At last week’s Monday Meet Up, Brendan, Dev and I all read in Stevens play. At ten am we trickled in one by one and sat in a circle waiting for the thing to start, whooping and laughing as we caught up. Kirstin looked up from her grading for a moment to say “Looks like all the trans playwrights are here.”
“Damn right we are,” Dev responded.
We joke about this all the time, about how Kirstin is raising a cadre of trans playwrights in this program, and how we hope that one day people will look at us as the beginning of a movement in and of our selves. Because that’s the dream right, for somebody in the future to write about the connection in you and your friends work? But most of the time it’s just jokes.
It didn’t feel like a joke that morning, and I’m guessing it hasn’t actually been a joke for a while. We’re serious about becoming something, not as a group but each on our own. But more than that, our little family, is committed to each other’s success and that means where one of us go the others follow dragged along behind. Perhaps the best word for us is cadre.
There’s a line in a book that is not at all about trans-ness but a lot about history, Eoin Coilfer’s Airman, that reads along the lines of “History is laden with coincidental groupings of people, who by some chance encounter ended up where it mattered and with people who made them better”. I feel like that all the time now, and am incredibly grateful. I don’t know if the three of us are really going to change history, I’m not quite egotistical enough to count that a sure thing, but I do know that I’m luckier than ever.
I write about this as a piece of an art blog because it’s important to my art. I never used to have artistic peers, the closest I came was a young woman in my theatre class whose big spectacle aesthetic was so foreign to me as to be another planet. The move here and the discovery that I could have friends who pushed my art forward and onward, is still two years on mind boggling. For the first time I understand how some of the art I grew up reading actually happened, not in isolation in a tower, but on the ground in conversations between people.