Saturday, November 2, 2013

Telling Stories in the Dark

I'm going to get better at posting more blogs, I swear.

A lot has gone on since the last post. Shall I tell you about it? Ok, I will.

A while back my good pal Jack took me to a reading of Pinocchio at Mack Sennet Studios. I was super excited to find out that this sound studio was a common stomping ground for the likes of Laurel and Hardy and Charlie Chaplin. The reading was great as well. Pinocchio is a pretty dark story, but one full of light as well. And puppets. Awesome puppets.

I made a trek down to Tucson for the More Light Presbyterian Conference. It was great to see some other awesome YAVs and be in a place full of people excited to celebrate and support LGBTQ Christians. My favorite part of the conference was a discussion panel with folks from Borderlinks and Southside Presbyterian speak about immigration and LGBTQ issues and the intersections of oppression. It would be really easy to throw being homeless into this discussion as well. There are many things that can make us be viewed as strangers - being queer, an immigrant, homeless - that pretty soon we're all strangers. Except for you, white straight man. When we see how all of these things overlap and intersect in single or community identities it is easier to see the power of coming together. We can't separate and compartmentalize oppression. But we can tell our stories and our voices will get louder. And the white straight man will hear them and our stories will become a part of his and maybe, just maybe, we will start to see more light.

I also got to meet some pretty awesome folks while I was down in Tucson. And reconnect with old and new friends. We had come from all over but gathered in one place and I felt so much love and support. I would even say it felt like home. Somewhere in my notes from the conference I wrote down 'revolution begins at home.' Where the heck is home, anyway? It is nowhere and everywhere. Home is where the heart is, pft. Home is the heart. Home is a pocket of love. Home is organic vulnerability. Home is laughter and tears. Home isn't a physical place but a feeling of support, comfort, stability. Which is exactly what the people I hang out with everyday are looking for. My confident hope is that these young people find a sense of home at My Friend's Place and are able to take that with them, hold on to it, and create their own places of support, comfort, and stability. A physical home is great too.

I really love my job you guys. I get to go hang out with folks and hear bits of their stories. Some highs and some lows, but then we get to make stories together. And my job is the best because it's transformative education that really makes this happen. Whether it's through walking on stilts, making some art, going on field trips, faking my way through a football conversation, we are building relationships that set a foundation for a future of stability. Something from my story allows me to be a part of all this and I couldn't be more proud and honored because it works. My Friend's Place recently had a fun and fancy event to celebrate 25 years. While there, a coworker and I started chatting with one of the performers. We talked about MFP and he thanked us for our work because he wouldn't be where he is without MFP. MFP helped him get back on his feet, his feet that then shared a stage with DMC. Imagine all the success stories that have come out of My Friend's Place over the past 25 years. Too cool, y'all. Too cool.

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