This weekend I attended the Drag Race Expo – my first official community outreach event as an employee of Queerspace and Drummond Street. As someone who came out as queer at the tender age of 30, and then again as Non-Binary/Transmasc less than a year later, entering queer spaces has always been fraught with complex feelings. Am I valid enough to be here? Am I queer enough? Am I trans enough?
Drag Race is a universally-loved franchise that intersects with human beings from all walks of life. As people started rolling in and I began to connect and have conversations, I realized I was exactly where I belonged, at a beautiful and accepting queer safe space where everyone is welcome. Spaces like this accept people for exactly who they are, and they meet people where they are at in that moment in time.
I had incredible conversations with young transgender kids, beaming from ear to ear at meeting their idols and ecstatic that they could pick their own pronoun badges and see their flags represented at our stall. I connected with parents who asked about resources and social groups and wanted to understand how they could show up and be better allies to their children. I connected with partners of those just starting out on their gender journeys, who were asking about correct language and advice on better understanding and supporting their loved ones. I connected with queer people who also came out later in life for various reasons, and we spoke about how happy we were to see so many young people be free to be themselves. I connected with incredible neurodivergent people who had found their place and their communities and just wanted to share their experiences and have their journeys seen and heard.
Importantly, I came away with a sense that despite the turmoil in our current word, we are going to be alright. I came away with a deep sense of pride for who I am as a queer and trans person and a genuine feeling of privilege; I am privileged to be able to share and hear these personal stories, I am privileged to see people show up in spaces and to be not only accepted but celebrated. Most of all, I am extremely privileged and grateful to hear just how much of an impact Queerspace and Drummond Street Services has within the community. To be a small part of that is something I will forever cherish.