My first day back home in San Francisco, I get an alert that The California Catholic Daily is following me on Twitter. It was extremely amusing to wake up to this.For the record, I am Catholic (I mean, ish, esque, see also I’m strega? my religious practice is very heavily influenced by Catholicism, at least). But still. This is pretty funny.

My first day back home in San Francisco, I get an alert that The California Catholic Daily is following me on Twitter. It was extremely amusing to wake up to this.

For the record, I am Catholic (I mean, ish, esque, see also I’m strega? my religious practice is very heavily influenced by Catholicism, at least). But still. This is pretty funny.

Other religious folks, esp. folks who have Catholic &/or strega roots/background: Do any of you have favorite icons/representations of Saint Lucy? I am doing some research for a potential tattoo.

I am not 100% certain about this tattoo yet, but. Saint Lucy means a lot to me. She has given me a lot of good things in life. And she is the patron saint of both writers and psychics/second sight, so…

"And so we listened to Easter driving around on Easter. Sometimes real life is weirder than anything you could make up.”

"You get pushed off that pedestal and you scream into the sucking void like a girl on fire but you don’t burn up or turn to dust or disappear, you just keep falling. You count to ten, you count to twenty, you count to thirty, you count to forty. You float out in the liminal, endless, too-big space of everything that is possible and you taunt yourself with a million variations on “What if, what if, what if, just, just, just…?” The new reality he’s laid out in front of you is too much for your mind to take in. And you know how scary-fucking-smart you are. You know you are the kid who frightened and pissed off the worst teachers and intimidated the best ones, but your brain can’t save you here. You are very, very smart, but you are not smart enough to think your way out of this. You clutch the rosary your Catholic grandmother gave you for times like these even though you swore you didn’t believe in any of that any more, even though you turned your nose up at it, the rosary you kept in a drawer, the rosary you started carrying with you once you started believing again. You finger the beads begrudgingly and you’re actually not sure if you believe in this moment, but you would do anything, anything, anything to not hurt this much. You pray it only hurts a tiny bit more than this when you finally land. You pray your bones will heal up okay. You count your bones as you fall."

— New. Rough. We’ll see where it goes.

i had an utterly magical day

I almost fell to my knees in prayer while star-gazing at The Wave Organ tonight. Honestly, the only thing that stopped me was realizing that my crip knees would not take kindly to concrete. I did, however, make the sign of the cross. You can take the girl outta the church, but you apparently can’t take the church outta the girl?

There are all manner of Halloween & Dia de los Muertos parties happening in my neighborhood tonight. I visited the altars at Garfield Park earlier this evening — threw down my coat at Bill Brent's altar, dropped to my knees, & bowed my head in prayer. “You just saw me get really Catholic,” I said to my friend, once I was done. Old ingrained habits die hard, I guess, and it felt right to fall to my knees for Bill. My Catholicism & my kink are pretty intertwined.

Anyway.

My last week has been very rough. I didn’t really celebrate Halloween like I usually do. Too much break-up grief plus too many sad “this time last year me & my ex were wearing fucking matching costumes” memories. But I really love Halloween, and I love All Saints’ Day & All Souls’ Day/Dia de los Muertos. I’m really glad I got to get in some sweetness tonight, even if it was more somber & reflective than it was fun.

And the house across the street from mine is still going at 1am. They played a (very loud) dance version of this song. I actually really enjoy Adele when she’s pissed-off heartbroken. I’ve kinda needed it this week.

Mary Garden with pink flamingoes on Huron Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
I fucking love New York, you guys.

Mary Garden with pink flamingoes on Huron Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

I fucking love New York, you guys.

Discussed: My beloved 98 y/o Calabrese Nana, Lust for Life, WWF wrestling, polenta, NOLOSE, former swingers hotels, fatphobia, fruit trees, Iggy Pop, Catholicism, pom-pom hats, working-class Paisan survival skills, femme tricks, hard news, queer conference booty, comfort sex.

(I know you can’t actually see this since you don’t have the internet, and I know you would probably dissaprove of how frank I am in this article. But: Ti adoro, Nana.)

Me at the National Youth Advocacy Coalition Youth Summit, 1999. I’m 16 years old in this picture. I think my stockings were (barely) held together by safety pins.
The National Youth Advocacy Coalition meant SO MUCH to me as a teenager. I am choking up that they are closing down. The NYAC youth summits were life-saving. I’m still in touch with people I met at the 1998 and 1999 summits. I gave a keynote at the 1998 summit, at the age of 15 — an opportunity I’ve never stopped being grateful for, and have never ever forgotten. 
I wish I could describe what lifelines queer youth conferences were for me (and a lot of other people) back then — not just NYAC, but Young Loud & Proud, the Overcoming Homophobia Meeting for Youth, the Gay Proms and queer youth dances and Gay-Straight Alliance Network meetings and GLSEN summits and that one time (1998?) that Creating Change was in Oakland and bunch of queer youth activists crashed it… I wish I could capture what it is to be young & queer and to be surrounded by other young queers for the first time. It makes you want to jump and down and scream with joy. 
I was one of the less isolated and much luckier kids in attendance at the NYAC summits: I lived in San Francisco and had queer-positive hippie parents and a queer youth center an hour’s streetcar ride away from my house. I also came out when I was 11 at a Catholic middle-school, and spent my 7th and 8th grade years getting very badly bullied; and I grew up and lived in working-class neighborhoods that were anything but queer (or even girl) positive. I ended up attending a private high school across town on scholarship, in large part to escape the emotional and physical violence of the neighborhood kids I’d been in school with… And I also felt like I really stuck out at my high school — not so much because I was queer, but because I was “one of the poor kids.” (Which is absurd, because I’d known poverty growing up, and by the time I was in high school, my family was middle-class — but compared to the other students at my fancy school? Well… I stuck out).
All of which is to say that queer youth conferences provided me a kind of social space I was not able to access anywhere else, and NYAC was particularly wonderful for me. NYAC was one of the first places I made friendship bonds with other queer youth that felt real and connective and lasting. It was one of the first places I did real coalition-building movement work and got to talk to queer kids not just from the next county over, but from across the country. And it was one the first places I felt actually socially ept and at home and liked. I can’t even begin to describe what a gift that was to me as an awkward and nerdy queer teen.Oh, NYAC peoples — I have such good memories of all our antics, scandal, sweetness, & diva moments at those conferences. The open mics, sharing conference crushes over wraps and cheap fettucine alfredo at Union Station, staying up way too late dancing and gossiping and flirting, plotting to take over the world, awkward adolescent lingering sexually-tense hugs, fighting to win. 
NYAC, bless you for giving queer youth a place to shine & rebel. Grazie mille.

Me at the National Youth Advocacy Coalition Youth Summit, 1999. I’m 16 years old in this picture. I think my stockings were (barely) held together by safety pins.

The National Youth Advocacy Coalition meant SO MUCH to me as a teenager. I am choking up that they are closing down. The NYAC youth summits were life-saving. I’m still in touch with people I met at the 1998 and 1999 summits. I gave a keynote at the 1998 summit, at the age of 15 — an opportunity I’ve never stopped being grateful for, and have never ever forgotten.

I wish I could describe what lifelines queer youth conferences were for me (and a lot of other people) back then — not just NYAC, but Young Loud & Proud, the Overcoming Homophobia Meeting for Youth, the Gay Proms and queer youth dances and Gay-Straight Alliance Network meetings and GLSEN summits and that one time (1998?) that Creating Change was in Oakland and bunch of queer youth activists crashed it… I wish I could capture what it is to be young & queer and to be surrounded by other young queers for the first time. It makes you want to jump and down and scream with joy.

I was one of the less isolated and much luckier kids in attendance at the NYAC summits: I lived in San Francisco and had queer-positive hippie parents and a queer youth center an hour’s streetcar ride away from my house. I also came out when I was 11 at a Catholic middle-school, and spent my 7th and 8th grade years getting very badly bullied; and I grew up and lived in working-class neighborhoods that were anything but queer (or even girl) positive. I ended up attending a private high school across town on scholarship, in large part to escape the emotional and physical violence of the neighborhood kids I’d been in school with… And I also felt like I really stuck out at my high school — not so much because I was queer, but because I was “one of the poor kids.” (Which is absurd, because I’d known poverty growing up, and by the time I was in high school, my family was middle-class — but compared to the other students at my fancy school? Well… I stuck out).

All of which is to say that queer youth conferences provided me a kind of social space I was not able to access anywhere else, and NYAC was particularly wonderful for me. NYAC was one of the first places I made friendship bonds with other queer youth that felt real and connective and lasting. It was one of the first places I did real coalition-building movement work and got to talk to queer kids not just from the next county over, but from across the country. And it was one the first places I felt actually socially ept and at home and liked. I can’t even begin to describe what a gift that was to me as an awkward and nerdy queer teen.

Oh, NYAC peoples — I have such good memories of all our antics, scandal, sweetness, & diva moments at those conferences. The open mics, sharing conference crushes over wraps and cheap fettucine alfredo at Union Station, staying up way too late dancing and gossiping and flirting, plotting to take over the world, awkward adolescent lingering sexually-tense hugs, fighting to win.

NYAC, bless you for giving queer youth a place to shine & rebel. Grazie mille.

I just registered the email address queer[@]catholic[.]org.

WHO IS AWESOME? I AM AWESOME!