Urbana, I’m coming for you.

I’ll¬†be performing It’s Pronounced Metrosexual¬†at¬†Urbana University¬†on February 15th, 2012 (this Wednesday). ¬†I wanted to create a post about my upcoming show for two reasons.

One, I’m really excited to perform at Urbana because it’ll be my first live show since this website has taken off. ¬†The last time I performed, this website was basically a static showcase for my show, not the source for educational articles about social justice¬†and fun graphics about identity and sexuality¬†it is now. ¬†The site now gets well over a thousand new visitors each day, and the discussions that have taken place have placed me in an even better position to head to Urbana. ¬†I’ve been re-energized, educated, and re-educated on so much of this stuff, and that will only benefit those in attendance at my next show.

Two, I wanted to create a landing place for Urbana students to come to after the show. ¬†I hope to get some decent video (crossing my fingers that I don’t continue my technology failure streak), photographs, and other fun stuff that I can post here. ¬†I’ll also post a reflection about the show and my experience on campus once I get back, so stay tuned for that.

Now in past tense.

I’m at the Columbus Airport sitting in the “Chili’s Too” (because I’m classy like that), and wanted to take a second to jot some things down. ¬†I would have written this last night, but there was only room on my lap for either my computer, or a large pizza, and I can’t eat a small child’s weight in computer. ¬†I’ll post videos when I get home, one of which is sure to be a doozy.

It was great to perform at Urbana and meet all of the students and staff and faculty members I met. ¬†When my first introduction to the town was a billboard with a fetus so large I had to assume it was your school mascot, I wasn’t sure what to expect. ¬†The response seemed positive, a lot of people connected with the message (read: don’t be a jerk), and I ended the night with pizza – all good things.

Only dead fish swim with the stream

Some of the concerns that were brought up to me by lgbt+ folks who I spoke with after the show were that UU (an incredibly accusatory acronym for a school), Urbana, an Ohio in general have a long way to go before we can call them safe spaces for folks who don’t fit the Ohio “mold.” ¬†Taking lessons learned from the show and running with them will require you to go against the grain a bit, and it may result in some friction.

When I was eating breakfast in my hotel this morning, there were two people sitting at the table beside me, one black, one white. ¬†The white person seemed to be training the black person, and ended the lesson with, “And if anybody gives you trouble about your race, you just come straight to me.” ¬†True story, bro. ¬†Maybe that’s an example of the current state of things in Ohio. ¬†Maybe it was a fluke. ¬†In either case, not great news.

But there’s good news, too.

Urbana University (and the sponsoring orgs specifically) brought me to campus to talk about battling stereotypes and creating a more inclusive classroom, campus, and country. ¬†That’s huge. ¬†That means that you have an institution backing you, saying that they care about every student, and that they are prepared to help you swim upstream. ¬†Take advantage of that support. ¬†It’s rare.

And I’m here to help, too.

As I said at the end of the show, I’ll hope you won’t let the conversation about the stuff I introduced to you end last night. ¬†This website is a great platform for continuing the dialog, and so is facebook¬†(we can do the twitter thing if <141 characters is more your style). ¬†And you can always email me, as well.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch. ¬†Don’t hesitate to act upon what you heard last night. ¬†And don’t go to Sparky’s Pizza – that place looked like a set where they filmed one of the SAW movies.

  • Going metro all over Urbana University