STICKY

PERHAPS WE LEARNED SOMETHING.....
…Perhaps we were only mildly entertained. Regardless, please enjoy these Reviews, Responses, Works of Fiction, and Retellings brought to you by one who hopes to someday join the ranks of those who have written something worth reading.
(Kaylia Metcalfe)

The Dress

I have a dress in my closet.
It is form fitting.
The fabric is…. unforgiving.
A smaller size bought in a moment of sheer optimism,
(I won’t tell you how long ago)
It is my dream dress.
I want to wear this dress.
With a new pair of shoes,
Something sexy.
With a new hair cut,
Something sophisticated.
I want to walk with confidence in this dress.
Wave to friends,
Smile as if the paparazzi were in hot pursuit,
Catch the eye of a stranger,
Kiss my lover and feel his heart beat quicken.
That’s a lot for one dress, I know.
But, It is a Dream Dress, not a Sure Thing Dress.
Big dreams, Big goals
That’s the way I do things.
Every now and then I take the dress out and look at it.
At the tags attached,
At the line of the shape,
At the scoop of the neck,
It hangs in the back of the closet
Behind the work clothes
The summer skirts
The bigger sizes
It’s waiting.

Today is the solstice.

Today is the solstice.
The longest day of the year
The day with the most sun.
Four years ago I was attacked in my apartment,
Beaten, Raped.
It is still hard to think about.
Harder still to talk about.
And yet.
There was a moment.
A defining sort of moment.
Where nothing was ever the same again.
Not the moment when the bottle hit my face.
Not the moment when I realized I was trapped.
Not the moment that I lost consciousness briefly.
Not the moment I woke up and realized again what was happening.
No.
It was the moment after he left.
The door slamming behind him.
When I began to untangle myself, test my muscles, try to move.
Sticky. Slick.
The sunlight on the linoleum.
Outside the window, cars driving.
I waited.
I thought, this is it.
If I start screaming, I might not stop.
I could give in, give in to the hysterics.
Close my eyes and pitch forward.
It was tempting.
I waited.
I realized I had a choice.
This moment didn’t have to define me.
I couldn’t let myself slip away. He would have won.
It took forever to crawl out of the bathroom.
To find my glasses, my phone.
To call for help.
Later, I answered questions,
Not all of them.
They took pictures. I took tests.
I kept thinking back
To the moment of choice.
After the fact.
When I decided I was stronger
Stronger than the pain
The shame
The fear.
The moment when I got up.

How Not To BBQ

How hard can it be? I asked myself.

Turns out, harder than I thought.

I know I am a bit behind the curve on learning to do some things. I was 27 before I did my own taxes. I was 28 before I made my first omelet. Seriously. I still haven’t managed to cook a turkey yet.

And I have never don the BBQing.

Why would I? There has always been a dad or a boyfriend or a sister in law to do it for me.

Today was going to be the day that changed all that. There was charcoal bouquets. There was lighter fluid. 

There was a lighter, a pair of tongs, and meat. What more do you need?

Let me just pause here for a second and say that I have a college degree. I am 30 years old. My sister and helper in this venture is a 22 year old business major at the top ofher class in one of the toughest business schools in the country. We spent time as kids burning things on the ranch and watching our dad (BBQer master) cooking meat over flame.

We stacked the (new) bouquets, we put a bit of lighter fluid on them, we lit the little pyramid on fire… it flared. It died. Fail.

Ok, take two.

We restacked the charcoal, we put more lighter fluid on it (lots more). We lit it on fire. It flared, it burnt, it died. Fail

Okay… now with kindling! We added scrunched up balls of newspaper. Fail
We added tighter scrunched up balls of newspaper and even rearranged the charcoal again. You guessed it, 

Fail.

We decided to wait for Eric.

Eric added cardboard, told us the charcoal looked like it might have gotten damp, emptied most of the lighter fluid on it and yet… Fail.

We decided to eat pizza.

Kristen and I went to pick up the Plan B Food… and lo and behold when we returned Eric had somehow gotten it to work. The charcoal was white, the heat was good and while eating our pizza, we slow cooked some chicken legs.

Which is awesome… but I can’t add BBQing to my list of things I can do.

At least not yet.

Writer’s Workshop!

Saturday June 18th, Noon – 3pm.
Fresno LGBT Community Center 1055 N. Van Ness Ave Suite C Fresno CA

Come join community members to get help or guidance in crafting your submission for the USP’s LGBT+ Anthology!

USP is currently accepting submissions of personal stories of the LGBT experience (either directly or peripherally) for an anthology that will be published later this year. The anthology will be available in local public and school libraries as well as the LGBT Community Center here in Fresno.

At the Writer’s Workshop you can


*Use the Center’s computer to submit your story.
*Get hands on writing advice from experienced writers (Help with anything from grammar to creative diction, to narrative flow!)
*Discuss and workshop ideas.
*Get typing assistance if needed.
*Have a safe place to talk about coming out issues, bullying issues, or anything else that relates to your experience as a member of the LGBT+ community.

To find out more about the Anthology (submission guidelines etc) please visit THIS LINK

-- The workshop will feature David (current leader of the Clovis Writer’s Group), Jessica (current Creative Writing grad student at Fresno State), Kaylia (BA in Creative Writing, writer for gayfresno.com), and Chris (long time writer for gayfresno.com).

EQCA, Prop 8, 2012, and You!

Last night Andrea Shorter the Director of Marriage and Coalition from EQCA (Equality California) joined approximately 25 locals at Fresno City College for a Town Hall meeting to discuss the practicality of putting a Same Sex Marriage Imitative on the 2012 ballot. She assured us that EQCA wouldn’t be making a demission regarding this issue until the fall. *(And yet….)

In an informal poll at the start of the evening, the group was pretty split regarding the question of returning to the ballot. However, by the question and answer portion of the event, most of the people who spoke up did so against the idea.

One participant I spoke with afterwards said he didn't have a full opinion one way or another at the start, but by the end he didn't see how it made any sense to go back to the ballot.

For those of you who missed the meeting: here are a few highlights.

First off we were given a quick update of the Prop 8 court case. As, I’m sure you know, Judge Walker overturned Prop 8. The case then goes to Appeals, and the question before the court currently, is who has the right/ability to defend Prop 8. Both our Attorney General, Kamala Harris and our Governor, Jerry Brown have declined to defend it. If no one is found who can legally defend the appeal to the CA Supreme Court, Judge Walker’s ruling will stand. If someone can be found to defend it, and they are vetted by the court, then the appeals process continues and some say it might go all the way to the US Supreme Court.  We don’t expect to know one way or another until possibly the end of the year.

Next up we discussed polling. A lot of polling. The same poll was given to Californians in May 2009 and May 2011 and the numbers were stark in their comparison. I won’t give you the whole breakdown (unless you email me) but here are a few statistics worth noting: In 2009: 47% approval for same sex marriage, 48 % opposed, 5% unsure. In 2011 the numbers had moved to read 45% in favor, 45% opposed and 10% unsure.

Now, many people will applaud the increase of the “unsure/undecided” portion, but since that is more wild card than anything and it is usually better to count that as votes for your opposition and hopefully be pleasantly surprised, I’m not sure that these particular polling stats give us much to be happy about. The rest of the polling data that EQCA shared with us last night went pretty much the same way.  There were areas were the support gained a few points, many cases where it simply hovered still, and a whole lot of increase in the “unsure/undecided” part.

Yes, it is nice to see the opposition moving into the “unsure” category… but there seems to be plenty of supporters moving that way as well. Democrats that were polled, for example, moved from 65% approval with 4% unsure in 2009 to 59% approval and 9% unsure in 2011.

You read that right.

The rest of evening was spent discussion the pros and cons (mostly cons) of the ballot imitative. People talked about how horrible it would be to lose again. People talked about how civil rights haven’t historically been granted via popular vote but by the court systems.  People talked about the dangers of tapping into an already tapped out community in terms of finances and energy. People talked about how if the court case goes our way, the question become moot. People talked. Andrea, EQCA, listened.(She didn't take notes. I wondered at the time if it was because we were all saying the same things she had heard at the other Town Hall meetings. When asked, she did tell us that she was getting pretty much the same feedback everywhere, but I am not sure if that refers to the split feelings or the actual arguments against.)

There was also a lot of discussion about the mishandling of the 2008 campaign. EQCA acknowledges that and hopes to do better if/when there is a next time.  However there was no real sense of a better plan for the next time. In fact, it all boils down to the fact the EQCA doesn't seem to have much of a plan at all.

Officially, that is what the Town Hall Meetings are for; to help EQCA figure out what the next step should be. If they listen closely, I can’t imagine how they can possibly decide that going back to the ballot makes any sort of financial or morale sort of sense.

*But wait… THERE’s MORE! Despite ongoing Town Hall meetings … the EQCA website has the following to say on the matter:

Many believe we should wait until we are guaranteed a victory before proceeding. We do not agree. We believe it is essential that we select an election and build a campaign for that election. 

We believe the 2012 election gives us the clearest path to victory

Equality California reached its position through extensive feedback from our members, donors, community partners and political experts.

Well, there you have it. Are the Town Hall meeting simple pandering to the community? To read more about EQCA and how they came to this decision, read for yourself.

The Town Hall meetings are still going on and the EQCA survey is still open, let your voice be heard.here

Still here, sort of

Hello readers!
A few notes: Someone forgot to tell the sun that it is summer here in Fresno. Honestly, people kept telling me how horrible the summer is going to be. As of yet… not as much horrible hot as not all the warm and cloudy. It is June and it is still too cold to go swimming.
Speaking of swimming. I am trying to leran/remember what I have been taught. I even bought myself a suit, and let me tell you… shopping for a swim suit is one of those experiences that can break a person.
Other news: still trucking along on the fantasy novel. The writing hasn’t been going as well. I wish I could point to something specific, but the truth is that I seem to have lost my muse.
Writing for GayFresno.com has been going great, on the other hand. Articles, blurbs… even a piece in a local paper.  I am really enjoying the non-profit world again, and will be taking a grant writing class over the summer in hopes to improve my resume for the future.
That’s about it for now!
There will be more later!