Friday, November 19, 2004

Mission Accomplished


The sexuality panel went pretty well, though I was incredibly nervous, so I don't think I was my most eloquent. Only five of us made it: a Universal Unitarian minister, a transsexual, the daughter of a lesbian, a drag queen/gay man, and me. The questions were a lot tamer than I expected, and only a couple of questions (to the minister) stood out to me as negative, baiting, and/or clueless.

Before the program started, apparently some of the people helping prepare encountered a bigoted Avon lady in the school corridor. I didn't see her myself, but she had a booth set up somewhere, and when she heard there were to be gay people speaking at an event, she queried, "They let those kind of people go to school here?" She went on to inform her listeners that she would never, ever let her grandson go to my school, since they let in gay people, and instead she would send him to an Ivy League school. It must be nice living in a fantasy world.. after all, I'd be willing to bet even the most religious private colleges have gay people.

She got a few of the people riled up and they went off to go visit her again. I do know the drag queen walked past the table in full regalia, but reported no reaction from the lady. I explained that the lady probably was in such denial about homosexuality that she likely didn't recognize that Lucy was really a man.

As for the actual event, it was a little nerve-wracking. We had to file down the steps to the stage from the entrance in back of the theater, and everyone was walking so slowly. The people in the audience had all turned and were staring. Gaaaah. I just wanted to get down the steps and sit down. My professor introduced us once we were sitting, the house lights were turned off and the bright stage lights turned on us. We each introduced ourselves, giving the audience enough time to draft their questions. I didn't get as much floor time as the minister and the transsexual, but that's to be expected. The devout Christians around here seem to have trouble reconciling a minister who doesn't believe homosexuality is a sin.

The minister performs religious ceremonies for gay couples wishing to be 'married'. She was very eloquent and had a lot of great points, such as the Bible barely mentioning homosexuality and Jesus never having spoken on the subject, as well as his tendency to accept and accompany diverse groups of people. Someone asked whether she believed homosexuality was on par "with such deviant behavior as bestiality and necrophilia", to which she explained that she did not believe two consenting adults being in love is a sin. There was a question not long after that asked a follow up, "Would you marry a son and a mother, since you believe two consenting adults should have that right?" to which the minister said simply, in a very dignified manner, "No."

Lucy/Jacob and I got asked whether we'd ever had sex with someone of the opposite sex, and whether we thought that would 'fix our problem'. I explained that I fought with my homosexuality for several years, and in that time I really did try to be straight. I explained that straight people could put themselves into a gay person's shoes, and ask themselves whether they could see themselves having sex with someone of the same gender. The answer is no, because that key chemistry is not there. I said I always thought sex was overrated until I was with my first girlfriend, and after that, I finally understood what the ado was about, and what had been missing.

Then because I said I'd slept with men, someone asked whether I considered myself bisexual. I talked about how I believe sexuality is fluid and that people fall in varying degrees on the scale that can't sometimes be labeled exactly. I explained that the GLBT community has a lot of different labels to choose from and that we are free to use whichever label(s) we feel fits us best. And I told them no, that I consider myself a lesbian because I really don't feel about men the way I do women.

Lucy Lipps gave a small performance of a drag show, which was good. Other than that, the questions were good and generally respectful, and it all sort of passed in a blur. We had like a one-person standing ovation at the end (from what I could see of them in the dark, it looked like a lesbian).

Totally unrelated, but I wanted to pass on a couple things. Ernie usually has great links, and yesterday I stumbled across a site with torrents for the show Lost. I hadn't heard of it, but it sounded interesting, so I downloaded them. OMFG, this show kicks ass! If you have not seen it, download them now. Everything about it is well done, and the acting doesn't suck (in fact, it's got the older brother from Party of Five, and he's pretty good). His love interest looks like a cross between Jennifer Garner and Jessica Beals, but even sexier. How that is possible, I don't know, but it just is. Take my word for it, she's teh hawtness. The pace of each episode is deliciously slow, allowing plenty of time to absorb all the details as you watch things unfold and become revealed. The characters and storylines are complex and will keep you hooked, as you try to figure out the meanings and connections behind different events. Good stuff.

I usually use DivX to watch films and shows, but I had a problem with the audio being far ahead of the video in the fifth episode. I don't know much about codecs and stuff, so half the time if I have video problems, I don't know what I'm doing. So I tried to find software or something to help me re-sync this episode. I did find a program, but it crashed on me, so I decided to try Zoom Player, which has the built-in feature of automatically fixing audio/video lags and re-syncing the video for you. I like it tons more than Windows Media Player or DivX, for one, it's a lot more customizable and user-friendly. It even tells you what codecs you're missing, which is much appreciated, as WMP and DivX will usually only give off an error and, maybe if you're lucky, tell you you're missing one. They usually don't specify which ones, or tell you how to get them.

Zoom Player is sleek and I could be imagining it, but I think the video quality is better. This could be because I got some missing codecs, but I do think the images are much crisper. Plus I like the precision of the time bar way more than in either of the other players. Oh yeah, and best of all, it's free!

Angie's cat, Stinky, is staying with me for a week while Angie spends Thanksgiving at her brother's in Florida. I lurve cats to death, and I especially love Stinky, but I was a little worried that she wouldn't like it here or that she'd miss Angie a lot. However, she seems to have settled in just fine (that's the back of the chair I sit on while using the computer.. she's perched up behind me now)..



That's all I got for now. I have two more episodes to watch and I'm jonesing to know what happens.



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