I am on vacation this week—in a wonderful coincidence I left the continent right after our friends to the south celebrated a certain inauguration—and I have no idea what the state of the world will be upon my return. “How much damage can a president really do?” I mused to myself in the days leading up to the inauguration, only to wake up January 20th and find that any mention of LGBTQ rights on the White House webpage had disappeared. But who knows: maybe a new page has appeared by now that promises gay sex for every household in America. Stranger things have happened.
Regardless, with a vacation on my mind and anxiety in my, well, entire body, I figure it’s a good time to pause for a moment and reflect on self-care.
Let’s start with the obvious: get off social media. Just do it. Embrace your FOMO, give your Twitter and Facebook passwords to your bestie so you’re not tempted to check in, and spend a weekend away from the Internet. Use your phone for its original intended purpose and call someone. Go for a walk, bake some cookies. Do anything to give yourself a digital break.
Have lots and lots of queer sex. Lots of it. More than you usually do and in places you don’t usually do it. Celebrate the fact that we can and remember that every time a queer has an orgasm, a homophobe feels a little uncomfortable.
Go somewhere warm. No, I don’t mean Mexico, I mean the Muttart Conservatory. Don’t like plants? Go to a public sauna. Hate crowds? Buy a SAD light. Broke? Walk around the Citadel Theatre’s lobby. The last few months have been cold and your bones miss being warm.
While we are on the subject of getting warm, take a luxurious bath. Bubble baths are the quintessential option, but I always find them disappointing (and yeast-infection inducing). Instead, try adding a handful of green tea bags. Milk and honey is also a good option: two cups of full fat milk and a half cup of honey will leave your skin feeling soft. Epsom salts and a few drops of essential oil is another classic. Whatever option you choose, make sure it feels indulgent, and remember to bring a glass of wine or your favourite book in with you. After, get your lover to rub your body down with some lotion (this is also a good lead-in to all the queer sex you’re about to have).
Have a queer dance party. Maybe it’s you and your cats in your apartment jamming to the Scissor Sisters. Maybe it’s you and your squad at karaoke night at Mama’s Gin Joint. Or maybe you find out where Derek Fildebrandt stays when he’s in town and have a queer dance party outside on the street. If it’s good enough for Mike Pence, it’s good enough for the Wildrose.
Or buy a cheap set of dishes from Goodwill. Write everything you dislike about the world on them. Smash them, in a pillow case, one by one. Scream if you want to. Cry if you need to. When you are done, chest heaving and nose dripping, take a moment and savour the feeling of being free. Tuck yourself into bed and wake up the next morning committed to making the world a better place for everybody.
Remember, if survival is an act of resistance, then living well is an act of revolution. Keep each other and yourself safe, queers.