a surprise party for all of us

i feel like i’m planning a party, a surprise party, only the surprise isn’t for any one particular guest: it’s for all of us.

the intrepid mae callen has invited me to get involved with her queer canada blogs project, and i’m thrilled. at the moment, i’m working on expanding our geographic diversity by searching out blogs from every province and territory. this means skimming hundreds of blogs, which sets my mind reeling with a million and one questions about sexuality, identity, and place.

what about those LGBTIQ2 folks who don’t personally identify as queer, even though that’s the label i would use to describe them?

similarly, what about the canadians who no longer live in canada, or the bloggers who are only in canada for a brief job contract?

and by using “canada” as a boundary, are we not upholding a colonialist construct that flies directly in the face of my commitment to anti-oppressive practice?

besides which, how do we diversify the age range of our blogrollers and address issues of accessibility?

etc etc etc!!!

as opposed to being frustrated by all this problematizing of what at first glance appears to be a simple project, i am excited. i’m feeling the possibilities here, seeing the opportunities for dialogue, and looking forward to the conversations and debates that are going to come from this.

i must say it again: i am excited. the blogroll has now reached 111 blogs, and i am giddy at what i see on the feeds: we’re here, we’re queer, we’re blogging, and we’re COMPLEX AS HELL.

as a queer, i find that too often i am called upon to counter misinformation and plain ignorance about sexual and gender diversity. it’s an old story, perhaps more common when looking at issues of race: the oppressor calls upon the oppressed to educate them about their oppression, instead of taking the time to educate themselves about how they benefit from structures of power (here’s a bit of audre lorde to help you along with the idea). as part of this phenomenon, people seem to think i can speak for all queers… which of course i can’t, cuz i don’t even know very many:  i only truly know myself, and my experiences.  i can’t speak for the rest.

more importantly, it’s not my job, and i don’t want to do it.

however! i’d be pleased to recommend that any and all inquiring minds check out a single webpage, where they can get the latest in personal insight from many many MANY real-life queers… who may very well be living next door.

having a party.

***

got a recommendation for the queer canadian blogroll?  send it to queerblogs at gmail.com!

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5 responses to “a surprise party for all of us

  1. Hi,
    I know what you mean, and I have the same questions somehow. Nonetheless, it’s been a month or so now that I found myself on the blogroll, and it’s just been such a great adventure since! It’s thrilling to know that there are other people within the same geographical location who identify as queer (or if they don’t, they are still doing what I call “queer work”) and at the same time, it’s a huge phenomenon that brings people together like in a big party: We ALL blog!!
    I see the beginning of something there… A movement of sorts, a collective and a collection building up. Let’s see how it goes.
    As to the questions you ask, here’s my thoughts:
    If you are looking specifically at an aspect of queer Canadianness, that should be legitimate in its own right. I mean, why not? If you need to draw the line somewhere, you can always do that, and then play around the parameters with time. So from there comes the question of affiliation. Is the affiliation to the blog roll defined in terms of the person who keeps the blog or the content of the blog? Would a passer-by like me in Canada who writes a lot about Canada but will be gone a year down the line be as legitimate a blogger than a Canadian who lives in Paris and writes only about Paris?
    So I think the questions of content and person and geographical location is where you need to play and find the right thing.
    I think I’ve said enough, but if you need more brainstorming, just let me know. I’ll be glad to add my bit of thinking through wherever I can.
    Kama

    • feralgeographer

      kama, i’m so glad to hear from you because i LOVE your blog!

      fyi, you’ve been on the blogroll since before mae callen found and added me last november… it’s only just now that we’ve begun to do outreach, which is when i added QCB as a “follower” of all the blogger blogs.

      anyway… yes! you’re right: it’s about playing with parameters, and i think we can do that with integrity as long as we appreciate the value of what it is we’re trying to articulate. my desire is to convey the complexity and yet closeness of queer canada. i think this is doable, if only in a never-ending, perpetual sort of a way.

      to answer your (perhaps rhetorical) question, i’d rather read about p’boro over paris anytime! as is illustrative of how small this country can be, your town is also the home of my first queer lover, and it was the first place i was ever “out”.

      thanks for your input, and offer for assistance!

      • What? I’ve been on the blogroll for so long?! I didn’t have a single clue. By the way, I’ve started following some other blogs that I found on the blogroll over the past weeks (yours as well :P) I really like the enterprise.
        As to Pboro… Well, looks like the biggest country in the world is not that big after all?!

        • feralgeographer

          now that the blogroll’s gotten so large and diverse, we’re starting this week to specifically contact its members to tell them they’re on it… i think mae did that when she first started, but then it got to be too much for one person. anyway! yes! like i said, i’ve been following your blog since last year, and would have commented ages ago (there was a poem of yours i loved) but your settings only allow blogger members to comment and i didn’t want to set up yet another online existence. i have though, since then, just been too busy to use it for commenting… though your post re: toronto got me all nostalgic, cuz you captured what i love about that city.

          i’m stoked to be interacting with you.

  2. I’ve been trying to work my way through the bloglist but it’s slow going what with my work schedule making me so tired I can’t even wear matching shoes lately.

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