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Monday, 26 August 2013

Like a sore thumb

First day of class, work and first day I gather the courage to approach an LGBT table on campus. There was this event I'd read about. They were luring people in with ice cream. I made a mental note of it when I first saw it advertised and made my mind up to go today. Even though I had to walk in the rain and pretty much soak myself to get there. Even though I had to go to class (I left only just on time) and I didn't know if it would rain again. I don't know what I expected, to be honest. There were several tables spread around a ballroom (heh) and you were supposed to walk from one to the other and gather three stamps if you were only there for the ice cream. I was hoping there would be one where they said "Hear, hear! Come one and come all, how would you like to participate in our community?" but found nothing of the sort. Not for a straight girl who stood out like a sore thumb like me. It was all I could do to walk from one desk to another, stand awkwardly, expecting someone to greet me or welcome me, not sure if I wanted to find out about what was being advertised (LGBT in Japan? Christ with LGBT? Friends/Women's studies?/Family of LGBT?*)

I wanted to find a small community of allies (though it seems I got even this bit wrong, the nice young man I asked for directions said I was "gay friendly"). I asked a nice young man who didn't seem too busy how to go about the tables because I felt like a fish out of water... and all he could offer was a beautiful smile. I'm not sure this thing was even meant for people like me to come around. Straights seemed drawn to the Women's studies table... because it's apparently a great thing to have on your résumé for certain majors. They had these awareness tables where they advertised counselling if your partner is abusing you in any way, and they had a well-intended bag of nice messages where you could draw one at random and leave another one behind. I wanted to have something nice to say, and after asking for some help (I had to ask for help to write a nice message for a stranger... ) all I managed was "Remember to smile. You are awesome. Own it." I should bitchslap myself for that one. There was a "can you vote for politicians who agree with us?" desk, too. I may join a three hour training session for what they call a safe zone. It's supposed to mean you're one cool cucumber and anyone from the LGTB community is safe around you because they'll give you so much information in the training, or something like that. While it is a nice way to say "I support you guys!" I'm not 100% sure how it works (or if it works at all). It's just very confusing... 

Can't say I was that much more comfortable in class. Even though we're all from the same programme and studying the same thing for about the same reasons... I can't say I felt like I fit in. Not that the class seems too hard. The professor spent the better part of an hour saying "We work with small things because we want to create changes in small things." He pretended there were more nuances but whenever people offered other reasons, he kept coming back to this. Unless I get my hands on a textbook that can shed some light on the nuances, I will have to rest assured that I just didn't learn much today.

Worse still, I had a horrible realisation today. In the mathematicians can't do maths department, we have the fact that I completely over estimated even the sized down for hours salary. I thought I was getting half of what Pf2 promised. It adds up to about a quarter, actually. Fuck. Fuuuuuuuuck. 

*For the record, it was the least awful sounding of them all, but they had these awful badges with "Gay son!" and the like sprawled all over coloured glitter. Do you go about wearing badges that read "Straight wife!"? Didn't think so. 


Of course, today ends with me finding only. just. now that I've worn my underwear the wrong way all day. All bloody day. Brilliant.

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