Sunday, 07.30.2017 - 12:45 pm -
I went to bed last night feeling very proud of myself, in more than one way. I'd gotten through a day in which I volunteered at Pride and I co-organized a summer party for the psychology postgraduates and staff (though there was only one person from staff, one who always attends the Psych PG Society events, bless him).
Ok, Pride. It took me the whole Aladdin Sane and half of Diamond Dogs to get to the park where the event was taking place. I could have walked and be there in less time but I wanted to save my energy so instead of walking I took two buses. I got to the control tent a bit after 10 am, I put on my steward vest and waited for instructions. I was going to help organize the groups that were marching.
Almost at 11 am, a few of us stewards and the event organizer responsible for us hopped in a van and headed to the starting point. It took me a while to warm up but I was one of the first stewards to start telling the groups where to stand to take their place in the march. Anti-capitalist trans kids and a group of wonderful Christians, for instance. I was a bit nervous and scared of screwing up, because there were some last-minute changes to the order, but long story short, we got people ready to walk.
Then, five of us leapfrogged for a mile, each standing on some of the 22 streets(!) that intersected the road that the march was going through. I ran a lot but it wasn't so bad, 10/10 would do it again. I wasn't entirely sure of the arrangement of the march but only a couple of drivers asked me about what was happening and they seemed upset by the road closing but not by me personally.
My first Pride and I didn't see the march. I was helping making it happen, though, even in a small way. I ran as I could hear the drums beating behind me, and they were never to reach me. It was like a game. I think it was the best way for me to be there. My nephew did join the march, that was cool. We hugged when we met afterwards. It was his first Pride, too.
The march made it through to the park and the festival started. For the rest of my time as a steward, I mostly walked around with a bucket, unable to utter a single word to ask for donations. Luckily, my partner was a very sweet girl named Imogen, who was less shy than I was. I thought she was a teenager but she was an undergrad, and we talked about many things, the harassment she and her girlfriend endure from other people among them.
I was a bit sorry to leave Pride at 3 pm, but I wanted to rest a bit before the summer party. I left somewhat unceremoniously because...well, there wasn't much more to do or say. I handed my vest, explained I had a party to organize, the event manager -sweet man, too- empathized with my tiredness and thanked me, and that was it. I can't quite hold a conversation with the people in the Pride group, I have a hard time understanding me and I have an even harder time understanding them (hence I wasn't clear on the way the march was set up). It's only a language barrier though. I was very happy to be there and they're all very nice.
Only after I arrived home I figured I should have walked around the stalls and buy stuff. I did walk around, with Imogen, but mostly shaking the donation/merch bucket. I also had the chance to stand next to a fabulous drag queen, and exchanged a few smiles with two trans women who were also volunteering. My PhD includes transphobia and I had yet to have any real-world interaction with individuals from the population I'm talking about. This was purely circumstancial and quick but also important for my education. Then there was the bi group, and one of the stewards looked at my shirt with the colors of the bi flag, and she invited me to their get-togethers.
I slept a bit, had french toasts that Andrew made for breakfast to show his support to me (isn't he something else), took a shower, and he and I headed to the summer party. There was not a lot to do there, really. The venue took care of everything. It was a very low-key thing, with a weird dinner-party setup that we didn't ask for, but hopefully people had a good time. There are always complaints about the lack of free alcohol, and perhaps we'll hear about the setup and the dancing but...oh, well.
Surprisingly, I'm not as tired as I thought I'd be today. I think it was all the adrenaline and how I was truly and deeply enjoying myself at these events.
Oh, when I was getting ready for Pride, I realized I looked like one of the characters from my cartoons. The one character who is bisexual. I didn't plan this and it was cool feeling like somehow those characters are, well, coming out of me. I need that.
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