What a whirlwind! A week ago Tuesday I flew to Vancouver, BC for seven PACKED days connecting with ex-gay survivors, dear friends and the main event–Evolve, a United Church of Canada weekend conference for young people grade 7 to md-30’s. The event went without a hitch with lots of fascinating and stimulating programming. I can’t believe how many cool people there are in the world that I get to meet weekly!
From Vancouver to “took the train” to Seattle, WA. Actually I took an Amtrak bus since the tracks got blocked by a landslide. Yikes. In Seattle I took part in the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Like last year at Seattles TDoR I presented my play Transfigurations–Transgressing Gender in the Bible, but this time I performed it in five segments. In between each scene someone from the transgender community shared briefly. David Weekley, a United Methodist minister from Portland who recently came out to his congregation and the world as a transgender man, spoke and read a poem he wrote during his early days of transition over two decades ago. Cole Arden Peake performed spoken word (and rocked the house). My friend Jane introduced my play (and we got to hang out too!)
After the Seattle event, that same night I rode down to Portland with David Weekley and his wife Deborah. Ah, what a lovely chat we had on that three hour+ journey! In Portland I got to crash at Doug and Bruce’s place, the home of this amazing gay couple who always stock up on my favorite foods. I feel so loved and affirmed there.
Yesterday I mostly rested and prepped, but I also had lunch with Sarah, the partner of Bonnie Tinker, a dear Quaker friend and fellow activist who was killed in a bike accident this summer at the Friends General Conference of North American Quakers. Bonnie and Sarah were part of the Really Pissed Off Grannies and did so much amazing activism. I miss Bonnie so much.
In the evening I performed at the church where David and Deborah pastor. It was a packed house with folks from all over the Portland area–a very diverse audience of trans, non-trans, queer, non-trans and all ages. My uber cool friend Tommy Corn showed up too. This amazing queer straight guy who is a vegan and a recovering fundamentalist always supports my presentations in Portland (and brings me vegan treats). Got to see Deanna, Kriss, Gregg, Wes, Rebecca Nay and even Barbara, a woman my dad met in Italy earlier in the month.
Now I am in NYC waiting for my flight to Boston so that I can take part in the Transcending Boundaries Conference–my last performance of 2009. Like my luggage that gets cramped and stowed and has to be reclaimed on a dingy carousel, my soul is in transit, lagging slightly behind my body. It’s part of the territory. This morning I reflect on the Quaker query,
Bring the whole of your life under the ordering of the spirit of Christ. Are you open to the healing power of God’s love? Cherish that of God within you, so that this love may grow in you and guide you. Let your worship and your daily life enrich each other. Treasure your experience of God however it comes to you. Remember that Christianity is not a notion but a way.
Peterson – You were amazing in Seattle! I can well imagine why you feel as if your soul is lagging. I hope that once you are home you refresh yourself. May there be points of light to guide you to the place of comfort and rest.