It was a pleasure reading from Tea Leaves, a memoir of mothers and daughters (Bella Books) last night at the Collingswood Library
with the Collingswood NJ chapter of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). The group was delightfully intergenerational and after the reading I gave a short writing
workshop and members of the chapter wrote about the “defining moments” of their lives. Afterwards, some of the participants read their
defining moments — their turning points and transitions in life both good experiences and bad.
One man remembered feeling more attracted to Romeo while his classmates were talking about Juliet’s breasts. A teen in the group wrote about being committed to a mental instition after coming out to his father. A woman with grown children wrote about her divorce and how that led her to new interests in life. Their writings were truly moving and I hope to be able to share them with you.
Our stories can truly change the world.
The anti-gay hate crime/bullying case of the Rutgers student, Tyler Clementi had just been decided and when I first arrived
there was talk about the sentencing of Dharun Ravi (who video taped on his roommate having sex with another man and then posted the
video to the Internet). Ravi received a 30 day jail sentence. He also received a three year probationary period and he was ordered to
pay a $10,000 finde toward a program to help victims of hate crimes. The last part of the sentence, seems to me to be an implication
of guilt. It seems to me that Ravi received a slap on the wrist for this high profile hate crime, which his attorney called a “bias” crime.
What do you think?