Thirty-one GASPers enjoyed pizza, salad, cookies and great conversation – the essentials needs for a vibrant college life. We enjoyed seeing again some long time FOGs (Friends-Of-GASP) like Daneen and Greg, whom their many competing life responsibilities have kept away from us in the body, but never far in the spirit. We enjoyed as much meeting some new FOGs, made possible by the happy coincidence of the start of GASP overlapping a bit the end of PUC’s Gender Issues course, taught by FOG Alisa.
The highlight of the evening was the presence of PUC Alum Catherine Brubaker, who graduated in the early 1990s, in the dark old days before there was a GASP at PUC. Cathy, who has been through several layers of hell in her own life, and come back stronger and brighter than ever, brought a directness and honesty to the discussion of identity and sexuality that was refreshing and, at times stunning. With all of our recent advances PUC is not yet a space where adults can honestly have important conversations about who we are, especially when that touches on issues of sexuality. It is not so much that anyone wants to share or hear the private details related to sexual behavior – it is more that the communities (or tribes) that constitute us try to define us in their own limited and narrow terms, and weaponize sex to control and manipulate and punish those who might try to subvert the tribe and expand its boundaries. Cathy helped us engage in some of those subversive conversations, and it felt both uncomfortable and good.
If anyone would like to know about Cathy’s amazing story, you read about it on the Facebook Page of her new organization – Hope For Trauma:
Just clicking over and “liking” it would be a big help for her. Thanks Cathy!
We also discussed Kari’s recent, fabulous Facebook manifesto that was eventually published in Spectrum, and has brought out the haters, but also stimulated so many more liberating conversations of hope. And we discussed again the heartbreaking complexities faced by young people who simply want to be known and seen for who they are by those who love them most, but sometimes see them least clearly. We have to be patient with each other, those who love us, and ourselves. None of that is easy.
We will GASP again on May 6.