Wednesday 14 March 2012

Fundraising is a Feminist Issue


Posted by Sebastienne

Being a member of Lashings of Ginger Beer Time is great fun. Sometimes, we get to stand up in front of a room full of politically-minded feminists and queers, and we get to be ourselves and sing silly songs and somehow we get applause for it.

Being a member of Lashings of Ginger Beer Time is frantic. At the Oxford panto gig, I'd invited a bunch of awesome poets & comics to come and perform in the bar, and I didn't get a chance to see any of them because I was running around trying to get the sound desk set up and making sure that the stage didn't fall off its breeze-blocks.

Being a member of Lashings of Ginger Beer Time is important. We have the power to change people's minds - taking an unapologetically intersectionalist approach to all things, we insist on serving kink- and trans- positivity with our feminism and asexuality with our queerness. The stage is, literally, a platform for changing people's minds; we catch them with a smile or a laugh and then we find them much more willing to listen when we talk about fat-positivity or the failures of third-wave feminism.

Being a member of Lashings of Ginger Beer Time is hard work. As well as writing, rehearsing, and fail-checking all our acts as a collective, there's more behind-the-scenes admin that I ever thought possible. I know, now, why I know so many people who've produced a single show for the Edinburgh Fringe and then said, "never again!"... but we seem to be making plans for our third year.

Being a member of Lashings of Ginger Beer Time costs money. There's travel to rehearsals and gigs, buying costumes, finding accommodation when we do shows away from home - not to mention the fact that I dropped from full-time to part-time work in order to make the time to do everything. And I'm one of the lucky ones, who was in well-paid full-time work to start with.

Which leads me to what I've come here to say today. We can't go on treating Lashings like a hobby; it's not sustainable to ask this talented group of writers & performers, many of whom are students or working for low pay, to fund the shows in this way. We need to make Lashings work in a way which is self-funding.

But we also need to stay true to our principles - choosing more accessible venues, even if they're more expensive; keeping our ticket prices affordable for people on low incomes. We can't always assume that we'll cover our costs from ticket sales alone, while staying true to these principles.

This is where you come in.

If you value what Lashings has to offer, please consider making a donation to our WeFund Appeal. There are all sorts of exciting perks on offer, like zines and bags and Lashings gigs in your town! And tell all your friends...

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