Coming Home Again

I feel so different being home.

I have never felt more queer. Or aware of it.

In a way, I more comfortable coming back here than I have since I first left for school. I know what to expect from this place, from my family. Coming home is peaceful, and relaxing for me if I know what it is, and don’t mistake home for a fairytale land where all the ways I find myself changed are perfectly alright with everybody.

For the first time, I wasn’t upset when my sister disdainfully informed me that my outfit is “super gay.” Or when she asked me to please stop talking about feminism already?

Disclaimer: I love my sister. She is actually a big-time feminist herself, which makes her responses even more perplexing at times.

But I have so much to say about what is happening in the world around me. At a birthday dinner, a friend jokingly asked for my analysis when several women went to into the kitchen to prepare our meal. He meant well by the invitation, but I responded with some joke instead. To say what I really thought in that moment would have been painful, and inappropriate.

Funnily enough, the same friend asked me if, due to being a Women’s Studies major, I would forget about the existence of men. I dryly responded that Women’s Studies is in fact a discipline devoted solely to the superiority of women. My father actually believed this for a minute, until I continued to say that us Women’s Studies majors are also all hairy, man-hating lesbians. At which point he got the joke.

The fact that he actually believed this for more than several seconds astonished me. Granted, I was deadpan sarcastic, but I am not that good of an actress, ya know? I’m fairly certain my father thinks that my education is turning me into a crazy radical. He’s probably right, but I’m having fun.

Disclaimer: I love my dad. My dad and I are really close. But I can’t help but write about some of the shit he says.

A few nights ago, I joked around with him about his reluctance to see me perform in my school’s production of the Vagina Monologues. Apparently he had been telling people, “I don’t want to go out to Indiana to hear my daughter talk about her vagina!”

I just pointed out to him that there was no danger of this, and in fact my monologue was about someone else’s vagina giving birth to a baby. In fact many years ago my father saw the play in New York with my mother, and according to him, those women on stage were talking about their own vaginas. He told me “They kept saying, ‘my vagina this,’ and ‘my vagina that.’ ” I told him it was a script; that it was actually roles they were playing, but he vehemently denied it.

The Monologues came up again today, when my dad dubiously asked if he should come see “Bridesmaids” with the rest of our family for my sister’s birthday. Given all the effort that has gone into marketing “Bridesmaids” as the “anti-chick flick,” I was surprised, and then he said, “It’s not like the Vagina Monologues, is it?”

Whaaaaat? Since when is a mainstream raunchy comedy written and performed by women the frickin VAGINA MONOLOGUES? I thought I was going to bust my pants I was laughing so hard.

Because it is my dear sister’s birthday, I resisted the urge to break down the politics of “Bridesmaids” as we walked out of the theatre. It’s really funny, but of course, I have a lot to say about it . A review is to follow!


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