Dear Christina: You woulda LOVED A-Camp…

where queer chicas go to pop cherries and conquer sharks

Nena,

Girl, I had the best four gay days of my life. Seriously, like nothing could have prepared me for the awesomeness that was A-Camp. Also, nothing coulda prepared me for how much I’d fucking miss you while I was there. It’s challenging for me to even express it, although I did a real good job of crying into a few beers with Lizz from AS at the airport about it but that’s like after and so I’d like to fill you in on the befores and the middle parts!

First, I know straight out the gate you’d probably wanna know if I got laid, hooked up or if any other wickedly tawdry outdoor shenanigans occurred. Mountain top + alcohol X hot lesbians/queermos = sex things happening maybe!

Cuz that’s like first things first when it comes to chicks who like chicks: Did you bang any chicks????? The answer is: you already know cuz you were fer sures there in spirit. Also, if there were such details, a gentledyke like me wouldn’t tell it to this gossipy loud mouthed blog of mine…

AS staff group pic
photo by Kate Hinchey (my camper!)

Women. Girls. Queers. All of the hot lesbosexy/other queer identified peoples were so damn cool. Nena, this shit, these chicks were on point. Maybe it was because I was a counselor or something but this is the first time ever like in LIFE that I was around this many queer women and didn’t want to punch a bitch. There was no shade thrown my way or ‘I’m cooler than you’ bullshit happening. The women folks that landed at A-Camp were so so solid. (I’m running out of ways to express it. I’m still pretty tired and shocked that this thing actually took place…) It’s almost as if without saying it the desire to create/maintain a safe space lived in everyone’s energy. (give or take an accidental shark dick situation…) So when people come together with that in mind, there’s no reason to have so much attitude or barriers or aggression towards others because there’s this trust. Like, ‘I come in peace and I come in so much peace that I can only assume that you do too. By assuming that and living it, we create the safe space we all need without even trying.’ Least that’s how it felt to me…

The most powerful moment of you at A-Camp was sitting on a panel discussing what it’s like to be a queer women of color. That is such a YOU thing. We’d talk about that all the time and you just had this way of making it seem like just us on the phone talking about it was IMPORTANT. And then your whole life was lived doing just that and then here I was/am without you, sitting in front of like 100 chicks talking about it. I wished that you were sitting next to me up there like for real because you’d say all the things that I wouldn’t, in your way, with your words.  But I wasn’t alone, four other badass POC queers sat beside me and it was incredible. I let out feelings I haven’t discussed in years to a group of beautiful and totally open queer women. Telling them who I am and how I feel about being Puerto Rican, insider/outsider emotions in all groups, lusting for the perfect moments of intersectionality between all my isms and feeling like you were sitting there with me the whole time. After the panel, I literally ran out the door, found a spot in the woods and cried, exhausted, missing you and still somehow feeling so good.

And well then everything just continued to explode, propel and create. even if that doesn’t make sense, that’s exactly how it went down. I participated in a gender panel

gender panel-ing
photo by Kate Hinchey

which is something I didn’t think I’d know how to do appropriately. Yet, all of the right words found their way out. All of the other AS Staff on the panel put their stories in and uplifted the room. My strength came from them and you. Girl, I even ran a ‘How to Mack Without Mackin’ workshop with my homegirl, Katrina. Imagine me standing in front of 20-25 youngish homochicas talking to them about picking up queermos they crush on? IMAGINE THAT NENA. cuz it happened and I know you woulda been proud and laughing at me simultaneously.

the mack must be practiced
photo by Jen Freitag (another awesome camper!)

…and so i’m sure I’ll have more A-Camp related posts going up on this blog but really I wanted to write to you about it first. Christina, my dear sisterfriend, since you’ve passed life has been all sorts of emotionally fucked up and crazy. Right now tho life is on the upswing. This A-Camp thing was like a fresh burst of life, mixed with your spirit, mixed with all the good that can come forth when people join together out of love, homoliciousness and a desire to create the dopest safest gayest community on the planet. I know you were there. I’ve never felt this way. So loved. So embraced. So not shitted on or bullied or left out or all of the things that make us feel isolated and unworthy. The Autostraddle staff felt/feels like family like hardworking-building-an-empire-gonna-run-the-world kind of family. And all the campers were the beginning of this gay baby army of ours and I don’t have enough hugs to give but i’ll never stop giving them. And now I know that even though I’ve lost you, I haven’t lost the ability to let people into my heart who are brilliant, loving, radical, honest and free.

Autostraddle is my  lifestyle choice.

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