Archive | January 2012

The gay talk

I know people are so horrified about having to tell children about the “gay thing”.  For us it came early.  My daughter wanted to bring her girlfriend over for dinner.  Callum was still very young, about seven, but it was time to clue him in on what was going on.  So I sat down with Callum and explained that Susan was bringing a friend for dinner.  But she was differrent than just any other friend.  She was a girlfriend.

He still didn’t get it.  So I said “Well your sister is gay.  Do you know what gay means?”  He shook his head. I tried to word it very carefully to not give him any feelings of right or wrong or normal or not, but to show him this was something we as a family accepted.   “Well you know how Daddy and I love each other?  Gay is when a boy loves other boys, or like Susan, girls love other girls.”

Callum looked at me with a huge grin on his face.  “Cool, I never even knew that was an option!”  Fist pump and off he runs upstairs to “tell Brody about this”.

He was not horrified, traumatized or even uncomfortable.  It was not a big sex talk, but simply about how love comes in all kinds of different forms.

I am so very happy that Susan and Callum are close.

Meeting at the boy’s school

Yes, I got the dreaded call on Friday, I needed a sit down with the boy’s teachers to discuss his non-performance.   My boy, shit he is gifted.  Last year we had an issue when I signed his blank agenda (see mom no homework), then he would go in, copy the homework he had.  The teacher would ask why he did not do his homework and he would say “My mom said I didn’t have to do that.”

This year: The teacher called and left a message that she left a note in his agenda.  He erased the message and forged my signature.  Yeah, he’s good.  Should I be amused at this behavior in a brilliant yet lazy 11 year old?  Probably not.  But I am.  I love the initiative.  The planning.  The thinking outside the box.

Does that make me a bad mommy?  Oh well.  I have not played hookie with him yet this year.  For me that is being a hard-ass.  I miss our mommy-Callum days.

 

My drag show

So about two years ago my daughter was active in drag performances.  Every time she had a show she would call me like a hour before and I was always working.  I’d bitch about her giving me time to get there, to plan days off.  Anyway one of her friends who was my facebook friend knew how desperate I was to see her, so she told me when Susan would perform next the day before.  So I got someone to take my shift, and with great trepidation went on my adventure.

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This is my daughter as James Diamond Davis.

   Now this was not a drag performance as such, more of a dress rehearsal.  The bar, though open, was very slow.  So I asked a group of drag queens if Susan was there.  I was promptly told that no one knew a Susan.  Damn, I fail.  “James Diamond”, I corrected myself.  “Sorry” I did not know how to tell them that I had no idea of the  correct way to address someone who is not a transsexual, but a drag performer.  No, James has not yet made it.

   Feeling like the total outcast I sat and ordered a beer once, after 20 minutes a waitress approached me.  “Okay hun, but from now on come order at the bar, we don’t have wait staff on Wednesday.”  Ooops, batting a thousand here.  So about 1/2 way through my beer a man about 45 came and asked to sit with me.  He then asks why I am there, and I told him my daughter is performing.  “Now you know I am not like them.  I like women.  I really don’t get the queer stuff.”  Now, how fucking stupid is he?  REALLY?  I just told you my daughter is one of “them”.  Obviously I am fine with her being a lesbian.  WTF?  I took pains to tell him my HUSBAND would be with me but he is watching our 9 year old son.  Then he tells me he is staying up the road and could he take me out for a drink and show me what “real” men like.  I stood up and told him “You know, you are making me really uncomfortable.  I am going to go hang with the drag queens.”  I called him freak underr my breath

   Lindsay/Sly my facebook friend was there now, and I sat with her and her future wife with their child. The performaces were brilliant, and everyone was so patient with my questions.  About half way through my daughter called to tell me  she was not going to make it.  But by that time I was having a great time with my new friends. When all the performers were done I left with hugs and my daughter’s “drag-grandmother” waited with me until my husband showed up to make sure I was safe.

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From left to right:  Susan/James, Lindsay/Sly, James’ drag grandmother and the last girl I never met as she left the group right after that performance.  

 The next day I woke to new freind requests on my facebook and the invitation to 2 groups for drag perrformers.  I will never forget how wonderfully they embraced me with no rejection or prejudice. 

My first paid gig (every word true, great book)

A book Review

Fidel Castro is Dead by Pradeep Persaud:

  Excellently realistic with likeable characters and vibrant places set the stage for this funny and romantic story. The book spans decades and three continents as it follows young Abhi and Pam as their star-crossed love seems to never be able to find that moment for them. From the first time they are in the same room together you know they must be together, and the drive to see them together really powers the story.

The novel starts with a spectacularly vivid image of how different the two cultures; the one Abhi was born into and the one he has lived in since a young child. That Abhi actively lives with a foot in each culture is shown many times through the book and often puts him at cross purposes and have him in bizarre and funny circumstances and fuels the love-hate dynamic with his father.

One of the things that particularly captured me was how the attitudes of the main character changes as he ages as the city of New York changes along with him. The change is natural and in keeping with how attitudes change. I love that as a youth it was all love or hate. It was good and bad, black and white. New York was the city of rich and poor, from posh to filth. Later in the book as the middle class takes over New York is the grey. The more mature Abhi is now also able to see grey. Though still in love with Pam he goes on with his life. The bleakness of older Abhi, and the bleakness of his life. The struggle, and focus on the negative as New York turns into a dirty and filthy place. Atmosphere is really a driving movement in the novel and encompasses every scene with visceral reaction to the environment adding to what is taking place in the plot.

It is a fast paced book, but I found myself really relishing the descriptive text and sinking into the atmosphere. The richness of scenery and the complexity of very real and alive characters. There are no simple boy meets girl and falls in love; every moment is shaped and changed by circumstances so real-world, I think it is the first true to life romance I have read in years.