Seven years ago I said I was done with love. I was done with butches who saw it fit to wipe their muddy boots on my heart and give it a swift kick, before swaggering out the door. It was Portland Pride and though I spent the weekend at the festival I’d sworn off love, sworn off fucking even, but then I went to the drag show. It was late on Sunday night, the last pride gathering at a crusty punk venue for all of us who just weren’t ready to let the energy of the weekend go for another year. I stood in line next to a hot activist drag king that I’d seen around in the community but never really spoken to. Back then I was a crusty punk zinester. I’d just quit T, was finding my groove back in dyke, back in an in-between place and the pack of trans fags I ran with had grown distant.
We started talking.
We talked gender, and activism. We talked about the zines we were working on for the Portland Zine Symposium the next weekend. We sat together on the sticky, dusty, glitter covered cracked concrete floor and ever so slowly our hands touched. I turned down a ride home from a friend to stay later and watch hir dance. I remember I was wearing a green muscle shirt, carhartts and boots. Ze wore cutoff cords, vegan combat boots, an anti-scout shirt, and spirit gum sideburns. We left late and walked to the bus stop together, made plans to see each other the next day. The militant vegan used the corniest
pickup line about having recently gone fishing and spreading hir arms to demonstrate the size of the fish caught, left arm landing around my shoulders. I didn’t see it coming, fell for hir hook, line, and sinker. Ze didn’t kiss me that first night.
Every seven years a body replaces all it’s cells. Today marks seven years since that drag show, and we are quite literally not the same people we were that night. Seven years and eight genders, a cross-country move, books, performances, and more picnics than I can count. I can’t even express how blessed I feel to have been able to spend the last seven years in this relationship that is far more than anything I could have ever imagined I would find.
Honestly, I didn’t know that a life like this was possible. It was more than I’d ever seen anywhere. I thought it was more than was possible, more than I deserved. I had no idea when I walked into that drag show I would be meeting someone that would show me what it meant to truly be in love, to be cared for and nurtured in ways I couldn’t even bring myself to fantasize about. I had no clue that my life was about to be filled with magic.
Happy Anniversary Kestryl