Next up in our Queer Voices series, we'll be featuring singer-songwriter and music therapist Becca Jay, who proudly identifies as a lesbian.
Tell us a little bit about your coming out experience(s). How has life changed for you since being “out”?
BJ: I came out when I was 21-years-old. It went as well as you might expect for someone with a family who had been largely involved in the church. We didn’t talk much for the following few years, aside from phone calls that mainly ended in yelling/shaming/tears. However, since coming out my personal life has blossomed in a way that I never imagined could be possible for me. I have never felt especially like “myself” until these last couple of years, and that is 100% a result of me being out. Honestly, I just feel like I can fucking breathe.
LBP: How do other aspects of your identity intersect (or perhaps clash) with your sexuality?
BJ: I have a collection of memorable stories about being a young, queer woman working in music therapy with populations who profoundly disagree with my existence but required my services for growth or closure. It’s a strange intersection and consistently leaves me stranded in spaces that, even still, I never quite feel I’m allowed to take up.
Image description: Square graphic with yellow background and large white quotation mark at the top. At bottom of square, large black text reads: "queer voices." In the middle, in black text, is a quote from Becca's interview. (The last two sentences of her response to question 1). Under the quote, in bold black text reads: "~Becca Jay. Pronouns: She/Her/Hers"
LBP: Pride is a celebration of liberation but also an acknowledgement of struggle, resistance, and revolution. Where do you see yourself in that celebration? Where do you see yourself in that struggle?
BJ: Pride has been liberating in the sense that it has given me permission to celebrate vital parts of myself that had previously felt shameful or wrong, but has also illustrated to me that even among my marginalized identities, I am in the majority, and we have a lot of work to do.
LBP: As an artist, how does your “queerness" or sexual orientation show up in your creative work?
BJ: Most of my processing of being queer has created songs that I’ve kept to myself. I think I’ve always felt isolated in my experience, which of course isn’t entirely true, but has stopped me from feeling like I should share that part of my journey. Maybe someday I’ll feel differently, but as of now, the queer part of my identity is mainly expressed in love songs with female pronouns. Even so, I think this mainly confuses listeners, as they often seem more likely to think that I misspoke than think I could be in love with a woman.
LBP: What queer-centered artists, shows, films, podcasts, authors, etc. are you into right now?
BJ: This is an area I lack in. I wish I had some good references - this is something I’m working on.
LBP: What are some of your favorite LGBTQ+ organizations or businesses you'd recommend our readers look into, buy from, donate to, volunteer for, etc.?
BJ: Uhhhhh Lady Brain. But for real.
To find out more about Becca Jay, visit https://www.beccajaymusic.com/. Stay tuned throughout the month of July for more Queer Voices interviews!
February is the shortest month of the year, but it is jam-packed with events from members of Lady Brain Collective. Mark your calendars for great music, art, and entertainment from the most creative womxn in town!
Saturday, February 1 - Corina Rose Collective Album Release w/ Shane Hall at EVE Encinitas
Groovy, funky spiritual soul and rock and roll! More info
Friday, February 7 - Donna Larsen and Messengers at Amplified Ale Works in Pacific Beach
Join Donna Larsen and Messengers for great-tasting ale and great-sounding Indie Pop and Rock! The Mediterranean restaurant upstairs will deliver your food right to the table so you don't have to miss a beat.
8-10pm. More info
Friday, February 7 - Lindsay White, Becca Jay, Veronica May at The Merrow in Hillcrest
Kick off the weekend with full band sets from Lindsay White (folk/rock), Becca Jay (jazz/pop), and Veronica May (rock) at The Merrow in Hillcrest. Also featuring Lady Brain Collective members Jules Stewart and Paige Miller! $10 cover, 21+. More info
Saturday, February 8 - Tori Roze & The Hot Mess at Amplified Ale Works in Pacific Beach
Tori Roze & The Hot Mess brings you funky-jazzy-Neo-soul original music and cover jams at your fabulous neighborhood brewery featuring 16 original brews and delicious Mediterranean grub. No cover. 8-10pm. More info
Friday, February 14 - Calamity at De Oro Mine Company in El Cajon
Come solo or bring your sweetie to “the Ford Pinto of bars" De Oro Mine Company on Valentine's Day. Join the Calamity gals for some self-love, great music, games, and raffles. Three full hours of fun beginning at 8pm, no cover. 21+. More info
Saturday, February 15 through Wednesday, February 19 - The Muse in Winter: A Creativity Retreat in Taos, N.M at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House
Restore, revitalize, and nourish your creative self where creative greats from Georgia O'Keefe to Martha Graham received creative inspiration. Writing, art, yoga, improv games for the intimidated beginner to the seasoned expert. With author/illustrator and creative coaching guru, Jill Badonsky. More info
Tuesday, February 18 - The Spiritual Motels and The Banduvloons with Touchtone at The Casbah
Come out and support Lady Brain members Amy Day, Karina Frost Moreno and KC Deichler as The Spiritual Motels and The Banduvloons make their Casbah debut! 9pm, $6, 21+. More info
Thursday, February 20 - Compassion: A soulsong.life Transformative Songwriting Workshop with Astra Kelly at The Lotus Room in Hillcrest
Experience growth, healing, and connection through music by tapping into the creative source on the very auspicious date of 2.20.2020. We will explore the theme of “compassion" in depth and write (and record!) a song together that reflects our shared perceptions and experiences. No musical skills necessary! 6-9p, $75. Advance registration required. More info
Saturday, February 29 - Lady Brain Presents “Love in the Round" Community Gathering in South Park
Please join us for this historic leap year event at a private residence in South Park, where we will explore various definitions of and experiences with love. Our host Bonnie Nicholls will kick off the night, followed by a Nashville-style songwriters round featuring Astra Kelly and Carissa Schroeder. We will also showcase art by Barbara Rutherford. $10 advance tickets. Limited capacity seating; please make sure to RSVP early! More info
Attention Business Owners: Advertise Your Company on the Brain Candy Blog!
Rather than spend your advertising dollars on sponsored Facebook/Instagram ads and seemingly fake engagement, our advertising partnership offers genuine organic engagement increases your company's visibility as well as its reputation for supporting the community and empowering local womxn creatives. More info
We had such a wonderful day at yesterday's community gathering! Special thanks to the Lipson family for hosting us at their beautiful home, to all our featured performers, guest artist Amanda Pulis, and to Susan Lipson for facilitating a wonderful creative writing exercise for all attendees. We work hard to build safe spaces for our members and the community to create, connect, express, and be vulnerable with each other. Mission accomplished!
The theme of this month's gathering was A Way With Words - each performer was asked to share not only their work, but also the inspiration and stories that inspired each piece. We heard about several topics ranging from mental health to grief to aging and more. The common denominator was that each artist combined creativity and resilience to process, heal, and help others. What a beautiful way to cope and connect!
Community gatherings are special because we get to showcase our members' work to the community and because we ask guests to tap into their own creativity. It was wonderful to see so many attendees not only participate in our writing exercise, but also jump up on the mic to share their newly written pieces.
Don't miss out on the next community gathering! We hope you'll join us for next month's holiday party and clothing drive on 12/8 at The Holding Company in Ocean Beach. Want to know more about our showcases? Be sure to sign up for email updates, plus you can also always find showcase info on our homepage. Lastly, if you believe in our cause, please consider becoming a Lady Brain Lover or sponsor so we can continue bringing these awesome events to San Diego!
Welcome to this month's Brain Candy - here are our picks for the greatest gigs/events happening around town this month!
Saturday, November 2 - Tori Roze at Vanguard Culture's “Future" Themed Event
An avant-garde “Future" themed costume-filled evening of world class spoken word, live music, dance performances, visual art, wine, craft cocktails, and delicious edible treats! This quarterly Spoken Word Series is themed around moments in the history of art, fashion, science, music, pop culture, and more. Partnered with presentations and performances by the FLEET Science Center, UCSD Neuropathy Research, CityFX special effects makeup, Veteran Couture, Chef Daniela de la Puente, Psychic Artist Crystal Daigle, photographer Josue Castro, and renowned spoken word artist Gill Sotu - this night promises to be thoroughly engaging and inspiring. The event is 7-10pm @ IDEA1 (899 Park Blvd 92101, use F St. entrance). Tickets are $25 for industry professionals (show your business card at the door) and $40 general admission - friends get a 25% off discount with code TORI. Avant-garde “Future" themed costumes encouraged (steam punk, etc.). More info
Sunday, November 3 - Gratitude: A soulsong.life Transformative Songwriting Workshop with Astra Kelly at Gypsy Magic in Talmadge
Experience growth, healing and connection through music by tapping into the creative source. As a group, we will explore the theme of gratitude in depth and write a song together that reflects our shared experiences. No musical experience required. 2-5p, $75. Advance registration required. More info/Register
Sunday, November 17 - Lady Brain Presents: A Way With Words Interactive Storytelling Showcase
Join members of the Lady Brain Collective for an interactive storytelling showcase featuring poetry, prose, music, and art. After the showcase, author/poet Susan Lipson will facilitate an optional creative writing exercise for all attendees. Light lunch will be provided. Space is limited - please register online to reserve your seat. More info
Friday, November 22 - Julia Sage and The Bad Hombres at Bar Pink
Start your weekend party early! Have a nice drink while listening to some SouthAmericana™. Julia Sage and The Bad Hombres hit the Bar Pink stage at 7pm! More info
Saturday, November 23 - The Spiritual Motels Album Launch Party at The Merrow, with Lindsay White and the Becca Jay Band
Bring all your friends and experience a Lady Brain-tastic extravaganza of an evening with the launch of the debut album from The Spiritual Motels, a band which deeply values and actively supports the life of the Lady Brain Collective (and includes LB member Amy Day). The evening will include full band performances by Lindsay White (with Jules Stewart) and the Becca Jay Band (which includes Mikayla Beaulieu and Paige Miller), and both Jules and Becca will be sitting in on various songs in The Spiritual Motels' set. And there will be a singalong for all! You can also find the album everywhere that same day, or pre-order it on iTunes beginning Nov. 8. The show begins at 9pm. Tickets $7 adv/ $10 door, 21+. More info
We're excited to announce our next community gathering! On November 17, we invite you to join us for a storytelling showcase featuring lyrics, poetry, and prose from several members of the Lady Brain Collective, including Lizzie Wann, Lillian Lefranc, Becca Jay, Lisa Brackmann, Abby Dorsey, Mary Hamer, Bonnie Nicholls, Lindsay White, and Susan Lipson. Our exhibiting artist will be new Lady Brain member Amanda Lea - her work is unreal! In addition to the showcase, we will be offering an (optional) creative writing activity for all attendees, facilitated by our host Susan Lipson. The event will take place at a private residence in Poway, and seating is limited, so make sure to RSVP as soon as possible to reserve your space!
Thanks to SoundDiego for reminding folks about Lady Brain Fest today! Read the feature here! Online ticket sales have closed, but tix will still be available at the door for cash purchase!
Thank you to Rosemary Bystrak for including a shout-out to Lady Brain Fest on the San Diego: Dialed In blog. We appreciate the support!
Thank you to the San Diego Reader for including Lady Brain Fest in their weekend event roundup! We appreciate the local love (though we were all the headliners cause that's how we roll in the Lady Brain crew, lol).
Thanks to Pacific San Diego for this great writeup on the Lady Brain Collective and our upcoming Lady Brain Fest! Great quotes from Lindsay White, Becca Jay, Corina Rose, Astra Kelly, Marie Haddad, and Karina Frost. Read the full article here, and don't forget to purchase your Lady Brain Fest tickets!
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