Right now I’m in Stamford, CT where we’re staying. It’s a short train ride to New York and saves Joey and me some money. We’re at a Starbucks down the road from the Super 8. Man, this city is dull so far. Saturday was the Rainbow Book Fair, which is why I’m in town. That went pretty well. I met some awesome people, such as gay romance author Leta Blake, who I tabled with. She was very nice and helpful and we bought one anothers’ books. She is the author of Training Season and several other gay romance books, and had come all the way from Tennessee! I also met Sophie Labelle, author of Assigned Male- A Webcomic About A Transgender Girl. She came all the way from Montreal. We traded books and stickers as well. Afterwards, Sophie came with Joey and me to the after party where there was free wine (woo!) I had a nice conversation with Pauline Park, a (trans)gender rights advocate who I heard speak back when I was at SUNY Purchase. I really liked what she had to say about nonbinary transition and some other stuff, and I told her so. After that, Sophie, Joey and I went for Thai food.
Sadly, I am home now in Syracuse and I cannot remember much of this trip. It’s amazing how fast my memory goes lately.
And so, to continue where I left off: our trip to New York City. We stopped briefly at the hotel to drop off our stuff. We stayed at the Holiday Inn on 57th Street, right near Central Park. It was nicer than our usual accommodations, because Joey wanted to treat Drew. We had an amazing view. Then Joey and I hurried to the modeling audition at James Weber Studio in Chelsea. As previously mentioned, it was pretty straightforward and painless.
After that, we went to an event at the bookstore BGSQD which is now located at The Center (for the LGBTs) in the West Village. I signed up for this reading last minute, and the writer running the event, Michael Brodus, was very generous to let me join. The event was called Queer Loves and Lusts in a Post-DOMA World. “Celebrating the full range of queer relationship options on the 15th Anniversary of the night Michael Broder hit on Jason Schneiderman. An evening of words and deeds honoring the raunchy outlaw roots of LGBTQ love and celebrating the full range of relationship options in the wake of same-sex marriage—hooking up, dating, living together, cheating, breaking up, open relationships, groups, polyamory, fetish, kink—anything and everything we do to express our loves, lusts, commitments, and refusals of commitment in the era of same-sex marriage.” It was mostly poetry, but I read prose and got a good reception. I read about my relationship with Joey and it felt really good, given that we haven’t had much support back in Syracuse. Everyone was really warm and friendly, and the elbow-rubbing seemed sincere and not gross. Like making new friends rather than just networking. It was pretty awesome. And the other readers were great. I especially enjoyed the poetry of fellow trans writer Trace Peterson.
There was a painting that caught my eye in the hotel. It seemed like Courage the Cowardly Dog, but with the male and female roles reversed. I pointed this out to Drew.
Some other stuff happened. We went to our favorite gluten-free restaurant, Risotteria, on the Lower East Side. Drew and I checked out guitars in a guitar shop. Alas, we could not locate a hurdy gurdy, which is one of his main objectives at this time. We got delayed on the drive home and slept over at a hotel in New Jersey. It seems like I’m forgetting a lot that happened on this trip, but really, my brain feels fuzzy and fried, and I am missing my glasses. I shall leave you with this picture of us at Risotteria.
Thursday night we stayed in Worcester, MA at a Days Inn. We drove in to Boston for my reading. I was a featured reader for “Moonlighting: A Queer Open Mic Reading Series.” It was located at the Fazenda Coffee House in Jamaica Plains, Boston. This was seriously one of my favorite events I’ve ever done. I read and got great reactions. There was a good-sized, enthusiastic crowd, I sold several books, and the organizers were very kind and generous, giving me the money they raised from suggested donations. I think I rather like Boston, and I’d like to return.
We were told about Queereoke at the Midway Cafe, so we headed over to that as well. Joey likes gay bar scenes even less than I do , but even he had fun. It was a different vibe than I’m used to, partly because it was a queer night at an open-minded dive bar, as opposed to just a gay bar. We had drinks and I sang “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out,” by The Smiths. I got a little too drunk, and was a little self-destructive. This was upsetting. But Joey and I talked a lot that night and on the drive the next day, and it was ultimately okay. We had really good talks. I just really need to deal with some more stuff in therapy. And get my drinking under control.
The next day we drove to Stamford, CT, where we stayed at a Super 8. Though we were pretty exhausted, we decided to venture. We were about 20 minutes from SUNY Purchase, where I went to school from 2007-2009. It was the inspiration for the setting of my first book. We first stopped at Rye Playland, which was of course closed for winter, but we looked at the Long Island Sound and the pier and walked some.
After that I took Joey to Purchase. We parked and wandered around, so I could show him my old haunts. The campus was pretty deserted for spring break. He couldn’t get over how shitty it all was, it terms of aesthetics and the fact that everything was falling apart. It was clear to him why my years there were some of the worst of my life. But ultimately we had a lot of fun, walking around judging everything, and me telling him sad stories about my early college years.
The next morning, we took a bus and then Metro North commuter train to Grand Central Station in New York City. We met up with Amos Mac for coffee at the Grumpy Cafe. I met Amos once before at the Philly Trans Health Conference, and I was/am a blogger for Original Plumbing, so we’ve exchanged a lot of emails. He’s always seemed like a really nice guy. He bought our coffees, then we went back in to Grand Central for a photo shoot. It was pretty quick and simple, and I had fun hanging out, even if I am socially awkward and anxious, always. The issue will be coming out in April.
After the photo shoot, Joey and I took the subway to the Lower East Side to eat at a gluten-free restaurant that we love, Risotteria. We both have dietary problems with wheat. We had some amazing pizza and beers, and then wandered around and went shopping a bit. It was sunny.
And then we headed home! That is where I am now. It’s good to see Drew and the cats. Mittens and Snowflake basically went nuts when we got back…whoever says cats don’t love their owners is crazy. I might post some more on this trip later if I feel up to it, and there might be some more small adventures to describe over the next month or so. I’ll be going back to New York City this Wednesday for a modelling audition (more on that to come). But the next big trip is April 20th, when we are flying out to Ventura, CA! I’m really excited to check out where we are going to live, and hopefully take a trip into Los Angeles and see about doing a reading while I’m there. I can’t wait to get out on the West Coast. Anyway, that’s all for now.