Day 15 of this Amtrak Residency. Greetings from Chicago, where I am now at mile 7224 of this voyage. You can read previous entries about the journey thus far on this same site, or at the Amtrak blog here.
Just a short entry here from Chicago’s Union Station as the Lake Shore Limited prepares to head out for the journey across Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, before pulling into Boston late tomorrow night. I woke in the Public Chicago hotel this morning after arriving late yesterday and ending the day with a steak, a martini, and reading “The Red Haired League” at the bar. Today I saw two people I have almost never met before in the flesh, Christina Karl (of the GLAAD board) and Jen Richards, of the Trans 100.
Christina and I went to the David Bowie Is show at the Contemporary Art Museum. Lots of memories for me, including one of my first concerts, seeing Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars at the Tower Theatre in 1972. Bowie had that androgynous thing going back in the day, and surely as a young trans woman he had my full attention. Of course he “shed” Ziggy, and some of what was so important to me turned out to be just kind of like, fashion, or a phase, for him. But that doesn’t lessen its power, then, or now. But it does make me think that for many people, freedom means the ability to “create” an identity, and those identities can be colorful masks. For others–like me, I think– freedom means taking off the mask, and identity means authenticity: the true self. You can imagine Christina and me talking about this until our eyes, like Bowie’s, appeared to be of different hues.
Later I joined Jen Richards for deep dish pizza at Giordano’s. We talked about this same issue, in a roundabout way. There must be a way of bringing all of us together, both those who fight to find their true gender as well as those who fight to be free of gender. It is all one dream, I think, reinterpreted through different souls.
Well, anyway, a real blessing to meet and hang with these two today. Plenty for me to think about as I pull out of Chicago, and head back toward home, and the land of dreams.