So right now I’m in a parking lot in Watkins Glen, New York, but that has very little to do with this actual post. I am going to write about my trip to Washington DC last weekend.
So I traveled to DC with Joey in order to speak on a panel about transgender self-published authors at the 2015 OutWrite LGBT Bookfair. I set it up and was the admin. The other two speakers were Sophie LaBelle and DL Wainwright. You can watch the videos of it on my YouTube channel: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ifPckZQVCpc
I also had a table to sign sell my books and art at the event. There wasn’t much of a turnout so that was pretty disappointing and I had to endure some ignorant comments and questions.
We stayed with friends that we met in Philadelphia, Lane and Jes. Sophie stayed with them as well so it was like big radical trans sleepover party. Joey and I had a really good time. It was nice to hang around transgender and queer people who don’t hate us.
Anyway that’s all I can think to say about the trip for now.
And now, to experiment with pointless videos! Today I went to Flite Fest again in Malvern, Ohio. As previously stated, this event is not interesting to me. But, we are here for Drew, and that’s what matters. At some point I want Drew to explain why it’s interesting, perhaps in a video. I did like watching him fly his RC places. I am mildly curious about learning to do it myself. I did a lot of wandering the village around today, and I took some videos and pictures. Malvern was a small, mostly deserted town. I bought some blackberry wine at a gas station. The ladies were very impressed that I was all the way from New York (it said on my license). I have interacted with pretty much no one otherwise. I’m realizing I’m the shyest in these situations. Hm, what else has happened? Mittens is much more comfortable here at the hotel than she was the first night. That’s a relief.
And now some of my photography that I took on my walk around Malvern. I have an obsession with rundown and abandoned buildings, if you didn’t already know this.
Another fairly pointless video for you: And lastly, a deceptively prettier picture of the view from our hotel tonight. Through the bug screen. And so, this is where I shall end. Tomorrow I have a couple writing assignments I need to finish, and I’m also hoping I can check out this nearby lake/swimming spot if possible. Drew and Joey should be back soon, and then I imagine it will be sleep time. So good bye! Oh and for the record, running through the grass was an awful decision. I’m still itchy.
It’s been over a week since I last wrote and it’s high time I got to telling you fine folks about my trip to Philadelphia for the Philly Trans Health Conference. I know you’re probably dying to hear about how I actually did at the conference, and all the interesting things that happened being surrounded by so many other trans people…and how it was empowering, and uplifting, and blah blah blah. BUT. First, more importantly, I need to tell you about that cats at Chamounix Mansion.
That is the place we stayed. We couldn’t pronounce it so we called it Shamwow Mansion. It’s an international hostel and it was cheap, but amazing. We had a private room in the guest house and it was only $55 a night. It was located in this beautiful park about a ten minute drive from the convention center and downtown Philly. The first thing I noticed upon arrival were THE CATS.
I was kind of disappointed that we had to go to the conference at all because this place was awesome. I could have hung out with the feral cats and horses and roamed the grounds all three days, if I didn’t have to sell books.
Anyway, maybe I’ll get around to telling you about the conference eventually. Some cool stuff happened, though I’m having trouble remembering. It was all kind of a blur. However, as slippery as my young memory can be, I will never forget the cats of Shamwow Mansion.
As I write this I am currently staying at a hostel in Philadelphia. I will have much to say about this- we’ve only just arrived. So I figured I better get a move on with my post about our trip to Geneva for Finger Lakes Pride! That was last Saturday.
First, we got there around 10 for a trans/gender-variant open mic at this place called The Flounge. It was a coffee house and gift store. Most the performers, mostly older trans women, shared their personal transition stories. I read a few chapters of my second book. The reception was warm. I enjoyed it.
After that we killed some time by the lake. I had a wine slushie and Joey took some photography. Then it was time to set up for the festival.
I was in a tent with several nonprofits. It was actually kinda rough being next to the domestic violence/sexual assault counseling volunteers, because I had to hear people ask them questions all day and multiple triggering subjects were brought up. Anyway. I managed. I was also annoyed by the nonprofit next to me on the other side that was asking questions for prizes, one of which was “if you’re a lesbian who sleeps with other women, do you still need to get a pap smear?” It was cissexist and trans erasure and ugh. I’d explain why, but I’ll give my reader the benefit of the doubt that they can figure it out or look it up. Hint: not all lesbians have cervixes, not all people with cervixes are women.
People were pretty cool and I sold and signed quite a few of my books and some of my art. It was really hot and muggy, so that sucked, but I did OK. Especially after the free wine tasting! I may have made a few rounds. After that, I tried on some costumes made available by the local theater group.
It was cool to see what appeared to be a few young trans boys pick up my books and buy them. Cis people too. But it touches me when young trans people are interested. One of them looked super sad, and he bought a book so I hope the book gives him something to relate to maybe? I dunno. Some of the people I talked to were really super nice and encouraging of the work I’m doing.
Oh and there was this one drunk woman…
Lady: This is great! I mean, it’s all so important. Bruce Jenner’s interview really opened my eyes to this stuff.
Me: Oh. I haven’t seen it. (Note: this was before I heard she was going by Caitlyn)
Me: Whoa, hey there. Not sure that calling them he-she is cool.
Lady: Well he said to still call him he. For now.
Me: Cool. So do. I feel the same way, by the way. Call me he, for now.
Lady: Haha you’re too funny!
Me: No really, it changes sometimes. But he works, for now.
Lady: Oh, haha, OK. Right! Why not? Hahaha! Well um, bye!
Fun times. I was absolutely charming but firm through this whole interaction and kind of in love with myself.
Later as it started to pour and thunderstorm, a young gay man and his bestie stopped to talk to Joey and I about cats for quite some time. They bought some of my cat art and we showed pictures of our cats on our phones. They were awesome.
Then we had to rush out of there before we were all struck by lightning and died.
All in all I had a good time. Highlight of the trip? A little girl of like 6 was perusing through my used queer books and came across Maurice by E.M. Forester. “Mommy, I need this!” “What, why? There are no pictures.” “But I need it!” “No, come on….” “Noooooo! Please!” I whispered to the mom that she could have it for free, because it was just too dang adorable and reminded me of myself. Maybe she is a future fellow trans-fag-English-major-Writer in the making. We can only hope!
Tomorrow morning I start vending at Philly Trans Health, so I hope to see people there! More about this Philly trip coming ASAP, as it happens most likely. Stay tuned. THERE ARE PICTURES OF FERAL CATS SOON TO COME.
Yesterday we took a motorcycle ride to Carpenter Falls in Niles, NY. That’s sorta near Skaneateles. We also stopped in Skaneateles to charge Joey’s camera batteries at a gazebo in the park. It’s an odd place. Way more upscale than Syracuse. It’s a little too quaint for my liking, but nice for an occasional drop-in. Further south at Carpenter’s Falls, we did a lot of hiking. Or at least what I consider a lot. Some of it down and uphill with unstable terrain. It was mostly worth it. I like a little hiking now and again. Joey loves it though. He is a backpacking, survivalist person. He’s done a lot of that sort of thing. I like nature, but my attention span is too short for that. Also I only like physical exertion in short, controllable bursts. It occurred to us for the first time that we probably appear strange to people as two men on a motorcycle. I ride “bitch” so to speak. Sometimes I think my gender is indeterminable in a helmet, but lately I’ve had a mustache. And a beard, but that is hidden. Also, our water bottle flew off the motorcycle on the ride there, and we actually found it on the road on the ride back. Being on the back of the motorcycle gives me lots of time to myself to think. I especially like when I’m very tired and the breeze feels amazing and the sun is setting and we are riding through the country side. It’s lovely. Not much else is coming to mind to say about this trip. Here are some photos though. My next trip will also be to the Finger Lakes, because I’ll be doing a reading in Auburn on Thursday night. Until then! Unless something else happens.