Feast Picnic

Yesterday was the last day of the Feast Festival, a two week queer arts and music event here in Adelaide. It wraps up with a huge picnic and then an after party. I went to picnic with a great group of friends and my girlfriend. We didn’t stay for the after party, by evening most of the crowd has been drinking steadily all day and gets restless. We set off once a few scurmishes involved the police.

It’s been an amazing fortnight, I attended Feast for the first time rather clandestinely last year, when I was not yet out as Bi to most of my networks. This time I’ve got along to dancing, music, theatre, and film events with my gorgeous girlfriend. It’s been an interesting experience to notice what it feels like to kiss in a public place and feel accepted. To hold hands and not be watching the crowd for danger signs. To be surrounded by the incredible diversity within the Queer community and feel like I’m on the inside for once. It’s been powerful to hear and be part of art and stories about being queer. It’s also been surreal, trekking along in the Pride march wondering why people are cheering for us, with us, at us. Buying cute/kitchy little rainbow bracelets to mark the event and remind myself I was here, try to remind myself what it feels like to be at home.

It makes me want desperately to find a way to create events like this in mental health. To make my little campfires for my groups huge events, full of pride, full of sorrow, full of respect for diversity, love. I want to make lonely straight kids feel this kind of acceptance too. I want to see comedy and theatre and films about madness, about the oddballs and the misfits.

I had a fantastic picnic, but when I got home, my head crashed. That’s not uncommon for me. All the triggered things surface and the lonely parts come out to howl the kind of pain I can’t bring out in the daylight without the men in white coats coming. So here in the small hours, there is blogging, there is the journal, my inks, my bath… there is a fresh Terry Pratchett book to read and a promise to my girlfriend that I’ll call her if things get bad. It’s sad. I’m lying in bed with a fan running, wrapped in my new beautiful rainbow sarong, with my little netbook. The screaming in my head has gone quiet, but I know it’s still there, cut off behind a door that’s now closed. My broken toe is a dull ache and my eyes are dust dry. The night is warm and still and silent. Makes me think of a line from Something Wicked This Way Comes;

Somewhere in him, a shadow turned mournfully over. You had to run with a night like this so the sadness could not hurt.


Here’s to the nights you run.

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