Louisville Magazine

SEP 2018

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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114 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 9.18 GRLwood Continued from page 85 In 2012, she met her wife-to-be, Iza, in Guatemala. Or was it Panama? No, Guatemala. After about three years in Central America, Forester thought Europe sounded pretty cool. It seemed like a good place to work on Ink Elk, the band she started with Iza. Forester followed her to Sweden, and they lived in a house in the middle of nowhere, a vacation village they had to themselves because no one was on vacation. Forester fished the ocean for mackerel and foraged for berries, and they recorded a whole album together. ey talked about building a house. Forester's main source of income was still busking. She bounced around Europe, trying to keep from losing legal status, which did not work. She took to commuting from Sweden to Norway to busk. She had friends, a place to stay other than a tent in the woods. She could have kept it up a long time. en, it's a long story, but on a train into Norway, officials took Yuxa. When Forester recounts the tale, she starts crying. It's the first time I've seen her show so much emotion offstage. When she got her dog back a few days later, she knew she couldn't risk living in Europe illegally any longer. It was time to go back home. b Long before Ledford slept on a mattress on the floor in her windowless room in the art gallery at Open, downstairs from Forester's apartment, she lived in Vine Grove, Kentucky. She grew up on her mom's Aerosmith and developed an enduring love for Black Sabbath. She'd been in her school band, and she always had great hand-eye coordination, enough to get a bowling scholarship to Lindsey Wilson, a United Methodist college in Columbia, Kentucky. "I've always had crushes on girls," Ledford says, "but I always felt like it was a mental illness, like something was actually wrong with me." en, when she was 12, she saw the girl. She came running onto the soccer field for the opposing team, and every time her cleats dug into the ground, they also dug into Ledford's heart. "Oh, my God," Ledford thought. "I think I'm in love with her." en the game was over and the girl was gone. Middle school was a difficult time. Ledford had moved to a new school in E-Town and went weeks without talking in class. "I learned to hold my sneezes, because even if I sneezed, someone would bully me about it," she says. But her first day in that new town, she saw the girl again. She sat down next to her in class and complimented Ledford's studded belt. at carried her through until they had a German class together her senior year. "Hey, Ledford," the girl said, "you look really, really good." Wow, did that get Ledford tongue-tied. Not to mention nauseous. is girl she'd liked since she was 12! Flirting with her! She was not going to miss this chance, and that left only one option. When Ledford's sister, who is a year older, came out, it was a really bad ordeal, Ledford says. Ledford was 13 at the time. "My mom cried, and the first thing my dad said was, 'I raised you better than that,'" she says. ey'd warmed over the years, but she was still scared. And the idea of coming out to everyone? How do you even do that? Well, it was 2012, and the answer was obvious: Facebook. She made a post saying she was bisexual, and then she texted her mom. (She now most often uses the word "lesbian" to describe herself, though she thinks all those little boxes we put ourselves in are pretty silly.) ere is not a queer person alive who doesn't live with shame, and that includes Forester and Ledford. You hear someone arguing with their parents about whether you can stay the night, and it leaves a scar. "We all have inner homophobia," Ledford says. "I still struggle with internalized homophobia myself," Forester says. "Not toward other people — just myself." If she's attracted to someone, especially if they're not explicitly queer, she sometimes feels dirty, perverse. After high school, Ledford fell into a not-so-healthy, on-again-off-again relationship with Soccer Girl, who became her roommate. Ledford had a friend who could get LSD from Sweden or Canada on the Internet's so-called Dark Web, and knew a few people who grew mushrooms, so she got really into psychedelics. She experienced "ego death" a few times, a flight beyond the self without language, history or time, seeing everything through the eyes of a newborn. It changed her life. "For the first time I was able to look at myself and think, Wow, I love myself, and I should take care of myself….It pressed reset on a computer, and I got rebooted into a way better headspace." In the afterglow of temporary psychosis, everything became clear: Ledford needed to get the hell out of Lindsey Wilson. She transferred Qdobas and schools, and though she didn't stick with U of L, she stuck with the city. anks, drugs, for GRLwood. b When we get to the Northside Yacht Club in Cincinnati, Ledford heads inside, but Forester has other plans. She lets the dogs out, puts Pacho on a leash, and heads down the street. "Cruza," she yells ("cross" in Spanish), wandering through quiet residential streets. We circumnavigate a couple stray cats and find an open, grassy area surrounded by woods. A small trail opens in the tree line, and the dark leavens as we hike upward. Forester lets Pacho run free, and he bounds ahead of her, sending small rocks tumbling. Earlier, I asked Forester if she was nervous for the show. "No," she said. "Cute girls make me nervous." She's getting the most amicable divorce ever from one such cute girl. After the episode with Yuxa, Iza came to the U.S. with Forester, and they got married in Louisville. Finally, they didn't have to worry about legal status. Forester says she doesn't remember if they had a ceremony, but that she had a fight with her mom that left her crying. Kentucky was a big culture shock for Iza. Due to her Green Card status, she had

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