Editor's Note: You've seen Steven Colbert's "Better Know a Lobbyist," but our version is so much gayer! Each weekend, we spotlight a different TBP contributor. In case you've missed any of our previous interviews, I've got links at the end of the post.
This week we're shining the spotlight on our very own Birthday Boy, Bruce Parker. Bruce was raised by his mama and he's proud of his southern accent. After graduating from Antioch College, Bruce put his education to work as the Advocacy Coordinator for the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance. He is currently the Director of Curriculum Development for Transyouth Family Advocates, and working on his PhD at Louisiana State University.
Two things you should know about Bruce: He, can't, master, the, use, of, commas. Oh, and he's a racist. Just ask him. He'll tell you! Follow me after the jump for more juicy tidbits. And be sure to leave him a birthday wish (or spanking) in the comments section.
1. How did you get involved with TBP?
I was working as advocacy coordinator for the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance, and serving as their representative to the Indianapolis Indiana Equality group that was working on the passage of an inclusive human rights ordinance. During that time, I connected with Bil and Jerame as great allies, amazing friends, and lots of other complicated things that we don't really like to talk about very often. If you get Bil on a high energy day he will tell you the entire story.
At that time ,Bil was having a hard time finding transgender people in Indiana who would blog and he asked me to start writing on the blog to focus on transgender issues. For whatever reason, inspite of the massive amount of transgender participation on the blog, he has decided to keep me around. I am thrilled to be involved and believe in the Project's mission of generating dialogue as an essential social change.
2. What was your coming out experience like?
I realized I was queer when I had a wet dream about a boy named Toby in seventh grade. Instead of dating him, I went after his girlfriend and ended up dating her. I never struggled with who I was on a very deep level, and slowly told people over years and years. At the point that it became clear to my mother, she threw me out. We worked it out over a few months and she is supportive now.
Regarding coming out, the biggest challenge is how to come out as being romantically involved and primarily attracted to transgender men. How do you bring that up in conversation? And if I don't come out about it, I feel immensely guilty, like I am using some sort of privilege to keep myself safe.
3. What's your wildest dream?
I have no idea how to answer this question. My wildest sexual fantasy right now probably involves a few cast members of the L-Word and a hot drunken night. Is that an okay answer?
4. If you could meet anyone, past or present, who would it be?
Hillary Clinton or Larry Kramer - They both stand up for what they believe in even, if everyone else thinks that they are nuts.
And Stevie Nicks - Who doesn't want to meet Stevie Nicks?
5. What book has had the biggest impact on your life?
The Last Herald Mage Trilogy, by Mercedes Lackey, gave me a way to understand my sexuality at a young age by combining well written fantasy with a queer main character. It saved my life at a time when I couldn't figure out who I was and what I wanted out of life.
6. Favorite late night snack
Is it too crude to say anything eaten in bed with a hot bottom? I tend to love fresh baked cookies before bed. It really is a terrible idea, but it seems like it is sticking!
Check out previous interviews with TBP Contributors