Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Praised and Dazed

Yes, I realize it has been several days since I blogged. Over the weekend I co-led a retreat for BGLQT Quakers (I like to to mix up the letters) with my Friend Judy, an amazing bisexual, artistic, singing therapist (just to name a few of her labels). The retreat turned out to be very centered and spiritual, AND I survived a weekend without my cell phone and Internet access (but I did have a dream about AIMing)

Yesterday I spent much of the day with some filmmakers working on a journalistic documentary about the ex-gay movement. I know I encourage lots of folks to share their stories, but I so easily forget how exhausting it is to do so. Being honest, vulnerable and present throughout the telling can knock the wind out of us.

After the filmmakers left, I decided I would not go on-line and answer the 250+ e-mails waiting for me. I would not start reading The Transcended Christian, a book a publisher sent me to review. I would not go on-line to work on bXg or the Ex-Gay Survivor Conference. Instead I made a pot of sweet brown rice and watched a silly movie. Then I slept 10 hours. Telling our stories can be so rewarding and so exhausting.
So please as you tell yours, take care of yourself.

I am home for three days before I head out to Denver for the weekend to present at the Liberty Education Forum, "a non-partisan foundation that conducts educational programs, grassroots training, and research on gay and lesbian issues. The Liberty Education Forum’s mission focuses on gaining new allies for equality among conservatives and people of faith."

Going through my many e-mails as I sit in the library today, I read one with the subject: For your blog or wherever.
Zan Gibbs from the Portland-based Sexually Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC) wrote,
SMYRC, the Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center, in Portland Oregon has had the ultimate pleasure not once, but twice now, of being blessed with the presence and performance of Peterson Toscano.

My job at SMYRC for the last ten years, has been advocacy, support, leadership development and counseling for Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans… LGBTQQIPAA… youth….. 23 and under. But my real job here is cutting and dying hair, and working the sound system for the drag queens. Needless to say for Peterson’s sound, I was front row for both shows (and the sound still wasn’t perfect!).

This is what I learned: the LGBTQQIPAA alphabet we have here right now is too long, and queer is to iffy, so we now use Peterson’s “Gay B C’s”… much better. I also learned that if we are going to spell out the whole alphabet soup, we need to add the H, because Heteroflexible is my new favorite word.

I’ve worked with this population for over 10 years, and very few things captivate their attention for more than 30 minutes, and make them howl with laughter to boot. Peterson had them focused and cackling away in their seats for over an hour each time. I think collectively Peterson has now earned 392 crushes from SMYRC. We love him.
Is he married?
If I could marry an organization, it would be SMYRC. They take such good care of their participants and create a safe and fun place.

So with a special warm glow from Zan's words, I go return to the pile of e-mails in my inbox.

Oh, I am listening to an amazing album by genderqueer singer/songwriter namoli brennet. Get it; it's amazing.

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At 6:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was starting to wonder what happened to you!

Namoli's music sounds awesome. I may just have to buy that. She may even be as cool as (lesbian, Quaker) Evalyn Parry... ;-)

(Do you know Evalyn?)

--Tom D.

At 6:59 PM , Blogger KJ said...

I agree that sharing our stories is exhausting -- a blessed exhaustion.

At 11:45 PM , Blogger Christine Bakke said...

Wow, I'm so out of the loop with all the new letters!


Lesbian, gay, bisxual, trans, queer, questioning, intersexed, pansexual, and um...recovering alcoholics?

At 4:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Peterson, I'm so glad to hear it went well and so sorry I couldn't be there! *hugs*

Next time. Here's hoping.

Mmmm, brown rice! I've been making this Curried Lentil Soup of Unspeakable Amazingness...goes very well with brown rice... :)

At 7:44 PM , Blogger Christine Bakke said...

Curried Lentil Soup of Unspeakable Amazingness

Recipe? You can't just post some amazingly yummy sounding food and not give a recipe! ;)

At 12:44 AM , Blogger Nonsequitur said...

Peterson, the weekend retreat was a Blessing. Take care and pace yourself ;-). Out of idle curiousity, which silly movie?


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