August Update and Pride Thoughts
How is it the middle of August already? Holy guacamole. I woke up this morning craving Earl Grey tea for the first time in months, and that’s always a strong sign that despite the heat, another turn of the seasons is coming.
It’s been a whirlwind of client work since I got back to the city in July. I’m booked pretty solid with client work these days, but not… awfully… so, as I’ve had some luck with a handful of cool projects and cool clients. It’s nice when work doesn’t feel like a raging tire fire! 😂
I finally got off my butt to send out another Irréducible Langagièr (my work newsletter) in early August. I’m happy I’m averaging more than one newsletter a year over there, because I admit I was a bit nervous I would never get around to updating it when I started it. For my YouTube channel, I updated my Patreon with some information about when the next vlog is going up and future plans, but for the rest of you: soonlyish!
On the social side of things, now that I'm double vaxxed, I’ve been slowly spending time with friends again in parks, organizing picnics when the weather isn’t a nightmare. I went to an old friend’s transanniversary a fortnight ago and seeing so many wonderful faces I haven’t seen in person since at least March 2020, if not longer, was so reassuring and wonderful! It’s been so weird to notice the rush of happiness and energy following those hang-outs. I’ve always been such an introvert who is usually flattened and exhausted beyond words after social gatherings, no matter how much I love my friends, so this is definitely a sign that the physical isolation of the last year and a half has taken its own kind of toll, even if I’ve tolerated it really well. Well, mostly, anyway!
Then, this past weekend, I went to the Pride démo and it was definitely something of a cathartic experience! I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t actually gone to Pride since Boston Pride in 2013, which had been a really soul-shredding experience. For years afterwards, Pride became something I regarded with profound dissatisfaction. It seemed to have become an exercise in tolerating gross corporate recuperation and I just didn’t feel anything remotely positive about any of it anymore. Then, I always seemed to either be working or just not in Montréal in the middle of August, and somehow eight years went by.
This Pride was wonderful all the way through. Waiting outside the Mont Royal métro for the rest of my group to arrive, I had a marvellous time watching all the bb queers and trans youngins’ streaming out of the metro slathered in sunscreen and in their fanciful, beautiful Pride apparel — so much inventiveness and colourfulness and joy! I was smiling so much my face hurt. I had a really good time with my friends at Pride, running into more friends all over the place, despite the heat (thank the gods for the heavenly baklava ice cream from Unicone!) I would have liked to see more masks, but my group kept our masks on the whole time, so at least there’s that. There was this moment, walking east on René-Lévesque, where it honestly felt like over 100 000 people were out on the boulevard, and when the moment of silence broke, noise rushing down the wind corridor between the tall buildings, I had goosebumps. Uniquely powerful, and a first of any Pride march I’ve ever participated in. Apart from a slight lack of music, it was so nice to march without it turning into a corporate parade. Pride was more like a démo this year because of the coronavirus, yet it felt so much more communal and genuine. Maybe that’s just the natural consequence of suddenly being surrounded by tens of thousands (easily) of queer and trans people after months and months of solitude. But if felt like more.
Anyways, I’m getting sleepy and I had a big day so let’s wrap up this blog post with a few … let’s call them affirmations for the rest of the month. Before the end of summer, I have a few things I’d like to get done.
- I’m getting back into ballet. For the first time in ten years, I’m back in the dance studio! My first class was a bit dramatic (spoiler alert: guess who fainted? Ooops), but I’ve been going weekly and it’s going well so far. I’m physically exhausted and trying not to overdo it, but I’m really excited to be wearing my little slippers again. Wish me luck, I need it.
- A few different things have happened this summer that have led me to think a lot about gender, and specifically my own gender. I was thinking of writing a series of blog posts, but maybe I should try writing them more as a maybe longer personal essay and try to get it published by…? Ugh, I’m feeling truly ambivalent about this, be it posting the posts on the blog or elsewhere! I’m truly wrestling between the idea of visibility/living out loud/“monetizing my personal experiences” against not wanting to be any more visible online than I already am, because honestly any kind of online visibility carries so many risks and on the professional front, I hate being pigeonholed so much. Anyways, before I ramble on any longer, let’s just say: I have thoughts and I am torn. Okay, moving on.
- Summer is waning and I’ve barely done any sewing, which is funny because I’d bought a bunch of lightweight cottons on sale in preparation for sewing summer clothes last winter. Mostly I’ve been working too much. I have two unfinished works in progress, and I’d like to finish them before September… but this is highly unlikely. Let's call this... a stretch goal. Are people interested in more ”beginner learning to sew” blog posts? Do let me know.
- In the past five weeks, I haven’t had a single moment to open up my Scrivener program and look at my writing project (the one I took time off in June to work on) and that’s really bumming me out. I’m starting to wonder if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew with… everything. My client work situation is finally calming down a bit (before the usual big rush in September takes off again) so I’m hoping to take a day or two in the coming week to sit down with everything and consider next steps and how to schedule everything so that I get to do what I want to do and not feel spiritually and artistically drained and crushed.
Isn’t time management the best?
All right, because this post is already all over the place I think I’ll wrap it up here. If you’ve read all the way to this point, thank you so much for being here and witnessing all this chaos! I hope that, wherever you are in the world, your month of August is treating you well and that you're able to take all the time you need to rest before la rentrée takes off!
Apart from an extremely brief walk through the Cologne, Germany Dyke March back in 2019… (Picture Gersande smiling wildly as they wander alongside the march after a very long train ride while the sweet little straights I was with were looking a bit … ruffled…) ↩︎
I have no idea how many people were actually there, but having been in manifs that hit 220 000-150 000 people before, Pride 2021 felt like a smaller crowd, but not by much? Again, just a gut feeling, I've got nothing quantitative to back that impression. ↩︎
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