Drama Club: Message in a bottle

Why do I write? The question becomes really important now that three copies of my memoir are setting on my parent’s porch. One for mom, one for dad, and one for my sister Candra. A book cover with two boys kissing in front of the Salt Lake City Mormon Temple. All the details I’d hidden from my family during high school – details about love and sex that have been only half-explained over the years are now in print ready for them to peruse 

How will they react? Will it embarrass them, make them proud, or some mixture of each? Since they are in it, I wanted them to see it before the rest of the world starts reading it.  

As if the rest of the world is going to read it. There’s that too. More fear. The fear that no one will want to read it.   

So why do I write? One word: survival.  

It was a solace when I was a teenager and continued through the tough years of my young adulthood. Putting pen to paper (that’s what we did back then) conjured magic. The angst inside my heart became lighter as words fell from my pen onto the paper. I felt legitimized and relevant. It was a message in a bottle to a distant future, a place where people were allowed to love who they love and be honored for expressing their passions for art and beauty. 

The message made it. I’m here. And after a phone call to my parents letting them know the books are waiting for them – even as they drive back from their time working in their local Temple – I know, and more importantly, I feel the unconditional love I had hoped against hope would be found if I just wrote it all down. Let’s hope they feel the same way after they’ve read it.  

Fellow meets Fellows LLF Emerging Writer’s Retreat – Day 1

I said good-bye to my wonderful fiancé in Hollywood this afternoon and left for a weeklong resident fellowship in the Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging Voices program on the American Jewish University campus in Bel Air. It is only thirty minutes away, but a wonderful new world away, quiet and cozy with wonderful views of the valley and beyond.

I just finished a quick buffet dinner with my queer brothers and sisters and I can feel something wonderful I the air. There is a tension that I recognize and am not afraid of. Back in my dorm room I’m reflecting on it, and intuition tells me that the awkwardness I feel and the tentativeness I see in my fellows is a shared expression of kindred soles that are not used to meeting family who mirror back an expression of their authentic core being. An easy sense of protocol and common banter has not been built up from a life long of experience of meeting people like ourselves, but we see it and are easing into it.

We are not only queer, but all 45 of us are also writers! I’m looking forward to the opening meeting on twenty minutes away.