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

…..

When I don’t know what to say… i say it with dots. When I don’t know what to say, I write it here. When I don’t what to say, I write. I want to be heard, I just don’t know how to say it with my shaky and uncertain voice.

I have been perusing through my posts lately, trying to figure out where and what I am trying to say. There is a direction there.. and it is so glaringly clear.

The thing is.. I have never felt so vulnerable as I do now. Never.

And I want to be heard. I want to do everything… I want more.. so much more than I have ever allowed myself to do.

This past month has challenged me in so many ways. So many perfect, and scary, and amazing ways. It has taught me patience and a will to fight for what I believe in.. wholeheartedly, without my somewhat selfish and terrified soul in consideration. My fear and extreme self doubt has taken second place. And this has never happened before. And it is good. It is what I have been fighting for my whole life. A belief in something greater than me.

These recent chaotic, brilliant moments have allowed me to practice my authenticity. To declare loudly that I am vulnerable and strong and worthy of love. That I am not afraid to say with the written word that I am ok.. I am better than I ever was because I am not afraid to fail.. or to try. That I have had moments that have made me melt in so many delicious ways.. and I am not afraid to talk about it or feel like I am not deserving of it.

So with this, I am going to continue to just go… go forward and hope and fight for all things deserving. I will continue to take the needs of others close to my heart and welcome them, because we are all the same really… just looking for love and acceptance and meaning in this world. I will practice patience and above all else respect for those that I simply adore.

And, above all else.. I will write.. unashamed, unafraid.

…….

 

 

…..

“Remember Me as a Revolutionary Communist”

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“From that moment on I was her butch and she was my femme.”
Leslie Feinberg, Stone Butch Blues

On November 15, 2014 Trans Warrior and self proclaimed Revolutionary Communist Leslie Feinberg passed away. There are no words to describe Leslie. For me there are only thank-you’s and promises.

Dear Leslie,

Thank you for coming into my life at a time where my identity was being questions by myself and many of those around me. Thank you for putting words into my thoughts and making my questions and confusion make sense. Thank you for crusading. Thank you for laying the ground work for what is still an overwhelming struggle. Thank you for speaking so kindly about women like me who love butches like you. Thank you for making me feel desired and loved. Thank you for smiling at me when I came up to you to sign my copy of Stone Butch Blues. Thank you for me making me feel important.

And I promise to continue to fight in your honour and for all of those that came before me and you.

Dallas

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“Remember Me as a Revolutionary Communist”

Thank You

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He held on to the podium for balance as he felt unsteady. There was a whitewash of figures dressed in colours one could only get away with in First-World countries. They were waiting to hear the remainder of his speech. He shuffled his papers as he struggled to reclaim his voice. His voice was stuck behind the lump that developed just before he said “the final thing I want to say is..” He turned away in shame.

When he was a child, his father had left and his mother hated him. She told him as much. “You are an embarrassment, a shame to our family,” as she caught him under the tree in the backyard dancing with only a pair of tattered pants and a pink scarf he stole from the neighbour girl. “You will never be a man. You are a sinner, and you alone will go to hell.”

Yet, here he was, in a foreign country that stood for freedom in front of an audience waiting to hear what he had to say. If this was hell, he did not want to go back. He turned back around to face his audience, and something forced him to focus on a man with tears running down his cheeks. He was also wearing a pink scarf. Shame turned into courage.

“The final thing I want to say is, thank you for coming.”

Thank You