Being seen, Montreal, and Pride season

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted here. It’s not so much a matter of time as it is motivation, and if I have any energy to devote to writing, I put it toward the other blog (the one that gets the traffic). I’m also a bit of a perfectionist and feel like I need to make the personal posts actually say something (relatively) interesting. I get ideas for topics or feelings I want to discuss, but end up forgetting the finer points of what I want to talk about when I save a draft. If I’ve already invested time in a post, I don’t want to trash it and start over, but something about what’s already there stops resonating with me when I’m reading it.

I often overthink the content here, mainly about how deep I get into the realms of sex, politics and mental health, and how much of myself I want to expose. I have a particularly uncommon name in North America, so any Google search for it will likely link to this space. I tried coming off as a bit more of a professional writer or photographer using my name and hiding my personal or hobby content under pseudonyms, but as much as I didn’t want to give specific people access into my inner life, I wanted others to know this stuff was happening inside me, and to connect with them. When I’m in the real world, I tend to withdraw to the point where hangouts are usually just me watching other people have conversations with each other, so I use this blog to spill out the things I don’t really feel an opening to discuss in person.

Blogging allows people to see a more three-dimensional version of me than what I post on social media, and with that comes the responsibility to be as honest about who I am. I’m queer and my brain can be an asshole; I’m not going to omit these things about myself in my writing, and they aren’t going to change even if I may post about being attracted to women sometimes, or have stretches where I’m feeling good, confident and connected. I sometimes don’t feel like I’m being visible enough, though, and occasionally feel like I have to flash a neon sign to be seen.

I took my solo trip to Montreal a few weeks ago, flying into the city on the 10th and flying home to Halifax on the evening of the 14th. There really wasn’t any big agenda as to what I was going to do that week (aside from checking out the record stores) and I didn’t really have any visiting planned, though I did meet up with a friend from university I hadn’t seen in about 15 years on the Wednesday night. I was a little worried I was just going to hide in my hotel room, but I managed to get out every day, check out a number of different restaurants (even if a few meals were just chains we don’t have in Halifax), and visit a number of different neighborhoods. I’m still deciding where I want to spend my fall vacation week (Boston has been the front runner for a while), but there’s so much of Montreal I haven’t explored yet, and I hope to make another trip down there soon. I posted my pictures from the week as a featured album on my Facebook profile if you want to see them (you don’t have to be friends with me to look at them, but feel free to send me a friend request if you’re a real person).


I did go to the Gay Village, but aside from dinner one night, most of my time there was spent walking down Ste. Catherine Street and taking in whatever I could see from there. I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t take advantage of the trip to dive deeper into exploring a part of myself. I was more concerned about getting the records I bought back to the hotel and resting my feet than checking out the nightlife. I also haven’t been in the mood to drink in a while; if I’m not out with someone I generally don’t bother going to bars. Nights out also take longer to recover from than they used to, and I have to decide whether it’s worth the money and the hangover just for that brief window where I’m not too shy to talk to anyone but not too drunk either.

As brief and limited as my time in the Village was, I felt something that I rarely feel when I’m at home in Halifax, but I’m not sure what it is. Maybe it’s that I saw more visibly queer folk on the streets, especially gay men. I don’t really notice as many men when I’m home; it could just be a safety or defense mechanism because I don’t see as many that read as gay or bi, but a lot of them don’t really pique my interest. Then again, the pool of queerfolk in Halifax is much, much smaller than it is in Montreal.

Pride season in Halifax is in late July as opposed to late June. Part of me wants to make more of an effort to participate in the festivities this year to get a bit of that sense that I felt just from walking through the Village, but sometimes I feel a bit out of place in the local scene. I tend not to go to events because of this, and also because I don’t really feel like I have much to add to the conversation or the work being done. It doesn’t really help that I’ve withdrawn from the community for the most part, aside from some passive online connections.

The truth is I haven’t been super excited about Pride as I had been in a while. Last year was more of a milestone for me as it was the first parade I marched in as opposed to just watching (and also being the first since I came out to my parents), but I’ve also come to realize that parades bore me in general. and when you don’t really feel like drinking or being around crowds, or are just watching your money, you can wear down pretty quickly.

I want to have more of a chance to revel in my queerness long after the banks and chain stores have put their rainbow variant branding away, and do so in a way that doesn’t deplete my energy or wallet. It’s not so much about finding love (or at least a good fuck ever so often); it’s being able to feel comfortable with the whole of myself when connecting with others.