It’s all about Portuguese wine for me this year, with the odd bottle of Barefoot Merlot from California — because we (wannabe) California Girls are never far from our roots, yes?
“Canadian lesbian fiction authors are a quiet bunch. Many readers don’t know we exist or assume we’re American. We hope to change that. We created this site to showcase Canadian lesbian fiction and its authors.”
I have to remind myself to do that when I am reading fiction.
It’s a different matter in my job as an editor at the newspaper. There, I need to get through the copy as quickly as possible. Yes, that’s what we call the articles you read in your morning newspaper or in the online editions: copy.
Picture this: You are strolling down a country road by yourself on a warm summer day when seemingly out of nowhere, a handsome young adult male appears before you.
Visualize him however you want, i.e. low, flowing hair, muscular body, whatever. He appears to you as an ideal 20something specimen — and he is stark naked, with the only adornment on his body being a simple gold band on his right index finger.
(This short one-act play, written by me as a follow-up to a post about efforts by some in California to derail a transgender rights bill in 2013, features four characters: a mother and father, 15-year-old son named Joseph and 14-year-old daughter named Jessica. It is set in the dining room of a modest, middle-class bungalow in Los Angeles, California. As the scene opens, mother, father and son are sitting at the dinner table, while daughter is standing by the china cabinet. A radio is playing oldies music in the background, at this moment, California Dreamin’.
Joseph: I have a new girlfriend, and I want to invite her here for supper on Sunday, so that you can meet her.
Mother (gushing with enthusiasm): That’s wonderful, Joseph! We would love to meet her. What’s her name? Where did you meet her?
Joseph (smiling): Her name is Mary, and I met her in the bathroom at school.
Father: In the bathroom!?
Joseph: Yes, dad, she was standing in front of the mirror, putting on her mascara . . . (He sighs happily) . . . Her hairbrush fell off the counter. I picked it up for her, we started talking, and, well, we hit it off.
Father: Wait a minute . . . What was a girl doing in the boys’ bathroom?
(Jessica giggles again, and mumbles under her breath: “This is going to be good.”)
Joseph: Well, it has to do with some stupid petition. I don’t really understand it . . . they just don’t want to let girls like her use the facilities for females.
(Mother holds her hand to her mouth, as if to stifle a cry. Her eyes betray her: she is shocked)
Father: What do you mean, “girls like her”? Are you talking about the referendum to repeal the transgender bill signed by Gov. Brown?
Joseph, nodding: Yah, dad, I guess that is what I am talking about.
Father, incredulously: You’re dating a boy!?
Joseph: No, dad, I’m dating a person who identifies as a girl, and presents herself as a girl.
Mother: But Mary was born a boy?
Joseph: Yes, mom, but she’s on hormones, and she plans to have gender reassignment surgery in a few years, when she turns 18.
Father: If he has a penis, he’s a boy!
Joseph: I don’t care about her penis, dad. I’m not interested in it. I love her, for the person she is inside. She’s beautiful, both inside and outside.
Mother, turning to Jessica, who is grinning: Do you know Mary?
Jessica: Sure, everybody knows her. She’s really nice, and she’s gorgeous — got the sexiest legs in the school. All the other girls are jealous!
Father: I won’t have it — I won’t have my son dating a boy . . . (His voice trails off.) I can’t believe they are letting these transgender kids use the boys’ bathroom.
Mother: But, dear, where else are they going to do their business? You were one of the people who signed the petition to stop them from using the girls’ facilities. They’ve got to go somewhere . . .
Father: You signed it, too!
Mother: Well, you told me to . . . I didn’t really think about it . . .
Joseph, smiling: That’s right, dad. If it wasn’t for that petition, I might never have got to meet Mary.
Father: Well, I don’t want you bringing him home, and I don’t want you dating him.
Joseph: You can’t stop me from dating her (with emphasis on the “her”), and if you are afraid to meet her, that’s your loss.
Mother, standing and hugging Joseph: I don’t have a problem with it, son. You can date anybody you like — male, female or in-between. I’ll love you just the same.
Jessica: Mom, that is so nice . . . (Tears rolling down her cheeks)
Joseph, crying: I knew I could count on you, mom.
Father, standing, obviously moved by the emotions of the other three: Jesus, suddenly I feel so stupid . . . Joseph, I trust you . . . You’re a good kid . . . I love you . . . Yes, yes, bring your girlfriend here. Bring her here for dinner on Sunday . . .
(The family comes together for a group hug, with The Times They Are a-Changin’ playing softly in the background.)
— Jillian Page
I actually wrote this story way back in high school, then did some serious editing and rewriting on it back in 2001. It gives you an idea of where my head was at back in the ’60s and ’70s.
The Bells of Oakhill
By Jillian Grace Page
A shimmering, translucent rainbow sphere broke through the gray clouds above Oakhill County and descended slowly into the midst of a park, where a few dozen of the town’s youngest citizens were at play. It was a crisp winter day, and the children were amusing themselves with fortress-building, tobogganing and the odd volley of snowballs. Continue reading “The Bells of Oakhill”
And now for something completely different — a short story I wrote back in 2001.
by Jillian Grace Page
For sale: modern 10-room bungalow in quiet suburban setting. Finished basement, with free built-in aquarium . . .
“Aye, and just through here, Mr. and Mrs. Blob, you’ll find the aquarium room,” the thin, elderly man said with a sweep of his arm, ushering the prospective buyers to a wide archway. “Stand here to get the full view.”
One of the rewards of writing my Gazette blog has been meeting, and becoming friends with, some of my readers. One such friend is Randi Cousineau from Montreal. She sent me a play she had written in 1998, which went on to be produced in Montreal. Randi very graciously consented to have the play appear first in my Gazette blog and now here, saying: “I hope it helps folks believe in real love. And I hope others find acceptance, understanding and love in their hearts…”