Stand-up comedian and upstanding queer Lisa-Skye is hosting a follow-up to the acclaimed 2013 spoken word event The Invisibles as part of the 2016 Midsumma Festival. Boasting some of the best spoken word acts in Melbourne, the show explores many unique experiences of invisibility within the queer community, the issues that arise from this, and the ways these issues can be addressed. As part of popculture-y’s coverage of Midsumma, we spoke to Lisa-Skye about the event.
First things first: who is performing on the evening? What can you tell us about them?
We have Melbourne’s greatest queer identifying spoken word artists. Performers include Quinn Eades, John Stevens, Lian Low, Tim Baxter, Erin Kyan, Lia Incognita, Quinn Eades, Dmetri Kakmi, LJ Maher and Megan Petrie. If you don’t know these names, don’t worry. I’ve been doing these events since 2008 and over that time I’ve found the best of the best so you’re in safe hands.
Was there an Invisibles 1? If there was, can you give us some details on that?
Yes! Every year, I do one or two spoken word events for Midsumma. In 2013 queer visibility was a subject I’d frequently think about. We held it at Bar Nancy (RIP) and it was an absolute hit, so we’ve decided to do another one. Some readers are the same, some are different – it’ll be great to see how the readers’ perspectives have changed in three years, or how new ones tackle the subject.
The theme of the evening is invisibility. Many queer people experience this in many different ways. What is your own experience with this, and how do you think it can be addressed, both in the queer community and beyond?
Queer visibility is a pet topic of mine. I’ll be talking about my own experiences throughout the night, navigating the world as someone who appears to be a cis female, in a traditional hetero marriage… when there’s a LOT more to the story. In both the ‘straight’ and ‘queer’ worlds, people like me can often be… misinterpreted? Mislabelled? So yeah, I’mma talk about the funny side of that.
What inspired this event?
The above, mostly. Me trying to get laid but shooting myself in the foot by mentioning my husband all the damned time because I’m so obsessed with him. Me receiving unwanted attention from cis dudes who think they’re tops/dominant and assume I couldn’t possibly be because I’m a femme. Femme in the streets, femme in the sheets, motherfucker, and I’ll tear through you til you beg me for more.
Midsumma has come under fire recently, with critics accusing it of focussing on cis gay men, to the detriment of many others in the community. What are your thoughts on this and on Midsumma as an event?
This is a very important question that we need to keep asking, not just of Midsumma, but of all queer festivals, at least in this country. My friend Daisy and I recently did a festival where we were the only female-appearing act in the comedy section. We need to ask why this is, and what can be done about it.
What do you think the audience will take away from Invisibles 2?
That Melbourne’s best-kept secret is the amazingly diverse and incredible, entertaining, funny, sexy, sad and beautiful spoken word performers. This night will have everything and I can’t bloody wait!
The Invisibles 2: Misread, Unclocked, or a Case of Mistaken Identity is being hosted by the City Library on Thursday 28th of January from 7pm. Tickets are free but reservations are recommended. Bookings through Eventbrite