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Transportation

September 11th, 2016 Comments off

This just in from the year 2020:

Greenville, Thank you! I thank you for making transportation such a moving experience!  (No pun intended.)

I get up in the morning, and walk from my house along those lovely, wide sidewalks that now line all our roads, to the shops on the corner of Woodruff Road at Five Forks.  From there, I get onto the Woodruff Road PeopleMover, which takes me from one mall to another and another, with convenient hop-on-hop-off points along the way.  No more maddening bumper-to-bumper traffic, with soccer-moms on their cell phones careening about and ready to rear-end me.

And it’s not just shopping that your wise transportation policy has made easier for me.   I take the 385 Express Tram from Woodruff Rd. to my doctor’s office at the Patewood complex. Or perhaps we might make a spring excursion to the zoo.  Or we’ll go right downtown, to the Main Street  Mall, which used to be a traffic nightmare but now is a pedestrian’s paradise. With the influx of strollers, even Bergamo opens for late lunch (pranzo in Italian).  It’s amazing how  commercial activity throughout the city has blossomed with the coming of an intelligent transportation policy.

From Downtown, I can hop on the Green line tram to attend a music recital at Furman University, or even travel through Traveler’s Rest via MagneCar right up to the funicular that takes me to Caesar’s Head Park for a summer’s picnic near the Solar Collection site.

Or, from Downtown, I might choose to board the Orange Line, which whisks me out to the game at Clemson. (Okay, I was never really big on tail-gating.) And Anderson’s also just a few stops away on the Blue Line.

For a special treat, I’ll go downtown and grab the BulletTrain to Atlanta — I do love the High Museum, though  I just wish that Atlanta’s transportation would make it easier for the visitor to get to Buckhead.  Every few months, I take the same BulletTrain (in the opposite direction, natch’) to Washington, D.C., to visit my nephew.  Thirty minutes to Atlanta, three hours to DC: Greenville, you’ve become the hub of the universe!  Well, at least my universe.

All this, and totally green and non-polluting—ain’t solar reat?

So thank you, Greenville, for being the progressive town you were always meant to be!

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Who’s Gay Now?

September 10th, 2016 Comments off

Who’s Gay Now?

In 1969, I was living in New York, Greenwich Village, at #7 Gay Street, just around the corner from The Stone Wall Inn, a bar later known for the Stonewall Riot, or just plain Stonewall, in June of that year.  I was outside that place as the “riot” was going on — on the periphery of the crowd, to be sure, but not unaware of what was going on.

In the days after, the Village was alive with organization and discussion of what to do next.  A main subject of debate was, What do we call ourselves?  We were tired of being called ‘homosexual,’ a dry and medical-sounding term.  We certainly were not ‘faggots’, ‘fairies’, ‘queers’, ‘mericons’, or similar disparaging terms; we needed to find our own name, to be able to find our voice.

The term ‘gay’ was not unknown, but not a widely used word; it was used mostly in the musical and theatrical circles, but not in the general population.  But it sounded right — and not just to apply to males.  In the discussions I took part in, we saw that the term ‘gay’ could apply equally well to lesbians and bi-sexuals.  That is, Gay meant someone attracted to the same sex, whether exclusively or not.

The term was later used to encompass the transgendered, anyone who considers themselves ‘queer”, and recently has been used to include intersexuals–that is, people born with both male and female genitalia (google it): thus, the LGBTQI community.

The point was:  Inclusivity.  We’re all in this together, folks; we’re all gay.  No narrow categorizations, no intra-group squabbling,  let’s put an end to these narrow definitions that can be used against us and unite toward the common goal of acceptance in the greater community.  And this effort worked, to the point that gay people can marry their same-sex loves.  It’s been a difficult journey, but we’ve come a long way.

I’ve recently heard some people say, “You’re not gay, you’re bisexual!”  To me, this makes no sense.  Have there never been happily married gay men?  Are lesbians not part of the gay community?  If you’re queer, are you not gay?  Must a man be completely inexperienced with the female sex, to be considered ‘gay’?  Are there no gay people with children born to them?

I’ve considered myself gay for some 68 years.  I know who I am.  I know my most innermost thoughts, my most intimate feelings.  I am happily married to a wonderful woman, whom I love deeply.  I find some men sexually attractive.  I am gay.  I didn’t suddenly change, just because I got married; there was never a Road-to-Damascus moment.

 

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