Safe Spaces

This week has been a hell of a week for the United States, and I wanted to talk a little bit about Charleston from my perspective as a queer, disabled, nominally aboriginal, woman.

I’ve been “out” for…18 years now.  That’s a long time.  And it’s certainly long enough to occasionally forget that not everyone is as lucky as I have been in that regard.  I came out to myself, my first girlfriend and my family within the space of three months, total baptism by fire.  Once I’d figured it out, there was no keeping it in.

It wasn’t perfectly easy.  My mother cried for a few days and took time to really accept that this was who I am.  My brother went on to become an evangelical Christian who thought being gay was a sin.  But today my family, all of it, is very accepting and I couldn’t ask for better.

But I was certainly scared at times.  For the first few years every time I had to come out to someone it was a new sense of panic.  I became a big proponent of queer safe places, knowing that there few places people like myself could go to and know they would be welcomed and understood and could take the filters off.  No more pronoun game. No more pretending that you didn’t find a certain actress hot, no more having to worry about being who you are.

I imagine that’s the kind of place that Emanuel AME Church was for some of the folks there on the day of the shooting.  I cannot begin to imagine the sense of violation the black community in Charleston, or hell, the entire United States, must feel.

Actually, that’s not true.

Here I am, 18 years later, a confident, unafraid queer woman of 37, and I still need Queer safe spaces.  Those places where we can just *be*.  They’re like your childhood home, in a sense.  You don’t need to go back as often as you did in college, but you still need to go every once and a while to re-centre and remember where you came from.

And if someone shot 9 people in my safe space, I think it would change me, radically, forever.

So to those survivors, family and friends who have already spoken of forgiveness, I am in awe.  Not sure I could do it.

Excitement

Readers, I am restless and cranky and bored.

So here’s the thing.  I have a pretty perfect life.  I have a steady job, make good money, fun hobbies and good friends.

But I’m still cranky lately.  How ungrateful is that, right?

I feel restless.  Like every day is the same and nothing ever changes.  And you know what? I’m right.  Every day is basically the same.  It feels like there’s nothing to look forward to.

I’m trying to remind myself that I have fun hobbies that I like to do, so I should, you know, do some of them when I get bored and restless.  Because if I let myself get too bored and restless I get cranky. So that’s a problem.  I have lots to do but nothing I’m excited about.

I want to change that but I’m not quite sure how.

Things I can do if I’m restless:

  • Write
  • Read
  • Paint
  • Watch TV
  • Run
  • Take photos
  • “Walk” the dog
  • Paint my nails
  • Clean (hahahahahahahahaha!)
  • Cook
  • Organize clothes/books
  • Go to the Bytowne
  • Bike
  • Do yoga

 

So it’s not that there’s a lack of things I can do.  There’s just a lack of things I’m *excited* about.

So readers, how do you get yourself excited about life?

Ideas

I have trouble with ideas.

The problem is that I never have any.

So many other writers have tons of ideas.  More ideas than they know what to do with, and I am incredibly jealous of these people.  I want to write.  I want to become obsessed with something I’m writing.  I want to be thinking about how my characters would react almost every moment throughout the day.  I miss that.

I had it once, I can have it again, right?

I find myself reading “story starters” and all sorts of writing prompts in the hope that something will stick and make me go “Oh! That’s the one!” but even if it does it still wouldn’t be *my* idea.

I feel like it’s all been done before.  The one good thing I got from Crazy Ex was her response to me saying it’s already been done.  She would always say “So do it better.”

I just want something to grab me, and it’s making me sad that nothing is.

I am a good writer when I’m writing something I’m interested in.  The last idea I had was for Abdication of the Fourth and it turns out I’m not that interested in the story and therefore it is crap.  Serious, serious crap.

Even coming up with things to blog about is hard, which is why I don’t do it every day.  Trust me, it would get repetitive.  Maybe I just need a more exciting life.

 

Sigh.