Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I promised

I did, many months ago that my blogger pals would be the first to know...


I had a date.

It went very well.

We've been talking a lot.

We're seeing each other again tomorrow.

Life is really, amazingly good right now. Have I mentioned that lately?

I'm sorry I haven't posted much, I've been  distracted.

I will get back to regular blogging soon.

Because I have a lot to say.

Life is happening.

Good stuff!

Okay that was a bit more cryptic than some of you were hoping for, I'm sure. I wrote an essay that will explain a lot of my processes. Let me just say this - for the first time in my life, ever, I am awake to the beautiful person that I have become. Those of you who have followed me for a long time know that the weight loss did not bring improved self-esteem right away. Self-love and self-acceptance were milestones that were incredibly difficult for me to reach. I've grown a lot in the past few months, I've left a lot of negativity behind. My health is improving. I am so incredibly grateful for all the blessings I have right now.

I wish I was writing more. I think this is a temporary "basking in the glow" kind of writing break. I journal every day. I have an essay all ready for my next OBG post. But I want more fiction in my life, more words, more time to spend just writing and nothing else. I know I have to make that time. And I will.

I hope that all of you, every one of you, can find a moment of happiness today. I've had many. I am truly blessed.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010


This week has gone by too quickly  - for both good and bad reasons.

A dear friend lost her 21 year old son. It was unexpected and as yet unexplained. My heart aches for her.

I've been chatting with a woman that I like. I haven't met her yet.

I formed an excellent connection at the Fen (have you read about The Fen yet?). I'm enjoying that connection as well. Who knows where it will go?

Speaking of the Fen, yours truly humbly submits that she was cited in Wikipedia! I feel like I've suddenly hit the big time.

But I need to start writing under my given name, rather than my blogger handle.

I've been doing a lot of thinking and not a lot of writing. My style has changed since coming out, and some of my work really doesn't reflect that change. When I freewrite these amazing words seem to come out of nowhere, and my older prose simply doesn't measure up. So I've stopped revising my old stuff. I'm getting bored. And I want to concentrate on new work.

That being said, a new connection had some wonderful things to say about a short story I shared with her, and I value her opinion highly.

I've turned a corner with regards to my self-image. I need to devote a whole blog post to that little rennaisance. All of you, especially those who have followed me since the journey began, know how I've struggled with my appearance...for no apparent reason, except there's a disconnect between my body and my brain. Things have...evolved. Part of that is the validation of knowing that other people really do find me attractive - not just people who read my dating profile, but people who meet me in real life. It's very satisfying, but it really is a positive mental shift for me.

Along with that, I've spent some time thinking about the kind of relationship I want right now. And I have a much better notion of my goals for dating and relationships. This is good - visualizing the future requires me to have some sense of what I want to accomplish, both short and long-term.

It's all good.

Except that my friend lost her son. Please send a few good thoughts her way.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

states of union

 I found this in my inbox this morning.....
Dear Camlin,

Lesbian photographer Alix Smith is among 1143 artists being considered for a whopping $250,000 grant from Pepsi. For the last two years, Smith has been working on an award winning photography project/social action campaign that addresses inequality in civil rights – specifically, in the rights afforded to gay and lesbian individuals. Through gesture, color scheme, background and lighting, the photographs that comprise States of Union are loosely based on classical paintings.  The goal of the project, which was exhibited at The Morgan Lehman Gallery in New York, and in Los Angeles at Manifest Equality, is to show LGBT youth - and indeed all Americans - that LGBT families, couples, and loves are no different than heterosexual ones and deserve the same love, support, and admiration.

Pepsi's "refresh everything" campaign seeks to reward "people, businesses, and non-profits with ideas that will have a positive impact" and will change their community. Smith believes that encouraging positive identify formation in gay and lesbian youth by exposing them to images of familial love that they can relate to is critical to changing all American communities for the better. 
States of Union has been compared to the AIDS Quilt in its power to have a profound emotional affect on those that see it. 

Voting for the winner of this grant began on April 1 and Smith's project has already moved from 215th place to 76th, but in order to win she must move to 1st place. Supporters may vote daily for this project online at

* Alix Smith is available for interviews about the project, and we're happy to provide jpegs of her work if you'd like to post them.

IN THE LIFE is doing a segment on Alix Smith and States of Union.  It is the second story in the "Dismantling Hate" episode. You can see it online at: 

To learn more about States of Union go to:

Thanks for taking a look at this project and we hope you'll consider voting, passing the information to people you know or organizations you are apart of and we hope you'll consider posting about it!

Charlotte Edwards Hunt 

I went to the site and checked out her photography - what amazing work!  We need more positive public images of GBLT family life. Go Alix! I voted for her, and you can too!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


From Merriam-Webster's online dictionary:

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin constant-, constans, from present participle of constare to stand firm, be consistent, from com- + stare to stand — more at stand
Date: 14th century
1 : marked by firm steadfast resolution or faithfulness : exhibiting constancy of mind or attachment

Constance is well named.

Most of us have read about Constance MacMillan's struggle for acceptance into her high-school prom. And I'm sure many of us heard the news today about the prom she did attend. If not, you can read about it here.

I am beyond appalled. Perhaps this is affecting me so deeply because of my own high school experiences. Nobody barred me from prom. Nobody set up a fake prom for me to go to - but I was bullied and ostracized when I was in high school. I was a pariah. I was different. Even I hadn't figured out why. 

What bothers me about Contsance's situation is the same thing that bothers me about my past. The kids involved were only a part of the picture. Sure, they were cruel. But they were kids. Their parents taught them how to hate.  And their teachers. And the other adults in their world who told them and demonstrated to  them that it's not okay to be different. That looking, speaking, or acting outside of the realm of what they considered to be "normal." is unacceptable. We don't want your kind around here.

Some of the kids who attended the real prom are out commenting on different news sites, and it makes me sad. They blame Constance, because she brought too much attention to their town, and their prom. The believe that she's making the situation public knowledge in order to gain attention for herself. It's her fault, they're all screaming. 

Well, she's not the bigot in this situation. And she's not the one who decided to deliberately ostracize not one, but several kids, because they are somehow not acceptable to the rest of the student body. And the students, the ones who are so vigorously defending their actions - they didn't act alone. Proms can't usually be organized without adult assistance. 

I am saddened by the story, and at the same time, I am so full of admiration for Constance. This beautiful young woman has something that I didn't have at her age:the courage and self-esteem to speak out against injustice.

I didn't go to prom. I spent the evening with friends. We had a fancy dinner - and did something else afterwards. I can't remember what, but there may have been some alcohol involved at some point. It doesn't matter - we knew that going to prom would only prolong our agony - that if we attempted the dance floor, someone would laugh at us, or make cat calls. I was terrified that someone was going to throw something at me - I was always finding rotten lunches in my locker, and there were a few incidents in the school cafeteria that I'd rather forget. I always said it didn't matter, and in the twenty-seven years since prom night, I've discovered that it really doesn't. We had fun. We didn't have to worry about dresses that fit, or whether or not we had dates, or what to do with ourselves during slow dances.

It's not the end of the world, missing prom. But I wish I could have been a bit more like Constance. I wish I'd been strong enough to advocate for myself, and for my friends, who were bullied as much as I was. 

But I do know a few things about what happened to some of the people who went to prom on the night I didn't go.

Many of them grew up, moved away, and learned that there's a big world out there, and that diversity is a good thing.

Some of them regretted the way they treated other people and changed their behaviour.

Some of them gained weight. And failed in their careers and their marriages just like many other people. They learned humility.

One of the boys in my class found out that when your parent breaks the law, your peers are not always kind to you.

Many of the girls became mothers, and the boys became fathers, before they left their teen years behind.

And sadly, some of them didn't change at all. And they are passing on their values to the next generation. The prom-goers of today. They gossip just as much as they ever did. They still make fun of their high school classmates, like it was yesterday. They live very, very small lives.

I am inspired by Constance's courage. So much so that I've made two decisions today. I'm going to that kiss-in on Saturday. So that I can stand up and be counted. So that I can lend support to my community. And so that I can demonstrate that I have the courage of my convictions - I've been worried, you see, that someone at work will see me, and ask questions. Well, let them ask!

And next July I'm going to my high school reunion. Well, not a reunion, really. It's a thing called Homecoming, where everyone who ever lived there is supposed to go back and celebrate the wonderfulness of small-town living.


The only thing is, I need a date....

Saturday, April 3, 2010

homophobia in my hometown

I used to drink my coffee and write at a coffee shop about six blocks away from my house. I won't be going back. Nor will I eat in the attached restaurant, or drink the excellent microbrewed ale that they sell.

Here's why.

Now, I know that there are differing opinions on the subject. The cafe owner said that she would have ejected any couple for kissing at such length. It's a family restaurant, in case you didn't know, even though the incident took place long after any children would have been asleep....

Here's the thing: if an opposite-sex couple had been kissing each other goodbye, I doubt that anyone would have noticed.

And here's the other thing: I want my daughter to see affection. Between men and women. Between women and women. Between men and men. Because I want her to know that kissing as an expression of love is normal and healthy.

Your thoughts?