How does a woman, raised in the south by a father who was a new deal democrat, slowly become a conservative? I always believed that my father, an early neo-conservative, was a major influence on my mother, but as I spend more time with mom since my father’s passing, I think the answer is more complex.
It is hard to know where to begin when writing a personal history. Do I start as a small child already feeling different than my peers, or do I begin later when I first began to understand my attraction to men? Let me tell this story through a series of vignettes over time. Continue reading →
My grandmother was one of the most influential people in my life. She would come over almost every day of my childhood to help my mother. She taught me how to sew and use her sewing machine. No matter how bad we had been when she babysat, when my parents would come home and ask how the evening had gone, I could hear her from my bedroom saying, “they were angels.”. She was one of the people I always felt was on my side.
Now, “different” is nice, but it sure isn’t pretty
“Pretty” is what it’s about
I never met anyone who was “different”
Who couldn’t figure that out
– At The Ballet from A Chorus Line
I knew I was different from a very young age, even though my mother, grandmother, and aunt tried to turn it into being special. As the character Bebe sings in A Chorus Line, I figured out that I was not like the other boys, and it was not a good thing. I did not engage in baseball on the playground, I was utterly disinterested in sports and could not get my head around the rules or players’ role in different games. Continue reading →
Today is the anniversary of my grandmother’s death. She died on March 4th, 2004, at the age of 100. Tomorrow I will visit her grave, a ritual I do whenever I am in South Florida. She is buried next to my grandfather, whom I never knew. My grandfather died five years before I was born of a massive heart attack. Continue reading →
One of my earliest memories of my aunt was when I was three or four years old. She would tell me stories about a fairy named Matilda that lived in a thimble under her bed. She would talk in a high childlike voice as she explained that she would feed Matilda strawberries and cream every morning and they would drink tea from little tiny teacups and have all kinds of adventures. Continue reading →
I never fit in with the other boys. From my earliest memories, I did not like organized sports. I preferred to play dolls with my sister, watch TV for hours on end, or imagine elaborate fantasy stories in my mind. But play baseball, football or basketball? I was not interested.Continue reading →