About me: My name is Emily Hook though some people know me as Em or Pilomuli or Pill or Trainwreck, and I definately have too many names right now. Well I guess I am a Romani-American transwoman and entertainer. I have been attending Camp Trans since 2003 and was an advocate in 2004 and a lead advocate in 2005 and 2006 though in 2006 I had to cut out of the role early due to personal concerns. I have also performed at Camp Trans in 2004 through 2006 and was a speaker at the 2003 political rally which was held at the Camp Trans site. I have also been one of the more vocal supporters of intentional masculinities amongst transwomen, having also coined the term crowdagger as in intentional identity for those butch transwomen who want it. On top of this I am becoming more active in Romani cultural activism and hope to help raise the volume of feminist voices in my population.
Age: I will be twenty six years old on the fifth of May which is exciting but also weird since it means that there is less than half a decade till I am thirty and there is still so much I planned on having done by then.
Location: At present I am nomadic though I am on my way toward Los Angeles and will most likely be settling there for one to a few years, though I will not know if this I really want to live there again until I get there. I just recently moved from Northampton though it was in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles that I spent most of my life growing up. Yes I am a valley girl and yes I unintentionally bust out the accent when I get too excited.
I Identify As A: Femme Crowdagger, which is weird because the term was specifically coined to describe transwomen with intentional masculinities. But I figure it is one of those things that does not go away even if the presentation shifts around a little bit. Like how an old bulldagger is still an old bulldagger even if she suddenly decides to be femme. I also identify as a Gypsy (with a capital G please) but that is reclaimed language and not really for other people to use.
I Have Attended As A Michigan Festie: Have not yet attended the festival nor do I presently plan on it. While I am pleased with the present shift from a policy to a more vague statement of intent, my own politics and goals require that I not attend until the festival actually says that transwomen are welcome or until the culture changes so dramatically that it is a non-issue. That said I do hope to attend someday soon. In fact once my act is perfected I am planning on auditioning myself as a performer for the festival and as an out transwoman, putting the policy to a real test just for my own personal edification.
I have attended Camp Trans: I sure have, which I included up above in my first answer. Camp Trans is my dearest love to be sure and played a large role in clarifying who I am as a person. I owe my present to my history with camp more than I owe it to anything else really.
For How Many Years: 2003 through 2006.
I have camped at Camp Trans: I have camped there each year I have attended, always in the loud and substance okay zone. I love my little corner of the woods for sure.
I would like to be attend CT this year: Yes I will be there. I believe I will also be performing at camp this year though performance dates and times and schedules and everything have yet to be discussed or decided on. But if I do end up performing I am looking to do something pretty radical, the sort of final step in the development of my Trainwreck stage persona and it may involve some self-taught concertina (that is a tiny accordion) music on the sly.
I would like camp at CT this year (2007): Yeah, I will be camping of course. I will also be making good wheat-free saffron bread in the woods since some of my fohlki have taught me how to do just that. Said saffron bread will also be used to make this really delicious kind of Romani toast that is just so swell. Like French bread, but totally not French in any way. Possibly vegan, if I can find the right ingredients.
Lastly, I boycott/boycotted Fest. Why, please explain: I think boycott is too strong a word. I have never asked someone to not attend the festival, despite having my own strong feelings about issues of solidarity and presenting a unified front and the like. I was not even a fan of the performer boycott from a few years back, being a performer myself.
Something else you should know: I am very sensitive to Romani issues and their role in contemporary race politics. Making assumptions about my people is a quick way to get on my bad side though I always happilly accept apologies, seeing as how I have had to make quite a few apologies of my own in the past. I also still do not know how I feel exactly concerning this new triptych situation of Camp Trans and Michfest and the Yellow Armbands, and I am still processing all of that even after the last few months so I am mostly going to keep quiet for awhile. Finally I may sometimes sound like I pissed off in a debate or argument but if we were friends before chances are we are still friends (unless you do something truly heinous like eat a baby just to make your point) so do not take my tone too seriously. I taste good with salt so use plenty, by all means.
Fun Fact: Ummm. Ummmmmmmmm. Ummmmmmmmmmmmm..... I got nothin.