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Post Pride Wrap up

Field Notes In/On Transition

Post Pride Wrap up

It’s taken me forever to sit down and write this blog post that I meant to do directly after Pride. In my last post I think I mentioned that I was given some free tickets to a Queer Arts Fest show. The day of, of course I spent the day battling some sort of gastro/digestion issue, and was too wiped out to go. my friend who I was giving the second ticket to was ill that day as well, either we both ate something off, caught the same bug, or are on each other’s cycles right now. All or none of these things are possible. I felt bad about not using the tickets, but not running to the bathroom in the middle of a show is something I want to avoid most of the time. Le sigh.

I should also go back and talk about “Pride Weekend” as I did participate in some events this year. Marching in “The Trans March” that has moved over to my neighbourhood seemed very important to me, this year. So, I scooted up after work (missing a week of electrolysis for the first time since May) On Friday august 2nd... to Clark Park where about 300 odd Trans folk, GenderQueer folk and our allies gathered for a march down Commercial Dr. to Grant st., where we turned and gathered in Victoria Park  (use google maps for route)

I’m not sure about why or wherefore of having the march on the drive (my hood) instead of over with all the other Pride stuff in the west end where it has been in previous years..... But had it been over there, I might not have made it, and it feels right for such a march to be in East Van, which I feel is more of a Trans inclusive neighbourhood. At least, that’s my perception, as in previous years there have always been petty squabbles within the Pride structure about the where to squeeze the Trans march into all the outdoor West end parties going on. 

As it happened, this year, for some reason we didn’t have a police escort, and had to navigate some rather busy intersections on our own. But it all went very smoothly, as even at those busy intersections, people who drive in this area are used to various marches happening with or without said police presence. here’s some video of the march, linked, taken by an ally of the march, who did a good job cutting it all together. below is a video of the trans march 

I have never (even really felt the urge to) marched in any kind of parade, at least as an adult. I’ve often gone to The Big Pride Parade in recent years, but before I started transitioning, I kind of felt weird about going, I didn’t really have Pride in myself as a Gay man, or a Bi man, or any other kind of dude. I always felt like some kind of interloper at these events.

This year I was and am proud enough to be emboldened to march with my trans folk friends, allies for our basic human rights that we don’t have guaranteed in many places. I may not feel kinship with every trans person I meet, but I grok their disengenderment (to coin an awkward word) I think, feel as much as they do mine.

The variety of lifestyles represented in this seemingly narrow group of the LGBTQA rainbow made me personally swell with pride. I felt very much more a part of a group or a tribe more than I have since being a ex-pat in Tokyo. We are as diverse and interesting a group as any cultural ethnicity. Which is kind of how I feel. My “chosen people” are mostly on some kind of hormone regimen, but otherwise is as wide ranging in actual lifestyle as any broader group of humans.

This makes me very happy and somewhat relieved to realize. That all these varied individuals can grok, or relate to my existence on a level I hadn’t known maybe was there for me. 

I have a Tribe!  

We chanted and prayed, and sang, occasionally we screamed, but as we made our way down the street we became more and more of an entity, an entity with a message (though sometimes when folk were chanting “Trans Rights Now!” a few of us with theatrical training were chanting Brown Rice Now... wacky fun within the serious message!)

I didn’t stay for all the speeches (due to aching arches after also being on my feet all day at work), and wondered why we didn’t march down to Grandview Park, more central and more in the heart of the neighbourhood... maybe just to be different. It was our first march on this street, got to build your identity. It takes time.

The next day was my reading at the Trans*Dance event at ViVo (the former Video In) over on Main Street. I was definitely a bit nervous, and unsure of what to wear. It was my first time to read in public since I started transitioning. 

I’d been rehearsing every day for a week or two before the gig, and it definitely paid off. I thought after the second poem, I got my rhythm and gave a good performance of my work, if maybe I could have had a bit more contact with the audience, I was a bit “nose in book,” but happy with my not quite as male sounding as the old “Joe Style”, as it were. I definitely have a rhythm I tap into when creating my poems. I need to perform them a bunch of times before they are finished, if then. Reading for me helps grow the poems.

Here’s a fb link to what the event was billed as.

And, here is a video of me (taken by my friend Kellie) of that reading. It’s only two thirds of the reading as there was a lot of background noise in the first couple of pieces.

I didn’t stick around for the dance party part of the evening, later after the readings, as I was pretty exhausted by that point. The next day was the Pride Parade in the west end. Hundreds of thousands of people downtown, making noise. When I woke the next morning, I was not able to bring myself to join in on that. I'd done as many events and marching as I could handle this year. So I stayed home and worked of some writing projects and had a “me day” of playing video games, watching movies. I definitely was not the most hardcore of Pride taker parters, but I did more than I ever have and was proud to do so, which is kind of the point.

The next few things I have on my plate include getting my ID renewed (when I got the name change done it was “too soon” to renew. Grrr. and I’ll get my medical card name change done at the same, time as that’s done in the same place now. Then Finally I’ll get my SIN card changed and I’ll have all my ID in my right name. It was too overwhelming for me to do it all at once, anyway. I’m slow at getting all my T’s dotted and I’s crossed (sic) sometimes.

And in less than two weeks, I’ll be having my “Official Book Launch” for my new book of poetry “The Wickedness of Flowers” at my favourite nerdy themed bar/restaurant “The Storm Crow Tavern” (link) August 29 (thursday) at 7:00pm I’ll do a short reading (same set as in the video above, I think) at 7:30ish, then after that, hopefully sell a few books, and drink, eat and be merry with those who show up!

Facebook event page for my book launch

I’ve been working on a lot of varied writing exercises recently and feel a bit behind in my blogging. One of the things I’m finding, the longer I transition is that the more comfortable I’ve become in my skin, the more that old inspirations from everywhere forcing me to write all the time has resurfaced after a few years of mostly fallow time, where my writing impulses became impulses to take photos and edit the hell out of them, and make video poems of my already written backlog of poetry. 

I published three poetry books in the last few years, but have written only sporadically, with any kind of routine, or regularity. Something in this finding myself that I’m doing is also finding that (what I see as the only divine in my life) thing that I thought was gone (my overwhelming urge to create art).... In fact it was there the whole time as I made endless videos and took endless photographs. I feel like I was learning how to see, observe in a different way. 

Then last winter I made this decision to plow through those “A Song Of Fire And Ice” books, having taken half a year to read the first one and a half books. I was feeling like I needed to start reading for joy again. I’d become one of those people who reads for 15 minutes before falling asleep. I was just 5 or 6 years ago someone who read for hours and hours before sleeping.

Reading the books on my ipad instead of lugging them around made it easier, and I’ve become a convert to reading on the ipad. Not that it replaces books, but enhances my ability to read wherever, whenever I want, books that I will only read once. Perhaps for the first time in my life (consciously at least) I feel like with every book, every series I have read, I have been learning something about writing, world building, narrative. Which really is all I live for. I’m a sucker for a good story, If you have one, I’ll listen.

This newer/older melding of my interests has sparked a lot of long simmering ideas and I’m now working on a big big writing project that maybe in a year or two, or three I might start talking about content wise. But for now I don’t want to waste any of the story. I’ve got a long long way to go, just like I have a long way to go, transition wise. In both cases though I have I think earned something I never felt worthy of in the past: Confidence. 

Just like I’m confident that I can and will, and am living my life everyday more and more as the woman I want to be, I am also becoming the writer (the storyteller, more aptly) I want to be. Win. Win. I have my small and big hurdles, like making a living, friends suddenly passing, staying safe, and active enough to have a voice maybe in the community, without the community overwhelming the other stuff I must do. Play my RPGs, Shoot photos, write poems, my blogs, my other stories. This is who I am, what I do.


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