Yesterday, whilst feasting upon the banquet of social media which sustains me, I was reminded by my queer blogging community that it’s National Blog Writing Month. This apparently means that you’re supposed to write a post every day for all of November. Many of my alphabet soup blogger peers have bravely accepted this challenge, and I wish them the very best. That said, I gotta be real with you, peeps: a blog post a day just ain’t gonna be happening ’round these parts. (Also, as you’ll notice the date on the calendar reads “November 2nd,” I’ve already lost this contest anyway.) Between this blog, Diffuse 5, and that other place where I supposedly work and they actually pay me to write stuff, I’m stretched pretty thin. But! All the Twitter chatter has led to some awesome prompts being suggested by community members and fellow writers, and I just can’t let them all pass me by. So I’m just going to try to respond to as many as I can without getting fired and/or not sleeping until December.
The first prompt, which comes from the amazing Amanda over at is this thing on?, is all about finding your root. As I’m sure most of you know from college GSA movie nights, the idea of a queer “root” comes from the film But I’m A Cheerleader, which is basically required viewing for all babygays. The sad-yet-sexy
prisoners campers at a “make-the-gay-go-away” camp discuss the incidents in their childhoods that turned them all into same-sex lovin’ delinquents with great hair. Now this is obviously a jokey, not real thing, as locker room showers or a bad bris can’t “make” someone gay. (We were born that way, Lady Gaga, etc. etc.) But it’s still funny to think about, right? So here’s my own special root. It’s fairly straight(hurhur)forward: I was born in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Northampton, or “Noho” as we Western Mass natives call it, is basically the Lesbian Capital of the USA. Sorry Portland, San Fran, Brooklyn, or anyplace else that mistakenly thinks it holds that prestigious title. Noho has the most lesbian couples per capita (we’re not even talking about all the sexy singles there!) of any city in the United States. According to ePodunk, there are 535% more LGBT people in Noho than in the average American town or city. 535%!!!
You basically can’t throw an organic vegan fair trade coffee bean in Noho without hitting a dyke. There are art galleries, street performers, and “womyn”-owned businesses out the wazoo and, to top it all off with nubile young college-aged bodies, Smith is right the fuck there. Which brings me to the one and only problem with the Noho queer community: there are only two kinds of dykes there: College students and middle-aged-to-elderly life partners. See, Northampton is a great city, and the most exciting place in Massachusetts west of Boston, but it’s friggin’ small. Like any small town or city, job prospects are not plentiful and things get very boring, very quickly. Hence, we see many queerfolk who sprung forth from their little rainbow cocoons and turned into fully formed lesbians while at Smith, then fled to a bigger city after college, only to end their great migaytion by returning to their native Noho and settling down into a life of dykemestic bliss.
I, however, grew up in the neighboring towns of Southampton and Easthampton, which are not nearly as fun, gay-friendly, or worth blogging about, and fled to Boston after high school, never to look back again. Because as cool as Northampton is, it will always be only 10 minutes from my parents’ house. Sorry, Noho.
And that’s my root.