Out in the Woods :: Mx Justin Vivian Bond on the Easton Mountain Music Festival
Mx Justin Vivian Bond: Singer, stage and film personality, out and visible pioneer in the world of trans entertainers. Pronounced by Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears to be a "great New York" entertainer.
Easton Mountain: The GLBT spiritual retreat center in upstate New York that serves as a home in the wilderness and social hub for many gay men -- and where it’s not uncommon for matters of the soul and matters of the flesh to convene in common conviviality.
Town and Country, the glamorous and the pastoral, the amorous and the supernal. How such two disparate realms ever meet?
At Easton Mountain’s Aug. 10 Out in the Woods Music Festival, of course. This year’s festival boasts not only the talents of Mx Bond, but also Namoli Brennett, Jorge Avilla, Sean Kagalis, Freddy Freeman, Gary Wayne Ferris, Martin Swinger, and others, with Rev. Roger Yolanda Mapes serving as host.
There are just a few things to keep in mind when enjoying a chat with Mx Bond. The first is that the appropriate gender pronoun in Mx Bond’s case is not "he" or "she" but "V." The second is that, when addressing V, it’s only polite to use the proper honorific (that would be "Mx"). And third, rather than speaking of V as a "man" or a "woman" or even "transman" or "transwoman," one refers to V as a "T" (or "Trans").
Simple enough, and yet there were moments when your correspondent had to slow down, think twice, and get his thoughts in order. It wasn’t a challenge, exactly; it was more akin to those rare occasions when one has the chance to exercise one’s familiarity and skill, however nascent (or rusty) it might be, with chatting in a second language or observing the decorum of a different culture.
Of course, it only helps when one is speaking with someone gracious enough to overlook the occasional slip! In this regard, Mx Bond proved to be a treasure: Poised, thoughtful, and considered.
EDGE: Mx Bond, can you give us an idea what you’ll be doing at the Out in the Woods music festival at Easton Mountain? Emceeing, performing, a mix?
Mx Justin Vivian Bond: Well, I’m only doing a 20 minute set, but there are so many great acts I wouldn’t want to hog up the stage for too long anyway.
But since I’ve got so many friends attending who are also performers I think it’ll be hard to resist bringing people onstage to sing with me. Who knows? Maybe I can get Amber Martin, Nath Ann Carrera, and Brett Every to each do a duet with me. Over the years I’ve worked up great songs with each of them!
EDGE: How did you happen to become involved with the Music Festival?