Hey, everyone! I’m Jennifer, and I’ve finally been convinced to write for this amazing blog, so I’ll try to introduce myself in this post. It took a little while for me to agree to write for the BDU Blog, but my hesitation was (at the time) for some legitimate reasons. Like many LGBTQA people, I have been fearful of the reactions I might get for coming out or being outed. A great deal of that fear has been directed towards my family, because the messages I received about gay people when I was growing up were extraordinarily negative, and those messages haven’t stopped. So, I’m not out to any of my family, not even to my little sister, which keeps me safe but also makes me very sad. However, I’ve been lucky enough to find another family here at Duke and in Durham. My new family is full of wonderful, beautiful people – people who are as different from or as similar to me as I can imagine, and everything in between.
In my opinion, a family is like a team – we work together for some common goals, like making the family more welcoming and positive, and the love we have for each other makes cooperation easier. This blog is one example of the amazing things that happen with love, dedication, and teamwork, and I feel honored to write for it. I’m also the member of another team: WOMYN Magazine. Katherinne Silva, Robert Kollenberg, and I make up the Editorial Team, and together with you and your voices (because you’re part of the WOMYN team as well!) we want to make the LGBTQA Community a more visible part of Duke.Megan Weinand, Jack Grote, and Summer Puente, the original Editorial Team (with the help of the ever-fantastic Dr. Janie Long), did something groundbreaking by starting WOMYN, and the current editors need your help to publish the next issue, because without you, there isn’t a magazine. In fact, as part of my contribution to the blog, I want to restart WOMYN Wednesday – WOMYN really needs your submissions and your input, and hopefully WOMYN Wednesday will give you even more ways to contribute. A quick word about submissions: the deadline for submitting to the next issue is September 16, 2011, and if you’re affiliated with Duke – a student, staff member, faculty member, or alum – you’re eligible to submit! We accept anonymous submissions, and we adhere to a strict code of confidentiality. You can submit anything: a photo, a comic strip, a poem, a prose piece – if you can email it (or a representation of it) to email@example.com, we’ll submit it to our Review Board. The only thing that we ask is that it has a focus on queer women and/or queer women’s issues. Additionally, we would love to have ideas for an awesome cover design for this issue. You are the ones who make this magazine, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at the WOMYN email address listed above.
However, Wednesdays won’t always just be about WOMYN; both this blog and WOMYN are forums where we can tell our stories, analyze movies, poems, YouTube videos, and political power-plays, share our secrets, and help each other ask and answer difficult questions. So, I hope that I can share more of my story on this blog, and that you will feel comfortable sharing your voices with the Community by submitting to WOMYN.