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A2Z – Pink Prom

Blogging from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - Pink Prom

On March 30th, Saskatoon had it’s first prom…  well…  first as far as I’m aware, and as far as my parent’s and grandparent’s are aware – and that’s as far back as this city really goes.  So I feel I’m pretty safe saying that it’s a first for this prairie city.  Anyway…

It was an amazing night.  Some folk I talked to were concerned about a city-wide prom, with people from any school welcome to attend.  There was talk about things like school rivalries and the possibility of fighting.  All I could really do was smile.  These were obviously adults who just didn’t get it.  This  was an event I knew our youth would rally around.

Prom is an amazing right of passage, and one we’ve never had here.  We’ve all watched the movies, read the books, heard the stories.  Prom is supposed to be amazing, and it’s something everyone deserves to experience.  And at 34, I went to prom… and just like all the teens in the movies, my parent’s bought my dress.

Saskatoon’s first prom was made even better by being a part of Pink Revolution (an anti-bullying week which made it’s debut this year).  So huge thanks to the Avenue Community Center and all their amazing volunteers for making it happen.  Both Pink Revolution and the Pink Prom were ground breaking events and I sooo look forward to them happening again next year.

As the official photographer for the Pink Prom, I organized my first ever photobooth.  No, it’s not my typical photography (usually on location in the study of life and love) but it was sooo much fun.  I was happy to donate my time and skill for something so incredible.

me at the prom - a self portrait

Yep, that’s me at prom.  🙂  Wanna check out the rest of the action from my photobooth?  Head on over to http://td365.smugmug.com/  Prints and other cool items are available!

A2Z – Defining Ourselves

Blogging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - defining ourselves

There is something to be said for having such a handle on who you are that you can take a glance in the mirror and say “There I am.  I am _____.”  Personally I don’t know what it’s like.  I’ve never fit neatly into a little box.  Life is messy, and so am I.  I’ve tried to stuff my vast and varied parts into an easily labeled box…  I tried for many, many years to stuff myself into one.  But there were always parts hanging out, keeping the lid only half covering the contents.  I’ve come to be grateful for it though, as I’ve come to accept myself.  That unclosing lid is what kept me breathing.  I think I’d likely have smothered if I’d managed to get it on tightly.

There is this drive, this need in our society, to define ourselves.  Like I said, I suffered from it myself for many years.  Now though?  I really don’t get it.

The minute we can slap a label on that box (whether the box represents others or ourselves) we can put it up on a shelf and forget about it.  When a box has a label on it, we don’t need to dig any deeper.  We don’t need to slowly discover it’s contents.  We rob ourselves of that joy.  Discovery, let’s be honest, really is a joy.  And self discovery?  It’s even more so.

Accept yourself as you are, and if you need a label, there are many out there.  Take which one fits when you need it, and discard it when it no longer does.  Allow yourself the discovery, and allow those around you the same.  You are worth the time it takes to really get to know you.  You are worth the joy of a slow reveal, the slow clap, the slow motion entrance.  Grab that 80’s teen flick moment and just run with it!  Be pretty in pink!

The girl and I, all dressed in matching outfits for Pink Revolution, the anti-bullying week here in Saskatchewan.

The kid and I, pretty in pink, celebrating Pink Revolution today.

LMAO  Okay, yes, super eye-roll-causing segway…  but I HAD to get in this photo of the kid and I – all dressed in our matching duds – as we headed out for the walk to school.  🙂  And while it was a seriously dorky way to lead into the photo that doesn’t take away from the truth of it.

The minute you accept yourself as you are, and stop searching for a way to squish yourself into a nice neat box you’ll find your world will open up in ways you didn’t expect.  You really are worth the joy that comes from slowly discovering all the glorious mysteries that make up that amazing package – don’t deny yourself that pleasure.  Don’t slap on the first definition that seems like it just might fit okay.  There is no rush.  You have your entire lifetime to discover yourself, and those who are worthwhile in your life?  They’ll happily take that time too.

the april a to z blog challenge

A2Z – Bullying

Blogging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - Bullying

For those who don’t know, we are currently celebrating Pink Revolution, which is a Saskatchewan initiative that got it’s start from the Day of Pink.  Pink Revolution is a week long anti-bullying campaign in it’s very first year, beginning on March 30th it will finish up on April 5th.  The Day of Pink follows on April 11th.  If you haven’t gotten your Pink Revolution T-shirts yet they are available through The Avenue Community Center or Diva’s for only $5.  Day of Pink shirts can be purchased through their website.

In contrast to what some think, bullying is everyone’s responsibility.  And homophobic bullying is putting many of our youth to the test.  We read the stories, over and over again.  Youth that were harassed to the breaking point, unable to handle the torment, looking for any way out.  Youth that needed to know they weren’t alone, youth who needed someone – anyone – to step up to the plate.

Some people wonder why I’m so vocal on issues of bullying.  The fact of the matter is we never know who we may reach.  I refuse to stay silent.  Our young people need to hear from adults and other youth who get it, who have their heads on straight, and who get just how wrong homophobic bullying is.  We need to speak out in support of our gender creative children and our gender variant youth.  It is our responsibility.

Be visible.  Wear a flag pin, put on a Pink Revolution t-shirt, join your school’s GSA – make some noise.  Be heard.  Make a difference.  You just may be that light in the dark someone needed to see.

the april a to z blog challenge

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