Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin
queerbychoice

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Survey



1. Describe the last shoe you wore:
Cheap black slip-on size 9 men's dress shoe, fitted with not one but two arch support inserts taped inside, one on top of the other, to accommodate my plantar fasciitis. Worn simultaneously with matching shoe on other foot, also with two arch support inserts taped inside it.

2. Where do you live? Why do you live there?
I live in a formerly unincorporated area on the outskirts of Sacramento, which was incorporated less than a year ago into a brand new city which is named Rancho Cordova, but which does not look like a city at all because there are vacant lots full of brown weeds everywhere and rows upon rows of bright orange "Public Storage" garages. It's also right next door to the Superfund site known as Mather Air force Base. The property prices are low for good reason. My most favorite part of living here is that it is a very racially mixed neighborhood (by which I mean actually mixed, not a euphemism for "everybody who lives here is black" but rather that a wide variety of races actually coexist relatively peaceably here) that does not have as high of violence levels that the more urban racially mixed neighborhoods have. My least favorite part of living here is that there are no bookstores for miles around. I live here because it's less than a ten-minute drive from where I work, and the low rent enables me to live beneath my means and collect a large savings account.

3. Describe your hair. What reason did you choose your current hairstyle?
My hair is the style that it grows in if I do nothing to it other than wash it fairly regularly. It is necessary for me to continue to wash it fairly regularly because that is the only way to keep its severe dandruff at all under control. But it is not necessary for me to cut my hair or brush my hair or dye my hair or curl or straighten or do anything else to my hair. Just to wash it. So that's what I do.

4. What is your opinion on body
modifications (tattoos/piercings/branding/amputation/implants/etc.)?
I find it very strange that so many people seem to hold the simultaneous opinions that cutting is pathetic when it is called cutting, but that if you rename it "scarification" or piercing or branding or whatever then it's really cool. I've been told that the difference is that piercing/branding/scarification is motivated by the desire to achieve a certain look rather than by the desire to feel pain. Really, how is it better to injure oneself for the sake of appearance than for the sake of sensation? I don't see how. I think people's opinions are too shaped by the opinions of those around them.

5. What are your spiritual beliefs?
I don't believe in any supernatural phenomena.

6. Do you have any interesting scars?
I have a cat scratch scar on my right little finger from when I was eight years old, scars on my right palm and both knees from falling down on my apartment's asphalt parking lot in December 2001, and a surgical scar on my left breast from last August when the doctor insisted that my cyst there really needed to be removed to make sure it wasn't a tumor.

7. Tell me about your most interesting aunt or uncle:
My great-uncle Robert is dead now, but he was my favorite relative on my mother's side of the family. He was my grandmother's younger brother and their parents had both died rather young, before my great-uncle Robert was old enough to live on his own, so he lived with my grandmother and grandfather and their children when my mother was a kid. My mother likes to tell a story of how one day, my great-uncle Robert came home and announced to everyone that he'd met the most amazingly beautiful woman in the entire world at a party that night and was madly in love with her. Since he'd previously been engaged to (and then dumped by) a woman who had looked like a world-class supermodel, everyone was very eager to meet this amazing new woman who was even more beautiful than the previous one. When my great-uncle Robert finally brought her home to meet them, they were very surprised to find out that she had one-inch-long hair and extremely out-of-style clothes and weighed 300 pounds. She was my great-aunt Joyce, who still has the exact same haircut and everything 40 years later, and they got married and lived happily ever after, and their daughter is only a little over two years older than me. I think my great-uncle Robert was my favorite relative partly because he had a daughter my age, and also partly because he was so obviously thrilled with his life and his family and he always greeted everyone exuberantly and told jokes all the time and always made me feel he was delighted to see me. He died a few years ago - he had a heart attack and he went to the hospital for it and they were going to operate, but then he had another heart attack right on the operating table and they couldn't save him.

8. How many grandparents do you have, and do you know them?
I have two living grandparents (the maternal ones). I previously had three grandparents who ever met me or knew of my existence. My paternal grandmother divorced my paternal grandfather when my father was ten years old, because my paternal grandfather had been physically abusive, and no one ever spoke to my paternal grandfather ever again, so even though he lived to be over 80 and only died this past November, he never knew that I existed at all.

9. What, if anything, do you wear on your feet when in your home?
Shoes. I wouldn't, but my feet hurt if they don't get arch support.

10. Do you secretly hate some of your friends but are too nice to reject them?
That's not niceness; that's dishonesty. And no, I don't. I tell people if I don't like them.

11. If you had to be blind or deaf, which would you choose?
Deaf, but I won't get the choice. Late-onset glaucoma is absolutely rampant in my maternal grandmother's line of the family (her and nearly all her siblings), and my mother also has macular degeneration, so the odds are rather high that I will go blind. The only deafness in my family is clearly environmentally caused (my maternal grandfather worked at a naval shipyard), so I am unlikely to go deaf.

12. When's the last time you went on a date?
August. With Mikie, who's now on the other side of the planet from me, living in Spain.

13. Person you most wish you hadn't made out with?
None of them. All four of them were necessary at the time.

14. Who is the person you can count on the most?
Probably Mikie, for most things.

15. If you could date any celebrity, past or present, time and age are not a factor?
You're expecting me to say David Bowie, but you're wrong. I wouldn't actually want to date David Bowie at all; he's too heterosexual, too likely to be infected with STDs, and is already monogamously married to somebody else. I'd much rather fantasize about David Bowie, and converse with him occasionally but not enough to shatter my fantasies. As for who I'd like to actually date . . . does anyone know if Adrienne Rich is available?

16. Do you have gay family members?
Only myself.

17. Describe yourself as a child in one word.
Adored.

18. Imagine you could gain total memory from any single year in your life. What year would it be?
1992. The year I turned queer.

19. If you found out for certain there is a Heaven AND Hell, how would you change your life, or would you even change it at all?
I'd have to add God to the list of high-ranking people whose power, like George W. Bush's, desperately needs to be critiqued.

20. Let's say you get in the way-back machine and you're able to witness any one time in your family's history. What do you want to see?
I want to see my parents dating each other.

21. If you could make, absolutely, one thing come true for a friend, what would it be and who?
I would give Mikie a new and better lover to replace me.

22. Out of all your friends, who is the most comfortable with their sexuality?
Sean. And the most uncomfortable one is Mikie.

21. What word would you like to convince people to stop using?
"Panties."

22. If you were to determine what amount of contact you could have with your parents and how much you would see them, what would it be?
I've already determined it. I'm happy with the once every few months arrangement.

23. What would you do if you were to find out you were adopted?
Be very surprised indeed, because my parents are not normally dishonest.

24. If you are, or were, in a relationship, what would you do if you discovered you and your partner had conceived a child? How do you think that this might change your relationship as a couple?
I have never had a partner for whom having a child anytime soon would not be catastrophic, and I would not consider it ethical to force parenthood onto them, so I would abort it. If I had a partner who didn't care at all one way or the other, I would probably have the kid, but I'm not positive. As to how the relationship would change, I don't really think I can speculate at all accurately when it's never happened to me.

25. If you could prevent your future child from inheriting one habit from yourself, what would you choose?
I will wish my theoretical future child great housekeeping skills.

26. If, because of intolerance you were going to miss a chance of promotion at your work, would you lie about your religious beliefs?
No. I've never mentioned my (lack of) religious beliefs to anyone at work, but I certainly wouldn't lie about them.

27. How well do you think others know you?
Very very very extremely well.

28. Do you feel you are still in touch with today's youth, or do you feel you've aged?
Um. First of all, there's the question of whether I'm in touch with my own generation, to which the answer is a resounding "no." Then there's the question of whether I'm any less in touch with the currently-teenaged generation, to which the answer is . . . I dunno, but not much if at all. But that doesn't make me very in touch with them either.

29. What are your best and worst personality traits?
Mikie once said that my stubbornness/determination is both what ey likes most and what ey hates most about me. That seems like a reasonable answer to me.

30. What's your pet peeve?
People who imagine it's any less offensive, evil, and painful to be around them when they insult or abuse themselves than if they insulted or abused others.
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