Of a long fierce line…

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Today kicks off me and andi’s workshop tour, the Glitter Rebellion. A part of what we are hoping to hold space for during these sessions are opportunities to creatively explore and express the strength, resilience, diversity and love that we come from.

Much of the time when we think about ancestral lines we think about blood and bone. Verna begot Doug who with Sharon, born of Kristine, begot Kori and Aly, and so on. These lines of ancestry have an importance in who we are, where we come from and how we understand home and family.

That being said, I come from a long and fierce line of ancestors to who I have little, if any, distant biological connection to. Queer family is one of love, resistance, resilience and glitter. When I am exploring my lineage I also recognize the paths of activists and freedom fighters from which my life and work directly descends.

This year on Samhain, the day many traditions have understood as that with the thinnest of veils between the worlds, I sat down to create a piece of art. The intent was to create something that could bring together the broad lineages that fed me. I use it as a visual cue to retain gratitude and connection to where & who I come from.

This collage includes maps of where my biological family migrated from before coming to north america. It also includes pictures and representations of my blood and bone family.

Other things you may see and pick out in this collection:

-further: the bus of the merry pranksters, grandparents to my psychedelic ventures
-the little yellow truck/camper that carried me across north america in the tradition of the pranksters, my migratory roots, and the quest to explore and understand
-a radio telescope at the very large array: representing the seeking beyond our planetary limits for what lies beyond
-drag queens in a paddy wagon: arrested at the Artists’ Exotic Carnival 1962. Surviving police repression of identity and expression.
-Leslie Feinberg: fired up and addressing a crowd
-ACTUP!: in the tradition of Stonewall, queers fighting for action in the AIDS crisis.
-The Lesbian Avengers: queer women using direct action to fight misogyny and invisibility
-Screaming Queens- those who fought back against police brutality and homophobic violence in the compton cafeteria riots
-Elders as sculpted in stone by Norwegian sculptor Vigeland from the sculpture park in Oslo (one of my families countries of origin)

I am very excited to see what sorts of play and exploration folks will get into during our Glitter Rebellion sessions.

We are in Winlaw today (March 5th 1-4 pm) at Bindu where there is space to join us.

The rest of the tour schedule is as follows:
March 10th in East Van for a sold out Workshop at the Hammock
March 13th in Squamish for a closed session at Quest University
March 17th at 6pm at the Sex Positive Art & Resource Center in Victoria (still room- email for a space)
March 20th from 1-4 at the Toast in East Van (still room- email for a space).

 

My vote of confidence

A few months ago andi and I were having acid church in my bus house and started chatting about the topic of breeding. I had, since my miscarriage a couple of years ago mostly backed away from the plans and connections that I had had with that whole realm. I had at one time had a room in my house and days of the week that were specifically dedicated to the tiny humans. I had spent the bulk of a year making monthly trips to the coast to get the precious ingredients to make baby making possible. I was in a different way of relating to a lot of things, as can happen over a couple of years.

Some people put a lot of weight on what’s happening for folks during their saturn return- the period of time that Saturn is travelling through the same astrological zone as it was when you were born. Last winter holidays was the point that friend and astrologer Quin had calculated as the apex of my Saturn return. During that time me and andi were at home, with 3 kids, as the stomach flu went through each of us while I was mid bathroom renovation. It was disgusting. The youngest one, in diapers, was the vector of the illness. The rest of us were using a bucket compost toilet system while I was ripping out the rotten bathroom floor, re-tiling and installing a new toilet. So according to the predictions of saturn, this is the theme that will dictate the next 27-something years.

So I mentioned I was feeling resistant right? My once magnetic connection with the wee bebes had experienced a switch of polarity and I was feeling totally over it. I grieved so hard for the state of the world. I thought endlessly of how the times we are in and the decisions that the world is making right now could lead to the lives of the next generation being filled with immense devastation. Why would I want to bring a tiny human or two into a world in the midst of mass extinction events, watershed collapse, sea levels rising, oceans full of plastic, and next level corporate influence on every realm of life?

So there we were, sitting in the bus, toasty wood heat and favourite tunes on the system. andi asks if they can be totally real with me.

“Of course”, I say.

“You know I think I could probably go through life and not do a breeding thing, and be fine. But I don’t know if you will. I think you will regret it. I think it’s a big part of your path”

And like that, it was like my overcompensated grief melted. My sadness, generated as a scab to allow me to heal from my miscarriage, flaked off, leaving the regenerated drive to be a parent fresh underneath. My ticking biological clock, the sheer mass of  friends who I know and trust to be super rad parents who are breeding RIGHT NOW, and the state of the world all rushed back into my conciousness.

Yes, the world is experiencing some really messed up shit. We are in a time of needing to rapidly re-skill ourselves to make the transition. I am acutely aware of the ways that the corporately offered band-aids to human needs will need to stop being available really soon. Cheaply made products shipped around the world with oil industry subsidies and busted structures of global exploitation propping it up are going to stop being available. We are in a time where we need to learn how to do things small scale local and low impact again, or our species and many others may not survive. I’m working on my end of that by raising meat, growing gardens, building relationships with the medicines in my back yard and fixing what can be fixed before I buy something new. I’m also working on sharing my insight and stories with those who will listen in an effort to work towards a world where trans contributions are valued as much as they deserve to be.

And the thought of doing those things with a little flock/herd/pack/batch/gam/swarm of tiny humans actually fills me with hope. I think about the skills that I have had to acquire in adulthood; from wrenching on bikes and pedal power machines, to composting, growing food, celebrating gender diversity and everything in between. I think about the gifts I can offer my spawn by introducing them to the medicines in our forests when they are wee. I think about the gifts I can offer my spawn by offering them honesty about where we come from and whose territory we live on, and how. I think about the gifts I can offer my spawn by raising them into the transitional economies we are creating, where heart work, creative problem solving, and big picture sustainability are driving forces.

I think about what it means to raise little humans who will have the skills to make the transitions we need. I think about what it means to know that the planet needs help, and to see the value in breeding and training a generation of people equipped to do that. Of course it is griefy. These are really tough times.

Breeding now is a vote of confidence that a new way could be possible.

So with all that as a lead in, I am proud to announce that I am once again pregnant. After the experience of an early term miscarriage I am not comfortable with the social convention that tells us to keep this secret within our nuclear families until a certain date. Because I know the grief that can come from a loss, even early on, and I don’t believe that to be something that gestating parents or their partners should shoulder alone. The ways that I am working on creating family involves my networks. It is queer as fuck and super on purpose. It is thought out, cried over, collaboratively initiated and could end in any number of ways.

I hope that my dreams of my children being important players in the local fronts of a world reconfiguring will come true. And at this point, it is all a matter of “we’ll see”.

Thank you all for your well wishes, prayers, support, sandwiches, follows and shares. All of the ways you support our family make this possible. Gratitude.

 

PS:    One of the things I am doing to support my pregnancy is drinking a tea blend that andi made up for me. It contains all sorts of things to support first trimester development, nutrition and well being. They currently have in the works a tincture made with a similar blend of things. Keep your eyes on the witch’s cabinet or contact andi to ensure an order from this batch.

PPS: I want to thanks those of you who have been sharing this and sending your support. I want to make perfectly clear to those of you beyond the reaches of personal knowing, that I am not nor do I ever intend to be a “MOTHER”. As a trans person, I will be a parent. As a pregnant person, I am a gestational parent. I intend to be a breastfeeding parent. So much gratitude to all the queer parents, trans dads, mapas and all other creative linguistic configurations of rad parents and supportive adults to the tiny humans.