I feel like I haven’t written about books in a century so this blog will be about The Celibacy Club by Janice Eidus (my instructor at Chautauqua), but also a little bit about New York making all marriages legal.
So, to start off…let me share a little anecdote. Since I was fourteen years old (that’s, let’s see, ten years) I’ve worn one of those trite, “W.W.J.D.” bracelets that starving children in China are creating for teenagers like me who at the time believe in three things; their own virginity, Jesus and Catholic guilt (or Baptist, Methodist, Mormon…whatever denomination you see fit here). I seriously have not taken this thing off since fourteen. If my bracelet breaks, I immediately go out to the local Family Christian Store (literally that’s the name) and ask the sales lady where they are, and I purchase a new bracelet. I have very pale, vampire, nocturnal skin under the blackness of my sewed bracelet – it hasn’t seen light in years, much like my buttocks.
Since about two years ago, I wore a rainbow W.W.J.D bracelet. I liked to call it my “Gay Pride, Jesus Pride” bracelet. However, since then, the store has stopped selling the rainbow version (the only version I’d ever bought, and ever would think to buy in the political, and religious conditions our world is under at this point) and so I had to turn to basic black. I really believe they stopped selling rainbow because they realized the connotation it held. They still have purple though which I’m considering switching too. Must wait until the black one breaks though – it’s been going strong for a few years.
I like to think that people aren’t always judging each other.
But I think I’d be wrong in saying that.
Just last week, a former friend texted me with the facebook news of another friend being “engaged and pregnant.” Now, tell me this friend wanted to text me about anything other than this…doubtful. She wanted to gossip. I had to bite my tongue and remind her that I no longer have a facebook and am not privy to the personal lives of people I haven’t spoken to in more than six months… because I don’t give a flying shit. (pardon my French).
So, back to the bracelets (que Christina Aguilera circa 2009). I have worn this black bracelet, white stitching, for the last two years. All along thinking about what people thought about me when shaking my hand in interviews. Did they think I was a “Honk if you love Jesus person” to quote one of my favorites, A Walk to Remember? Did they think I would only teach their children about Biblical history or Biblical literature or Jesus-appropriate, Virgin-appropriate literature? When really I would just throw at them the almanac of Judy Blume. These things, I can’t be sure of because no one has point-blank ever asked me what my bracelet means. We are in the Bible belt, so this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. (Coincidentally, my friend Jono did ask me once what it meant, but I don’t think he counts because he’s Australian, and religious activities are very relaxed in Australia even though the churches are GORRRRGEOUS).
Anyway, the one thing I think I can actually bet on in my bracelet-toting ways is that people definitely don’t assume that I’m a gay rights activist. Not that I’ve gone to any rally’s or really partaken in any gay-rights political notions. However, I have bought a shirt from the FCKH8 community and worn it quite frequently around people who obviously don’t believe in gay marriage. I also put it frankly on my blog that I’m into all marriage types being legal in every way. I have a few friends who haven’t come out of the closet, per say, yet, but are working on themselves in a way to always, no matter what, let their lights shine. I have convinced my teens that using any slur of “gay, homo, queer, or fruitcup” will not be tolerated or accepted at the teen center and that it should be forever removed from their vocabularies. (Embarrassingly, I have watched the NY Housewives episode where they went to the Gay Pride Rally…eeee). And I have recommend the book, Shine, to countless people in celebration of young adult gay literature.
(See here for other books, via Barnes & Noble that may introduce you to specified reading within the LGBTQ Community).
Also, the church I attend has a vibrant gay and lesbian community. I feel like I’m just spouting of reasons for you to believe that I actually love gay people, and actually love their freedom of expression and right to marry.
Well, that’s exactly what I’m doing.
This whole blog came about actually…because I spent the week in NY (duh, if you’ve read this any in the past week, you know) and I actually went to Niagara Falls on Sunday night and got to experience the first ever rainbow falls. I know a twitter picture has already gone viral of the falls in their rainbow, prideful glow. However, I too wanted to share a few of my photos and give a hooray to whoever decided to paint the falls the beautiful, rhythmic and unicorn colors of one of God’s greatest gifts: the rainbow.
I feel blessed to have been at Niagara Falls on such a big day for New York City and for the rights of people carrying any sexuality. I can’t wait to see how we progress even further in our fight for rights of any nature. (I’m also deep into the battle of Planned Parenthood, and sex education, especially with my new found career in teaching high school students).
I’ve actually, also, been hearing all week about government spending and how this is just adding to the deficit because now we have to give benefits to same-sex partners. Yes, I am concerned about the debt, and the fact that we haven’t come to a conclusion at all with whether we are raising the ceiling. But, my joy in seeing this hallmark-card moment in history means so much more to me than this debt. I know that sounds totally ridiculous seeing as how I will be getting this debt on my shoulders as soon as I have a big-girl job, and my children, and my children’s children. I’d rather people be able to sign paperwork under their government to be able to love one another I guess. I guess that’s how ludicrous and out of my mind I am.
The falls were beautiful, gay pride is beautiful, everyone in the world no matter what race, sexuality or religion is beautiful. Here are some photos:
I am a writer, educator and genuine creative living on the coast of NC. Our house is built on sunshine with my husband BJ, dog named Tucker, and our two very sassy cats: Fromage and Jasper.