For Wanda

Wanda Sykes, an out black lesbian comedian, was booed off the stage at a venerated comedy event in Boston Saturday night, one that raises millions of dollars for a cancer charity. The event has been running for 22 years, and has surely seen worse than what Wanda unleashed, and in fact did, after she’d left when another comedian made rape jokes. He got laughs, not boos. Can I get a “Fuck you, motherfucker, fuck all of y’all!”?


For Wanda, I was up at 4:30 this morning, finishing an Op Ed for the local paper entitled, “Local Community Support More Important Than Ever”.


For Wanda, I am taking care of my queer body by exercising and not eating as much candy nor drinking as much wine as the situation actually warrants.


For Wanda, I am speaking up because I have a platform and the privilege to do so, and many, many do not.


For Wanda, I am smiling at my neighbors, even the one with the “Congratulations, President Trump!” sign. He used to coach my son in baseball, and his wife and I talk all the time about our dogs. Of course, I’m smiling at him.


For Wanda, I am showing up because I’m mentally and physically healthy enough to do so, and many, many are not.


For Wanda, I am strongly recommitting to the work I have been doing to support local LGBTQ+ youth, to continue to brainstorm and research how best to give them the kinds of events and education they need in order to grow up healthy and strong.


For Wanda, I am writing children’s books, where the children live full, creative lives as members of queer families.


For Wanda, I am writing queer smut, where the queer characters fully inhabit their gorgeous, queer sexualities and get up to all kinds of wonderful queer things.


For Wanda, I have recommitted to writing a blog post at least once a week, and to highlighting a beloved femme on every Femme Friday.


For Wanda, I am out at work.


For Wanda, I am holding my queer friends and community in my heart and reaching out to them to let them know that I love them.


For Wanda, I am listening to my queer friends and community when they reach out to me and tell me that they love me.


For Wanda, I am not listening to the voices outside me and within, that tell me I can never do enough, that I’m not good enough, that my work and love will have no effect.


For Wanda, I am making sure the dog gets nice long walks, and the cat gets all the lap time he requires.


For Wanda, I am singing, playing the piano, reading and writing.


For Wanda, I do my best to be humble, patient, creative and wise in the face of the parenting challenges and joys of being the mom to two dearly-loved young white men.


For Wanda, I am devoting my all to the love of my life, Tex, to make sure our marriage survives, thrives and is dressed always in glorious glitter.


For Wanda, I am paying attention to spreading love in every aspect of my life.


For Wanda, and for you.

Interweave Interlude

This is something I wrote for my UU church newsletter. 

As I write this, the Supreme Court hearings about Prop 8 and DOMA are much in the public eye, and I mean the whole world public eye. My friend who lives in Chile forwarded me a post from another ex-patriot there, a straight woman, who wrote about Edith Windsor, plaintiff in the case before the Supreme Court to overturn DOMA. The post heading was, “The sweetest little old lesbian I’ve ever seen!” and went on to call Edith “adorable”.

I found this post so interesting, because that is not how I would describe Edith Windsor. When I look at her, I see a very powerful person, who, after a lifetime of abuse by a homophobic society, is fighting back and doing some very serious ass kicking. I see someone, who, even though she is a lesbian, a woman, and decidedly in the twilight years of her life – all of which are things that have most certainly been used against her in the effort to shut her up – has found the energy and courage to give an unjust system what for.

The tone of the post from Chile reminded me of another time, in another town, when I had to do a double take. “Oh, she’s just the funniest little lady!” was the remark, made in passing, by a straight woman. The person she was talking about, a local lesbian business owner, was someone I, too, had noticed around town, someone who appeared to me to be hard working, complicated, attractive and extremely competent. I could hardly recognize her in the straight woman’s off-hand remark.

I asked my friend in Chile if she thought the post she forwarded me was meant to be supportive. She said she thought so. I think so, too, but is it a real, lasting and substantial support? Calling someone “little”, “adorable”, “funny” feels dismissive to me. Like the support could vanish in a heartbeat if the lesbian stopped being attractive or amusing, like those folks wouldn’t even notice if they came across a lesbian who was not little or adorable or funny.

Part of the problem is that our society is currently so homophobically skewed that fully realized and detailed descriptions of lesbian life, whether in the news media, movies, literature or art, are incredibly hard to come by, at least any that make it onto the heterosexual radar. If you’ve been exposed to untold numbers of heterosexual stories and maybe just a handful of homosexual ones, it’s going to affect how you see the world. I hope that this is changing, and certainly if the Supreme Court does the right thing, our society will have taken a step in the right direction. Until then, let’s do what we can to make room for the stories that so often get overlooked. They are devastating, fierce, arousing, unique, riveting, inspirational, ordinary, spiritual, and some of them are even seriously adorable. But not one of them is simplistic or one dimensional. Just ask any of us.

“Interweave Interludes” will be offered occasionally by different members of our Interweave Chapter.

Our chapter of Interweave Continental is a member-based, grassroots church group providing the church LGBTQQIA community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex and Allies) opportunities for fellowship, support, spiritual growth, social justice work and community activism within the congregation as well as within the wider community  and beyond. 


Published in: on March 31, 2013 at 6:11 PM  Leave a Comment  
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