The New Civil Rights Movement has just reprinted “First Lies,” a poem from my book titled Hidden Drive. Click on the logo to find it there with a photo by Vivian Felten.
An early version of “First Lies” appeared in The Community News (2003), the newsletter of the GLBT Community Center Project of Western Massahuestts, for which I was a contributing writer. Unfortunately for Northampton, the Community Center eventually had to close its doors. While it lasted, I was proud to contribute this poem and a column titled ”Love vs. Straight Supremacy.”
The poem appears in “Riddled,” the third section of my book, which is about same-sex marriage.
A few thoughts and meditations on Halloween and various other holiday costumes and jokes that one might want to reconsider:
1) If I’m ignorant of the ways in which my action is stereotyping and/or mocking, I’m still stereotyping and/or mocking. My ignorance of context does not change the nature of my action;
2) Describing myself as “ignorant” about something is not self-deprecating but a simple statement of fact—that I have something to learn;
3) My personal experiences of prejudice (homophobia, sexism, classism, etc) do not trump my white privilege;
4) The process of listening and considering other folks’ perspectives and experiences—especially when they are different from my own—is more important than any inconvenience or discomfort I may experience. Rather than “walking on eggshells,” this is an opportunity to learn;
5) If I offend someone out of my own ignorance (of which I have plenty!), I can apologize and thank the person for taking their time and energy to say something. No, I will not say, “I’m sorry you felt that way.” Instead, I will take responsibility for my behavior by saying, “I’m sorry that I said/did ________________ and I will make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Lastly, one of the teenagers in my life turned me on to this excellent video about how to apologize by Franchesca Ramsey (a.k.a. chescaleigh). Here’s what an authentic apology sounds like.
Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8xJXKYL8pU
Are a high school student’s anti-gay, pro-gun activities creating a hostile environment for the students and staff of a Connecticut school the ACLU threatened to sue?
The anti-gay t-shirt that 17-year-old Seth Groody wore to protest last April’s national Day of Silence will continue to be allowed at Connecticut’s Wolcott High School, according to the principal and superintendent. In fact, Groody, who claimed in a YouTube video that he makes thousands of dollars selling airsoft guns, began selling anti-gay t-shirts and at least twelve of his friends purchased them to wear for this year’s Day of Silence. Click logo for a direct link.
Inspired by recent marriage counter protests in numerous cities across the nation, I wrote this poem to read for Marriage Equality Rally (CT) which I recently started and co-organized as part of the United for Marriage: Light the Way to Justice coalition. The rally took place at the federal courthouse in Hartford, Connecticut on March 25, the eve before SCOTUS heard arguments regarding Proposition 8 and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). ”The Clerk Says You Are Not” is partly about my life now, partly about the visit I paid to a marriage counter before same-sex marriage was legal in Massachusetts, and partly about the next visit I’ll be making to a marriage counter in Houston. The New Civil Rights Movement published it alongside photographer Vivian Felten’s photograph. Click on the logo for a direct link.
“My eyes repeatedly traced the letter’s path—the shape of a plot outline—and I began to imagine my new life as a man…”
This is the closest I’ve come to considering an FTM (female-to-male) life, & it’s the second in a series that I’m writing for The New Civil Rights Movement. What I didn’t say is that I regret my choice.
Click on the logo to check it out–& please “Like” & share!
I have a dream of someday marrying the love of all my lives — in Texas. Of course, the hot, humid homeland I’m so loyal to isn’t loyal to me.
The New Civil Rights Movement “reprinted” this post (from my blog) as the first in a series!
Click on the logo to read Part 1.
You hear a lot these days about the dangers of marriages like mine, as if we pose some sort of infectious risk for the institution of marriage. But if Valentine’s cards are to be considered artifacts and evidence of the state of opposite-sex unions, straight marriage may be the greater danger. Click on the logo to check out my latest piece at The New Civil Rights Movement blog. A slightly different version of this post appeared here on my blog last year.
As a citizen-anthropologist of sorts, I find small, local media outlets to be amusing, even fascinating, sometimes encouraging, & sometimes disturbing cultural “artifacts.” However, there are moments when the online debate over LGBT civil rights—or lack thereof—is simply painful. Click on the logo to check out my latest piece for The New Civil Rights Movement.
At Bennington, I admired him from afar. How could you not?
[Photo courtesy of Debra Eisenstadt Morgen]
During the past year on Facebook, I came to rely on his dear & devilish wit. When The New Civil Rights Movement blog asked me to write about Spencer, I intended to simply edit a “mini-anthology” of remembrances & began asking for permissions. However, the more I learned about Spencer, I hit a wall of questions. His death haunted me. I dreamed of him through the night & he was my first thought upon waking. In the end, I chose to follow the questions.
Asking these questions is not comfortable.
My hope is that we can come together & support the rebooting of his Medius Institute for Gay Men’s Health—the legacy he intended to leave his community and the world. The reasons Medius didn’t survive may be some of the same reasons Spencer didn’t survive.
I’m deeply grateful for the strong support this piece has received. For the record: Obviously, my essay skimmed the surface of Spencer’s profound work. My understanding is that he focused specifically on Ritonavir and worked collaboratively to design and then personally wrote the drug trial protocol which represented a compromise that could succeed despite its controversial nature. Rather than combining specific drugs, it allowed for various combinations and could still get FDA approval. It’s difficult to be accurate without going into notable detail—which would be another essay entirely, especially regarding the controversial aspects of that protocol.
Click on the logo (below) to read this essay at The New Civil Rights Movement blog.