My Mom and Nina Hartley

January 21, 2012 at 10:30 pm (Lesbian) (, , , , , )

Nyna Kaiser

Nina Hartley

Despite my recent contention that my mom resembles Melissa Etheridge, she gets confused more often with the famous porn icon who shares her first name.

I had the good fortune to meet Nina Hartley at a Susie Bright reading awhile back. Introducing myself I told her how people sometimes confuse my mother with her and that my mom is always very flattered.

Ms. Hartley has held up well. Her body is tauter than mine and her chest more ample. That is one of the things they share in common, Nina Hartley and my mom- Big Boobs. I knew this was one of their similarities. They are also both sex pioneers and feminists, both smart blonds born around the same time. Both trained nurses. Why given the chance, I’m sure an afternoon with each other would go by in a heartbeat, as they’d have so much to talk about.

My mother feels fatter, plainer, less glamourous in comparison. I know she owns her sexual power though, she was Leather Marshall of SF Pride, and I know my mom still gets hit on regularly by members of both sexes. They’ve still got it- Ms. Hartley and my mother both.

I commented to Susie Bright while having her sign a copy of her memoir, “Big Sex, Little Death”, about something I’d read in another book, Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers.” He had posited that there are certain points in time that create certain types of people. The 1830’s were the right time to be born if you wanted to be a Robber Baron, for instance. Likewise if you wanted to be a world-changing computer genius you were better off being born between 1953-1955, ala Bill Gates and Steve Jobs etc.

Following that logic I hypothesized that perhaps there was a window in time as well for being a sex pioneer. You had to be born early enough to reach maturity around the free love decades of the sixties and seventies.

Ms. Hartley and my mom were born only six years apart and while further research proved there to be quite a range around birthdates for folks as diverse as Betty Dodson (born 1929) and Dan Savage (1964), I think my theory might hold some weight. Ms. Dodson should be given ample credit for being WAY ahead of her time. But Annie Sprinkle was born in 1954, a year after my mother and so was Pat Califia. Susie Bright came along in 1958 and then Nina Hartley was born in ’59. So there is sort of a window of time in a way. I am just super thankful they were born at all since these pioneers paved the way for my own liberation. Thanks ladies! (And Mom!) (And Mr. Savage!)

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Meeting Famous Lesbians Part III : Melissa Etheridge

January 12, 2012 at 9:47 pm (hollywood, Lesbian, memoir, queerspawn) (, , , )

Okay I am 99.9% sure it was her. If it wasn’t and it was just some poor lesbian who looked like her having lunch at Hugo’s in Studio City, well at least I made her day with my enthusiasm. I didn’t have any lesbians with me to confirm her identity but I’m really good with faces and I’ve always kind of thought she looks a little like my mom, so as I said 99.9 %. Upon seeing her picture again i’ll even add .05% to it.

To set the scene, I was meeting a friend to get feedback on my memoir and it being LA, I noticed upon plopping down that Vanessa Hudgens (of High School Musical “I dated Zach Efron” Fame) was sitting at the next table over, with only a thin pane of glass between us ( we were seated outside). While I admit to reading gossip blogs, I couldn’t bother to be impressed by her- I know who she is but that doesn’t necessarily make her special. I have not heard good things about “Suckerpunch.”
So I went about advising my friend on her personal problems and neglecting the question of tense in my writing, and Vanessa leaves after kissing who assume to be Austing Butler? I think that her boyfriend’s name ? and towards the end of the meal once we’d finished our egg-white oatmeal frittata, which was better than it sounds even though it included kamut, who should be seated right in my eyeline on the opposite side of the glass but Ms. Etheridge out to lunch with a lady friend.

I about died- and that is why I think it was her, that instant heart based gut reaction. I immediately began to strategize how to approach her and what to say. A few minutes later I strolled into the restaurant with what I hoped was casual purpose and veered in the direction of her table.
Despite my planning, I believe I came off as a babbling fool and probably overwhelmed her. I approached the table, leaned in a little and said, “Excuse me, I hate to interrupt but I just had to say Hi, because I was so excited.” She took my hand and asked me to introduce myself, “I’m Kellen Kaiser and I’m Queerspawn and my little brother, who’s a decade younger than me, loved your songs so much as a little kid and at three knew every word to them, and used to sing them out loud in the car, and now he’s a frat boy at Long Beach State.” I’m not sure why I’d decided that was the most important thing for her to know but there it was. She smiled and said it was nice to meet me, her companion seemed amused at the encounter, like well, this is what happens to you when you’re Melissa Etheridge, crazy people approach you as you peruse the menu. Or at least that’s what I imagine she was thinking…. It’s funny to find out who you really are in awe of- She qualifies. She’s a Big Fish of Famous Lesbians. It’s like her and Rosie O’Donnell. I’m coming for you Rosie- watch out!

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