Interview on Gender

Questions:
What is the importance of gender, biological sex status, and sexual orientation to you versus in mainstream culture?

Mainstream culture works to separate, classify and categorize things – in the name of capitalism. The gender binary is another mode of that division. Gender, ability, other identities, are fluid – which is difficult to measure and market for.

Detail when (at what age, why etc.) you first started questioning gender, gender identity and gender expression.

I’ve always wanted to do “as much as I could” and there was pushback from my family, as I was doing things that “girls shouldn’t do”. So I was restricted/forbidden because I was read as female. I read myself as gender-neutral, and still do. I was/am also asexual for long periods of time. I seek to accomplish things that are unrelated to gender. The projection of a female identity onto who I was and who I am continues to the present. I think partly because I have long hair. It’s really frustrating. I don’t consider myself as female but have to keep reminding those around me that this is my identity (gender non-binary).

Tell me about your journey to deciding to use they/them pronouns.

***include when exactly you started feeling that he/she pronouns were not appropriate and exactly when you decided to use they/them pronouns.
Even though I always considered myself in between genders or categories, more like a robot or blobby creature, I only started using “they/theirs” in 2014 as a result of being told I was a “cool lady” all the time. It was irritating people constantly pigeon-holing as this gender, so I had to start asserting that I wasn’t and am not a lady. People forget a lot, and that’s okay, but it’s that initial assumption/insistence that really gets to me.

Why do you personally use the pronouns they/them?

So that “language” finally reflects the way I consider and know myself.

Who did you inform about this decision and how did they respond?

My immediate friends, my housemates, my teenage sister, the people communicating with me the most at the time.

Do any of your other friends use they/them pronouns and if so, when did they decide to use those pronouns and why?

Yes, many friends do, but I can’t speak to their experience.

How has it affected your everyday life?

It feels nice when people get it right, like I fit in my skin, or like they know me properly. And when people forget or misgender me, it kind of reminds me that they don’t know me so well, or maybe they don’t understand me. The same goes for my name. I’m known as “Anna Vo” or “Vo”, so when someone calls me “Anna” it suggests that don’t know me very well.
It’s semantic, but representative of a real social/emotional connection.

What kind of reactions do you receive from people when you explain what pronouns you’d like to be called?

Usually people are pretty accepting of it. Some people are accepting of it, but then don’t practice it. Different levels of engagement I guess.

What is masculinity and femininity to you?

They are false constructs based on historic performances of our ideas of gender. Sometimes they are words used to describe something aesthetically. Which are also ideas based on old paradigms/constructs.

If you could make society gender-free, what would you change first and why?

What would I change first? You mean a global society? I think there are less rights in some societies for girls/daughters – like female circumcision, shame killings, less choice about life directions, entry into certain fields of study, birth control – so I would erase the gender restrictions around gender-based laws and customs.

If society was gender-free, how would that change things?

I think this is answered above, but on top of that, I think people would stop performing to the things they think are expected of them. It’s that allegory of a flea being able to jump like 12+ inches, but once kept in a jar for long enough, it can only jump the height of that jar. People often fulfill only what they think they are limited to.

Recent activity on An Out Recordings

Stickers are in ! Black on chrome!

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http://anout.bandcamp.com

http://anout.storenvy.com

AOR017 ANNA VO – SHE CONTINUES TO FAIL

My new album finally got pressed and released on cassette, and recently came across this video I knew nothing about that a video artist/musician made:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ta60IuI7vk

You can get gold and bronze A0 screenprints of the cover art on black card sent from Berlin:
http://echos-oratos.net/ruin-screenprint/

Anyway, it was recorded near the Berlin Wall in the building Bowie recorded his Berlin trilogy, and Eno and David Byrne and a bunch of other rad doods recorded. So that was pretty cool.

AOR018 ST4TIK cover art

AOR018 FATPL ASTIK – ST4TIK

The cassettes finally arrived in the mail!! A few months after their release date, but better late than never. Jett, queer artist from New Orleans releases their debut album on An Out recordings, and hell yesss. Beautiful textural ambient awesomeness. Can’t wait to see them play live 🙂

AOR019 RVNES + MASS - ALL MEN ARE PREY TO THE SAME BEAST LP cover art

AOR019 RVNES & MASS collab 12″ LP

MASS from Northern England is the shit, and so is RVNES from Berlin. Here they are together in a freakin beautiful package.

Review: slyvinyl.com/ambient-chill/rvnes-mass-men-prey-beast-limited-100-black-vinyl-lp

AOR020 ABSTRACTER - WOUND EMPIRE cs cover art

AOR020 ABSTRACTER – WOUND EMPIRE cs

Monster of an album in absolutely stunning packaging.

Reviews:
http://www.cvltnation.com/exclusive-cvlt-nation-streaming-abstracter-lightless/
http://abstracteroakland.blogspot.com/p/press.html
http://www.earsplitcompound.com/site/2014/11/03/abstracter-second-lp-by-apocalyptic-oakland-based-blackened-crustdoom-outfit-to-be-released-this-winter/

AOR021 MOLOCH - DIE ISOLATION cs cover art

AOR021 MOLOCH – DIE ISOLATION cs
Moloch is from the Ukraine, and as a result I can’t mail physical copies of his own album to him at the moment, unless it is with Global Express. If people haven’t heard about what is happening on the border of the Ukraine and Russia, look it up. Anyway, Moloch is a wretched black metal feast for the senses. I’m excited to be able to give this a US release and distribution.

AOR022 EXPURGATORY - X cs cover art

AOR022 EXPURGATORY – X cs

Librarians from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, inspired by the likes of Wold, Urfaust, and Bone Awl. They are proudly left-wing, and wholeheartedly embrace the lo-fi DIY freedom that black metal provides, despite its various communities trying to hide it beneath a veil of elitism.

The launch in Melbourne, Australia is https://m.facebook.com/events/1380925798875593/

AOR023 - RAGANA 12" LP cover art

AOR023 RAGANA 12″ LP coming in June!!!!!!!!!!

Ragana are a mindblowing queer lady doom band from Oakland, CA, USA.
12″ LP will be released for their Summer Tour of 2015.

AOR024 HREINN cover art

AOR024 HREINN – s/t cs soon after. Will be ready for shows later this year.

(my doom band from Portland, OR – http://hreinndoom.bandcamp.com)

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New Album: ANNA VO, SHE CONTINUES TO FAIL

OUT NOW!

order at http://annavo.bandcamp.com

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Cover art by Echos Oratos:

http://echos-oratos.net/anna-vo-she-continues-to-fail/

With love to Kate Vinen and Huck Spin For Adam D. Mills and my Bà Nội

This record is about intention, purpose, family and legacy.

Recording – Felix-Florian Tödtloff, Berlin, Germany

Recording and Mixing – Mike Moschetto, Massachusetts, USA

Front cover art – Echos Oratos

Back cover art – Rafał Karcz

“A Plinth Beyond Years” accompaniment – David Coen

Ukelele – Philip Hölldobler

“Lilith” voice – TJ Copello

12-string, percussion, lapsteel, words/voice, field recordings, samples, arrangement – Anna Vo

Tracklist:

A Plinth Beyond Years

Crowning of Your Comfort

The Fearlessness Will Flicker Out

From The Feet You Were Thrown

Woods

Missing Parts

Floor

Continues To Fail

Infinitely

Inside

Chết Rồi

Lilith

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Releases on An Out Recordings

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http://anout.bandcamp.com/

AN OUT RECORDINGS, along with being an ethical, anarchist label, has always made an effort to release more projects from women, people of colour and queer people, which has meant releasing projects that are sometimes less well-known, or less established than others on the label roster. AN OUT tries to curate a rotating mix between doom, black metal, harsh noise and drone, and asks fans to check out stuff from the label that they might not have heard before, to support upcoming artists. Feel free to ask any questions about any of the roster. Always open to submissions from thoughtful, brutal, political projects.

AVAIL NOW

AOR018 FATPL ASTIK cass (queer witchscape from NOLA)

AOR016 ANNA VO : THE CONDITION cass (qpoc sadsack folk drone from Seattle)

REPRESS of AOR013 SUN WORSHIP/UNRU split LP (black metal aus Deutschland)

AOR015 HEXIS : XI cass – US Tour Limited Edition (black metal from København)

AOR009 ENCIRCLING SEA – ÉCRU CD (black metal from Melbourne)

AOR007 SPACEBONG : THE DEATH OF UTOPIA CD (doom from Adelaide)

UPCOMING

REPRESS of AOR012 SUN WORSHIP : SURPASS ECLIPSE 12″

AOR017 ANNA VO : SHE CONTINUES TO FAIL cass (harsh folk from Seattle)

AOR020 SVARTVIT LP (harsh noise from Netherlands)

AOR021 AIRES / RUI P. ANDRADE collab cassette (drone from Portugal)

AOR022 RAGANA LP (doom from Oakland)

… and a transcontinental doom compilation LP (if I’m still alive then)

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Rough sketch of one of twelve songs going on next record

This was improvised at home… for my second solo rekkid!
http://annavo.bandcamp.com

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Be mixed by June, artwork and everything done by july August hopefully!

unru show

SOLO shows

29.05. @B32, Maastricht, Netherlands
03.06. @ uebersehcontainer, with UNRU, Bielefeld, Germany
13.06. BLACK FRIDAY, BERLIN, with MOURNING STAR, Berlin, Germany
15.06. BROKEN SHIPS, ANNA VO, at Rauch Haus, Berlin, Germany.

SHIT GENTRIFIERS SAY

Image

Undesirable, but close-ish to the city >>

Cheap rent / “Rundown” >>

POC / Poor communities move in and build infrastructure
>>

Perceived threat and racist/classist stigma >>

Creatives / students / activists move in for “ethnic” or “edgy” vibe>>

Appeal/nightlife/aesthetics >>

Interest / influx >>

Disposable Incomes and “underground” media hype >>

White-washed hype and govt approval/support >>

Development / Big yucky businesses >>

Rising property prices / Displacement.

Talking/reading in Chicago, March 2014

My new zine blog – http://www.annaxvo.tumblr.com

RoughCutz(1)

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, CHICAGO

13 March 2014 at 3:30 – 6pm at Hull House

Zine Readings and Workshop

Featuring:

Anna Vo (Fix My Head and The Swan The Vulture)

Sarah Rene (Native Punx Unite)

Osa Atoe (Shotgun Seamstress)

Nyky Gomez (Skinned Heart)

MC’ed by Mimi Nguyen (Race Riot)

We are all women zinesters of colour. We all collect stories based around PoC/identity. We are all focussed on the personal, economic, social and political struggles of PoC, and have somehow centred it around a punk identity or ethos.
(further description and fliers to come)
 

CHICAGO ZINE FEST

15 Feb 2014

1:30-2.30pm

Zines, Punk, & Reclamation: A Discussion for People of Color

How are zines an aid in the reclamation of our cultural and expressive practices, histories and identities as people of color, both in and out of punk cultures? What forms do those acts of reclamation take? How do we hold cultural and chosen communities together, or not? How do we navigate the clashes and the connections between them?

This open discussion will be facilitated by Osa Atoe of Shotgun Seamstress zine. Also present will be Nyky Gomez (Brown Recluse Distro), Yumii Okafor (Slash Em Up zine), Mimi Nguyen (Race Riot, Slander zines), Suzy X (Malcriada, Mallgoth Chronicles zines) and Anna Vo (Fix My Head zine).