Diary of an Unassimilated Traveler
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Published in: March-April 2005 issue.


University of Oregon, Eugene, September 28, 2004

It’s the first meeting of the school year for the LGBT student group, and their lounge is completely packed—every chair is taken, and so is every space on the floor. Luckily, the organizers have saved me a seat. I’m not sure how many people are there for my reading and how many are there to announce student activities. There are a lot of activities to announce, including the fact that the next speaker will be the gay NFL player. After announcements, everyone goes around the room and says their name, their favorite body part and why, and the gender pronoun they prefer. For some reason I’m last, or just about last: I choose my head, because I’m in pain a lot, so I’m not so present in the rest of my body. Everyone looks concerned. Now I feel shy, like I’m in college, too, at the first meeting of the LGBT alliance.

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