Being Support Staff for a Change

It seems I blog more when I am in Europe. Sorry for the quiet on this blog front the past few weeks. After Norway and Sweden, things actually got busy. My partner Glen has begun touring with his book, The Jack Bank–A Memoir of a South African Childhood (as if anyone who reads my blogs doesn’t know about this already.) Together we travelled to Washington, DC and Baltimore, and yesterday he gave a reading in our own city of Sunbury PA at the local synagogue.

Next week we begin an odyssey that will take us to Columbus, OH, Richmond, KY, Gainesville, FL and the Wild Goose Festival near Durham, NC where I will perform and Glen will read. If you live near one of those places and want to meet up or attend an event, let me know.

Glen is a fine fine writer, he also is a “performer” in his own right, giving riveting readings where he engages the audience with his animated and entertaining delivery. I love seeing him on stage, and I have enjoyed being part of his support staff–staffing the “merch” table selling his books, getting him water, driving him around, taking part in the post-presentation debrief, and just being all around gal Friday (through Thursday.) Presentation takes a lot out of a person–I know that for sure–so having a travel companion helps lighten the load.

I have also enjoyed not having to be the one preparing for the presentation. Ah, so much energy needed before, during, and after. Now Glen knows the crazy energy/mood swings of a diva performer. 😛

This past week I also took part in the Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference where I co-led three different workshops including a workshop about how to design a “kick-butt” workshop. We launched the Say My Name! initiative that I have been piloting the past two years. I also got to sit in on a workshop about transgender Bible characters and debrief with the presenter afterwards to figure out how to made his awesome presentation even better next time.

I felt content and in the right space providing assistance and behind the scenes help at the conference. As an ally to transgender people, it felt good and right to step aside to serve as auxiliary staff as other people stepped up in places I had filled in the past.

Similarly I live in a home now where I actually have room for guests. (My snug Hartford studio apartment I left over a year ago made a shoebox look roomy.) In the past year Glen and I have hosted friends, and I have loved fixing up their room and cooking up special dishes (My new blueberry rhubarb cobbler is not only made with love but rivals the Amish crack they sell around here in the form of baked goods.) I have been hosted by so many people over the past few years, it feels good to take care of guests for a change (yes, even you, Joe G.)

Sometimes overcoming all the things many of us have had to overcome puts us in the place of receiver of goods and services. We need help. We need support. But a time comes when we are less needy, stronger, and can give to others who appreciate support and hospitality.

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