My Two Moms

csl-film-033Today has been a special day. Let’s say ordinary in the morning, I was looking for a job as usual, without luck as usual but tonight I went to Lesbian Solidarity Center (LSC). It was the presentation of a documentary: My Two Moms.

I talked a bit with the director Aurore Thériault, she lives in New Brunswick but lived in Montreal some years ago. Her idea of this documentary was born from a personal wish: she didn’t want to have children. As a good lesbian, she knew some other lesbians who adopted or had kids by insemination.

There were 4 couples from 4 different generations. Even the members of the LSC were in the documentary, the couple has 2 kids, a Chinese-Colombian guy was the donator. The most interesting thing was to see a young man, who was raised by two lesbian and the cool way he grew up with them. He explained that for him he was in an ordinary family. Another girl raised by lesbians too said “I wish my mother would have been more affectionate with her girlfriend in from of me”.csl-film-0211

The most important thing in the documentary was to see the love in different ways. Everyone left the Center with hope and believing that a homo parental family is possible and perfectly normal. I told my friend Guylaine “I got hope that I can find a girl and have a family with her”. She replied “yes, it’s just a matter of time”.

It’s possible to be happy. It’s a relief to have meet people in a documentary happy together…as a family.

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The Toronto Guy

Before coming to this bloody country, without knowing nobody but the bitch, I decided to be a member of a Peruvian group on internet. The group is called Peruvians in Canada. All the members, independent immigrants trying to cheat mandatory items asked by the embassy or simply for knowing who already is in Canada, who’s going soon, how to find an apartment, how the winter is, how much can it cost living in Montreal and so on.

I asked a simple question that for me it was crucial for someone who never went out of the country, I mean, the first world. I uploaded my question which it was related to Atlanta’s airport. I wrote something like what to do after the plane landed. And someone answered me. He said “there’s a kind of subway, take one and it’ll leave you to your next door for the connection to Montreal”. That guy was the person who’d become a friend: Pancho.

We wrote to each other, he explained a couple of things about this hell called Canada. He’s an industrial engineer. He worked at the international airport in Lima and after the Fujimori’s government, he was laid off. He had a girlfriend who had the great idea to go to Canada. And him, because he was still with her, he did the same thing. Before leaving Lima, he cheated on her. Of course, she didn’t want to know anything about him. He moved to Toronto, with 2 other Peruvian roommates.

He told me that his first job, he found it took him 8 months. In my case, 5 months. Nobody wanted to hire him. The first problem when you arrive is employers ask if you’ve already had a Canadian experience. A very stupid question knowing you’re a new comer. Anyway, his first job was a real nightmare and his boss was a real shit.

As he wanted to change his situation or trying to delete or improve his  situation as immigrant, he decided to go to a college for being a kind of technical clerk in airports. He asked for a student loan and moved to another small city; Barrie, at 1.5 hour from Toronto. He found a basement, he bought many things for he’s first apartment and went to study. After 3 years, he finished his career. He applied to several jobs in all the Ontario airports without success. After that, he had to move because his landlord changed. Without a job , 13 000 in scholar studies debt, and no apartment he had to move to Toronto again.

There, he stayed for a couple of weeks in a friend’s house. And finally, he found a place, which landlord is a Chinese family. He shares a basement with a guy who seems to be in welfare, who ate his food and drunk his coffee. He did that  for a couple of weeks. Now, he hides his food in his room. He didn’t find a job related to his career. A friend of him found his a job. Now, he’s a janitor, he cleans the bathrooms and the floors. For going to his job, it takes almost 2 hours and he sleeps in the seats while the bus in on the road.

He seems very depressed. He told me that maybe he’d return to Peru. He never imagined finishing his Canadian dream cleaning toilets. Or maybe his drama is just begun. No matter if you have a Canadian diploma, isn’t a guarantee to find a better job in this country. I met him in person just last year, when coincidentaly, he was in Lima visiting his dentist and I was with the bitch.

Sometimes I get scared to finish my days like him. I just want to work for the federal government as soon as possible.

 

Stories of Cancer III

When I was looking for a room, I remember I was almost sick. I was so nervous and desperate because I didn’t find anything. The real problem wasn’t me but was Lima, my cat. At the time, I didn’t have neither internet nor home telephone. I was working and after arriving I had to do my research in a coffee internet place, in the downtown.

limaystephIt was almost 2 weeks left before my deadline came to when I found and ad. It said they wanted a worker over 30 years old. So, I wrote to the person asking him if they didn’t mind a cat with me. After a couple of hours, the person answered me saying it was ok. So after I’d threw up I went to the place, which it was in front of my apartment’s room. That’s the first time I met Stéphane.

He opened the door and told me “There’re 35 steps”. That means…3rd floor. I climbed stoically. When I arrived we shook hands, he had a beautiful and transparent smile. That inspired confidence on me. I visited the apartment, it was amazing. I saw my future room I didn’t believe it. It was huge, illuminated, with some furniture and a big window just in front of the most important avenue in Montreal: Saint-Laurent.

The first impression I got from the place was…”my God, this apartment has been decorated by a gay”. It’s beautiful and clean. For the price, I got my room, internet, telephone, cable, washing and dryer machine. When I asked Steph about the other roommates he told me they were French. In that moment my face changed…I was a bit stressed. Well, stressed to find a room and stressed to find one with French people. I told him I’d called him later. I wasn’t sure if I should take it or not.stephane2

I came back to my old and tiny room and I said to myself “ok, it’s only temporary, for the price and the location it was a deal”. It’s the first time I chose a room for me. The other times I chose because of Lima.

My best friend helped me for moving. It was him who told me Steph looked gay. When I moved I paid to Christophe, the main roommate. I don’t know why but I tried to be honest with myself. I felt confident with Steph and I told him that my ex was not a boy but a girl. I told him I was gay. He said “I knew it”. What a surprised. I told him about my break-up, my ex, my lost belongings and etc. He told me the most important thing in live is happiness and that my belongings were only material things. Anyway, Steph confessed me soon after he had cancer, something in his intestines, maybe in the colon, I guess. And he didn’t want to have chemotherapy. “I’m ready to die”. I never understood what the real reason to avoid treatment was. We always have problems in the bathroom. Because of his illness, he uses industrial quantities of toilet paper.

As a good gay, he loves Christophe, but in a healthy way. The problem is Chris’ girlfriend is jealous of him. Sometimes I see Steph cooking for him, ironing for him, washing his cloths and preparing other personal things. Something that his girlfriend never has done. Sometimes Steph complains about her like a second best girlfriend. Christopher’s girlfriend is a control freak, and she freaks out when Steph is always there, in the apartment, touching his things. You see, there’s all sorts of manipulations between people no matter your sexual orientation.

Anyway, gay love, big drama. Especially, if a gay loves a hetero.

Stephane is tall and fat. When I hugged him I could hardly reach my own hands around him. It has been 5 months since I moved, and now when I hug him I reach more than my hands, I’d say, I can reach my wrists.

Sometimes Steph is worse than a woman. It’s funny, he cries, he freaks out, he’s scared of many things but he’s kind and nice.  He has an esoteric side. And as he told me once “we’re only on earth just as passengers”. Like Diane.

I Fought The Law

eq5This morning, as my queer friend told me to do, I went to the office of Employment Insurance. Stéphane told me they could pay my English lessons. Well, this morning I went very early with all my filled forms. There were around 15 people. People like a young woman who was asking the form for the welfare. Most of them were immigrants just like me.

eq6I could see a woman who was the job provincial adviser. She saw my résumé and said it was too long; that I had to redo it. Well, that CV worked many times and maybe that woman didn’t realize we’re in an economical crisis. She didn’t understand why, despite the fact I speak 3 languages I can’t find a job. I told her my English wasn’t very good, that I failed twice an important test to grip a permanent job. She seemed not very concerned. I told her I knew the provincial government could pay my English studies. She replied “no way. You speak English and you’re written problem you can solve it taking courses at the university. I just give subventions when a person doesn’t speak a word of English”. I was a bit shocked. In fact, my plan was to go to the university and take a course, but she never asked to speak in English. She just saw my tests scores, nothing else.

She left the office and came back with the paper with an address and said “here’s an organization that can help you to improve your résumé. The paper said “Women Immigrants Center”. What a deception I got.eq2

I think the adviser had good intentions but she didn’t enquire or questioned my education, profile or the most astonish thing, my English. Of course, she didn’t speak English. Maybe that’s why she never asked me a single question.

In the afternoon I decided to do educational shopping. I know there’re two Anglo universities: Concordia and McGill. I went to the McGill College Campus. I went to its website and I didn’t understand any single link, too complicated. When I arrived I was looking for a map “in situ”. There was nothing. I was a bit lost but finally I found the right place: customer service.

The woman in the front desk was very nice and told me the language school was outside of the campus but near. I went to the place on the 11th floor. It was funny when I got there. There was a student who was in the information desk. She was speaking with a Chinese student. The girl didn’t understand what the guy was saying. She asked him many times why he wanted to take more English courses. The guy didn’t understand her question and finally the girl said “Mister, you’re English is very basic, you cannot take more courses”. The man didn’t understand and as good Asiatic guy, he smiled and with his confused face he said “thank you”.

Then, it was my turn. I asked when the English courses will start. She said “in May but you have to pass a test. You’re English seems decent, so maybe you’ll be in the intermediate group”. I just smiled when she said my English was “decent”. Once again, I was disappointed. May is too far. I decided to go to Concordia.

I took the subway and when I arrived I was tired and I didn’t want to ask when the courses will start. I preferred to go to the bookstore and ask for a good grammar book. Well, a book about memos and letters. The clerk, a woman from India gave me good references. I bought “How to write it”.

I wanted to go to Unitarian church tonight; they need people for its chorus. I felt a bit shy. I’ll go another time but I need to improve my English no matter what. This economical crisis pushes me to do crazy things.

I miss my family, I miss my dad.

The Unitarian Church

A lesbian friend (most an acquaintance) told in the Lesbian Solidarity Center there was a church who gay peouchurch1ple were welcomed. I didn’t believe, well, it was quasi impossible to mix those ideas or principles together. I went this morning, despite I was invited by my roommates to see a gospel mess, and as usual, I got lost. But finally I found the place. It’s situated in front of Vendome metro station, in Montreal west, something like 20 minutes by metro. Yes, a bit far but I didn’t care.

The service was at 10.30 am. and I arrived at 11 am. Everyone was in the hall where the minister, a woman with Jewish roots (and looked lesbian) was speaking. As the catholic priests, she was wearing a kind of long scarf very colourful; I should say gay because from the beginning to the end of the scarf, the rainbow colors were in there.

Beside her, there was a member of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women Community www.ccmw.com, who explained the people about the Coran, myths and realities. It was very instructive and everything was in English. The Unitarian community is basically Anglophone. I heard many Quebecquers complain about Anglos. Comments such a “they’re not like us”, “they think different”. I was happily surprised about their hospitality and the groups they have like the choral, the ecological group, the children’s group and many other activities they do.

Almost all the members were  showing cards with their names, others show their cards with a rainbow on it, I guess they were gay. uchurch2I saw members of the walking group and I said hello to them. At the end of the discussion we were invited to eat the Noah’s pudding (Ashure), a sweet dessert prepared of mixed nuts and fruits in a pudding texture in the Middle East and coffee. There was a little library and a section of free English books, of course I took one, I need to read more in English.

After that, I had a bit of time to chat to Rita, a member and the Sunday kids teacher of the church. She was so nice to me and beautiful. I chatted a bit with the minister, Diane Rollert, it was very strange to meet people freely and feeling their positive energies.

I know where to go next Sunday.

The Walking Group

It’s Valentine’s Day. I wanted to go the gay village but I feel tired and I don’t know anyone neither in the bars nor at the street. I heard my ex met someone “interesting”. She must be fucking with her in the mattress I bought.

Somebody talked to me about the Unitarian Church, www.ucmtl.ca, a church who accepts gay people, in general, the members are open-minded, gay friendly and think people should pursuit its happiness. I visited its website and I noticed there was a “walking group” every Saturday morning. I called the responsible and I went to the meeting point. There were 14 people, most of them Anglophones (I could practice my oral English with them), they were so friendly with me. Most of them are over 50 semi-retired or retired. We went to the Mont Royal, at -12 (with wind the sensation was of -20) and climbed the little urban mountain.walking-group1

I met a Scottish guy, a woman of 78 years old, in more physical shape than me, a nice woman Patricia, who I told her I was gay and she took it well. A little girl of 9 years old, her mother and grandmother, a lumberjack and his funny girlfriend and many others I don’t remember their names. After the walking we had lunch. That’s the only part I didn’t like, to go to a bistro or restaurant for buying food when I don’t have enough money for doing that. But anyway, it’s what old people do…spent their money in good and fancy food.

We talked about many interesting things, most of them asked me about my origins, when I came or what I was doing in Montreal. I was honest with my answers and I was well accepted.

I felt great, but in the other hand something was missing in my life…something or someone?

Drugstore

It’s the first time I go to a gay bar. I felt like a boy scout. The bar (or a complex) it’s called Drugstore. 80% of their clients are lesbians. I saw the lesbian rainbow there.

I saw the big butchs, I saw women of 50 and over, beautifdrugstoreul despite their age, well dressed up, class and of course, with money. I saw some youngest, under 25. But all, everyone was or belonged to a group. That means, I was alone. It was hard. Just for not looking so miserable I picked up my cell phone and I pretended to talk or call someone.

All, every single women were in a group. For a moment I thought “Ok, I’m here and who will look to this unemployed immigrant?”. Some girls looked at me for curiosity. You know, you feel observed; you feel “new in town” or “fresh meet”. I went early, let’s say 9.00 pm. The old women were leaving. Of course, I left too some minutes later.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. I hear there’s a party there. Should I go? It begins at 11 pm. I have no friends with a car. So, should I go home on foot? Should I take a taxi? Or should I find a girl with for sleeping with?

Hard decision to make.