I’d been searching for a while for a succinct way to describe the essence of this blog, when I mentioned it to my friend Bill Lutz (author of The Shark Tank). Personal impressions, contemplations, general stuff of life, and of course, the music is its vehicle, but it needs to speak to all those who travel the in-betweens – those not necessarily gay or straight, black or white, of one particular gender – those who skate easily through spiritual paths and feel integrated through the journey. I talked for a while about life other than the culture of either/or. Bill cut to the center of my concepts with “Welcome to Tweenerworld.” I like it. I think this recasting of “tweener” could be to blended and both/and culture what queer is to the growing alphabet soup of alternative sexualities. The Dream Between may have a moving target of a tagline for a while and might not really use “Tweenerworld,” but I have to thank Bill for getting to the point. Not a bad summation.
Sara Parks of Great Balancing Act (“It’s no secret I love that band”) recently posted a Facebook status regarding feminine hygiene and caught some flak from guys who thought it was not only TMI, but actually inappropriate. In response I was duly inspired to show my support for frank conversation and the demystification of women’s (and everybody’s) bodies by reporting this “tweener” moment:
So there I am at the routine gynecologist appointment last month. The nurse practitioner goes through the basic questions. No new medications, no surgeries, nothing particularly new happening. Breast exam. No problems indicated. I mention that as a matter of routine I like to have all the STI tests. She makes a mental note to send me down the hall for blood work. Then she asks me to lie back for the rest of the exam. Just when the speculum hits, I look up and see a picture taped to the ceiling. It is someone who looks very much like this guy:
What the heck? I was stuck in a processing loop. I can at least now begin to sort out what was wrong with that picture.
Here are a few of the assumptions in operation: It assumed that the woman having the exam is straight. It assumed that this particular masculine expression is a universal turn-on to women. It assumed that the woman having the exam is uncomfortable with the exam and in need of a distraction. It assumed that nudity and genital touch in a clinical context is conflated with erotic or sexual feelings.
All I could think, after the disconcertion brain delay, was – Wait, why did you think I wanted to see that guy? Was I supposed to be having a sexual moment? Personally, I had been feeling neither nervous nor sexual about having a PAP smear.
I get the humor. At least I think whoever decorated that office figured a hunk on the ceiling would be funny. The surrealist in me finds it more and more amusing.
It also tells me that they weren’t expecting me in that office. No one imagined a queer-identified bi woman who prefers feminine to androgynous or interestingly gender blended people. No one imagined a person who prefers not to be asked psychologically to feel aroused in the middle of a simple exam. It was invisibility in living color.
Being one who naturally falls on the in betweens means it’s rarely ever you who people expect to show up. They’ve mostly prepared a place for someone else. But surfing through and between the spaces where others see hard lines drawn is a sweet, layered source of creativity and the place where I find the deepest expressions of love. I would never trade it.