Houston Texas
Volume 3 Book 4 Part 6 of
Living in the Bonus Round
(The Big Voice Chronicles)

Students at University of Houston
with Steve and PFLAG mom Sue Null.
[ Book 3-3 ] -- [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ]
[ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ] [ Pt 9 ] [ Pt 10 ] -- [ Book 3-5 ]
April 8, 2003.
A Day Off!
Today was our day off but we had just a COUPLE of events to take care of.

Yesterday, when I posted the Houston Chronicle review, I accidentally cut off the last paragraph, my favorite paragraph of the whole review (except for the one that compared Jimmy to Paul Lynde and Liberace, of course). There was also a picture uploaded. It was:

The Big Voice speaks in its own voice, authentic and sincere. That's the main reason this little show carries a big punch.

Picture by D. Fahleson/Chronicle
We began the morning down at the theatre for an interview with the local public TV station, KUHT. This show (which I think is called "Connections") will broadcast this evening, Tuesday, at 9pm. We were only on for a minutes but it was great fun. This is us posing with the host of the show:

Ernie, Jim, Steve.
From there we went directly to Rice University to pick up PFLAG mom, and Big Voice supporter Sue Null who then took us over to University of Houston to do a presentation for the Human Sexuality class there. Jimmy preferred to sit in the back lobbing cute remarks at me since I have a lot more experience dealing with this kind of class.

The students asked a lot of really intelligent questions. One of the things that's a challenge is getting them to ask questions they worry might sound offensive. Things like, "Why do some people put 'gay pride' stickers on their cars. I don't put 'Straight Pride' sticker on MY car?" or "Do you think homosexuality is genetic and is it possible that some people are gay because of childhood abuse?"

My answers, by the way, were that many people feel the need to exert their pride in reaction to being told all their that they are either inferior or an "abomination" simply for being gay, so they react by thumbing their noses at this attitude. As far as homosexuality being genetic, one of the other students responded that in her biology class, the most recent scientific findings show that there are portions of gay men brains that are the same size as straight women's, and that many lesbians compare physically to straight men's.

I told her that given the complexity of human sexuality, it's always possible that SOME people might "act out" against their genetic inborn sexual orientation but that you don't judge the majority by exceptions to the rule. I also pointed out that I know WAY too many straight men with the "distant fathers" and "smothering mothers" that  supposedly "cause" homosexuality.

I also said that if you look at the people who believe ALL gays are "created" through home conditioning, NONE of them are motivated by scientific research, but rather they are motivated by their religion. They fear that if they accept homosexuality as having a genetic cause (which is what I believe), it will challenge their whole faith structure, so their motivations are not scientific but religious. And the WORST possible way to do science is to enter it by presuming facts in advance to make them conform to religion.

Anyway, it was a lively class with lots of discussion about gay history -- I told them how I had virtually no information about homosexuality until I was way into my 20s -- the problems many gay kids have growing up (since virtually 100% of gay kids are born to straight parents who usually have no clue how to help them adjust to the straight world we live in), and how much of relief it is to gay people that we are so much more visible than when I was a kid.

One girl asked me if I tried being straight when I was growing up and I recounting how much I absolutely DID try. That I met and dated some wonderful women in my college years and that, once I became sexually active, had somewhat satisfying encounters, but how that all changed once I actually had the chance to kiss someone I was ACTUALLY attracted to. That it was the difference between day and night. Whereas it was "nice" with women, it was FIREWORKS and PASSION when I finally got to make love to my first gay man.

After that, we made a quick visit to the Unitarian Universalist Church where I've been invited to sing this coming Sunday morning. But Jimmy and I were exhausted and hungry. So we went back to our home, ate a quick lunch and then fell into a deep coma.

Later that evening, though, we made our way over to a radio station for a live on-air interview -- a show called "Queer Voices" on KPFT-Houston, 90.1 FM. And this was where we experienced one (or rather two) of the nicest surprises of our visits. The two people interviewing us, J.D. and Joan, told us that they not only knew who we were but were huge fans. J.D. had seen TLS when it played Houston several years ago and that prompted him to buy all of my CDs. Joan had Jimmy's book, "Lucy In The Afternoon" practically memorized!

J.D. has a regular show called called "Queer Music Heritage" that features historic music with GLBT content. He said people can access archives of this music at www.QueerMusicHeritage.com.


Outside the radio station.

J.D. Doyle and Steve. J.D. with all his Steve CDs!

Joan and Jim!

Elena Coates brought the keyboard down to the studio and we performed live on the air.

Here we are in the studio. The picture is fuzzy cuz I didn't use a flash.

Jimmy took a shot of me singing "One New Hell."

J.D, Jim, Joan, Steve after the interview.

And that's what we did on our day off!

[ Book 3-3 ] -- [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ]
[ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ] [ Pt 9 ] [ Pt 10 ] -- [ Book 3-5 ]
© 1996-2003 by Steve Schalchlin.
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