Thursday, August 30, 2012

First times, hopefully gentle.

The facebook status I most recently posted said: “…. is rallying all the glamour of fairy queens past, present and future where they rest in my closet dancing to Abba to properly honour the momentous occasion that is Castlegar Gay Pride. THIS IS A REALLY BIG DEAL. I am so excited to be able to bring my wholeself to Castlegar, a place that I usually leave a few of my selves at home or in the car when I go there. A place that I have felt a need to butch up to feel safe. And tonight, we will create safety in numbers. An opportunity to celebrate our diversity, fabulosity and create space so we won’t have to check ourselves at the door, and most importantly the next generation of people growing up around here may never have to learn this survival mechanism at all.” _______________ I wanted to share with you internet about how incredibly excited I am for this incredibly important occasion. As my followers know, I have been living and finding space for this genderfucked fancy self in a part of rural Canada that has a pretty decent reputation of being radical, accepting and weird. There are 2 small cities equidistant from my home. Nelson being one, and Castlegar being the second. Castlegar is where I usually go shopping, as the thrift stores are amazing and they have much cheaper groceries. Sometimes occasionally I will go see a movie in Castlegar since Nelson doesn’t currently have a theatre. But almost always going to Castlegar takes some degree of warm up, a specific kind of outfit, appropriate footwear etc. I think preparing to go Castlegar is sort of akin to what some people who are closeted must wrestle with every morning. How much can I be real, and still be safe? What can I pull off and slip under the radar, not raise any eyebrows or red flags? Usually I butch up when I go to Castlegar. I very rarely bind, but I like to wear overalls, baggy sweaters or a distracting amount of layers when I go to Castlegar. This got me into trouble when I first arrived. I over heated and passed out while in Fabricland. I have to say, if there is a good place to pass out, a fabric store is it. My head was bolstered by a bolt of polar fleece and I awoke to a small crowd of grandmothers, retired cardiac nurses and quilt crazed cougars. I wasn’t sure how they would react to my trans-ness. They were shocked at the amount of clothes I was wearing, I passed it of as being attributed to adjusting from a recent move from the coast and not being able to warm up in the ice yet. I was taken to the hospital in Castlegar, which is very small. I remember a room with out 5 or 6 beds in it being the ER, possibly even the whole thing. I told one of the paramedics that I was trans, and tried to explain that I didn’t really want it to be a thing. I don’t really remember how exactly everything went down, but I remember being generally impressed. Which says a lot, I’ve had lots of experience with hospital emergency rooms, and I am rarely satisfied, let alone impressed. The hospital staff grabbed one of their mental health workers to drop by and introduce himself before he left for home. I was introduced into their system, considering that I had all sorts of warning signs; new to the area, depressed, isolated and overwhelmed. I met with one of their workers for a bit, which in some ways felt like I should have been transcribing a book called, “how I feel about being trans in this place.” I don’t really feel like that is the best way to encourage healing and balance in my life so I dropped out. Castlegar is the place where I usually won’t try on dresses or skirts without buying them, and sort of convince myself that I am buying them for a friend. I try to pass, trying to access as much male privilege as anyone will give me. Tonight I will be busting it all out. Two outfits, one to appear in, and one to change into as the night lets loose. But neither one of these outfits is attempting to pass as male, or straight, or normal. Tonight is the Pride party. For the first time in Castlegar, gays (their language not mine, I think the crowd will be a lot more queer+) will organize and appear en mass publicly. Tonight we make history.

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