I spent my morning grading, writing, laundering and cooking before it was time to bike through the haze to campus for my night class. It was one of those classes that went fine–even better than fine–where students talked to each other instead of just me and the conversation appeared to run by itself. But it was also one of those classes where there’s some real violence. That’s the flip side of teaching about race, gender, and sexuality: I have to listen to and turn into learning moments some incredibly racist, sexist, and homophobic stuff. That’s my job, and I love it–it is work worth doing, and for that I am grateful. But sometimes it gets to me in spite of how hard I am to what I talk about every day, and tonight it did, though I didn’t show it–hey, we’re learning, and I get that, and I’m genuinely glad I can create an environment where students say that stuff out loud so we can actually talk about it. But sometimes it gets to me. When that car laid on the horn as it sped past me on a street more than wide enough for the both of us, it came out, and I was pedaling through tears, saying to myself over and over again, “I belong, I belong, I belong.” Because I do, on my bike, in my body, regardless of my gender or sexuality, and so do you, and we are all here, so let’s figure out how to share this space without asking some of us to shut up and quit whining. I kept on pedaling until I got to Slice where I knew they would sell me pizza with bacon on it, red wine, and leave me alone. Riding your bike on the street is activism, people. Come out, come out, wherever you are.
Awe Kate…… I have appreciated you for who and “what” you are since I first met you at the Q.. You certainly do matter and you make a difference in people’s lives every day with your knowledge, compassion and education. You helped me so much to learn to accept something new in my life when my granddaughter came out when she was still in high school. She graduated with her Masters 2 weeks ago in NYC and she reminds me of you with her passions – hers are rescuing animals and keeping them from suffering and she had obtained a good first time position doing that. She is still with her wife to be after 7 years which tells me something is working. So again, I thank you for letting me get to really know you as you drove cross country to NOLA to start your new life there. Hugs!!!
Aw thanks, Judy. It has been a pleasure getting to “know” you. I hope you join me in Baltimore! Love from NOLA.
Heart felt and fearless writing.
I get that feeling a lot. I’m sure you have heard the story of Jan Morgan: http://www.starkvilledailynews.com/node/5919 We are wearing yellow on Friday to raise visibility in response to this tragedy: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=210098459029289 I hope that you will join us, even though you are not in Mississippi.
Oh, Andrea, what a devastating story. All good thoughts her way, indeed.