Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Women's Month Interviews: Kira Brady

How do we know each other?
I’m in your Eng 566 grad class at St. Rose.

How would you describe yourself?

“I am an act of kneading, of uniting and joining that not only has produced both a creature of darkness and a creature of light, but also a creature that questions the definitions of light and dark and gives them new meanings." – Gloria Anzaldua

I am a graduate student, a poet, a teacher, a redneck feminist, a socialist, and a female-bodied queer.

In what part of the world are you located?

Northeastern United States. I’m fairly convinced that I can be happy almost anywhere, but I’d love to wind up in the Southwest. I was born in Tucson.

Where can we find you on the web?
I’m on Facebook. I also recently began contributing to a blog called Femography. I don’t think my first post is even up yet, but you can find it there nevertheless.

What don't people know about you that they ought to know?
I’m a great cook. And I can bake, too. I’m well-versed in vegetarian and vegan cuisine, gluten-free cooking, as well as in ordinary, non-restricted diets. Also, I was a figure skater for 12 years. I live with chronic pain. I love to rock climb.

What's the most common mistake people make about you?
I think a lot of straight people who meet me for the first time assume that I’m straight. A lot of gay people who meet me for the first time assume that I’m a lesbian. I identify as queer. I’m working hard at (re)defining what that means to me. You might have to meet me at least two times before I delve into that a bit more.

What are you most proud of having accomplished so far?
I’m the first person in my immediate family to have graduated from college, and I paid (and shall continue to pay!) for my education on my own. I feel so lucky to be able to pursue my education even further.

What ambitions do you have ahead of you?
I want to teach poetry, feminist theory, and post-colonial literature. I definitely want children. Publishing a book or two of poetry would be the proverbial cherry on top.

What's the best compliment you've ever received?
It means a lot to me when people tell me that I’m good with kids. I’ve been asked to be a nanny by two different families, and I think that’s a big deal. You really have to trust someone to allow them in your life in such an intimate way.

If something great happens to you, how do you celebrate?
It depends. I’ve been known to break into booty-shaking victory dances. Usually sharing the news with the people closest to me and cooking a special dinner are enough celebration. Okay, I might do the victory dance while I cook.

What's your best method for coping with stress?
Sleep, shop, scream, swim, or write.

What makes you laugh?

It could be anything. I’m a sucker for very intelligent but silly humor. Eddie Izzard is my favorite comedian – I literally quote him on a daily basis. Also AbFab.

What makes you cry?
Hrmm, the answer to this one is pretty revealing. I don’t usually cry at the times people are “supposed” to cry. Funerals, breakups, lost puppies – I can’t muster so much as a hard swallow. But OnStar commercials? “Ma’am help is on the way. I’ll stay on the line with you until they arrive.” That sh*t makes me cry.

What do you love?
Mint tea, the cold side of the pillow, nuts-and-bolts style volunteerism and community organizing – like stuffing envelopes and making phone calls, paisleys, hard cider, the beach, watching kids learn, country music, biking, the Electric Slide, freckles, the way babies smell, and cookies.

What do you loathe?
Apathy. Also brussels sprouts and yeast infections.

What's sexy?
Confidence. I’m also a sucker for strong shoulders, freckles, and a curl in either the upper or lower lip.

What's the best advice you were ever given?
“Live or die, but don’t poison everything.” – Anne Sexton

How should people be spending their money?
I’m not big on transactional activism. But if you feel passionately about donating money to a good cause, donate to something you’re personally connected to. Still, I’m always going to advocate donating body power over dollars. Except when it comes to shelters, for both humans and animals – they need straight up cash, yo.

Which woman/women have inspired you?
My grandmother. Local community leaders. Muriel Rukeyser, Mary Gaitskill, and Tammy Wynette. Yep, Tammy Wynette.

If I gave you a million dollars, what would you do?

I’d buy you a monkey – haven’t you always wanted a monk-EY?!

Okay, but really, I’d pay off my medical debt, my student loan debt, and my non-specific debt. I’d buy a couple of bonds. I’d jet-set for a year, staying in hostels, being grungy, eating great food, writing, and hopping to a new country whenever I felt like it. I mean, I have always wanted to wash my skivvies in a park fountain in Paris. Then I’d give the rest of the money away to people who needed it. Also take you out to dinner. You did give me a million dollars after all.

Thank you so much for being part of this celebration: you are indeed fabulous!

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