Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Back to School

Today my university starts back to school....finally. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a break from school as much as any student; however, to me the break is just way too long. The first week is fun, by the second week my family/roomies are getting on my nerves, by the third week I'm ready to go insane....and lets not even talk about summer breaks.

Since I have come out of the closet, several people have asked me if I ever had any trouble in school...remarks made towards me, bullied, any of that sort of stuff....and I can honestly say that I never have had any trouble with that. HOWEVER, as most of my friends like to remind me, I'm one of those "sneaky gays." In High School, I played soccer, basketball and fenced... I was the President of the Student Council, was on yearbook, FBLA, etc, etc, etc. So, especially since I went to a small, private Christian High School, I never had that trouble.

Even here at University I've never had any trouble... before I transferred schools for my major, while I was at Mississippi State, I was in Air Force ROTC for abit and part of a fraternity. Honestly, although I wasn't out at the time, I have recently found out that several of the guys knew I was gay and were cool with it. Although I now know they knew and were cool with me, if they had come up to me at the time and told me, I probably would have freaked the hell out. I mean, I thought I was so deep in the closet that I could see Narnia. I just needed the time and patience to work things out for myself. I still keep in contact with a few of the guys and although I don't talk to them as much as I would like, I definitely consider them to be really good friends of mine. (and I would do pretty much anything for them)

Now that's all changed... I'm at another university, I'm older and comfortable with myself...and I'm out to everybody but my family. Hell, I have started and co-founded a GSA at my university...we'll be the 5th GSA at a university in Mississippi and the only one at an HBCU. I don't throw the fact that I'm gay around and wear rainbows and all, but if someone asks or mentions something, then yeah I'll tell them. I have not had a single person say anything bad to me or act unkind towards me in any fashion. I don't know whether it's because I try to be nice and friendly with everyone, or if they know that if they ever did something, that I would verbally rip their heads off.

I don't know why it is, but it seems like even people who don't like "homosexuals" once they get to know me more and see that I'm just a normal person like anyone else, they just seem to... I'm not certain what the right word is...relax? Be more comfortable with? I don't know. Also, in my personal experience, all the guys that are homophobic, besides being repressed, those dudes have nothing to worry about. I'm totally serious, every homophobic guy I've ever met is f-ugly and I wouldn't touch them with a 10 foot stick, so they don't have any reason to worry about us anyways.

So all that to say this.....school.......yay. :-p

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sneaky Gays

The title of this post, "Sneaky Gays" comes from a webispode of Sue's Corner also called "Sneaky Gays." Sue's Corner - Sneaky Gays For those of you who do not know, Sue is the coach from the hit TV show Glee. She is played by Jane Lynch, who is open about being a lesbian. As a side note, Glee is one of my favorite TV shows, along with The Big Bang Theory and Supernatural to name a couple of others.

But, I would like to share with y'all a personal story that happened to me earlier this morning.

I was with a couple of friends at a local store of Lifeway Christian stores, a large chain of stores that sells Christian related objects, bibles, books, music, robes, etc, etc, etc. Anyways, all of us happen to be "family," so it's a gay guy (me), a bi guy and a lesbian. This random lady (she's white and I'd say in her mid 40s) comes up to me from another isle carrying this ex-gay book and asks me, "Hey, if you were a teenager and had been confused by Satan to think that you were a homosexual, do you think that this book would help you see the light and come back to God's grace?"

Side Note: I have to say, asking me anything about the ex-gay movement is generally a bad idea. I was forced to undergo ex-gay therapy for 3 years and...I'm still gay. It doesn't work and actually any non-skewed study shows that it's ineffective and harmful.

I calmly looked at the lady and told her that no I didn't think that it would work and explained that groups such as the American Psychological Association had stated that it such therapy was harmful to a person. APA Statement She kept pushing the issue until finally I just told her that I knew it didn't work because I had been forced to undergo such therapy and I was still gay. At this point her face went completely white. She proceeded to run over to my friend going, "He's one of those homosexuals." to which my friend just responded with, "Well, I'm bi, I like both guys and girls." she proceeded to gasp and looked over at my other friend, she just looked at her and said, "It's okay, unlike those two I don't like guys at all, I'm a lesbian." The lady then literally RAN out of the section that we were in and out of the store. It was literally one of the funniest (and saddest) things that I have seen in my entire life.

So, it just goes to show you, those sneaky gays are everywhere. haha

Monday, January 10, 2011

Community vs Family

I know that several people that read this blog will wonder why I refer to the whole LGBTQQIA "community" as family, so here is my response.

Why I don't believe that community works:

Community gives the sense of a united front, where we all work together for the betterment of everybody involved. I'm sorry, but that's not the case, there's still racist tendencies (predominately black/white/whatever clubs, having to have a "Black Pride" event, etc.), gay guys that don't like lesbians, a large segment don't seem to trust bi people, and a large segment don't seem to understand or even like transgendered people. Nobody can agree on what the best course of action is and we have to have an acronym so long you might as well say, "everyone who doesn't f- animals belongs to the group."Seriously, I mean, LGBTQQIA? It's like gay alphabet soup!

While I believe the term family does work:

Family seems much more appropriate as a term. Sure we bicker and don't like everyone else all the time, different groups have their own agenda, there's always those family members you don't want to associate with, etc. However, especially when times are tough, we all stick together and fend for one another and we put up with everyone else. Why is that? It's because when times get tough, we have common interests and it sure beats the heck out of going it alone. But, it's more than just an "I don't want to go it alone" mentality, though. I look at groups like Bridge Builders ( http://nashvillecitypaper.com/content/city-news/belmont-administration-gay-student-group-not-here ) or any other group like that and my heart does go out to them, much more so than just merely being part of the same group would make me feel.

So, other people might use the term community; however, I prefer to use the term family, because albeit I might not like every LGBTQQIAer out there, I still love them all.

Hello world!

Dear Reader,

First of all, thank you for taking the time for visiting my blog. Obviously, this is a new blog and this is my first blog that I have ever made, so this will be a fun ride for all involved.

So, first of all, what is Rainbow Magnolias? The name Rainbow Magnolias came from an idea of playing off the movie title of "Steel Magnolias" so instead of steel we thought rainbow was a better word. Rainbow Magnolias is my personal take on the world, most especially, the world of being gay in Mississippi. So I plan for it to cover general life, food, friends, musics, as well as social perceptions, politics, and activism.

Why did I create this blog? Well, for a couple of reasons, I've never done it before is one; however, my biggest, main reason for doing this is because...I want to stop complaining. It seems like little to nothing gay related comes out of the South, let alone Mississippi (save for a few who break the silence). I would rather try and make something, like this blog, then just sit back and complain about that I don't believe nothing is being done.

Onto who I am. My name is James Cook, I am a 24 year old student in Mississippi who was born and reared in the state and I came out this summer to everyone but my family. I am involved with groups such as the NAACP, Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition, Habitat for Humanity, as well as generally being helpful with whatever good cause comes my way. I am a Roman Catholic, a Republican (socially moderate, fiscally conservative), I enjoy both watching and playing sports and have been known to do some really dumb stuff over my years.

I have loads of completely random ideas with some being good, some would be good in the future and some that are just completely off the wall. I enjoy meeting new people and hope to be able to talk with all of my readers.Oh and I'm actually pretty inappropriate at times and try to say what I mean and mean what I say. (meaning: yeah, I know some stuff I might blog about some people might not agree with; however, that's my current view at the time, but I'm always open to new viewpoints)

I hope that you enjoy reading this blog as much as I am going to enjoy making it. Also, I hope that everyone stays safe in this nasty winter weather we're having.


Daniel Cook