1. What’s your favorite song to dance to?
Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance With Somebody. I’m not gonna try to write about Whitney at length here because I’ll start crying, but suffice it to say that we were lucky to have her on Earth for as long as we did.
2. Describe your personal hell.
That feeling when someone you’re dating texts you “Hey, can we talk later?”, and you’re left waiting for like three hours. Except it’s not three hours, it’s eternity, and the little iMessage ellipses keep telling you that the other person is typing but they never send you anything and you just have to wait to find out what you did. Forever.
3. What’s something that always makes you laugh?
My friend Lily is the funniest person on Earth. Like, if I had to pick one person to be stuck on a desert island with, I’d pick her. She’s proof that earth signs do in fact have personalities. I’d link to her twitter but she keeps getting doxxed by neo-nazis. Suffice it to say that her tweets are very outrageous and very good
4. You’re sucked into a bad movie and you have to choose a point in history to live out the rest of your years. What time do you choose and why?
Oh gosh. I don’t know. There aren’t a lot of historical moments I can imagine in which I’d wanna be trans. Am I allowed to choose the present? If so, I’d pick that. Everyone I love lives here.
5. What’s a gif that you can relate to?
This gif of Lucy Liu in Kill Bill is everything to me.
6. You’re hit by lightning. What happens?
Ok, one of two things happen. Either I die or I don’t. If I die, there’s a funeral and it’s like this big tragic thing and a whole big mess and it fucks up everyone I love forever, to such a degree & in such a way that it’s hard for me to think about it, even in a completely hypothetical context. That or I… just get up and keep walking, and probably, like, try to go do whatever else I have to do that day.
7. It’s snowing outside, how do you feel?
Like, cathartic melancholy. Thinking how it’s sad & pretty like a SZA song. At some point in the back of my brain there are practical voices telling me that snow is a major nuisance, especially here in Philly, but mostly I feel gratified. Sad & peaceful & consoled.
8. What’s a cat picture you can get behind?
This picture of my partner’s cat, Scrambles, makes me scream w/ laughter. Like, Scrambles is visibly a Pisces, lol.
9. Where did you write most of your book? Why?
I wrote the first half of the book in various places in New Orleans, mostly in the bathroom at a restaurant I worked at. The second half was written on my phone, mostly while out drinking at Pageturners Lounge in Omaha, NE. I wrote at work because that was when I had time to write, and I wrote at the bar because I spent most of 2017-2018 in like a pretty unhealthy alcoholic haze. I’m glad to be healthy & (just over 9 months!!!) sober these days, & I can’t wait to soberly author my next book from the comfort of my bed.
10. What are your struggles and strengths as a writer?
The pressure to publish has lead me to rush a lot of work out when I maybe didn’t need to. I love this book, but it’s not the book that I set out to write. It’s hard for me not to think about how good this book could have been if I had given myself another year or two to work on it. That said, I tend to produce a lot of work, to the point where it was relatively easy for me two put out two full-lengths almost exactly a year apart. I’m pretty much always churning stuff out. With my next book, I want to take the time I feel I deserve to produce something I’m really proud of. Like, if I really wanted to, I have enough work right now that I could feasibly assemble a publishable manuscript and start sending it out, but it wouldn’t be the book that I want to see in the world. I’m trying to coax myself into a little patience, and to be more loving with myself. I guess that’s my biggest struggle (and isn’t it everyone’s?)—loving myself and loving my work.
11. Tell us a little about your writing process. What works, what doesn’t, what doesn’t but you still try anyway?
Sometimes I get this idea in my head that if I just go about my life and try to like be a conscious, decent person, that I’ll just naturally have these ~deep insights~ into life and I can just write them down in my phone notes as I go, casually casting off gems as I wander the world. It’s like the stupidest idea ever. That’s just not how making stuff works. A poem is a crafted object, like a kitchen table or a violin or macaroni art. If you practice often and attentively, you can get really good at making anything through thoughtful repetition. When I make time to read & study & actually sit down with ideas and force myself to work on something for a long time, that’s when my best work comes out. From the outside, all art seems esoteric & mystical, & on the inside it couldn’t be more unromantic. All it takes is repetition & a genuine desire to improve.
Born and raised in Omaha, NE, JUNE GEHRINGER is a mixed Chinese trans woman who is somehow still alive. She is the author of I love you it looks like rain (Be About It 2017), and EVERYONE IS A BIG BUG TO SOMEONE (self-published) 2017. She is the co-founder of tenderness yea, and tweets @unlovablehottie. She holds a B.A. in English from Loyola University New Orleans and has worked as a cook since she was 16.