Queer Voices & Wild Hearts: A Celebration of Safe Spaces, Storytelling, and Enduring Love

“I knew I would write a book about my son. Just not this book…”

– Rick Prashaw

“I don’t remember exactly when I decided or knew for sure that I was writing a book. I suspect that my late son, Adam, my co-author, knows better than I do. What I do remember is being in my Kanata, Ottawa condo, in my office which had been my kid`s bedroom in high school years, spending most days on my late son’s Facebook page, trying to stay connected to him and really to survive, because I was barely treading water in the early days of those 90 to 100-foot tidal waves of grief ripping me in the aftermath of the shipwreck soon after Adam’s drowning and death.

…I had thought that a book on a Catholic priest marrying, becoming instant step-dad to three kids, and then to this new, irrepressible child of my own with the peculiar Rebecca Adam name, this hockey goalie—fun, courageous, indomitable character—was a good tale to tell. That initial book idea was anchored on letters I wrote yearly on her birthday to capture the madcap adventures and lifelines of the previous 12 months.

Then Adam showed up, a F-bomb FB post (Chapter 3) that announces who he is and who he’s been since his birth in Sudbury in 1993. A remarkable transgender journey moves into high gear. The seizures got worse. A fatal seizure when I am in California on holidays, a drowning, an unimaginable weekend vigil with many, surprising tender mercies, a heart recipient bursting into our lives.

Insane news, all of it. Yes, a different book, with a different title, a title with a boy’s name.”

—Excerpt from Rick Prashaw’s blog “The Story Behind ‘Soar, Adam, Soar’”

“Soar, Adam, Soar” is Rick Prashaw’s inspiring account of his son Adam, born Rebecca Danielle Adam Prashaw, and his remarkable journey to becoming the ‘boy in the mirror’.

Rick retells Adam’s story and his own experience alongside his son’s own words documented in a trove of transparent and direct social media posts, from early childhood, coming out first as a lesbian and then as a man alongside his battle with epilepsy. The book chronicles Adam’s drive to define himself, his joyful spirit, and his love of life, which continues to conquer all. After a tragic accident cut his life short, Adam, a registered organ donor, left the most important legacy: he saved four lives.

Rick is my partner’s uncle. I will never forget the morning he came walking down our stairs, his face covered in tears of joy having just received the news from the Trillium Gift of Life Network that Adam’s own heart had successfully saved another man’s life. Adam would live on through this gift.

Adam and Rick’s story inspired me to create Queer Voices—a community gathering to celebrate the experiences and voices of local queer organizers, artists, and writers. Queer Voices will take place at Wild Heart Healing Arts following the book launch of “Soar, Adam, Soar” at the Picton Library on April 6th.

Wild Heart was founded by Megan Marie Gates and I with the intention of creating a multi-functional space that not only offered yoga classes and alternative therapies, but would be home to fully inclusive community gatherings, hosting stories like Adam’s, that need to be told. We’re honoured to provide a space where this story can be told, openly and respectfully.

Written with contributions from Rick Prashaw

Queer Voices Event

Where: Wild Heart Healing Arts Space

1A-206 Main Street, Picton (Enter at back of Armoury)

When: Saturday, April 6 2019

Time: 6PM-9PM

Details: Music from Lisa Bozikovic, poetry from Kamee Abrahamian, and excerpts from “Soar, Adam, Soar” read by Rick Prashaw. There will also be a talk from Stacey Love Jolicoeur, an Independent Educator and Support worker for the LGBTQ2S community and the coordinator for TRANSforum.

Entry: The event is pay-what-you-can with all proceeds going toward TRANSforum, a Belleville-based not-for-profit group that offers safe, confidential, and free support for transgender individuals, questioning or in transition.

Auction: We’ve been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the community and are thrilled to offer silent auction items from Kokito, Sunday’s Company, The Parlour, Come As You Are, The General, County T-Shirt Company, LUNA, and more. Food has been generously donated by Stella’s Eatery, Outlet Food Company and Enid Grace Cafe, wine from Stanners Vineyard, beer from Midtown Brewery, and non-alcoholic sodas from The County Bounty.

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We are so excited for this event and we kindly ask for the community to arrive on time to be respectful to those who will be giving talks and sharing their own personal experiences. We want to thank all of those who have donated their time and sweet offerings for Queer Voices and we hope that this night will spark a light in other businesses in the County to carry out events that celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.

Contact

Wild Heart Healing Arts:

Website – www.wildhearthealingarts.ca

E-mail – wildhearthealingarts@gmail.com

Instagram – @wildhearthealingarts

Facebook – facebook.com/wildhearthealingarts

TRANSforum Quinte: www.transforumquinte.ca

Rick Prashaw and “Soar, Adam, Soar”: www.rickprashaw.com

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