Archive for September, 2020

This piece is airing worldwide this week on This Way Out (TWO), the syndicated LGBT radio show.  Click here to listen to the entire show.

(TWO is the first international LGBTQ radio news magazine.)

Everyone On The Moon is Essential Personnel 

Stories by Julian K. Jarboe 

The title, Everyone on the Moon is Essential Personnel of this collection of short stories by Julian K. Jarboe (Lethe Press; 2020) is prophetic for the times we are in. 

In this collection where the future is now, gender is fluid and climate catastrophe and spirituality collide. 

This well-written, slim collection is Jarboe’s first book, and it proves that there are some new frontiers. Reading it got me wondering if sarcasm is inherently queer. Sarcasm has been used by queers certainly – it does protect us and point out the truth. And, perhaps most importantly, sarcasm can be bitingly humorous. But, in this collection, sarcasm is elevated to art. 

In a story called “Self-Care,” which is  set in the future, the narrator ends up living in a church which mandates that all residents attend a therapy group of which Jarboe writes, “Everyone talked like they’d invented feelings. This one person was so hung up on not suffering enough to feel like they could REALLY call themselves marginalized….” 

In this same story the narrator befriends another transgender person living at the same shelter who is described as a “tall beautiful butch with stone gray eyes named ‘Bert, short for Roberta,’ which she said in one breath with no inflection.” 

Bert is a former truck driver which she strongly identifies with – but at the same time, she defends the robots who took her place. 

Bert keeps mentioning that she is a truck driver.  The narrator, a self-described “gay transsexual witch,” responds by saying, “Well you’d still be driving A TRUCK if you hadn’t been replaced with a machine. 

“I worked sixteen-hour days every day, and robots can do twenty-four straight. Nothing wrong with that. No self-driving semi ever called me a he-she or pulled a knife out to ‘show me’ at a rest stop.” 

When I finish reading “Everyone On The Moon Is Essential Personnel — Stories: Julian K. Jarboe” from Lethe Press, I am left with more questions than answer. It is a volume of stories that made me think. But there’s no denying that it is written for our time. The future is here and gender is fluid. 

To learn more about my novel THEY, a biblical tale of secret genders (published by Adelaide Books New York/Lisbon), click here

Read Full Post »

It happened again. This time someone sent me a link to a video that, is my view, is intended to make LGBTQ people (especially those in a religious context) feel bad about themselves.

The video is supposedly about former LGBTQ people who are now straight Christians and who say that when people speak against conversion therapy it makes them feel invisible. Not only did they convert to being straight but they blame all the problems connected to being LGBTQ in a homophobic society (including alcoholism and attempts at suicide) on their former selves when they were LGBTQ. They say all their problems went away when they embraced their religious teachings and became straight.

This brings to mind a line in a poem (by the excellent poet Jim Cory) Which says something to the extent of: believe me it’s not me, it’s you.

In other words, the problems caused by a homophobic society — of internalized self hatred — are not the fault of the individual. They are the fault of the homophobic society that makes people hate themselves.

I am an Unitarian lay minister, but I give this advice with my secular thinking cap on: There are plenty of welcoming religions (religions that accept everyone including LGBTQ people) and if a church discriminates they (and their friends, relatives, and other allies) will leave — and take their money with them.

In other words, homophobia is not good for the people who practice it.

No one likes to feel erased — and believe me it’s a feeling I’m familiar with. But the people in this video should listen to the announcer’s tone when he says the word “homosexual.” His sneering emphasis is one of distaste.

It makes me wonder what he is covering up.

To learn more about my novel THEY, a biblical tale of secret genders (published by Adelaide Books New York/Lisbon), click here.

Read Full Post »

This interview between John Robbins and Cory Booker is so good that I watched it twice and decided to share it with you.
I was struck by the fact that Senator Cory Booker (when he was a presidential candidate) talked to small farmers in the Midwest and connected their needs to those of animal rights activists and then crafted legislation that will help us all.
I also agreed with the part where Booker says he “leads with love,” by taking the judgment out of viewing people’s food choices.
 I was fortunate to just happen to become a vegan (for health reasons) last year when my acupuncturist suggested it.
In my family history, people died young (in their forties) because of various health complications including heart disease and alcoholism. So when I heard that you don’t have to succumb to genetics, my ears picked up.
As a result of becoming vegan, both my partner and I feel better than we ever thought we could.
We were considering becoming vegan for a few years before I had surgery for a rather large kidney stone (that plus a subsequent infection caused me to see the acupuncturist) because we had been visiting the cows in a local urban high school farm and learned what happened to them.
Then in the process of becoming vegan, I learned more about the effect of the meat-industry on the planet. So the result of that, having compassion for the other animals, being concerned for the planet AND having a health condition, made it very easy to be a vegan.
Plus, I really detest being lied to.
Now is the time to take stock.
To learn more about my novel THEY, a biblical tale of secret genders (published by Adelaide Books New York/Lisbon), click here.

Read Full Post »