Gratitude-October (20/21)

Gratitude:
-I was able to see my friend in an incredible performance from a beautiful play he wrote about transitioning, called To T, or not To T? It’s playing at the Los Angeles LGBT -Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Arts Center. D’Lo and hadn’t seen each other in the physical in over a decade but we’ve been friends for 24 years now and I’m just amazed at the people we’ve become. So dang proud.

A brown guy wearing a backwards baseball cap, grey/black baseball shirt, a thin gold chain, holding up a peace sign, smiling with his arm around a shorter brown guy wearing a black beanie, glasses, bluetooth headphones around his neck. He is smiling with his head resting on his friend's shoulder.
D’Lo and Evan

-Guitar practice.
-Glee Cast Radio on Pandora
-For feeling productive and at ease.
-For the feeling of hope.
-For actually pressing “publish” for my gratitude entry from last week. Was surprised it was in the drafts. So funny.
-For the inspiring message that a stranger sent me this morning. Helped with motivation for sure.

Gratitude-August (9)

Gratitude:

-for my Baby Taylor and myself for practicing

-for food options

-For daylight. I’m usually a night time person but the last couple of days I’ve been out for a couple hours with the sun and it’s been good.

-For intuition and doubt. Learning discernment.

-For doing things I’m afraid of with no idea how they’ll turn out.

-For my roommate. It’s changed for the better. Hi, how are you? How was your day? Got any plans? This is enough for me. A “little” goes a long way. I’m very easily pacified. For as long as I remember it’s been this way. I’m fortunate ☺️

-For sorting through my contact lists on google and ios, organizing, deleting, merging. Cut by almost half!

-For spontaneity and the easiness with a newish friend

-For my knee brace which has made a huge difference in my life

-For tiredness and hunger. I’m never really hungry and tiredness doesn’t usually mean sleep. So my body may be in a new phase now. I’m the smallest I’ve been in 10 years easily. Less than 28 (men size) Less than 2 women (size) I say it that way because the smallest stuff I have are labeled with those sizes and they are loose, and my belt has been adjusted.

-For my queer life 🥰🌈💛💞🤙🏾🙌🏾🦋😎😁

Gratitude-November (2)

Gratitude:
-For music. The Piano Ballads list on Spotify has been keeping me good company the past 2 hours or so. Adele is singing about Tables Turning. She’s so good at what she does. Geez.
-Past ideas. I was looking at some of my older work, ideas for things, notes, and drafts of poems from the past 18months or so. I really need to check up on my notes and audio recordings more often. I’m thinking every 6 months. Which is good because 6 months from now it’ll be May and I’m a proud May born Taurus. So yeh..good idea. I’m going to mark my calendar. *Done*
-Sia
-Moon and The Sampson
-Groceries. Especially Spinach and Sweet Potato Pie. I’ve been wanting both for a few days now.
-Writing. I wrote for a couple of hours earlier this afternoon. Just the fact that I did it is enough to make me happy.
-Plans/goals
-All the tools available to study astrology. There’s so much information on the internet for free. I remember 15-20 years ago going to bookstores–many bookstores–to find what I needed/was interested in. Now it’s as simple as typing in a search box.
-The Queerios
-The amazingness of being a queerdo in this world. I had a super gay moment today. I was listening to this woman sing a song about the best someone ever had or something like that. And she said something like I know she’s not as good as me, you know..something along those lines. And I straight up (hahaha) assumed she meant her ex-girlfriend would miss her because she was the best she’d ever had. It took me a minute, I think a WHOLE minute, before I realized she was probably talking about some dude. So yeh, I’m pretty damn gay/queer oriented. The singer’s name is Nina Nesbitt. The song is called The Best You Had (Explicit version)

-Being warm. I was out and about in my shorts with no jacket or beanie and I was soooo cold. Now I’m back at the apartment I’m warming up.
-For T. who fills my thoughts and expands what I know and understand of love.
-For the camera on my old phone

I usually wouldn’t do a grateful not..but..

TamponChoices

I am grateful not to have a period anymore.

My friend needed me to go to the store to get tampons and I’m sure glad I was buying them for her not me.

Feel free to share anything you’re grateful for in the comments below 🙂

Ta

Peaceful Rage

I randomly and thankfully stumbled across The Queer Nation Manifesto  tonight. It was handed out 28 years ago at New York Pride. I was a 12-year-old queer kid living in Compton.
***
I feel so angry right now about so many things. I let myself down today. But that’s only a small part of the anger I’m feeling.  I won’t get into what I did and did not do but I recognize my failings and I forgive myself because I have to in order to move forward. The suppressed anger that I’ve been feeling is bubbling up to the surface. Feeling unsure how to handle it.
Anger isn’t something I’m comfortable with but it’s something I’m familiar with. Reading the words/testimonies reminded me that my anger is valid. I’m owning it now. I’m making it my bitch.
 ***
TransPride is today. I’ll be there. I’ll march on Saturday in the Pride Parade and attend the festival. I’m picking up my free ticket tomorrow courtesy of The Center.
Fortunate. Always. Grateful.
Sometimes I wonder who would I be without the kindness I encounter pretty much daily? I don’t really want to know. This rage is fuel for now and I’m cool with this fire.
Your everloving, peaceful, raging queerdo,
Evan
Transpride fist

Recent Past and Present Good Stuff

Time for good news sharing:
Inspired by my awesome new therapist. Reminding me to maintain healthy boundaries, to concentrate on my health in every way, which means providing for my basic needs: food and shelter, while I continue to move forward in my chosen career path. This seems maybe simple or obvious to people about the food/shelter part but it hasn’t been easy or simple for me for many reasons that I’ll one day be able to convey. Sorting through stuff now.
I am so damn grateful for the mental health services and social services here in San Diego. That I was able to see a psychiatrist, get a therapist, see my primary, and get a case manager (social worker) to help me find transitional housing (I’m hoping) and employment, is just incredible. All this in less than 2 weeks. Fortunate. Totally.
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I have an incredible ability to focus/concentrate but not on multiple things at once. Tunnel vision is a great thing sometimes, detrimental at others. Perseverance is my special gift. So I know I can do what needs to be done to change my situation. Wouldn’t be able to do it without social support and the mental health and social services in place.
I’ve made choices. I choose what I feel I can do that gives me life. That doesn’t drag me down or feel soul-crushing. School had been the focus for so many years (I love learning) and now legitimately wholeheartedly creating LGBTQ content is the focus because I love us so fucking much and I know it saves people’s lives. Queer content has saved me. Media, ex. movies, tv, music, books, have gotten me through hard times over my life span and added to the overall beauty that is existence. Now at the same time, I am working on caring for myself financially because that is part of self-love too. And as my therapist shared with me, it’s hard to be mentally healthy if you don’t have a safe, stable, place to live. So on I go.
***
The past 8 months have been full of incredible learning experiences and so many opportunities. Applying for programs, workshops, attending conventions, etc. Making “Forward” Making beginner’s mistakes with “Forward” and dealing with issues unforeseen. *side note* We’re reshooting in 2 months. If you know of a soccer field we can use for two 9 hour days, get in touch please!
While all these awesome things have been happening, I’ve been cash poor (I grew up in poverty so this is something I’m used to that maybe now I’m thinking I shouldn’t be used to?) but I’ve been lucky enough to mostly every night have a place to crash during this transition from student to being out in the world living the dreams.
****
I want to thank my film people from LA and my film people from Sacramento area. Whenever I’ve needed help for film-related stuff, everyone I’ve contacted from Sac State’s film program, professors, alumni, current students, have been there for me, with advice, feedback, and help with Forward’s production. Infinite thanks and appreciation to you all. You know who you be 😉
And I want to thank my friends and family who’ve helped me out financially in the last few months. Especially recently when I’ve needed a bus pass to get around and as bad as this is, personal hygiene items. Yeh, I pretty much hit rock bottom in late May 😦 40 is a trip. It’s a life changing time. I’m up for it. It’s on!
****
This past year or so I’ve met so many people. New forever friends (I hope), people trying to make it, people making it, and people who have been making it for years. I will share that I have a mentor in the industry now. I was part of a small crew that interviewed him in April (my last paid gig *sigh*) and am now in a position of confidant and writing that probably won’t ever see the light of day. It’s super cool. Learning a lot about television and I feel really fucking fortunate and thankful for him.
I’m on a first name, hugs, beer giving, basis with the showrunner of Wynonna Earp (which you should totally watch because it’s fucking fantastic), and I get to see her in a few weeks (I hope) if I can get my shit together. She’s inspiring and supportive in so many ways. Her motto: Do No Harm But Take No Shit. One day I’ll be able to totally share about all that she’s done for and meant to our production team.
****

Earlier this month I met and attended a workshop at Youtube Space LA. Many people who are doing all kinds of LGBTQ media were in attendance. There were people just starting out, those of us who are in the middle of projects, and those who have completed things that I’ve seen on the air.

 

We were able to meet the man responsible for Netflix’s One Day At A Time. He took the (remake)show from idea to reality. He was incredibly generous with his time and sharing his career experiences. I’ll be at a live taping of a S3 episode later this summer.
At the same two day event, I was fortunate enough to have meals with and joke around with a showrunner/writer/producer of a show no longer on the air but which meant a lot to me when I was in my early 20s. Super cool to be able to talk with her and tell her in person what it meant to me, what a difference it made in my life. She’s funny, charming, generous, and has offered to read “1 thing” and give notes. So when it’s ready I’ll be sending my “1 thing” off to her. I’ll see her next April at a convention for LGBTQ women and allies. Psyched about it. Something to look forward to.
****
I want to be clear and say, even with meeting all these people, I still gotta do my work. Sometimes things fall into place but there’s always the work behind it. Oprah said years ago that success is opportunity plus preparedness. It may look someday to some people like I’m an overnight success story. That I popped up out of nowhere. That I’m a diversity hire possibly or what not. But some of you all will know what’s up. Some of you all have known me since age 16 when I first started writing and directing one-act plays. And one of you has known me since we were 13 when I first shared this dream out loud. (Love you, J!)
****
I’m currently wanting to get back to LA as soon as possible. It’s only been like 3 weeks but I’m missing it. I’ve decided to make it home for a while. I feel it’s where I need to be. Send good thoughts my way about this move if you will. Money is a thing.
****
Any old way, I’m just wanting to share some good-ish stuff with you all.
What’s a cool thing or a good thing that’s happened or is happening with you?
20180603_155204

All Sides Now

I never really talk about it online besides hinting at it because I don’t want to be discriminated against more than I already have been in my life, but because of Carrie Fisher and some brave folks out there, like Jenifer Lewis, and like the woman who started the #medicatedandmighty tag, I’m becoming more willing.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar I in May 2004, a few days before my 26th birthday. On my chart it said I had a psychotic episode with spiritual delusions. I basically thought everyone should love each other and love the earth and I should walk around spreading love and light. But I am a literal person and that’s what I did. I walked and walked and walked all around my neighborhood to the point of exhaustion. I couldn’t feed myself and I couldn’t sleep and I ended up in the hospital. I was taken to Del Amo Hospital (Torrance, CA) and I was placed in the Del Rey Unit. In my head or whatever I was told this wasn’t about me, this was for the people around me. To chill and don’t worry so much. I felt safe. I was in a hospital of Love and was aligned with the King (del rey). King of Love, which I interpreted as God at the time. So no problem, I was ok, and things were fine. Just a bit of a hiccup. I honestly felt it was a spiritual emergence that turned into an emergency and in a different culture I wouldn’t have been drugged and pushed back out into the world to carry on like my whole world hadn’t been shaken to the root.

When I got out of there I took my meds for about 6 months to get people off my back and to get back to work. Because I didn’t believe the diagnosis and I was off the meds, I ended up back in the hospital again in June 2005. And it was a really bad experience. I realized that I had actually been manic for at least 3 months. The doctors told me that people who have Bipolar disorder usually went on and off their meds and their lives were ruined and they hurt their friends and family members and did I want that for myself. I said no. I’ve been med compliant going on 13 years and it’s been a journey. I was on tons of medication when I left. At least 6 pills. I found a psychiatrist a year or so later to help take me off of them and it took about 3-4 years to do so. I’ve been on one mood-stabilizer since and it helps.

I was in the hospital one last time in December of 2011. After I had the fall out with my dad when his mom passed, I was completely suicidal because I had lost my mom (rejection) a couple years before, and now my dad. I checked myself in because I had no will to live and thought maybe they could help me. I thought I’d give it one last effort.

What got me out of there that time was, we had a group meeting where we had to find something worth living for. I couldn’t think of anything. One of the patient’s marriage had just ended. He and his husband had been together for over 9 years and he had been a house-husband so he had no skills to get a job, no family support, his husband had moved on quickly!, and his heart was broken. He was looking through People Magazine? and saw a picture of Chely Wright (the first out country music singer) and her wife on their wedding day and that made him feel hopeful that he could have that again someday. It was a reason for him to live. I thought he was so brave to say that to us, and share with us, when we were all a bunch of strangers, stuck in a psych ward.

I hadn’t “come out” in the hospital because I could pass as straight *shudders* and didn’t want any hassle. That made me feel a bit cowardly in comparison to him. I begin to think about why I was there. What brought me to this place at this time? I had been depressed because of the relationship with my parents or lack thereof and also all the news of people, kids, toddlers!, being murdered for being perceived as gay, being bullied, assaulted in all kinds of horrible ways, and killing themselves for simply being who they are. I started thinking about the past year and a half and all the kids who had been bullied/committed suicide, and how no one outside of the community really knew or cared. Or so I thought. It was such a lonely feeling. What could I do? What could I do about any of it.

I could live.

I decided if I could help make a world that made sure that no other kid took their life because of their sexuality or gender or parent’s rejection, society’s rejection, etc. that it would be enough. It is/was my reason to live.

Chely Wright being out and open and happily married changed the guy’s life and changed mine by extension, reinforcing what I already knew. Visibility matters, representation matters, and media shapes culture. We need to see ourselves and see ourselves happy and healthy, so we can know that it’s possible. That we aren’t evil, unnatural, bad, or any of those things that heterosexual people say, that kill us on the inside and make it so it seems okay to take our lives away from us in such brutal ways.

The confrontation I had with my dad last week and the horrible things that my parents said and did to me and my brother, caught up with me full force last night. I’m not suicidal at all but I am grieving, angry, distracted, moody, tired.

Dealing with a chronic mental illness is an everyday challenge and sometimes I feel completely drained and over trying. Because it’s never-ending. There’s always this incessant self-monitoring going on, and a bit of shame. Since ’45, the state of our country, the threats against (my)health care, the environment, law, shite with my family, it’s been really scary and overwhelming. And I’ve been super angry. I have never been physically violent against another person as an adult though. I purposely haven’t. That calmness that people perceive in me, that willingness to listen, to be patient, to be considerate, are choices I make. That stereotype of violence and the stigma that goes along with people knowing, really does my head in. I have attempted to end my life. I have hurt myself. I want to get away from that. It’s tough though because no matter where I go, I am there.

*********

I’ve been in school since Spring 2010 and it’s been a safe place because I’m good at it. I have 2 degrees, one in Social Behavioral Sciences, with an emphasis in Child Development, and one in American Sign Language Studies. I am a semester away from graduating with a BA in Film Production. What’s been cool about school 😉 is that I love learning. At the end of the term, there is something to show for what I’ve been doing with my time, professors like me, I get to be social with people, my family and friends are supportive, and maybe proud? of me, and it’s flexible. If I can’t make it to class because I’m having a bad day, it’s not going to shake the foundation of my life/livelihood, and working on campus has built-in benefits because I’ve been allowed to miss work because school comes first. Everyone around seems to want me (us students) to graduate and move on.

But I can’t do school right now. My concentration and heart aren’t in it. And I’m in this space of the unknown. It’s a bit scary. And the poverty ya’ll, the poverty that I’ve dealt with since the diagnosis (which stripped me of my ability to be financially independent with any consistency) is awful, embarrassing, and limiting.
BUT
what I can do right now is live my purpose and work to create media, live and express my truth, so that it may help people, our kids, our future, and our rainbow tribe, know that we can be in the world and live. That we are valuable and an essential part of creation and that some of us will work for this until our last breaths.

When people talk about the gay agenda I’m like, yes, I absolutely have one. This is it. And I’m not going to apologize or be less than I am because people are ignorant and lack compassion.

I’m out of steam for now. Thank you all who read this in its entirety 

I made big strides today 🙂

For anyone who needs help, reach out:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 1-800-273-8255