When I was in college at UMBC one of my favorite professors was Dr. Kate Drabinski. In my first course with her, Studies in Feminist Activism, one of our term paper options was to write about “freedom.” While reviewing the list of final topics Dr. Kate said , “and freedom, because why not?”
I was in that class in 2013. Nearly 4 years later as I write this in 2017 I still find her questioning of that topic deeply meaningful as I think through my life, my politics, and especially the current political situation.
Continue reading “On Freedom”
This past Saturday my best friends, Reese and Chelsea got married. In the sad and hard times we find ourselves in, Saturday night will be a flame and a light in my heart and in my mind. I saw a room full of people bless a love and a relationship. I saw a room full of people uplift themselves and each others. In dark times, those moments of joy are what we live for. Those moments are why we keep living, they are what we are fighting for.
What follows is the toast I gave to two of my favorite people in the world….
Continue reading “A Toast”
TW: sexual and emotional abuse mention
I’ve always known the way I felt about girls was different from a lot of people. When I was in the 9th grade I read a book, Keeping You a Secret by Julie Ann Peters. It gave me words for what I felt, I was a lesbian. I even came out to my Mom. But for another decade I only dated men. I can’t really answer this question to myself satisfactorily. I try not to let it, but it haunts me. How many less times would I have been assaulted? How many less horrifying and terrible emotional and sexual encounters could I have avoided?
Why didn’t date women? I guess on the one hand I didn’t think I was cool or good enough. I’d never dated women so I didn’t know where to start. It didn’t help that being gay was not something you did in Fallston, Maryland, where I grew up. The very few out classmates I had suffered extreme harassment, alienation, and abuse. Maybe I was too scared to subject myself to that.
On top of that I was socialized to date men. Society showed me one way to live and one way to love, from every TV show I watched to the adults I was surrounded with to the toys I played with. We call this compulsory heterosexuality. I was socialized to prioritize the needs of men over literally everything else. Theoretically I can understand how this played out in my life – choosing to accept the advances of men, choosing to commit my time, energy and resources to them, etc.
But theory only takes you so far in life. It certainly doesn’t take you very far in understanding your own life.
Continue reading “If You’re Reading This I’m Too Gay”
TW: Death, grief, suicide mention.
I have found out that two people passed away while watching Winnie the Pooh.
I remember exactly when during the movie the news came both times. I remember the first time, in 2014, how the movie played in the background while I stared into my ex-partner’s eyes. I will never know whose face was whiter, or who cried first. All I know is that Pooh did get his honey, but I still feel pretty bad for the bees.
In 2015 I remember I was sleeping on the floor in my apartment in Lancaster. My father texted me to tell me my grandfather was dead. It is remarkable how quickly your body can go completely numb.
I don’t watch Winnie the Pooh anymore. I know where the naloxone is in my house. I am always the DD. I send people texts before I call so they know everyone is still alive. I keep a list of suicide hotline numbers saved in my bookmarks. I move through the world expecting death. What I don’t understand is how anyone else doesn’t.
Continue reading “On Grief”
I am someone that takes a long time for reflection. I cannot think things through without time and space. I, like I’m sure you all are, am wading through think-pieces and daily articles about the election and the current state of our country. I have nothing to add to that conversation yet. I’m thinking and I’m acting and I’m preparing, but I don’t have anything to write about it. Maybe soon. Today I want to take a minute to reflect on a beautiful hike I had with my friends recently, and to offer you some affirmations for these hard days.
A few weekends ago we did our Hike for Healing. It was cathartic, it was wonderful, it was just what I didn’t know I needed. If you have the time and are able, check out soldiers delight natural environmental area, you will love it. Here are some thoughts I had today thinking about the hike and my life at the same time.
If you were sitting here with me and we were talking about how be okay, this is what I would say to you.
Continue reading “A brief reflection.”