Tongues, a first-of-its-kind magazine for queer Latinas, kicked off its premier issue with art, performance, music and even a "Tongues" cake, on a recent Sunday night.
The theme of the first issue and of the premier was "On the Tip of Yo' Tongue," an not-very-subtle play on words. An art exhibit of painting, photography and other mixed media created by contributors was on display as a pre-performance taste of things to come.
Nadine Romero, Alma Lopez and Glynnis Reed were only some of the Tongues magazine contributors featured in the first issue that showed their work that evening.
The celebration, which took place at the Highway Performance Space, an intimate theater and art space in Santa Monica, was attended by mostly women, mostly Latinas, and mainly lesbians. Even emcee of the event Monica Palacios confirmed that it was an all-out ladies' night.
"Can't you just feel the estrogen in here?" she asked the crowd.
The small theater was packed and latecomers were lucky to score a seat on the floor.
The entertainment of the night consisted of seven acts ranging from a sexually-charged skit with Adelina Anthony, drag king lip-synching with Backstreet Noize, to folk music performed by Melissa Dockerty.
A complementary Tongues magazine issue was provided and, like the event, was chalk-full of poetry, prose, visual art and other expressions of the Latina lesbian experience.
Both the magazine and the premier's acts were labors of love and "all volunteer work," said Alma Lopez, one of Tongues' editors.
The idea for the magazine, which originated in 1999, was the brainchild of Lopez' and other queer Latinas who wanted a venue where their experiences as lesbians of color could be told.