Ruis (wombbat) wrote,

Diarists R Us

Couple weekends ago, I helped plan a reading of gay journals, blogs and online journals and also participated in the reading. Tim Retzloff, an old acquaintance and fellow diarist, invited me to help plan the event. He works with LILA, the Lavender Library Association at UM. He’s an undergrad, although my age, and created a wonderful history website and exhibit about Michigan queers using the Labadie collection materials. I never got to see the exhibit when it was mounted at the Graduate Library, but I’ve been to the website many times…

Several times we’ve had conversations about doing a journal reading – I was thinking just a circle of diarists would read to one another, not such a public event. But it turned out wonderfully. I read about 5-6 entries from my journals: the entry at age 12 when I first suspected I might be a “homo.” Disgust and terror. Then a reading from Sept 1981 when I knew I was pregnant and was seeking to get Bryn into the country. My feelings for men were SOOOO transparent! Then I read one from when Siân was in the hospital for her burn (and I saw a mouse, and I made fun of Kelsey’s name). I read one from when Siân was in fifth grade and experiencing teasing about having lesbians for moms. (She triumphantly called the teasers “Dickheads!!!”) And then I read one from the 1998 local nondiscrimination ordinance campaign in Ypsilanti and we feared a bomb had been left on the porch.

(Beth is about to begin a statewide campaign, in response to extreme rightwing agitating for a state constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage and gutting partner benefits. The coalition group, with more than 40 organizations participating, is called Coalition for a Fair Michigan.)

The reading went fabulously well – much better than I could have expected. I was fearful that such a (mostly) young crowd would not be interested in what a secretary/mother/gardener/activist would have to say. However, they laughed, they cried – they were with me 100%. Tim told Gayle Rubin I was the best reader at the event.

But I didn't find out WHAT drives people to write online journals.
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