Another year gone by

Another year passed by. Another year older and deeper in debt as the song goes. Another year wiser also. These non-days at the end of the year are good for looking back, not in anger. Starting with a broken ankle but ending with the biggest gathering of queers and LGBTI people I’ve been part of. Not bad.

I have not paid very much attention to my private weblog lately. Much energy went into creating and starting Vreerwerk, my way of trying to make money while doing what I do best: trans and inter* and queer advocacy on an international level. The Netherlands is too small and too narrow minded. A Dutch (as in based in the Netherlands and Dutch speaking) queer movement doesn’t exist. Any form of intersex movement is absent also. A trans movement exists neither. But that is very Dutch.

In the meantime I have been busy, not only work-wise. Although … almost all new friends have some connection with activism and work. I do not know many queer/trans*/inter* people that are not somehow active changing their life, their environment, their body.

This year again I made fabulous new friends, or got to know some people better so they became fabulous friends. Thinking back to some important moments and how they influenced me, I must acknowledge that although escaping every time I can, I am definitely also a product of the mainstream society and morals I grew up with. I see it in my expecting comments or frowns when I tell people that also my relationships are strange. That some people mean so much to me and I to them, in their way, that I call them my loves. Although to most people it might look like another fad, it is not. Sometimes I wish we met more frequently, other days I just live happily musing about these great people in my life. I suspect everything in our relationships, our contact, is queer. Sometimes I feel an uneasiness (in me) but still also then I feel loved. And not being a poet, these things are not easy to put into words. Being someone’s very best queer and Dutch friend, hearing that going early will make someone else happy, in capitals, constant mutual flirting, being virtually polygamous, feeling the energy, the love … it makes me very happy.  Well, hardly a thing with me is traditional so I guess this construction is only fitting ;o)

As a longtime chat and beer friend recently pointed out, in a way I don’t do holidays, even when I am on vacation. When cycling in Latin America I visit queer communities in La Paz, Rancagua and Osorno. In Barcelona I slept in Barrilonia, the Vrankrijk of Barcelona, sadly evicted some months ago. I go to a queer, feminist cafete. Meet up with queer/trans  friends. I go on a safari with in total three trans people and a local (cis) gay man. And a very religious driver. I picnic in an Istanbul park with a bunch of trans people.

And lately I found a new tribe. When in 2011 I went to the First International Intersex Forum under the auspices of ILGA and ILGA Europe, I was cautiously happy, as an outsider. Now, with meeting old and new faces at the Second Forum in Stockholm, I am actually delighted. Meeting with so many great people, of who I sometimes maybe knew the names, not the faces, work and life. Some old, some new; all great, with all of our differences. We all come from different backgrounds, have different reasons for our being there and then, but still: all with a strong wish to change the world, for the better, in again another aspect. Herms, merms, ferms, querms, wotevers, I love you. We’ll make a fabulous movement. Those to come will stand on the shoulders of giants, as we do. Happy to be your transqueer sibling.

To peruse a commercial text:

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things 

And in the meantime I hang out, sing, fight, cry, pray, laugh and admire. All in all I think it has been a good year for me. So I bring out a toast. To a queer world! Where we may flourish and be happy!

Thank you for being there, for being you.