Tag Archives: Queer

Battle of the Sexes Redux

It’s just really important that we start celebrating our differences. Let’s start tolerating first, but then we need to celebrate our differences. — Billie Jean King

“I wanted to use sports for social change.” — Billie Jean King

“You’ve Come a Long Way Baby.” — Virginia Slims cigarette slogan, first sponsor of the women’s tennis circuit which later became the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association).

Each generation experiences firsthand a series of events which become mile markers and touchstones for our lives. The past two weeks, I was reminded, while watching Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s riveting PBS documentary series, The Vietnam War, of being a baby boomer who came of age from preteen to young adult during the Vietnam War. Beginning last year, and continuing this year, I watched documentaries and narrative films about the anniversaries of Civil Rights protest marches, riots, and tragedies, most recently the film Detroit. On Friday, the reminiscing continued when I saw the new film, Battle of the Sexes, chronicling the $100,000 tennis television spectacle between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, billed as the “battle of the sexes,” women’s libber vs. chauvinist pig.  Continue reading

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Valentine Blues

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” — Charles Schulz 

First, please don’t make assumptions about the content of this essay based on its title, or misconstrue this writer’s intent. This is not a, “Poor me I’m single on Valentine’s Day missive,” or, “This is a ridiculous Hallmark Card, florist and chocolatier’s, consumer-driven, holiday.” No, instead let me go on record, I like Valentine’s Day and all the accompanying hearts and flowers, sophomoric poetry, and dinner dates with a special someone. Some years I’ve been known to give, receive and enjoy them.  Continue reading

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Conversations w/My Next Girlfriend: Episode 7

Note: This is seventh in a series of imaginary conversations with my next girlfriend.

Dear Next Girlfriend,

You’ve been on my mind again. Over the Labor Day weekend and the following work week, I took my annual staycation. It’s time off of work during my favorite time of year. Those summer days right before fall and the beginning of the school year. I plan coffee dates or brunch with friends, wander in an art museum and linger in a library, check off things from my “to do only if I want to list,” see a movie matinee or two, write, nap, cook, and practice spontaneity. It is a time for reflection and restoration, and it’s a reminder I’m single. Continue reading

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Journal/Journey

“What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.” ― Gabriel García Márquez

Years before I started writing for others, I wrote poetry and journaled for myself. Sometimes I would share a poem with the person who inspired it yet seldom a journal entry. Journaling by its very nature is a private act, a conversation with oneself, often a daily record of happenings, experiences and observations. Sometimes our loved ones or curious friends or colleagues surreptitiously read our journals. Much is written about the consequences of reading someone’s journal without the author’s permission.

Continue reading

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Conversations w/My Next Girlfriend: Episode 5

Note: This is the fifth in a series of imaginary conversations with my next girlfriend.

Dear Next Girlfriend,

It’s been awhile since I’ve talked with you. There’s something about winter that makes some of us isolate and retreat to our homes. I count myself in that group this year. It has been a particularly challenging season and like so many others this winter I found comfort and solace in my home, snuggled up on the couch like an ole’ hibernating bear. Now that the first real hints of spring have arrived, I’m awakened again and so are many of my desires. For many creatures, including us, spring is mating season. Continue reading

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Conversations w/My Next Girlfriend: Episode 4

Note: The following post is fourth in a series of imaginary conversations with my next girlfriend.

Dear Next Girlfriend,

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.”  — Lucille Ball.

Who would have thought that Lucille Ball, comedienne and star of I Love Lucy, could express in a few simple words what I finally learned to practice after a decade in therapy?  Yes, it’s that time of year again, love is in the air and chocolatiers, florists, restaurants and the folks at Hallmark are busy trying to get into our pockets, and not to be too crude, but for those of you out there in a relationship, your “special someone” is  trying to get into your pants. Next girlfriend, I was hoping to be included in that group. Oh well, I’m going to practice patience while I wait for you and continue to enjoy and celebrate my single life, and today, acknowledge all the love I’m grateful to both give and receive. Continue reading

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A Gender Journey in Three Vignettes

Preface

This week when beginning to write a piece for my LGBTQ Narratives Activist-Writers group, I was in a fog. The prompt was a broad subject, gender, and in fact I had suggested it. It is a topic that interests me. It’s a dynamic subject, it affects perception, language, challenges assumptions, and forces us to adapt to our changing culture, roles and identities. Continue reading

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Am I Blue?

“Am I blue, am I blue, ain’t these tears telling you, am I blue, you’d be too”

—Billie Holiday

Blue Is the Warmest Color is the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or winning story of a young woman’s first love and loss. In an unusual move, the film’s French director, Abdellatif Kechiche, accepted the award alongside it’s two female leads, Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos. This was more surprising given the controversy surrounding the film and the working conditions for the actors who described the experience as “horrible.” Seydoux went even further when she said that Kechiche made her feel “like a prostitute.” Continue reading

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Sexagenarian Dating in the Midwest

“It is utterly false and cruelly arbitrary to put all the play and learning into childhood, all the work into middle age, and all the regrets into old age.”  Margaret Mead

Today’s post begins with a quote from Margaret Mead, the cultural anthropologist, writer and feminist. I offer this quote for a couple of reasons; first, Mead is a widely quoted and respected student of civilization, she was posthumously awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. The citation read:

“Margaret Mead was both a student of civilization and an exemplar of it. To a public of millions, she brought the central insight of cultural anthropology: that varying cultural patterns express an underlying human unity. She mastered her discipline, but she also transcended it. Intrepid, independent, plain spoken, fearless, she remains a model for the young and a teacher from whom all may learn.”

The second reason I begin with Mead’s quote about aging is that I wanted this essay about dating in my sixties to have some academic weight. The idea that I was approaching this subject from the point of view of a cultural anthropologist made me smile as I write about my dating life, or current lack of one. Continue reading

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Conversations with My Next Girlfriend

Preface

Since the breakup of my fifteen-year relationship, five-and-a-half years ago, I remain living in the past to some degree. I’m aware that as long as my past inhabits my present, I’m essentially still in a relationship, even if it’s predominately virtual and one-sided.  I have conversations in my head — the closure and amends we never had a chance to process together; I work out the “hers, mine and ours” unfinished business of the breakup in scenarios in my dreams, I continue to share stories with friends that begin, “When I was with my ex…” and I make promises to myself to never repeat the same mistakes, or expect people to be anything but who they are, not what I wished they’d be, and yes, I include myself in that awareness. This is the legacy of being the person who was left. It takes time. The good news is we are working on redefining our relationship as friends and chosen family. Continue reading

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