Friday, March 22, 2013

Happy (2nd) Birthday, Queering the Campus!

Your fearless blogger, celebrating QTC's birthday
This week marks the two-year birthday of Queering the Campus!

I began this blog to give myself space to think through the many tangled, infuriating and wonderful issues of sexuality, gender and education. I conceived it as a diary with accountability--my rants and questions and reflections had to be cogent and provocative and spelled correctly or no one would read them. And what I've found in these two years is that it's also a diary that talks back...I have so appreciated hearing from many of my readers whether it's in the comments sections, in a Facebook message, a g-chat, or heck, even an in-person conversation. It's so validating when I learn that you also get fired up about some of the same issues, or that I've brought you something new, or that you have other perspectives to complement or challenge what I've written. Keep it coming!

And what's a birthday without a little self I went back through my 74 blog posts to date, and pulled out my favorites to re-share. So here you have it:

"Issue: Homosexual Lust in the Heart of a Professing Believer" (May 2011)  This one I consider to be my first meaty post. Interviewing my friend Bri was so illuminating. I always knew that conflicts between faith and sexuality loomed large in the LGBTQ community, but coming from a secular family I had never viscerally felt it before talking to Bri. Having recently come out, Bri was living the conflict at that moment with her evangelical family and community. She told me: “They talked to me like I was sick, like talked with a soft voice. I am not sick, I am just gay.”

Bathrooms in Mormonland (June 2011) It's a delicate dance, blogging about your partner for all the world to see. But it felt important to write about how these big heady topics (homophobia, transphobia, gender roles, gender expectations) play out in the day to day life of someone I love so much.

In-Your-Face Heteroprivilege (September 2011) This is the most-read post I've ever written--to the tune of some 3,300+ readers. So perhaps it hit a nerve of recognition? Writing this post was such an act of catharsis. I was in bed, planning to go to sleep when it hit me that those silly family car decals are actually a very extreme, almost absurbist, example of heteroprivilege. I pounded out the post.

"The Pink Elephant in the Room" (February 2012) This post marked the rocking of my world. Because it was during the conference session that I describe that I really, truly realized that I am white. I had been saying the words "privilege" and "race" and "oppression" for many years, but it was at this conference and this session in particular that it all hit home--that I benefit from racism. That saying I am not racist is not the same as actively interrupting racism in myself and others. I still have a lot to learn, but this was the moment at which I realized that my life (and my blog) could not be about sexuality, gender and education without also being about race.

Please Do Not Use These Words (March 2012) This was another refreshing post to write. I flinch when people say things like "homosexual" and "lifestyle" and I figured I should probably explain to everyone why that is!

Casual Girl-Bashing (January 2013) A recent post, but an issue that has been on my mind since college. It always felt like everyone could agree that ragging on girls was fun. "She's crazy" and "what a bitch" may have been two of the most-uttered insults in college...yet people didn't see them as insults or misogynistic. I am embarking on a lifelong experiment where I don't take cheap shots at women--will you join me?

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