When I first entered my creative writing Master’s program at Full Sail University, I wanted to tell the story of how power is used to take advantage of the weak. I was determined to expose social and cultural ills; I was ready to show no mercy.
I spent my eighth grade afternoons immersed in “The Autobiography of Malcolm X.” My teacher, Ms. Lela Lynch, thought I would enjoy his story and loaned me her copy. Later, at night, I would dream of a life that was exciting enough to write about.
Three years ago, I was given a lay off letter. I was hysterical, bitter and confused. I questioned God about the timing of my misfortune and spent many days and nights depressed. Nothing seemed to make sense to me and I felt that God had forgotten me.
Jae is a lifelong friend of mine. She and I share a birthday, men’s shoe fetishes and wit. We also share passion and creativity in all forms. However, there is one difference that makes her my hero: She is a champion survivor.
It is a rainy summer morning and the streets outside are sodden with flower petals and muddy footsteps. The wind is blowing softly and the clouds are a soft gray. The rain tickles windowsills, dashboards and tree branches.
My one pillar of refuge as a depressed and trauma-ridden teenager was the downtown library. I’d select about six or seven books and read into the sunset. I’d skip alongside characters as they found lost love and said their goodbyes to dying grandmas.
“Why is this night different than all other nights?” This question is central to the Passover seder, the annual feast that Jews throughout the world will celebrate with friends and family on Monday night, April 14.
We all hope for change in LGBT rights. We all aspire to live in a world where justice rolls down like water. Some of us even dream it and a few of us get to be in on the groundwork building.
When thinking of the holiday season, I remember the weeks and days leading up to Christmas as some of the most exciting of the year. As a child raised in a Baptist home, I liked the colors of Christmas, the sounds, smells and lights; but most of all I, like all of the kids I knew, loved the giving and receiving of things.
Amid stories of churches spewing forth hate-filled homophobic rhetoric, or turning the corner and experiencing a radical epiphany of engaging lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) people as human beings after years of spurning our existence, there are faith communities who have long been voices in the barren wilderness, welcoming and loving all who wish to worship.