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Saturday, May 05, 2001
[Letter] by Global AIDS Alliance co-directors.

Had a nice dinner at The Weathervane restaurant in A Southern Season in Chapel Hill. They have delicious food there, though quite expensive. E and her parents came in while I was there J and J. Funny, because last time I was at the restaurant was with E. When I went in last night, I scanned the outdoor garden seating area to see if she were there. She wasn't, but not more than a quarter of an hour later, she walked in.

I think I'm all written out. Took me forever to squeeze out ten pages for the first paper I have due. Turned it in about two and a half hours ago. Not quite what I would've liked it to be, but at least I think it's coherent enough. The big paper still left -- twenty pages -- and an annotated bibliography. Take a deep breath. Almost done. Two more solid days of work . . .

Bloggity blog blog. Forgot to mention Wednesday night was a gathering at professor's house to present paper topics to class. I wasn't very coherent in explaining things (partly because I still don't know what my paper is really about). It felt like forever when I was presenting. I even asked how long these things were supposed to be about ten minutes after I started talking. But then they let me off the hook.
Thursday, May 03, 2001
[This article] via [halo33.com]. Yum. Too bad I missed the kiss. And I am glad that Dawson's Creek is "dealing" with teen gay sexuality, even if its acceptance by the WB, television execs, etc. might be an interest in the prurient or provocative. I am glad that "positive" (that is, non-essentializingly condemnatory) representations of non-heterosexist sexualities are possible on television now. Even if those representations are problematic in some ways. Because what we do in this world always serves multiple, even divergent, purposes for different people. And we shouldn't let the possiblity of the cooptation of our efforts stymie our political commitments for a [better world].

On Kerr Smith's comments on not playing into "stereotypes" in his role: I find myself struggling with the duality of being gay (meaning effeminate, sensitive, etc.) and normal (meaning macho, deep-voiced, physical, etc.) all the time, even as I understand that such a binarism is artificial. (Sometimes I flame deliberately. Sometimes I wear nail polish. Sometimes I act the queen. Sometimes.) And so I am glad that Dawson's Creek and other shows try to present straight-acting gays, even as I decry the extolling of a masculinist code of behavior for men. (Perhaps the example of Will and Grace is appropriate here as destabilizing the normalization of gays by presenting the more flamboyant Jack in conjunction with the more staid Will.)

And now back to the regularly scheduled programming of paper-writing . . .

[Blast from the past.] Got an e-mail today from the first on-line friend I made back in 1994 (senior year of high school for me). We had a pretty close, daily e-mail correspondence for about two years. We were both just coming out, just coming to incorporate a gay identity into our lives. I still remember the day Ruston wrote me an e-mail telling me he is gay. We had been writing each other for at least a couple of months by then, and I could sense the nervousness in the message, his fear that I might reject him for his sexuality. And I pondered his message for minutes, its presence on the computer screen an incredibly visceral validation of an emerging acceptance of my own sexuality in conflict with fears of rejection, discovery. But it was not difficult for me to reply to his message, a measure of relief coursing through my body at being able to tell someone, even as I watched the door anxiously, afraid someone in my family might come in at any moment to see those words on the screen: "I'm gay, too."

After his move from Utah to the City of Angels, however, our correspondence trailed off. (He e-mailed me from his job in Utah -- in LA he didn't have the same access right away.) Over the last four or five years, we've intermittently kept in touch. I try to send him a card every year. I want to hold on to our friendship because it really gave me hope when I was most frightened about what being gay meant. And I'm particularly glad he e-mailed me now, when the craziness of life is driving me batty (see [previous entry]).

Wednesday, May 02, 2001
So many things in this world make me want to run away and become a hermit. Reading about the Christian conservative movement's efforts to "prevent" kids from becoming gay in Sharon Lerner's article, [Straightness 101] is just appalling. I can't even begin to understand the argument: promoting tolerance of homosexuality is a strike against "our" free speech and right to understand homosexuality as a sin. It just goes to show that there is not a baseline understanding of love and acceptance for others in this wonderful country/world of ours. How can these people actively insist that protecting gay youth (and others) from discrimination, taunting, and outright VIOLENCE is a bad thing? And on top of that, my friend M e-mailed me a newspaper article about the work of the Christian Coalition in Washington (the state) to defeat a bill advocating school policies against discrimination, harrassment, and bullying. Their argument? Anti-discrimination policies are pro-gay and imply that it's wrong to beat up or harrass deviants (homosexuals). Hard to believe, but that's what they believe. Here's the article on-line: [Anti-bullying Vote Blocked in Olympia].
Tuesday, May 01, 2001
[To TORES: I love you!] Sappy, saccharine, and all. When is any profession of love not? What is so hokey about love? This, and what we think about relationships more generally, all covered in a tacky gauze; the truly, staunchly, total PERSON is free of love's foolishness? I want to know why we are so defensive about being loving people. But so much cultural weight pushing us away from the raw expressions of love, away from being open vulnerable?
As always, I'm finding more and more things to read as paper deadlines approach. I dread sitting down to write. So much material out there to read. Might as well continue reading, learning, finding more writers to admire. But the writing. Write. Right. Time to use those idea-generating devices from rhetoric/composition class.

[Buffy] tonight (and Angel). There's a solid two hours out of possible work-time. Not that I've been working all day or that I would have the stamina to work so long in the evening. I should think of the two hours as another way to massage my brain. Right.

So warm today, bordering on too hot now, though nothing like what it'll be soon and for the next few months as hot and humid summer rolls in to smother us. Bleah. I don't like leather seats in cars. I'm glad my mom gave me her car, but I wish she weren't a luxury car aficionado. I really don't need all the fancy gadgets and I really don't need the leather. Fast to get hot and stay hot. Slippery, too, so that I can't put things on the seat without them falling off. And the feel of the stuff -- just not what I want to sink into as I drive. I'm more of the soft, fuzzy type.

Gotta think of what to make for dinner. Haven't cooked in weeks. J has been playing house-husband these last couple of weeks, cooking often. Rather than go out tonight, I think I will try to make something (need to go to store first) as yet another procrastinating tactic. Or a relaxing task. Or a shift in gear. That's always a good thing -- breaking the monotony of reading/writing/thinking on a specific idea for a paper. Not that I've thrown myself into that work quite yet.

Monday, April 30, 2001
["Experts Say That Cheaper Drug Treatments Alone Are Not Enough" by Barbara Crossette]. Although the end of the first paragraph seems iffy -- implying the implausibility of a broad approach to the global AIDS pandemic, this article raises many of the important issues groups like the Global AIDS Alliance (GAA) and [UNAIDS] have addressed regarding plans to turn back the spread of AIDS. Of course, I'm also partial to the following excerpt:

"AIDS is no longer only a disease of the individual; it is a societal malignancy," wrote Eric A. Friedman of the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School and Paul Z. Zeitz of the Global AIDS Alliance in a paper last month. The Global AIDS Alliance is a group formed this year to advocate broader support for programs to fight the disease on many fronts.

"An expanded concept of prevention is required, one that includes food security, efforts to empower women, and other ways of addressing societal problems," Mr. Friedman and Mr. Zeitz wrote. They put the cost of dealing with the wider devastation of AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa at $15 billion annually.

It's always great to see well-deserved acknowledgement (here in the form of citation by a respected news source) of important research/work done by [my friends].
What a splendid day outside. Sunny and warm, but not hot nor humid. I would just sit in the sun if it weren't for my recalcitrant allergies. Books, books, and more books.

Monday mail call is my favorite. I don't get much snail mail, but Mondays have always held a particular spell over me in terms of anticipating mail. I suppose it's the thought that Monday's mail is really two days' worth of mail, and therefore there should be twice as many goodies for me. And even though day after day I bring in just junk mail and circulars, I still hold on to that hope that someone, someday, will send me something nice.

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