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Shambhala 2017

Shambhala 2017

By Michelle Swami August 11 – 14, 2017 Salmo River Ranch, BC VANCOUVER – This year marked the 20th anniversary of…

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Queerview Mirror: Duality in a world turned upside down

By Anthony Casey a.k.a. Shanda Leer

VANCOUVER — I’m writing this on the day Donald Trump was officially sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. What a fucking shit show. All my social feeds are littered with jokes that are truly facetious in nature, earnest posts to stay safe and a general “Well, son of a bitch” that you’d have to be neck deep in The Apprentice reruns to not notice.

Of all the gross stories resulting from this waking nightmare, one specifically stuck out—the removal of the LGBTQ webpage from the White House website. Sure, this could be routine maintenance while they update the site to reflect Donnie’s new regime aesthetic; Wix is not as user-friendly as they position themselves. But I refuse to look for any silver linings. A peacock who’s lost all but orange feathers is trying to sweep any minority, visible or otherwise, under the rug and while I haven’t lived in the US since I was ten, I’m not willing to have part of my identity erased and suppressed.

When I started to drag, I was opened up to the complexities of gender and body politics. I had never considered any part of my identity beyond its most basic ideals. Your identity is powerful and helps you find your place. It probably has some parts you haven’t explored yet, either.

For ten years, I figured “gay” was part of my identity. When I realized I identify as bisexual, I went into a tailspin internal debate: Do I need to tone “it” down with women? Will anyone trust me? Am I lying to myself? And that’s on top of wondering where I now fit between my friends and community. Most people assume there’s a duality to being bisexual, but I’ll level with you—it’s pretty straightforward (for lack of a better term). I have genuine attractions to men and women. But don’t think I can’t see the tiny eye rolls in some of your eyes when I say I’m bi. I can smell the suspicion and it’s worse than walking through The Bay fragrance department at Christmas.

If you’re feeling uneasy about your place in the world because the current President of the United States is also in the WWE Hall of Fame, think about this: This is how a lot of queers all along the spectrum feel every. single. day. So make space for everyone in your community, respect their identity and cherish our shared history whether it’s on a website or not.

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BEATROUTE AB E-EDITION

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