Series of weird but funny things have happened around town while exploring Boston with Sean. Namely, we tried to upset a conservative Christian preaching on the street by attempting to hold hands and kiss each other. Not very compassionate and in retrospect, doesn’t do much to foster a dialogue at all. But in doing so, we sat down and an old (probably) retired cop sat down next to us and offered to marry Sean and I. It was humorous. He was telling us how he’s been securing civil rights for Queer people since he was a young man on the force. The moment was short but amazing. What a great guy. It’s weird how so many think that we should marry. Maybe I think of it as a compliment. We’ve both talked recently about how we feel that in the past month, our relationship has evolved in a significant way, so perhaps that is other people’s way of noticing that evolution as well. It’s interesting that other people can recognize it without us communicating it verbally and it’s interesting that it is asserting itself in an intense emotional (and often religious) bond. I guess it feels great. It’s great to know that I will spend a significant part of my life with someone who is wonderful, funny, and caring. Not to mention, a stud muffin. Mostly the wonderful part. 🙂
I realized that I should look for a job. It’s weird to think that in less than a month, I will assume responsibility as a student. I am wondering where I will be at after this semester. I am much more confident that I will make it through as a Master in Theological Studies and that I won’t experience significant burn-out. Nevertheless, I am still concerned that I will become disillusioned. I think that if this is the case, I was not meant to go to graduate school at this period in time. I feel so energized to study religion in a queer context and my hope is by drawing off the experiences of queer persons. I do have some worries about what I want to study. First, I am worried of the possibility of essentializing a community of people. I think that since I am very aware of that — knowing that neither religion or queerness embody a specific definition but rather a series of definitions, many of which can contradict each other — I am less worried about falling into the trap of essentialization. Second, I am worried about creating a working definition of religion. I have wrestled with this over my years as an undergrad. The problem lies in viewing what might denote secular things, as being religious. For instance, the practice of printmaking often carried religiosity to it in that I felt my art was about embodying pieces of the ultimate concern and that I was doing a set of practices that might be deemed ritualistic. Or, considering that in doing the practice of printmaking, I was creating a community and my art was not just a result of my own ideas but through collaboration. This is one of the things I wonder about, for instance, in doing drag. Is there something spiritual, or almost religious in the act of doing drag in the same way I’ve seen in printmaking? I guess what I am leaning towards is defining religion as something that seeks to encompass the secular, indeed, even break down the dichotomy between religious and secular. How do I articulate a theory of religion that takes into account these ideas? Are these ideas correct? Do queers who take part in religion, do so in a different way than non-queer people? Is it even problematic to talk about queerness? Not only is it defined differently by different people (my old room-mate and I even touched base on queerness as people who don’t embody the normative structures of society. For instance, in my mind, my mom is queer as a single mother because the normative family is one who is a nuclear family with both a father and a mother). Or, how do I take into account the fact that the term ‘queer’ is often associated with white, middle-class, often gay men despite the attempts of many to use queer as an inclusive term. There’s a lot to think about and a lot to formulate in the year and a half that I have in my Master program. It’s good that I am thinking about these things now?