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Archive for October, 2008

One of my oldest and dearest friends sent me a card recently to congratulate me on coming out to my family after spending a ridiculous number of years in the closet to no one except them. It was a lovely gesture. Like she says: Nobody bakes you a cake when you come out, but they should! 

She also sent me this comic cell, in response to my comment about bisexuality NOT being a stopover on the way to Gay Town. Maybe next time she drops in at Vonny’s Vag she could give us the source. Is that Superman on his way to Gay City?  (gasp!)  I never knew, and my gaydar is pretty good . . .

So it occurred to me to provide an update on the whole coming out process. Since coming out to my parents in early July, they have called me precisely once, to wish me a happy Thanksgiving. Which is something. On Labour Day weekend I brought my partner down to my hometown to meet the family. We stayed with my brother, who dealt with the whole thing remarkably well, considering. My parents were civil, but clearly uncomfortable. They made no effort to initiate conversation with my beloved, but they were friendly to her when she spoke to them.

On the long drive home, I tried to look on the bright side. My 70-something parents have probably never met a gay person in their lives. (At least not knowingly.) At this point, it was important that they see that I’m still the same person, and that my beloved is not a green three-headed monster. Mission accomplished.

Now we have to figure out where we’re going to spend xmas — our first xmas together as a couple. My parents will be upset if I don’t spend it with them, and my partner’s family will be upset if she doesn’t spend it with them. But neither of us wants to spend xmas apart, especially since it’s our first one together.

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I’m sitting at my computer, bundled in my pyjamas, a hoodie, slippers and scarf (yes, I’m wearing a scarf in the house) sipping tea with lemon and honey and listening to jazz. Miles Davis just blew the last notes of Enigma, and now Judy Garland is crooning to me about the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe. There’s a bit of sunshine breaking through the clouds and hitting the yellow, red and orange leaves on the trees outside, and it would be a perfect Sunday morning, if I didn’t have a cold. It’s pretty good anyway, though.

I watched the English debates the other night. It’s an interesting exercise, mostly because I have my doubts as to how much of an effect they actually have on how people vote. I find people’s impression of how a candidate did in the debate is entirely coloured by their opinion of that candidate before the debate took place. It’s probably more helpful for people who don’t follow the parties, the leaders or their policies.

Elizabeth May was the surprise of the night for me. She proved she belonged at that table, and that she was knowledgeable on topics outside of the environment. I found myself agreeing with nearly everything she said. Jack Layton did a great job, attacking Conservative policy and chiding the Liberals for aiding and abetting the Conservatives throughout the last session of Parliament by simply being absent. This was the first time I heard Stéphane Dion speak at length (I don’t have cable) and I see now what people are talking about when they bemoan his incomprehensible English. He was laying on the “I feel your pain” act a little thick. The pundits have been reporting that Stephen Harper’s performance was directed at women, but I think Dion’s performance was even more so. He expressed his party’s policies fairly well, but Dion just didn’t do anything for me.

I did enjoy the moment when I thought he was going to lose it — Harper said his Green Shift would increase taxes. Dion looked like he was going to blow a gasket. Then he got a grip on himself, looked squarely in the camera and said “Do not believe this man.” It was a nice save. I’m not sure how many people will believe it, though. As for Harper himself, he did a good job of staying calm and cool in the face of attacks from all four leaders, but I can’t say much else for him. His party hasn’t released a platform, and is the only party who hasn’t yet. (Incidentally, Jack got in the zinger of the night with his “Where’s your platform? In your sweater?” remark. Burn!) So all he did really was attack the other parties’ platforms, and the others focused on attacking the Conservative performance in the last 2.5 years.

I hope Canadians see the lack of a Conservative platform is a telling sign. This is a party with a history of poor communication practices. Look at their first year in power, and the head-butting that went on between the government and the media. There is a truce now, but it’s still impossible to obtain information from the current government without it passing through the Privy Council Office. My questions is, WHY don’t they have a platform for Canadians? What are they trying to hide? I am currently about two-thirds of the way through an article by Marci McDonald from The Walrus magazine (October 2006) which looks at the links between Harper’s Conservatives and various evangelical organizations and activists (theo-cons). It is frightening, quite frankly, and shows just how accurate some of the comparisons between Harper and George W. Bush really are. Harper’s just better at hiding his evangelical connections. Bush doesn’t have to.

Speaking of which, I’m going to make another cup of tea and get back to the McDonald article with Billie Holiday singing in the background.

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