, all of the different facets of who I am, because my gender has never sat in one spot. I learned really, really diligently to perform my gender female, because that’s what I felt that I had to do. But now what what sort of space would I fit in? Now, if we went back to the to the 90s, and there’s a dark bar around the corner, and then there’s the gay bar over the road? Where the fuck do I go?

K Anderson  27:29

back and answer is that what you’re saying that, like queer and alternative? Kind of was that space for you? Yeah,

Jess McAvoy  27:35

it felt like that, you know, I had friends that didn’t sit in the binary parts of the spectrum that I would read all meet up there. And there was no conversation about it. It was just word, this really fun thing. And I get to be here with all my friends who some of them happen to be a bit queer, and some of them don’t. And if I hit on a girl over there, she’s probably going to be into it. You know, rather than going okay, cool. So we’re in a diaper. Everybody’s gonna fuck each other at some point who hasn’t fucked to, like, how do we how do we pick this so that we don’t cross pollinate and turn it into drama? You know, so I think and how do I indicate that I want to play pool next?

K Anderson  28:15

do that without getting what is the etiquette? Yeah. Oh, yeah. I used to be you put a coin down, right. And then you just like, strut around, like,

Jess McAvoy  28:25

what’s going on? By your pint of beer and stare at the table until you intimidated someone? Yeah, but like, I think, you know, as much as I make, I mean, I met my first girlfriend q&a. And yeah, it was a it was when text messaging first started.

K Anderson  28:46

Oh, it was like, Why do you say that?

Jess McAvoy  28:49

Well, it was the day that my very first text message that I received was from her going I see you across the bar and what the fuck is going on with my phone? And I was like, there’s a text here. From this Alex person. That’s interesting.

K Anderson  29:06

Wait, wait. Okay. So she had met before that hang okay. We had met. We had met.

Jess McAvoy  29:16

And I tell you, I walked up to her. And the first thing I said to her No, because it was a q&a. I actually did meet her at q&a. She was in the bathroom, or I saw her walk past. And I had seen her some weeks before at a different bar. And she just flooded by. And I was like, Oh, my God. And then the second time I saw her was a q&a. And I walked up to her. And I shook her hand and I said, You are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in Mumbai. And she goes, Oh, man, I was so smooth. And she goes, um, she’s like, well, I already have a drink waiting for me. But thank you and I said, cool. I’ll buy you another one. And I just grabbed it by the hand and I drag it to the bar and I set it down and I bought our second drink right in front of the girl that she was with I was a smartass speech back then. And then. And then I go to number seven the second time that she turned up a q&a. She texted me. And I hadn’t seen her since that night. So but then there was like a whole three months of stalking afterwards and a whole bunch of other stuff. So it wasn’t as romantic as it sounds. It was it was quite messy as those kinds of beginnings tend to

K Anderson  30:21

be well, yeah, I mean, what you know, when you’re that age, that sounds patronising, but so so then the reason that you hadn’t been in touch between those two nights, was it because you were like, cool, then like, Oh, yeah, maybe I’ll be in touch. Or I think

Jess McAvoy  30:35

I was just like such a. I don’t know. She, she was very hard to get for a long time, she played very hard to get for a long time. She wasn’t that interested. She was more interested in Maina people at the time. And so now what, we’re good friends now.

K Anderson  30:55

Isn’t it fascinating, like the energy that you would have for that kind of thing? When you were younger? Now? I’m like, Yeah, okay.

Jess McAvoy  31:03

I know, I know, like, I talked to my younger friends who who are sort of in the thick of all of that shit, and the drama. It’s like, you have to go through it my but I do not envy you at all. You know, I think that the the haze of confusion around like, how to be happy or how to feel connected, or how to be valid in that time. You know, everything is so heightened.

K Anderson  31:24

Yeah, but also like getting it right. I think like, when does that happen? Exactly? Like, you know, you get to a point where you’re like, Oh, yeah, that’s not like that isn’t the point like you’re not going to get it right. But when you’re a certain age, or when you’re like new to romance, it’s like, right, I need to find the one and I need to lock it in. And suck it dry and

Jess McAvoy  31:49

repeat the same patterns over and over and over again.

K Anderson  31:52

But it’s fine, because we look happy externally.

31:57

Oh.

K Anderson  32:01

So you weren’t in Australia at the time? Do you remember hearing about q&a closing?

Jess McAvoy  32:07

Yeah, I do remember hearing about it closing? I remember about I remember. You know, once the internet came along, and people started relying on dating apps, it just sort of, I remember reading an article probably five or six years ago about queer spaces throughout the world disappearing as a result of a lot of these apps and such. I mean, I’m not 100% surprise, I think, like, as I was saying, I think as culture sort of diversifies, and we sort of become a lot more. I mean, ultimately, I think that the the greater arc of our human evolution at this point in time is one away from the binary binary, you know, in so many ways, like we’re sort of seeing this huge shift away from being separate, we’re starting to all be forced to stare at our singularity as a, as a energy body, you know, that we’re all part of the one. So I think it makes perfect sense that these spaces that sort of thrived upon segregation, kind of have to disappear. And I think that while it’s a massive shame, that we’re losing the nostalgia for these moments where we got shown a certain kind of freedom. I think that to make real lasting freedom, that these are some of the sacrifices that need to be made,

K Anderson  33:32

and have been, what do you think is the replacement?

Jess McAvoy  33:34

I think it’s spaces like the house of Yes, I think it’s spaces like what you see in New York, and that you’ve seen in New York for a long time where, you know, queerness is the frosting on a community of creatives. Because more often than not, you know, we are the people who live on the fringes of society, because we have to. And so from that vantage point, we have more to say we’ve got more critical thinkers because we’re forced to be, so to just identify us by the people that we sleep with, I think is really, really limiting when we can be identified by the valuable contributions we can give to society from the vantage point of being excluded, but still passing or included and still excluded. And, you know, to have sympathies with communities that are different to us.

K Anderson  34:24

Because we’re used to being different here. But and so what happens then when

34:31

like,

K Anderson  34:33

integrations are horrible term to use at this time, but like what happens when queerness is more integrated into the mainstream? And there isn’t that often that’s necessarily

Jess McAvoy  34:44

that? Well, I think it just depends on a depends on which parts of society I think there’s always going to be ingrained fear of otherness. I think that that’s just how we survive. That’s how humans are wired. But I think that as the conversation gets wider, I will Leave that people who would otherwise identify themselves as exclusively straight don’t anymore, I think that there’s, the more that we’re exposed to one another, the more we start to realise how alike we are. And I think there’s always going to be spaces where people feel safe to just be, you know, around other people that sit in a closer identity. space with one another, but we’re heading that way we have to, we have to all be able to see each other as, as the same. And I mean, you know, with with, with the systemic racism that we’re all kind of looking at at the moment. It’s the same thing, like you look around, it’s like, oh, shit, we are actually all one race. We are all one race, we’ve always been one race, this segregation by colour was, was created during the Spanish Inquisition, this was something that was created to identify people on site, whether or not they were Christians, it was manufactured, to control and make money. It’s not an inherent human behaviour, neither is to segregate us by cut by colour, or by sorry, by sexuality, or gender, this is all these are all constructs. And as these constructs fail, we’ll start to see that it’s all a lot muddier and a lot greater than we give it credit for. It’s just that we struggle to let go of those concepts, because we don’t quite understand how to freefall without dying. You know, we don’t know how to surrender without sacrificing everything that we trust. So I just think that anything away from what we’ve known is just a step further towards this future that we get to manifest in whatever shape we think is most awesome. So, you know, so like, and that’s, and I think that that’s what our job is moving forward is to start believing that there are possibilities beyond what we’ve seen before because it’s the only thing it’s the only thing that can come after all this chaos.

K Anderson  37:00

Did you ever go to q&a? Well, if you did, I would love to hear from you. Tell me your stories and share any photos or anecdotes you have through social media. You can find me on all platforms, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, under the user handle K Anderson music, and you can find out more about jess@www.js mcevoy.com lost spaces and not only a podcast, but a concept record as well. I’ve been writing songs about queer venues and the people who used to live their lives there. And we’ll be releasing songs over the coming year. You can hear the first thing go well groomed boys, which is also playing underneath my talking right now on all good streaming platforms. If you liked this episode, I would really appreciate if you subscribe, left a review on Apple podcasts or just tell people who you think might be interested. I am K Anderson and you’ve been listening to lost spaces.







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