lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Boys in the Bunk House July 11, 2016

So back to Bug Juice.

Along with the poor boy who found out that his summer lovin’ hadn’t really even liked him, there were those who were told they couldn’t be who they were at all.

This is a short but sad story. There’s too much I don’t know about it to write anything lengthy.

There were two boys who had been on the show. It seemed like they were good friends. When they got back to camp the next year, they still spent all their time together. Registering for all the same activities, skipping those activities together. (more…)

 

Love is Love June 27, 2015

Here’s the thing. I’m a music theatre baby. More than half of my male friends are gay with a fair helping of lesbians, bi-sexuals, and transgendered goodness sprinkled on top. I never knew when I was growing up that being gay was a weird thing. I thought it was like having green eyes or an outie belly button. Just another subtle difference between people. Not really a thing to be concerned about. Never an issue to be judged. I took me a long time to figure out why being gay would make you part of the dreaded other in modern society, and truth be told, I still really don’t get it.

Yesterday marked a huge leap forward in gay rights, helping America to take a step toward true equal rights. Equal rights meaning, yes, ALL of us are equal. It’s not just women or black people or gays or Muslims who get screwed every now and then. It’s all of us. How can you claim to be forced into the margins of society while you are pushing others there? If you’re a Muslim and feel persecuted for your religion, then you know what it’s like to be pushed aside. If you’re black and worry that the dreaded authority will never treat you as an equal, then you know what it’s like to fear attack. If you’re a woman who has been treated as less than because of how you were born, then you know what it’s like to fight the odds. And if you are a white man of whatever religion is popular today, then you know what it’s like to fight a stereotype.

So let’s all agree that at the core of every individual the fact that we are human is our most defining trait. We all deserve human rights.

I have gay friends who have been with their partners for years, and not one of them has ever complained that they wanted to get married in a specific church that wouldn’t allow it. They were terrified that if they or their partner had to go to the hospital, they wouldn’t be granted the same visiting rights as a straight married couple. That if something happened to them, their partner wouldn’t be able to inherit their joint property without a fight.

The desire to take care of the people you love is human. It’s not gay or straight. It has nothing to do with religion or what sex organs you were born with.

So if you and your God don’t agree with homosexuality, that’s your own deal. But I don’t think any scripture has ever said that we shouldn’t take care of the people we love. The bible preaches love. And love means being by someone’s side in their most joyful moments and through their most terrible pain.

Granting marriage equality isn’t going to change how gay people have sex. That’s been going on for thousands of years, and no ruling will ever change that. But the ruling of the Supreme Court will grant a lot of really amazing human beings the ability to protect the people they love. To ensure that, in sickness and in health, they can keep their partner by their side.

It’s not about sex. It’s about love. And love is a human right.

 

The Girlfriend from Canada May 9, 2015

Having grown up in the theatre, gay people have always been the norm to me. It took me a really, really long time to even figure out why people think it’s such a big deal. Honestly, I still don’t get it, but I’ve sat through several explanations.

When I was sixteen I had been performing with a theatre company for a while and had made several good friends. One of the boys who I was close to invited me over to his house for his birthday party. It was all the kids I had been performing with, so I was super excited to go. When I got to his house I was greeted outside by the birthday boy. He pulled me quickly aside to ask for a favor.

He needed me to be his girlfriend for the night. See, I knew birthday boy was gay. All our friends knew he was gay, but his parents had made it abundantly clear that if he was gay, he would no longer be allowed to participate in a homosexual activity like theatre. His mother had been pushing him to find a girlfriend, and since he had lots of pictures of us together, and she had never actually met me, birthday boy had lied to his mother and told her we were dating. All he wanted for his birthday was for me to keep up the pretense. And perhaps get his mother to ban him from ever seeing me again so he could refuse to date anyone else in protest until he got to leave for college.

I mean…who can say no to a request like that? So I sat draped on his lap, waiting for his mother to come down to the basement. (more…)

 

Greetings, Human February 23, 2015

Filed under: I Meant Well — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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So, here’s the thing. Yes, it is going to be another one of those posts. I am all about gays’ rights. Gay marriage, for instance. I don’t see why a person being gay should have anything to do with their status as a human being. Ever since I was a little girl, I could never grasp why some people made such a big deal about it.

The same thing goes with transgendered people. If you need to change what you look like to match what you feel like, go for it. Live your life. Be happy. Miserable people rarely contribute to the world. And when they do, it’s usually really sad art before they cut off their own ear and die. So, let’s make happy art and be happy people.

But I need a word. I need a non-gender-specific version of sir and/or ma’am. (more…)

 

The Man in the Woman October 8, 2014

The concept of gay people was never really a thing in my house. I just knew that some boys liked boys and some girls liked girls. And sometimes boys liked to dress up like girls. As a big fan of playing dress up myself, the fact that some boys might also want to play with gold lamé was not strange to me. As long as they didn’t want to borrow my lamé. I was never very good at sharing during dress up time.

One summer, my mother took my Girl Scout troop to see the musical La Cage aux Folles, which is basically the movie The Bird Cage but with songs and boys sliding into splits. If you haven’t seen The Bird Cage, do it now. Right now! It’s brilliant in every way. I love it. Watch it now!

Before my mother took our troop to any show, be it Shakespeare or something with tap shoes, we would always learn about the show first. She’d leave off the ending, but that way we could keep up if things got a little deep.

The basic plot is that a boy falls in love with a conservative girl. His two fathers own a drag club where his mother/father is the star. He wants to hide the gayness from the girl’s parents. Hilarity and love of gays and accepting who you are ensue. (more…)

 

Marrying a Girl March 17, 2014

Filed under: Tales of Humanity's Imperfections — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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Last year I was working on a show that had a lot of kids in the cast. There was, as always, the one little soon to be gay boy who is currently homophobic. Beyond this kid’s obsession with Selena Gomez, his fascination with sparkles, and pronounced lisp, the kid just pinged on the gay radar like a battleship. He would always go on about how gay marriage would ruin everything and blah, blah, blah. But the boy was an undeniable gay.

There was also a little girl in the show who was smart as a whip and mature way beyond her years. One day, as the future gay was sitting around telling all the other kids about how his father had told him to treat his future wife, the little girl just looked him straight in the face and said, “You know, you might not even marry a girl.”

So sweet and so true. Sometimes kids can speak truth more simply than adults will ever have the courage to.