My son and I used to love going to the renfaire. We’d look forward to it all year. When that first mystical hint of the autumnal equinox was in the air, it meant creating a unique costume and persona to escape into an otherworldly period fantasy each weekend, fueled by brews. Things were way simpler in those medieval times.
Now it’s like the Nightmare before the Inquisition. Imagine getting four neurodivergent banshees ready to probably whine and bitch all day in clever but uncomfortable costumes while you herd them around, when you’re already exhausted to begin with. I had already resigned myself to being too old and gimpy to go anyway, but after experiencing what Avdi had to go through this morning, I’m actually relieved to sit it out at home. I just feel bad for him.
I myself had a terrifying nightmare last night in the basement, after not sleeping well to begin with. I can’t even talk about it; it’s like I woke up with PTSD. Watching the kid drama unfold was actually less terrifying. I just stay out of the way, or help if I can.
S and I had an interesting conversation last night, which I won’t go into, but let’s just say now all four kids are gender/orientation “questioning” or exploring. It’s probably not a coincidence that within the subculture they are fortunate to live, what’s considered accepted gender identity can be all over the map, making the “typical” cis/het binary standard seem unremarkable to a kid in that environment looking to be unique. Whereas the surrounding fascist state makes being trans or non-binary or queer unsafe and criminal, a real cause for concern to a parent of capricious, mercurial young kids.
I’m pretty confident, from what I’ve learned firsthand, that once the dust settles, it will become very clear who really identifies differently or needs to transition, as opposed to just going through a natural coming of age process of self-discovery. Social or sibling pressure can be a strong influence, but bottom line is the difficult, irreversible procedures that few people would lightly choose to go through to fully transition. That long, daunting process tends to filter out passing whims. With proper mature parental guidance, kids will eventually indicate clearly if it’s an imperative or a phase.
This is just an oversimplified grazing of the topic, since it came up. I’m just glad these kids get to live in an inclusive, open-minded environment and can speak freely without fear of rejection. They won’t need to hide in a closet or act out of defiance or conformity. I personally feel fortunate and honored to be a small part of this moment.
I snapped a few shots of the gearing up and kitting out of some less-than-enthused “medieval” creatures. Also how I observe the season from the safety of home, pre-erev Yom Kippur style.