backyard crowing


my decision to transcend the bull

on my playwriting class' blog...

4 out of 17 of the comments are by me!

i love this class, i love it, love it, love it.

i'm behind but catching up. 1 step at a time.

the scariest things i have to do today:

-e-mail ingri
-call the tx commission on artz to reschedule the interviews i missed

then it's go time.

I’m liking the name zora. I’m happy the new playwriting prof calls me zora…

It boosts confidence, for sure. I have to wonder if the people who are more open to my new name are people who’ve changed their names, or who understand what it’s like to go through a life-changing experience that warrants a distinct shift in their everyday lives—an experience that people look at and wonder what made them that way.

The birds are squalling or squawking, whichever word you prefer. I couldn’t remember how to spell ‘squawk’ but I knew squall wasn’t far off.

I wonder if yvet realizes what she’s gotten herself into. Her boy jim is over today, and he spent the night. Ooh la la! He’d better ask for her hand in relationshipness quick if she’s a romantic.

I thought briefly today of writing my long play about marcus. I would spell his name ‘markus,’ as in ‘mark us,’ because it’s meaningful…to me, anyway. There would be a screen up during most of the play, which would show our IMs. Then the two actors would be in their bedrooms, reacting to what the other one said while the audience saw the exchange on their faces. I think this would either (a) be lame, (b) not work, or (c) be revolutionary.

Right now I’m leaning more towards choice a or b, but I’m interested in what my playwriting prof would say. Her name is jenny, she’s terrific. She speaks quickly, definitively, and she encourages. She sticks up for the little guy. You can tell in the way she talks that she believes in us, respects us, and expects our best. And she has no qualms that we’ll give her our best. It’s simply a mutual understanding that we all rock in our own ways.

Yesterday in class someone said, “That’s so gay.” I didn’t quite know what to say, but I was put off and wanted to speak up, just didn’t have the words or the courage. She said something like, “Well, we prefer ‘lame’ or some other non-gender-related term for words like that here.” And she said it not condescendingly, but matter-of-factly and calmly. The girl who made the comment apologized, but kept talking and didn’t lose any confidence because of the error. That’s a great prof, to me… she didn’t let the GLBT community down, she made her thoughts heard, she told the student what was appropriate for class, but she didn’t point fingers or get angry.

Yvet is back again, and organizing her room. All this time I thought she was here, sleeping. I have to do those things I’m afraid of. I’m really freaking scared.

I want to read Maurice for the GLBT lit and culture class. I can’t seem to start on anything because I’m so overwhelmed. I have a definite, hour-by-hour schedule, but no will to follow it.

I’m trying hard to remember who I am: Zora. Dawn. A new being, a new chance, a new day.

The first day of playwriting, I said my name was my old name. Then when we went around in a circle, I mentioned the new name. Now the prof calls me Zora.

On the first day of GLBT lit and culture, I said my name was my old name. The next time that class met, I corrected myself and the prof calls me by my old name.

What matters is not what they call me, but who I know myself to be. However I am encouraged when they call me by my new name. Enlightened, empowered, attentive, determined.

Sometimes when people hear my new name, they say, “Oh, that’s so pretty!”

Sometimes the old name makes them say that, too.

But I feel more pride when they compliment me on Zora, she’s me now, I reinvented myself.

I’m going to make a sign for my door that says ‘Zora.’ It will be brightly colored.

A girl on the bus yesterday from my playwriting class asked me, “is your real name Zora?”

I said, “Yes, but legally I’m something else. Zora is what I go by.”

I’ve resolved that I won’t tell people my old name, not even if they ask politely. I just don’t want them thinking they’re hot shit and calling me the other name, because I won’t realize it until later and it will upset me that they don’t respect my decision to transcend the bull.

- wednesday, feb. 4, 2009


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