Prologue

Nervous and trembling—a naked mass of high school Miss Understood—I made my entrance into the Vagina Monologues.

I didn’t know what to expect, I only knew it was important to me, where nothing else at MICA had been. Where someone like my mom or my AP Lit teacher or my best friend would have pushed me into auditioning, it was only my motivation propelling me in front of all those judging, critical MICA eyes. I was utterly destabilized by my shyness at MICA.

The directors saw this trepidation, and cast me as a sex worker (read: Empress of All Female Orgasms).

I enjoyed the bravado this woman assumed, the implied riding crop, the moaning, and the sheer power. But said and done, my favorite memory of V-Day was of being in a cramped dressing room with a dozen women swapping anecdotes and sharing raw guffaws. My whole body hurt from laughing. These ladies were people who shared with me their goals, passions, inspirations. They were all artists, they were all activists. I was learning from them, and we were all learning together, and I was teaching them, and we were teaching ourselves, our audience, our sponsors.

The stories we cohabited—a quilt of women’s testimonials—were uplifting and grounding, beautiful and horrific, sassy and sensitive. We were entertaining, but we were also starting an open dialogue about women.

Sashaying on stage like a saucy comedienne, I make my entrance into activism.

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