Thursday, October 30, 2008

Gay Camp in Vermont

I'm currently at my creative residency site in Washington state, which I'll write about soon. But before I forget, I want to describe my earlier trip to Vermont.

After Connecticut, I caught another Amtrak train, the Vermonter, for Bellows Falls, a village near my destination, a remote campground in the woods. My entire journey up the East coast I've seen the landscape turn chillier and yellower. In early October, the entire state of Vermont was yellow. The village of Bellows Falls was adorable. The train let me off right in the midst of a weekly farmer's market, where I bought pumpkin bread for the first evening's potluck at the campground.

Camp Destiny, a Radical Faerie campground in the rolling hills of Vermont, hosted the annual Fall Foliage Gathering. About 45 people, mostly gay men but a couple women and 6 trans-men (that I was sure of). A couple of the trans-men were quite fetching, in that twink boy way that I like so much. For 4 days, our group sat around campfires, cooked and ate communally, hiked, flirted, and participated in daily Heart Circles, a form of personal transformation through group talk, somewhere between group therapy and a Quaker meeting.

On the final night, I performed in the No Talent Show, a regular feature at Faerie gatherings. I knocked out the Vermont Faeries with selections from Mona Rogers in Person, a show we did in New Orleans earlier this year that was directed by a rather well-known Faerie named Agnes. You should have seen me balancing on 7-inch (no kidding) safety-orange the woods! The next morning the ground was covered in divits where my heels had poked in. I offered to plant seedlings.

Gay Camp was a reflective, rejuvenating--even sexy--four days. 45 people was a good number for me, as I tend to feel anxious in large groups of gay men. I connected with several sweet, intelligent people from the Northeast, and left camp with invitations to visit Maine, Vermont, New York. I was also happy to see Faerie friends who I know from other locations, like Short Mountain in Tennessee and New Orleans.

Best of all, within minutes after my arrival, I fell into a passionate, 36-hour romance. Keep in mind, I've been on the road for a month by this time, with no real opportunities for sex. No, my hymen did not grow back! But if you know me, you can imagine the state I was in when I arrived in the woods. As I was setting up my tent, a handsome, older man kissed me in greeting. And that was that. When I finally came up for air, yellow leaves were falling all around my face.

1 comment:

Christopher Parker said...

Glad you had a good time in Vermont and that you liked Bellows Falls. I find The Vermonter to be quite the lovely way to transition from urban to Vermont. Somewhere around Hartford all the suits get off, the cell phones stop working and we start all knowing each other (except for the guests like you).