I'm feeling pretty down-to-the wire with this whole internship thing. I've gotten a few preliminary responses, but when I attempt to follow up by phone and e-mail, I haven't been very successful. I got a call today from a queer youth center in Chicago. Our conversation went well; the woman was encouraging but realistic, and the organization itself seems pretty on top its stuff. She indicated that I would have the freedom to develop the kind of project I wanted but also that I would have support of the staff if I needed it. Sounds great, right?
Here's the catch. It's in boytown. Most of the population is African American males, there are a handful of latinos, a couple of white guys, and a decent amount of transwomen mixed in. As she said this, my face fell. I realized that for all intents and purposes, I meant female-bodied when I said queer. All kinds of questions rushed thorugh my head... What if living in Vermont has handicapped me as far as dealing with people of color goes? Will young me listen to me if I try to teach them? Can I get over my discomfort with femininity enough to bonds with young transwomen? What does my life have to do with thiers? They won' t look like me. They won't talk like me. They won't listen to the same music or read the same books as me. It's exciting but in its own way, it's terrifying.