Monday, November 30, 2009

Slutcracker Profile: Mistress Lolita LaVamp

Real name / stage name:
Mistress Lolita LaVamp, a.k.a. Elizabeth Marie Rivera-Valentine to the very privileged few . . .

Describe your artistic life before/outside of The Slutcracker, this year's or last. Were you already in the burlesque scene?
I am a proud 32 year old Puerto Rican Transgender female who hales from New York. I was born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in Southern California. I moved back to NYC when I was 19 to find myself and conquer the Big Apple. I have been involved in activism and the social service field more specifically HIV Prevention and Education for the past 14 years, advocating for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning individuals, LGBTQ youth of color from the house/ballroom scene and allied communities. I began volunteering at Gay Men’s Health Crisis as a Peer for the House of Latex Project in 1998 and eventually became a full time staff member. I was “Big Sis” of the House of Latex, a legendary ever-walking, ever-serving HIV prevention and education house that represents at balls within the ballroom community. Now my ballroom peers know me as Ms. Elizabeth Ninja of the House of Ninja. I have been an advocate for the health and wellness of the Transgender community and Sex Industry workers since 1997. I am very well-known and respected within the LGBTQ community nationally.

In January 2006, I was featured in the PBS Lesbian and Gay Television News Magazine “In the Life” in the episode named “Principles of Youth” in the segment named “Miss Elizabeth Latex” hosted by Ani DiFranco and again in January 2007 in a segment named “Beauty on the Black Market” where she speaks about silicone pumping and body feminization.

In January 2007, I became a full-time staff member at the Audre Lorde Project as the Organizing Coordinator of TransJustice, a political organizing group created by and for Trans and Gender Non-conforming people of color. TransJustice works to mobilize its communities and allies into action on the pressing political issues they face, including gaining access to jobs, housing, and education; the need for Trans-sensitive healthcare, HIV-related services, and job-training programs; police brutality, government and anti-immigrant violence.

I have been dancing since I was in High school. I did high school dance recitals and musicals (i.e. Oklahoma, Princess & The Pea). I also did community theater (i.e. “A Chorus Line” and “Lil Abner”).

I have also worked in NYC as a professional domme for various houses of domination (i.e. The Gilded Cage, Pandora’s Box, Angel Stern’s Chambers and Arena Blaze Studios).

What is your favorite accessory/clothing item/sparkly thing to don?
Fabulous earrings, a nice fitting jean and/or heels and/or skirt.

What do you do as a contributing member of society, and how do you feel about said contribution?
I became a full-time staff member at Cambridge Cares About AIDS in March 2009 as the Health Educator and Web Designer of TransCEND; a community-based HIV prevention and health education program of Cambridge Cares About AIDS (CCA) by and for transgender women. TransCEND provides 1 on 1 counseling and group support, HIV counseling and testing, referrals to transgender friendly legal and medical providers, safer sex and injection supplies, hygiene products, complimentary cosmetics and have a welcoming community safe space. I feel good and empowered by the work I do.

Are you shooting for the stars?
Always, will I land there is the question.

Are you landing on the moon?
I feel like I live on the moon sometimes.

Are you sick of career metaphors and doing shrooms behind the tent at your college reunions?
No college reunion for me and I don't shroom.

If I wanted to get you drunk enough for . . . I don't know, the best thing you can think of, what would I order?
More than one Green Apple Martini or Long Island Ice Tea. (Attn: I do not mix drinks . . . at least I try not to . . . depends on how drunk I am whether or not I notice that I am mixing . . . lol)

Best song to dance to, of all time:
Choose any Madonna, Prince, Michael and/or Janet Jackson . . . um Lady Gaga (recently), I can go on and on.

Stance on healthcare reform:
Healthcare for more than just the rich and lucky!

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