It started out with a tasteless joke in a local monthly rag and resulted in a room full of people at the Gender Equity Center in Silver City, New Mexico.
(Ok, the images feature of my blog site is down, maybe because I'm in the middle of the desert? Maybe. If you want to see photos of Silver City and the crew who I performed for, check my facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=691420835)
First off, Silver City is a great little town, diners (that are almost open when they say they’re going to be open - apparently there’s so little tourism here that folks just open up shop when they feel like it), a barber shop where Thomas is the premiere barber (and he sheared my hair excellently despite the Jesus Has Risen imagery all over his shop windows - Yay!), coffee shops, a food coop with organic everything, a University and Healing centers and ART everywhere. And little dots with the word ART written in them to tell you when you’re near ART. It’s like Grinder for Artists, except less techno.
Our host for the two days we were in Silver City is a new professor (transplant from Austin, TX) at Western New Mexico University (WNMU) who teaches four courses, plus a course at the local pre-collegiate charter school. She gave us her house for two days to stay in — it was so great. Separate bedrooms and a kitchen and living room - it was sweet.
Any how, back to the switch we walked into in Silvery City. Two weeks ago, a local rag called Desert Exposure printed a “joke” about a girl attempting to kill herself and when she’s momentarily stopped by a biker dude who asks for a last kiss - he comments on how amazing she is and asks why she’s going to kill herself. The girl replies: “Cause my parents don’t like me dressing in girls clothes.” Then the final line of the story, “It was not clear whether she jumped or was pushed.” The paper prefaced the story as one of hope and tragedy.
There was an uproar in the community for this transphobic story. The paper replied with a retraction on line. But since it’s a monthly, we found copies out at a local diner called Mi Familia. Here’s the story and the cover of the Desert Sun. (On my FB page)
So, the show was PACKED. Not an empty seat in the house. Something around 32 people at the Gender Equity Center for WNMU! They were JUST talking to me about getting people to the Center and how much trouble they’ve been having. But they’ve only been open since October and had WiFi since January! So to put on such a timely and successful event was the greatest! Mad props to Lydia and Erica and their team of Work Study staff who work their asses off to make this new center successful. More power to them.
The show went really well — it was so much fun with this size of a crowd — and the age range was great high school through, let’s say well into, adulthood. They were laughing and catching my jokes and going for the ride and feeding off each other’s energy. The comments afterwards were so moving: “I related so deeply, for me it was my Dad. The rejection, it’s so hard.” and “How do you deal with that shit head Mom?” and “I was welling up - feeling it all up in my chest.” and “It was a fantastic show.” And so many thank you’s and One man called me over to him and asked for my left arm and slipped some beads on my arm that had been on his. “These are Buddhist prayer beads, wear them in safety as you journey. Thanks to him, deep thanks. And thanks to everyone at the Gender Equality Center and Rainbow Village, which put us in touch with GEC. -- The beginning of a long relationship to come. :-)