In the last three months, almost every time I have been to a new health care practitioner - I have had to try and explain who Liza is and why she is so fierce. Which I can assure you is impossible. On every level and in every way.
I am not sure what 'gay' looks like - but I know what it feels like. Happy. Secure. Terrifying. I just never know - when I - we are safe - and not in the violent way - the way - that way - WAY too many people have experienced - but more in the undermining silent soul suffering way - I just never know when I will hear the scary hyper heterosexual normative standardizing scripting of my life. ( cannot speak for everyone - nor do or will i try. )
" Oh Kelly, I know lots of gay people and they don't act the way you do!" or "Why do you have to make everything a gay issue?" and my favorite - "Wow I had no idea - you have long hair! So who is the man?" Sigh.
In our case there is no man - just the music. And the theatrical flair that is sometimes blatent on the gay gene. That is the point. And so fighting the fear - of getting crappy care because we are gay - the fear of being deliberately shunned or harmed… because we are gay - along with all the fear cancer ignites in yourself and others -
Well it needs to get off the table. on my part and the part of others. no more fear.
What needs to be center stage is patient care regardless of who you are or who you do.
So until the i am ok with gay people as long as they act straight in public crap fades and i can process my own internalized homophobia - I will act exactly as I am. Passionate. Determined. Playful. Activist. Feminist. ADHD gifted /cursed. And drama teacher… well likely former… but here is hoping… so i shall share the beginning scene of our weekly visits - in which we go to the home care clinic and meet the most amazing nurse - um i mean yet another amazing nurse - who needs to check my staples, clean the wound if needed and change the dressing… i am afraid to be real - so i divert to clown mode..
Out and about cancer - a dramatic work in progress - Working Title: Myrtle plays solo - but not with Hope Solo - or Han Solo different subtext…
Setting : Dingy borderline scabby paint peeling office in a mall.
Mood: TERROR. (Liza can not even stay in a 4 star.)
Dramatis personae: Stoned one boobed clown, very serious understarbucked hugo boss wearing blonde bombshell, assorted ill, one miserable paper pusher, and a saint.
Door opens. Kelly and Liza enter.
Long silent slow motion gasp as Liza says:
" Don't touch anything - stand here - Oh my god - this is a disease playground - how do you know if you have ebola - ?"
Paper pusher behind 'desk' . (Read paper strewn barrier. )
"Hello. What time is your appointment for?"
end scene. or begin. i am sure you can imagine how things went next… i have no idea. I was way to high on pain killers. but i do remember saying -
"This is Liza - my girl Liza - as in like spirit fingers - like cabaret - "
Then signing " Life is a cabernet my friend!!! Along with "I am pretty and witty and gay!!"
and then when i saw the staples on my chest for the first time - all 78 of them…
i went right back to the music man… belting out the songs i could remember.
Then the nurse - who had undressed me - peeled off the bandage - cleaned me - wiped my tears - let me sing - very simply owned me - and took all my fear away in one quick witted quip.
" Well we are all done here - but Liza, i hate to say it - but your girlfriend is a little flat."