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A Greeting

someshine's picture

Hello, Anne, Kaye, classmates, & web browsers,

Greetings. My name is Joshua. At this particular moment, I’m sitting on my very comfortable bed, very proud of myself for successfully logging onto my account.

I am very much looking forward to this semester with all of you. After reading through “Listening To Understand,” I want to share, briefly, a few swimming thoughts.

While very much looking forward to this semester with all of you, I am a bit apprehensive about being the only male student in the course. One might say that could be expected in courses pertaining to Gender and Sexuality, especially in the Bi-College, but the experience itself is different, or at least I think so. Reflecting on Wilchins’ thoughts about difference and the limits of language, I find myself not quite sure how to express my apprehensions… perhaps because I have yet to meet those of you in the course… perhaps because I have some kind of discomfort about expressing myself over the web…

I do know that I will take advantage of the opportunity to reflect on my discomfort. I am concentrating in Gender & Sexuality Studies because I am fascinated by what I have learned thus far about the intersections between Religion and Sexuality, Religion and Gender, Gender and Sexuality, and all three. I want to develop an understanding of the political, social, and cultural history of Gender and Sexuality in America. I, selfishly, want to develop an understanding of these movements, their participants, their experiences, and their struggles. 

Having been “out” for one year, three months, and three days, as of today, I know my personal struggle to reconcile my faith and sexuality. I know little outside of my experience. Potential sparks my attention more than precarious, performative, playful, and perspectives because I am thinking most intensely about the possibilities, “that which is possible,” on my intellectual journey with all of you.

Perhaps the apprehension I feel most confident I can explain in words, here, is my unfamiliarity with the experiences LBT women have. I know the challenges, thoughts, obstacles, and prejudice I’ve grappled with within myself and in the larger world, but I’m lost and ignorant otherwise. I hold assumptions about each of these aspects that I’m going to do my best to let go of and, instead, be more than open-minded. I do not only want to learn. I want to listen to understand. I only somewhat recognize the challenge in this goal, this potential, but I am committed to this intellectual journey.