I’m stuck in Germany and there’s too much to do. Pride month is in July, and this Pride month I was reminded that Pride is an ongoing struggle.
This week I feel like I got nothing done. Which isn’t true, of course, work kept me busy. The weird thing about being in leadership is that there’s always another horizon to be looking at. Planning for next year starts before your plans for this year barely even get underway. I like the challenge, but it can be exhausting.
For bizarre reasons, most of Germany celebrates Pride in July. We call it “Christopher Street Day” here, and Germany, ever one step behind on social justice issues, seems to prefer the sweltering July heat over the milder early summer weather. That’s fine, it just means I get two months of Pride. In recent years, I’ve barely bothered to go. Last year I joined the main march, a rather crowded and exhausting walk down the same stretch of Mitte streets that every other large march follows: Alexanderplatz to Potsdamer Platz around Brandenburger Tor and up 17. Juni to the Siegesäule. I don’t know that I need to do that again this year.
This year it feels different. Maybe it’s the ongoing political degradation in America, or maybe it’s absolute out-of-control transphobia, or maybe it’s the persistent reminder that queer people have to stand up for ourselves, that makes Pride feel more like a protest this year. I dealt with some bullshit last week. I can’t/won’t talk about it. But I’ll just say that hard work paid off, and my activism experience proved worth it once again, but it also took away about 95% of my emotional energy for the week. I told all my friends, “no plans this weekend, I’m staying in and cleaning my flat.” To be fair, I haven’t been able to park my butt in one place since May. I still haven’t done all the laundry from my trip to the US yet.
Speaking of which, I now find myself in the opposite situation of so many of my peers who want to leave America: I can’t go back. Technically, I can’t go anywhere outside of Germany. My visa is expiring, and while I have the official letter from the Landesamt für Einwanderung saying that I may continue to live and work in Germany, it also means technically if I leave, I’m not allowed to reenter. I’m hoping that my permanent residency card comes soon. Being trapped, even trapped in an entire country, feels claustrophobic.
I spent most of my spare time this week socializing. I had a couple nice dinners, and otherwise finished Phase 2 of the MCU. The movies got better over time, for sure, but I can still hardly reconcile their release date with my memories of seeing them. I did nothing else this week. No reading, writing, studying. It felt liberating. And now I’m itching to do more.
I resolve to write at least one more chapter in my book this week, and to finish my book proposal. I’ve got my best friend in town, and I’m caring for someone with COVID. Maybe I’ll hunt down a 4th shot.
Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes