Friday, September 30, 2011

Short Story, Part Four

Part Four

You are not their father. My kids have a father. At least that’s what I was told. Adults make plans and children fail to understand them. God laughs. Kids tend to live in the present, with much less of an eye to the future. When you are among them, you might as well be a parent, regardless of how you might choose to qualify your role. No one found this more initially terrifying than me. But it was a responsibility I seem to have adopted more smoothly than I ever thought.

I assign it to simple biological response. We are, after all, often inclined to be adaptive to children, if not to birth them. Biology often intercedes where intellect cannot. Had they both been holy terrors, I think my patience would have evaporated and weariness descended in its place. But they really were good kids. One boy, one girl. Despite what they had been through with the divorce they were playful and fun-loving, two qualities I thought I would never regain myself. And while surrounded by them, their earnestness and innocence gave me permission to be free-spirited once more.

The ways of the adult world had taken hold on me. My voice once was musical and lilting, but now had adopted the same robotic tone that most people dubbed “serious professional”. I had never been a fan of stiff handshakes and stiffer starched collars, but playing follow the leader was basic protocol. I dwelt in a world where a curt terseness was the lingua fresca. But now I didn’t have to be so guarded and, honestly, so miserable. What force decreed that this must be the way of things? Human beings are not supposed to be driven by anxious inter-office politics and leap frog.

Brushing off a few cobwebs, I suddenly remembered I could do a few plausible vocal impressions, which both children loved. Its success gave me the confidence to ad lib, and ad libbing in general was how I typified most of my conduct in their presence. Once I learned to trust myself, I had no need to plan out what to say or how to react. This wasn’t work, after all, and I found that children are far less critical. I wondered what made us all so reactive, insensitive, and short-tempered. Which isn’t to say that I romanticize childhood. I still bear emotional scars to disprove that. But for someone who had shied as far away as possible from even the thought of parenthood in any form, I found my prior assumptions challenged and in some ways entirely invalidated.

My efforts were apparently a success. One of the children, the boy, aged eight or so, developed a severe case of hero worship. He started to use many of the same turns of phrase as I did and even chose to part his hair the same way I do. I very nearly had a panic attack at the recognition, because I felt I could never live up to an impossible standard. Should anyone place me on a pedestal, I always recite the phrase that I’d very much like to be taken down, because I’m scared of heights. If I could ever get my anxiety to subside, I knew I should take the child’s response as a high compliment. I did gather that I must be doing something right, but all of those old phobias and fears of fatherhood came rushing out of the woodwork.

Being an unintentional step-father was not nearly as difficult as having children of my own. I could always look forward to the times that they spent time with their father, leaving me alone with their mother. When they were gone, we could pretend, as lovers often do, that the very world itself revolved around our romance and that pairing. Every other weekend this fantasy was allowed to grow and flourish. She did love her children, but also loved a break from them, too. And I always looked forward to our times alone, though every now and again I did miss the kids. What was most difficult for me was the awkward transition from the ways of childhood into the ways of adulthood. It felt a bit like immersing oneself in a new language, only to cast it aside entirely, returning to a space where nothing carried over or was even applicable.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Punky's Dilemma (Fixed Version)

Wish I was a Kellogg's Cornflake
Floatin' in my bowl takin' movies,
Relaxin' awhile, livin' in style,
Talkin' to a raisin who 'casion'ly plays L.A.,
Casually glancing at his toupee.

Wish I was an English muffin
'Bout to make the most out of a toaster.
I'd ease myself down,
Comin' up brown.
I prefer boysenberry
More than any ordinary jam.
I'm a "Citizens for Boysenberry Jam" fan.

Ah, South California.

If I become a first lieutenant
Would you put my photo on your piano?
To Maryjane--
Best wishes, Martin.
(Old Roger draft-dodger
Leavin' by the basement door),
Everybody knows what he's
Tippy-toeing down there for.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

By Way of Explanation

Due to the fact that there's been enough confusion about what I mentioned on a Feministe thread, I feel a need to clarify what I said yesterday. The pushback I got was unexpectedly critical. To some, it was as if I was advancing urban legend as fact. Here is what I said. I sought to note that I had been told, numerous times, that young women in NYC were unsatisfied with the dating scene.

I was informed that men rarely were concerned with long-term relationship and instead wished to engage in frequent short-term relationships. Seeking to explain why this might be, I postulated that perhaps with so many available young single people, there might be a strong incentive to keep dating and not to settle down. It should be noted that settling into a lengthy partnership with someone does not imply marriage. It could, but it doesn't necessarily mean marriage.

The number of women who have told me about the same specific dating woes in New York City is probably somewhere around fifteen by now. A songwriter and musician even documented the problem in song. The lyrics concern a man she is very interested in who has abruptly ceased to call her. Presumably, he has now moved on to someone else. I live in New York City, she sings. You know I own a gun. She isn't serious about the threat of violence, of course, but is obviously annoyed at the way things have developed. And one also gathers that this isn't the first time for her.

Her songwriting partner told me she didn't date at all when she lived up there for college. If you don't sleep with him by the third date, she said, he's off to someone else. I couldn't handle it. I wasn't seeking marriage, but I was seeking something more permanent and lasting. And I kept hearing some version or another of this same story. I'm sure some women have no issue at all with a series of short-term relationships, but most that I've encountered, either as friends or lovers, are seeking something beyond the momentary. I know in my own life I had a swift procession of short-term relationships, and I learned from them. But neither did I go into them with the expectation that they would be time-limited.

Comparing NYC and DC is not especially fair or even possible. While both cities are full of presumably heterosexual men and women both who do not expect to be married until their early thirties, there are simply more single women than single men in DC. The ratio of male to female is more balanced in NYC. And, the latter city is about five to six times larger in population. Now, if anyone wishes to refute everything I've said, go right ahead. But know that if I didn't have a pretty good idea of the veracity of what I said, I wouldn't have said it in the first place.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Picnic at Hanging Rock: A Review

Director Peter Weir's 1975 film Picnic at Hanging Rock explores the contradictions of Australian culture, circa 1900. On an expansive, still largely unsettled island, the British have tried to import their haughty, tight-corseted ways into a provincial land of open spaces and wild animals. Never is this distinction more clear then at Appleyard College, a very proper all-girls private school. Victorian ideas towards sexuality are those of repression and restraint. The spotless white dresses and parasols displayed by each student mark that distinction strongly. It was thought that the dress suppressed desire in others, presumably males. Even a glimpse of ankle was considered shocking.

Though directed by a man, the novel upon which the film was based was written by a woman. Joan Lindsay is best known for the novel of the same name as the film, which she had written close to a decade before. In keeping with the book, there are multiple aspects of the film that are full of lesbian subtext. Though never stated directly, one of the girls, Sarah, is shown to have strong same-sex feelings. Her love for Miranda, a fellow student, is particularly emphasized in one scene. Miranda appreciates the desire, though cautioning Sarah that she ought not get too attached, as she knows she'll be leaving shortly. The scene reminds me of the equally controversial film If..., completed seven years before, where the setting is an all-boys school. A character notes, "All this homosexual flirtatiousness--it's so adolescent." Adolescent or not, it's the way things go at Appleyard.

Matters are quickly to change. Upon a Valentine's Day outing to Hanging Rock, an large outcropping of volcanic stone, the routine event at first passes without much fanfare. But it is when four of the teenagers, plus a teacher, request to scale the rock and take measurements that tragedy strikes. The women never return and the rest of the party returns late at night in hysterics. Efforts to find the four missing persons all produce nothing. Subsequent efforts turn up nary a thing. Speculation as to what really happened makes the story worldwide news. Rumors fly. And yet, there is no resolution to the crisis.

A British transplant by the name of Michael observed the girls briefly before they disappeared. Trying his hand at rescue, he plans to scale the rock formation in the hopes of finding the four missing girls and teacher, but is overcome somehow by the exertion. He is later found lying prostrate on the rock, delirious and with several wounds across his body. When he is strong enough to speak, he finds he cannot explain what has happened. Nor can he explain where he found the fragment of lace from a woman's dress that he was clutching in his hands when discovered. Immediately afterwards, a valet, himself a native and familiar with the area, discovers one of the girls. She is wounded and unconscious but very much alive. Regrettably, she too remembers nothing about what happened to her companions, nor herself. It is noted that she is not wearing her corset, but the news goes unreported on purpose. A woman not wearing one in those days was said to be advertising her sexual availability.

With a deliberately mysterious and vague ending, what happened precisely to the girls and the teacher is up for debate. Some believe that the primitive, natural aspect of Australian culture, in the form of some supernatural force, deliberately and violently rejected the more civilized British attitudes foist upon it. Taken this way, it's a kind of conflict between the rawness and authenticity of the wilds and the carefully controlled attitudes of a foreign and ill-suited invader. Some have assumed that it speaks to the tension between Aborigines and British inhabitants that still exists today. Regardless, the viewer is actively encouraged to superimpose his or her own meaning onto the ending, and that would be you and me.

Short Story, Part Three

I'm going to keep this story going as long as I can. It's good practice and publishing in a serial form keeps me moving forward.


Meeting her parents for the first time had been nerve-wracking. I expected their automatic disapproval and at first I received a cool reception. Mothers and daughters often have complicated, love/hate relationships and this was the case here. Her mother was a full generation older than my own, beholden to a time where quiet deference was the norm. In her world, there was always one more dish to put into the sink. Even in an advanced age, I could tell that her father was consumed by anger. In some ways, he looked like a hunched-over ogre. One could tell who wore the pants, and it surely wasn’t her.

With time, I learned that much of his hostility was directed at two key things. He had three daughters in the place of the son he desperately wanted. He was still furious at God because he lost a beloved younger brother in a car accident. Her father held sway over his oldest daughter in a way I could not understand and never would. The old man was difficult and gruff, but she never once uttered a word of criticism about him. It was her obliging mother who could do no right in her eyes. Her caustic remarks made me wonder where the source of the conflict really was. But tn great contrast, the two of us, she and I, formed a natural friendship that persisted for years.

It was my eventual mother-in-law who provided anecdotes that my soon-to-be wife never would. Flushing with pride, she informed me about her daughter’s ability as a seamstress. This was news to me. Apparently she had the ability to take almost any article of clothing and transform it into something better, something completely her own. She was the envy of all the girls in high school, or so I was told. A career housewife like herself assigned a completely different connotation, context, and value to the skill. In her eyes, it was part of a necessary, time-honored vocation. For those closer to my own age, it was a hobby and a trend. Perhaps it might be even have been a means of making a few extra dollars here and there.

Starting when I was in college, it became fashionable among some I knew to spin one’s own wool or knit. From a historical perspective, I’ve been told that these were both originally skills developed by men, but eventually dominated by women. Ironies in this matter are plentiful. Upon further research, I found that gender parity is often difficult to attain in many situations. Much like Lincoln’s House Divided against itself, gender makeup often tends to become all one thing or all another. Fields dominated by women at the outset like computer programming or nursing change when men enter. The rate of pay increases, and women are often forced out as a result.

But I digress. I’ve routinely gotten along better with mothers than fathers. My very first girlfriend, back in high school, liked me far less than her own mother by the end of our short relationship. I think this was because the mother was worried that her daughter had shown little to no interest in boys prior to us meeting. Fathers were often too consumed with their own protective desire to ever be anything more than a stiff handshake and a salutation. Should I ever have a daughter myself someday, I wonder how I’ll respond. I don’t begin to think I’ll understand until it happens. The foremost life lesson I’ve taken to heart is “never assume”.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Quote of the Week

Think our problems are new?

"I know of no other country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America. The majority raises formidable barriers around the liberty of opinion; within these barriers an author may write what he pleases, but woe to him if he goes beyond them."- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America. 1835.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday Video

Stripped down and beautiful.

I was born in the desert
I been down for years
Jesus, come closer
I think my time is near

And I've traveled over
Dry earth and floods
Hell and high water
To bring you my love

Climbed over mountains
Traveled the sea
Cast down off heaven
Cast down on my knees

I've laid with the devil
Cursed God above
Forsaken heaven
To bring you my love

To bring you my love
To bring you my love
To bring you my love

I know he's gonna be here
He know he's gonna be here
Yeah alright

Forsaken heaven
Cursed God above
Lay with the devil
Bring you my love

To bring you my love
To bring you my love
To bring you my love

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Terrible Love of War

The author James Hillman wrote a book a few years back entitled A Terrible Love of War. In it, he discusses the complexities and paradoxes of war in the human psyche. I was struck by how many of these same contradictions and brutalities described rape culture and the violence that exists within each of us. That which we consider relative peacetime is often anything but. This is why Hillman titles one section “War is Normal” and another “War is Inhuman”. Both are true and neither is exclusively so.

When as I teenager I was dragged along to a very conservative Baptist church, a saying was frequently heard. You are the devil and the devil is you, it went. I don’t believe that Satan exists in a physical form, but I do believe that under the right conditions, people can be easily compelled and motivated to commit acts of pure evil. And I also believe that even good people can forsake their compassion and act viciously. A supposedly civilized nation participated in mass murder, complicit with a dictatorial group of armed thugs. I am speaking of Nazi Germany but I could speak of many similar situations throughout history. It could easily happen here and to each of us. Sometimes circumstances create a breeding ground for atrocities. Sometimes protracted trauma reduces each of us to the role of savage.

Sexual assault and rape has long been a particularly gruesome aspect of war. It has been used for strategic value. Genghis Kahn instructed his hordes to rape the women of every village he conquered. The offspring these women would produce would be part Mongol, and, it was thought, less likely to be future enemies. During Vietnam, American soldiers raped Vietnamese women, often out of vindictiveness, sometimes responding to the loss of their own comrades in battle. In 2004, detainees at Abu Ghraib were sexually assaulted while in prison, also by American troops. If “normal” means sadly commonplace and frequent, war is normal. Sexual assault is normal. Rape culture is normal.

We are the devil and the devil is us. Groups which speak out against this sort of madness must take into account more than the politics of righteous indignation. If there were really such a thing as strictly evil people and evil intentions, it would be easy to identify likely offenders and cast a light upon active abusers. Each of us can be transformed into something resembling a psychopath, especially in times like war where most, if not all established rules of conventional morality are no longer in play. In the civilian world, murder will get you the death penalty. In war, murder will win you a medal of honor. But the cognitive dissonance needed to kill another human being rarely stops there. It’s easy to rationalize the death of non-combatants and to reduce everyone not an immediate ally to less than human.

War is inhuman. Sexual assault is inhuman. Rape culture is inhuman. We are inhuman. We are normal? What is normal? Normal depends on circumstances, as I said, but circumstances are subject to change. Now, this is not meant to make anyone feel guilty, just to state that lines we think are sharply drawn from now until Judgment Day are not always set in granite and concrete. Our obsession with justice and vindication must also contain an aspect of self-evaluation. If I am to understand another, I must look first at myself. Perhaps it could be said that we live in the midst a low-grade war already. In some places, the risk is greater, but the war is always raging somewhere.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Don't Ask Me Why

All the waiters in your grand cafe
Leave their tables when you blink
Every dog must have his everyday
Every drunk must have his drink

Don't wait for answers
Just take your chances
Don't ask me why

All your life you had to stand in line
Still you're standing on your feet
All your choices made you change your mind
Now your calendar's complete

Don't wait for answers
Just take your chances
Don't ask me why

You can say the human heart
Is only make-believe
And I am only fighting fire with fire
But you are still a victim
Of the accidents you leave
As sure as I'm a victim of desire

All the servants in your new hotel
Throw their roses at your feet
Fool them all but baby I can tell
You're no stranger to the street

Don't ask for favors
Don't talk to strangers
Don't ask me why

Yesterday you were an only child
Now your ghosts have gone away
You can kill them in the classic style
Now you parlez vous francais

Don't look for answers
You took your chances
Don't ask me why
Don't ask me why

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Short Story, Part Two

For those who have not read it, or want to refresh their memory, Part One is here.


Part Two

The criticism I got was much more subtle. I rarely got a cross look from a stranger. Instead, I got concerned conversations with my father. Dad wanted me to know that her looks were going to only diminish with time. Was I prepared for this? If I’d had the ability to speak frankly with him, I’d have told him that I was quite attracted to her body, even in all its supposed imperfections of age. He seemed not to understand me. And it was some version of this same talk that I got from other men, but never all that frequently. Men usually left us both alone, but as noted before, the sideways glances from other women were copious and sometimes smarmy.

I was never sure why, really. It would be tempting to assign it to simple jealousy. We often criticize the people who have what we secretly want. Perhaps they were envious that she’d been bold enough and direct enough to win me over. The attraction had been immediate and she had not let propriety or nerves overwhelm her desires. The day a friendship became much more I strummed a guitar and sang as she applied gloss to a new painting. She sat on the floor as I occupied the couch nearby, my legs stretched out in front of me. Lengthy breaks between songs were filled with conversation.

Over time I have learned to second guess my intuition, confusing a desired outcome with the real state of affairs. But in this case, my predictions were accurate. What began innocently enough eventually led to her grabbing me frantically by the hand as we ran to the bedroom. The beginnings of such things always managed to consume my thoughts and encourage contemplation. I have always been a fan of the way things start out at first, as there seems to be something magical about them. Maybe it's only the flood of brain chemicals released at such times, but I'd rather be romantic than scientific.

I even think fondly about the minor tragedies. While in college, a girlfriend once startled me by leaping upon me, apparently intending that I would catch her and drag her off elsewhere. Had I been given some warning, or had expected it, I might have very well managed it. Instead, she bounced clumsily off of me, displaying a look of mortification in the process. I tried my best to calm her nerves, but she could not be consoled. The effect would have been extremely arousing had it been done properly. I hope I would have been able to catch her. And those were the good days. I am no fan of the conclusions. Towards the end of our relationship, she told me that she would only sleep with me three more times, so I better pick my dates carefully. And, true to her word, I had three more intimate encounters, then was cast aside. I still don’t understand her reasoning.

I return to the present day. When waiting for my car to be fixed, I struck up a conversation with two other people in the same situation. Both were female. I was basking in the glow of new relationship fixation at the time. One of the women found it sweet the way I spoke of her fondly, but assumed we were close to the same age. I deliberately did not reveal the age difference because it wasn’t all that important to me. This unspoken assumption was proven untrue when she arrived, her hair still wet from the shower, pulled back, wearing no makeup, and looking very much her age. I even had to admit that she did not look her best.

The woman I had been conversing with was shocked. Her eyes went glassy and she was momentarily struck speechless. This was also a popular means of expression for those processing our relationship. I wondered if the reverse were true whether the effect would be the same. Sarcastic comments about trophy girlfriends from both sides of the aisle could be safely expected. Oddly enough, the only person who seemed to understand my reasoning was a mentor whose homosexuality never got in the way of providing helpful relationship advice in a heterosexual context.

I had tried that, too, finding that my feelings toward men were only sexual in nature. Once the act itself concluded, a distressing self-loathing set in, and I couldn’t get away fast enough. After I broke at least two hearts, I recognized that it would be best for me to keep this part of myself in the world of fantasy only. Still, I never renounced my homosexual side, learning the vernacular and living vicariously through the lives of those inclined to kiss and tell. I fashioned myself into a colossal tease and hypocrite, since nothing annoyed me more than those who held aloft potential that never blossomed into action. It was safe and required nothing out of me more than the minimum.

Late Post Today

I'm going to post later today. Posting the short story in serial form might be a good strategy. Last week I posted Part One, so I will try to have Part Two up in some workable form by the end of today.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rejecting the Messiah Today

Those with nothing to lose will always gravitate to a message that removes hierarchy, in which we are all equal. It is a perspective we say we accept as part of being Americans. But we also seek the security of affluence. When Jesus famously spoke to the rich young man who wanted to know how to reach the Kingdom of God, he outlined the difficulty, but not impossibility of reaching a Utopian state. The rich will always be able to afford one more distraction that stands in the way of true enlightenment and guidance. We too, in our pursuit of profit, have also had our focus and priorities dictated by our pocketbooks, not our hearts. It is why, in large part, why we find ourselves where we are now.

The Samaritans were a mixed race of people, one not fully Jewish. At a time when proving complete purity was next to Godliness, they were routinely despised. The Parable of the Good Samaritan refers to the noble protagonist as “cursed”. The Jewish lawyer to whom Jesus tells this story cannot bear to even say the name of his spiritual stepbrother, referring to the Godly Samaritan only as “the one who had mercy on him”. There was surely no love lost here.

The Samaritan religion was a hybrid form of Judaism and idol worship, which Jews found intolerable. Of course, as we know, the Jews made idols of their own creation while pretending otherwise. Forced to live apart in a separate section of the land, considerable resentment existed between both groups. But in the irony of ironies, Jesus himself would be viewed as the Messiah only by the so-called mongrel Samaritans. Rejected by his own people, despite considerable scriptural evidence from previous prophets, he would eventually be killed.

The story by which the Samaritans came to this momentous conclusion begin with Jesus’ conduct towards a woman considered sinful. During a trip, it was necessary to pass through Samaria. Jews never tarried long here, staying only as long as necessary. And they certainly never engaged Samaritans in conversation, especially not Samaritan women. Jesus broke from established custom here quite deliberately. A Samaritan woman he spoke to at an ancient well, one that had belonged once to the Jews had been married multiple times and had a bad reputation as a result. In a time where marriage was sacred and culturally essential, she was living in sin. So he could have been more than forgiven for not even bothering to talk to her.

The disciples return from their purchasing food in town and are amazed to find Jesus talking with a woman, but none of them were bold enough to interrupt the conversation. What Jesus did was against all that they thought to be proper conduct for a Jewish man. “The spirit of the Rabbis is shown by their later precept; namely: "Let no one talk with a woman in the street, no, not with his own wife."” [J. W. McGarvey, The Four-Fold Gospels, page 150].

The woman soon leaves, but in such a hurry that she leaves her waterpot behind. What she had learned drove out all thoughts about why she originally came to the well. She excitedly tells the men of the city that there was a man by the well who knew everything she ever done and that possibly he is the Christ. She has gone from seeing Jesus as another Jewish man, to a gentleman, to a prophet, and now the Christ. But being a woman, it wouldn’t be seen as proper to assert the fact so plainly. She is giving the men of the city room to judge for themselves.

But while it is factually true that Jesus’ own people will eventually reject him, their reasons are complex. Some, like the wealthy rabbi Nicodemus are secret followers. Afraid of the consequences of active support, they never overtly display favor. Nicodemus approaches Jesus under the safety of cover of night. Judea was an occupied territory under some degree of Jewish control, but still very much under the sway of Rome. The few rights of self-governance Jews had been granted could always be revoked. And there were certainly those who made a living working closely with the occupying Romans. It made good business sense.

Jesus’ ministry threatened all of this. Those with their own agendas and axes to grind alternately feared and admired this charismatic young man of modest birth. The prophets of many past ages had predicted that the Messiah would come from a small town in the middle of nowhere, even naming the very village. But this didn’t exactly fit the profile of those who would rather substitute their own leadings for those of God. This is a trap we must avoid falling into these days. Careful discernment and critical thinking will guide us along the path we must pursue. Ego and self-interest have been the demise of many who would do right. An old Quaker saying I often return to concerns the tension between profit and piety. “Quakers came to Philadelphia to do good and did very well, indeed.”

Who among us would walk through Samaria today and find value in it? If I am to be honest, I often rush through many Samarias where I am the minority. Mistrust and fear are commonplace here and I would never think to stop and chat with anyone. The same resentments often bubble up to the surface, especially when society has deemed them not like me and not worthy of my attention. For the poor and the marginalized among us, should a Messiah figure arrive, he or she will be given an audience not present to those who live on the right side of the tracks. We can afford to doubt or to refuse to see truth. They cannot.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Late Update

I am en route back home as I type this out. My bus didn't depart until 3, so I spent time doing other things online at a Starbucks. For the life of me, I cannot understand why any large establishment would have only one bathroom. A native told me that this was commonplace for Tribeca, but I fail to see the logic. Instead, one had to wait for five to ten minutes at a time just to use the facilities.

One can never see all of New York in three and a half days. Nor did I expect to, really. The last time I visited I was here for ten days consecutively playing tourist and only managed a fraction of my wishlist. What I will say is that I enjoyed Meeting for Worship at the historic Fifteenth Street Meeting. What troubles me is their attendance woes. A Meetinghouse that sits several hundred only had 35 in attendance. A vocal ministry delivered during Worship made this problem quite clear. The size of the Worship space made the small turnout even more pronounced.

One wonders if this is also true for the other Meetings in the area.

I also was glad I made a minor pilgrimage to the Stonewall Inn, which is where it all began. In spaces that are heavily queer, I must admit I feel conflicted. Much of my own non-straight identity I often suppress out of shame, but in a setting where it is acceptable to display same-sex attraction, I begin to loosen up a little. It makes me wonder how I'd respond all the time if homosexual expression was as commonplace as heterosexual expression. I found it both liberating and overwhelming. I'd love to know if other bisexual folks feel the same way I do.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011