Thursday, June 26, 2008
I AM HERE
As the train pulled into my hometown, fireworks exploded over the Vermont horizon. It's been a long month of traveling and visiting, speaking and listening.
I flew to Philadelphia on May 28th, to attend the Trans Health Conference. This was perhaps my favorite transgender conference yet, since it really draws the community, and not once was I asked why I was there (despite my gender presentation). The conference is free on Community Days and charges for Provider Day. I presented a session on Saturday morning, caught up with some dear friends, and made some new ones. I also got to share copies of my resource guide.
Then, I headed north to New York via chinatown bus (the east coast phenomenon of buses that travel between chinatowns), where I stayed with my college roommate, met up with some other KOTs, and saw some family and friends. I'd forgotten that people in NYC are booked solid, so I missed a number of people during my visit. You mean I can't make plans for a Thursday on a Tuesday? Oops.
From NYC, I took the bus (greyhound) to Northampton, MA, for the first ever New England Trans Pride March. I stayed with a college friend who is now a father (!) and husband (to a lovely gender theory head). It's amazing how children bring out certain aspects of people - Adam is such a dad, now. How sweet. We met up with my incredible 15-year old half-sister, who had died her hair platinum and is such a rad teenager. I had the pleasure of introducing sis to a bunch of activists and trans people (including the lovely Donna Rose) and hanging out in the NoHo heat. When her mom picked us up at the end of the day, she asked what we'd learned. 'Monica's famous', Morgan replied.
I spent a night with them, headed to Vermont to drop off some luggage, then traveled to Boston . Oh the layers of memories are deep there, after nine years of forging my adulthood in that city. I even caught one of those perfect days when it seems like the best weather on earth -- the sun hits the Charles River just right and I know what Anne Sexton meant. There was plenty of catching up to do, as well as helping with the Boston COLAGE Chapter during Pride. Oh, Boston. You will always be a bit of home, but I'm certainly moving on.
So, I did (physically) move on to New York (again!) on my way to Philadelphia (again!) to speak to family therapists about my work at the American Family Therapy Academy Annual Meeting. Thanks to Arlene Istar Lev for inviting me to attend.
After a relaxing weekend with friends in Philadelphia, I took a long train ride home to Vermont for a few weeks of quality time with my mom. I've run into quite a few familiar folks here and each time it's a little awkward to answer the question "So what are you doing in California?". Maybe this is really grassroots activism, each time I explain that I just wrote a resource guide for people with transgender parents. Sometimes, I just say "youth advocacy".
It's good to remember where I come from, so I can appreciate where I am now and where I will go.