Monthly Archives: October 2011

Reading is dangerous…

It makes you think.

It challenges you to accept, for the length of time it takes to read the book, another view of the world. Or a view of another world.

Reading, especially fantasy, is dangerous.

It’s no wonder people ban books. Books, and reading, are dangerous. Subversive, even.

Books invite you to consider difference. To consider other possibilites, other ways. To consider humanity. To dream. To imagine. To stretch your mind.

Stories inspire you. Stories reinforce the world around you, or they threaten it. Any upset of the standard tropes and suddenly something changes.

To paraphrase a quote said by someone who I forget, it is what you read (or watch or listen to, really) when you don’t have to, that speaks to who you are.

We have all read formative books. Stories that have shaped us, changed us, sometimes dramatically. I can’t, at the moment, think of any book that ever completely upended my world in a dramatic manner. But I can think of a number of books, just off the top of my head, a few select authors, who have greatly influenced my internal world. My mental landscape. Provided furnishings for the person I am today.

That is what I plan to post about on here, over the next few months. And it likely will take months. I’m busy, and have sundry things to attend to that won’t leave a lot of time for drafting good, solid posts.

But that is what you may expect.

(Some of these books, some of these authors? Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings. Tamora Pierce’s writing. To name but two major ones.)

-C/J

Fending Off Panic Attacks (and other side-effects of “National” Coming Out Day)

On Closets

If you have read my About page, you will realize that I am not out to my family. I am also selectively out in other circumstances – when I was working, I was cautious of such things, and I am not out to members of my church with whom I have church-related interaction.

I am, however, out of the closet in other circumstances. I have been out to my peers at school since high school, though in a fairly low-key fashion. As a general rule I dislike attention and am not particularly attention seeking. I bring it up if relevant and do not hide it in casual conversation or everyday life. At my university I am a member of the executive committee of the LGBTQ support group. I am willing to be, and previously have been, associated with the group. It’s a requirement to be on the exec, actually, that you are comfortable with being openly associated with a Big Queer Group.

I am fine with that. And last year, as the risk loomed of being outed by accident related to the LGBTQ group, I accepted that fact as well. I would much rather my parents be the ones to bring it up. Or to simply have it, in a way, done for me. I can deal, I think, with them finding out second-hand, as it were, via my connection with an organization.

And yet, I do not out myself to my parents. To my cousins. To my aunts or uncles. To people and good friends I have from church (although those who are my age are possibly aware of my “reputation”, such as it was, from school). Why? Why do I hide?

Why do I hide? Well, the rest of the post answers that.