Dressing in head-to-toe glam, going as a fan, as a member of the paparazzi or paying homage to celebrity are the recommended costume ideas for Buth Femme Salon Does the Red Carpet.
“We’re turning the Cabaret at Buddies into a show premiere,” says Belle Jumelles, one of the Salon’s producers.
“Gender expression is one of the most interesting and important issues right now,” says actor and drag Titus Androgynous, also a producer of the night. “Previously, a butch/femme dynamic was read as heteronormative, and I think our new understanding of gender as performance allows us to expand our idea of what that means. It is also not necessarily tied to sex or sexuality.”
After successfully pulling off the Salon’s first party in May 2010, Sly (an original founder, who threw many successful parties over the course of two years) turned the event organizing over to new hands, which is when local artists Jumelles and Titus came onto the scene. The two met as performers at the February 2012 edition, “Cabaret of Love,” where Titus co-hosted and Belle performed one of her signature burlesque and singing numbers. From the beginning they were enthusiastic about continuing to make the Salon a success. This February’s installment marks the third Butch Femme Salon they’ve produced together.
“Sly’s vision was to create a space where trans-identified people also fit into our community. We hope we’ve maintained that vibe and continue to make it open to everyone, no matter where you fall on the butch/femme spectrum,” Belle says.
By having a theme, Salon-goers have the opportunity to play with their own gender presentation. As Titus explains, “Butch and femme are two ends of a spectrum, with many interesting places in between, and we can celebrate them all. Some use it as an opportunity to come in drag, dressed opposite to how they usually present, while some see this as a safe place to dress more butch or femme than they feel comfortable doing in everyday life,” she says. “And everyone enjoys being surrounded by people willing to celebrate all genders.”
Queer theatre and film produced in Toronto will take the spotlight this time, with the entertainment including theatre artists and fun movie-themed performances. The photo booth with props will return, thanks to Kristy Boyce, of What Dyke Looks Like, which has been an ongoing collaboration. And, since it’s awards season, attendees will have their chance to shine on the red carpet.
“Join us on the red carpet and feel the flashing lights of the cameras!” Belle says.