Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Going Into Strangers' Homes

When I wrote arts and entertainment and feature stories a few years back, my favorite part was the interview. I couldn't believe that there was a "real job" that allowed you to invite yourself into stranger's homes, sit down on their sofa, meet their partner and children and proceed to ask them questions about the business, art or hobby that was most central to their lives. I was young, and I rightly recognized it as a privilege.

As I talked to more and more people about this blog, a new project emerged: interviewing ordinary gay people who have found their "gay squared," gay to the power of happy. It looks a little different for everyone.

My parents' generation believed that to be gay was to be sentenced to a lifetime of sadness. That perception is swiftly changing, and it's changing because of the proliferation of gay and queer stories and role models.

There are infinitely many ways to live, and it's up to each of us to find a way to live authentically and get as close to happiness as we can. There can't be too many examples of how to do that: the more, the better.

An initial draft of my lead interview questions follows.
  1. Can you tell me a little bit about the religious and spiritual background of your childhood? (Thank you, Krista Tippett.)
  2. When did your sexual orientation begin to emerge, and what did that look like? 
  3. Who were the key role models and influences in your life as an adolescent and young adult? 
  4. How do you define your sexual identity now, and how did you come to embrace that identity? 
  5. Has technology played a role in helping your find partners or like-minded communities? 
  6. How have the swiftly changing politics around LGBTQ issues affected your life? 
  7. What does happiness look like for you? 
I will always try to see the home of the person I am interviewing; homes can tell us so much about a person. I may offer some in Q&A format, but I prefer the flexibility and depth allowed by feature-style writing. I can't wait to get started.

For ease and momentum, I'll begin with friends and ripple outward into larger networks of diverse gay people of all ages. If you would like to be interviewed, email me at I look forward to hearing your story.

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