Tuesday, March 6, 2012

MamaBlogger365 - Mommy Queerest by Kimberly Dark

Looking Sexy in the Face

I should've known better. But this is part of what I do in hotel rooms: watch a little television. I don't miss not having a television at home, but down-time in hotel rooms warrants some guilty pleasure. So, today I watched the Fuse top 100 sexiest music videos of all time. Well, I caught the top 60 - and that took much of the day. I muted through the commercials and some of the songs, and I also did some dancing. But what else do you suppose happened to me while I watched? Think about it for a moment - before I tell you, I'll share the backdrop for this sexy video extravaganza.

I'm in a downtown hotel room in State College, PA, as the sounds of drunken revelers drift up from the street. February 25 is no holiday, but here at Penn State, it's known as State Patty's Day - a day of drinking and debauchery that now has much of downtown State College closed down - yes, bars close rather than selling alcohol on this day because students can be so destructive, so irresponsible in their behavior that even the business owners who stand to profit from such revelry would rather not support the inevitable injuries, sexual assaults, harassment and general dreadful behavior that will result on this day. It's a parent's nightmare, of course. They're young and foolish and looking for attention and affirmation. The mother-part of me wants to scream "Go home!" and "For Gawd-sakes, put on a sweater!"

Why State Patty's Day? St. Patrick's Day - a good "drinking holiday" in America - normally falls during spring break. And some students a few years back felt cheated out of reveling with their friends, so they instituted State Patty's Day - the last Saturday in February - as make-up day.

I am here, on this of all days, to participate in an event that happens each year at this time - the brilliant Cultural Conversations festival, led by Dr. Susan Russell. This festival offers theatre, music, dance and film surrounding a topic of cultural importance. This year's theme is Difficult Differences and the offerings include Dr. Carrie Sandahl's documentary, Code of the Freaks, about the representation of disability in Hollywood, and my solo show Dykeopolis: Queer Tales and Travels in our Times.

The week also included five student plays, an art display on racial and cultural differences, plus a town hall event on "growing up gay in the USA." And, then there's Body Language, one of the most amazing efforts this festival undertakes each year in which a performance results from Dr. Russell's months of work with local middle and high school students. This year, their show was called LGBT Citizens and Allies Asking and Telling. The Body Language shows are stunning -- this is the second time my work has been invited to Cultural Conversations and the previous Body Language performance I saw focused on body image and the bullying that comes from body bigotry.

This brings me back to the results of watching five hours of music videos - something a lot of young people do on a routine basis.

Click here to read more!

Kimberly Dark is a mother, professor and an award-winning writer and performer. Her favorite son is a senior at UC Berkeley and she’s grateful that traveling to perform allows her to spend time with him often. www.kimberlydark.com.

Photo credit: Sil kobieta 2 by mzacha | MorgueFile

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