Hello, how are you doing? Ming and I tabled zines at a transgender day of remembrance, here where we live now in Oregon. Wow, it was intense.
We make little altars wherever we go. The only one who can protect me from sliding to death in my grief is the Mother of God. I held a smooth stone and sat out the whole reading of the names. But I could faintly hear the litany. And people would flee the main room to cry where I was sitting at the tabling area. So I felt a lot of their pain.
I’m not sure reading the names is a good idea. To honor them, we would need more movement and laughter. To sit still and fill with grief-horror doesn’t seem good for anyone. There needs to be a much stronger container and a fuckton of aftercare.
Everyone there should get a checkin phone call today (or checkin via their social connection method of choice) to see how they’re feeling and if they need anything. Our culture is not skilled enough with emotions to handle that huge dump of shared grief.
we need more than multiple tissue boxes
We can do better. Transgender day of remembrance should be healing. I heard two of the before speeches by holy people of the spiritual center where the event was held. One speech was downright angry in cliche ways. One was more contemplative and filled with loving respect.
We need more than multiple tissue boxes, seriously. Seems dangerous to stir up pain without the healing part.
Here are some ideas of how to do it better.
- movement–shaking, swaying, dance, and other types of energy release stimming
- sound–wailing, chanting, howling
- touch–hugs, holding hands, group self-touch like tapping
- warm food–soup, tea, beans
- sweets–candy, cookies, cake
- ritual pertaining to ancestors that’s rooted in our varied cultural traditions
- something logistical to do with the energy, like a table where people can write a letter to a legislator, donate money to families of the dead, make something together that helps
- multiple comforts–pleasurable sensory things to touch and smell, emotional support animals to visit in a side room, emotional first aid kits for all
As for zines, the people were hungry for Resisting Capitalism for Fun. Those ones went like hotcakes. I should make more of that one. I really do believe in those words.
It worked way better to do sliding scale donation. We didn’t have to bring a lot of change or make change for anyone. And by chance, our table was in a great location. The first table, sort of–we were on an end, which we like.
Ming and I had some good conversations with strangers and even met the person who lived in our room at this housing co-op right before us. That was a cool coincidence. She is a zinester also.
“Thank you for leaving good vibes in the room,” I told her.
We met some other vendors. There was a person at the table beside us representing a trans-owned weed dispensary. They were giving away handmade glass pipes and fliers. I liked them, but I don’t like weed.
I bought colorful stickers from another vendor. And we talked to other artists. It was fun but difficult.
Like always at queer events, I felt they read me and Ming as straight. I wore my rainbow scarf. Ming is subtle with his non-binary. Of course we are not straight, but we don’t have very queer hairstyles or do much of the convention. We are crazy, disabled, older, and honestly are not in it for how we look or how anyone looks.
It’s the thought that counts, and it’s what inside that matters. I’m not so good at the queer signaling. And I can’t get on the local queer discord because my phone is too full to download discord again.
That was a tech joke about signal. Thank you for participating in my blog post. Have a good day.
I like some prayer flags up in the room where we were tabling. This prayer for St Francis seemed lovely on a flag, in series with other kinds of prayers.
I found out this morning that a couple I adore broke up recently. Their relationship was a superhero kinda thing. I’m surprised by how sad I feel.
I really like both of them, and I hope I can be friends somehow with both of them. Actually I don’t know them well to begin with. But I admire them and what they do for fat liberation.
Didn’t know their sacred queer union was helping me feel strong until it’s lost. So much to lose.