It’s Sunday afternoon as I write this, and instead of going to the gym or running errands as I usually do on a Sunday, I’m just relaxing and doing an odd job or two around the house. And, of course, writing this blog entry. The reason I’m relaxing is because the past 48 hours or so have been pretty busy for my feminine side. The CD/trans support group I’m a part of had a Saturday afternoon meeting. And Friday night, I took part in what I want to talk up here — another open-mic poetry reading Friday night at Mother Fool’s coffee house on Williamson Street.
This was my fourth performance at Mother Fool’s, the third involving poetry, and the first since I performed back in December. So, how did I do, you ask? Well, even though I’ll never be the most skilled performer, I didn’t do too badly. I think part of the reason was that, unlike my first time performing, I knew well ahead of time which poems I wanted to perform. And those poems were ones I hadn’t performed previously, “Makeup,” “Masks of Honesty,” and “Show Me.”
Not to pump up my own ego, but I was really proud of how I performed “Show Me” Friday night. If you read that poem, you notice that I get a little bit repetitive with the “ors” or “ands” near the end. That portion of “Show Me” is meant to be forceful when performing, as it’s meant to tell someone who is judgmental of those who aren’t like them to see the light. That’s why I got a bit forceful in tone at that point, as if to scold the person I’m conversing with to realize that those who are indeed not like them are more than the label they’re perceived as.
That someone brought a music stand to rest their written poems on was a help as well. (While Mother Fool’s has a mic and speakers, apparently they don’t have a music stand.) In the couple of times I’ve performed with a podium or stand in front of me, I’ve utilized my two free hands to gesture points of emphasis in the poems I’m presenting. Such animation, if you don’t mind my using that word, adds spirit to and emphasizes the intended tone of a poem when performed, and it can leave a great impression on the audience.
Speaking of music stands, it was provided by a fellow performer. Just like myself and a couple other performers, apparently she likes to rest her work on a flat surface. That very performer had a familiar face, but I couldn’t quite remember where I saw them from. For a while, I thought they resembled a former co-worker from my current place of employment, which they weren’t. Then they mentioned they recalled me from the above mentioned trans/CD support group. It was then that I remembered seeing them during a group meeting in January. And I felt grateful and appreciative, not only for their kind words about my performance (they did a good job as well), but for their recognizing me from the group.
The post-show recognition they gave me was the very first time someone recognized me from the group when I was not present with the rest of the group. It made me feel really proud to be a part of that group. Not that I wasn’t proud to be part of that group already, of course. But when you’re recognized from that group in the “real world” (forgive me if that term seems strange to you), it feels that our group has made positive impressions on other people, trans or otherwise. Here’s hoping that if you are trans or an ally and are part of a support group, you feel the same way about your group. If you’re not yet part of a support group, know that getting the type of interpersonal support such a group provides can be so meaningful.