I wasn’t going to write about this topic but since I’m still thinking about it a week later, I’ll engage my thoughts out loud. Folsom Street Fair is this Sunday and I am a volunteer HIV counselor. I’ve asked other counselors what they are going to wear, and I’ve heard: harness, leather suspenders, vinyl, short shorts. A few people who identify as women said they are going to wear corsets. I asked another counselor what I should wear, and he said, oh, you could wear nipple pasties with tassels and a dominatrix mask. My immediate reply was but the mask will give me tan lines and who wants that? He said, it’s true, but we will be under a tent for most of the day. Folsom St. Festival is a fetish, leather, BDSM community. A senior counselor said wear what makes you comfortable, but I’m afraid wearing what’s comfortable is normal clothes and I will be the only counselor in such attire. I’ve heard some other counselors say this year, we want our staff to go all out.
Thus far, counseling has been ok. I find myself a little more prepared and able to chat normally with clients about their situations. I find myself leaning in a little more, bringing out the positives in their situation for potential HIV or STI exposure. I’m working on emotional listening and it’s been good so far. I have been volunteering 5-6 hours per week, Monday nights mobile on Castro street and Tuesday nights in the office. I would like to get back to other types of volunteering, like at the Food Bank, or the Emergency Room but my calendar is full and any other obligations would make me feel overextended. I volunteer enough but always feel I should be doing more.
I bought a dehydrator and excited to start drying food next week. My dehydrator says for large families, large gardens, craftspeople and sportsmen. I don’t identify as any of those things but I like to eat a lot of dried fruits, I am a picky eater, and I want to up my outdoor backpacking cooking skills.
I have made progress on weeding the jungle called my backyard. I’ve weeded as much as I know how to do, and now I need power tools and more advanced help. I don’t have the actual skills to garden, but I think I do have enough clearance to make a backyard archery range. I know it’s against the law, because an open bow and arrows are considered armed weapons, but I don’t think my neighbors will mind if I shoot at the house.