Monday, June 30, 2008

another way.

Pride was wonderful, powerful, filling, tiring, overwhelming, and hot!
i videotaped until my hands could not function anymore.
and through the crowds of people i searched for faces and moments.
i absolutely loved being behind a lens.
i learned that i really need to get a spare battery for my camcorder : (
and it was interesting to see who was at Pride and who was not.
SHOUT was there.
519 was there.
SOY was there.
i did not see Evergreen or Covenant House.
there was no float for queer homeless youth. meanwhile, a huge proportion of homeless youth are queer.
as i continue the process of writing and reading. i am learning that i may not be able to devote a section of writing to "my story". i hold a lot of shame and guilt. i feel embarrassed for my family..not embarrassed of myself, but of them and their actions.
i have found another way to tell this story and i will have to see if this form is "allowed/acceptable".
it is an art piece that i have already begun..with words and images and paint and paper and pages. a type of zine perhaps.
my own story. from the inside. out.
another way to tell "my story".

Friday, June 27, 2008


i've always liked pride, but i've never felt as excited for it as i do this year.
this year pride is like christmas.

every year on the sunday i never miss the P-Flag float. i never ever miss it.
and i always cry. every single time. i cry. 
and this year i'll have a lens to look through..

this is my 10th pride. and it was 7 years ago now that i came out to my family.
every pride marks us further away from those painful memories.

and i find myself thinking about the 5 youth i interviewed and how they all had something to say about pride. different stories. different lives.

and the one. this is his first Toronto pride. and he said something about something. a plan to do as much. and drugs. as much. and then afterwards to go to an over night detox centre. afterwards. when pride is over. and i hope. i hope he's alright.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

like a birth.

this is my something to focus on. and to be inside of.
this is mine to share and to be with.
today the sun explodes out of the sky and into my skin.
into my thoughts.
with happy. words. and text.
something to show. and tell. 
talk about.
i met with stephen yesterday. and i felt encouraged and proud.
the meeting went well.
and i spoke about my desire to push and pull for a 'queer shelter'.
and we spoke about punk and graffiti and art.
today i met with nancy.
as always it felt clear. like open skies.
and energized with sun. and brightness.
something to look into.
and forward to.
i am feeling so thankful for having such a supportive, encouraging, and really spectacular team behind/beside me during this phase of my Master's.
it's really something.
and this is like a pregnancy. (although i've never been pregnant!). with midwives. or something like that.
somedays feel really painful. and other days are just beautiful with magic.
and soon. in a matter of months i will give birth to our very own "document".
i will care for it. and i will present it to the ones that helped me most.
this energy here. right now. is damn good.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


and i'm beginning with the method.
the way it happened.
the words are slowly flowing out of me.
i think i need to just write and be okay with whatever i write now.
rather than beat myself up for not being "good enough".
because i don't even know what "good enough" looks like anymore.
and this weekend is Pride.
i will take my camcorder everywhere i go.
Pride feels different to me this year than any other year.
i think this project has a lot to do with that difference.
and tomorrow i have a meeting with Stephen. to go over my work to date.
it's been a long time since we last met.
back to method.
and i must forget about "good enough"...
i must engage with the keys, the words and the experience.
i must.

Monday, June 23, 2008


and if i let the words sit in my mind for long enough. with music. and trees. with time. they float out in a stream. of consciousness. and they float. out.
soon. in 24 hours the words will hatch.
i am ready.
i can feel this. warming.
and this weekend i showed 2 photos at "delight". the space felt good. and open. and i long for studios with wide, old windows.
and the space was a documentary film company. i've been feeling brave lately, so i spoke to the person who "manages/runs" the company. and i told him about my interest in film and social change and so on. and they are currently working on a film about homelessness and children in Canada. wow. and the conversation was a shift or a pull. a desire to be further involved. and to really share my research. or to make it something that can be shared. good enough.
and then this morning the director from CTYS emailed me back and she would like to meet with me and the research director. and so i feel nervous with energy and enthusiasm. and hope. that i can be seen. from the inside. 
24 more hours to go. this passion is explosive..

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

full and empty.

twice in one day. again.
i think this journal is like safety or something.
my hidden world in a world.
and today is just a shitty day.
that's all there is to it.
i woke up with great intentions to begin writing myself down.
and i didn't get far.
i wrote "my story".
and then the weight of the world again. in my heart.
and i can't find words to describe these feelings.
but, how do i even begin writing about a world that is so full of pain and harm.
how do i do it?
i want my paper to be powerful and i want to go directly to the heart.
i want to show how much we hurt each other. how much more gentle we need to be to people.
oh gosh.
it's a full moon.
and i guess this is what happens to me when the moon is full.
i fill.
and empty.


i found class interesting yesterday. there were a lot of great ideas presented. we certainly are a diverse group.
however, i couldn't help but find a lot of the language that people used...restrictive...or something like it.
i found words like: "behavioural", "disorder", "behaviours", "diagnosis" used often.
i understand that we all have different understandings of what words mean, but still there is something that feels so pathologizing in the classroom, in the students.
and i wish that people spoke more about the language they use and what they truly mean when they say what they say.
i feel relieved to be done my presentation, although it was just a short presentation i felt quite nervous, maybe because this work runs through my veins.
i have a meeting setting up with stephen for next wednesday, as it's been a long long while since we last met. i look forward to showing him where i am at and to hearing his feedback.
and now my plans are to write...write...write...and see where that takes me.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


and it's amazing how energy can shift.
as soon as i got to school today.
i feel the weight of the world in my heart.
this week is "convocation" at York and there are students graduating, walking around in their graduation robes and caps. and other students working hard. stressing out. and i sink. absorb. it all comes into me. the energies collide. and i don't know how i feel or what i've done.
perhaps i have a problem with my confidence level. it's like i push myself so far into something and i forget how well i've done and how important this work is.

i'm hoping for another shift in energy, as this doesn't feel comfortable.


and maybe if i would have spent a little more time thinking. or opened my mind a bit more. i would have grasped an immediate understanding.
and i will not be including trans youth in my definition of queer. i did not interview any trans youth and i think as a queer person working on an important project like this i need to think about the people who might not have an understanding of what "queer" means or what "trans" means and the two are often conflated into one. Not all trans people are queer.
and through my research i have learned that shelters in Canada are extremely behind in their "trans policies", although there are some shelters that are more "sensitive". But being "sensitive" is not good enough, and for this reason i will not include the "T" in LGB..
There is so much transphobia within society, even so in the queer community. and all of this is enough of a reason for another project to begin. But not now...later.
and today i will present my research to the class. 
i hope. it goes. well.

and lately i've been wishing for a cabin. with water. and fire. and great big trees.
a cabin filled with books and words. pocket sized dictionaries. and good food.
early morning deers.
late night moon. wide awake. with water.
and birch.
i've been dreaming. and lately i've had a wish for this.

Monday, June 16, 2008


today we are back to class. until wednesday.
and as the days pass i feel this powerful pressure feeling. i hope i am on the right track with my work. 
and i think i need to set up a couple of meetings to discuss the chapters of my MRP and the length of each.
i also think i need to just write and not think so much.
and the more time i spend with all of this literature and all of these words the more evident it is to me that i want to be a part of something big for queer homeless youth. i want to open a shelter with services. a place where there doesn't have to be that fear of being bashed or judged...
and i got a camcorder. a small one. small enough to carry in my hand while i'm walking around.  i've wanted one for so long. and it's funny. because i haven't been using it. although i just got it. i need to sit with it for a while. 
like these feelings and ideas...

Friday, June 13, 2008


Yesterday i met with a person named Spencer. A random sort of meeting. A month or two ago he overheard a conversation between 2 of my classmates on the bus. And so it happened.  It was really nice to sit with him and Kristin and discuss our various interests and projects.
And i've been thinking lately..of art installations. Great big pieces. Huge. Massive. with space to take up. And i've been thinking of lists. i love lists:
1. art.
2. massive canvas.
3. late night. early morning.
4. train tracks and ice cream truck music.
5. hot air balloons.
6. safety.
7. words like butter.
8. gobase.
9. wires and pipes.
10. fields and studios.
something to work towards.
and to keep things in order. or something like it.
and i've completed coding the last 2 interviews.
today i will prepare my presentation for next week..

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

cartwheels and happy.

i spent this entire day transcribing my last 2 interviews. all day. with several breaks in between. started around 9am and just finished (it's 8.15pm).
damn, i feel good!
Nothing left to transcribe. i just have to code those last 2 interviews.
i'm not sure why i spent so many hours finishing them up today. i think i just want the transcribing and coding to be done for classes next week. i think i just hate it when people make me feel like i can't do something.
and so, now i've done it...i've interviewed 5 youth and 5 managers/supervisors at various services. i interviewed 10 people and i transcribed those interviews. 
: )
it's good to have some took a while.

anyhow, i'm done for today and i feel like doing cartwheels! 

Monday, June 9, 2008


My literature review is complete. I found it challenging trying to get it all into 12 pages. There is always so much to say about this research and about previous research on this topic.

I am now in the process of finishing up my transcribing. I mostly feel on track and very motivated, but I have my moments and fear that I will not be done in time.

Last night I went to Buddies for the launch of the CTYS resource guide for parents of trans youth.
It was extremely moving. So many wonderful people who had worked so hard to make the guide. And so many wonderful parents of trans youth were there.
I introduced myself to the "executive director of CTYS" and told her a bit about my research and my interest in CTYS. She was really nice and asked me to email her.  
I can see myself working at a place like CTYS in the future.

Next week we are back in class. I very interested in hearing about my classmates' research. I'm looking forward to being back in class!

Thursday, June 5, 2008


he wasn't asking for any. but i had some. and he wasn't asking. but i was giving. and so the story went. and maybe because i held him in my eyes for so long as i walked through in search of the perfect 'wish'. it doesn't really even matter all that much. tokens and money. and he just wanted burger king. and there was something in his eyes. or mind. there was something. and i could have stayed for longer. but i don't know if he knew. and maybe he thought i was scared. or something.
and if there was the option to insert a recording device into my eyes..i'd do it. i'd take it. because when the leaves fell this afternoon. it was really something.
and if there was the option to insert a recording device into my mind..i'd do it too. because when i remembered the way i felt finding acorns as a child. it was really something.
and last night i went to the cyndi lauper concert. and she spoke about homophobia in the school. and there was a lot of talking about all of this discrimination and having to "come out" and so on. it struck me deep inside. like the way Eli Clare's book is. and has.
all of this reading i am doing for my MRP is...
my voice feels louder all of a sudden.
and there is no hiding. no trying. there is no nothing.
and all of us.
we just are.
and someone said something about 'acceptance'.
and i have to question that.
'acceptance' of what?
and why are we forced to 'come out' as 'gay'.
and why do we have to fight for safety?
and why are so many people without a home because they just are...
these are questions.
and the more i read the more i question....
and he wasn't asking.
but i was giving.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


and in the morning. there are always birds with pieces of 'home' in their mouths. they are building shelter. and a place to be.
and in the morning. it rained so hard. with words and language falling from the ceiling.
i sat there. amazed.
i have been working on my lit review. and there is so much to read. everytime i think i've got it. i find so much more. meaning. and then i begin again. with piles upon piles. i am drenched in words. and in the library, with all its books. i sit here and fall over. 
highlight. re-write. write. re-write. i don't want to forget a thing. i want to be filled by this...