Arts & Entertainment
Originally printed 7/19/2012 (Issue 2029 - Between The Lines News)
Q: I don't really have a question; I just want to tell you and all the other gays and lesbians out there what a wonderful time I had yesterday. Yesterday was my first Pride event. I have put off going for many years because I just didn't think it was necessary, as I am already proud of who I am and have no problems with being a lesbian. In fact, I would not change if I could.
Anyway, I went to Pride because one of my friends, "Mary," from the U.P. was visiting and she wanted to go. She has very few opportunities to talk to or be with members of the LGBT community, so she was really excited to be at Pride.
The atmosphere was so festive, even the Bible thumpers and nasty mean signs on the side couldn't dampen our joy. We marched to the Capitol, watched the marriage ceremony - that was really touching. We ended up shopping, eating and dancing. It was a joy to watch people enjoy who they are and not be afraid. We hung out with some of my friends and met some folks from the U.P. Mary is very excited because she now knows some folks not far from where she lives and they are planning to get together and organize some activities. I was pleasantly surprised how many LGBT families were there. What a great thing for kids: to see other families that look like their family. It was so wonderful to see so many people out and proud. If we could only be like this every day of our lives!
I would encourage everyone to go to these events even if you think you don't need to. It will warm your heart.
A: I always find these types of events inspiring and energizing. Thanks so much for sharing.
Q: I just bought a house on the north side of Lansing. It has been my lifelong dream to own a home. I wake up in the morning and it takes me a minute to realize that it's really true: I am a homeowner.
However, I have one problem that is driving me crazy. It's the kids in the neighborhood. They are extremely noisy. I work at home and need it to be quiet. These kids run through my backyard to get to each other's houses. I've told them to go around and use the sidewalk, but if they think I'm not looking they run across as fast as they can. They seem to have figured out I am gay. They called me a "fag" the other day. It's only been a few days and I already hate these kids. What can I do to keep them away from my house and yard and get them to lower their voices? I thought about going to their parents, but I don't want to make everyone mad at me right off.
A: If I were you I would start by trying to make the kids my friends. If kids like you, they are much more likely to listen to your needs. Go outside and get to know the kids; show some interest in them as individuals. Find out what they like to do and where they go to school. In other words, establish a relationship with them. Then when you see them outside, call them by name, wave and, if time, ask them about something you have found out about them. After you have a relationship with them, tell them why you don't want them running through your back yard. Let them know you work at home and that their yelling near your home bothers your work. If this doesn't work, then go to the parents. (Hopefully, you've developed a friendly relationship with them as well.) Talk to the parents - not in a blaming way, but explaining your problem and what you need from the kids. If all else fails, you may need to put up a fence to keep the kids from running through the back yard.Jody Valley spent 12 years as a clinical social worker. She worked with the LGBT community both as a counselor and a workshop leader in the areas of coming out, self-esteem and relationship issues. The "Dear Jody" column appears weekly. Reach Jody at DearJodyValley@hotmail.com or via Facebook. Letters may be edited for clarity and length.