“It’s a funny thing, getting gay-bashed during a pandemic.”
“Which is not a sentence I expected to ever say, in January 2020”, Olympia Bukkakis said ruefully. Olympia, looking like a literal Bene Gesserit priestess, and The Darvish, dressed in fabulous self-made sparkle, were co-hosting a special online fundraiser edition of beloved Berlin performance party Queens Against Borders. The funds raised went to free self-defense classes for queer and trans refugees.
Olympia was attacked and beaten in the street, here in Berlin, on Easter Sunday this year.
She had to go to the hospital and have reconstructive surgery. There was a fundraiser for her needs as she convalesced, and she is ok. She has mostly recovered physically. The pain, horror and grief stays with us all. A visible, political, central figure in Berlin’s queer community was gay-bashed on the street. Meanwhile in the US, Black trans people are murdered weekly.
How can we LITERALLY protect queer and trans lives?
Olympia and Darvish had the idea that one thing that could help is giving queer and trans folk some more self-defense skills. Here in Berlin we have self-defense schools like Pretty Deadly Self Defense, where my friend Liliana teaches, and more. So QAB had a fundraiser, with performances by Berlin’s gorgeous queer, trans and enby folx! Gieza Poke sang her wonderful slut-positive intersectional Wet Underwater Pussy song.
The Darvish premiered an incredible video, Who I Am.
I love to draw The Darvish! Last time was during Queerantina, a solidarity fundraiser show.
Here is Wizzy dancing in the street to Gaga’s “Rain on Me”.
Wizzy, performer and organizer of Queer Syria, is one of my favorite people in Berlin to draw!
Queens Against Borders is about celebrating and supporting Berlin’s drag and dance performers who are refugees or asylum seekers. QAB says,
Our Performances are our Voices
That free us from all the traumas and defines who we are as humans. We are here to vocalise our existence with our bodies and art and to say its us against borders
Visit twitch for Apocalypse Tonight, Olympia‘s talk show. You can visit her website to learn more about her work. Follow The Darvish on Insta for hotness, activism, Out HIV ambassadorship and dancing! You can support some of Berlin’s queer and trans refugee and asylum seekers through Queerberg here.
Get-home-safe funds are a crucial way to Protect Trans Lives. Here in Berlin, there are a variety of venues working with Transfeminism.net on a safe travel fund network. Other Nature and Karada House have funds – if you want to shop for sex toys or go to a queer bondage event but are worried about traveling home later, just message them! Café Hydra has one too, for sw’s who want to share community and then Get Home Safe.
I am so grateful to my Patrons on Patreon, whose monthly financial support lets me keep documenting Berlin’s queer, political, vulnerable, powerful performers while I work safely at home.