Spokane: The Before & the After

Before the Show.

About to go on. 24 minutes to curtain. Probably going to hold for 15 at least. So, I’m waiting.  Here’s what goes through my mind while I’m waiting to go on. “Jeez, I hope I make it through the show without having to go to the bathroom.” — Oh hold on, someone just barged into my dressing room.  She’s on the cell.  I don’t want to be rude, interrupt her and tell her to get the fuck out of my dressing room…Ok. She’s left.  I put a chair in the doorway and told Kristen to watch out for invaders.  It’s crazy - some days I couldn’t care less that people are walking in and out of what is supposed to be my space.  Other days - today - totally matters.  Anyway other thoughts are, “I wonder if anyone will come to the show.” and “I hope I remember all the lines.” (Which is ridiculous because I could improvise the whole show and no one would know.) Tonight, I’m having double anxiety (still not much anxiety) because the performance is for a PFLAG - which means parents and kids - not an audience I’ve had yet.  Going to be interesting.  I am looking forward to doing the show again. It’s always a treat and an honor.  And I also can’t wait to get it over with. Going through all that pain - rehashing it - over and over is wearing on me.   Something’s making me nervous because I need to use the loo again.  Hm.  

I’m also listening to my pre show playlist - Cool Kids (Echosmith), What I Am (Edie Brickell) and Breathe (Anna Nalick) which gets me in the mood, if I’m not already there.

I’m surprised that more people don’t ask me what my mother thinks about the show.  I guess she’s not the main character to them?  I dunno.  I totally see her as a primary character.  I wish I could show this to her, but I could never do that to her. Maybe if we make a movie out of the show, she could see it on her own without being in public.  And Dad, he just can’t really even know what the show is about because just knowing that I went around the country and did the show portraying them like these monsters.  That would undo him.  He wasn’t a monster.  He abetted a monster.  And I’m pretty much ok with all of that now.

Just checked in with the organizer and she wants to start at 7:05!  Just a 5 minute hold!  This is as close to time that I’ve gone in I have no idea how long.  Maybe Ohio?  Not sure.

Ok. So now a few deep breaths, some “It’s ok. No matter what” talk.  A trip to the bathroom and then off we go!


The After

I made it through the show without having to go to the bathroom!!  Wohoo!  What a totally different audience than what I expected!  I thought it was going to be straight parents and queer kids, but it was mostly gay and lesbian and trans* and bi and ally adults.  It was a fun show.  We had a good time - they weren’t as raucous as I thought they were going to be, but they were with me the whole way and it was really fun to perform for them.

After the show, most everyone came up to me to hug  me, tell me about their experiences with suicide, to talk to me about coming back out to some of the Universities in the area and to thank me.  I felt so appreciated by this crowd.  They were effervescing with positivity about my show and my coming to share my story with them.

There was one person there who had red eyes the whole time I was performing - they were on the verge of getting upset the whole time.  It was really upsetting - I wanted to stop for them, but I thought that amount of attention might be upsetting, so I checked in with them after the show.  They were dealing with some serious physical abuse issues from childhood and they said, “So many tiny details…” of what I was performing triggered them.  They cried. And they’re ok though.  They’re going to be with their person and that will be comforting.

Oh, did I mention the show was held in a church?

The woman standing next to me is one of the founders of this PFLAG, 30 years ago.  It was an honor that she was there last night.  And boy oh girl, was this audience all about our merch — they got so many tshirts and bracelets and journals.  That was so supportive of them.  Thank you Spokane, PFLAG!!!!

So, that night - last night - we stayed in a fifth wheel.  What is that, you may ask, if you don’t do a lot of camping.  A fifth wheel is a type of RV that gets hooked up to the back of a truck.  This was was sitting in the driveway of owner Mikey and his partner Richard’s house.  It was like a rolling studio apartment.  Bedroom, dining room, living room, pull out couch, kitchenette, and bathroom.  All within about 150 sq feet.  Mikey, our host, made up the beds with new sheets and left u a bunch of goodies - Girl Scout Cookies and animal crackers and fruit.  It was lovely.  Cold, but lovely.  Like staying in someone’s apartment that they cleared out for you.



The goodies Mikey left for us o the dining table.  Kristen's bed in the living room.

The kitchenette and a peak at the bedroom I slept in.



Now we’re by lake Coeur d’Alene (the Heart of Alene) in Idaho.  It’s gorgeous.  I’m going to snap a few and share them.


Then…off to Missoula, Montana!




p.s. It’s getting colder.  I might have to stop wearing my flip flops for a while.  Been wearing them since New Mexico.

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