“Pensar es una opción, actuar es vivir”
— Marvin Diz
i’m moving past the preoccupation i’ve had with sorting out my thinking about being trans and going back to experiencing it.
it feels like a long night has just ended. i look down at my navel and see the pink diamond head of my new piercing and smile. something has definitely changed. i’ve made a bit of a breakthrough i guess.
i spent some time on tuesday with The Outpost… two chairs, a banner, a table, my little drum & my book… on a public sidewalk, but out of the way, in front of Rough Trade, (where the proprietor is a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence ❤️)
…i set up and after taking a shot with the Sister sitting in the other chair both of us laughing, started playing my little drum… and…
one hour… two hours… reading, drumming softly, singing… taking selfies… but no guests.
I saw a woman up the street stop, pick something up and put it on the end of a shrub… as she walked past, I asked if I might be free to inquire about what she had done…
“may i ask you a question”?
“sure…” she said and i explained that sitting here as i was just taking in the sights and sounds, i had noticed her pick something up off the sidewalk and place it onto the protruding extremity of a blade of a small shrub’s foliage. what was that?
she laughed and her eyes brightened. “oh well… i saw a little Christmas tree decoration on the ground, a silver ball… i just thought it would be a shame to leave the poor thing there like that, so i put it onto the plant where it could be beautiful…”
i was delighted! she asked me what i was doing as she took in The Outpost’s tableau. i said “i’m just being strange, i have this weird attraction to sitting on the street talking to people…” she laughed… i described some of the ideas behind The Outpost. she was so supportive and happy to hear me tell her that The Outpost was my way of doing what i can to help integrate Trans people into the daily lives of the general public.
she amazed me as we began to share. she’s a Quaker! like i was as a kid… and she’s a nutritional consultant, which is certainly relevant to me in my current physical state… and she’s Irish and her people are from County Mayo too!… like some of my Pop’s people and a bunch of me.
i was delighted… we talked for a few minutes as she stood there and then she sat for another few and then after awhile, she had to keep moving. The Outpost has had its first conversation!
perfect. The Outpost is a sort of sidewalk talk show where the guests show up at random, stopping to take a seat and chat for a couple of minutes and then be on their way. just a casual, easy, unexpected detour on their journey with a pleasant, and a bit strange, Trans Woman.
she was the only passerby to stop to talk, but i’m not worried about that. i have no goal or quota.
the point of The Outpost is simply… to be visible, to be accessible, to “demonstrate”… demonstrate that Trans people are only different, not alien. we share common Human attributes like friendliness and courtesy, creativity, intelligence and compassion. The Outpost is here to provide a space for people to exchange ideas and experiences and perhaps even provide a point of contact for closeted sister/brothers… all for the purpose of making an impression of what a living Trans person actually is… to cancel out negative stereotypes gained from impersonal media and social conditioning.
i’ll be doing The Outpost again, on friday… still on Arenas, but maybe more up in the middle of the block. this is going to be FUN.