My eyes are back to Jack white, and now I’m whitening my teeth to match... why? Because this weekend is Miss Virginia!
No, I’m not competing.
In My Pet Virus, I dedicated a chapter of my life’s stories to pageants, a subculture which I fell into when I met Gwenn. It was her dirty little secret. Her “pet virus”, if you will. She only competed for two years, something I failed to note in my book, leaving many readers to believe that she may have been one of those Jon Benet’s.
Gwenn was forceably retired from pageants at age 24. It is the brutal truth of the system. Since her swansong (swan monologue, which was her talent, see picture above) in 1999? where she announced onstage, with my blessing, that her boyfriend was living with HIV?, we’ve gone to Miss Virginia every year to see who scraps their way to the crown. At a book event in San Francisco, the store owner greeted Gwenn with an excited, “Oh, Miss Powhatan!”
Speaking of scrapping, I went to an 80’s Prom Party here in town, a benefit for Planned Parenthood. I noticed a young woman in a jacket similar to the one I was wearing, inspired by James Spader of Pretty In Pink fame. “I think we go to the same tailor,” I said.
Incredibly, she recognized me from this very blog... I have a reader! Who supports Planned Parenthood! How cool. We chatted amiably for a bit and then decided that no 80’s Prom Party is complete without a fight, so she wound up and cracked me in the jaw, beating me to the punch. Gwenn joyfully snapped the photo.
While promming it up, I spoke with a friend who works in STI prevention in town, and he told me that federally-funded Abstinence Only materials are being distributed in Virginia schools. That’s no surprise. What was a jolt to the jaw was that some of these materials are suggesting that HIV is small enough to go through condoms. From what I heard, the materials say, “If sperm can get through 18% of the time, imagine what HIV can do?”
I wish I could say I had to see it to believe it (the materials, not the sperm or HIV going through a condom), but I don’t need to. I can see someone compiling some stats of user-related failures (not pinching tip, tearing condom with fingernails, slippage, etc) and then bastardizing those for a political agenda. The misguided morality of it all is mind-boggling.
For now, I’m off to DC for a national conference of librarians, where I hope to gain more readers with less fighting ability, and then it’s off to Miss Virginia, where I can forget about all the problems this state has with the topic of sex... until I hear one of the contestants champion their platform issue: abstinence-only education.
Click Support learn about CJ, who would have been 30 on July 6. The goal is to get 30 people to donate blood by then. I would if I could, so step up to the plate for those of us who can’t pony up. The donation of blood helps thinbloods like me!