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Lesbian Life interviews C.C. Carter

Part 3 of C.C. Carter Interview

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Lesbian Poet C.C. Carter Performing

Lesbian Poet C.C. Carter Performing

Courtesy of C.C. Carter

Lesbian Life: What do you think about lesbian’s titles like femme, studs or butch?

C.C. Carter: They are a necessary evil because in an everyday world you would not need them, right? But since we do, particularly with the younger generation I am in favor of them. I am very worried about the lack of visibility in the spectrum of what a lesbian is to the point where it’s really scary. I feel that it is important for the range of butch to stud and boys to butch studs, have to be shown. The other spectrum is where the femme is the one who has the affair with the man. I think that’s very detrimental to us. The media portrays butch women as one who wants to be men, but we don’t see all of the art of the spectrum in between. For me I feel like it is important for the public to be educated on what stud/butch really means. I am taking part in that which is why all of a sudden I’ve been having this resurgent of this popularity in terms of people wanting to book me. People want to immediately go to the bedroom when they hear butch and femme. What happens between two people in their bedroom is what happens between them. But what it is really about is the presentation in daily life and how you walk it within the world. All things have to do with identity and representation in public space but not necessarily what happens with two people in bed.

Are you in a relationship?

Yes, I have a hersband!

How does that work out with you doing what you do?

My hersband is an amazing shim, s-h-i-m (laughing). She loves me very much and she supports me every step of the way. After 13 years on and off and then the last seven years she saw me have other partners and try to do this (perform) and it didn’t work. It’s really interesting when it is the femme who is always doing the traveling. Ronnie my hersband is very much a part of my act. And then there’s trust.

What’s next for C.C.?

Owning my own publishing company, there is a very bad perception that only good voices come from the East and West Coast and that Southern and Midwest sort of gets lost. No one wants to take the time to take a look at how creative the artistic world is in the Midwest. I would like to continue to perform, but for audiences I want to perform for and who respects the work that I do. Whether it’s a large or small audience, I’m done with chasing dollars. I would like to be in colleges and universities where they have big money to bring in headliners. The money for me is not as important as the message that I want to say and who needs to hear it and who comes to hear it. I told my agent, I don’t care if it’s a university, if they can’t guarantee me there is at least 50 or more people in the audience, I don’t want the gig. I don’t need them to get me for diversity day because I am a black full figured lesbian. They need to show how diverse they are. If they are not going to fill the house then I don’t want it. If they are not going to partner with the African American Studies department and the Women Studies Department then I don’t need that dollar.

Is there anything that you would like to share with us that I may not have covered?

I’m really honored to have been interviewed by Lesbian Life. I’m always honored when someone takes an interest and wants to know what my work is about and the opportunity to reach new audiences and for them to know who I am. It has been a wonderful career for me but I do know it has been pretty regional. I am experiencing this wonderful kind of national presence now that I welcome and I hope everyone else enjoys it as well.
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