This past October, I had the pleasure of addressing the Southern Buddhist Conference. I was asked to talk about my experiences as a transgender person who also has roots in the Buddhist church. As I get older, I find my ties to my past become not stronger, but more evident. As the world washes away the ephemeral, what remains becomes more valued–yet if one is not careful, the only things left, especially if one is queer, are memories. I never want to be like that. I always want to move forward, see people growing, and have one more poem in me to write.
This is why, when I spoke, I tried to talk of everyday life, of process, and the value in simply being constant. I also challenged myself by delivering my talk in two languages, first in Japanese, then in English. That was terrifying–but one has to start somewhere, and the best way to guard against a life in the past is to continue to begin. <3