July 28, 2010

What's Your Sign?

Here's mine.

This past Monday the National Organization for Marriage held a rally on the steps of the Indiana Statehouse. I joined several hundred counter-protesters in a successful bid to seriously outnumber rally attendees. Well, someone took my picture and posted it on the NOM Tour Tracker website. From there, that picture has gone viral. Wow. Even Joe.My.God picked it up and posted it. I'm overwhelmed at the response.

I've written my newbie report of the event for Bilerico. I'll update when it's posted.

Update: The Bilerico post is up.

Photo courtesy of Phyllis Lozano, Courage Campaign

July 21, 2010

A Person Of Privilege

That's me, in so many ways. I was born into privilege as a white person. I've never had to question whether my race was the reason for someone's decision affecting my life. I am an American, born in the most powerful country in the world, where I take for granted the freedom I have to move, work and learn. I have an education and all of the many options it gives me. I am straight and therefore what people have come to expect in their casting of roles.

Now I have a new sign of privilege: my car. I had no idea the impression it would give others. I was so excited to own exactly the car I wanted for the first time in my life. I still love to get in it every single time. But three times now I've been cursed for the crime of driving a convertible. The first time, I drove by a man standing on a corner downtown. As I passed he called out, "Asshole!" Who, me? Why? It took me a few minutes to realize what had transpired. It really made me think. The next two occasions of unintelligible remarks yet unmistakable intent told me this was a trend.

Huh. I'm being seen as a member of the elite, an entitled conspicuous consumer. I, who remembers those years when I put cardboard in my shoes to hide the holes in the soles; who drank powdered milk and wore hand-me-downs; who qualified for food stamps one unemployed summer; who didn't own a car until I'd been teaching for a year and a half.

I want to stop and correct these people's misapprehensions, but it doesn't really matter. I ask myself: how many times have I been guilty of the same assumptions? What crimes have I mentally accused people of doing simply based on appearances?

It's yet another wake-up call for me to not leap to conclusions, one of my own greatest failings. I need patience, pondering, and peaceful resolutions. It is a privilege to be able to drive the car I want. I can handle the heckling with grace.

July 17, 2010

Overheard: Words I Didn't Think I'd Ever Say

I was preparing demo supplies for this morning's talk on HIV 101.

"I have too many penises. What do I do with these?"

July 14, 2010

Ms. Grammarian Leads The Way

Okay, everyone, listen up. You over there, I need your attention.

It's time somebody spoke up about the correct forms of the verb "lead." This is a lovely word with very few quirks, but so many people misspell the past tense form that I'm having to say something. When teaching irregular verbs to young teens, I would use the following sentences to help out:

Today I _____.
Yesterday I _____.
I have _____.

When we use the verb "lead" (pronounced LEED) in spoken form, we use all its forms correctly: lead, led, have led. But in writing, I see it repeatedly written in the past tense as "lead." When "lead" is pronounced LED, it is a noun. So:

Today I lead.
Yesterday I led.
I have led.

Please pass it on.

Grammatically yours,

July 9, 2010

Verbatim: Phone Cam

Abe is in California with Ben (and I'm alone!). Never having done it before, Abe sends me five pictures in quick succession and of questionable quality.

July 9, 2010 3:55 PM
I remember that place. Did Ben just show you how to use the phone cam?

July 9, 2010 3:57 PM

Here, Look At Something Cute

Terrible quality photos taken by my BlackBerry.

Baby bunny by the rail trail just sat there as we looked at it.

Innocent puppy sat by the evidence, which had four canine indentations from gentle handling.

July 2, 2010

Saturday on Bilerico: Christians Apologize At Chicago Pride

It's all over the InterWebs. This picture depicts a young gay man hugging a pastor who says he is sorry for what the church has done. It is an uplifting scenario and you can read about it on Nathan Albert's very moving post.

I couldn't wait to write an article about it for Bilerico, so I set about doing my homework. I found information about the Marin Foundation, which staged this event, that is disturbing. While you wait for my article to post on Saturday afternoon, read this 2006 article written by Michelangelo Signorile for The Advocate.

Update: It's up.

Update II: Wow. This post on Bilerico certainly has garnered attention. I've been exploring other links offered by commenters, and my conclusions only get darker about Marin. Sorry to have ignored this blog, but I'll be back shortly.

Photo credit: Michelle at maladjustedmedia.com