So there’s not much new on the boy front. I still feel overwhelmed when I think of it, but I talked to my therapist about it and she told me how the stories we tell ourselves can overwhelm us or lift our spirits. So I’m trying to think of each element of this story separately: That my romantic night that I’ve planned for him is a simple romantic gesture that doesn’t have to mean that we’ll be together forever (hell, we’ve only with each other there 5 months so far); that I am excited for him and for his transition; that even though I love him I don’t have to commit my life to him because we’re still getting to know each other. I feel physically relieved as I type some of these things, even as I feel a the pressure on because I’m thinking about it again. So there’s that.
Then there’s last night. I didn’t watch the Tony’s but I heard on NPR that Fun Home won for best musical. At first I was uninterested because the (very) little that I read of Fun Home was a bit of a downer; but then again, I’ve always had a crush on Alison Bechdel (super hottie!) and Mo from DTWOF and wanted to catch a glimpse of what the actress portraying her looked like. So I checked out this:
and oohmyygod wow. I was taken back to the time right before I began coming out at about age 25. I remember seeing the butch janitor at my mom’s school when she, my niece, and I were getting her room ready for her first year of teaching. She came, no, swaggered in, and I couldn’t stop looking at her. I thought maybe she recognized me too. I didn’t know what to say to her, and despite her butchness (I didn’t know what to expect), I think she was a little quiet. Shy, like me. When little Alison in the song sings, “Can you feel my heart saying hi?” I lose it every time. That’s how it is sometimes, huh? It was then, and was when I first went to the Castro with my mom (again, lol) and one gay boy my age just looked at me. He had dark hair and was wearing an orangish polo and gave me a friendly, non-invasive gaze, recognizing me. He didn’t look away. I’ll never forget it…..it put me at peace and filled me with such anticipation and wonder.
Anyway, I’ve seen this behavior again and again in the gay community. People quietly acknowledging each other, listening to the newbies like they were little puppies discovering the world, not wanting to guide them but just let them be curious and playful as hell and scared as they are. One of the things I love about my community, even though as I’ve become slightly more involved since then I haven’t seen it (I’m around families and allies and out youth more these days).
Another thing about that play that captures us well is the divide that gay men and lesbians/butches/faab transfolk sometimes have. We sometimes have different tastes, and sometimes it feels like we’re from entirely different worlds. When Alison’s dad, who’s secretly gay, tells her to put her barrette back in her hair from the Tony Awards performance, (which can be seen here: http://www.justjared.com/2015/06/07/fun-home-cast-performs-at-the-tony-awards-2015-watch-now/ it reminded me of the disconnect I’ve felt with gay men sometimes. They celebrate our/by butchness and, yes, hit on us, but they also sometimes have the glittery taste that it has taken me awhile to embrace, even though I love it now. Or when I’m talking to my gay professor and when there should be an instant bond with us, but there isn’t. I’m just another student, and gel much better with my straight male professor and my female-identified hippie one. It’s just all interesting.
We tend to talk about ourselves as community, but it’s important to remember that we’re sometimes from different worlds and we all have different tastes and personalities. Just like family: none of us get along all the time, and there’s inevitably politics and misunderstanding, but, hopefully, we’re there for each other when we need it most.