Monday, August 31, 2009

House Building and Addendum

Welcome to week 2 of me posting regularly again and sticking to a posting schedule (of a sort; I suppose a better schedule would have been to post this on Sunday).

First off, a bit of a clarification from the last post. I had a good discussion the other day about just what it means for me to say that I'm going to be living out in my community. To tell the truth, that's not entirely easy for even me to say; this is one of the problems with either being in or going back into the closet, is that it removes your ability to know or remember how you would act if you weren't living within it. I've had several situations present themselves in the past week that could have allowed me to tell someone about my sexuality, but in each case I realized that not even in the US would I say much. Each time was in a taxi riding with other people who asked me questions, including the requisite question about whether and why I'm not married, to which I replied simply that I don't want to get married (which is true in any context for me) and that I'm not interested in Armenian women. Those things are true regardless of the reasons why, and if some random taxi driver in the US asked me these questions I'd reply in the same way. In essence, the people to whom I will disclose are the people I'm regularly around, including friends, coworkers, and host family, but not random people who I'll never see again nor care to. I think that's what I would do in the US (though again, I can't be sure as it's been so long at this point since I lived outside of the closet).

Moving on, this last week several other volunteers and I joined a group of people from the Fuller Foundation on a house building project. This house is being built in phases by volunteers, and this week's involved laying as much of the concrete floor as possible. It largely consisted of a long bucket line from the cement mixing to the house. I got lucky and was inside the house near the end of the line, so I didn't have to sweat it outside. This is actually always more of what I saw myself doing in the Peace Corps than the work that I normally do here. I think that, if anything, says more about the Peace Corps' advertising of itself than it does either about my satisfaction with my work (which is actually pretty high these days since I'm just working at Peace Dialogue and trying to get a couple projects with other organizations off the ground; no more teaching of children) or about whether that's of more use than what Peace Corps does now versus when it started (I'd argue that what it does now is much more advanced than when it started and its focus on capacity building is stronger, regardless of the critiques I've made in the past).

Beyond that, there wasn't a whole lot. I had a meeting in Yerevan with an openly gay guy who's been living here for a number of years now; that was really refreshing and enjoyable, and I'm glad Peace Corps helped set that meeting up.

Until next time.


Michele (Razzy) said...

Just one comment. If you actually use the phrase that you're "not interested in Armenian women" the listener might think you find them not interesting or not attractive or in some way "less than". In my opinion, you might actually be better off saying you're not interesting in women, period, rather than actually replying to the "how do you like Armenian women?" inquiry with an "I'm not interested in Armenian women" reply.

Just my 2 cents there.

Razzy said...

Er.... I meant "not interested in" not "not interesting in" ... I can't edit my comment. Oh well. :\