I Heart Kaleidoscope

October 19th, 2022

Unlearning can be learning.

For a second year, I was lucky enough to be invited to teach Kaleidescope, an arts program for LGBTQ+ youth in Faribault.

We meet in the Buckham Memorial Library, which is surreal, because I grew up just a block away and spent so much of my young life learning there; it feels full-circle to teach there.

I say “teach,” but all I do is learn.

The young people I get to talk to are amazing artists and writers; they remind me of the things we lose or even drop on purpose as adults.

They are abundantly, furiously creative. They give no excuses nor have to justify anything. They are fearless with their ideas and completely open to suggestions and collaboration. They are passionate and unapologetic for their stories.

I got to read the beginning of a 12,000+ word-and-counting zombie apocalypse story. I got pitches for new superheroes to add to the world of the Weirdos. I listened in awe to what started as a traditional mermaid story, which then reversed its roles and told me something new.

I have no place teaching anything but, wow, do I love to learn.

And part of that learning is unlearning. It’s unlearning what society wants me to be. It’s unlearning what an adult is “supposed” to be, because I look around at the people who are supposed to have this thing figured out and they just don’t.

It’s unlearning the rules and remembering that all that matters is the story, rules be damned.

So a huge thank you to Faith and the incredible program she’s created. I am so grateful to be a part of it and able to benefit from its insightful process.

(And if this sounds like something you’d love to participate in, please reach out!)


Published by dennisvogen

I'm me, of course. Or am I?

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