Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Pride and Church

Wow, it's been a while since I've updated. Pride was great fun. I got to catch up with a few old friends there, and that is always nice. One I hadn't talked to since our friend died over a year ago. It was really nice to see her. I got to meet all of my favorite writers from Curve Magazine, which was fabulous, too.

My church was there in style. That's one of the things I love most about my church: how supportive they are of the numerous gay members. Several straight members showed up with our church's big banner, and they marched in the Pride parade. It made me proud to be a member of my church. There are so many wonderful people at my church. One elderly lady had a lesbian daughter who committed suicide while she was in seminary. Her daughter never came out to her and believed that she could not be loved by anyone, especially God, because she was gay. Her mother found healing in our church. At Pride, she showed up with her rainbow flags attached to her scooter and rode in the parade. She is a fantastic person. Another couple who came are very special to me. They are some of the first people I met when I went to my church. One was a pastor in a denomination that did not ordain gays. He ended up leaving the church at least in part because of that, even though he is straight, and is now a member of my church. He and his wife are absolutely wonderful. They are hosting a glbt picnic at their house on Sunday, and I can hardly wait :) My church is a wonderful place.

Other denominations are also moving in the right direction finally. The Episcopal church just elected a woman as their presiding bishop. Frog has more Episcopal news on her blog. Go check it out! The Presbyterian church is also moving in the direction of full acceptance of gays. Yay for both of these churches and many blessings as they continue to work for change. I'm still waiting for my former denomination, the United Methodists, to get a clue. Hopefully, someday they will.

I'm always a little sad when Pride is over because it is such a time of celebration and community. In the coming months, glbt people in my state will be fighting a hideous battle against the anti-gay amendment. Call me delusional, but I really think we can beat it. I also think it will shock the nation when we do.

I have great hope that the future generations will change things. We will see gays have equal rights in my lifetime. A couple years ago, I had a young Mormon guy in my English 101 class. He was fresh from his mission, and he was obviously a very faithful person. He came to talk to me partway through the semester about gay rights. He was genuinely concerned that gays don't have equal rights. For his next paper, he wrote about the arguments presented in the gay marriage battles and about how he believed the government should change the laws to allow gays to marry. Normally, I would be concered that he was only writing that for my benefit, but he wasn't. His mind was really opened by the research he did. Of all the wonderful students I have had in class, I really believe he has learned the most.

The highlight of Pride this year was seeing another former student. This guy was painfully shy when I had him in class my very first semester teaching. He always sat in the back corner of the room, and for one of his essays, he wrote a very vague essay about a "friend" who was just coming out. He was his big gay self at Pride, and I am extremely happy for him that he has the courage to be himself. After all, it is that sort of courage that Pride is about.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Happy Pride!!!!!

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Last Couple of Days in the Form of a List

* My campus glbt group won an award last night for a rally we put on a year ago because it brought together the glbt community, as well as many other diversity groups in the area, and promoted unity. This award is a big deal.

* I have put the wheels in motion for becoming the next editor of the state's glbt newspaper. I'm way excited about this.

* I have decided to join the glbt choir in town.

* I went to karaoke night at a gay club last night. I did not sing.

* I am now teaching 3 English 102 classes, as opposed to an English 102 class and two English 101 classes. I still have the poetry class, of course.

* I saw the new local drag king troupe perform twice yesterday. They rock.

* I have a date coming up. Actually, I have two coming up.

* I got my hair cut, and it sort of resembles Shane's again.

* My cat thinks it is both cute and funny to get me out of bed at unreasonable hours or the morning. She then spends the rest of the morning putting on the cute and showing me her belly.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Imagine Me and You

Rating: *****++++

This movie is fabulous and sweet. I highly recommend it. I'm going to have to own it, it's so good. It's one of the sweetest romantic comedies I've seen in a long time. It's just an all-around good movie with a terrific ending. Piper Perabo doesn't even throw herself off the roof at the end! Woot! (Has anyone else seen Lost and Delirious? I hated that movie. So utterly depressing).

Pride Week

I love Pride Week. It's one of my favorite times of year. The city I live in does all kinds of cool stuff during Pride week. we had a barbecue on Sunday, which I only caught the tail end of because I had to work and then sing in the music celebration at church. Tonight is movie night, and I'm really excited. The movie I'm most excited about is Imagine Me and You, which according to is a lesbian movie with a happy ending. I will, of course, let you know how it is. Tomorrow is the community awards celebration. We give awards to outstanding members of the lgbt community every two years. It's a big deal. My campus lgbt group is sponsoring them this year. There are going to be a lot of drag kings. It should be fun. Friday there's a concert, and Saturday's the parade and rally. Our guest speaker this year is the editor of my favorite lesbian magazine.

I love the gay community here. We're quite a diverse group, but we have so much fun together. This year's Pride is particularly special to me because this time last year, I was living in the closet. That tends to happen when you're living in an unfriendly city with someone who isn't out to many people. It was hard. I'm out everywhere here. I'm even out in the classes I teach. I find that to be especially important because so many students are just coming out when they are 18 or 19. I've had many students come and talk to me about coming out. I like that they feel like they can do that. It's amazing how fast you can get used to living in the closet. It's scary, really. When I returned home last August, I was shocked that everyone knew I was gay and didn't care. I'd quickly forgotten what that was like. I was finally able to breathe freely again. It was a relief. It was really exhausting to hide who I was.

I don't ever want to hide who I am again, not for anything, and I don't want to be in a relationship or a job where that is required of me. It's just not me. I am an affectionate person, and it's hard for me not to hold hands with someone I'm dating or indicate in any way that I'm with her and I care about her. I'm going to be applying for jobs this coming year, and I plan to apply out. I have been talking to a man at my university who did that about how to do it in a tactful manner. I just don't want to hide. I spent too many years doing that, and I don't ever want to do it again. I like who I am, and I like events like Pride where I can express that with lots of other people.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Be Reading Jasper Fforde's Books

Specifically the Thursday Next series.

10. You get to see Miss Havisham and Mr. Toad have car races and Miss Havisham drive recklessly all over England.
9. The Cheshire Cat has become the Unitary Authority of Warrington Cat (because of re-districting) and continuously requests Moggilicious Cat Treats from all Outlanders.
8. Humpty Dumpty carries a picket sign.
7. You can actually stay at Scarlett O'Hara's home, but you have to dress the part.
6. Heathcliff spent three years as a movie star in Hollywood before being forced to return to his gig in Wuthering Heights.
5. People are named after literary characters so often that they have to be assigned numbers, for example, there are several thousand people named William Shakespeare.
4. You can see a woman get trapped in "The Daffodils" with Wordsworth, who is horny old man.
3. Travel to the other side of the world now takes only an hour or so.
2. It's more fun than reading 1984 or at least more cheerful.
1. You can be a nerd, like me.

A Smattering of (Really Brief) Reviews

Born into Brothels
Rating: *****

Absolutely fabulous and very moving. It's about children who were born in the brothels in the red-light district of Calcutta. It is a documentary, and it follows one woman's attempts to help them. The woman is a photographer who teaches the children about photography and becomes connected to them through that. There is now a non-profit that she has started called Kids with Cameras that also strives to help kids in the same way.

Saint Ralph
Rating: *****

This is about a Catholic boy whose mother is in a coma. He decides to try to win the Boston Marathon as a way to wish for a miracle for his mother. It's a fabulous movie, one of the best movies I have ever seen. I highly recommend it.

Voices in Wartime
Rating: *****

This one is about poets who have written about war. It was inspired by the Poets Against the War Movement that started shortly before the war in Iraq broke out. I am planning to show this movie in my poetry class in the fall. It's that good.

The Journey
Rating: ***

This is an Indian lesbian movie. It wasn't banned in India, though, which Fire was. Fire was much more explicit about the relationship between the woman, and there was a (gasp) sex scene. Don't look for that in The Journey. It's an intriguing story, and the ending is left open, which I appreciated. I thought for sure one or both would die at the end. It's a very pretty movie to watch, either way. The cinematography is excellent.

Rating: ****

There is actually a lesbian couple in this one, too, but it doesn't end happily for them either. The main part of the movie is about a woman who collects folk songs in the Appalachian mountains. It's quite a nice movie.

Blogging for LGBT Families

I want to participate, but I'm not sure what all I have to say. Give us equal rights! I think that about says it. I want to be able to get married and to have kids someday without having to spend thousands drawing up papers to give our family the protection we need.

It is now June, and I fully anticipated my family to look a lot differently at this time. I was engaged and in a very serious relationship until November. Then for a lot of reasons but one in particular, that relationship ended. It was a long distance relationship and would have been until I graduated last month. I would have then been moving to the other side of the country to live with her.

My life has looked a lot different since that relationship has ended. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, just different. I officially have a teaching job at the university where I've been a teaching assistant. I really wasn't sure if I would be able to continue to teach once I moved east, and I was sad about that. It's just that my career likely would have come second since it was less established than hers was. I love teaching, and I'm glad that I get to continue doing it. It is my calling.

Relationship-wise, I have been on a lot of dates since about February. There was one woman I was extremely interested in, but it didn't work out. Oh well. I have learned a lot about myself and what I want this past spring, though. I have also had a whole lot more time to spend with friends, and I've reconnected with a lot of people. It has been nice.

As far as family goes, like many lgbt people, I have done some redefining of the idea of family. I am close to my family of origin, but they are not my only family. There is another woman and her son who I have known and loved since I was born. They are also my family. They have been accepting of me since the day I came out, which I can't say about my family of origin, although they are much much better now. I also have several close friends who count as family. Most of them do not live where I am currently living, but I hope to live in their town again someday. And I will.