Transfeastival 11.19 @ The Beehive
“It’s easy to hate; destruction is simple. To love and build up those around us is much more difficult,” singer-songwriter ZaZa VanDyke remarked at the conclusion of her set at the 2023 Transfeastival on Sunday, November 19 at The Beehive. VanDyke was quick to add how worthwhile love can actually be, a sentiment shared by many at the all-ages function meant to celebrate a day of thanks in the trans and queer community.
The Feastival, a Genderfuq production, saw roughly 100 people participate in the free event throughout the day, with the festivities kicking off at 1 p.m. and extending until 6. Upon arrival at the venue, attendees paused at the photo booth en route to the stage, capturing the day’s memories with costumes, accessories and plenty of laughs.
The event was held at The Beehive, a small SLC venue within the unassuming vegan eatery, Mark of the Beastro, located at 666 S State Street—a unique pun. Sponsored by Project Rainbow, ACLU of Utah, Armed Queers and SLUG Magazine, Transfeastival was coordinated to create a space for people to come together during Transgender Awareness week, which occurs from Nov. 13–19, as a way to honor Transgender individuals leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20. A complete Thanksgiving dinner met attendees as they entered the venue, from turkey and stuffing to pumpkin pie and sparkling cider. Volunteers worked hand-in-hand with Little Gay Garden to prepare a feast for the masses, with vegetarian and vegan options represented equally.
“It’s easy to hate; destruction is simple. To love and build up those around us is much more difficult.”
Entering the main venue, a poster painted in red, white and blue stripes extended the length of the stage, with the message “Visibility Matters” spray painted in large, black letters. This lent a handcrafted feel to the event, similar to a backyard production—and the parents are out of town. Musical performances, slam poetry and burlesque numbers roused the room, bringing guests to their feet on more than one occasion. Drag act Notta Genda performed in a patent leather bodice touting a saxophone, and when they unfurled a colorful flag with a message of protection for trans kids, the audience cheered loudly in agreement. As they danced and lip-synced to “Tell Me Where the Freaks At” by Timmy Trumpet & Savage, the room responded vigorously, the so-called freaks happily owning the title and singing in tandem.
Moving poetic pieces and guest speakers delivered their messages with both angst and anguish, drawing attention to an identity often rejected by society. Their experiences, fraught with struggle, resonated with many attendees, but this was not a day for wallowing. Instead, the recurring theme was one of self-acceptance, inclusivity and gratitude.
To learn more about upcoming trans-specific events in Salt Lake, follow @shecock.band on Instagram.
Photos: Abel Cayas // firstname.lastname@example.org
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