Erin O'daniel is a writer, artist and gender expansive womxn living in Duluth, Minnesota

Radical Valentine’s Day

Oh radical queer feminist crushes, feelings, desires to fuck in a small town. Exciting and  disconcerting. Free and constrained. Confusing and fun. She likes me and I’m turned on by them. Focus wide and then come back to center. Push and then relax. Routine, ritual and then ahhhhh! shake it up.

Recently handed great metaphors and definitions. Diversity is not when trans, black or brown skin folks are at the table but when folks with privilege make sure trans, gender non conforming, low income, queer, female bodied, people of color have power. And think of privilege as a snake around a white/cis/male person’s neck. You don’t know if the person has trained the snake or not.

I’ve been drinking coffee, fair trade coffee mind you, but man it’s been so weak, milked and watered down. I want the strong stuff right now. Dark as night, bold, full power. Yay to fair trade AND!!! here's to finding others who enjoy the STRONG stuff.

So I reach out and ask them for drinks. See if our lives align. I mean what would that look like in Duluth. In Duluth. Right here in same city. Visibility, public love, navigating decisions together, giving up some of my time. Growing alongside someone. Knowing I don’t have to do it alone. Duluth mirrors me. Radical me is Radical Duluth. I plug in hold an open heart. I push keep talking, listen, push some more. Get a little uncomfortable stay balanced. Recognize the value in my experience and commit to using it. Stay present and flirt. Allow myself to feel attracted. Allow myself to have emotions, express emotions. Know I’m willing to be certain.

Recognize when I’m not sure and want more time. Trust the benevolence of the sea of awareness around me even as I ask for more. I feel my fire and my water, my forest and my air. Metal. Recognize people’s willingness. To grow. To be shaped. To be somewhere that feels a bit small and constraining to me. And then I grow. And shape.

Get angry. Seriously, fight club? Trans and gender variant fight club. Ask more questions, read more feminist writing. I’m feeding on it right now. I’m in training. Sharpening my intelligence.

I'm still sitting with a conversation I had with a friend on the beach yesterday. As a cis white straight woman with a straight white cis husband and similar son. Is it her implicit bias I hear? Or am I just feeling my own exhaustion of having to live it AND explain it? You don’t have to live it or Explain it. Ever. You can but you don’t have to. She just wants to sit down and hear people’s stories. Believes people’s stories are where the change happens. Thinks people should want to tell their stories to her. 

This equals time to assess my life. Energy I’m putting into creating the kind of beloved community I want. Whew, it’s work and work I love!!! and allow myself to be certain simultaneously, know stillness and beauty and abundance simultaneously. Know and feel the love that I am and have always been and will always be. That all this accepting and pushing, comes from love. I feel that.  And I want so many things radical and fun, beautiful and wild, love drenched and solitary, simple and glamorous, yeehaw and fer cute, specimen of fitness and gorgeous curvy luscious sexy queer body.

Let me just say fuck you to everyone wearing an untrained snake who wants to be patted on the back. Here I say it. I love your hearts and fuck you. Work harder and make some new friends and get a little more exciting. As in grow your ideas and become a radical serpent handler. Become a motherfucking radical serpent handler.

It’s your fucking job this time around. In this life you choose. Now 2017. To be alive right now equals fucking serpent handling. And I don’t want to hear your bullshit, “it’s not my work.” Bull fucking shit. I won’t spent time with you any more and your silent ways. I’m done with your unwillingness to talk about how this all works together.

And I incorporate compassion into this work. Allow the pendulum to keep swinging. I let loose and stay real damn grounded. Experiment. Huge hearted and wild. I am huge hearted and radically queer and feminist. Fuck you all and I love you all. Blend that family.

Happy radical Valentine’s day.


Drinking Love Potion All Day Every Day