Anarchism is now a thoughtcrime in England. Have to wonder when that will happen here too. The shellacking of free speech continues throughout the naughtily monikered ‘free world’. I can just HEAR John on the subject.
I came back from Katie’s place last night after I took her shopping and took Government Rd, because that tunnel of trees reminds me of coming back from Jericho on a warm summer night on the back of John’s scooter. Christ, I miss him. I keep waiting for it to go away, but grief mocks timetables and stalwart resolutions with a cascade of neurotransmitters.
One of my longest term friends and noted poet Lucile Barker recently came up with these two gems: “Intermiliating…an experience that is simultaneously humiliating and interesting.
Entermiliating…when it happens to someone else.”
I’ve been worrying and fussing over Pride day, off and on the last little while, but I finally put all my errant thoughts together after posting this to facebook :
After participating in half a dozen Pride parades in Vancouver, I’m starting to feel very conflicted about it. It’s not that I think that there isn’t more to be done to encourage love and understanding for the genderqueer, non-normative folks among us and inside us, or that we can’t do more to support young people coming out, it’s that I’m starting to feel less celebratory.
I’m having a hard time with how awkward the massive influx of sponsorship cash makes me feel when Ugandan gays are getting killed. I’m dying a little inside about how transgendered people get treated as they get lumped in with the gay spectrum, and dumped on by “women born women” (I’m still recovering from that disgusting tshirt that was on sale at the michfest) while fending off queries as to whether they have a website nudge nudge wink wink…. I’m not saying that queer bashing in Vancouver is dead or that hosanna sexism stepped out for a beer, or that white and other interlocking privileges have quit working their evil magic on everything. We all know that’s bs. The millennium came and went and things have improved in quanta and fractions and lumpy little increments. I see more freedom on the horizon, and I don’t want it sponsored by a fucking brewer, thanks. I want to be part of a human movement powered by human love, human dreams, human actions, not a pasted on smile that gets cleaned up by the sanitation department later that day.
Of course we need to celebrate victories and agitate for better and fewer laws. But I’m not feeling celebratory. I am mourning for the person I used to be, believing that Pride was a sign of how advanced we are. I’ve watched the banks and breweries opt in, and that’s the point at which I want to opt out. It felt transgressive, asskickingly, gloriously transgressive and liberating, to participate in years past. Now it feels like a chore, so that I, a nominally straight woman and Unitarian, can have some street cred.
This weekend I’ll try to unpack a little more of my invisible knapsack; I’ll try to engage straight people I know in that discussion; I’ll find a queer charity in town to support. But I’m not going to Pride. It feels like someone else’s party now, and I don’t want be the jerk that crashes it for the cachet of saying I was there.
And so since my irritation right now is directed towards oppression of transgender people, I’ve been wracking my brains for a charitable organization I can give money to that will express my values. And all of a sudden it occurred to me that the answer has been staring me in the face.
Which school in the lower mainland supports TG kids the most? Purpose! How do I know? Because I was at a graduation and heard it from the mouth of a TG kid (FTM) that he never would have made it without Purpose. And because, without education, a TG kid can’t escape the employment ghetto and build himself a life of meaningful independence. Because I know from my kids that they can be out and proud at school and their teachers, support staff and principal will raise hell if they are bullied or maltreated. So I will support education, transgender rights and young people with one donation, and now I can feel like my Pride weekend has actually meant something. I feel better!
We celebrated Jeff’s bday with takeout Schnitzel and the final episode of Season One from Breaking Bad. What a hell of a show.