Mega Monday Motivation News: Jeffrey Marsh’s book How to Be You is coming out this week!

As gushed when I received the extraordinary honor to review their book:

The luminous Jeffrey Marsh gifts us all with How to Be You. Expanding from their sparks of online affirmations into an enlightening how-to manual for self-discovery and delight, Jeffrey guides us through the creative, ever-evolving process of understanding and accepting ourselves. Ultimately, they remind us the best person we can become is our self.

The finished book is wonderful. Flipping through, I couldn’t resist doing an exercise inviting me to list a few of my favorite things. Jeffrey suggests enjoying the Q&A might reveal clues about myself, a pattern to my attractions. Let’s see…

Jeffrey Marsh, How to Be You

Jeffrey Marsh, How to Be You

My Favorite Things: 

Ice Cream Flavor? Steve’s Bklyn Blackout Cake

Insect? Firefly

Movie? Pretty in Pink

Subject to Learn About? Women

Toenail polish color? All nails in Chanel 483 Vendetta

President? Hillary Clinton!!

Game? Tetris

Fish? Allergic

Breakfast cereal? (When I ate cereal) Cocoa Puffs

Book or Play? Book: Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin. Play: The Crucible, Arthur Miller.

Thing to do on Saturdays? Run

Time to take a bath? After an airplane ride

Sport? To play: soccer. To watch: basketball.

Kind of math problem? Long division

Season? Summer

Singer? Impossible to only list one–unless blending a few of their names together counts–whitneyprincekatymarvinbeydollyselenacashkellybonniefogertysomanymore

Color to wear? All hues of denim

Food? Chips

AND an additional favorite thing? If you buy the book today, you’re supporting Jeffrey as well as contributing $1 to GLSEN. Buying today supports a trifecta of benefit. In Jeffrey’s words: “I proudly support GLSEN and their mission that every student should be treated with respect, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. I’m proud to donate $1 from every book sold during pre-sales, from now until August 1, 2016, to GLSEN to further support safe and affirming K-12 schools for all students.”

How to Be You is such a gift of support and sure to be an instant favorite for so many.

I love text art. I love neon art. I love feminist art. So I love, love, love Sophia Wallace’s illuminated text sculptures spelling out the clitoris at the Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, showing now through June 24, 2016.

FIVE reasons you might love Wallace’s work OVER AND OVER AND OVER, again:

ONE: Sophia Wallace is a fierce conceptual artist, exploring the gendered, sexualized, radicalized body, with a laser focus on the clit. Spy Lit Clit, 2016 here and her additional CLITERACY body of work.

Sophia Wallace, Lit Clit, 2016 & Over and Over and Over, 2016

Sophia Wallace, Lit Clit, 2016 & Over and Over and Over, 2016

TWO: Neon is such an interesting medium to use to provoke conversations about the female body. Neon so often brings to mind the pleasure-seeking of red-light districts and porn shops, as well clubs and clairvoyants; yet here neon is illuminating a word that is rarely spoken let alone understood much less respected.

THREE: Um, tttttttthhhhhiiiiiiiissssssss.

Sophia Wallace, My Name On the Surface of a Lost Star, 2016

Sophia Wallace, My Name On the Surface of a Lost Star, 2016

FOUR: The exhibition’s title was pulled from an ancient Gnostic screed, The Thunder, Perfect Mind. The divine voice is multi-gendered, but primarily a female divinity, proclaiming:

Until it is known, I will say it OVER AND OVER AND OVER

Until it is seen, I will create it OVER AND OVER AND OVER

Until it is present, I will invoke it OVER AND OVER AND OVER

FIVE: The Catinca Tabacaru Gallery is led by a badass female, who is dedicated to exploring authenticity via the language of gender and identity. She also mentioned that Wallace’s golden Swagga Like Us, 2016 piece declaring, “illest clitoris,” would make a great addition to the bedroom, a nightlight of sorts, for perhaps above the headboard. Fucking sold.

After first period, seniors began strutting the halls, spreading the salacious word: Today was sex day in Bible class. Living Christian High School’s version of sexual education was taught in Bible—as opposed to, say, Biology—because school administrators believed the sex act—if done right—could be transcendent. In Anatomy class, we memorized the stages of gestation. However, what came before fell under the purview of a man we’ll call Mr. Pastor, the Bible teacher, who also considered Rush Limbaugh videos to be curriculum.

At the 2:45 p.m. bell, Mr. Pastor called my unusually skittish class to order. He slid a transparency onto the overhead machine. A bride and groom stood before a closed gate with the address, “The Secret Garden.” I braced myself for the usual litany of dirt-slinging my kind of Bible believers reserved for premarital activity. However, Mr. Pastor surprised me.

“You don’t need me to remind you that the wages of sin is death,” he said, smiling like a wedding day officiator. “The world is full of it…of people, as they say, just doing it.” Mr. Pastor waved toward windows overlooking a street lined with the single-story sprawl of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

“For those willing to follow God’s plan, you will be wondrously rewarded. The gift of sexual relations the Lord Almighty has given unto men and women so that we might marvel in His goodness and share in the Divine wonder of Creation is truly glorious.”

My class shifted in their seats. Girls pulled down knee-length skirts; boys straightened neckties. Everyone prepared to take notes.

Keep reading! 


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