Category: Featured

PersPAACtives: Fragments

A young boy you know well cautiously walks into a classroom. Arranging his pencils, he glances over at the card positioned on the corner of his desk. He thinks his name looks a bit strange in cursive. Some of the kids look inquisitively at his last name. A few think it’s funny, and a few think it’s really cool. Most don’t seem to care.

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My Beautiful Umma

Umma embraced her role as Samonim, serving with a luminous smile. I never bought it. I judged it the face an Umma puts to protect her child from worries, even when her child became an adult and knows that life forces roles on you. Come Sunday morning, she was smiling.

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My child, you are fearfully and wonderfully made

This weekend, we celebrated the second birthday of Nemo, the child of two women who are giants in our community, who has grown up in and with the community. I saw this child who is filled with all of the different emotions we experience in human life, and his parents affirming each one with love and grace, holding space for those feelings. In the children of PAAC, including my own, I saw so much hope. These are children growing up knowing their families will love them for exactly who they are and will be, unconstricted by the restraints I grew up with (a world full of strict gender conformity and restrictive, toxic theology).

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A Change of Plans

In January 2017, I was in deep in wedding planning mode. We were trying to save money on a DJ and trying to make decisions on some truly mundane choices. Should “Don’t Stop Believing” be at the beginning to get people on the dance floor or at the end as a final send off? Who can I trust to operate an iPhone to play “Concerning Hobbits” as my fiancée walks down the aisle, who will know how to fade out the volume at the correct time?

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Pura Vida

As I write, my family is vacationing in Costa Rica. We spent the first portion near the base of the Arenal Volcano in the Northwest and then this last third in the Central Highlands, specifically the Los Angeles Cloud Forest. Among other ecotourist activities, we’ve gone mountain biking and white-water rafting, done a hanging bridges and canopy (i.e.,zipline) tour, looked for wildlife during nighttime and early morning hikes, and soaked in the hot springs like the self-respecting Asians we are.

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Day 32 – Church

“Let’s go worship at church.”

It’s funny how this phrase has two completely different meanings depending on which community I’m in. Uttered in my bible study group it refers to sitting in rows singing praise songs in a converted office building on a Sunday morning. Uttered in my gay dodgeball team (we’re called the Deep Throwers) it refers to dancing to pop and dance music Saturday night on the crowded dance floor at Saloon, a local gay bar downtown.

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Day 31 – The Eucharist is My Coconut Dance

I would imagine at the Last Supper, it was more like a teddy bear.

Here, take this comfort item. There’s a scary scene coming up in the movie.

But I wasn’t at the Last Supper or the crucifixion, so the Eucharist is more like Maglalatik for me. For those who’ve never seen the Filipino coconut dance, it’s a fun one. Dancers strap coconut shells to their bodies and hold more coconut shells in their hands. They tap them together, click, click. They tap their own bodies, each other’s bodies. They bounce in different group formations and leap frog over each other. The music is light. Maglalatik is performed at big group gatherings, so picture yourself watching it while surrounded by your extended family and community.

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Day 29 – Mama Hug

One of the truest things I have come to know through my craft is that we parents, in the most mundane things, in the way we dress our children, and the way we make them food full of nutrition (or not, as is the case sometimes in our home), we are putting our love for our loved ones into tangible, physical objects.

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