All Grrl Suscon 2005

What happens when you fill a room with women aged 18 to 35, who don’t know each other? They’re from various countries and even more varied backgrounds. You might expect cliques. You might expect gossip. Maybe even a catfight? You’d be mistaken if you had these expectations at the All Grrl Suscon.

This all-female event was planned by Rachel (iam:tigertante) and Jill (iam:feisty) and was held in Toronto, Ontario, in Canada. I am occasionally asked to lend a hand at suspension conventions (I can fetch juice or water when needed, and the Jewish Mother in me really likes to help out). I drove 350 miles to get to my carpool, driven by Sarah (iam:Hehaditcomin). Joy (iam:the milkmaid) and Bumble (iam:BgirlyPrincapessa) drove thirteen hours one way. Angela (iam:AuntiePandora) traveled farther still, but she took the easy way, and flew in.

Several dozen women attended. Over a dozen women suspended. The room was so emotion- and endorphin-charged that we joked that, when the tenant returned to his office on Monday, he’d probably get his period. I only cried a few times, I think. I think. My friend Christine (iam:bonita80) went up for her second time, doing a “superwoman” for, from the moment the hooks started until she came down, about an hour and twenty minutes. I’d told her I’d hold her hand, but I don’t think she needed it. Just as well; I was crying and therefore pretty useless.

The setup for Christine's suspension
Christine flew

If you ever get the opportunity to attend an event like this, note the attention to sanitation and detail. The crews work at almost a surgical level. Because people who hang their friends from hooks must be stupid, dirty freaks, we tend to hold ourselves to a higher standard. Seriously, the crews’ stations look cleaner than a lot of doctors’ offices I’ve been in. I am genuinely proud, knowing that my friends know how people look at them, and they exceed standards.

We stayed until 7:00 p.m., but the suspensions continued until well past 1:00 a.m.

Our hostess, Caryn (iam:Dyzcordia), Sarah, Angela, Brittney, and I went for well-deserved sushi after we left the space. We were all still high from the events of the day, bouncing around, looking in shop windows, and enjoying life and the company of each other. Then Caryn stopped and pointed at a figurine of an angel in one of the shops.

“That was me.”

Photos from the women who attended are being added to BME’s Suspension Teams photo section.

An old friend introduced me to suspension. He recently passed away. He was in my mind all day. I have no desire to suspend, but I go for the energy of the people who attend. I feel obliged to help out since I’m not an otherwise active participant. My friend’s showing me this world was a gift that I’ll never be able to repay.

I put myself into financial debt to attend. I have blisters and a twisted ankle. (Note to self: don’t get pedicures before working; you need those callouses if you’re going to be on your feet!) My arms ache from driving. My car is making a clicky noise.

I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

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