Queer Moxie, the long gestating documentary from co-creators Heather Provoncha and Leo Hollen, Jr., remembers the year 2009. We may think of it as a year where people were all worried about the end of the world, gay marriage wasn’t a thing, and indie artists were just starting to get play with pop collaborations. But for the Queer Moxie team, it was the start of a six-year journey documenting the evolution of queer performance in Atlanta. There is a lot to the story that the Queer Moxie team has to tell from the years, “one where more and more types of people and self expression have walked onto the stage and inspired change so that people can understand we are fabulous,” says Provoncha.
The project began as a way to fill the hole of representation in media for queer performance. Though queer representation in media has definitely improved since 2009, there’s still much more to see from queer artists. At the end of the day, everyone knows where to find your neighborhood drag queen, but how prominent are spaces for queer comedy, burlesque, or spoken word? This vibrant queer arts scene is alive and well, but, especially in the South and in cities like Atlanta, it takes place in what could be considered an oasis. The team notes, “if you go outside of the perimeter you’d be hard pressed to find another queer performance space, which is sad, but expected. Part of our motivation with this film was to bring this to people who aren’t so lucky to have it.” With that being said, the film peers into the lives and hearts of these performers. What inspires these artists? What gives them such determination, nerve, mettle, and grit?
Alongside one-on-one interviews, the film showcases footage of performances from throughout the years. Four teaser videos from their Vimeo account show the film’s focus on drag queens, kings, spoken word, and comedy. There are some words with Spoken Word artist Theresa Davis. Sneak a peek into the world of queer burlesque with Ms. Vagina Jenkins. See what legends are made of with Drag Legend Lily White, and where it’s headed with budding star Brigitte Bidet. All hail the Drag King Devin Liquor, and remember to have a laugh with queer comedian Ian Aber. With many more personalities crossing the screen, there’s something for everyone, whether they know they like it or just haven’t gotten it from the right source yet.
In essence, Queer Moxie takes up the mantle from past LGBT documentaries with perspectives of this generation. “Those films were important stories. Queer Moxie is told from the perspective of the next generation with the strength, conviction, and PRIDE of those that came before. Queer Moxie celebrates those that have pushed boundaries representing others who were not once able to see themselves onstage.” The evolution of the scene has so many stories, and the issues and focuses of the movement have no doubt been evolving as well. Choosing to display so many changes through the eyes of many for half a decade could prove to not only motivate more performance, but also help to bring many new perspectives to the table for those ignorant of their existence.
While trying to touch upon and give honor to all of those that have come before and paved the way, you can imagine how difficult this project has been to see to fruition. This project, while very ambitious, has also managed to do so out of pocket with a few friendly favors. The team’s Indiegogo campaign to aid in the completion of the film is still up and available for donations, but with time running out, the team still needs help in creating the film they think Atlanta and the community overall deserves. The team plans to hit their goal to complete and premiere in the fall, but they don’t wish to stop there. “If everything works out as planned and the response is great we’d love to do some sort of series, possibly [a] web series, who knows? There is even talk about expanding this into an archival project.”
For a peek into the world of Queer Moxie: The Documentary, there are plenty of promos and teasers to help you get a taste of things. Go check out their Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, as well as the Vimeo account mentioned earlier in the article. With a few last words for the community, the team wishes to say this: “Keep pushing boundaries and keep being amazing. We are honored to have spent so much time with you and we have really enjoyed ourselves.”