In the cloud of champagne-soaked, rainbow-underwear-clad revelry that surrounds Pride, it’s easy to forget the ugly history behind the holiday -- the intolerance, the bullying, the criminal charges, and the hate crimes that have made a simple statement of sexuality a courageous act. But once the party ends and the hangover wears off, it’s invaluable to reflect on the struggles of the past and plan for the future. THIS IS WHAT I WANT, the annual four-day queer performance festival, kicks off with new works by local drag powerhouses Dia Dear and Mica Sigourney, and culminates with today's symposium, and a participatory exploration of audience members’ desires. The symposium is hosted by Carol Queen, renowned sexologist and chief cultural officer for sex toy emporium Good Vibrations, and features theorists and performers on the subjects of yearning and economy. If you’re plagued by the question, “Can I escape capitalism through a performance of queer desire?” expect to have your curiosity sated. After a week of absorbing shows, audiences have the opportunity to engage in a (ahem) hands-on experience, guided by sex workers and artists eager to help budding performers and exhibitionists stage their intimate desires.
June 27-30, 2012