Saturday, May. 06, 2023 - 8:39 pm.
This week everything was back to normal after Helen's visit. I'll let you in on a little secret, but don't tell her because I'll never hear the end of it: I miss her sometimes. Sometimes, I said. Like, once or twice a week.
Lately I've been mostly worried about getting my UK visa. This week our uni will close and Andrew and I will have the week off from work (thank you, student movement). I managed to schedule my visa appointment for Tuesday and since that requires travelling to Santiago, Andrew and I decided to make a day -or rather two days- out of it.
We're flying into the city on Monday afternoon, I'll have my visa appointment on Tuesday morning, and we'll fly back home on Wednesday evening. We'll see at least one friend, we'll do some shopping and walking around, and we'll chill at the hotel. Then I have to wait around two weeks before I know if I got the visa.
I'm preparing lectures for next semester, which has had me reading up on excrutiating asylum applications, moreoften by queer immigrants. It's a long, exhausting and dehumanising process. I've spent a good portion of my life applying to the US visa to visit my family there, and then the UK visa when I went to get my PhD and now for a conference*. The whole process and stance on immigration from countries who ruin other countries makes me furious. But I can only work on my applications and be thankful that I'm privileged enough to handle bleeding money(ish) to request entry to these "United" countries for work or for leisure.
*People of my nationality did not need a visa to enter the UK as tourists until about year ago. But my country's situation has gotten so deadly that asylum requests increased by many thousands per cent to different countries overseas.
Wish me luck with the visa. I should have bought my plane tickets to the UK by now, but my hands are tied until I know that I'm (ugh) allowed to enter the country.
I'm getting another set of piercings in my earlobes. I've found myself desperate to change something about my appearance for some time. I would LOVE to dye my hair again, but I've lost a lot of it in recent years, much to my dismay. I don't want to put it under more stress (I dyed it for a while in Sheffield: red, blue, red again, but I didn't take proper care of it). I'm not inspired to get another tattoo either, so earlobes it is for now.
Last night I went to a friend's birthday party. A former colleague from uni showed up with her family, which included a 12-year-old girl, visibly queer. Her mom introduced us, told her she'd be interested in talking to me as I taught sexuality and gender classes (the girl asked how much I charged for a class, haha). While I didn't feel we fully connected, we still talked about Heartstopper and her trans friend and such, and she pointed out that my wristband had the colors of the bi pride flag.
When we said goodbye I gave her the progress pride flag pin that I had on my bag. Her face lit up and she immediately put the pin on her jacket. She spoke very softly (one of the reasons why I had trouble connecting with her, I could barely hear her) but I think she said something about giving the pin to her trans friend, or getting them one. She didn't know what the progress pride flag entailed so I told her, and she said she had a lot of research to do.
She might probably not think much about our encounter, but I allowed myself to feel good about it. Like, hopefully she saw in me a queer adult on her side, who gave her a cool pin and showed her that Heartstopper came from Webtoon, a great resource to read comics when her mom will allow her (sorry, kid, you still have to study for your tests).
The covid-19 pandemic is over. It ended yesterday, May 5th. I didn't see any big conversations about it online. I read a headline, and I heard two people mention it in passing throughout the day.
I get the feeling that the sense of doom just faded away slowly until it was forgotten, at least among those of us who didn't get any noticeable consequences in our health or in our material living conditions.
It's just weird. This three-year-long pandemic is over.
Other minor points on the agenda:
My family's doing well, overall. It could be better if my dad didn't have a pathological personality.
Work's going well, I'm enjoying it so much and learning a lot.
House-hunting has been slow. Andrew and I are now exploring buying an apartment instead of a house.
The adoption process is even slower, but Andrew's therapy is coming to an end, hopefully in June, and then we can re-apply to be assessed as fit parents. I have no words for how angering and heartbreaking it is that we've been in this process for almost five years now, and we're not even considered good candidates to adopt a child. I'm gonna start to cry and sue the government if I dwell on this paragraph any longer.