Thursday, May 25, 2006
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Monday, May 22, 2006
In other news, I'm officially an aunt! After a series of phone calls (some of them LATE/EARLY), I got the last call today about 11:15am MST. Elizabeth Ashley Gerritsen (Ella for short) was born at 5:45pm on May 22nd, 2006. For those doing the math, an 8 hour time difference is how my niece was born in the future. ;) I don't have any numbers on weight, length, etc. yet, as she was only about 30 minutes old and still resting in mom's arms when I got the call. I'll have more info...and pictures...available soon. Mark swore he'd be sending me an email "yet tonight" (remember the 8 hour time difference). Everyone is healthy and happy, albeit very tired. (Contractions started about 3 or 3:30pm yesterday). To quote Mark, "She's beautiful."
Monday, May 15, 2006
- An original fax from Fred Phelps to Phil Dubois about his intent to picket UW. After our "Angel Action," he sent a fax to Phil decrying his "assault" on the First Amendment. It was addressed to "Philip L. Dubois, Perfidious Pandering Poltroon."
- A letter from Chasity Pasley (Russell Henderson's girlfriend, CAC student employee, and my friend) to the CAC staff, upset for what she felt was their abandonment of her during the trial. I also found the letter I wrote her in response one year (to the day) after Matt's attack, though I never sent it to her.
- My concert ticket and backstage pass for the Elton John concert here in Laramie.
- The original drawing that was chosen as the new Spectrum logo, submitted by a UW student. (We held a contest for people to suggest a new name and logo for the group.)
- A stack of research I did on Exodus International, the largest "ex-gay" movement in the country. FYI...it doesn't work in the long term, and is phsychologically damaging according to the APA and several other professional organizations who know about such things.
- Various posters, fliers, and advertisements for Spectrum events, speakers, etc.
- Countless news clippings and online articles (printed, of course) relating to Spectrum, interviews, events, and Matt.
- A whole folder of info about the phone bank we organized when NBC ran their movie "The Matthew Shepard Story."
- Gobs more stuff, steeped in history.
My point: Needless to say, some of the materials bring up a sudden tide of emotions and memories, long since rusted or forgotten. It's taken some time to get my brain wrapped around some of these things, and I've not gone through much of the materials in depth. I simply went through the drawer trying to identify items and decide if they should be kept, archived, or recycled.
My plan: Sort through the stacks in detail, and give much of the material to the American Heritage Center here on campus. They have a large archive of materials about Matt, and are always looking for more. They're also interested in documenting under-represented groups or themes, like Spectrum and GLBT people here at UW. Since the materials will be indexed, sorted, and stored in controlled environments, they should be available for many generations to come.
Today's lesson: The past, even though sometimes painful, can teach us many things. Go through your own scrap book, treasure chest, file cabinets, photo albums, etc. Dig through your past. Some items might be ready for us to "tidy" them out of lives, clearing much needed drawer/closet/storage space. Some of them can teach other people about things they've not yet encountered. And some of them...simply need to be remembered from time to time. To teach us new lessons, remind us of old ones, and keep us rooted in ourselves. We cannot escape our past, nor should we try. We should, instead, remember our mistakes and heartache, and find new joy in the happy memories.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
So the boy (Dayo) has a concert coming up the 19th and 20th. He's in Harmony, the gay and lesbian chorus in Denver. I told him I wanted to come see his show, even though his solo was cancelled. Then he told me who else would be there. The people he wants me to meet: his family. Parents. Brother. Sister-in-law. I have never had to meet family before, so I'm admittedly a little freaked. I-ve gotten some good advice from friends already:
- "Just be yourself."
- "You're a great person, trust in that."
- "If they love their son, they'll love you too."
- "Don't try too hard."
- "Don't worry...it'll be fine."
- "They'll probably be nervous too."
The truth is that I'm a professional worrier. I spent years apprenticing with my mother, and mastered the art long ago. I'm certain this is some sort of gay rite of passage, but it's one that has me shaking in my size 14 six-inch heels! I'm trying to convince some of my friends they want to see the concert too. It's all about a wing man...or five.
Cross your fingers...