Girl Talk: A Cis & Trans Woman Dialogue



Queer cisgender women and queer transgender women are allies, friends, support systems, lovers, and partners to each other. Trans and cis women are allies to each other every day — from activism that includes everything from Take Back the Night to Camp Trans; to supporting each other in having “othered” bodies in a world that is obsessed with idealized body types; to loving, having sex, and building family with each other in a world that wants us to disappear. Girl Talk is a spoken word show fostering and promoting dialogue about these relationships. Trans and cis women will read about their relationships of all kinds – sexual and romantic, chosen and blood family, friendships, support networks, activist alliances. Join us for a night of stories about sex, bodies, feminism, activism, challenging exclusion in masculine-centric dyke spaces, dating and breaking up, finding each other, and finding love and family. 


Photo by Melissa Gira Grant

Gina de Vries is a queer femme writer, rabble-rouser, sex worker, pervert, and Paisan. She grew up in San Francisco, where she cut her activist and artist teeth on the riot grrrl and queer arts movements in the 1990s. Her fiction, journalism, memoir, and smut have appeared dozens of places, including: Baby, Remember My Name: An Anthology of New Queer Girl Writing, Dirty Girls, TransForming Community, That’s Revolting!: Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation, Bound to Struggle: Where Kink & Radical Politics Meet, Femmethology, $pread magazine, make/shift magazine, and Curve magazine (where she was a columnist from 1997-2004). Currently, Gina curates shows for long-running queer performance series San Francisco in Exile, blogs for national LGBT blog Bilerico, and teaches a writing workshop for sex workers at San Francisco’s Center for Sex & Culture (where she also serves on the Advisory Board). She can be cruised online at 


Julia Serano is an Oakland, California-based writer, spoken word performer, trans activist, and biologist. Julia is the author of Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity (Seal Press, 2007), a collection of personal essays that reveal how misogyny frames popular  assumptions about femininity and shapes many of the myths and
misconceptions people have about transsexual women. Her other writings  have appeared in anthologies (including BITCHfest: Ten Years of  Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine and Word Warriors:  30 Leaders in the Women’s Spoken Word Movement) and in feminist,  queer, pop culture and literary magazines and websites such as Bitch,, Out,, Clamor, Kitchen Sink, make/shift,  other, LiP and Transgender Tapestry. In recent years, Julia has gained  notoriety in transgender, queer, and feminist circles for her unique  insights into gender. She has been invited to speak about transgender  and trans women’s issues at numerous universities, at queer, women’s  studies, psychology and philosophy-themed conferences, and her  writings have been used as teaching materials in queer and gender
studies courses across the United States. 


Ryka Aoki de la Cruz has recently appeared at the 2007 San Francisco Pride Main Stage, 2006 National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival, the National Queer Arts Festival, Ladyfest South, Atlanta Pride, UCLA’s OutCRY, Santa Cruz Pride, and Emory University’s Pride Week. Ryka was keynote speaker at UC Santa Barbara’s 2005 Pride Week and was the inaugural performer for San Francisco’s first ever Transgender Stage at San Francisco Pride 2005. Ryka is the author of five chapbooks and has been published in numerous literary journals. Her work appears in American Eyes: New Asian American Short Stores for Young Adults, which won an American Library Association Award as one of its “Best Books for Young Adults.” She has also closely worked with the American Association of Hiroshima-Nagasaki A-Bomb Survivors, and two of her compositions have been adopted by the group as its official “Songs of Peace.”  Ryka has an MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University, is a founder of Cornell University’s Asian American Playhouse and is the recipient of a University Award from the Academy of American Poets. Ryka was a charter member of the Transgender Advisory Committee for Asian Pacific Islanders for Human Rights (APHIR), and was head judo coach at UCLA and Cornell University. She is also the founder of Trans/Giving, LA’s only art/performance series dedicated to trans, genderqueer, and intersex artists, and was recently honored by the California State Senate for her “extraordinary commitment to free speech and artistic expression, as well as the visibility and well-being of Transgender people.” Ryka is currently a professor of English at Santa Monica College. 


Rose Sims, a Filipina-Ashkenazic mixed-class trans dyke mestiza, is a writer, religion scholar, medic, and survivor from rural Oregon.  Dedicated to the projects of media justice, radical love, and community building, she writes online at as “little light,” serves on the advisory board of the Allied Media Conference in Detroit, and is a charter member of the Speak! Radical Women of Color Media Collective.  Rose is currently busy being in good stories and getting preachy in Portland, OR; she carries a pen, her ancestors, and the mismatched ID of a citizen of the borderlands with her at all times. 


Lauren Steely is an environmental geologist who cleans up contaminated groundwater with fancy technology, a job she can best describe as both glamorous and filthy.  Her job often sends her on the road exploring new towns, where she can be found picking on her mandolin while gazing out over windswept rangeland.  When she’s in the city, she likes to play jazz piano, drink tea, and bike the not-so-mean-streets of LA.  She has been involved in several trans/feminist projects: TransGiving, Camp Trans, and the League of Trans-Unified Sisters.  Also she likes to write novels about lesbian superheroes, but that’s neither here nor there. 

Photo by Julie Thi Underhill

Nomy Lamm is a writer, musician and activist whose work has been featured in magazines (including Ms., Punk Planet, and Make/Shift), anthologies (including Listen Up: Voices from the Next Feminist Generation, Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution and Working Sex: Sex Workers Write about A Changing Industry, all on Seal Press), and onstage in theaters, universities and nightclubs all over the US. She has toured with Sister Spit (1999), the Sex Workers Art Show (2005), and Dr. Frockrocket’s Menagerie and Medicine Show (2001). She has released two solo albums (Anthem, 1999 on Talent Show, and Effigy, 2002 on Yoyo Recordings) and co-wrote, co-produced and performed in “The Transfused”, a post-apocalyptic rock opera about multi-gendered animal-human hybrids, in 2000. Her most recent publication is a piece of erotic fiction in the new anthology Fist of the Spiderwoman: Tales of Fear and Queer Desire, edited by Amber Dawn on Arsenal Press.  She teaches voice lessons, and is currently working on her first novel, The Best Part Comes After the End. 


Dorian Katz is a visual artist who draws no line between the innocent and truly perverse in her work.  Recent projects handle adult themes through childlike tropes.  This is her world of play and imagination where everyone gets to be and do what she wants, especially her.  Her work is deeply personal and, at the same time, speaks about the lives she sees others leading or trying to lead.  Dorian is a cis woman whose gender presentation is fairly consistent, although she has been known to switch from species to species. Dorian has had solo art shows at MicroClimate Project Space, GlamaRama, and the Jon Sims Center.  She has participated in group shows at Stormy Leather, the San Francisco LGBT Center, Balazo 18, Spaces, Kearny Street Workshop and Live Worms.  She was a founding member of the dyke erotica collective, Dirty Ink.  Her illustrations and writing have been included in The Human Pony, Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues, Other, Instant City, Clamor magazine and Morbid Curiosity magazine (1997-2007).  She begins the MFA program in Art Practice this fall at Stanford University.


Tina D’Elia is queer mixed-race Latina Actor/Playwright/Screenwriter/ and local Performance-Poet is best known for her one-woman show: Groucho: a Day in the D’Elia Soup.  Tina’s performed her show in Boston and San Francisco’s Women on the Way (01) and the National Queer Arts Festival (02).  Currently Ms. D’Elia developed her solo show into a full length play, Groucho: a Queer Loca, a development of the Playwrights Foundation, directed by Mary Guzmán. D’Elia will star December at the Garage in; Danny in the Deep Blue Sea. D’Elia’s films include: The Pursuit of Happyness, Groucho, Mechanic’s Daydream, Getting Off, and Groucho.  D’Elia co-wrote her second screenplay Lucha with director Maria Breaux, premiering at that QWOCFF this year.  She has worked at Community United Against Violence (CUAV) for ten years and received the Ollin Civil Right Award from Familiar de La Raza in 2006 for her work in the Bay Area.