Saturday, July 11, 2009

A moment to sit...

Suddenly it's July 11...facing the last few days on this amazing journey.
I realize I left off at the first Pride march...and except for one glorious blog that was frozen before I was able to upload...it has been chock full of surreal and amazing experiences on this incredible journey.

Quick synopsis...

June 27 - Dyke rally, dyke march and Pink party
June 28 - Pride parade and street festival, saw the Cliks, got chest signed by Lucas
June 29 - Moved to new house in the Mission
June 30 - homework and reading
July 1 - Home Restaurant with amazing happy hour & Karaoke!!!
July 2 - Homework and reading
July 3 - Chinatown & magazine launch party
July 4 - San Francisco Mime Troupe in Dolores Park, met Radical Women, fireworks on the waterfront
July 5 - Folsom street Jazz Festival, moved to new house in Presidio
July 6 - beginning of the week of tragic public transportation experiences
July 7 - Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams at Moma, Modern Times Book store reading of Femmes of Power, spoke with Lynnee Breedlove, Met the bearded ladies
July 8 - Major deadline of project
July 9 - Lecture with Max Wolfvalerio
July 10 - 4 hour walk through the presidio...post to follow....Giants game, Midnight Mass with Peaches Christ featuring Linda Blair
Today...

Amongst and between the experiences have been moments of surrealism, thoughts to feed off of for the next ten years.
But at least I am semi-caught up...with thoughts and pics to follow...but time to rest...for it's a picnic in the park and listening to Joan Baez...I never thought I would have this opportunity...

Love and magic from the foggy city...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Friday Continued..and the other Prides...


Apparently we didn't fit enough into one day so Friday night we found our way to the Bearded lady's Trans March Freak Show. Amazing performances from Burlesque to Fella Fem, the Diamond Daggers put on a great time. They are the Bay area's longest running queer burlesque show...and our hosts were Amelia Mae Paradise and Sir Loin Strip.




Finally off to sleep...now I realize why it was SO hard to get up Saturday...phew!


Saturday's Dyke rally was also in Doloros Park...
I was already tired laying on the grass before the march started...sigh...


my goal of getting on Dykes on Bikes was not to be fulfilled this year...but they were amazing to see...


After marching, which was quite a different experience compared to last night's trans march, we made our way over the hills and through the streets to the Pink Party. Actually the group became one as I made my way through the wicked crazy crowd to meet Heath. Market St was closed through the Castro as the Pink Party took over the streets of Castro. Gigormous disco ball in the street, yummy beverages to be drank..and an insane amount of people all through the Castro.


Danielle, Jennet & Heath as we decided to leave....2 hours later....


We are still trying to find a cab. Finally at 3:30 A.M. after too long trying to catch and call a cab and walking ALL the way back to Heath's...my feet fell off and I crashed onto the couch fast.


THAT is why I did not make it to Sunday's big pride parade until 2:00 P.M.

The main parade is so far removed from the other 2...


Floats, slaves and balloons Oh my!!! It was amazing to see...


After getting our fill me maneuvered our way to Civic Center to catch the music...before we got there we passed through the amazing amount of vendors and found our way to the Fairy Village. This is the only picture to show...I think I saw more naked penis in 5 minutes than I have seen in 5+ years.


Waiting in the shade...I didn't realize how burnt I was....


Eventually we found the main stage...losing Kai in the process. The Cliks were supposed to perform at 4...but scheduling was a little off so we had to get through Solange Knowles' performance first.


Then FINALLY the Cliks YAY!!!

I sang, danced and cheered for all 4 songs....the quickest set they've ever played...


Lucas said something about being at the merch table for CD or boob signing....Danielle and I made our way to the area...but a band that had yet to play were the only ones there. The Cliks were making their way offstage...I was hoping their merch table wasn't on the other side of the stage. Suddenly they had their boxes ready to set up at the booth...RIGHT in front of us. How awesome!!!

Danielle bought CDs and Lucas signed my boobs...life is good.

Adventures on the way home...exhausted...burnt...and ecstatic from seeing great music...I was ready for some serious vegetation before school...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Oftentimes as I transgress through the days...especially in the consistent pace I have been going here...I forget the connection to nature that as humans we are not seperate from but rather in the midst of.

With the egocentric perspective that homosapiens have generally, there is a ruling of the world mentality that removes ourselves from the rhythm of the environment.

I was reminded this morning how the traits of what is around us gives us the strength and examples we need to get through certain moments and time periods....such as...
Fox: Subtly clever
Eagle: Unwavering
Wind: Able to impact all gently without their notice
Unicorn: Valiant, intense and beautiful
Dolphin: Frolicking freely
Lake: Is reflective and has a deepness to it

Thinking strictly of the wind last night as it tore through Chinatown, making the bells ring and the people freeze, hair going in all directions while papers do the same. It is this intangible wind that I am in awe of...for without being able to hold onto its strength it has the power to draw a kiss on a cheek or tear a house too shreds.

As a dolphin in the waves, when we allow ourselves to swim in the ocean...can we let go of life and simply frolick freely? Are we too worried about what may be, what may happen, what is going to happen to let go and just be?

With the presence of so much to do here...I am looking forward to spending a day in the park. Slooshball or not...just frolicking and being free...feeling the wind's grace...watching the fog roll in...and ending in seeing the talents of firecrackers lighting the sky...embracing the colors of flowers in electric motion.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Friday...at last

The bright California sun broke through my eyelids a little too early...but alas another busy day. I had to get the key from the house I am staying at next so made myself get dressed, find myself to the mission district and find this house. After almost a week here I am finally getting the feel of navigating this city (with LOTs of friends' GPS help & stopping for directions...hey I'm not ashamed lol)

The house is GORGEOUS...but I will wax poetic about that later. Today is chock full of yummy goodness.

Since Danielle lived somewhat close to here we decided to meet in the middle to go to the sex tour.By the time we met up, we had 5 minutes to make a 45 minute muni ride....TAXI!!!

Luckily the cab driver was wicked cool....Danielle and I were full of giggles and it didn't help that we were going up & down the infamous curvy streets of San Francisco. Butterflies going 10 miles an hour...really???

Almost as the destination we saw our group hanging out on a sidewalk ....yay! Found them...10 minutes late...but no worries the intern Richard had missed the train so they were waiting for him.

We walked down to the Haight district...and stopped in front of a house...This was Charles Manson's house right before he started the murders...

One of our very groovy tour directors...they were both grads of the Sexuality program at SF State.
Me as a blond....Our fabulous program director Chris...
Nice legs...

We came across Buena Vista park...famous for its "opportunities" due to lots of trees and covering... nice for sleeping, recreational habits....cruising...

As we continued walking forever...up and down the hills...we came across this lovely intersection....

Our other tour director....
Finally a place to pee....back at Harveys...he he. Standing in line we were watching the Little Mermaid...how awesome is that?
Can't really tell it's the Little Mermaid...

945 Castro...the site of Harvey Milk's camera shop. Was interesting to hear how Hollywood changed te city for the movie....

On our way past Delores Park we came across the women's center http://womensbuilding.org/content/ This picture doesn't do it justice...to stand in front of the building was intense...and the artwork is continued on the side of the building. I plan on gong back to sit & stare. Apparently Georgia O'Keefe is represented as well as Audre Lorde? Check out the website for details...

We made our way to Good Vibrations but before we went in we perused the alleyway next to the shop. The alley was filled with amazing artwork, some that had been there for awhile...I have tons of pics but here is my fave...

Exhausted from walking ten thousand miles and starving, Danielle and I wanted nothing more than to veg for a few...we found a groovy Irish Pub...it felt SO good to sit.

Danielle had an amazing dish that was nachos but instead of chips it was potatoes...nifty & yummy!

We had to meet Kai at Delores park so after sufficient recovery we hobbled our way over there.

TRANS RALLY!!!

Here is Chubb a wicked cool drag king troupe...super talented.

The people spread out Delores Park.... having some wine in the park before the march...

One of the signs we were walking behind...
And the Three Musketeers marching our asses off...
I couldn't help but be so overcome with emotion as I walked the streets. First, the city opens up the streets and blocks off traffic so those that support transgender rights can march. Where else exists the freedom and city support to do this?
There were so many beautiful faces waving and honking in support, and beautiful people marching. 3 trans women did the quintessential baring of the breasts...more bravery than I have!
I thought about the trans community at home and how there isn't the freedom to march...much less the freedom to openly walk the city without jeers, taints, derogatory comments.
I knew this San Francisco experience was the place I was meant to be...and have been waiting for an a-ha moment when I come across the direction I am seeking. I had that moment yesterday (Tuesday June 30) at a lecture with Lisa Diamond. Her presentation on the intersectionality of gender is exactly the knowledge I have been seeking. She is a professor at the University of Utah and her work has stretched the gender perspective. Instead of the heteronormative perspective and including gay/lesbian identities as many sexuality/gender research has done, she opens the idea of gender to include multiplicity of genders. The trans experience surpasses the binary of flipping from one gender to the other. That ideology reduces the gender fluidness in many trans and gender queer people.
I will also wax poetic more about this as I get through her writings and attend another lecture of hers tomorrow.
I still have 2 more pride days to blog about...phew!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Thursday...beginning of the downfall of my feet



We started the day with a tour of the GLBT Historical Society.

What an amazing place! The exhibit was thrilling to see pieces of gay history and hearing the little snippets was so exciting.

There are pieces of cloth made by old t-shirts...so many to post but here is an example...


There are so many t-shirts with amazing messages that reflect what was going on historically. One of the curators took us back in the archives where they have so much still to process. They have old paintings from orgy clubs, a giraffe that was in a bath house, and Harvey Milk's kitchen table



Hollywood came and took measurements and color to recreate the table in the movie where Sean Penn depicted Harvey Milk writing.

Danielle and Kai came back to Heath's so we could all venture to our evening plans. Nearby his house is this amazing building with furniture coming out and pasted on the exterior walls. The first time I saw it out of the corner of my eye I thought someone was chucking furniture out the window.

Getting ready, Kai let Danielle put some make up on him which was fitting since we were going to see the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. http://www.thesisters.org/

Not only are they wicked beautiful but their work is amazing with what they do for the community they are in internationally. I met a local Sister in Norfolk and they are all so wonderful and sweet.

Their Ritual Mayhem was amazing camp and beautiful in their tradition. We all stood in line to be blessed with glitter.


videoHere is one of their wonderful pieces....

I've been blessed with Danielle and Kai indulging me with my shutterbug obsession...
Before...





After...



We came back to have a rooftop jaunt... there is such an beautiful view from the roof.



Here is beautiful Heath showing us the site from above....

Danielle pondering how freezing it is up there.
After warming up we went to the Castro for some fun...


Cool club lighting....apparently if you do not know how to dance, you just throw your arm up in the air and twirl....so we learned watching this man try. I also met my pocket gayboy...until he dissapeared.
We haven't been drinking... I swear.
Happily, Kai's friend Ellen drove so we got a ride home. Yay....

Trying to remember...



Wednesday...another wonderful day at school where we discovered the rooftop eating area. Beautiful!!!

Here is proof we are actually in class learning...


;o)

I had to buy shoes because at 4 in the morning when I finished packing for SF I realized I didn't have anymore room and thought I could get away with one pair. They started falling apart by Tuesday....sigh.

Meeting up with Heath, we ventured to the Castro thrift stores to find pride outfits. Found a shirt and some amazing stores...a thrift store with actual amazing clothes that I love...if I was a bit smaller...sigh.

Walking with Heath was like a gym class in itself. Skinny gay boys walk like the demon and Danielle and I struggled to keep up.

A quiet night to recoup a wee bit before the weekend's festivities and to study....

One week down already

Perhaps because it was the first week I spent in San Francisco that it has been jam packed.
Perhaps it was because of Pride week that it has been jam packed.
Perhaps it is just San Francisco.
Tonight I hope to catch this up while giving my poor feet time to come back to life before they leave me from too much abuse. They hurt...ALOT.
So I left off on Monday...Luckily I've been taking an immense amount of pictures so I can keep track of what I have been doing each day.

Tuesday...

After another day immersed in scholastic endeavours and realizing each day that I am in the field I am supposed to be, Danielle and I went thrift store shopping. Down to the Mission district...
Coming out of the Bart, there is a rainbow fence. I love this city.




One of the amazing thrift stores here, they actually seperate the clothes by size. I found this beautiful dress.... But alas yellow is not my color he he.
After shopping we ate at a local taqueria...the mild salsa kicked my ass. I was wicked excited they had an fresh squeezed orange juice machine...it really is the little things in life.

I took a picture of the guys that work the shop, then this Mexican man insisted in taking the picture of me with them. After going back to the table, the guy chatted a little bit, then asked if we had a couple dollars for him to get a burrito. Lol....I'm starting to get a feel of how things work in this city. He gave this huge story of how they will hook him up with a burrito for a couple of dollars...since he did take our pics I gave him a few. The burrito must have been at the liquor store because he walked out the door and didn't come back which was fine because I think I was getting drunk off of his breath.
While we finished our yummy food, I noticed many people coming in and out. I realized they were leaving after the estabishment wouldn't let them use the bathroom. Most of them were homeless or roamed the streets alot. My curiousness was peaked as I watched the woman who probably partook of chemicals pass the table just vacated by a diner and saw there was still salsa on the tray.She drank it and left, only to come back and finish off the other cup of salsa that was still on there.
As we walked up Mission to catch the bus, there were many interesting characters on the street. Apparently I attract these types of people (see previous post) as Danielle never had this experience walking down Mission. It seems to be a repeating pattern on this trip so far.
We found a fantastic indepent bookstore which is so rare back home. There are many non-chain shops which is a beautiful sight to see.

We met up with Kai to peruse the Castro.

Taking a break in the middle of Castro and Market, we giggled like little kids taking pictures of each other taking pictures. Perhaps it was exhaustion causing us to be wicked stupid...but it had tears down my face.

Due to poor planning, we still had our bags from school so we asked a nice gay boy where would be a good place to have a beverage and sit down, especially since I didn't want to smack anyone carrying my laptop backpack full of too much crap.
He led us to a place that had linens...out of the budget. We came across someone else who led us to Harvey's - so named after Harvey Milk. Great history on the bar learned later on in the week.
We saat just in time for a comedy show emceed by a beautiful drag queen. She was hilarious! The next guy up wasn't so funny but the guy after him made up for it. He loved Table 5, which was the one we were sitting in as he kept commenting on Danielle's pink hair and heary laugh. He had us rolling in stitches by repeatedly commenting on us. The funny woman after him did the same so the laughter at our table especially never stopped. The show ended with the oldest lesbian comic in San Francisco - she did a comedic tour of living in gay San Francisco through the 80's and 90's, complete with modified safe sex rubber panties after a dental dam demonstration.
Tuesday came to an end rather late but luckily school doesn't start til 10:30.