Sunday, February 10, 2008

Unexpected, Pleasant Surprise

When I moved to Iowa to work on the campaign, I left a lot behind: my job, family, friends, etc. Well, I met some great people. Co-workers, volunteers and many more. However, the pleasant surprise is my current boyfriend, Ryan.
When you work 12-15 hour work days, 7 days a week, you don't have much time, if any, for a personal life, but somehow we made it work. I talked to him a little bit before I arrived in Iowa, and quickly went on a date. I had NO intentions for a relationship...was kind of hoping for a campaign fling(anyone who has worked on a campaign knows about the Campaign Fling: you both know it is temporary, so you just have fun, go on dates, etc.) Well, the first time I met him and talked with him, I knew immediately he was different than any guy I had ever met.
Since then, Ryan has turned out to be the most romantic guy I have ever met. Being a huge lover of Romantic Comedies, I have these almost 'illusions' about what the perfect guy and relationship would be like. Well, it's fair to say our relationship is NOT like the movies...It's better. Why? Because it is so real and genuine. Having not really been in a serious relationship where the love is mutual(or present at all) since 2005, I was starting to think I was damaged goods. Having gone through Love in Action and heard so many times that gays cannot have a healthy, significant realtionships, I have been very discouraged. In reading one of Peterson's blog entries, I recently realized that I still have a lot of the ex-gay, anti-gay myths in my head. He was talking about Emotional Dependency, and how the ex-gay movement portrays ALL gay relationships as harmful, emotionally dependent relationships. Someone made the analogy tapes that play repeatedly in our heads. We hear over and over about how: 1.) Gay is wrong and a sin; 2.)Gay relationships are just superficial and only about sex; 3.) Gay men cannot be faithful. Well, after years of people feeding into these myths and lies, people, myself included, have to do a lot of work to rebuild a positive self-image and start to realize that, "Hey, I am a good person and I deserve to have a real relationship with someone who loves me."
I am very excited to be holding a roundtable at the Deconstructing the Ex-Gay Myth— A Weekend of Action & Art in Memphis, TN. This is also going to be a regional gathering for ex-gay survivors. The roundtable is geared to young adults and the effects the ex-gay movement has on our lives, including but not limited to: psychological, emotional, financial, etc. Below you will see the agenda. I would love to see a great turn out.

* Friday 2/22 Noon: Press Conference at MGLCC to provide a community statement about the Love Won Out Conference. Local LGBT leaders and those with experience about LWO and the ex-gay movement can speak. (892 S. Cooper

*Friday 2/22 noon - Sunday 2/24 6:00 PM The Ex-Gay Survivor Art Show at the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center MGLCC (892 S. Cooper) The show is hosted by the MGLCC & Beyond Ex-Gay and curated by Christine Bakke.

* Friday 2/22 8:00 PM Doin' Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House--How I Survived The Ex-Gay Movement, at First Congregational Church (1000 S. Cooper)

* Saturday 2/23 7:00 AM - 10:00 AM Welcome Station at Central Church (Love Won Out) Action showcasing a positive message of hope and unconditional love through positive signs, narratives & statements to the community. (2005 Winchester Blvd, Collierville, TN)

* Saturday 2/23 2:00-5:00 PM Beyond Ex-Gay Mid-South Regional Gathering, MGLCC (892 S. Cooper)

* Saturday 2/23 8:00 PM Preview of the Morgan Fox's film This is What Love in Action Looks Like at First Congregational Church (1000 S. Cooper)

* Sunday 2/24 10:00 AM Art, Activism and Spirit a presentation by Peterson Toscano at the Memphis Friends Meeting (917 S. Cooper)

* Sunday 2/24 2:00-6:00 Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center's 5th Anniversary Party at 892 Cooper 19 Years in Memphis, 5 Years in Cooper Young!

* Sunday 2/24 7:00 PM Memphis premiere of Transfigurations--Transgressing Gender in the Bible, at Holy Trinity Community Church (685 S Highland Street)

Also, Peterson created a great, informative sight:

1 comment:

Peterson Toscano said...

Can't wait to see you in Memphis and to meet Ryan!