Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Culture In Which We Are, Rooted? by Jeff Utnage

I think Americans have no culture. We are culture less. Our culture is currently being defined, crumpled up and restarted. Like a writer with writers block sitting at a typewriter inventing new and clever quips to root his characters in, then he yanks the paper from the machine and tosses the ball onto the floor with the rest of them.

I think about my ancestral roots, Norwegian, Austrian, English...maybe a sprinkling of other regions. I don't have any strong pulls to the stereotypes that flutter into my imagination like sparks from a flint stone. To lager and bratwurst, to Queen and Country, to Nordic beliefs and icy weather. I keep waiting for the frantic writer to finish his opening so I know what to hold on to. Except, nothing emerges.

LGBT people have a culture, we are a culture. I think of drag shows, inward pointed toes with breath that's tainted with vodka bent over in an alley somewhere in a bend in San Francisco, Castro, Capital Hill, Oscar Wilde, and f**k it...we'll take Hilary Clinton too.

I think of fake lashes, toned bodies, lisping, hip switching, its okay to wear panties men who call you darling and baby and it seems to just fit the moment.

But there are cultural holes, like religion and medicinal practises, regions in which we can dig our hands into the soil and know that we belong there because we can feel the blood of our ancestors flowing through the landscape. We know we belong there because we can hear the voice of our mothers calling us home.

I am from Nebraska and the only thing that's cultural there is the Huskers and hatred. Maybe a few others could be listed but that's all I remember, that and god damned parasite infested catfish from the filthy Missouri river. If that's my culture I would rather invent my own.

Funny, I still miss Nebraska, it does pull at my heart like a gentle magnet if my bones were metal. I do miss the smell of hay and cattle, dirt roads and lightning bugs. Other than that it still doesn't feel like I'm welcome, home should feel like home, welcoming and safe. I don't know where that is.

Where is your culture? What is your culture and how do you define LGBT culture?

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With Love
Jeff Jeffebelle Utnage
www.lgbtqprisonsupport.com

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