Adam Slosberg, Founder & Director, of Beyond Today International, Daphne Klein, Executive Director of On Our Own of Montgomery County and George McElfatrick, Executive Director of On Our Own of Prince George’s County are working their combined magical force to peace, hope and love.
Slosberg, Klein and McElfatrick are cohosting tomorrow’s HUG IN 2016 at the foot of the Washington Memorial in Washington, DC.
Gathering is at 9 AM EST. Look for familiar faces, posters and T-shirts. Remember to dress cool. Wear sunscreen and bugspray. Temperatures will be high. There will be frozen water to keep us hydrated.
This is Washington in July.
See you there!
2 sometimes 3 but usually 4 baltimore city white and blacks with the narrow strip of lights, the cameras were on nearly every major intersection on martin luther king, jr tonight here.
not that i’m paranoid or anything.
i had $33 in my wallet, a georgia driver’s license in my wallet chained to my shorts, and sported a black wife beater and had texas plates.
if i was one of the cars pulled over to questions di rigeur i have 2 numbers that usually roll immediately to voice mail if i called from jail because i’m brown, Queer, alone and don’t fit in my surroundings.
at airport security, i give myself an extra 45 minutes because i am always, always, always, always pulled over, hands swiped and ran, bags and ANYTHING ELECTRONIC xrayed at least 3 times. i am always wanded and brushed aside to collect my property piece by piece by piece while holding my jeans up, belt in hand, and slipping on loafers. they’re motherfuckers. all of them. every single one of them.
today in north beach, white mothers in family clans walking the boardwalk looked at me hard up and down and verneer of white privileged disgust in Queers with my Atlantan medicine bag around my neck brought out the presumption of my being possibly featured and read as having an Native indigenous heritage. Sneers ensued.
So by the pale faced mothers, and curious looks from males, I kept a low profile.
Back at Chris’ we shot an interview for her film with a fucking beautiful camera and hot microphone with lens that autofocuses so you don’t have to be concerned with keeping the camera level and moving manually. Nice. It was fun.
Back in Baltimore, I drove gingerly through the 3.78 miles from getting off 95 to my front door. Cops were on every corner. So were Queers. This is Pride Baltimore week-end.
I saw Cops detain female sex workers and run their flashlight up and down up and down the front of their faces blinding them and pushing the women away down Charles between 23rd and North.
As I lay dying in the hospital, I would watch the Baltimore skyline and helicopters coming and going to/fro the hospital roof.
Back in my very old JHU property, helicopters continue to light up the sky with beams of light focused onto the streets to the North, East and South of me in Charles Village.
It is what it is.
Orlando, BlackLivesMatter, rage and unrest in the streets of Baltimore where I reside up near Johns Hopkins University, and laying in excruciating pain for 4 days and nights sweating, from ER to hospital, seeing ghostlike faces of death hover near me scared me.
Terribly. I thought I was going to die. The surgeons, nurses and doctors and techs thought I was going to die. I get that. Embarassingly enough, my infection grew from one small mosquitoe-bite size spider bite into my laying getting 24/7 IV of one of the world’s strongest antibiotics to knock the shit out of the infection.
Eventually, I grew stronger. No one visited me. I called no one but my Beloved and facetimed, talked, wept and I pondered how I got to ER and kept in Medstar’s Union Memorial Hospital alone, precariously close to physically dying.
It’s been nearly 3 weeks now and I’m stronger. Infection gone. No more needles pulling vile after vile of my blood, no more needle shots into my abdomen to abate terrible things, no more finger needle pricks, no more wound prods from the team of surgeons, medical students looking on, nurses running in and out. I’m better. I’m home.
What I realized while being holed up in Hospital was this:
Get better. Fight. Community. Community. Community. Support. Friendship. Trusting Colleagues. Run home quickly. Leave fast. Get there anyhow, anyway. I didn’t know how but I managed to get out and I walked wearily, slowly, to the elevator, got hugs from the nursing staff and tech team, got in the elevator, only wearing what I’d worn to ER 5 days earlier holding my white plastic bag full of wound care from Case Management, to my car, home to North Charles and went to bed, weeping, still, that I made it out and came home knowing home health nurses would continue to poke, prod, tenderly care and give me some kind of hope I could recover.
Since going All In to work for myself, there is nothing but bills piling up in my mailbox. No voice mails. No calls. No emails. No texts. No facebook messages. I recall Ayn Rand’s strength of will and hammer on and yet everything I can possibly need is provided for. I am exactly where I need to be at any one moment and NOW is what matters only.
I realized, in hospital, that my deepest love is my behavioral health Peer to Peer work and maybe I love it more than I do my own life but it kept me alive through this grueling physically painful event. It was a wake up call to take better care of my health and I am today. I must survive.
A few days later, Val Marsh and her family, and I sat at her dinner table and I’d made a lemon cake with raspberries and blueberries with lemon cream frosting and took it with me for dessert and I listened to history of her brave family. She wrote and planned for the Wednesday House Hearing on 2646 and I cold called a handful of people for social media supports. Origami, taco’s and comparing wound to wound with Eric, Val’s housemate, was lightening.
The other night, I attended a meditation online with Lauren Spiro and Rita Cronise on video and the phone and post the call, I was embarassed and then became angry over where I sit in their labeled Community. Very clear white privilege and dismissiveness of my struggle to survive being in this place enraged me and Spiro’s suggestion to me, “… change your word… struggling to something else…” and I did softly calmly facing a steep learning curve of appropriate vocabulary. It was pompous and self-congratulatory on their part and still, I don’t care. I’m home.
I’ve come home to myself. I am a Peer. I am a brown Queer woman of color and I AM actually scared and angry as hell at the world for fucking up and exploding in this way around me. In Baltimore streets. In Atlanta parks with hangings. In Dallas with shooting inside a barrel at cops. We are all NOT “One” in this. We fight our own battles. We walk on. We really, have nothing in common. Please don’t push your quest for wholeness and wellness (“I’m taking excellent care of myself and my body”) onto me dismissing Jen Padron’s brown Queer psychiatric survivor sense of self. Just keep walking your own journey.
I listened to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Ted Talk this morning and quite agree knowingly, that we, “… Live out your existence here in the middle of the chain of human experience where everything is normal and reassuring and regular, but failure catapults you abruptly way out over here into the blinding darkness of disappointment.”
Gilbert strikingly kept on, “… The remedy for self-restoration,and that is that you have got to find your way back home again as swiftly and smoothly as you can, and if you’re wondering what your home is, here’s a hint:Your home is whatever in this world you love more than you love yourself.So that might be creativity, it might be family, it might be invention, adventure,faith, service…” is so simply and subtly stated.
The discovery of an unidentified black male found dead to rope hanging from a tree near the Charles Allen entrance to Atlanta’s Piedmont Park was stated by the PD stated in an emailed statement and was found to be “consistent with suicide” concurrently while there were many reports that the KKK had been in and around the park the day before the man was found dead. Others noted that the KKK was handing out flyers trying to recruit local residents into the group.
At last night’s rally in Piedmont Park held by #blacklivesmatteratl discovered that the dead male was also a Trans person, recognized by members of ATL’s and national queer community leadership.
I am fiercely angry and look to the streets for temperature for personal safety where there may have been a visage of peace amidst ruin in my world.
I look over my shoulders frequently at sunrise twilight daylight night and hear of multiple occasions of violence and hear see voice terror in the voice of my comrades. There is wavering in the otherwise strength and calm of ferocious bravery. I see Spirit in discernment for wonderings on social justice and awake cramping from poor dreaming and interrupted freedom.
At my local CVS on North Charles, Baltimore, a tall black man followed me from the Pharmacy to the front entrance, stopping me and asked me post-Orlando, “MENTAL ILLNESS!!! WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?”
I stopped dead in my tracks and glanced sidelong at his angry face.
“You’re talking to me? You’re talking to me? You’re talking to ME?”
I stopped stunned and about to wring his neck, I put my head down, pulled my sunglasses down onto my face and rushed to my car. His car was beside mine and I quickly got into mine. With a pair of locked windows between us, he pulled out quickly and screeched out of the CVS parking lot.
He continued to look at me from his passenger seat and looked at me for an approving nod for his, “MENTAL ILLNESS!!! WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?” where I shopped safely no more.