To all the Pride’s I’ve loved before…

Today, Pride Calgary officially raises its flag at City Hall. For the first time in years I have decided to check it out before heading to work. At some point, a few years ago, my absolute elation with the Pride movement took an ugly turn, and even now, talking about it immerses me with anxiety. As most of you know, I (and dozens of other volunteers) spent 5 years digging Pride Calgary, the organization, out of a bit if a hole. The finances were iffy, our relationship with the city was tumultuous, and the faith of the queer community in Pride Calgary was toxic at best. I am so proud of the work that myself and all the volunteers that tirelessly dedicated themselves to serving a community that we all love. This was a part of my life that stands out above all others.

Once my tenure with Pride Calgary was done I moved to Toronto and worked just as hard for the Dyke March, but it was very different. In Toronto I was woken up to the realities of the injustices of the Pride movement and how I played a direct part in it. I was blessed to be surrounded by the best sort of Dykes in my committee who questioned me on my priviledge, called me out on my whiteness, and taught me how to recognize my cisgender priviledge.
I understood the need for $$ but the heartache of corporate greed. I felt like I truly understood the power of community, particularly when my mom was sick thousands of miles away and my people showed me how to deal by the simple art of crocheting banners of resistance. I also realized that this community of Dykes that I felt so connected to were not connected to the Pride Movement. We were seen as disruptive, grassroots, and political. I realized that Pride did not represent everybody.

When I came back to Calgary, I didn’t want anything to do with Pride, except for publicly challenging them with my new found knowledge. This hurt me more than helped because I was exerting my frustration with anger which was not fair to the current board and it was killing me inside.

Years later, I became much more aware of the injustices to the folks of colour in my community that felt unsafe at Pride. I was invited to listen to the community. I can’t thank these folks enough.

Today, I have began to do the things that matter the most to me. I am working with an amazing organization that empowers the kids in our community to be themselves and live as equals. These are the folks that are going to make it better. I am so excited for that.

So, for those who will take this.. Happy Pride, however you chose to celebrate and/or fight.

For those that do not, please know that this is ok too. There is no universal queer have-to-love Pride pact. Stay safe, take time for yourself.

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To all the Pride’s I’ve loved before…

Except My Own Confusion

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As I sit here searching through quotes of those that were just as angst-ridden, crest-fallen, bat-shit crazy, and fucking confused as I am trying to find something or someone to explain to everyone where I am at – at this very fucking moment i contemplate why I posted this one. It hints at where I am at – slightly. But than, as I read it over and over again.. analyzing its every word, connotation, and style I realize that it is not where I am at this very moment. It can’t be. I didn’t write it – Jack Kerouac did.

So where am I right now? Well, it’s not going to be summarized in some Haiku-style work of art like Kerouac could do. Mine is much more detailed, and messy, and exciting, and devastating. Kerouac couldn’t write this shit. I am not certain that I can either – but I am going to try.

If there is one thing that I have learned throughout this two years of self – preservation, self-hatred, self-discovery, self-care, and just being by myself is that no one person can make me ok. I have to do that. You can’t be anything for anyone authentically unless you are nothing but authentic to yourself. This is actually that just came to me while I was having sushi with my dad here in Comox about 20 minutes ago.

I am an analyzer. I will tear down one idea until it is nothing. This is some parts my personality and one part my crazy. I have explained the crazy over and over again and am, quite honestly, tired of explaining it. But anyways.

I wonder about my actions. I wonder what other people think. I always wonder what other people think. I ruin great days by over analyzing text messages that I sent and that were sent, or times between texts, or Facebook messages, or Facebook posts that I do of great writer’s quotes. I wonder if other people will read it the wrong way. For example, Kerouac’s quote above. What does that quote say about me? Am I confused about other people? Am I unreliable? Am I a bag of shit?

No! What I was trying to say is.. I am ready to just get going, I want to get going.. but I have baggage .. so please be ok with me working through it. Not much magic in that quote so you can see why Kerouac won in the quote department.

So.. here is where I am at right now for all those that want to know…. including myself.

I am happy, I am sad. I am confused, yet calm. I am terrified at potential because I am terrified that it will backfire over and over again. I am certain that I question your intentions not because of you, but because I question my own authenticity. I am only learning how to stand up for myself. I am only starting to peel the layers I have built onto my self to reveal that heart of who I am. This authenticity is new .. and I am only learning who I am right at this moment. I know that I am in this inner turmoil of questioning only because I am not happy with my current situation. And I am changing.. right as I sit here. I am losing my comfortable madness to uncomfortable goodness, and I am scared. And I am grieving. And I am lost in this new found beauty of self discovery.

It is necessary. It is necessary to scare myself this way to keep going. It is necessary to keep going this way to test my trust issues. It is necessary to be vulnerable to prove that I can fucking do it.

And this is where I am.

 

 

Except My Own Confusion