Today, I talk with Dana Morrigan, wonderful human, wry wit, queer nonbinary transfeminine spoken word artist, writer, performer, and epic karaoke host! It’s about her quest for self-knowledge across many parts of her life: in her cultural affiliations, in her work, in her relationships, in her gender and sexuality, in finding her creative callings. And the through-line is really that the process of finding ourselves is lifelong, and, if you’re doing it right, you can help other people find themselves, too.
We talked about: growing up in the Catskills of the ‘60s and ‘70s; identifying with cultural outlaws like Tiny Tim and Harpo Marx, and identifying with genderfluid and sexually free hippie culture; we talked comedy and improv; performance; writing, both creatively and professionally; copywriting; the demands of academia; heteronormative relationship expectations; gender and sexual discovery; finding the language to better understand oneself; the lifelong project of integrating one’s sense of self and belonging; finding and creating community; queer and trans performance; queer open mic; karaoke…and so many other things!
Melville’s Bartleby, The Scrivener
Walter Sobchak doesn’t roll on Shabbos
Bob and Ray radio shows
One of the main open mic events Dana performed at was The SF Queer Open Mic. They no longer hold events, but you can still find the community on Facebook
And at the SF Queer Open Mic archive
Dana also participated in the Fresh Meat Festival of Trans and Queer Performance
El Rio in San Francisco
Glen Campbell performing “Rhinestone Cowboy”
Johnny Cash performing “A Boy Named Sue,” written by the great Shel Silverstein
At the very end of the episode, I referenced “Rogerian,” i.e., Carl Rogers’ psychotherapeutic approach, which informed non-directive play therapy. This was when Dana and I were talking about the therapeutic effects for queer and trans folks being in karaoke community. The history of this modality, though, preceded Rogers and was expanded later by Virginia Axline. Here’s a brief history of the modality
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