ode to the pink tent / it's queer halloween!

Happy almost-Friday, my friends. We're surviving another week of this terrible, terrible year. But as terrible as it's been, good things have come. I was lucky enough to stumble upon some new friends around the beginning of the year. My partner posted her youtube channel on our local  "What's Happening" page and received a message back from a girl named Annie Hex. She was looking to link up the queer people in our area as a means of finding friendship outside the cis-white-straight default our area has to offer. Weeks went by and I was introduced to people right in my neighborhood who I'd never even known. Interesting, creative, kind people. I have a group of wonderful close friends in my life, whom I’ve known for the better part of my entire life. Through the years we’ve ended up moving a fair distance apart, 15 miles in a car to 15 hours on a plane, and I've always found making new friends difficult due to my anxiety. It's become increasingly difficult as I've gotten older. I felt really lucky to be cultivating new friendships with people I felt had the capacity to accept me as I am (especially during winter, a tough season to begin with). The move into Spring seemed to hold a lot of promise; I was meeting people, opening up about myself, saying more "yes" than "no". I was attending local poetry open mics, eventually performing at them too. But then the middle of March hit and I suppose the rest is history. There were a few times where I got the taste of what could have been, like ShePunk Fest just a few weeks before the lockdown. But much of what I thought the year would be was then stopped short. I'd like to think that somewhere out there, there's is a parallel universe of 2020 where we all got the year we planned for. At least someone is enjoying it.

These new types of distance we are all living with has called for us to find new ways to keep our loved ones "close" and experience the world. So as the weather turned warmer, Annie, our friend Marissa, and their apothecary set up shop at our local farmers market. All their art, spells, potions, and poems lovingly displayed under what is now simply known as "the pink tent". A bright pink tent covering amidst a sea of blue and grey vendors. Every month, like clockwork, we meet up at pink tent. The market itself is a bit too crowded for my liking, but luckily her spot is nestled towards the end of the lineup, near the river. We grab coffees, we catch up, we go for walks. We talk about art, magic, music. We make new friends out of the passersby - everyone is welcome at the pink tent. Despite our masks and our social distancing, it refreshes me every time. It reminds me of how beautiful connection is and how much I need it. I love receiving texts confirming that my partner and I will be there. It's a suburban version of the DIY venue my heart so desperately needed. We all look forward to seeing each other and making the most of our little group on our little street. It's a slice of what could have been, but a universe-sized look into what will be.

Alongside many of these lovely humans, I'm fortunate enough to be helping with Queer Halloween, a socially distanced Halloween event taking place on the very same street where the pink tent resides. The idea started as a way to bring visibility and celebration to a queer community that is so often looked past. There will be live music, a drag show, prizes for the best costume and the best mask. Themed drinks, spooky decorations, and masks must be in tow for ALL - no exceptions. Local business will be offering discounts and services during the event. Proceeds will be going towards a local harm reduction organization, Point 2 Point

I'm excited to announce that Hazy Heat will be there too! My talented friend Angela and I have been constructing a giant Halloween photo booth (that, for safety purposes, will just be a backdrop). I'll be there taking photos, $3 for 2, with proceeds being donated as well. I've never done anything like this before but for once in my life, I'm far more nervous than I am excited. I can't wait to photograph real life humans in this fabulous pseudo-booth. And the great of this event is that no matter how it turns out, we created it together. By, with, and for all that is beautifully queer. If you're local (or even if you're not), feel free to come by and make some memories. The information is on my instagram, but I've posted it again below. I would love to see you there.