Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Getting Naked for the Greens

The Green Party entry for 2011 Edmonton Pride
Painted and topless  

The Pride Parade this year was a huge hit!  It was incredibly large, with a wonderful enthusiasm from both participants and the crowd. I think it was a perfect parade to have lost my virginity to and considering it was Pride I chose to bare it all.  To “Stand Up” proud and perky!  When I was at the Pride Parade last year I had such fun and got to see so many kinds of people most of them hardly dressed so I had decided to follow suit for the next parade. To live up to my decision one year ago I went topless and painted for this event and walked with my fellow Greens.  I had used my new love interest, liquid latex, and painted “Green Party” as well as peace signs on my body with green paint.  I was not expecting the empowerment to be shattered by an unfair bylaw.

Being this naked for all to see was probably one of the most freeing feelings I have gotten to experience thus far.  Okay that was wrong.  There is no probably, that was the most freeing experience I’ve had.  Nothing quite compared to it, you know just one of those character building type of days I guess.  It took most of my courage to take off my top and parade through downtown Edmonton, but once I had gotten over that I really had a lot of fun, and it was hard to put clothes back on!
Just being able to have no clothes on was a fantastic feeling, but the cheers and requests from photos were a wonderful boost for my ego.  Getting to have this achievement on my own personal level, as well as the acceptance from those around me is something I will hold dear.  However, I’m ambitious and I hope that I gave something to others with this display as well.  It would be nice if I was able to empower people, especially women and encourage a more adult approach to topless women.  I hope that I could have started a trend.

I was told that breasts were shameful and should be covered up

So once we got to Churchill I was pretty bubbly and totally enjoying my nakedness.  I got to watch a drag queen perform for the very first time, and she was fabulous!  The stage performances were great, and the street performances were also superb.  I even saw a topless woman hula hooping and looking wonderful doing it, and totally added to my surety and dignity of this choice; until the RCMP came.  I watched as two Mounties came and told the young topless woman to put on her top.  After she had complied I had noticed that I had caught their attention and in short order I was then also being told to put on my shirt.  I asked them why and if they had happened to notice the numerous topless men at Churchill that day they responded with it is a bylaw.  I said that it was unfair and against the charter, he told me I would have to leave if I did not cover myself.  Like most people I am not really a fan of confrontation so I nodded and walked away to straighten out my thoughts.
There were a couple of things I could have done at this point.  Put a shirt on.  Leave.  Stay topless and avoid confrontation. Stay topless and look for the confrontation.  If I had put a shirt I could have hung out and saw some more of the fantastic show at some cost, or I could have stood up for my sex being equally judged by the law.  This was a tough choice for me.  Every part of me was screaming that this was not okay; it was discriminatory and sexist and at Pride was the last place this should be occurring!

"An unconstitutional bylaw is an unconstitutional bylaw"

Still being at a crossroads I saw my partner in crime once again hula hooping half naked.  After watching her for a second time being asked to hide her shame I had to talk to her and the city officer to see what was up.  The officer at first got defensive with me assuming that I was there to argue, and although part of me had wanted to, I was sure to make clear that I was only inquiring why not.  I told him that the apparent bylaw was against the charter, and he had confirmed that but it was an issue of morality and children.  Let’s pause here.  First, we are at a pride event if it was up to what police had deemed to be moral there would be a lot more escorts off the leased, might I add, property.  Secondly, bare breasts being a problem with children…the most natural combination that I can think of?  My jaw hit the ground and I really wished I had my recorder.  

Here they are bothering another topless person... this time a male

At this point I was pretty annoyed and since this officer seemed to be speaking for some other authority I had decided to leave.  This whole episode had put a giant wet blanket on my whole day, and left me feeling disempowered and even wrong for exposing my womanly body like that amidst of all the naked men.   Because that is somehow more “moral” in the eyes of the law.  On the way home in a small form of protest, to make myself feel better, I had rode past the police station wearing nothing by my underwear bottoms. 

Women should have the liberty to uncover themselves and feel dignified doing it.

This is a fight I have decided to take on even though I chose not to then.  I did not have the time or resources for this battle.  The choices one has to make when there are so many causes to fight for.  After feeling so free, to have an acceptance for your nudity and sex, I have become envious of males that can do that without worry.  Women should not have to feel envious for the freedom of men.  Not anymore.  One might even say it is unconstitutional.   So in the near future when I can devote more of me to this I will take up the torch to fight this fight and I’ll be topless doing it. 

Next year I'll forget the liquid latex

Tuesday, 7 June 2011


To kick things off on my very new blog spot I thought I would put up a post about how I got here.  On January 26th 2010 I had started a herabalism apprenticeship and did not fully understand what I had gotten into.  Going in to the apprenticeship I had thought I would be learning about herbs, which I did, but more importantly I had transformed into a completely new person with a new perspective on the world and what holistic medicine actually means.  This is what I wrote on January 26th 2011.   

Looking back on myself one year ago I am surprised to see a girl that is totally unfamiliar to me now. She resembles me slightly and has my shape, but her presence is that of a shadow. Today is the one year anniversary of my meeting with Trey, commencing my path and taking the first step away from that shadow of me. The difference between my former self and my current self is daunting to me at times and I have to pinch myself every once in a while! Taking on this traditional apprenticeship had provided me with much more than I had anticipated for: it has taught me unexpected skills and transformed me into an empowered woman. I had not only been able to change the direction of my life, but have unburied lost parts of me, and have defined, organized and prioritized myself and my future. Before never feeling that it was proper to call myself a woman, now I have that power and surety: I have arrived.

The old me, like most of my peers, was lost within the world trying to find my spot, not really sure where to put our efforts and energy. Usually my job choices ended up between other zombies on cooking lines following patterns designed by a superior. For many reasons I had decided that life in the kitchen was not for me, and walked away short some of my thumb, and bearing many scars. I had attempted to purse my happiness by working at a stable, and being around the horses was enough to satisfy for the time being. This did come at a cost, as most mindless tasks do, for I was running on a schedule not of my own and treating horses in a way I did not agree with. Never mind having to cross the large city of Edmonton in a mad rush every morning. Followed with the mad rush home to continue the endless jobs of cooking, cleaning and some quality mother-son time and that was never enough. Missing my little one was the worst. Oh, and I had an evening job too. This was my life and I was content with the choices I made but still it was just not good enough; I had craved for something more. I was really starting to feel trapped, more like I didn’t belong and was considering a move out of country. Then I saw the ad. A woman was looking for an apprentice in traditional healing which had my attention quickly. In the past when I was shown opportunities like these I rarely follow up on them, mostly because I was unmotivated, but I was propelled to respond as if by some guided force, and got to meet with Trey.

Since I was already in search for something greater it was really easy to adapt to all the new things I was being shown. One might say: I was easily programmable. Eventually I had quit the job at the stable and my night job and devoted my time to this work. Because I had the devotion and determination my transformation had happened much quicker than it could have. I went from being an unsure adolescent, to a competent businesswoman, aware of her own abilities, always looking to improve and radiating with confidence! Well I’ll be honest; I’m still working on my confidence but it has much improved. Not only did I re-write my persona but working with a traditional healer entails all sorts of great health benefits! I am in fantastic health now both physically and mentally. I have been able to sort through the mess that is inside my head. More importantly I’ve learnt to identify some of the things causing those messes, and stopped putting crap inside of my body and mind. Since I’ve done this my brain has been much more efficient, and my senses have all been heightened.

This improvement on myself as a whole, and the skills I have learnt made me realize that I have more worth than I have previously given myself credit for. And this lesson is the most important one that Trey has taught me. I haven’t even mentioned the history lessons, religious studies and people skills I’ve learnt!

One thing that didn’t change as drastically was my aspirations. I have always wanted the same thing and still do, but the scene has changed slightly. Now I envision myself not only fulfilling my desires but I see the purpose of my actions to have so much more meaning now. I’m making a difference in the world. Me. My voice is being heard and I can make things happen. I’ve realized the importance of protecting our Earth and how loud our voices can be. It isn’t a surprise that I have developed an appreciation for all that is handmade! It’s hard bloody work to make gloves, soaps, candy and chocolate contrary to popular belief, and this impression that such our goods should come cheap upsets me greatly now. Now I feel empowered and can put my empathy in the proper places to use it effectively.

My skills have increased a great deal and the priorities of which skills I want to learn first have shifted around a lot. I always have had the interest to acquire certain abilities, such as sewing, baking, wood working and leather working, but now they are much higher on my list of things to do. This is because I know that these skills will take me much closer to my visions and goals than any of my previous ambitions.

I have also taken steps to achieve all that I want much quicker than what I would have done without this change in my life. I have just bought a house, launched my career in the Green Party and started my own business; I should mention that I’m twenty two years old. And I was able to make this happen. A feat that I had never believed I could do, especially when Trey had first mentioned it. When she had mentioned it the second and third time I still refused to believe it. Even now I still am having difficulties believing it - shock perhaps?
My life has been completely and irrevocably changed in the past year, and I’ve never felt better! The possibilities are endless and I can spend many lifetimes learning all that I want to, I’m still discovering how to be selective. My old self could never have dreamt of a future like the one I’m building, and I most definitely would not have thought to stand up before. It is now much more difficult to sit down and not say or do anything than it was. I am equipped with the tools to make my living doing what I want to do: to live in abundance like I have never imagined and to make a difference in the world. I have endless gratitude towards the woman who had guided me this far, for I could not have done this within a year without Trey, and I can only hope to be as good to my apprentices as she has been to me.