San Francisco’s hills, Victorian houses, tropical foliage, taquerias and gay pride wooed me until I fell in love with it this weekend.
I want to express a particular appreciation for San Francisco’s Desi Dyke community. I attended their brunch on dyke day and was overwhelmed by the hospitality and support I received. SF Desidykes, you rock!
Being at the Dyke March was pretty terrific too. Our tour guides for the afternoon, N & Y, routed us to the highest point of Dolores Park, so that we could look down at the HUGE crowds of dykes congregated in preparation for the march. I’ve never seen so many queer women in one place ever in my life. The next day, my girlfriend and I watched, amazed, while hundreds of dykes on bikes led the Pride parade, their giddy, half-naked contingent taking at least 5 minutes to pass us by.
Our visit ended with my reading at the SF Pride Writer’s Village, the peaceful, treed spot at UN Plaza, a place where booklovers collected to hear readings by many very talented writers.
We caught the red-eye home last night (this morning?) and when asked by the Canadian Customs agent the purpose of our visit to the US, I beamed and told her that we went to celebrate Pride in SF. Perhaps I was so candid because I always feel just a bit safer saying such things in Canada, or maybe it was that we spent the past few days being totally out in SF, where it seems like everyone is queer too.
I went to Hamilton Pride for the first time last week, and read there along with Elizabeth Ruth and Sky Gilbert. It was a beautiful, sunny day and Hamiltonians know how to choose a good location for Pride; we were at Pier 4 Park, right by the lake. I had a chance to reconnect with a couple of old friends. The 2 other South Asian dykes there greeted my warmly just because I was one of the only other 2 South Asian dykes there!
Now I’m off to San Francisco to read at SF Pride. I’m so excited to be headed to the gay mecca of the gay mecca!
I read last night at Parkdale Pride at the Parkdale Community Health Centre. I love the place. I once co-facilitated a group for lesbians there and more recently co-ran an anti-oppression training with staff and board members of the centre.
Being a community organizer and social worker, there is something very comfortable about reading at community events in local community centres. I’ve done a few of these types of readings already and they are tend to have some similarities: run-off-their-feet organizers, lots of (sometimes) coordinated volunteers, past clients who come and say hello, old co-workers, a friendly audience, terrific talent.
These events are more than just book readings–they are a means of community engagement. They allow social services and creativity to blend in a way that brings out people of all stripes to participate in the life of the community.
Well, I am on a post-launch high. It’s been an amazing and busy few days: last minute CBC interviews, launch details, a new hairdo, a standing-room-only launch night and then a trip to Winnipeg to read at their Pride Coffee House. I’m feeling fantastic and and wondering when I will crash from not-enough sleep!
I’m also feeling extremely grateful to the circles of support that have buoyed me up the past few weeks. Thanks to all of you who have been there…
And I’m excited for what’s coming up: Parkdale Pride, Hamilton Pride, San Francisco Pride (see the “my upcoming readings tab for more info).
And here are some photos from the launch:
The UPS guy looked a little bothered when I excitedly asked “want to know what’s in the boxes?” I told him “it’s my novel, it’s my novel!” I must have bounced a little on the tips of my toes.
He smiled, wished me well and then sped off in his big brown truck.
I unsealed the boxes, took out a brand new shiny book, sniffed it and was amazed. How to describe the feeling of finally holding this novel, a novel that took 4 years to write, 2 years to find a publisher and 1/2 a year to get to print? I stood in the front hallway of my house, stunned and grateful. It’s finally here, my novel has finally been born!
So come to the the party celebrating it arrival!
Thursday, June 7th, 7pm at the Trane Studio, 964 Bathurst Street, Toronto. See more at: http://www.pridetoronto.com/events/prideweekendevents.htm