Gina de Vries

A happy girl travelogue & general life update...

Filed By Gina de Vries | April 09, 2009 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: sex writing, talking heads, teaching, transfeminism

Hi, Projectors. Wow, I'm remiss in my blogging here, aren't I? I was doing this thing called Enacting Some Major & Positive Life Changes. It was kinda time-consuming. Sorry. I'm back now!

Anyway. I'm on my annual east coast tour, updating from Toni Amato's writing room in Boston. Some items of note:

+ I moderated a truly fabulous TransFeminism panel at the Civil Liberties & Public Policy Reproductive Justice Conference on Saturday. (The CLPP Conference is held at my alma mater, Hampshire College, so I also got to catch up with a lot of activists and old friends I adore.) All the TransFeminism panelists -- Miss Major, Gunner Scott, and Josh Truitt -- were fierce and brilliant. I was so happy the discussion we had went beyond a Trans 101, and that we talked a lot about the harder and more complicated stuff. Including but not limited to: privileging of masculine-identified folks in dyke spaces and the exclusion and/or ostracizing of trans women from those spaces; domestic violence; trans authenticity battles; autonomy; intersections between trans and intersex struggles; "tranny chasing" and fetishizing of trans folks, taking care of our youth and our elders... God, there was more, but I'm forgetting. It was great! Thank you, all of you! You made my conference!

+ It was really nice to be back in the Pioneer Valley (where Hampshire is), and to be able to appreciate it, finally, as a sweet place. I was so miserable for most of college. By the time I was 22, I couldn't wait to get the hell out of there. I still don't think I'd ever want to live in Amherst or Noho, but it felt different and grown to be able to appreciate it as a sweet place, and not as a Place of Misery.

+ I spent yesterday catching up on the last year with Toni, and then taking a wander around Boston with him. Highlights include taking pictures of me climbing a giant red surrealist sofa-like thing at the Museum of Bad Art, writing and dishing at Diesel, and talking about... uh, everything? We do this thing where we tangent, a lot.

Major Cheeze & Woo-Woo Alert:

I wish I could find words to express just how at home I feel here. Not in Boston itself, but hanging out with Toni. Our friendship -- the connection with someone who I have a lot in common with culture and spirituality-wise -- is just so, so, precious to me. I've said this before, I'll say it again -- bridging the gap between my radicalpants queer world and my Italian-Catholic working-class extended family feels tough sometimes. It's just nice to not have to explain things on either side. For someone to get it when I say the word "genderqueer," and to also get it when I talk about the family strega, you know? My heart feels really open, happy, and rejuvenated.

+ I teach at T's tonight.

+ I teach a sex writing workshop for queer & queer-friendly students at Yale on Friday. Good god.

+ I start graduate school (at San Francisco State, in the Fiction MFA Program) this fall.

That Talking Heads song about how "this is not my beautiful wife!" keeps playing in my head.

This is my life?! God. I am so blessed. As Toni would say, "Abundanza!"

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Great to have you back, Gina!