Sitting here on my last morning in Berlin, I am trying to remember all the things that have made these past 2 years monumental for me. This blog is one of them. I have, finally, started to write on a regular basis and I am so much happier for it. I also organised The Femme Show 2012 and conceived and edited a collective zine about sexism. Berlin, you have meant so much to me. Berlin, you have driven me crazy and helped me get sane. Thank you.
A few people asked me if I intend to keep blogging here, and I am happy to say yes of course! I will be travelling into new patriarchal territory in Canada and I am sure there will be stuff there to blog (bitch) about in witty detail. Do keep checking in for updates on what I’m doing and thoughts about sexism. Who knows, this might even turn into a book.
As I sort my clothes and do all the tiny annoying things you have to do when you move country, I am surprisingly sad. I thought I would be so happy to leave; so happy. I have been waiting for this for years. To return to Canada. To leave the place of my depression and grey Winters, foreign languages and foreign customs.
Talking with a few friends who thank me for the femme activism I have done here, they remind me that I have made more connections than I expected. More connections than I wanted, even. I never wanted to be here. I never wanted to stay here. I always hated here.
That is one of my biggest problems; I never want to be now. I always want to be in the future. Then, when I live in Canada. Then, when I have a girlfriend. Then, when I am happy. I am getting better at learning the only time to be happy is now.
I am so sad to leave. I have more friends than I expected. I have loved more than I expected, despite stubbornly trying not to. ‘I’m not going be let them in, I don’t want them to know me.’ Sticks head under cover. This stubbornness competes with my real desire, hidden behind the defensiveness, to be loved and understood and to love back. I have always understood. Have you understood me?
Hence the writing, the performance, the activism. I have literally taken my clothes off on stage. My therapist explains my clumsy metaphors; you’re playing with your sexual boundaries, you have control [burlesque link]. I take centre stage. My unrealised performance of boxing my way through cardboard boxes, fighting to get free. Metaphor of being boxed in. Using my boxing training to break free.
I’ve aired my most secret thoughts, published them in a zine and here, and dared you to attack me. Femmephobic, transphobic? I’ve been accused of being a lot of things, and I know I am none of them. I push back. I cause deliberate controversy. I test the ground.
Berlin is a great place to experiment and learn new skills. The comparatively low cost of living here means that lots of bright young things from all over the ‘Western’ world have come to work. Studios are cheap, skills workshops are often free. People are willing to share their skills. New collaborations are continuously forming and dissolving. Writers become burlesque dancers become event promoters become bloggers. So many possibilities. Thank you Berlin.
I always knew this wouldn’t be the place for me to settle down, and I guess predictions are self-fulfilling. I never wanted 100% to be here; I’ve always had my heart somewhere else. Although I am glad these years are past, I am surprised by how much they have contained. There has been The Berlin Femme Show 2012, Dressed Like That zine, this blog, workshops on femmephobia in Copenhagen, Leipzig, Goettenberg and Hamburg. Friends that have passed through the city, leaving a little bit of love behind. A tiny bit of sugar left on the candy apple.
It’s been a really hard two years, and I’ve learnt a lot. And despite trying to live in the future too much, I am excited about my thirties. I turn 30 on the day the Mayan’s predicted the world would end. This will be two months after moving to Canada. I am hoping this new era will mean a change in consciousness for me, and for the planet. Maybe we’ll realise we’re living unsustainably and take care of the Earth? I am such a cheese bag.
I’d like to pretend this is an Oscars acceptance speech for one minute and thank all my lovely friends, old and new, for believing in me. I am blessed. I often forget that, but I am. I’d like to thank everyone who supported with kind words and actions and helped out with The Berlin Femme Show and Dressed Like That zine. I am sorry we never got those goodie bags to you. That’s what happens when two over-achieving femmes try to take over the world. Our desires can exceed our time-management skills. Don’t forget we still love you, despite this forgetfulness.
I also want to thank my good friend Rosebutt for believing in me as a performer. I still don’t really believe in myself, but I have tried to accept the praise from an artist I admire so fucking much. Trash Deluxe and its other organisers Kay P. Rinha and Nicopatra have created a great space for aspiring performers to test their ideas. My close friends for believing in me, and for scraping me off the floor when I needed it. Other Nature for selling my zine and Maedchenmannschaft for linking my posts.
It’s been a momentous two years, and I hope you accompany me into new blogging and geographical territory. Bye bye Berlin, hello Canada!