This morning, I’m doing my weekend routine of sitting in my favorite bookstore, Borders, reading magazines, drinking iced coffee and enjoying the beauty of being around readers like me who just enjoy a good book. Call me a nerd, but it’s comforting. I love ambiance of a bookstore and reading has been a passion of mine since I was an 8-year-old spending her entire allowance on paperbacks at $2 (yeah, remember when they were that cheap?). I remember reading such classics as The Baby-Sitters Club, Just as Long as We’re Together (Judy Blume is the bomb!), and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Now, the paperbacks are $15 and even more for hardbacks. Books aren’t cheap but totally worth the enjoyment they give me.
People-watching is one of the things I also enjoy. It’s interesting to see the different walks of life, from students armed with laptops and iPods to retirees lounging reading the newspaper without a care in the world. It’s even better when I spot a girl like me, a rare occasion. Spotting them with my gaydar, it’s so sexy to see an intelligent sistah getting her studying on. A few years back, there was a girl I noticed reading Curve and chatting it up on her Yahoo messenger. Single at the time, I found her to be attractive and even more so that she seemed to be playing on my team. But alas, I never approached her. I can be shy when it comes to those situations, and usually, I need an encouraging sign to approach a woman in public. You never know about those kinds of encounters.
But I digress. So today, I have picked out the following magazines to read: Essence (with Will & Jada Smith on the cover), Sister 2 Sister (simply to get my black gossip on), US Weekly (to get my mainstream gossip-on), and The Advocate (to read for gay issues). Every one offers something different, and knowledge is definitely power. I begin with The Advocate, which has a column about a woman’s struggle with money living in the high-ass city of San Francisco, an article about the recent approval of gay marriage in Connecticut (yeah! :-)), and an interview with E. Patrick Johnson, who wrote the book Sweet Tea about gay men living in the South. I need to pick that one up. I love reading about our stories, from self-acceptance to coming out to being in love. I guess that’s why I’ve been absolutely drawn to the women on my blogroll. We all have being a lesbian in common, but each have our own stories and journeys that make us different. I love it, and can’t get enough.
The gossip mags, Sister 2 Sister and Us Weekly, offer the same ole thing, but Essence is one of my favorites. The article about Will and Jada is just beautiful, wherein they interview each other about love, marriage and children. The way they interact is just real and refreshing. Listen to this quote from Will to Jada:
“Well, the truth about life is that we’re all alone. But when somebody loves you, right, that experience is shared. Love is the only real connective tissue that allows you to not live and die by yourself. It gives you purpose beyond you. You don’t necessarily have to get married have that, but I’ve always wanted to be married. I knew you were that person for me because you’re loyal, to a fault…”
That’s deep. And considering the fallout from the defeat of gay marriage in California and Florida, it seems to be right on time, and leads me to think of something I read recently about gay marriage. Elton John, that flamboyantly gay icon, said he thinks gays had it wrong when it came to California’s Proposition 8. He believes it was a mistake to go strictly for gay marriage, suggesting that maybe they should have asked for civil unions instead – a move that would have been easier for the mainstream to swallow. I do understand where he’s coming from, considering England approved civil partnerships four years ago and gays have the same rights and benefits as married couples. Maybe it would have been easier for straights to accept us having civil unions, but who says they should be the only one to have the privilege of marriage. They aren’t respecting the institution of marriage any better, so why can’t I have the right to marry my lover?
Actually, California surprised me by opposing gay marriage. Considering how metropolitan the urban areas are, like Los Angeles and San Francisco are, I didn’t see that one coming. Florida, yeah. We’re so conservative as a whole that it was just expected to say Yes to Amendment 2. Considering the protest I saw in front of the Capitol building, and how muddled the language was on the issue, I didn’t have much hope for it to pass. The protests this weekend should show the public just how disappointed we are, and we’re not going away.
Also on my Borders reading pile is Hiding in Hip-Hop by Terrance Dean. It’s an interesting look at the gay world of entertainment from the eyes of an insider. He gives you the skinny on how gay men deal with being on the down-low to achieve further success in Hollywood. There isn’t much name dropping, unless you count pseudonyms he gives actors, singers and rappers to shield their identities. Some of them I’ve been able to figure out, like Ne-Yo (surprise, surprise), but others are like a riddle. I’m excited trying to figure it out. Terrance portrays his life in an honest fashion, from growing feeling abandoned to trying to make heads or tails of his sexuality. You should check it out.
Well, back to my reading. Essence awaits…