Category Archives: Life/Style

Pope Francis and Me, A Feminist Kill-Joy

Dykelets, it’s been a while since you heard from us here on WordPress. As it happens, tweeting and posting reaction gifs on Tumblr are better suited to our impulsive and self-indulgent communication style. But sometimes a queer Catholic lady with opinions needs more than 140 characters and a clip from Golden Girls. Especially a queer Catholic lady with feminist kill-joy opinions on Pope Francis.

Am I really going to be a kill-joy about Pope Francis, you ask? Yes, dykes, I’m afraid I am. Let me begin, for etiquette’s sake, with certain qualifiers: I do like him. I like the foot washing, the cold calls, the ’84 Renault. I like his black shoes and his grandpa glasses. I like seeing progressive Catholics a little less miserable and right-wing Catholics a little moreso. (Petty, of course, and childish, but I’ve never claimed to be above such things.)

For these reasons, the reformist part of me feels some of the temptation I see in many other progressive Catholics: the temptation to celebrate changes in style as though they corresponded to changes in substance. But the more radical queer dyke part of me just won’t permit me to succumb to Francis Fever.*

That can be hard, because the joy over Francis is powerful and often seductive. People love the guy so damn muchJon Stewart loves him. Chris Hayes loves him. James Martin loves him. The Catholic boys in my Facebook newsfeed love him. Gay male friends of mine have told me Francis makes them feel welcome in the Catholic church again, makes them proud to be Catholic.

(Are we seeing the pattern, dykes? I hope we are all seeing the pattern.)

So I’ve felt…kinda bad, actually, about both my inability to share in this joy and my persistent attempts to kill this joy in others. Because I don’t deny Francis is likable. Or that he’s a significant improvement over Pope Benedict in terms of his tone, priorities, simplicity of life, and pastoral sensitivity. I don’t think such improvements are entirely without real-world consequences (could I qualify that statement any further?).

But with sympathetic eye contact and understanding nods, with my hand placed lovingly on my gay male friends’ collective forearm, I must ask: is that all we wanted? Someone more pastorally sensitive than Joseph Ratzinger? Have we really just been holding out for somebody who can discuss gay men without recourse to the language of objective disorder?

Well, depends on who “we” are. Progressive Catholic women like Erin Saiz Hanna of the Women’s Ordination Conference, Jamie L. Manson of NCR, and Mary Hunt of WATER, for example, have not shared the unequivocal joy of their male peers. They have not, in the analyses linked above, allowed the pope’s Better-Than-Ratzinger moment on gay men to overshadow his familiar dismissal of women’s ordination.

Similarly, Katie Grimes at Women in Theology, in contradistinction to many a well-meaning male liberal blogger, did not leap for joy at the prospect of a “theology of women.” And over at Feminism and Religion, Linn Marie Tonstad pointed out the shared “grounding theological logic” of official teaching on homosexuality and the male-only priesthood–logic which Francis’ widely applauded “who am I to judge?” did not at all disrupt.

So. With these points in mind, I have to ask: what is the benefit of having a pope who de-emphasizes heterosexist teachings without ever challenging their substance? A pope who moves the needle ever-so-slightly on the subject of gay men, but who leaves the “grounding theological logic” of Catholic heterosexism untroubled, both in what he says about women’s ordination and in what he leaves unsaid about homosexuality? Why is it cause for joy?

These questions ain’t offered up as rhetorical snark, by the way. I’m honestly asking: what is the benefit? What precisely does it accomplish for the church? For whom is it good news, and why? Answers to these questions might help explain the gendered reactions to Francis, and they might tell us something about whose interests take priority in many progressive circles, Catholic and otherwise.

Answers to these questions might also kill our joy, or at least deflate it a bit, and I think they should. Because as far as I can tell, shifts in tone and emphasis are good news for people with enough social privilege that their problems with the church have stayed mostly on the level of tone and emphasis.

Good news for liberal straight cis men, who don’t have to feel quite as embarrassed by the illiberal rhetoric of their church’s hierarchy.

Good news for gay cis men, who may no longer be barred from seminary, who may look forward to enjoying sermons, pastoral letters, and encyclicals without hearing overt condemnation.

Good news for cautiously pro-gay priests who can feel more comfortable sharing their meticulously worded, painstakingly Catechism-friendly sermons in support of “LGBT” (read: usually gay, sometimes lesbian, always cis) people in the church.

That is, Francis’ approach is good news for people who want to feel better about the church they love, and who finally can.

And look, hope is important. Finding energy and support in your religious tradition is important. I don’t want to dismiss straight or gay cis men who have been horrified by Vatican rhetoric in recent years, even when that rhetoric was most damaging for people other than them.

I also don’t want to conflate the experiences of straight and gay men, because while both have access to positions of ecclesial power and authority which are denied to me, gay men have struggles in the Catholic church that straight men don’t share. Moreover, I have privilege a-plenty myself, and I don’t want to suggest that because a cis man does not experience the same level of exclusion that I do, his problems with the Vatican haven’t actually been problems.

But friends. If one’s problems are on the level of rhetoric, then perhaps so are one’s solutions. The disproportionate joy of Francis fanboys is convincing me, more and more, that many progressive Catholic men, gay and straight, might be pretty well satisfied for the church to retain its fundamentally patriarchal character, so long as its leaders expand the longstanding Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell policy to include gay laypeople as well as gay clergy.

For women and for queers with less social privilege, such solutions will not do. By all means, let’s welcome changes in tone; such changes are meaningful. But they are partial. They should not make us so grateful that we forget that changes in style, however refreshing, mostly benefit those of us with the most privilege. They should not make us so joyful that we lose interest in the deep theological and structural changes still needed in the Catholic church.

Unless our prophetic calls for church justice have really been reformist calls for a More Civil Discourse. For a shift in magisterial emphasis from The Sanctity of Marriage to those aspects of Catholic Social Teaching progressives can feel better about. Unless that’s what we wanted, after all. Not to change, but to feel better.

* The “more radical queer dyke part of me,” in case you’re interested, usually takes the form of a voice in my head who sings Peggy Lee and shames me for supporting marriage equality.


So You’re Surrounded By Right-Wing Catholics

Happy Easter!

How was your holiday? I for one am still recovering from my Easter brunch food hangover–ah, the joy of bingeing on things I only half-way gave up for Lent.

My Triduum was good, mostly business as usual–stomach rumblings, Stations of the Cross, cringing through several of the Good Friday prayers, and staying up late to see new Catholics welcomed at the Easter Vigil.

There were also unpleasant reminders of the Catholic Right. Multiple anti-abortion posters in the church hall. Hyperbole about “attacks on religious liberty” in the church bulletin. A priest who waxed patriarchal about motherhood as women’s special lady vocation.

To be a progressive or moderate Catholic surrounded by traditionalists, Opus Dei members, Santorum supporters, Planned Parenthood protesters, or American Papist followers can be a bizarre experience–something like being the only person wearing jeans in a group of Colonial Williamsburg actors who refuse to break character, or the only participant in the smoke-filled room study. That is, what is obviously bizarre to you seems completely normal to everyone around you.

When you find yourself in a Catholic environment dominated by right-wing folks with an anti-gay bent, it ain’t the most pleasant of circumstances. So what is a Good Catholic Dyke to do? Why, make it into a game!

1. The “Gonzo Journalist” Game

In which you pretend you are Hunter S. Thompson, or the kid in Almost Famous, or Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed, immersing yourself in a strange subculture and reporting back.

via jakewilton.com
This plan can backfire.

2. The “Colbert Report” Game

In which you pretend offensive remarks are actually satire. This is particularly helpful when you hear people comparing abortion rights to genocide, or homosexuality to “man-on-dog” sex, or Obama to a totalitarian dictator.

3. The “Showing Patience and Sympathy to Probable Closet Cases” Game

In which you recognize that at least some of the anti-gay people around you are probably struggling with doubts about their own sexuality.

via glee.wikia.com

4. The “Remove Yourself from the Situation” Game

In which you distance yourself, or cut yourself off completely, from the situation or group of people crushing your soul.

5. The “Episcopalian” Game

In which you go to an Episcopal church until you find a healthier Catholic environment.

via simpsonswiki.net

6. The “Foxhole” Game

In which you find other moderate, progressive, queer, and queer-friendly Catholics and build community with them. They are definitely out there, dykes. We must always remember that most Catholics are not anti-gay. If you are lucky enough to live near a DignityUSA chapter, that is worth looking into.

via dignityusa.org

What do y’all think? How do you deal with less-than-welcoming Catholic environments?


Bring Your Dyke to Mass, Part III: How to Shine Your Shoes

Being an old man and a congenital know-it-all, I have decided to share the basics of shoe shining. Men’s websites have pretty good information on shining shoes, but ladysites are rather lacking in this category. And why shouldn’t our feet look shiny? Why shouldn’t they?

What You’ll Need

Pre-assembled shoe polishing kits are available at most grocery and drug stores, but you can just as easily put one together on your own. To quote the dad from That Thing You Do, “Shoe polisher kit. People can’t even get a brush and a rag out and shine their shoes anymore. They’ve gotta have a shoe polisher kit. Man oh man.”

It takes a little more than a brush and a rag–but not much more. The basics you’ll need are:

-Newspaper

-Horsehair shine brush

-Polish that matches shoe color

-Rag (an old sock or t-shirt works very well). You can also use a toothbrush or a horsehair applicator brush.

-Chammy cloth

Instructions

1. Spread newspaper on the floor. Shoe polish is not easy to get out of carpet (or clothing, for that matter).

2. Remove laces. This way, you’ll be able to apply polish to the whole shoe, including the tongue.

3. Using horse hair shine brush, brush dirt off of the shoes. Or, if that’s not doing it, wipe them down with a damp cloth and allow them to dry completely.

4. Open tin of shoe polish by twisting the small metal piece on the side. It’ll pop the top right off. Science!

5. Wrap sock/rag/old t-shirt around two fingers and get a good dab of polish on it.

6. Apply polish evenly to leather surface of the first shoe, using small circular motions. A toothbrush can help you get polish in harder-to-reach places (along seams, for example, or next to the sole). Pay extra attention to the toe and heel of the shoe.

7. Wait at least 15 minutes for the polish to dry. This lets the polish soak into the leather. While the first shoe is drying, apply polish to the second shoe.

8. Once the polish has dried, buff all over with the horsehair shine brush. The point is to remove excess polish. Do this a little longer than you think is necessary.

9. Finally, buff with a chammy cloth. This removes remaining polish from the surface of the shoe–which is important, because any excess polish is going to end up on the cuffs of your pants–and it makes shoes nice and shiny.

10. You can repeat the process as much as you want for extra shine. For a spit shine, spray a little water on the shoe (or, if you’re less squeamish than I am, put a little spit on your polishing rag) when you’re buffing, or when you apply a second coat of polish.

Tips

1. Make sure your polish and shoe color match. In particular, make sure your polish is not darker than your shoes. Try it on a small area first. In terms of brands, Kiwi shoe polish is good.

2. It’s better to use different brushes for different polish colors. Even though you can’t see the polish on the shine brush, it’s still there. Over time, using the same brush for different polishes can discolor your shoes.

3. A tin of polish lasts a long time, brushes last even longer, and good, regular care will prolong the life of your shoe. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a bad investment.

4. These instructions apply to shining leather shoes. I don’t know nothing about no vegan footwear.

5. It’s better to shine shoes in a well-ventilated place. It also better not to get shoe polish all over your skin. Basically, don’t huff it in a paper bag or smear it under your eyes for a flag football game.

For those of you who are hesitant to use artificial chemicals–shoe polish is toxic, after all–some folks on the internet claim you can shine your shoes with the inside of a banana peel. I think this sounds weird, so I haven’t tried it, and I can’t vouch for it. But it is, apparently, a thing.

6. For shoes you wear regularly, it’s recommended that you shine them weekly or every other week.

7. If you keep a tin of polish for a long time, you may find that it dries up. Some people recommend softening it with a hair dryer. Others suggest more extreme remedies. The best thing, I think, is to buy a new tin. The stuff is cheap, and you can find it anywhere. It’s not worth risking your health or safety just to save two bucks on shoe polish. Really it isn’t.

What do y’all think? Any additions, corrections, alternatives?


New Year 2012: Confessions

‘Tis the new year, which means, among other things, that it’s time for 2011 confessions.

In the past year, I have judged vegans because they don’t eat delicious things like cheese and bacon. I have entertained inappropriate thoughts about the hot moms of some of my friends. When asked to choose between getting out in my community to volunteer at something potentially unpleasant, or sitting at home with a bottle of beer and my beloved Netflix instant queue, I have almost always chosen the latter course of action.

I made a joke about harelips. I bought a copy of Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang at the airport instead of reading the Mary Daly book in my backpack. For lunch, I ate an entire tub of hummus on hint of lime chips. Twice.

I told my friends I was converting to Scientology.

At a boring, day-long spiritual retreat, I waited till the free lunch was over before making an excuse to leave early.

I felt a surge of acute, internalized sexism on the night my car wouldn’t start, and neither I nor the two middle aged women with me knew for sure how to jump a car battery. (I secretly expected the man in the group to know. He didn’t.)

I tried to do a breast self-exam a couple of times, but it made me squeamish, so I decided I’d just hope for the best.

I gave up on trying to like Tegan and Sara.

How about y’all? Any confessions as you begin the new year?


So You’re Dating A Protestant

Horror!

Kidding. We think it’s great. Shine on you crazy diamond. But there are a few things you should know about your Presbylutheran potential or current ladyfriend from the outset, and the Dykes are here to help. Having been raised Protestant, I’d like to help the cradle Catholics among you navigate this charming community.

1. Know Your Protestants

Oh, they take many forms, these Protestants. To keep it simple, I have categorized them according to the convenient definitions and sweeping generalizations below.

a. Liberal Protestants

As with many things, you, as a dyke, are generally safe amongst liberals. You may proceed confidentally if your ladyfriend:

Avoids gendered pronouns for God even, or perhaps especially, when doing so results in painfully awkward and contorted syntactical constructions.

Is pursuing ordination. Oh, irony of ironies! If she is openly queer and a lady and yet her options are such that she has the option of pursuing ordination, then y’all are good to go. Plus, you might get to be, like, the preacher’s wife, and bake gluten-free brownies for liberal church bake sales. Church bake sales! In a queer way! Think about it.

Volunteers at interfaith things, or gay things, or Planned Parenthood.

Exhibits such dykeisms as: veganism, facial piercings, tattoos, socialism, asymmetrical haircuts.

Liberal Protestants are often found in mainline denominations, including the Episcopal Church USA, the United Church of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the United Methodist Church, and the Presbyterian Church USA.

b. Hipster and Touchy-Feely Protestants

via stuffchristianculturelikes

There are Protestants whose combination of exuberance and fashion-consciousness, while it gives us pause, does not necessarily indicate deep-seated psychological issues. These Protestants are not quite threatening but will probably make you uncomfortable. They are found in greater concentrations in more touchy-feely and hip forms of Protestantism, in churches that cater effusively to the youths. Proceed with caution if she:

-Refers to Jesus as “J.C.”

Claps above her head at church (the Megachurch clap).

-Listens to Christian rock or talks about “Praise music.”

-Reads books by Shane Claiborne or subscribes to Sojourners (also popular amongst liberal Protestants).

Exhibits such dykeisms as: acoustic guitar playing, tattoos, dreadlocks, facial piercings, NPR.

Hipster and Touchy-Feely Protestants are often found in evangelical churches, especially Megachurches full of bright shiny technology. Especially churches that have Starbucks inside–I shit you not.

c. Fundamentalist Protestants

via myballard.com

If you find yourself pursuing, or semi-involved with, a dyke in this category, you best turn back, ma’am, because it’s only a matter of time before she has a religious crisis, attends an ex-gay wilderness adventure program, and goes AWOL with your car/beagle/adopted child.

Go with your gut on this. To help, here are a few concrete cues to look out for. Politely remove yourself from the situation if she:

-Exhibits extreme forms of traits listed in “Touchy-Feely” section above.

-Uses the terms “Bible-believing Christian,” “Biblical womanhood,” “inerrancy of Scripture,” “Intelligent Design,” “Father God,” or “Supply-Side Economics.”

-Doesn’t celebrate Halloween and/or Christmas.

-Attended Oral Roberts, Regent, Bob Jones, or Liberty University.

-Belongs to an enormous church with a pastor who, while youngish, is nonetheless too old for his hair gel, soul patch, and designer jeans.

Volunteers at the “crisis pregnancy center” advertised on billboards in low-income areas across your state.

-Talks about inviting Jesus into your relationship. Get. Out. Now. Because you must not–I repeat, must not–get pulled into the “3 way with Jesus” thing. This is perhaps the most intensely uncomfortable form of the Protestant Jesusisms (see 2.a., below).

Exhibits such dykeisms as: acoustic guitar playing, interest in Africa, tattoos.

Fundamentalist Protestants are often found in evangelical megachurches of various denominational affiliations or no denomination at all; small store-front churches; churches with long names that include the words like “tabernacle” or “seraphim”; the Assemblies of God; the Southern Baptist Convention; some Baptist churches; the churches of Christ; the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

2. Passing for Protestant: Meet the Family

So you’re visiting her Protestant parents for the Protestant Holidays, and you want to blend in. But how?

via knol.google.com

Here are some tips for understanding and conversing with her schismatic relatives:

a. It’s all about your close personal relationship with Jesus Christ, your pal.

Our Protestant friends are not quite as hierarchical, anal retentive, and sacramental as we. The core of their religion involves lots of feelings and personal relationship talk, all focused on their best friend/brother/boyfriend Jesus. Helpful phrases: “I love Jesus”; “Jesus saved me”; “Jesus changed my life”; or any discussion of a “close personal relationship with Jesus.”

b. Prayers should be long-winded and extemporaneous, filled with gratuitous use of the word “just” (as in “only,” not as in “fair”), and should conclude with “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory” or “In Christ’s name we pray.”

If you are awkwardly called upon to say grace at dinner, you must remember this rule, dykes: anything memorized (except the Lord’s Prayer–don’t call it the Our Father–because it’s right out of the Bible) is suspect.

And don’t cross yourself. It’s like when some secret Canadian lets slip a “sorry” or an “about”–dead giveaway. Plus, it is a prime example of Catholic emphasis on suffering and death, which brings us to…

c. Death is icky.

Catholicism, with its affinity for crucifixes, transubstantiation, and saints’ relics, appears morbid and semi-pagan to the tidy and modern Protestant. The Protestant is likely to feel discomfort with the following features of Catholicism, which I have oh-so-cleverly dubbed, the Three C’s.

-Crucifixes

The Protestant prefers the plain cross, with its clean geometrical lines and understated elegance, to the rather gory and explicit crucifix. Celtic crosses are acceptable; they symbolize sunshine.

-Communion

Protestants dislike the cannibalistic implications of Catholic eucharistic theology. Moreover, some Protestants object to booze and fear foreign microbes. Accordingly, you may receive your own personal thimble of grape juice.

-Corpses

Dead people are dead and gone–not to be seen, or heard from, or prayed to, or prayed for. This, of course, means that Protestants:

Do not see apparitions of the Virgin Mary.

Do not pray to saints or for the dead.

Do not travel 3,000 miles to a cathedral in Northern Italy to see St. Catherine of Siena’s incorruptible foot on a satin pillow. For example.

3. Cultural Differences: Understanding Your Protestant

a. Excessive Cheerfulness

Mass is serious, introspective, death-centered, and at least a little depressing. Regular exposure to this particular form of religious expression discourages the vice of excessive cheerfulness. It is precisely this vice which Protestant churches, with all their talk of “freedom” and “redemption” and “getting saved,” encourage, and nurture, and reward, as though it were a virtue. Indeed, hard work and disproportionate happiness are considered not only virtuous, in some Protestant circles, but also as evidence that one is predestined to eternal salvation.

b. Drinking

Anyone who has ever partied with a group of Roman Catholic nuns knows how freely the boxed wine floweth. But Protestantism, unlike Catholicism, has a history of teetotalism. It wasn’t Catholics, dykes, who championed Prohibition, and that is a fact that you may proudly pass along to your adopted or in vitro fertilized child someday, in moments of Catholic chauvinism/insecurity. While most Protestants drink, I would argue that they take the more restrained approach of people who value self-control as much as they distrust pleasure.

c. Guilt

Catholics do not own guilt, dykes. Protestants, too, experience guilt. Oh yes. See, for example: the shenanigans at the Province of Massachusetts Bay, total depravity, limited atonement, or Jonathan Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” for insights into the peculiarities of Protestant self-flagellation.

To put it rather too simply, Catholic guilt springs, primarily, from feelings of personal inadequacy, whilst Protestant guilt springs mostly from the charmingly egalitarian notion that we are all horrible and/or the fear that we have been predestined to eternal hellfire and have no way of knowing for sure. The fine distinctions, dykes! The fine distinctions. These forms of guilt often play out differently in life, which is what makes it all such a wild and exciting ride on this crazy merry-go-round.

What do y’all think? Have you dated any lovely Protestant ladies? What have we left out?


Bring Your Dyke to Mass, Part II: Smells and Bells

Don’t think you can get away with smelling ripe on Sunday just because Father Whatshisface will be swinging the incense all willy nilly. When you bring your dyke to Mass, you best bring her smelling good.

Now, dykes, I don’t mean to scold. I know you’d like to attend to your olfactory situation, but you don’t want to smell like a funeral home or a goddam cucumber melon salad–hence you avoid women’s fragrances. At the same time, it can feel awkward to stand shoulder to shoulder with a khaki-clad man your dad’s age at the pharmacy, clearly considering the same bottle of Aqua Velva aftershave, or–to your shame as well as his–the same bottle of Axe.

Confidence, homos! I, too, have been there. May I share a story? Gather round.

Just recently, while grocery shopping with a good Catholic straight woman, I hit the sale aisle, and oh boy. Glassware, shampoo, hair gel, and body wash. Here I was, in need of body wash, and a big ole bottle of it was on sale. On sale, dykes! It was red and bulky and cost-effective–clearly a men’s product.

But I worried. Yes, dykes. Worried that it might seem a tad peculiar to take it; worried that I was overdoing it.

What to do? In a moment of extreme neuroticism, I tucked it oh-so-sneakily under my arm with a bottle of gender-conforming shampoo (also on sale), hoping to conceal the purchase from my friend. It was only a few short minutes later, on the salsa aisle, when she turned to me and said, “Did you get a bottle of man body wash and try to hide it from me?” that I realized just how asinine this was.

Did she care that I bought man body wash? She did not. Did she think it was rigoddamdiculous (I’m paraphrasing) that I tried to hide a body wash purchase from her? Affirmative. Yes indeed she did.

I was being sneaky about body wash. Body wash, I say! What foolishness.

The body wash in question was Old Spice Classic Body Wash. When I saw it in the sale section that fateful evening, I already had Old Spice on the brain. I’ve been using it for a few weeks now, and it’s pretty decent. The smell of it is definitely masculine–at first it was a little too manly for me, to tell you the truth. But it has grown on me. It smells clean without smelling like flowers or detergent, and that’s basically what I was looking for.

I’ve also got a can of Old Spice After Hours Body Spray. This smells different. Less old man-ish. But not like flowers, not like detergent, so it is A-OK with this ladygay.

But enough of that. I’m not really here to tell you what to buy so much as to say: Do you, dykes; do you. Because nobody cares. As long as you’re a clean, mean, lezzing machine come Sunday mornin, it doesn’t matter what set of chromosomes your personal hygiene  products are supposed to go with. I said it before, and I’ll say it again: confidence. You’ve got to bring your dyke to Mass with confidence.


This Dyke and Her Good Catholic Mom

Well, queers, it’s Pride season and like any other good Catholic dyke I’ve been hitting the town (although not quite as hard as the Lady, aka the Almighty, might like, but hey, we do our best). My most recent bout around town was a trip to the local dyke watering hole; which here in DC we lovingly refer to it as ‘The Phase’.  In true L word fashion, the Phase was hosting a jello wrestling competition (read: an excuse to charge a $10 cover so a bunch of lezzies can watch scantily clad women rolling on top of one another in a bunch of  liquid) in honor of Pride month.

Fellow dykes, I must say that this was quite the treat. In fact, I’d personally like to give a special shout out to Mary, Mother of God and Queen of Heaven. I’m pretty sure she took a good ‘ol look at my Rosary account and, upon noticing that I have amassed a sizeable amount of Hail Marys, decided she would let me cash in by giving me a front row seat to the babe-on-babe fest. Amen.

Now, I’m sure ya’ll are expecting video clips and/or photos with prime shots of the lady action, but that won’t be happening because I simply don’t have those. I’m much too respectful of boundaries and too sensitive as a feminist to exploit women at that level. I, also, don’t own a fancy phone with quality picture takin’ capabilities (and I might’ve left the jello wrestling event a tad early in order to pursue my ladycrush who was waiting in line outside of the bar, so…)

Moving on to the actual point of this entry: why my mother is hilarious.

As I was wandering the streets of the city before my night of debauchery, I made a phone call to my beloved, unsuspecting parents. It went a little something like this:

(for the sake of my anonymity, let’s pretend my name is something really Catholic like Agnes and that my dad’s name is Joseph)

Me: Yo, mama, what’s going on?

Mother: Hello, Agnes, what are you up to tonight?

Me: Um, going to meet up with some friends at…a bar.

Mother: Oh, that sounds like fun.

Me: (inner dialogue: eh, what the fuck, why not?) Yeah, actually it’s a lesbian bar. They are hosting a jello wrestling tournament tonight in honor of it being Pride and all.

Mother: Oh. Well, that sounds interesting.

Me: I’m pretty pumped it should be a good time, I hope.

Mother: Oh, Agnes, you are a character. Actually, you know I just don’t see how that could be interesting. I mean, I understand going out to the bar, but I just don’t get the wrestling thing.

Me: I think there’s a distinct possibility that it will be interesting, Mom.

Mother: How is that interesting?

Me: Could you ask Dad if he thinks watching women in underwear wrestling each other in a pool of jello would be interesting?

Mother: Calls to my father: Joe! Joe! Agnes wants to know what you think about women wrestling in jello. Why don’t you just talk to her yourself? Tries to give my father the phone.

Me: cringes while imagining discussing practically naked women with her father (inner dialogue: please, please, don’t take the phone, dad. PLEASE.)

Mother: Well, he just won’t take the phone. I guess that could be fine, Agnes. I just don’t think I would like watching men wrestling each other.

Me: Hm, really?

Mother: You and your sister are just opening me up to all sorts of things. I am just learning so much.

Me: I hope that’s a good thing?

Mother: Yeah, well, sure. I guess it might be. Sure.

Ladygays, my beautiful Midwestern Catholic (once Southern and Protestant before her imminent conversion and homecoming to Holy Mother Church) mother:

a) couldn’t fathom what could possibly be interesting about women wrestling each other and

b) wanted to me to have an actual conversation with my father about it.

Yikes, dykes. Yikes. Counting my blessings and doing a sign of the cross accompanied by a chorus of sighs of relief. Thank the Lady for my father’s discretion.

That’s all I have for now, folks. This sisterqueer hopes that you might have such a conversation with your parents someday. Good luck with all future endeavors of this nature and feel free to ask us GCDs for advice when needed.

Happy Pride, ya’ll!

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