A Dr. King Day’s Gift

As part of the research for my newest theater piece, The Re-Education of George W. Bush, I get to meet with women of color to learn of their experiences in the world (you will understand why once you see the play!) This Monday (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) I had the privilege of connecting with Regina D, who among many things is an African-American Lesbian mother and grandmother.

Two years ago I heard Regina D. speak at a Pride event at the Hartford Public Library. I sat transfixed attempting to type her every word of her revealing and powerful testimony. When I got home, I wrote a blog post about Regina and her message.

Tuesday I printed out the piece for Regina and included it with a consultant’s fee for the mind/heart-expanding narrative she shared. I thought I would re-post the blog entry here so that you may experience, in a small part, the gift of Regina D.

Regina D

Her father sexually abused her relentlessly.
He referred to queer people as “those goddamn faggots!”
He cursed her for being lesbian.
He died in bitterness and alcoholism.
Regina never liked him.

But Regina’s mother sat her down this past November to set the story straight.

“Regina, when you told me you were a lesbian, you may have wondered how I took it all so well,” her mother began then dropped the bomb.
“Your father liked men.”
Seems all his homophobia was aimed right at himself as part of his own self-loathing.
He never hated Regina because she was lesbian; he hated himself.

In spite of the mess she was given, Regina speaks of hope and healing and love.

Regina: “If we are not real, it will kill us and we will take other people with us.”

Regina: “I want to expand the meaning of the phrase, My People.”

Regina wants to include more than just other African-American Lesbian Women in her group. She seeks to embrace among “her people” all queer folks, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Disabled, more and more, a wider coalition of humanity that she calls kin. “Everywhere I look, I need to see my people.”

This post has 4 Comments

  1. Contemplative Activist on January 18, 2006 at 11:58 pm Reply

    I like that a lot Peterson. Indeed, if we could see everyone else as our people imagine what the world would look like.

    Regina sounds like such a powerful woman. I would love to hear her speak.

  2. Diana_CT on January 19, 2006 at 4:06 am Reply

    Unfortunately, so many of us of us in the GLBT community do that. Focus the guilt internally, at the support group I see so many of my brothers and sisters who were or are drug or alcohol dependant. Myself included, in my college days ( late sixties and earlier seventies ) I tried just about everything except heroine. Lucky for me a lot of it was experimenting and I never really got that heavy in to drugs, never getting addicted to any.

    I had met Regina off and for the pass couple of years, including that panel discussion at the Hartford Public Library ( If my memory serves me, I think that the Rev Cannon Jones was also on the panel. ), at True Colors and other events. But what stands out most was what she said at a Transgender Day of Remembrance a couple years ago about a when she was little and a trans friend committed suicide because they wouldn’t allow her friend to come to school dressed.

    It’s hard…….

  3. Christine on January 19, 2006 at 9:05 pm Reply

    Wow…Regina sounds like an amazing person. I’d love to meet her…but even if I never do, thank you for sharing her words with us!

  4. Granny on January 20, 2006 at 3:05 pm Reply

    I’d like to meet her as well. Thanks.

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