Queer Rock Love

A Family Memoir


Gender Odyssey

Queer Rock Love to Launch at Gender Odyssey 2015

paigejune2015If all goes according to plan, I’ll get to see and touch my book for the first time this Friday, August 21, at Gender Odyssey in Seattle. We’ve had our share of last-minute publishing trials and tribulations, so I’m not 100% sure that this baby will show up on her due date–but I do know I’ll be reading a selection at a free public event that evening. Here are the details:

Transgress Press – Meet the Authors
7:30PM | Washington State Convention Center – Rm 611
Come and schmooze with our 2015 authors, Rex Butt, Seth Jamison Rainess, Paige Schilt, and Dr. Michael Brownstein, and celebrate their recently published and forthcoming books. Get discounted copies of their books personally autographed for you. Light refreshments will be provided.

I’m thrilled to be part of Gender Odyssey this year. When I set out to write Queer Rock Love, my goal was to write a trans family/partner memoir that wasn’t focused on discovery, coming out, or surgery. I knew Katy was trans from the moment I first laid eyes on her. Her transness was an integral part of the person I fell in love with, and I wanted to write a story that focused on the ups and downs of our everyday life. I’m hopeful that lots of folks at Gender Odyssey will be able to identify with our unorthodox, not-a-poster-family family.

Throughout the conference, I’ll be facilitating workshops on higher education, parenting (with Katy Koonce) and the “rules of attraction.” Check out the schedule here, and come say hi if you can.

In the meantime, I’ll be updating this website to be more of a book-related website. Stay tuned for reviews, bonus photos, and information on how to order Queer Rock Love: A Family Memoir from Transgress Press.

My Family Gender Odyssey

Lesbian and gay family events are not always comfortable spaces for me and my fam.

That’s partly because some folks don’t know what to make of my genderqueer sweetie, with her man-chest and her female pronouns. It’s partly because the “same-gender parenting” paradigm may or may not describe us, depending on the situation, our moods, and the alignment of the planets. But it’s mostly because there aren’t always other trans parents and partners at gay family events, and the programming doesn’t always reflect our interests and needs.

So I was ecstatic last year when I read the Gender Odyssey program and saw a workshop titled “Fierce Dyke Seen Doing Husband’s Laundry.” Here, finally, I would find folks whose passions and preoccupations were–if not exactly the same as mine–at least in the same neighborhood. While I processed with other partners about identity and inference, Katy found her niche in sessions like “What’s the Rush?” where participants explored new paradigms and time-lines for transition.

But the most amazing thing about Gender Odyssey is that it’s fun for the whole family–even the kids.

Last year was the first year that Gender Odyssey shared time and space with the Gender Spectrum Family conference for people raising gender variant children and transgender teens. The brilliant folks at Gender Odyssey and Gender Spectrum decided to organize a kids camp for children whose parents were attending either conference. Which means that, while I was sitting in the town hall meeting on Dyke/FTM Community Relations, my son, Waylon, was happily gluing googly eyes on a family of sock puppets.

This year, Katy and I proposed a workshop for parents. The conversations in our session were wide-ranging — more often than not, the group’s parenting concerns were not related to gender at all. But while the topics might have been similar in any parenting workshop, it was such a relief that we didn’t have to explain our family or worry about other people’s assumptions. Talking about child-rearing in that context, with other trans parents and partners, was like finding something I didn’t really know I was missing.

Now I’m hooked. I can’t wait for Gender Odyssey 2009, but I’m also interested in broadening my horizons. I hope readers will use the comment space below to suggest other trans family events or to plant the seeds for new ones.

P.S. This year at Gender Odyssey, Waylon made two stick puppets named “Sweetie” and “Smiley,” who seem to have a penchant for scolding George Bush and John McCain in chirpy little voices.

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