a stay in the bay

i landed in san francisco for the first time around 10am friday morning. I had a surreal ride into the local office for the company i work for, and i arrived to find that it was unwellness day at the office, a day of excess and 80's nostalgia. that explained why I met one of the queer advocacy group organizers wearing a jazzercise leotard when i walked in.

aside from the plane commute and 80s day, AKQA san francisco felt a lot like AKQA atlanta to me.

I had dinner with a wonderful friend and metamour who id never met in person before. the biggest pull for me on the west coast are definitely a few individual beating hearts. but their call is mighty <3 we had ethiopian food together in SoMa and talked about kink, accountability, luncheons, normativity, good dogs and my dad and his butter sculptures. sharing physical space with this wonderful luminous human was wonderful, i felt myself anxiously mourning the passage of time and the uncertainty around when we'd share space again. i take solace in speaking with them almost daily in our polycule's discord server. in conclusion, cuties be cute.

i slept in til about 8am on Saturday, and got to feel like a morning person on this coast. I recorded the first section of Fumbling Towards Repair to make an audio reading accessible to the members of QTJAC (queer transformative justice atlanta collective). reading accessibility has been on my mind lately as I feel myself exhausted from synthesizing so much written material over the last 3 months of this intensive study of community accountability. between my dyslexia and eye strain, reading this much is more than i want to continue asking of my body, but my curiosity and hunger for the content mean audio resources have become deeply appreciated gifts.

aside from the physical accessibility needs that audio meets for me and others, there's also a certain humanizing quality to hearing some of these ideas explored in active dialogue. i was talking with my beloved partner ada yesterday about tools and myths. roger and i discussed sapiens, a book about humans and the power of myth, and it's had me thinking about the power of story and what other tools i have when I find that a story is no longer serving me. feeling into my body has been the most grounding tool as I allow myths that don't serve me to dissolve around me. turns out when the web of myths that profit structures over bodies starts to disintegrate, my body is still there, solid and grounded, touching earth, waiting for me to return home.

i followed ada's recommendation to visit wicked grounds, a kink-community coffee shop near Folsom St. i stayed and chatted and read and connected with so many beautiful human beings before and after a wonderful class on D/s taught by shay and stephanos in their first class at the Annex next to wicked grounds. one person who really opened up was name mischa, a life coach supporting men in their desire to be better, we spoke about accountability. i watched him greet and appreciate his salad before eating it. i remember thinking "this is what prayer looks like when done with your body". i had a flashback to times i'd nervously talked to strangers because I believed I had something that could help them. i had a flashback to times i'd nervously talked to strangers because other people told me i had something that could help them. and i felt these two histories converge in this moment. i witnessed as mischa was moved by the fumbling toward repair workbook page he'd turned to. i told him about mia mingus and the bay area transformative justice collective. and i wondered about how a cis white man would feel held in a movement space in san francisco.

community accountability tends to feel like the intellectual and active labor of POC women and gender-non conforming folx. I was intentional in inviting cis men into the collective in Atlanta because I've witnessed how masculinity is being painfully reckoned with not just by cis men, but the amab enbies in my life, and i would like to make explorations of masculinity with trusted men a part of my healing work and my belief that no human is a monster, and that every human has resources to contribute to collective that only they can purvey. i want to have a diversity of capacities represented in QTJAC. and i am going to work to support safety without relying exclusively on exclusion of folks with the kind of power that has so often been used as weapons against women, femmes, and gnc folx. in other words, AND STEVEN!

i'm about to read a bit more of the workbook into an audio app on my phone in my quiet hotel room before i find my way back into the noise of a vibrant familiar new place.