My trip is long over, I got back to Salt Lake on the 1st of October, though I started writing this before I got back, it’s taken me a while to get to finish it.
I had dinner with Coy Pink one of the nights I was in Seattle, who was absolutely delightful and gorgeous and I felt like we connected. My friends in Juneau are talking about moving to Seattle, and that combined with the possibility of getting to know Coy Pink better, as well as the general draw to the pacific northwest which I have all makes me want to move there. It’s rather probable that Onyx and I will end up in Seattle after we go to San Francisco, but that won’t be for a few years.
The week while in Juneau was nice, and gave me quite a bit of perspective, on a lot of things. The general life insights were pretty basic ones, really, but the identity-based insights were slightly more interesting perhaps… and one of these days I’ll get back to smut writing. A lot of the identity insights were because of the wedding/family reunion I attended the first weekend I was gone, but then there were more through spending time with old friends while in Juneau.
The first weekend of the trip consisted of going to a wedding, an activity that I do not do too often. Nearly all of the relatives of that side of the family were attending, so it was also considered a family reunion, just centering around the wedding. I think being around that much family makes one focus in on whatever it is they think the other people see, specifically I thought a lot about who I used to be, who I am now, and how that is the same/different.
I also felt like I had to squelch all my multiple queer and non-obvious identities and just fill in the family/relative identity. While everyone was interested in getting a little snapshot-idea of my life, it was mostly to figure me out and file me away, not because they actually wanted anything in-depth. I can understand that, and I’m not saying it’s a bad thing exactly, but it did make me feel a little invisible. Partially my own obvious identities are the culprit of my invisibility. I have a male partner and present myself as femme most of the time (though I’m sure most of my family didn’t get femme vs. feminine), they didn’t see the queer genderfucker inside of me because I didn’t highlight it.
It’s also difficult for me to get out of the role I was in for the first eighteen years of my life, that of the baby, the daughter, the sister, or even to escape the role that my extended family knows me in: the baby, the cousin/niece/etc., the one who will always be twelve in their minds (or some other number, but I actually had that one said to me). I’m so much more than that now, and it’s difficult to get rid of that. I have grown quieter, though, less social, and that hindered me throughout the weekend. I found myself “family-d out” quite a few times, and wishing I had more time alone rather than being with my dad at nearly every moment. I stole privacy whenever possible, but I was still a little overwhelmed.
While there are many in my family who are larger, I was one of the largest at most events (or, at least, that’s how it felt to me). I’ve been focused on my weight for a while, I’m the largest and heaviest I’ve ever been right now, and I want to change that, mostly for health reasons. I was reminded multiple times on this trip that I am at risk for diabetes. I doubt I will ever be “skinny” or even not plus-sized, and I actually like that, my build doesn’t lend itself to a size 4 or even a size 8, and I’m okay with that, in fact, I like that.
Once I got up to Juneau I was able to focus a little more on myself, though not a lot. I feel like I didn’t have much time to myself up there as well, which wasn’t actually that bad. I spent a lot of time with friends, which gave me a little perspective on how I’d changed and how much they knew and yet didn’t know me, which is to be expected as I’ve not been around too much in the last four years, and I’ve changed quite a bit. They have changed as well, of course, but we still fit together, which was very nice.
One of my friends mentioned that I’m one of the last people our age who still dyes her hair crazy colors, and that made me question my motives for doing so. It came down to the same reason I’ve always had for dying my hair or dressing the way I do: it’s not for other people, or even personal expression exactly, it’s just me being me. I’m not making some statement I’m just doing what I want. Granted, there is a statement made, but I can’t control how people take it, really, but I can control what they see.
Since coming back home I’ve been a mixture of all sorts of things, including feeling rather unsexual, which is highly unusual for me. I’ve been depressed and unsure of just about everything, as all the things I was depending on have fallen out from under me (read: money sources). I’ll turn it around, as I always do, but I’ve been feeling stuck for quite some time. I’m hoping to change that, though.