These Boots Were Made for Walkin’ Away from Oklahoma
There was nowhere to go back to. Oklahoma was out of the question, always out of the question. But then, where was home?
y parents put a premium on traveling, something their parents couldn’t afford and something not many people who lived in our parts of Oklahoma could do either. My mom made a big point of it. We went to New York when I was in the fourth grade and she rented a limo just to take us a few blocks. “There,” she said after we climbed out, as if she’d knocked something off a long to-do list. “Now you don’t need to be impressed with limos anymore.”
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All the wrong people are crying, and all the people who ought to feel something do not.
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Today tongzhi is seldom used in a political context, if ever: The Beijing LGBT center is called Beijing Comrade Center; 同志村, or comrade village, translates to gayborhood. So yeah, everyone knows what comrade really means—everyone except the president of China, apparently.
There’s nothing more queer than cobbling together something fabulous out of very little.
As euphoric as my queer epiphany felt, I’d had it as my mother lay sick. It felt like I was reentering the world as my mother was leaving it.