Tag Archives: gay Ike hurricane GLBT Houston

Frisky Business in Wal-Mart

The Human Rights Coalition recently published their Buying for Equality Guide 2009. Not surprisingly, Wal-Mart received a pitiful score, and HRC recommends that we shop elsewhere.

Not a problem for me.

I’ve avoided Wal-Mart since my partner passed away a couple years ago. I don’t know if straight folks can relate, but I’m sure most of you have your own “Wal-Marts”. You know those intoxicatingly energized weeks, months — years, if you’re lucky — right after getting into a new relationship? When you can’t stand to not be touching, but you’re out in public where that’s frowned on? So, you … improvise?

We lived in rural areas for the first few years, so we spent a lot of time in Wal-Mart. A lot of highly charged, playful, nobody-in-the-world-but-us time. I can remember being in the towel aisle of Wal-Mart, in nowhere Louisiana, and knowing that I wouldn’t trade places with anyone, anywhere. Talk about being in the now!

I hope everyone has those moments. But I still can’t go back to Wal-Mart.

From the looks of their score in the HRC buying guide, it may never be an issue.

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Differences

I live in Houston. So, like millions of my neighbors, I’m glued to the Weather Channel, watching the reports as Hurricane Ike barrels toward us. Less than six days ago, I walked along the beach in Galveston. Now that beach is gone. It’s obvious that water is going to go over the seawall, which has protected the city since right after the devastating 1900 hurricane. The historic Strand district already has more than four feet of water and the storm hasn’t even hit yet.

As I watch all of this, I’m a bit anxious. Its hard to know what to expect. I’m also really tired. A lot of work goes into getting ready for a hurricane. I should take a nap because the worst is expected to hit in the middle of the night. But the wind is starting to really blow. It just got dark all of a sudden. My cats are getting edgy. There’s this sense of expectancy. Not especially condusive to napping!

So, as I was sitting here, I was trying to think about what I could write. How could I relate this particular experience of basic survival to being gay? And, believe me, survival is exactly what’s on everyone’s mind here on this side of the gulf coast — surviving until morning and then putting the pieces of our lives back together.  But, what is it that’s different about all of this for me or for any other member of the Houston GLBT community? What are we doing or feeling that is different from all of the non-gay Houstonians?

Absolutely nothing.