NaBloPoMo

NaBloPoMo — National Blog Posting Month: a challenge to post once every day for the entire month of November. No theme, no word count, no rules; just me, my blog, and 30 new posts.

Shit’s about to get really real up in here. I can’t be held entirely accountable for what comes out if I have to write every day; boundary-based self-editing is already not my strong suit.

I’m cracking my knuckles, flexing my fingers. The party starts Sunday.

Bullets.

…in which I have some lukewarm reactions to what’s currently trending on Facebook…

  • Why did that 9-year-old die suddenly walking down the road? And why don’t we get to know? Why are we only given half a story and a photograph? Every headline mentions bringing cookies to a friend and is accompanied by his decidedly chubby face. Are we all jumping to conclusions about his death being somehow “fat kids die young” related or is that just me? Do 9-year-olds just die suddenly? I really don’t need another thing to worry about.
  • Like this, for example. What the ever-loving fuck?
  • 10,000 year old preserved cave lions. That’s something you don’t hear every day.
  • In the “Heaven or Hospital” case, we are asked if we agree with the parents’ decision and I have decided this: who are “we” to question any parent’s decision about how to best love his or her child? That’s what this is. This is not an issue of neglect or of parental fitness. This is an issue of care and compassion. Of course, the circumstances are complex, but what it boils down to is that, while I am generally in favor of “big government,” I don’t think it has any place in this decision.
  • Katy Perry apparently performed at a Hillary Clinton event. This gives me hope, but I don’t know why. I don’t even have any feelings about Katy Perry in general.
  • Lena Dunham is dressing as a Planned Parenthood doctor for Halloween. This also gives me hope.
  • And, finally, while it’s all well and good that Beyonce performed a version of a Prince song, there’s really no Beyonce performance more entertaining than “La Fway.”

Out.

Twenty years ago, as  college senior, I sat alone in my dorm room just before the Jewish High Holidays, and came out.

I had been musing about it in my journal for a couple of years, wondering…worrying. But that September, I took a class with a professor whom I had only heard about, but had never met, and when she walked into the classroom on the first day, I was certain. There she was. She walked into the room and I knew. I went back to my room right after class and started writing and an hour later, once I finally stopped furiously tapping away at the keys on my old PC, I was out. I looked at all the words I had written — pages of memories — all the things I had said and done, beginning in childhood, that had led me to the moment I was in right then. All the words, all the thoughts, all the tucked away, buried feelings and when I was finished, I was out.

The next morning, I brought the stapled pages to the office mailbox of my [out, gay] Creative Writing professor and went home to my family for the holidays. From that moment forward, it was a continuous stream of coming-out experiences. Over the course of that final year of undergrad, I came out to several friends, co-workers, and family members. Each experience was different, but none was as hard as I had feared. Friends, for the most part, were nonchalant. Some even said they had wondered about me themselves over the years. Family was slightly more challenging. But by and large, my coming out experience was (and is — I still out myself regularly) easy. It was supported, kind, loving, peaceful. This is not to say that these were always the feelings I had as I came out; I was regularly terrified, defiant, defensive, scared, and embarrassed during those first several months, but I know how the experience can be for people. I know that people are disowned by their families, beaten, shamed, and worse. And, luckily, this was not my story.

That was 1995. I came out twenty years ago and it’s amazing to me what a different world it is today. Tonight, I read a book to The Who called The Zero Dads Club and in it, families with two moms, transmoms, and butch moms are represented. And on the page that reads, “I love having a Mom and a Mama,” The Who said, quietly, “I do, too. It’s the best.” A different world indeed.

I am so grateful for the people who stood by my side twenty years ago. And for all the people who stood by the side of all the queers who came out before then and who have since. And I love that in 2015, teenagers think that coming out as a college senior is incredibly late in the game. I actually look forward to a time twenty years from now where “coming out” isn’t even a thing anymore. Where we all just are. Out. In. Beside. Among. All of us.

In the meantime, though: Happy Coming Out Day. To those who have done it, to those who will, and especially to those who feel that they can’t. So much love.

Plans.

  • This is the second time we have tried to attend a “New Members Shabbat” and failed. The first time it was because I crashed into a car on our way home from the United States Mint. This time, it was because I was being an excellent parent. (Boundaries set, limits warned, deadlines missed, sadness held.)
  • Sadness held: that’s really all it takes. It’s so simple that it sometimes feels impossible. He was distraught — truly — when I said we couldn’t go because he hadn’t held up his end of the bargain in the allotted time. But once the decision was made and his initial explosion of tears had subsided, he buried his head into my shoulder for at least twenty minutes, intermittently weeping and talking about how very, very, very sad he was (not angry, not frustrated, just really sad.) And when it was over, it was over. And the two of us sat together and designed a map of the ultimate aquarium before agreeably heading upstairs to read stories and go to bed.

    File Oct 10, 12 00 59 AM

  • I was scolded this afternoon when I chose to go see a movie instead of finish my submission for my writing group. I had been sitting and working on it for hours, but I kept getting caught up in this impenetrable web of…what? Emotions? Maybe. I’m realizing that trying to write about the same topic you’re trying to tackle in therapy is maybe not the best idea. I had to check out and go watch the story of Whitey Bulger — let myself be held by two hours of decadently accurate Boston accents.
  • I came home, though, and once everyone was else was in bed, I got back to it. Eked out five pages before midnight. That has to count for something, right?