Thursday, April 1, 2010

April 1, 2010 (post 1)

Hi Poppets! Guess what? I might be on the move again. I know, I know. Never put my address in permanent ink. That’s just a bad idea. While I always look forward to a move, this one is good for me on another level, as well. This one is causing me to face and rethink some prejudgments I didn’t even realize I had. See, we’re moving to Alaska. Yep, this city girl is going to the home of flannel shirts, lumberjacks, moose and Sarah Palin. Need I say I wasn’t very excited about it at first?

Somewhat grudgingly, I started researching Anchorage. After all, we would need a place to live, buy groceries, see the occasional movie. And what I discovered surprised me. A lot.

Anchorage has a gay scene to rival any city’s in the lower 48 – and better than many – but it’s not just in Anchorage (although in fairness, much of it is in Anchorage but much of everything in Alaska is in Anchorage so…). The whole state has LGBT friendly resorts and towns and tours. Even the main airline, Alaska Airline, is officially one of the best places to work in the US if you are homosexual and/or a transgendered person. Plus, the Alaskan men on the site David and I belong to are oh so numerous and oh so very cute.

It was quite a wake-up call for me. My assumptions were of closed-minded bigots and people who couldn’t make it down here in the contiguous United States. I was already prepping myself to go in as a sociologist, simply observing, keeping my head down until it was time for us to move on. More than being surprised by Alaska, though, I was surprised by myself…and the chip on my shoulder. The negative stereotypes I was so willing to believe, without proof one way or another. Instead, I have found a thriving and healthy LGBT community.

Admittedly, we haven’t moved yet. It may be very different living it than it is researching it. Whatever living it is actually like, though, Anchorage still has an LGBT community center, a PFLAG office, a youth center, an Imperial Court, several dance clubs, and a handful of social clubs. Regardless of if they are there because they are welcome or if they are there because they are fighting for acceptance, they are there. Which is more than I was expecting, or willing to give them.

Learn from my mistakes this month, Poppets. Watch yourselves. Watch your assumptions. Be open to having your minds changed for the better, not just the worse. And until next month, take care of you.

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