A few nights ago, I went to a party for a friend of mine, made up mostly of people I didn’t know. I was talking with one of them, a guy about my age, and we were chatting about theatre, living in Chicago, and so on. I mentioned I was working on a solo performance piece and he seemed super interested. Then, when I said it was about my identity as a queer woman, it felt like he pretty quickly extracted himself from the conversation.
This afternoon I was assistant teaching for a high school theatre class. Another teacher was leading a guest workshop and called for a boy and a girl to get on stage for an awkward “I want to ask them out, but feel too scared” improvised scene. The scene was actually really adorable, and she made some really effective calls that I’ll have to remember. Yet, part of me couldn’t help but feeling disappointed in having to watch my students portray a relationship that I would never be a part of, and remembering how it felt in high school to have to play that part 24/7.
I just got home from Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, a Chicago theatrical institution, and one of the plays referenced Caster Semenya, and not in a complimentary way. I’ve always considered Too Much Light to be this great, liberal company filled with awesome, progressive artists who I want to be -slash- have crushes on, so it was really disappointing (not to mention a little hurtful) to hear “Maybe she’s not really a woman, like that South African athlete!” used as an insult. (Even if, for the record, I don’t think the actors or play’s authors actually think that. But repeating bigotry you don’t believe in isn’t an automatic out.)
I’m feeling like I’m a little overly sensitive, and wanting to feel included instead of othered.