It’s officially Pride month! YAY! San Francisco is about two weeks away and I’m getting very excited. I’m looking forward to seeing how the queer community is different in San Francisco than in Eau Claire and Milwaukee. I am also very excited to get to know the other people in the cohort and lastly, watching all the movies. I’m also getting very excited for bringing everything that we did in San Francisco back to Eau Claire, showing UWEC and the Eau Claire community what we did and which movies we chose to bring back with us and why. Essentially, I’m just excited for the whole program!!
Despite my excitement, I specifically want to talk about the differences in culture regarding queerness in the state of California and Wisconsin. Recently, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers raised the pride flag over the state capital for the first time in honor of pride month. There was lots of negative backlash that I was not expecting from the Wisconsin citizens. It made me feel different about how I view the people around me. I had the idea that most people were okay with people who are queer. However, I do not think this is the case anymore. Sometimes as I scroll through Facebook, I’ll see people posting about straight pride and they will complain that the whole month of June is dedicated to the queer community. These posts don’t make me angry, but rather sad because these people do not understand and were never taught the oppression that the queer community faces daily. Given this, I think freaQweek will be very educational for everyone. One of my end goals of freaQweek is to educate others about the queer community. I think that San Francisco will be the best place to start finding new information.
Aside from that, I’m excited to see the films and their diversity. When I was selecting films, I tried to chose films that I could relate to but also several that I was very different from so I would have the opportunity to learn more about others in my community. I do not know everything about my community, and I think there is always an opportunity to learn more. I’m really hoping that once I arrive in San Francisco I will be able to see diversity right away and see if the films have somewhat of an accurate representation of San Francisco and the queer community within.
I hope that in my future blogs I can address what I talked about in my earlier ones and keep it updated. I do not know really what to expect from this trip and I am very excited to see how it turns out. I think that once I’m in San Francisco I’ll have more ideas of what I want to do for freaQweek and become aware of things that I didn’t know about beforehand. While in San Francisco, I want to take advantage of the time while I’m there to learn about LGBTQIA+ history and meet some of the community members. I am also very interested in learning how it is different growing up queer in different time periods. I look forward to hearing what it’s like to grow up queer in San Francisco compared to my hometown and my own experiences. I’m hoping I can find some of these answers while in San Francisco. In addition to trying to find answers to questions that I have right now, I hope to explore and come up with new questions as I go. On this trip I do not want to stay on one path, but rather follow many paths and see everything that I can while I am there to receive the full experience. FreaQweek is not just my experience but everyone in Eau Claire’s too.