Hey beautiful people!!

(Quick note: if you like my “beautiful people” collective word, why not consider getting this cool t-shirt I designed with that catchphrase on it? Eh? Ehhhhhh?)

I don’t think I’ll really be providing like, day-to-day summaries of my trip or anything because 1) I honestly don’t think I’d remember to do it every single time and b) I kind of like to keep this blog more for educational/promotional/at least semi-professional reasons? But I’m having a lovely first day and a bit in Victoria and wanted to say a few things.

Firstly: hey! wow! Victoria is really pretty! Apparently it rains a lot here (like, one of my hosts told me that today was the first day in the last twenty that didn’t have any precipitation) but today was all sunshine and beauty and a lovely soft breeze and the smell of the ocean! Wow. What a stellar city you have here, folks. Really lovely.

I spent most of my first day at the Royal BC Museum, which I didn’t really get any good photos of because it was surprisingly dimly lit, but what a cool space! I especially admired the native art/history integration and was actually quite emotionally moved by an installation right at the front of the museum, where you can listen to each indigenous group of BC welcome you to the land in their own language. We pay a lot of lip service to Aboriginal recognition and I felt like BC was a few leagues ahead of us in that regard.

I bought my first, possibly my only, souvenir at the Royal; a very tiny glass teapot with a glasswork flower inside. It was very inexpensive, will take up next to no space in my suitcase, and will be a great little knick knack on my desk. (I have a weakness for knick knacks. And tea paraphernalia.)

I also had lunch at a fabulous food truck called “Dead Beetz,” which hilariously turned out to be run by someone from Moncton, New Brunswick, which is where a lot of my family hails from. The truck’s owner actually went to high school with my uncle (this did not surprise me in the slightest, really, because the longer you spend in the Maritimes the more convinced you become that everyone really does know everyone). We had a good chat about the nuances of difference between the coasts and generally agreed that the West coast seemed a lot more progressive, but, ironically, the East coast was a lot friendlier. And it’s true that while I wandered around downtown and in the museum and things I saw a lot more people than I’d ever see in a coastal down in NB–but nobody really looked at me or acknowledged my existence. That being said, I know there’s a lot more queerphobia out east. I’m not really making a judgment about either of them. Just the differences I noticed, from my limited perspective and fewer than 24 hours of being in the province.

I didn’t too much else today. I went to several gift shops and goggled at the Indigenous art. West Coast native art is incredible! I really hope to leave here with something of it–just want to be sure my money actually goes to an artist and not a corporation with no Native American shareholders. Plus, I mean, it’s not like I could afford this trip at all without all the help I graciously received from a bunch of people–so it’s not like I’ve got hundreds of dollars lying around to buy art with (as much as I really, really, really wish I did)

There was a welcoming evening event at the conference tonight but I must admit I skipped it. I don’t have the energy reserves that most people seem to and I want to save my stamina for conference sessions. The conference runs from 9:30-9, with after-parties, on Friday and Saturday. I already know I can’t do a twelve-hour day, but I do want to do as much of the day as possible! The morning and afternoon sessions, at least. But I skipped off tonight’s session so I can get to bed at a reasonable hour and be there, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, for the start of things tomorrow.

(Also, I walked like, 8 km today, and I do not do any exercise at all right now, so I kinda thought I was gonna die on my way back to where I’m staying today. Shout out to my boyfriend for listening to me whine and not letting me lay down on the sidewalk to sleep this afternoon.)

That’s all for now, folks! I’m sure I’ll have lots and lots to say tomorrow when I get to go hard on the trans history stuff. Thank you again to all of the amazing people who supported me, financially and otherwise, to get here. Special shoutout to Alison, who came at got me at the Victoria airport last night at 11:30 at night and drove me to where I’m staying–and then drove herself home another 45 minutes and got up this morning to take care of her three kids who are on spring break right now! I’m super grateful to Alison for the ride, and I’m excited to meet some of her youth here in Victoria this weekend (I’ll be skeeving off another evening conference session to meet local youth and probably share my story–in exchange for pizza and strokes to my ego, I’m sure 🙂 )

Take care dear people.