Sunday, May 07, 2006

63. Thank God for Buddha

Well, I’m in the middle of the last 3 hours of a 3 day weekend granted me by Buddha’s birthday, which apparently was on Friday. Man, this weekend was sorely needed though, it was getting down to the wire. We were all about to snap.

I don’t really have anything to say, but I thought that since it has been a while since I blogged, and I’ve got time so I might as well just write something. So, I thought I’d respond to some of the comments. And the first thing I thought I’d talk about is the Smurfs (mentioned briefly in my previous post). Because they are very important.

Actually, I have very little to say about the Smurfs. I’m not sure why I wasn’t allowed to watch them, there was something about demons or witches or something. But I never did. When I got old enough to think for myself, I tried to watch an episode just to see what I missed, but I couldn’t do it. Not because of guilt or anything, but because it is a horrible show! Their voices, their little, blue, creepy bodies… ugh. And that theme song! Maybe there is something demonic there, because like I said, I never watched the show but that song gets stuck in my head sometimes and it annoys the crap out of me.

Now I think I’ll answer a more serious comment left by Shannon asking why I haven’t told my dad that I’m gay. I think I should back up and say that I never told my mom that I was gay. She found out due to some rather annoying circumstances. The first Christian that I ever told that I was gay was an old pastor of mine. And I was so nervous before meeting with her that I wrote down what I planned to say to her. The morning I was supposed to meet with her, I had a bit of a panic attack and went to a friend’s house (a non-Christian friend who knew I was gay and had encouraged me to meet with my pastor about it), and when I got there I realized that I had forgotten my notes. She helped me recreate them, I went to the meeting, all went well, and I went home and threw out my notes… the second set – in my relief I completely forgot about the first set. A few months later, my mom came to visit and was “helping” me clean (I put that in quotes because I almost never want my mom helping me clean because to her it means ‘snoop’.) For some reason, she decided to ‘help’ me sort through my files and papers -- something I had by no means asked her to do, and I can’t believe she thought would be okay (going through another person’s papers is a big no-no as far as I can tell. It would never even enter my mind to do that, even if I thought it would help, unless someone specifically told me to). Anyway, tucked into my papers was my original set of notes.

That night my mom confronted me about it, and I told her I was meeting with my pastor regularly to discuss the matter. I knew at the time that my mom would interpret this to mean that I was going for ex-gay counseling, and I totally let her believe that… mostly because this all blindsided me – I was not prepared for that conversation at all. A year later my mom asked me how those meetings were going, and how the gay stuff was and I told her that I hardly ever thought about the gay stuff at all anymore – which, at the time was true. I didn’t mean that I wasn’t gay anymore, I just meant that it had moved to the back of my mind. I was thinking about other issues more, such as grace, and spiritual disciplines. That was actually a really good year for me. I said what I said to my mom rather flippantly, and this time I didn’t realize what she took it to mean, which was that I had been ‘cured’.

About a year later, it came up again, and this time it was not good. I can’t really remember how it started, but my mom was going on and on about my future husband, and how, if I wanted to marry I had to learn how to be a wife and mother, etc… At this point I was firmly in camp B (instead of the unstable ground between Side A and B) and believed that celibacy was the only answer, and I was sick of the constant “so, when are you going to find a man” talk that I have had shoved in my face since I was about 21. So after listening to her going on and on about how my purpose was to be a wife for what seemed like forever I finally told her that I didn’t think I was ever going to marry, that I couldn’t ever marry a man because I was gay. Well… it was not pretty. She actually accused me of pretending to be gay to ‘get back at her’… which was hilarious, because the first time I ever told my mom I was gay was when I was 11 (if you read this post, you’ll also know that I quickly told her I was fixed after that). There were things said about my church and my pastors, demonic possession, etc… it was very unpleasant. She almost never brings it up anymore, which is fine by me.

As far as my dad is concerned, he’s already disappointed because I’m not a breathtaking beauty. The best he can come up with as far as a compliment is concerned is that I’m “cute”. He doesn’t approve of the way I dress, the way I look, and most importantly (to both my parents, annoyingly enough) how much I weigh. And I do remember once using the word “butch” to describe someone (funnily enough, it was a man I was talking about – butch to me has always meant simply ‘strong and good with tools’) and he strongly cautioned me against using that word because it had a very disgusting meaning. It was a while before I actually put 2 and 2 together and got ‘homophobic father’. He’s mellowed since then, and it’s possible that he would be quite loving and accepting when someone gay actually turned out to be his daughter (He does love me very much, that is a fact I’m sure of), but our relationship is a bit too fragile for me to risk that. I do have an aunt on his side who once told me that it would be okay if I was a lesbian (she probably had just figured it out at that point) when I was about 18 or 19 and had yet to have had a boyfriend. But no, I have no intention of telling him, or any more members of my family. And if I could remove the information from my mother’s brain, I would. I’m a bit of a coward.

In other, less serious news, I’ve been playing around with YouTube and thought I’d share some of my recent finds with you. I think I’ve mentioned Ani Difranco a few times on this blog. She is one of my absolute heroes. A genius, a singer, a poet… just incredible. Here’s a clip of her singing her song “Swim”.

Ani also does a lot of spoken word poetry, and here’s a clip of her at the Def Poetry Jam. She is, as one of my coworkers would so deftly put it, the cat's ass.

Anyway, that's all I've got for you today. Later, Gators!