flash back friday: 5 years ago today when i was on my first ever poetry performance tour!! it was called “reclaiming our color from the rainbow that stole it from us” and i was raising money for (the now no longer 😢) queers for economic justice! i had no idea what i was doing but i scurried around the east coast crying & screaming & dreaming and it was the most spectacular feeling. that sense of being able to name my hurt, and perhaps even make something beautiful out of it, externalize it from my body. i remember wrapping up the tour and saying, “this is what i want to do with my life.” i remember the clarity that came from being able to work it all out on the stage. i love performance because it is one of the only times in the world we can be real anymore. the stage is one of the few spaces left for truth telling. it was on the stage that i eventually came into my gender — performance was the only space I could experiment with my gender, be affirmed for it. when i look at myself and my becoming over these past 5 years i realize that i am the product of the hundreds if not thousands of audiences i have had since then: being seen, being allowed to grieve, being allowed to be messy. performance has fundamentally shifted the way that i life my life by which i mean i try my best to apply what i learn from the stage (vulnerability, story telling, catharsis, experimentation, improvisation) to my life. onwards to the next 5!