The Desert Split Open Celebrates Hi-Desert Pride

Sunday June 23, 2024, 12:00-5:00 PM
Beatnik Lounge: 61597 29 Palms Hwy, Joshua Tree, CA

By Lady Chilane

Join us for a day of LGBTQ+ Pride. The Beatnik opens at 12:00 noon for those wanting to catch the special “Queerated” community art show. Enjoy light refreshments and browse books and art for sale from our featured artists.

At 1:00, we begin with remarks from our special guest, Flint, a trans and queer education human rights content creator with 350,000+ followers on both Instagram and TikTok. Flint and his partner recently moved to the Hi-Desert from Orange County, where Flint was an openly trans public-school teacher. For almost 8 years, he hosted a popular, 200-title LGBTQ+ library, curated by students, until he became the focus of national far-right media attacks and constant public threats.

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At 1:30, three featured readers, Barb Morrison, Ruth Nolan, and Susan Rukeyser will share brief excerpts from their work, as they did as panelists on “Queering the Literary Landscape” at this year’s Bombay Beach Lit Fest.

Barb Morrison is a top 5 Billboard dance chart songwriter and platinum record producer best known as producer for artists such as Blondie, Rufus Wainwright, and Franz Ferdinand, and as an ASCAP featured film score composer. They just released their first book, bottoming for god.

Ruth Nolan, a former wildland firefighter, writes about life in the non-binary Mojave Desert, where she’s lived for most of her life since childhood. Her books include After the Dome Fire and No Place for a Puritan: The Literature of California’s Deserts (editor).

Susan Rukeyser is a writer and host of Joshua Tree’s “feminist, queer, and otherwise radical” Desert Split Open Mic. Her second novel, The Worst Kind of Girl, is out this June. Set in Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree, the main character comes out at 50 years old.

At 2:00, it’s time for the Open Mic! Everyone is welcome and encouraged to read LGBTQ+ poetry or prose – any form, any genre, their own or someone else’s – for up to 6 minutes.

At 3:30, to close out the show on the right, sparkly note, we will enjoy a brief performance by special guest, (ME!!!) Lady Chilane. A drag performer, originally from Tennessee, who now resides in Joshua Tree, Lady Chilane hosts a variety of shows across the Hi-Desert, including Drag Bingo, and recently filmed a movie due to be released later this year.

Questions/Contact: Susan Rukeyser, desertsplitopen@gmail.com | Instagram: @desertsplitopen

Based in Joshua Tree, California, the Desert Split Open encourages and amplifies literary work that is feminist, queer, or otherwise radical.

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