writing to know, knowing thru being, being for writing... this is me, writing about the one thing i know, which is myself... and even that is sometimes a mystery...

Monday, January 30, 2006

miami university v. tom brinkman

here's one for the textbooks.

so i went to the brinkman forum tonight. i wasn't going to at first, because these things have the tendency to make me inconsolably sad, as i realize just how filled with hate, injustice, prejudice and intolerance the world really is.

the thing that makes it hard for me is having to come to terms with recognizing these instances of deep-seated hatred, intolerance so integral and inseparable from a person's beliefs and nature that spill over into my personal life and impede my ability to live as an autonomous person, something so contradictory to the sacred ideals of our nation, yet corrupted and bastardized and twisted to the point of illusion and erupting disgust.

inflammatorily, brinkman declared miami's practice of domestic partner benefits "degrading and detrimental to american ideals and traditions," suggesting that somehow, the allowance or recognition of same-sex relationships or even just the broadly termed "nontraditional families" is something so staunchly offensive and irrational as to cause dramatic social problems, a disorder and inadequacy in need of correction and immediate address by government and thus, this lawsuit.

as i sat there in the front row of the meeting room, surrounded by commiserators, two rows of smug college republicans to my right, and the leering face of brinkman and his lawyer ahead of me, i slipped into a semiconscious existential daze. i could see the faces of people i loved in the corners of my eyes, juxtaposed over the faces of angry and reactionary members of the charged audience tonight. and finally, when an old stranger in the crowd took the microphone to relay a "statement" on behalf of "nontraditional families," my eyes welled over with sincere tears of grief in acknowledgement of the families brinkman was ignoring and denying, a loud roar of fear and sadness from the depths of silence and frustrated suppression from which they were borne.

i imagined every instance of prejudice, oppression and inexplicable hatred i had ever encountered or experienced in my life, all the things people have used to stack against me in the hope of stifling me, and imagined all of that at once, and imagined being told that what i am, who i am, what i do, who i'm with, what i stand for, what i stand against, that all these me's i could be and desire to be and am, were just not good enough, couldn't be accepted, shouldn't have a voice and a place in which to live and breathe and love...

and all at once the realization that love, of all things, could be deprived and refused and denied by law, that the right to my life and my body and my emotions could be stolen from me and then justified by law and democracy and the public interest, all that barreled down on me and sank me into this darkness and sadness with which i write this regretful post.

but these words, which i reproduce below in the hopes that they will move others as they did me, inspired me to look up, through my overwhelming and overbearing sadness, long enough to look brinkman in the eyes, and holding that gaze, channel all my energies into making him realize, if only for a fleeting second or two, the deep hurt he was causing, not only me, but all the ones i've loved and met in my lifetime.


Mr. Brinkman, I am here tonight because you must be publicly confronted with the reality that your lawsuit hurts good and loving people.

Every day, every hour, it tyrannizes loving relationships. And as I’m sure you are very well aware, the effect goes far beyond the gay staff and faculty at Miami. Be it 10, 50, or 500 miles away, any times a gay couple hears of this, your bully's cudgel inflicts more heartache and anger.

I want to look you in the eye and tell you of the same-sex couples among my dearest friends. If you would dare intimate they are one iota less moral than whoever you're trying to "protect" from their love, I would ask you to desist from subjects of which you know nothing.

When my 16-year-old daughter asked what I was doing tonight, and I told her you seek to deny partner benefits to same-sex couples here, she replied with what I would call the fresh incredulity of youth. "Why would he care?" she asked. "Why would he want families not to be safe?"

You of course have your reasons, based on your interpretation of the Ohio Marriage Amendment. Whatever the legal debate, which your own attorney has said could last for years, your bottom line is exclusion of families whose ways fall outside your comfort zone, exclusion of families whose aspirations clash with the sense of entitlement that religion and society have instilled in you.

Reputable research overwhelmingly asserts that variations in sexual orientation are healthy in a human population. And that same-sex couples raise children as effectively as heterosexual pairs.

Eventually, these truths will transcend the fog of fear and ignorance that presently helps empower you. Like the Catholic Church doctrine on gays that I believe helps guide you, your quest is gravely immoral in its denial of human dignity and diversity. Though I cannot judge your level of malice vs. sincere good intention, I know that history will deem your effort as misguided and cruel.

I am here tonight in an effort to hasten that day for all of us, especially those good families you so profoundly disrespect.

John C. Brennan
Cincinnati, Ohio

mr. brennan, modest and humble post aside, i would like you to know: you are my hero and a voice for all of us in these strange and troubling times, and i would like to thank you. your words, doubtless, have inspired (and will inspire) more than just me.

in your debt,
stephanie lee

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

vagina monologues

so i haven't posted in a long time.

and it's because i've been busy.

reeeal busy.

for one thing, i've added some classes which means:
1) lots of catching up to do;
2) a total of 20 credit hours and two jobs and way too many activities;
3) STRESS in the boatloads.

but it's ok. because i'm enjoying it all immensely, surprisingly enough.

AND, i've decided to audition for the vagina monologues this friday/saturday. my professor for fem theatre last semester asked me to try out, and after reading over the script (which is not too unfamiliar or different from some performances and writing i did for that class last semester), i decided it would be a fun thing to do.

and so empowering and freeing.

despite outward appearances, i'm really quite the introvert (really i am!) and i'm incredibly self-conscious, never quite comfortable in my own skin, always afraid to speak up in public and get up in front of a crowd. i get nervous and anxious, i shake and sweat and feel sick to my stomach. while others get butterflies, i get flocks of pigeons, big awkward flapping pigeons, in MY stomach.

but i'm going to audition anyway.

and if i get a part, i'm going to perform anyway. despite all the work and all the obligations and the fears and trepidations and otherwise, i will do it.

and the one i want to do, the one i MOST want to perform, the one that somehow moved me most, yes, the one i can most see myself doing, is this one:

"because he liked to look at it" (performed by eve ensler, the writer and original performer, mp3 hosted by

i can also see myself doing "my angry vagina," but i think it would be a more facetious and comic performance, an easier one to do.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

quote of the day

for lack of better things to post on, here's something i heard on democracy now! (which is, by far, the most remarkable podcast and progressive radio news program i've ever listened to and comes highly recommended.)

in environmental news, british scientists have determined that 2005 was the warmest year on record in the northern hemisphere and the second warmest year overall since the 1860's, when reliable records began. this comes as the independent of london has published a dire warning from the well-known scientist james lovelock, who believes that the world is already past the point of no return for global warning. lovelock writes:

"before this century is over, billions of us will die, and the few breeding pairs that survive will be those in the arctic, where the climate remains tolerable."


thinking now about the idea of posting quotes, the meaning of them and what it means to do so, how it's a prevalent trend on many blogs, and how that's kinda funny, as they're merely transcribed sound bytes. i'd like to splice them all together and make a blended blank from them.

and how much of what we post anyway is a quote in itself? (that is, how much of what we write is genuine? it's all been said before...)

more later,

Saturday, January 14, 2006

sometimes i hate myself

i've been confused and feeling bad lately.

i don't know if it's my fault either, which is why i feel so bad, i guess.

the thing is, i have great trouble realizing when i'm "on a date with someone," i guess, because i've been informed on numerous occasions by people other than myself that i am going on a date with someone and i don't realize it until later that it's true.

and i feel bad because i don't intend to "lead anyone on" or give anyone the impression that i'm the least bit interested in them when i'm not, but maybe i have that tendency without knowing it?

maybe i just don't understand what a "date" is because i don't feel like i've ever really been on one, but there again we have the problem: not knowing what a date is, i don't know, and can't know, if i've been on one before.

how do you define a date? is a date just any time a boy/girl, girl/girl, boy/boy go out together and do something? because if that were the case, almost anything could be a date, and i've been on several.

but then why are these things understood to be romantic in nature?

because i don't want to send anyone the wrong message, and i've apparently been guilty of doing so lately, most definitely inadvertently, as i am in no way interested in "dating" anyone right now.

...ugh. i hate myself for even writing this post. look for its deletion in future.

Monday, January 02, 2006

a warm (g)love

like sitting in the warm breezy sunny car window afternoon
with one tight familiar comfortable-feeling glove on yr hand
& listening to good background music that is just what it should be and just what it is and lets you forget you're listening
you forget you're wearing a glove
that friendly hot pink children's glove
that fits so perfectly on yr hand like a hug
with its complex textures and materials on yr hand
you are frequently aware of the wool against yr skin against yr leg while you ride
but in this instant you forget
& you have to remind yrself and yr hand
of its complexities and separateness from you
or you may mistake it for a second skin

Sunday, January 01, 2006

life lines / reading palms

i awoke to find two X's on my palms
carved deep into the flesh and folds of skin

like a mistake in need of correction
or a marked spot for further attn
a map in the search for treasures
buried deep within the cells & atoms

i imagine the merging of my hands with the earth
the gradual flecking with soot & dirt
the mulching of my body with time
the becoming of the null & void

& i wonder if grasses and weeds will spring forth now
from the points where infinities once joined
erupting the pressured geysers of my eye
elephant tusk stabbing
into the seamless eternity

the curling of little vines
as extensions from my forfeited veins
& millions of ants and milling insects
will come outpouring from these lines
these delicate dissection lines

& overgrow & overtake
the well-tended gardens of my abandoned life.