January 14, 2010

Welcome home everybody.

I can’t tell you how great it feels to be back in Durham again. I know I haven’t posted in two weeks, mostly because I felt it would be repetitive and circuitous since I haven’t taken any big steps in this long process of figuring out who the hell I am and who I want to be. I’m trying to be patient with myself. But there have been some changes.
I mentioned in a comment in my last blog entry about the singular follow-up conversation I had with my dad. It was strictly political and started by him, weaving through certain subjects such as adoption, a transgender documentary he saw on television, gay elected officials and my encouragement for him to use the term intersex instead of hermaphrodite. I was so thrilled and our conversation was so quick paced that I think I’ve found the platform in which to begin talking about gay issues more. My expectation is to start edging that door open so that maybe someday I can bring a partner over for dinner regardless of gender. Just babysteps for now. He needs to know I’m still his little girl just looking for happiness and a safe, respectful relationship.

But a conversation I had with my maternal grandmother a few days ago hit close to my heart in how far the rest of my family would need to come. Quoting scripture to me for over hour, she damned all the gays straight to hell as easily as if she were watering her garden. She told me that I shaved my head because I don’t want men to look at me anymore. I think part of that may be true. I was too exhausted from the conversation to retort. I didn’t even know what to say after she expressed resentment towards Muslims and how they want to blow everybody up. Maybe I’ll write it off as a lost cause, maybe I’ll find another way to reach out to her in the future. Who knows.

All I can really say right now is that going to the LGBT Center is a breath of fresh air and happiness and delight and hopefulness and just general good feelings all around.

So without a real way to transition here, I’m just going to shift gears here and make another plea for your stories. I’m looking for out individuals who would like to share their story for this blog. The entries on Ari and Viviana are examples of my work, and as you can tell (if you’re read them) is they differ very much. I simply wish to show who you are, right now in the year 2010, with all of your identifiers and idiosyncrasies that you express to the world. You can email me at spp12@duke.edu or summer.puente@duke.edu or shoot me a Facebook message if you’re interested. I would love to tell your story and get to know my community better.

I’m not gonna lie: I need some support too right now. This is part of the reason I jumped into this position. I’ve got a lot of growing to do…we all do. We should try and tie this community tighter and I believe the best way that can be done is through honesty and transparency and shared experience. You’re the ones that make my blog possible. Let’s do this.

I love you all. I love your strength and your courage and I’m honored to be a part of your lives and your history.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear you had a more positive experience with your Dad Summer and I hope the rest of your family comes around in time too. I admire your strength and courage, I love reading your blog entries because they're always inspirational. Looking forward to catching up soon! :)