WV=West Virginia. I spent the past few days in Huntington in order to present Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House at Marshall College. The weather there remained wet but warm in the upper 60’s. Now back in Hartford the temperature hovers slightly above freezing with a wicked wind and the threat of snow. I will spend much of the day indoors doing chores, listening to fabulous music and prepping for my show tomorrow in Hartford–The Re-Education of George W. Bush.
I met such lovely people in Huntington, WV. Rebbeca from the LGBT Outreach Center has a fine taste in music (Spoon was playing in her car when she picked me up!) and a deep curiosity about the gnostic Gospels. On Wednesday night at a club club called Luna (with some fine music of their own, kick-butt hummus, and some of the best gins on the planet) a small group of us sat on the couches and talked about faith, queer issues and the ex-gay movement. Justin, a volunteer at the LGBTO Center joined me for dinner the night before and told me about his life as a queer guy in WV which includes long walks in the woods, a deep love of nature and Xena, the Warrior Princess. (He even wore a Xena t-shirt to dinner). Rebbeca, Justin and Doug (also from the center) helped me set up lights and run sound for my show. Rebecca even brought her parents and sister.
I also met Kit who just returned to Huntington after being away in California. Kit introduced us all to the Luna Club (and his dapper friend Shane) only proving once again that progressive people with excellent taste exist everywhere. Going to a place like West Virginia some biased folks in the North East joke with me, “Wait, I didn’t know they had colleges in West Virginia. And aren’t you afraid to go there?” My only fear was that I wouldn’t find any sweet brown rice. Other than that I expected exactly what I found, intelligent, well-informed, queer and queer-friendly folks.
Next week I travel to James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA and will get to meet the very smart scholar Christine M. Robinson, Assistant Professor of Sociology & Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Christine recently published a well-written article about The Politics of Masculinity and the Ex-Gay Movement. I will write a blog post about her work soon.
This amazing tour the past five years has rewarded me greatly. Have I gotten rich doing what I do? YES, but not in my bank account. I have grown so rich with friends, amazing conversations, new ideas and knowledge that have literally shaped my work and my life.
Now I shall return to my household chores, fabulous music, rehearsal, and well, heck, a big ole bowl of sweet brown rice!