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Juliana Sabine and Katherine Kline oral history interview
h [electronic resource] /
interviewed by Jessica Merrick.
Tampa, Fla. :
b University of South Florida Tampa Library,
1 transcript (45 p.)
LGBT oral history project
Interviewee names are pseudonyms, used by request of the interviewer.
Interview conducted March 5, 2009.
This is a transcript of an oral history interview with two lesbians who live in a gay/lesbian retirement community in Florida, the first such community in the United States. The interviewees briefly describe their careers before retiring and discuss how they met and became partners. Most of the interview focuses on life in the community: how they discovered it, relationships with neighbors, social events, etc. There is also a lengthy discussion about social networking sites and the Internet.
Social life and customs.
University of South Florida Libraries.
Florida Studies Center.
Oral History Program.
University of South Florida.
LGBT oral history project.
y CLICK HERE TO ACCESS DIGITAL TRANCRIPT
COPYRIGHT NOTICE This Oral History is copyrighted by the University of South Florida Libraries Oral History Program on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of South Florida. Copyright, 2009, University of South Florida. All rights, reserved This oral history may be used for research, instruction, and private study under the provisions of the Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of the United States Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section 107), which allows limited use of copyrig hted materials under certain conditions. Fair Use limits the amount of material that may be used. For all other permissions and requests, contact the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA LIBRARIES ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at the University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fo wler Avenue, LIB 122, Tampa, FL 33620.
! " LGBT Oral History Project Oral History Program Florida Studies Center University of South Florida, Tampa Library Digital Object Identifier: L34 00009 Interviewees: Juliana Sabine (JS), Katherine Kline (KK) Interviewer: Jessica Merrick (JM) Interview date: March 5, 2009 Interview location: Undisclosed Transcribed by: Jessica Merrick Transcription date: March 18, 2009 April 2, 2009 Audit Edit by: Christine Toth Audit Edit date: June 30, 2009 August 6, 2009 Final Edit by: Mary Beth Isaacson Final Edit date: September 16, 2009 September 28, 2009 [Transcriber's note: The following changes have been made at the request of the Interviewer: pseudonyms are used throughout the Interview, the use of ellipses indicates that material has been remov ed, names of persons not directly connected with the Interview have been replaced with pseudonyms, some identifying geographical details have been removed.] Jessica Merrick : Today is March fifth, and I'm talking with Juliana Sabine and Katherine Kline. K atherine Kline : All right, so this is Katherine. So, how did I grow up? Um fast? (laughs) Let's see. (sighs) I was born in New York City. I lived most of my life in New Rochelle, which is a suburb of New York City. I graduated high school there went to college in Washington D.C. Never went back to New York ; I just liked Washington so much. I got my master's degree at the same college, stayed there and worked as a teacher for ten years. During that time I met Juliana, which was wonderful. I went to wo rk, then, for the federal government. I retired from the federal government in 200 3 and now I'm just a consultant, work when I want or need the money. Sexuality wise, I knew at age twelve that I was gay. But we took "the class" in sixth grade which I th ink they now do in fourth or fifth grade that tells you about all that kind of stuff. And one of the things they said in my class was that it's normal to go through a period of having an attraction for same sex. So, I just kept waiting to grow out of that, because it was just a phase. And then, I never grew out of it.
# " My parents found out when I was in high school, sent me to a psychiatrist to see if they could fix it. And obviously, it's not fixable in that way. I tried to do what they wanted, and date b oys and stuff, but I hated it. So, by the time I was a junior I had given that up, and I guess I officially came out as a senior in college. It was a very strange feeling to have to actually say it out loud, because the words then were not "lesbian." It wa s "queer." And that, of course, doesn't have a good connotation. But that was who I was, and so I just played the games socially and at work to make sure I didn't stick out or stand out too far. I do think I'm different from a lot of people in some ways, so I will find another way to stick out I'm sure. But I didn't want it to be that because of job security. I was teaching school. I didn't want to be fired for that. The older I got I think my last two bosses in the federal government both knew and the y were very supportive and very cool about it. The company that I work for now knows I've never tried to hide it. And Juliana's always invited to whatever events. But, I wouldn't go if I was her, because you don't know the people and it's all work people S o, she has not joined me except for when I was thinking about getting ready to sign a contract with them. One of the principals of the company took us both out to dinner and talked to both of us about the whole idea of becoming self employed as opposed to an employee of their company. So, I am self employed. So, is that it in three minutes? Basically, my life. I met Juliana at age I think we were both twenty six. We were young and it was just wonderful. Thirty three years later, here we are, and to me, it's just a freaking miracle (laughs) that we've made it this far. It's grand. (to Juliana) Your turn. (laughs) Juliana Sabine : All right. I grew up in the Washington, D.C. area. I was born in Washington, D.C. and then we moved out to a suburb, F alls Church T here were four children in my family; I was the oldest. We all lived in a little teeny house that was just about as big as this house, and we had my cousin there. So there were seven of us in a little teeny weeny house. KK: One bathroom. JS : (laughs) Oh, yeah. I went to college at Radford [University] in Virginia and then waited until I was fifty to go back to George Mason University for my master's degree. I worked in Arlington Co unty for all thirty of my years, and a s soon as they gave me a chance to get out, I got out. It was time. Teaching school and teaching elementary schoo l in my county was a wonderful thing. They supported same sex partnerships. But, the state of Virginia was not particularly good about that. So, I was closeted thro ugh my whole teaching career.
$ " If there was one thing in my life that I would do, it would have been to come out sooner. It took twenty years after Katherine and I had been together before I told my mom, and that was in a critical crisis situation where I knew that I was going to have to have her with me. That's the only reason why I came out to my mom. I never came out to my dad. Part of the reason was he was the one that was the critical situation. (laughs) After those twenty years So I've lost my trai n of thought which happens a lot (laughs) JM: When I was here before did I meet your mom? JS: My mom, yeah. JM: She seemed like a tough one. JS: Well, she's an, um I don't know, growing up with [ my mom ] I was the oldest and so I was the one that go t all the you know, your ducks stay in a row and the one they wanted to get married and oh, I forgot about that. (laughs) Yeah, that little part of it KK: That little part. JS: I got married in the seventies [1970s], the late seventies [1970s] to my el ementary school sweetheart. We lasted for less than a year. Part of that, though, was I couldn't I found from the moment, well, I didn't find right then. I knew all the clues. I found that I couldn't trust him. And it wasn't long after that that we met 'Cause we hadn't even met prior to that, right, or even during that, even though I was doing sports. B ut yeah, we got married. So, of course, grandchildren were supposed to be on the way. And that, thankfully well, I don't know if "thankfully" is a good word, because I think children add so much to people's lives. I really believe it s all part of the cycle, and all of that. Katherine disagrees with me in a lot of ways with that. But we got divorced about three years ago when he decided to remarry. (lau ghs) JM: Wow! KK: Yeah! JS: Well, I decided, you know, I was not going to pay for it. ( all laugh) And he moved out to California and I had seen him we' d seen each other over the years. He'd come into town and we'd meet and chat. Because we have history, you know. It's not like I hate him or anything, it's just I can't trust him (laughs) But, [ my mom ] was hoping for children and continued to say that long into our relationship, that she wanted children. (laughs)
% " KK: We kept presenting her with her gra nd dogs. (laughs) JS: Her grand dogs! ( all laugh) She never took the hint. But now she knows and she actually she absolutely loves Katherine. She just every single time I talk to her on the telephone it's, "All right now, say hi' to [the dogs], and giv e Katherine a kiss and a hug." And I go in and give Katherine a kiss and a hug! And that's about that. But that's my life in a nutshell. I'm very fortunate I have friends that I grew up with that I've maintain contact with from school f rom elementary y ears w ell, elementary years, yeah, ( ) Anyway, only a few from the elementary years, b ut especially from high school through college that we remain in contact with, and actually socialize with them. So I'm very grounded that way. I still am in contact w ith my brothers o f course my mom, since you met her. JM: It must be such a relief to have that out of the way, and to have her, like, really so much in your life. JS: Say that again? JM: I said, it must be such a huge relief to be able to have that, sh are with your mom. KK: Out on the table. JS: Oh. You know it's funny M y sister ( ) was she and I grew up in the same room together all the way through high school. We had trundle beds because the room was so small. So, we were close. We were always tog ether. We hated each other! (laughs) No, but that's a lot of time together. We didn't really hate each other! ( to sister ) "( ), I'm just kidding!" She is the first one I told about Katherine and she would cover for us. Mom I think mom knew all along. I don't think that there was a question that M om didn't know. She JM: Just never spoke about it? JS: We didn't talk about it, and [ my sister] would always say, "Well, Juliana's taking another shower," or, "She's just run up to [somewhere]," and then she w ould call us and say A nd this happened for over a year when we first got together. After that, we moved together and then ( ) moved in with us. So, it was kind of a funny little get together on that. But she was I always felt good about at least one pe rson in the family knowing. And when M om had to know, my father was ill but also what had happened was this was weird. I had been teaching for, like what do you figure, it was twenty five years ?
& " Twenty five years, and probably ten or fifteen years in the s ame school. And an old student one afternoon I heard the back door, the gym door open and I heard someone walkin g across the floor. I thought, Well, g ee, I wonder what this is? And in walks this child, an ex student of mine. I just remember it so vividly. And she walks in, and she had never come to visit me before and didn't after that. Well, we saw her at various functions after that. She looked at me and she said, "My gaydar 1 is up Ms Sabine." And it took my breath away. And she said, "Are you gay?" N ow, (laughs) when adults say things to you, usually they take this circular kind of path around so you can kind of step into the next circle and away from the question. But she was very focused, very direct, and very straightforward right in my face. My l ife kind of flashed in front of me. (laughs) Because if you're not true here I've never told anybody, and really hadn't talked about it out loud. We always had a large circle of friends, but they were also closeted S o I looked at [the student] and I sa id, "Yes I am." And I realized at that point here I had this teenage kid who's going through whatever she was going through. She was going through a time where she thought she was a lesbian. And she just seemed like she wanted to talk. JM: Yeah. JS: Ju st wanted to talk. So, we chatted for a long, long period of time. But as soon as she left, my life changed. That's when you were saying there m ust have been a sense of relief. T he sense of relief came after talking to her. Because then I knew, okay wha t will she do with this information? Because, you know, kids can be nasty. And she was an unusual child. But I decided, W ell I have to tell M om. I have to let M om know, for multiple reasons now. It's not just one! I always have to have two reasons (laughs ) for the crisis stuff. So, that's when I told M om. Yes. It has been a sense of relief. (laughs) The other day it continues to surprise Katherine. Because once that happened, I don't have qualms about it. If somebody asks, I say, "Well this is my partner ." And if they want to talk more, fine. And if they don't, that's fine too. But I don't want them to think we were in dog training the other day and they said, "So, you have two dogs, and do you train them together?" And I said, "Well, yes, they're both my dogs and they're her dogs too, because she's my partner." And Katherine goes, "Again?" ( all laugh) KK: I don't think she needed all that! JS: But she KK: Yeah, what do you say? They live together, b ecause we live together. (all laugh ) """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""""" 1 Gaydar is a play on words: gay radar. Gaydar is the ability of being able to detect homosexual people.
' " JS: Have I co vered the question? JM: Yeah, definitely. JS: But yes, the critical point came that cathartic moment came when that child asked that direct, very can't sidestep question where I had to either be true to myself or lie. You know, before I was able to, lik e I say KK: Evade JS: e vade. JM: Right. So, it sounds like it wasn't even about being public at work, but it was more about a shift you had with yourself. JS: W ell, the shift came after, see. I think the shift came after. I think my internal need to be out had not surfaced yet, m ainly because I taught in an elementary school. Parents become very upset, e ven now. I'm always with children, so I didn't have a need to be out. But being true to the if that child needed something, that's part of the dema nds the confines of what I perceived my job as a teacher, is to be as truthful with them as I could be about things. I always took that part very seriously. I had never been asked that before! (laughs) KK: Not so directly. JS: Yes. It was very good fo r me because it released a lot of what I needed to release. I became open with one brother who was in the area very shortly after that. My other brother he wasn't living immediately in the area, and I don't know, we're not as close. Even though now we'r e closer than ever before ; I spoke with him just today. But anyway KK: He is not as accepting of anything that's different, or anyone that's different. JS: Ye s any kind of difference. If you put on a little weight, he would make fun of things like that So, it's not like there's a toleration level that I felt comfortable with him. But I came out with him anyway later; i t just wasn't as quick. KK: Yeah. It's so amazing to me that people can know that Jim and Bob live together and that they wouldn't thi nk that Jim and Bob are probably a couple! Just to so many people it doesn't occur to them to think about that. JS: Which is nice. You know, t here's a sweetness about life sometimes where people don't assume that, 'c ause we have friends who have lived to gether longer than we've been together and they aren't gay. They're just
( " KK: So they say. JS: Well t hat's what she says B ut I tend to believe they have a very, ve ry close emotional relationship, b ut that they haven't if being a lesbian includes the p hysical act, I don't believe that they've making love, I don't think that they've done that. I'll just put it that way. (laughs) JM: If it's not too personal, is that what it means to you? JS: I guess originally, probably so. I think that as I have evolv ed as a person I don't know, really. I'd have to really think about that. That's interesting. In some ways, yes, I think that that's no, that's not being a lesbian. I don't know I'd have to really, really think about that. I really have n't thought about i t in terms of definitions. I don't think the word "democracy d efine it. Uh huh! But being a lesbian, it always was incorporated in it for me, in terms of the way that I thought of myself. KK: I think of it as a sexual preference. Would you prefer to have sex with a man or a woman? Would you prefer to spend the rest of your life with a man or a woman? An d for a long time, Juliana said if anything ever happened to us, she didn't want to close off 50 percent of the population that she might meet. JS: Well, I still wouldn't. KK: Oh, you still wouldn't? I thought you had changed your mind. JS: No, I still wouldn't want to close that off. Because, I mean, why limit yourself? If I could find a man who allowed me the freedoms in term s of the way that my mind wo rks, yeah. No, I can't see cutting myself off from 50 percent of the population. I just can't see it! I don't think that I would look intensely. (laughs) KK: Yeah. I would w ell, first of all, I hope that nothing happens between us, but JS: Well, yeah. I didn't bring it up! (laughs) KK: I don't think that I would change horses now, you know? JS: (laughs) Well, thank ye, thank ye! KK: (all laugh) I don't mean I wasn't calling you a horse! I just wouldn't change horses in midstream now. JS: I'm just tea sing. KK: Okay. Y eah, I've been this way my whole life and it feels right. It never felt right being with a man. It just didn't feel right.
) " JS: Well, you are right for me. That's what I know for now. KK: T hat's a good thing. JS: Well, I know, but if everything changes then that's what I know now. Okay. (laughs) KK: And she went through because she was just separated from her husband when we sta rted to get to know one another, she went through the same sort of emotional wrangling with the whole idea o f saying "I'm a lesbian" out loud to yourself that I went through when I was twenty. JS: To yourself. KK: Well, when I was twenty and it was official. Then I knew it was official. Before, it was still a phase (laughs) that maybe I would have grown out of But Juliana went all through that just cause that's a big decision to make that I'm going to get involved with a woman for the first time in my life. That was big. JS: Yeah, but it was nice. KK: Well, yeah, it was nice. Because you made the right cho ice! ( all laugh) If you had made a different choice JS: We always wondered how we found each other. I don't w e just felt very, very fortunate. Very lucky. KK: We met playing basketball, adult basketball. Not on the same team, even. Our two teams scrimma ged against one another. So we got to be friends. I had a play da y at my school. On a Saturday they let me use the gym and we played badminton and jumped on the trampoline and just had a good time, and then went back to my apartment for French bread pizz a you know, Velveeta [processed cheese] and tomato sauce, real fancy. (all laugh) JS: She wooed me. (laughs) KK: Yeah, and so we started to get to know one another better after that. And I was definitely they didn't have anything called gaydar at that po int. It was just what you felt. And I felt like I was getting a vibe from her, but since she had just left her husband, I didn't know what that all meant. I didn't know how to act, really. JS: So, she cooked me dinner. KK: Well, the first part was that a t that night at the play da y JS: That's true.
* " KK: At my apartment, we were just like I mean every time we looked at each other it was like, "Ooh." ( all laugh) JS: That's true! KK: And so people had left, and I was supposed to go to a party with one o f the g a ls, and I said, O h, I'm not going to go." And then her oldest friend from high school I thought she would never leave, b ut she finally left. Because she was also interested in Juliana and hadn't officially (all laugh) JS: No. I don't think anyb ody else in the group other than ( ) We were just women playing sports at that point (laughs) e xcept for Katherine (laughs) a nd ( ) KK: Because I had I knew. So that night after everyone had finally left, I sat down with her and I said, "We need to h ave a talk because I don't understand exactly what you're doing." So, I told her I was gay. JS: Oh, well Y eah, that little talk. KK: Yeah, that was the talk. And I didn't know what she was or why I was getting that "ooh" feeling. And not long after tha t, she spent the night and never went home. JS: Just moved in! (laughs) KK: She slept in my Bullwinkle J. Moose 2 t shirt which I still have. (laughs) And that's why her sister cause she was living with her sister at that point. H er sister covered for u s so many times because her mom would call and say, "Can I speak to Juliana?" "She just stepped out. I think she went to get gas." And so, she would call our house and my apartment and Juliana would call her mom to keep the story straight. That was a ti me of exploration for you, for sure, and it was all good for me W e really did get lucky. We're very different. JS: Yes, we are. KK: And you know, people don't stay the same although in my head I'm still twenty six. Sometimes when I bend over to pick so mething up, then I know I m not twenty six anymore. Juliana has definitely grown and changed, and I have a little JS: Yeah. KK: But the trick is to grow and change together, because it would be so easy for both of us because we have different interests to go off and do our own thing. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""""" 2 Bullwinkle J. Moose is a character from the 1959 19 64 animated television series The Bullwinkl e Show.
!+ " JS: W hich we do. KK: Which we do a lot, yeah because we have different interests. And that's fine. But you can grow apart real easily A nd I know Juliana has said this to me ten thousand times, "I thought after twenty yea rs or twenty five years, we shouldn't have to manipulate our relationship. We should be on cruise control at this point because we love each other. We shouldn't have to continue to work on the relationship." But oh no that's not the way it works! (laughs) And thank heavens. I mean she pushes. (dog barks) I'm not one who likes to talk about differences that we have, different ideas and things like that. So, it's hard to get me to sit down and talk about stuff. Not like this. JS: Yeah, I was going to say t his is amazing that she's doing this! (laughs) KK: Oh, i t is? Well, okay. But she pushes it, you know? "We have to talk about this. We have to sit down." And she's right! So we do, and then of course, I'm whining and moaning and groaning the whole way! But I'm getting better. JS: Well, you are now in the last what how many hundred years? (all laugh) KK: How long have you been here? (all laugh ) JS: She's getting better and better! C an't wait till you leave! (laughs) No, I'm just teasing about that because w e don't have anything to talk about. We talked about it all almost (laughs) KK: Yeah. JM: So, that's the trick, huh? Lots of communication? JS: Well, yeah. You really do have to have one person. If both of you aren't going to do it, then the other person has to have a full time job of working through it. Not everything is ea sy. It's not easy being green. Just living with someone is not easy. Every day is different and new, and there's always a challenge. KK: I can't tell you, it must have tak en me at least twenty five years to understand how Juliana thinks about things. JS: Because she never wanted to. ( all laugh) KK: Well, no, I just didn't get it Because we'd be talking about something and Juliana would say, "Well, if this was happening t o me And of course my reaction is, "Well, this isn't about you. This is about I'm just telling you something that happened at work
!! " today." It took a long time before I realized that she has to take it in and internalize it, and then talk about it the way she would have approached it before she can give a direct response to what I said. She goes through all that. JS: I do. JM: I do that a lot, too. KK: So, I didn't get that. So, my initial response is, "It's not about you. I don't even understand why yo u're doing that." JS: That was very frustrating. KK: It was frustrating for both of us, because she only knew that way to digest things. I didn't have the patience. JS: And all Katherine really wanted me to do was listen and say, "That's right, darling. (laughs) KK: "That's nice, dear." JS: Yeah, (laughs) "That's nice, dear." Because usually, you already have your answer. You don't really want me to help. But when you do want me to think through it, you really like my approach. (laughs) KK: Well, it just gives another perspective. Well, I do; I appreciate it because it's a different perspective b ecause we think about things so differently JS: Oh, c ompletely differently. And it's good because she reels me in. Sometimes when I'm doing that process, I just get carried away! (laughs) Well, I like it! For me, if you had to characterize the two of us, Katherine's about the destination; I'm about the journey. I want to know it, see it, feel it, smell it I want to be a part of it But she wants to get th ere. (laughs) And I don't mind that I like the idea that someone I need that. KK: 'Cause you would never get there, that's the thing. ( all laugh) JS: ( mimicking ) "Oh, look at this four leaf clover! Oh, look!" KK: You might not be quite that bad. Li sten, if you're not going to enjoy it in the whole way, then why do it? I don't go to a party to have a bad time. We just have a different way of looking at the world. The good news is we kind of balance each other with that. It's a good thing. She would s ay, "Get Over It, Bitch!" KK: G O I B. JM: (laughs)
!# " JS: G.O.I.B. That's what she would at first, I didn't like it. This was twenty five years ago KK: Oh no, it was much more recent than that. (laughs) JS: Oh no, no, it's been going on that full ti me! (laughs) But now, I say it to her, to be honest with you. Because she gets caught up in KK: Some stupid thing. People say, "Oh, I've mellowed over the years." And I keep waiting for that to happen! (JS laughs) Little things still annoy the poop out o f me. And so, I do get caught on things JS: Yes, you do. KK: So, yeah she does JS: But now, I get to say it. But what I'm saying is that when she would say, "G.O .I.B." I'm thinking, "Oh. Okay, a nd it would kind of reel me in really fast. This ti me I don't have to enjoy the journey. (laughs) I should re think how I'm approaching whatever it is. So, she helps me with that. I do appreciate that. I really do. (laughs) KK: It's been interesting ; a learning process all the way. JS: Well, she had to go to you went to some class a set of classes through the government. And it was for these high ranking people. But what they wanted to do was these people were focused on end result and that was it, right? KK: Mm hm. JS: End result. And the essence of the program was: the way you get a good end result is by o ne t aking care of yourself, your physical self; [two] t aking care of the people that work for you; [three] t hinking about the different ways that people think. And she was sitting in this "d ifferen t ways people think thing and she went, "That's Juliana!" She called me and tol d me about it. And I thought, "Y eah." KK: It's what I've been trying to tell you for the last I don't know, how many yea rs. JS: I never got to the end. KK: Right before I r etired from the government and this was unfortunate for the government they sent me to this class, like Ju liana said. It was a month long residential thing in Charlottesville, Virginia. They were trying to make good leaders of the people who attended. So, it was like my last block to check before getting the next promotion. And then the next month I found out I could retire early, s o I went after they spent ten
!$ " thousand dollars on me. But I got a lot of out that program. It was pretty amazing. It's mind body soul ; it's everything. The other thing I learned besides Juliana, is that I'm so Type A 3 Beyond help, beyond help! Because they offered a counselor you could go talk to. And I did shoot it's a resource, I'm going to use it! And she said, "I don' t even know how I could help you." (laughs) JM: That's not what you want to hear! KK: Well, no r eally. JS: She's (inaudible). KK: I don't have a relax mode. I don't have that. If there's a half an hour, I'm going to find something to do in that half an hour and make use of that time. So, it's good to know that there's a reason for that, I guess. (laughs) And that's why it's about the destination. Get me there. And I want to be there and then come home. And just a shopping trip would be an example G oing to Wal Mart I would walk in, get what I need, I'm done. I'll meet you at the cash JM: Everybody does that at Wal Mart I think JS: Not me! JM: Oh, really? (all laugh) JS: (mimicking) "Oh, what's here? What's here?" KK: She wants to look aroun d. And if she's in that look around mode, then I don't go because it drives me crazy. I'll be waiting. But anyway, I digress. I t was a very interesting class and you really learn a lot about yourself. JS: It was That was the best thing she did in our entire t ime together. Go away to school (laughs) KK: Yes. JS: t o learn about yourself. Which was really KK: Interesting. It was. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""""" 3 Referring to the Type A and Type B personality theory. People with Type A personalities are supposed to be high achieving, impatient, competitive, obsessed with work, et cetera.
!% " JS: Now, what did we what else? (laughs) I know we just have gone KK: Are we to question two yet? ( all laugh) JS: So rry. JM: No, this is great! This is all really good, too. Don't rush or apologize. So, I guess I'll just start ask ing more qu estions about the neighborhood and your first impressions of it. I was wondering where you lived before you moved here? What was it like there, and were there any open couples or I guess, even individuals where you were at ? Did you feel supported at all where you used to live? JS: We were very fortunate like I said, from day one Katherine had a circle of friends that were lesb ians and they did multiple things together. So, I was included in that group, as you can be initially. But that's also evolved. And though we've maintained contact with most of those people, they moved out of the area. But a lot of my friends from high sch ool (laughs) happen to be lesbians as well. We still do things with those people, and have always felt relatively accepted. We go to the Pride marches n ot often when I was working, because all I could see was my face on the Washington Post (laughs) KK: O n the s ix o'clock news and her father would have a coronary. JS: My father would have a coronary, yeah. Let's see before moving here, yes. I loved my life, my friends y es ; my f amily. KK: But I will say we've been in the same house in Virginia for almos t twenty four years and over the time that we've been there, there are several neighbors that have been there as long or nearly as long as we have. And when we first moved in, the first day we moved there the woman next door asked if we were a couple. A nd I was shocked. JS: And I said something to the effect of 'cause this was my standard answer "Gee. You know, if those types of rumors got out, you could cost someone their job (laughs) And so, she didn't ask us again, but she knew. KK: She knew. JS: Yeah And we still maintain contact; she moved to Arkansas. We still hear from her at least every Christmas, if not more. KK: Yeah. And because of what happened with that student, Juliana JS: It c hanged everything.
!& " KK: h as said things to several neig hbors, and they're totally cool about it. I don't know if they're purposely being polite. JS: I don't think so. I think () I think e ach of our neighbors has had the opportunity to know us as individuals first, and then we've been invited for dinners as a couple at least a couple of times. KK: But I would say we grew up in the sixties [1960s]. We were working in the seventies [1970s] our first jobs And nobody was out. It was just not cool to be out. JS: It wasn't that it wasn't cool; it wasn't accepte d to be out. KK: Right. And so we did what we had to do, w hether it was in the neighborhood or wherever it was. But things have really changed due to younger generations coming behind us and being much more liberated. Because times are changing, and you can be. Finding this community Julian a just found it on the Internet; she just went searching and we came down here and looked. And then we looked around some other places that were like fifty five [years of age] and over type places, and we kept coming back here. I think we came back here two more times after our first visit because we were just so drawn to the community. JS: Well, just the thought that you could hold hands if you wanted to. Or hug. Or, like, when she leaves on her trips, I can go out to the car and give her a kiss when she's leaving. Or the little things that are everyday life for the people across the street in Virginia. We don't have that option. So, we have that option here. And that portion of the community having been developed th at embraces that. Yes, I knew as soon as we drove in, drove around W e asked the guy across the street, "Could I just come in and look at your house?" b ecause I didn't kn ow what the houses were like, and didn't know anything about them. And he explained that there are three different types of models, and showed us his entire house. He was very nice about it. Because we knew it was a gay community, I knew that he had a partner. [His partner] wasn't home at the time, it was just (), but it was one of those things where he was, "Yeah, come on!" No big deal. KK: Very welcoming. And I think one of the most attractive parts of this community is that you're not just buying a house you're buying a community b ecause there are so many social gatherings. And th ere's some people who don't participate at all in anything. There's one man I think I've only seen him three times, ever. That's their choice though. They could go if they wanted to. Almost everybody at some point in the year has an event where everyone' s invited. And it really is wonderful.
!' " We're like some of the youngest people here. A lot of the people are in their seventies or eighties. But I just think it's wonderful. It's relaxing. This may be one of your later questions it also has a small town t hing where everybody knows what everybody else is doing and with whom. JM: Do you mean just here in the neighborhood or in the town in general? KK: In the neighborhood, in our community, yeah. The beauty of it is that where were we should be, in terms of being with other older gays. But that piece about everybody knowing your business when I leave and come back everyone says, "Well, how was your trip?" I mean, everyone! Everybody talks. It's kind of nice. But my sister came to visit last winter and she said, "Oh, this would drive me crazy." Because you know, you look out the window: "Oh, there goes so and so." It's just you can't help it! There you are, there they are. And so everybody knows. If you're a private person, like my sister is very private, it would just make you crazy. So, that part of it, and getting involved in the little internal squabble type things, you know. This group of people want s this to happen, and this group of people would never even think of that. It's like a microcosm of a sm all town. We're not even a town; we're just a community of forty homes or something. So, we have that feel. To me, it's not a turn off. I think to other people it might be a turn off. I kind of like it. JS: I like it. I don't know that I'm crazy about it being so, you know everything's so visual. Everybody knows truly like when Katherine went away. Well, when will Katherine be bac k?" Or, "I heard you had a cold, a nd Katherine may have mentioned it to them. KK: So, they feel compelled to invite her over for dinner JS: When she's not here. KK: And she's, like, thinking, "Damn! I have five minutes to myself!" ( all laugh) JS: I don't have to worry about what Katherine wants to do, or entertain her, or anything! This is good! (laughs) And then everybody wants and they're being very sweet mind you; it's v ery, very dear. JM: Sometimes just a little bit too much. JS: Yeah. If you grow up in a metropolis, a metropolitan area you're just kind of an entity that kind of moves around. Like on our block at home we knew faces. It took us a while wanting to know names. And then, to get to actually know them, it took years. Here, because we have the most important facet of our lives that's been closeted for so long there's an instant open space that seems like it allows you to become friends and
!( " neighbors and everything that can go along with it a nd not so neighbors v ery quickly. It's very compressed. One we don't have that much time left. (laughs) By the time you get here, this is a retirement area! (laughs) S o, you've kind of given up a lot of those restrictions that you placed on yourself early on in relationships. So, you concentrate on there are only a couple of folks, I'll put it that way how's that? KK: That's polite. JS: No, i t's only a couple t hat I g ot to know a little too fast, a little too quickly. And it would have been better to take more time, because it just would have been. (laughs) But, other than that I love everyone. I love that we can just do a third of a mile in fifteen minutes, or less than fifteen minutes, with the dogs. And sometimes it's over an hour because people come out to chat. And that's how all of the communication happens, because we do move around in the community. It doesn't look like it. JM: I noticed that those people out walking their dogs. JS: Yeah. And people come of out their houses, bring dog biscuits, so that not just so that they can meet the dogs, they want to know how your day is going. So, a dog walk can take to ten minutes to an hour. JM: Difficult to plan for sometimes though. JS: Mm hm. It's quite something. KK: Yes. Another thing that people have just done, not in the community plans or anything; like ( ) and ( ), w ho you met. ( ) had a heart attack, and ( ) didn't know what to do. And it took three or fou r days before he finally called an ambulance and he had to be talked into that. Once we knew because they're so private once we knew that they were going through this, everybody said, "We're going to fix dinner for you." And every couple of nights someo ne would take them a complete meal. And they were just overwhelmed by the kindness which they probably would have experienced if they had been more social. But that was their choice to stay to themselves, and they have friends outside of the community that they do things with. And now, we've done that since we've been here a couple of different times just helping each other out. And we're some of the only people that walk the whole development. The people that live in the back part just do that loop. But when one of them is sick, a couple of other people jump in and come and walk their dogs for them. Make sure that they have what they need, you know? So it's a very caring, kind community that even where we are in Virginia, I don't know that people would g o to that extent.
!) " And part of it, I think, is stage in life. When we first moved into that house, we were both working full time. And when you're working and whatever you're doing, you're busy You're busy all the time. You don't have time to stop and ch at with the neighbors. Here, not everyone's retired, but probably 75 percent of the people are retired. So, they have the time to come out and just chat. JM: So true. I don't even know who my neighbors are. KK: Right, exactly! JM: I moved in two week s ago and nobody came out with a cake or anything. KK: Oh! JM: No, I mean, you don't expect anything, especially JS: Not anymore. JM: because it's an apartment complex. I think those are different, too. JS: Mm. Yeah. Mm hm. JS: It's a change in stage in life. One of the things that was built into the community that helped us get to know people was that you're supposed to ask someone within the community to be your house buddy. So if you're out of the area o ne you then have to kind of find somebody that you're going to link up with. Once you find those people or that person, then they have your keys. So if like, when we're in the D.C. area; since we're moving down here, I'm trying to get used to saying, "This is home." And so, when we're in the D.C. area, if something happens, then our house buddy can come in let the air conditioner guy come in, or the electrician, or whatever has to happen, happen. Just a small incident was last time we left We left, and one of us had left the freezer d oor open on the refrigerator. Everything just melted and KK: Stunk. JS: Yeah A nd we were having this gentleman come in, who also lives in the community, come in to st art building some things for us, the c abinetry. And he JM: Oh, nice. Someone here bu ilt that? JS: Yes. From IKEA. Isn't that lovely? JM: Oh! Yeah.
!* " JS: He took pieces, parts and just put it together. KK: He's amazing. JS: It was really amazing. We got to watch most of that go up. He, in turn, called us to let us know. But through the community network, which was within minutes probably, our house buddy knew, came down and she, thankfully after he had frozen the stuff, he closed the door so the stuff refroze and she pulled it out and put it in a bag. And then before she went away, one of the other neighbors came in and threw it in the trash so it didn't stink up the trashcan. ( whispers ) It was horrible! Oh, my goodness! But thank G od we had a house buddy! We were very fortunate about that. KK: So that, you know ties you again JS: to another person in the community. JM: Everybody here has a house buddy just about ? Yeah? KK: Yeah. JS: Yeah. No. Not just about everyone does. JM: Wow. Do they tell you when you move in you should do it? KK: Yes, and we have a directory that ha s all the residents. It has your birthday, your anniversary. JS: We get to have our anniversary published. JM: How sweet. That's really neat KK: And it says who your house buddy is so that if you're away and someone else sees oh, a tree fell over, the n they know who to call w ho's your house buddy, so they can do whatever has to be done. Last summer a huge we were here in July, and after we left, a huge tree limb off one of those what do you call them? L ive oaks ? JS: Live oak trees. KK: came down. It was huge! I mean, nobody could have lifted it. So, they had to get the lawn service guys to come in and saw up the pieces and take it out. But they did! JS: They took pictures of it.
#+ " KK: Oh yeah, they e mailed us a picture. (laugh) JS: And ( ) our neighbor next door well, we're very fortunate with our neighbors. We are very, very fortunate. But the guys both of these sets of guys are so private. They really, really are. But they've been very welcoming to us. We've been very fortunate with our neig hbors. We're very extraordinarily lucky. This group of guys on this little neighborhood here, where there are only five of us five women. So, we kind of get together and do some things B ut you know, we get together with the guys in the back actually, more the girls in the back. KK: Yeah, there are more women back there. JM: And there are sometimes events for women and sometimes events for men? JS: Yeah, sometimes. But then sometimes the back area does things by themselves. Rarely do we as a group up here, because this is the older section. Some of these people have been here since the beginning. There are good parts about that, and then there are bad parts because they want it to stay true to what the mission statement was. And it's been ten years a nd things have evolved. It's time to make some changes. JM: What kind of things do you think have evolved? JS: Well, just the one instance that I would point out would be the rent. Is that how you are? KK: Mm hm. JS: When you purchase in the front area you're purchasing it's a condo. It's supposed to be a condo, but you're also purchasing the land that's under the ground. But within our condo docs, they also said that we can't rent out these areas for some reason or other. The main reason that homeown ers sta te is that they don't want it to go to pot you know, want to get really junky homeowners in here. KK: Plus, they want to make sure because we could rent it to anyone. It might not be a gay person. JM: Right. JS: See, I woul dn't consider renting i t not to a gay person. KK: But that's the potential thing, and that's one of the reasons they don't want to change that. But the market is such that
#! " JS: We have three houses four houses, within our community right now that have well three of them are in foreclosure r ight? Which is sad. I mean, how horrible is that? And h ad those people had the option of renting, even if it was to straight people KK: They wouldn't have lost their homes. JS: They wouldn't have lost their homes, yeah. JM: Do you thin k that would have been okay, though or w ould it have changed the community too much ? JS: Well, the community is going to change. And yes, I know I wouldn't want this not to stay a gay and lesbian only community. I want it to be marketed that way. I don't want that to be a private part of it. So, people if they moved in to rent, they would have to know. Because we have to live together, you know, in a lot of ways. But if it's the difference between the people that I hold as friends losing their house, an d allowing straight people to change the dynamics of our community, I guess I'd want to go with what they want. If they want to rent, then I would say th at they should have that option personally. KK: Yeah. Now, i n the back area, they can rent and they c an screen the renters. JS: But, they also through their process; don't own the land that's under neath of their d uplexes. It's an usual kind of set up. KK: Yeah, it's weird. And of course, for a long time there was the front guys and they were all buds an d the people in the back were considered extras. And the re w asn't a push to sort of draw the community together. JS: To join. So, we were two separate areas in its own way. But that's evolving, too. KK: That's changing. We're starting to be more of a sin gle community. But that's because of the people who are making sure to be inclusive. JS: Yeah. KK: If you invite people over, it's everybody. Those people who don't choose to participate that's fine. But at least they have the option. JS: What they do is invite their own the people who don't go to the all inclusive things. And we want to belong. We came here because we wanted to be part of a community. KK: So, it works for us. The other people that are here who just keep to themselves, I have to ask m yself, "If all you wanted to do was sit inside your house and not associate with anyone, why did you bother to move here? What was the point?"
## " JS: Because that's what they want. As far as I'm concerned, that's all you need to know. JM: That's very differ ent from what drew you here, which was this sense of community it sounds like. JS: Yeah. It's interesting. And people come from just all walks of life. So many different it's really quite interesting. The stories you hear here. You hear some good stories KK: Yeah, I think I told you at the party we have two former nuns. Pat [Landry] is one of them who you're going to talk to ; and then Rebecca [Heart] who you met at the party. JM: I don't think Pat even mention ed that! (laughs) KK: She has a picture. Get her to show it to you. She has a picture of herself in a [nun's] habit. Okay, d id we answer your question? (laughs) JM: Yeah. Do you mind we pause for second? KK: Sure. pause in recording JM: March fifth, part two. Talking with Juliana Sabine an d Katherine Kline. So, how would you describe the neighborhood as a whole, in terms of the kind of people who live here? JS: I would say interesting and as vibrant as we can be at this stage in the game. (laughs) Open. W illing to try anything. I mean, many of us are starting sporting activities you know kayaking. We never had access to that type of thing. Some miss the mountains and riding their bikes in the mountains, a nd different things like that. But finding different open for anything is pretty mu ch the way I'm seeing it right now. KK: It's interesting. There have been I don't know if this is exactly right, but at least that I know of three residents who have passed away. One, ( ) 's partner before we came here, but then one gentleman who lived by himself. A nd then at the end of the street ( ) passed away about a year and a half ago. And so, it brings you right back to feet on the ground reality that this is a retirement community A s people age and/or become ill, we're going to lose residents. Y ou experience that maybe not you because you're so young but most of us have lost our parents. Juliana's lucky to still have her mom around. And so, you're going through
#$ " that with your peers now for the first time which is really tough, I think. Again, co mmunity members rally to support the partner who's left or whatever the situation might be. To just be there, whether it's to take them to the doctor, go to the store, bring food whatever. People are right there to do it so the community's exceptionally supportive. Rebecca who was a nurse, is one of those people who has an ability to reach out to everyone in a way that's good for that person. I think it's wonderful. And she's the first one there "How can I help you?" It's just been a really good commu nity feeling because of that. JS: Oh, because of that, and the potlucks. Each time you go it's another little piece that you it's a big puzzle, the community. Each time you make those contacts, you add another piece either about a person or a couple, or however you want to look at the entire picture. We're still learning. It just takes time. Everything takes time. It's amazing how quickly we have grown to know people here. We don't know everything about them. Everybody comes without a past until they wa nt to talk about it, which is kind of nice. Most of us are kind of even Katherine, Type A is relatively laid back. You know relative of w hen you were. KK: You know we have a bigger house in Virginia. If I see something I have to do something about it. I'm either out scooping poop or I'm dusting. I'm doing something. JS: As a result, I don't have to do any of those things. JM: (laughs) KK: Yes. JS: (laughs) Well, actually, that's not true. KK: There's just less of that to do here because the house is so small. Although, I do sweep the floor about four hundred times a day. JS: Yes, she does. (laughs) JM: I hope I didn't bring in too much, uh (laughs) JS: Please! These guys [dogs] are little dust magnets! KK: They bring it in. Paw prints everyw here. I think it's a wonderful community. I don't know, becaus e I don't have the experience, i f
#% " we would have felt the same if we moved into a different small community that was an over fifty five. JS: Yeah. It really could be the much same type of attit ude, you know? KK: Everyone's relatively at the same stage in their life and their work life and their children if cause a lot of people here are parents and grandparents. Just like any other community. That part to me is interesting, too. You know, it took you how many years to figure this out? (laughs) What your true preference is. JS: Yeah, but still. Sometimes it takes time. Social norms are killers. They're so repressive in terms of how you really want to feel, or be, or whatever. If you're not wit hin between the lines JM: I think it's also, maybe sometime s, you know you'll talk to people, and they say that "Well, I wanted a family, and that's the way that they're able to do that. So it's unfortunate, because it's set up like you can have a fam ily or you can have, you know, a loving relationship. Hopefully, that's something that I hope that it's changing. It seems that it is. We talked about this with your mom. Just that t here's more options now, which I think which I'm really grateful for But I know it's still difficult. KK: Not in Florida, but I guess in other states you can adopt a child Or make your own, w hatever. We know some people who have either adopted children or have had their own through artificial insemination. Times are changing and you can have it all, I think. It's just how much you can handle in your life. JM: Right. Yeah, but definitely still difficult, cause it 's not just about the insemination or the adoption process that would be difficult, but also the school and teacher s and everything. KK: "Jessica has two mommies sort of thing. JS: Isn't that an actual book? JM: Oh, I don't know. It could be. JS: Somebody has two mommies. 4 (laughs) I'll never forget when I was gosh, it had to have been fifteen years ago I was working at Key Elementary School [Washington D.C.]. They had coerced me into being the coach for this little g irls' soccer team. Six year olds, who want go out in the field and look at the KK: Buttercups """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""""" 4 Heather Has Two Mommies a children's book written by Leslea Newm an and published in 1989.
#& " JS: buttercups. ( mimicking ) "Look, Miss Sabine! (all laugh) You know they could care less about following the ball around, but their dads want them to get out and play soccer. So, I'm out there, and here comes [ one student]'s mom "It's about time they have a women's coach." And then come to find o ut, [ that student] has two moms! (laughs) It was an interesting time. That was like, fifteen years ago. It's an interesting thing how you have to have the people who are out there in the beginning. And that was a good thing. That was a wonderful thing. I immediately felt a little warmer towards that child. (laughs) But around here your question was how we feel about this community, right? That was the last question you asked us. And I feel wonderful about it. I don't think even though I do feel as though it's a microcosm, and sometimes it gets in the way with my head, because I hate knowing other things that really I don't need to know about other people. JM: You just mean sort of like gossip and that sort of thing? JS: I don't like that at all. But it happens, and when it happens, I let it go. But that part aside, I love it. I love being around men and not having to worry about the men hitting on me. I'm sure you're the same way about i t. KK: Yeah, because they're so much fun. JS: Oh, these guys! Yeah we very very much enjoy our neighbors. The guys in the back, we have some very youthful fellow s younger than we are around a bout. They've been very sweet about going to Ybor City (JM laughs) and doing different things together. I don't know what they're doing but I know I'm just enjoying the friendship. The fact that we're thrown into this place, we allowed ourselves to be placed in this place. We've chosen this place, and we're accepting it. And I don't need to know anything bad about anybody here. Y ou know? (laughs) I don't want to know anything. I don't want any of that to go along with it. It's going to, and that's okay, and I'll deal with it as it happens. But I like this community. KK: When we first came here, we decided to have an open house because we only knew the gals down the street, Abigail [Carr] and Matilda because they moved in about the same time we did. When we first started coming down, we hadn't really moved in totally but w e're here a lot more than we were back then. So, we didn 't know who was here, because in the summertime a lot of people are gone. They do six months here and six months somewhere else. So, we just went around and put the invitation in everyone's mail box. JM: Oh, that's great!
#' " KK: And people came! And we were so happy that they came, but I guess if you offer free food and wine, people show up! ( all laugh) JS: Somebody's gonna show up! It could get in the wrong hands, though! (laughs) KK: After that, a couple of different couples had dinners for us so we cou ld meet people who weren't here during the summer. So, I felt I think we both felt welcomed right away. JS: From the start. KK: Which you know, you were saying with your apartment, you don't know who your neighbors are. And that's very typical. And so, we have much more than that here which is really wonderful. JS: And part of that, like you said, has to do with our age. It just hast to do with the fact that it is a retirement community. Aging folk. KK: In Virginia one of our neighbors all three o f their kids are in college now. So, their home life is more settled. And in fact, she and her husband have joked with each other, "Oh, my G od. Now we have to talk to each other!" ( KK and JS laugh ) There's no kids to buffer. And they're just kidding becaus e they're a really cute couple. But now they have the time to come stand in the middle of the street and chat for ten or fifteen minutes w here before, they were taking this one here an d that one there. Stage of life; w hat you have time for. This is just wonderful. Almost any time of any day you can knock on someone's door as you did when you first came in, and, "Come on in! Sit down! Let's talk!" JM: I was really lucky that worked out! (all laugh) KK: That was very brave. JS: Yeah, that was. JM: I f elt really funny about it. I didn't know if that was okay to do. JS: Well, here, yeah. KK: I think just knocking on someone's door when you don't know them is pretty scary, because I'm basically a shy person. So that you did that and found out, "Oh, com e on in. Yeah, sure sit down." JM: I was really nervous. I thought you could have easily said, "What are you doing? You're upsetting our dogs! Get out of here!" (laughs)
#( " JS: Everything upsets our dogs. But you didn't know that. (laughs) KK: You were am azing. JS: Yes, you were. JM: Thanks. KK: It turned out to all have been a good thing. I mean, what a nice way to lay the groundwork for what you wanted to do : see first if the people are going to be willing to even talk to you. JM: Or, if you think it could, you know? Because I talked to people who felt like, "Yeah this is really important and "Y eah, we're happy to." I felt that there was a need and a want on your end too. It wasn't just me saying, "I think this is really important because I thin k it's important for you and important for me I feel like it's really I feel really good about doing it, and I want to do a really good job. It's a project we're building together. KK: Right. You're the next generation or maybe the second generation carr ying the torch that, "Hey, we're just like everyone else!" You know? I'll never forget this goes outside of your question again, but Maria Shriver did a thing on T.V. where I don't know if it was 20/20 or one of those shows where she went up to Boston [M assachusetts] and interviewed several gay couples, men and women. Some had kids some didn't. And she would go and spend the day with them. And they went to the supermarket; they went to the dry cleaners JM: What you mean they're normal? (laughs) KK: E xactly! They mowed the lawn. A nd she said, "You know, I didn't know what to expect. T his is kind of boring." (laughs) And they said, "Well yeah! It's just normal everyday stuff that ev eryone does. That's what we do! You know in the bedroom it might be a little different but otherwise, we're just normal people. We do normal things. But people don't realize that. And it almost takes I found this at work people really need to know you and know that you're okay, you can carry your weight; you're not some we irdo. Like my nephew w hen he finally came out he had a t shirt : "I'm here, I'm queer, get used to it!" A nd he wore that to work! Oh, my G od, I would never have done that. JM: Where does he work that he can wear t shirts? (laughs) JS: Yeah, exactly! KK : He works the midnight to 8:00 AM shift at a credit union. So there was like nobody there, and he could do that.
#) " But it's you guys coming along behind us. Yes, the people in our generation have laid the groundwork for some of the social movements and ch anges in the laws and things like that, b ut you guys have to pick up where we leave off, because a lot of people especially the older people here are not going to go picket. They're not going to have a demonstration or a sit in. I think a lot of us would because we're still we still feel that strongly and want to do it for ourselves and for the people coming behind us. But you hear too many stories still about suicides because, "I feel different. I know I'm not like everyone else. My family can't accep t me." We don't want that. Having this community is just so wonderful. It's just amazing. Unfortunately, the housing crisis has put a crimp in us finishing building our development. The same thing has happened for RainbowVision 5 another I think, isn't t hat Billie Jean King; 6 she's behind that? JM: I've heard about that, but I'm not sure. KK: Yeah. I know one other gay community I don't know which one cause I didn't follow it up and read about it but they've gone bankrupt because of the housing crisi s, not because there aren't people that want to live in those communities. It's just an unfortunate coincidence. So, only a handful what two or three or four gay communities in the whole c ountry, and that's really sad. There are certainly more people than that. But then we had two guys, one of the hous es that has gone into foreclosure. They moved to be closer to one's job, and they live in a normal community. So, they gave up this gay community feeling for practical reasons. JM: Unfortunately, it's set up such that this can't be practical for some people, because there aren't enough of them So, I think, it's a simple solution. It's about getting people on board and that sort of thing. Sorry for interject ing JS: No, no. You're right. I want to go back to the way you were thinking about people feeling the ki ds feeling like they have to do. I feel as though it's just kind of change. It just happens and then there becomes a sense of entitlement because if you don't know the history that goes before, and you 're where you are, and you're doing what you need to do I don't think the picketing and all what you were saying necessarily has to happen as often and as openly, because I feel as though there's a change. It's moving. It's change and the nature of chang e that is the impetus at this point. I don't think that there's going to be this is just personal this has no documented reasoning, but I believe change is here. It's going to continue. I don't think that people """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""""" 5 RainbowVision Properties, Inc. is a corporation that develops LGBT oriented retirement communities. 6 King is associated with the Billie Jean King Fitness Centers, which are part of RainbowVision's Santa Fe and Palm Springs comm unities.
#* " are going to have to get out there. I mea n, Prop 8 7 today is being voted on, right? [Kenneth] Starr is trying to stop to negate all of the marriages 8 KK: That took place in California. JS: that took place in California. Isn't today the actual day? You know, you can get out but you can't chan ge I believe that there's so much embeddedness in a religious way of life. Until that part gets woven into, and people start realizing that yes, religion's there for a reason and it's a spiritual thing, and you need to beco me raptured by that part of you, but not condemn others because they aren't caught up in your rapture. That type of change needs to happen more now, and that's more personalized. And those kind of segments of our society I don't know for sure, but that's really distressing to me. I beli ev e we are a religion motivated, structured focused society. Everything that we do, whether we realize it or not, has come from some religious thing that's embedded so deeply in our brains W e can't stop ourselves. (laughs) That's really ugly. JM: Remind me when, maybe later when we re just chatting, to talk to you about you 've heard of what's called the Protestant work ethic? 9 JS: Mm hm. JM: Yeah. Th en you know a little about it. Well, I thought it was fascinating. It's something I only recently learned just the idea that so, back in it wasn't Protestantism, it was (inaudible)? Do you know the name of the original religion? I can't think of it. 10 KK: No, I don't. JM: There was, like, a sect of Christianity in Europe where, you know, people are dying of the bubonic plague, and things like that and everyone's thinking, How do you find meaning in your life when everyone's dying? H ow we can be good? How c an we be saved? People were really e ager to have this question answered. So at that time what the prea chers were telling people was W ell, I guess if you're rich, that probably means God likes you. So, i f you're making money, then that means you're preordained ; you're saved. Probably money would be he wouldn't just give money to peopl e; nobody really has """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""""" 7 Proposition 8 was a California ballot proposition on the November 4, 2008 election that eliminated same sex couples' right to marry, which the California Supreme Court had allowed earlier that year. The proposition passed and became effective o n November 5, 2008. 8 JS is referring to Strauss v. Horton, a lawsuit challenging Proposition 8. Kenneth Starr represented the proposition's supporters. Oral arguments were heard on March 5, 2009, but the court did not render its decision until May 26, 20 09. Proposition 8 was upheld, but the 18,000 marriages already performed remain valid. The day the verdict was issued, proposition opponents filed Perry v. Schwarzenegger, a federal case which will go to trial in January 2009. 9 JM is referring to a concep t from Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism 10 Calvinism, which is a theological system that had a major effect on the Protestant Reformation. JM goes on to describe the Calvinist concept of predestination.
$+ " money So, prob ably having money is a good thing. Some people were working hard at that because they felt like, Oh, this s hows me that God has looked out for me KK: Provides. JM: So then it was a different sort of it wasn't working for the big house, a fancy car, or that, it was working to just sa y, Oh I have success; this means I have a sense of security. And over time, you know, that's completely changed, and shifted, and warped into, like, this capitalistic work ethic, which is we have been workin g towards traditionally, these things that we felt at one time it was salvation and now it's warped into the you know, it's the KK: Material JM: The "something" just before th at you know what I mean ? I t's split the common factor. KK: Yeah. One of t he points Juliana was trying to make was the feeling of entitlement. JS: Oh yeah, there's that. KK: I don't think there's anyone our age and that's probably a bad generalization who feels JS: We were already entitled. Each generation has a bulk of ent itlement that's packed in to either their family or society. So, we just have huge stacks of entitlement. But, go ahead. KK: Okay, but that's not where I was going. JS: But you were saying that you didn't think that your generation KK: I don't think tha t people our age and older feel an entitlement for marriage, let's say. We feel socially that we should have the same rights as heterosexual couples in terms of if I'm in intensive care, Juliana's not a family member so she can't get in to see me. Those are the current hospital rules, although some hospitals are really good about that sort of stuff. But I think the younger kids coming up feel that they're entitled to all those rights which people have been trying to get for at least forty years, just the recognition that you are a couple, and as a couple you should have the right to when I die, I want Juliana to have everything, not my brother and my sister b ecause she's my significant other. So, there's a i s that sort of what you were trying to say? T here are a lot of things that the younger generations didn't have to fight for like the Gay Straight Alliance club in your high school, for example. That would never have happened back when we went to high school. But now, kids are still pushing for it. It 's not in every school, but it's one of those things that's become a common practice.
$! " JM: Do you think it's good that it's being pushed for? Or when you say entitlement, do you sort of feel that people aren't respectful and not noticing the work that it t ook previously ? KK: I think that's part of it t hat they feel like they should have that right. I still feel like and I don't know if this is right or wrong I still feel like we're a minority a nd we're not the average, everyday person. We're what 10 per cent or less of the population ? And we need to be respectful of the fact that not everyone's good with that w ith knowing that you're homosexual and that's the lifestyle that you lead; it makes other people uncomfortable. I know from my nephew's perspect ive, "Too bad too sad. You can't deal with it, this is who I am. I'm not going to try to be somebody different for you or anyone else." You know? I don't know if I'm expressing it really well, but JM: I think so. It sounds to me like you're talking abou t the dichotomized strategies. On one end, there's people who, rather than being closeted or ashamed or anything, they're sort of maybe in your face And then on the other ha nd, there's the [ people who] don't want to upset anyone and maybe even err on the side of hurting themselves by being private. KK: Yes. Yes. JM: I think those are definitely laid out as completely polarized options for what we have available within public discourse. KK: Right, and everyone is somewhere on that continuum of out ness or not out ness. JM: Where do you think you guys fall on that continuum, and do you think it's shifted since you've moved here? JS: It hasn't shifted since we moved here, but it's on the continuum? I'd say that we're for being old farts, we're doing okay KK: We're pretty open with everyone. I think for me and I've expressed this for longer in years than Juliana has it's hard for me to be a friend, really a friend, if the other person doesn't know who I really am. And so, I let people know who I was or what I was way before she did. But now, as a couple and I agree, it has nothing to do wit h us being here; this was just an amazing find but over time, we're individually and as a couple much more comfortable about who we are. And go ahead. JS: I will just say that in the beginning, we could have cared less. It didn't (laughs) I mean I didn't even care in the beginning, when KK: To be out, you mean?
$# " JS: Well, we were very open in the beginning. It's very hard not to touch each other and to be want to go places and all of that. But then we realized it was for the long term, I think, and it was just one of those things that was kind of: "Hm. It's real." This isn't, you know, just going to be for a year or two or three. So, it became I kind of receded b eca use JM: That's interesting JS: Yeah. JS: t hat it's not linear, it's not that you become more comfortable and blossoming over time JS: No. JM: that it's made you even more conservative. JS: I did, and it was more protecting of what I considered my life's job and how my family felt about things. So, yes I think when we first got together, when love blossoms there's just no way you can contain it, I don't think. I really think it's a wonderful, wonderful thing. It's something that you fall back on too, which is even better. But when the reality sets in, and you realize this is for the long term, yes, I did. I pulled back. I was less willing for her to go out and say, "Well, hello. I'm Katherine and I'm gay." (laughs) "I'm a lesbian." No, I wasn' t real thrilled about that. She would be more open about things like that. Could we kind of settle? Let's make this so that both of us are comfortable." KK: ( mimicking ) "Who did you tell today?" JS: Well, yeah, and that's what I would ask her. "Okay, so tell me how your day went." (laughs) KK: And now I don't have to do it, because she does it. JS: Cause I do it, yeah. And then, what happened when I told you about that experience with the child and then my family crisis, things just kind of fell into place. As soon as I let my parents know excuse me, my mother know I have not turned back since then a s far as my comfort about myself and who I care about and who I love. N o, I don't have a problem with that at this point in my life. But yes, there was. JM: I'm just curious. When you do find yourself telling people, what kinds of words do you use? Do you say, "I'm gay?" Do you say, "I'm a lesbian?" Do you have a preference?
$$ " JS: I don't say "queer." I never liked that word. I usually say, "This is my part ner and we've been together for thirty three years," or thirty years or twenty years or whatever it was at the time. I usually refer to Katherine as my partner. I do not say "lesbian," usually. I do not say "gay." It usually the only reason I tell someon e is because they've asked me a question. I don't just, (mimicking) "Well, hi! This is my friend, Katherine! She is my partner! I do love her!" No, I don't go right into it She's usually my partner and I usually state the number of years, and that's tha t. And usually their mouths drop open and go, "Oh! Well, I guess you are friends (laughs) o r something like that. KK: ( mimicking ) I guess you are close." JS: Yeah, that's what that lady said. (mimicking) "I guess you are close! (laughs) KK: At the s chool. JS: She was real cute about it. I mean she was real cute. I've never had a bad, you know I haven't had someone shoot fire at me, or get a nasty note afterwards. And I never really care whether I'm going to or not, to be honest with you at this st age KK: I don't use the word "lesbian." During the time that I was in my teens and twenties, it was a bad word. It had a bad connotation. Just like "queer." JS: Mm hm. JM: Right. KK: "Lesbo." JS: See, I didn't even know "lesbian" till Katherine and I got together. I didn't. KK: And then, we have one friend whose mother thinks she's Lebanese. JS: Yeah, she's Lebanese. ( all laugh ) KK: Can't get the word right. "Lebanese." I tend to use the word "gay because that was the word that was accept ed way b ack then. JS: And we know that's changed. KK: And now we know that the men prefer to be called "gay" and the women prefer to be called "lesbians." JS: Is that still the way? See, I don't know.
$% " JM: I mean, the terms are hard to keep up with. I think to some extent you know, y ou we re talking about how painful it was to hear words like "queer." Now, some people have taken on that word and sort of felt they can appropriate the meaning and change it for themselves, and they say "queer" in a way that's empowe ring to them. JS: Ah. JM: And I've heard all kinds of words, people wanting to describe themselves. JS: Okay, but like what? JM: You know, like you'll hear "boi," like b o i : a more masculine woman. KK: "Dyke" is the term. JM: "Dyke." Gosh, now I can 't I don't know, there's just so many. KK: "Boi." See, I didn't know that. JS: Yeah, that's good to know. JM: It's interesting. It may be generational. KK: And the same with almost gender identity. I think back in the fifties [1950s] and the sixties [1960s] there were a lot of couples men and women who felt like one had to take on the persona of the male, and the other took on the persona of the female. JS: But that's changed a lot. KK: Well, it has changed a lot JS: Thank goodness. KK: but the re's still people who do that. You'll see maybe you've seen in person ; I tend to see it in a magazine. You know, one in a dress whether it's male or female one in a dress, and one in a suit. And I never felt that way. I never felt like I wanted to JS: Y ou just always wanted to be the suit! KK: Well, yeah. ( JS and KK laugh) I wanted to be a boy because there were so many advantages l ike you could pee standing up. JM: (laughs) KK: Or outside.
$& " JS: See, you do have gender identity! KK: But I don't thin k I ever dressed in male clothing all the time. JS: I wouldn't (inaudible). KK: I dress to be comfortable. And whether I'm more masculine or more feminine, I only have what I have to work with. So, you know, I just dress to be comfortable. JM: Right. KK: And other people who we've known over the years have that gender t hat role n ot gender, but role identity, I think. JS: Yeah, that was quite the thing. That's the way that group was. KK: Yeah. JM: They talk about how in the fifties [1950s] as part o f, you know, the gay bar culture definitely developed into a butch/fem thing where the people could recognize each other and a certain type of partner and that sort of thing. JS: Is that right? JM: And they talk ed about how it's waned, but then I mean I know a lot of couples that fit that stereotype. JS: Well, and see, I don't see JM: I think it may be coming back I don't know. JS: Everything old is new. There you go. Nothing new under the sun. KK: We have evolved and it started off pretty earl y in our relationship i nto, like, who does the cooking and who does the outside stuff. She's cooking I'm outside. JS: I don't like the heat. It had nothing to do with me being female or not. I never did it at home ; my sister did it. (laughs) KK: Right. And I enjoy cooking, but not every night. And I'm not that good at it as Juliana can attest. JS: No, you're very good at it. She can do it. KK: I don't mind doing the dishes a nd she doesn't like to do the dishes.
$' " JS: I don't mind doing the dishes. K K: So, we just over time you just get into a habit. JS: A rhythm. KK: Yeah. JM: But you don't think that that expresses any sort of a gendered you don't know that that's KK: I don't associate it that way. Yeah, I don't feel that way about it. JS: Bu t society does. KK: Some people may. JS: Society does, you know. And that's oka y if they want to say that, but it doesn't matter. KK: I dated, very briefly before I met Juliana (JS laughs) a woman who was proud of being recognized as a male when she we nt to work each day : t he way she dressed, the way she spoke. JS: Who was this? Do you remember her name? KK: Her name was (), I think. A nd she lived up on Long Island (in accent) "Long Island." And she was getting ready to be in a Mr. Universe 11 contest a nd we parted ways. That was just beyond what I was ready for at that time. And in a lot of ways, I don't get it. I try to understand it but it's just like men who do drag. I try to understand it. JS: But you find that interesting. KK: I'm fascinated b y it, and I love to see it. But I don't understand what's in their head that makes them feel they have to do that, you know? It's like being born in the wrong body. I never felt that. I just felt like it would be so much easier to be a boy. JM: For practi cal reasons n ot necessarily because you want ed to be. Right. KK: Right. I remember many times and I've told Juliana this I would stand in the bathroom and comb my hair the w ay my brother's hair was combed, just to see what it would look like. But I would never I shouldn't say never ." I don't think I would ever be attracted to a woman who was a dyke. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""""" 11 A bodybuilding compet ition There are several events called Mr. Universe, which are associated with particular bodybuilding federations.
$( " JM: Were you at that time, though w hen you were dating her? JS: Yeah. KK: No. JS: You weren't? Why were you dating her? KK: It was just something to do JS: Oh, okay. KK: At that point in my life I was just kind of floating around. JM: I think there's also something about recognizability. When you're not sure who you can talk to, if there's somebody who's obviously gay KK: Well, that's true. I thi nk a lot of us and I'm including myself you wouldn't know unless you asked, or had the conversation, b ecause we j ust and that was our generation, just try to fit in. You know? So, my nephew, like I said he's older than you ; he's thirty seven. He doesn't f eel the need to assimilate. People have to accept him the way he is. And for the most part it's worked for him. He's very effeminate although he's not into cooking, or decorating, or any of those things. He's kind of a plaid shirt kind of guy. But there's no question once you talk to him, like you said, that he's gay. So, you would like you just said, you would know right away. If you're also gay, he would be a good one to talk to. JM: It's interesting, because I feel like we probably get a lot of advanta ges. I 'm say ing "we because it seems like I mean, people probably you said, don't identify you right away as, "Oh, you guys are definitely gay," right? KK: Right. JM: You have to explain it. And so, I feel it's interesting. I have the same situation where I probably look straight to most people. KK: You did to us when you came in. (laughs) JM: It's interesting to me because a lot of times it's nice. You don't have to worry about it. JS: It's relaxed.
$) " JM: But then other times I feel really bumme d out about it because I think that I'm not recognized. If I go to a bar, a gay bar, and peo ple ask me what I'm doing there, I just okay KK: Huh. JM: It depends on the situation you're in. I feel like I am constantly coming out to people. Not because I want to be, but because I think there's a greater need becau se of the way I look or don't look, whatever it might be. KK: Just so they know who you are. And you know. JM: To be understood. You know? But not that I I don't know that I always feel it's al wa ys I something that I need to. Like, I would do it in a way where maybe you'd described, you know, (inaudible) I don't know if that feels like that to me. But it's more you probably know it needs to be because people make that assum ption. "Oh, did your boyfriend you know Well, my girlfriend That kind of thing. JS: "How many children do you have?" We get that all the time KK: Mm hm And grandchildren a t this point. JS: Especially when we're at [the gym] (laughs) All the girls down there. KK: Yeah, and there are people that we meet that we wonder, because they seem to be by themselves. JS: We don't wonder. She wonders. KK: Oh, I wonde r. She could care less. Because I'd like to approach them and talk to them. There's a woman at the dog park wh o made it a point several times to talk to one or both of us, because we almost never stand together. And she finally came to a point where she mentioned her partner, [a woman] So, it'd be nice to just get that over with and be able to talk to people open ly. But again, there's a comfort factor, and need to know, like you said. How many people really need to know? JM: There s something really and maybe it's also because of my age () And so, maybe it's just that but t here is something that I am really, m aybe, relieved when I feel like I've been recognized by somebody. Li ke, you know, someone gives me the look? You know, just a look, and they know. And it's like (sighs) "Okay!" JS: A little more comfortable. JM: And I don't know I know that women who l ook more masculine must have a tougher time with it because people are giving them different kinds of looks all the time, and they can't choose whether or not to come out.
$* " JS: Oh, yeah. That is a strong woman. I would say. KK: Right, we JS: And the me n who have chosen or who see themselves in a more feminine side, it's tough. That's got to be rough. And I just love it. See, you don't understand it. I don't understand it. But I just think it's a wonderful thing when you live your life the way you need t o live it. So, I don't need to understand it. I need to support it in as many ways as I can. KK: But we've known people who if you could have bet, you would've bet all your money that they're gay b ecause of the way they look or the way th ey talk or act. And they're not. JS: I know. Katherine will say, "Oh, yeah!" And I'll say, "Oh, I don't know." And I've been right as many times as she's been right. So, you really can't tell e specially, with women our age. We grow whiskers, we (laughs) KK: Start to l ook like a man. JS: Everybody cuts their hair! (laughs) KK: Yeah. But it was interesting, the point that you made. How do you recognize one another? It's like we should all have a pin or something. JS: What, a pink triangle 12 ? KK: Yeah, like they did in [Nazi] Germany. Because you don't know. And does it matter? It matters to me if you want to be a friend really a friend, n ot just an acquaintance. So, it just makes it easier. JS: See, I find it harder. Like, right now is the best time well, it was the b est time in my life I'll put it that way to make friends t o make real friends. When you're living close, when you're young and you're just doing, and you're finding all of the interests that you enjoy, a nd you find people who enjoy those same things. And that's how I've maintained friends through my life. I don't see myself as making a whole I mean we're friendly down here. And this is a really wonderful community. But unless something dramatic happens, I don't think you have the opportunity to really be come friends. You know, when you're growing up (laughs) there's a crisis every minut e for some of your friends. And you just learn so much about each other then. Right now, I have old friends and I have new peopl e that I'm getting to know. But it could take forever at this """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""""" 12 The p ink t riangle was one of the Nazi concentration camp badges, used to identify homosexual male prisoners. It is also used as a gay pri de symbol.
%+ " age, because we've become so cloaked with our feelings and with our heart. You know? It gets only broken too many times. JM: It sounds like maybe you're saying for you being gay is a less salient issue when it comes to making a frien dship. It's more about the other conditions JS: Exactly. Yes It does happen though. (laughs) Well, not all of my close friends are gay lesbians. It has more to do with time spent than what the person feels about themsel f sexually or their sexuality. J M: Do you think you'd be as happy then, in another community t hat w as small like this, same set up, but 90 percent straight couples? Would you feel comfortable? JS: No, and I'll tell you why: it's because of the wild card th e straight men who believe th at they are studs of the world. I find it very uncomfortable to be in a situation where sexuality even though I could still be attracted to people in our community here I'm not really, but nobody hits on each other here. And I find it very distracting for men to do that. I really do. So, straight men a nd my brothers (laughs) that t hey think that they're they can have KK: Their brains are otherwise located. (laughs) JS: Whatever it is. No, they just have this masculine thing that there is a need in some i nstances to, you know, get to know people in a way that's different from becoming a friend. So I don't think that I would appreciate an over fifty five community as much, even if they had the same buddy system. I don't think that I would be as friendly. K K: Yeah. It's interesting. I read a study of how men relate to women, particularly in the workplace. And if they can't reach you on that sexual level, they do n't know how to talk to you. So if they can't flirt or whatever it is they do which I'm just I tot ally ignore them they're uncomfortable. So it takes, I think a man with a certain attitude: confident enough in himself not to be upset that I'm not lusting after him. You know what I mean? JM: Yeah. You probably found with your jobs and experience that you had to set the tone, by being maybe overly l ike erring on the side of not being as friendly? I think that's what I end up doing in the workplace e specially if I'm working in a restaurant or something. I'll be a real friendly person, but then if it's a guy, then I assume maybe incorrectly maybe that's conceited but I assume that they like me, and I'll be more standoffish But otherwise, I'd like to be their buddy or something. JS: Well, and that's uncomfortable. It's not all men. I hate to make that generalization. But I find in mixed company that there are just different ways of communicating, a nd I don't have that skill! (laughs) I mean, I have the skill, but I don't want to have to use the skill to move around in that type of environment in my rel axed time. If I were going to go to a potluck dinner and I was going to have to worry about Jane 's husband coming over and talking a little too much, Jane gets upset, and you know. I find that to be
%! " KK: So that part of it is nice. A nd also JS: So, no, I wouldn't like that type of community. KK: Most of the people here I'm guessing what, t hree quarter s, probably ? are couples, not singles. There are several singles, but they're mostly couples who have been together at least I think eleven years is proba bly the shortest amount of time that I can think of. But there are people who have been together longer than we have. Like the guys they've been together forty years. I mean, how amazing is that? JS: And they sit in that garage and talk and talk and talk KK: Totally engrossed in each other's conversations. JS: It's just amazing. We ? No! (laughs) KK: Not to that extent. JS: No. (laughs) KK: I take that as another layer of security. Either that or we're too old for anybody to be after us. (laughs) Th ere's probably some of that too! JS: No! I don't know that and we are really just going on past gatherings like that. Who knows ? T hings may have changed. But, I don't know. KK: Well, I think it's stage of life because the people that I knew when I met Juliana were all, like, ten years older than I. JS: And pretty oh, the women, you mean? KK: Yes. JS: Okay. This was wild! KK: I was in my twenties, they were in their thirties. And they were trading partners back and forth. JS: And they only had this one little circle of friends. JM: Not much has changed. JS: Oh, r eally? Oh, gosh. (laughs) KK: And so, we're more settled, again, where we are in our lives.
%# " JS: But with that circle of friends, I 've got to say this : we would go to the Christmas party. We would go to different things b ut we didn't socialize with them that much. It was just that we knew if we needed something, there was always somebody there. A couple of them we'd do things with. But we would go to the Christmas party k nock knock up on the door. The las t year I'd seen So and so with S o and so. And Katherine knew this group. I didn't really know them. JM: So every year, they'd [swap partners]? (laughs) JS: Yeah! (laughs) And inside of this circle! And I was stunned a bsolutely stunned. But what it did was it just was like you were looking through this pinhole and that was the circle of friends in terms of the world. KK: And they traded two couples absolutely traded partners. That just freaked me out. (laughs) But none of that goes on [ in this community ]. I mean, we're just JS: That we know of! KK: We're past that. JS: I don't want to know about it if it does go on! (laughs) KK: Yeah, I guess that's true, too. So, that's another nice part about the community. Everyone's settled an d calm. JM: I have to say it's really nice to see that. Because I think, even though I feel solid and grounded and all that, I feel like my friends are just doing that whole crazy circle thing. JS: But it happens. It happens. JM: So it's nice to see th at for the most part, people here seem happy and together forever. KK: Yeah. I'd say we're really lucky. JS: Well, when you're young, I guess that's the best time if you're going to do those kinds of things. (inaudible) I never did it, so I don't know. ( laughs) But that was that. JM: Gosh, I think I got off tangent! JS: We do that. JM: (laughs) So you said that you looked this up online, right? Can you tell me what you did you do just like a Google search, or ?
%$ " JS: Yeah. I did "over fifty five gay communities." That's all I did. JM: At that time, were there others yet? Or was this the only one that popped up? JS: This was the only one. We were coming to Florida, and so I wanted to see if there was something down here. And it said that it was the o ldest [gay retirement community], and I like historic stuff. (laughs) JM: All of a decade old! (laughs) JS: Yeah! All of ten years old! (laughs) We happened to be coming to the pause in recording JS: I just did the Google search. We were going to be d own here with friends. We were staying at [nearby location]. We knew we wanted to look because this is a lifelong dream of Katheri ne's, to live in Florida. For me to have found this community was a wonderful thing. So we came, and like we said before, we l ooked. We left didn't we buy right then? KK: Yeah, well, we came back, like, three times. JS: During that weekend, though. It was just during the weekend before we l e f t We had made our purchase. We were sold. And no, we never checked. There are apparen tly a number of smaller communities or maybe larger. I don't know whether they're larger or smaller. KK: One i n Arizona. JS: No, there's one down in Florida, just south of us. JM: There's an all women's community. JS: Yeah w hich I would be interested in just checking out. But I don't know that I'd want to move, because I like it [here] The only thing I don't like about here is that though it's diverse in that we have males and females and that's a good thing, we have this is just a white community. W hite. But what you do is you're drawn to what you're comfortable with, too, I suppose. And our community at home, it's an eclectic community. It's very diverse in culture A nd probably (laughs) there are more lesbians than we know there. But it's more cult urally diverse. I would even like that, if that were possible. I don't even know if that is. KK: We, uh, will probably not stay here b ut not because of the community, because we both love the community. This is not my dream house. I want a pool.
%% " JS: And if they had a pool here, a community pool, she would be okay with that. But not in a well, yeah KK: That'd be better. JS: a regular community. You said before, and I'm only saying this because you said, "If there was a community [pool] on the property here for just us," our community, then she would like that. We can have a a nyway. Good. I don't need to say that. KK: So we want to stay close by, probably [nearby city ]. We want to be near [ the beach ] because we both just love it. So, it wouldn't be beca use of the community that w e'd be leaving us, it's b ecause this is just not what we have always called our terminal house the last house, hopefully, that we will be in and we ll stay there until we kick it [die]. JM: How do you feel about maybe living in an all women's community? Is that something you might like? KK : I didn't know there was one. That 's kind of interesting. JM: The one that I know of in F or t Myers is called Carefree Boulevard. KK: Oh yes, I do know about that! JM: But I don't know if t hey 'd have bigger houses or probably smaller houses than here. KK: Yeah, because most people don't want to deal with the outside stuff. JS: Well, a nd most of us aren't well off. I mean, we're not well off. Women in general don't make that much money to be able to have big gorgeous houses and such. KK: Well, it's not so much big, it's just layout and pool JS: Yeah, for me, it's design. KK: But we have here very well educated several residents have their doctorates were doctors. Two ladies down the street are both physicians. So in that way, it's not very diverse but I don't as long as people are nice, I don't really care about that stuff. It's not that big a deal. But just to have the house that we both have always planned on having, that could chan ge JS: No, it's in the place. It's not the house, it's in the place b ecause you definitely want a pool A nd so we both committed to that, a nd we committed to moving down here. (laughs) KK: That was big.
%& " JS: That was huge! KK: Juliana likes the change of seasons. JS: Yes, I really like the D.C. area. Anyway JM: I thought yesterday was chilly. Too much Floridian in me! JS: (laughs) Oh gosh. See, I love it when it when it gets chilly here down here. We have to have you know now it has to be very fun ctional. That's for me. But for her, she has to have th at pool placed in the sun. You're going to have to have more sun; that's all there is to it. KK: We have such big trees we have no sun. JS: B ut that was because I wanted it, c ause in the summer time it gets so hot here. KK: So, you never know. We may end up just right here. JS: If they got a pool, I think you would. KK: It's a possibility, because, we like the people so much. If we live d a few miles away we would still want to keep in touch with the people here. JS: Yes, with a number of the people here. KK: We'd still consider them our friends because they're just such a wonderful group of people. JS: Because we're retired, and we're more flexible. Like yesterday W e' d been trying for month s to get together with this couple of women and we've decided that the time that we can get together is for breakfast, and it's on a day when they're both off. And so, we can be really flexible. But we ended up yesterday spending half a day! We went over to [nearby location] ; there's a place called ( ) 's. It's a real eclectic little place maybe two hundred yards off the beach. And [we] just ended up walking down the beach and getting to know them so much better. You know, that's the way that you develop a friendship. You got to do the time. (laughs) You got to do the time. JM: Jailer's philosophy! ( all laugh) JS: That's right. That's the way I get linked into you KK: We spent like Juliana walked with one a mile down and then we changed partners and I walked s o that we could both talk to each of them. It was really nice.
%' " JS: They're both so different. I'm just taken with both of them, just simpl y because they're just different. Just different. KK: One of them's a little shy, I think it's fair to say And so, when there's a community event, she will never be there. JS: Well, rarely. Sometimes. KK: She just she knows she's going to be uncomfortable, so she just doesn't put herself in that situation. So, her partner's there by herself. But I think it 's good because it works for them. JS: It's all part of it. Yeah. KK: You know? It's not because I've done this to Juliana, "If you don't go, I'm not going to go." JS: Yeah. Ooh! KK: She gets t he big guilt trip. JS: And I go and have a good time, u sually. Because, you know, older child, you just want to please. (laughs) But I get to a point where I resent it, yeah, (laughs) so I don't go. We've gotten to a point now where I because there are so many activities. JM: Really? How often would you say? JS: Well, they come in bunches. We just had the little Mardi Gras thing. Well, next week there's gonna be St. Patrick's Day. Each time that there's one event, or a holiday or anniversary or something, then there's another event. And it gets put on the cal endar. The calendar usually only has the main events that invite everybody. But when it's individual events then you may have like every Friday night we go to we don't go to it, but Katherine wi ll go most of the time T hey have movie night. KK: Rebecca that just came. It's just Netflix 13 but you know. JS: You sit and you enjoy it. You chat beforehand; you have a drink, or a cola, or whatever you feel like having and just get to know people better. It's part of doing the time. "You've got to do the ti me, Juliana! befor e I get to know them that well. KK: Yeah, so there are times when I'll go and she won't go. JS: But that was tough. You really, really, really fought that. You've gotten to where """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""""" 13 Netflix is an online DVD rental service.
%( " KK: Getting over it. JS: You're getting better. JM: Do you think it's harder then making friends with single people here? JS: I don't know, c ause once you get there, you're separate. You know? So, although you know that you're there individually but, no, I don't think so b ecause there's so many gatherings and times when you get together that you just KK: You're just part of the group. JS: I t's an acceptance. Like Rebecca, she s always there. She is always there. And I never think about who's together and who's single. I'm just glad to see everybody. Bec ause when I do go, I go to have a good time. KK: There's one guy who's single who doesn't go to everything. He only goes where and we're one of the lucky people who i f we have something, he'll come. B ut JS: He goes with the guy things too. He'll do the guy things. He has his own little group, and then he'll go to bigger things. He's busy though ; he works. KK: He's the assistant house manager at (), so, he works in the evenings, obviously. So, he's home during the day, but JS: He's been hysterical to get to know. Just thinking about him makes me smile! (laughs) KK: He used to do drag in his younger days. And he has these series of four prints on canvas on his wall. And I thought it was Marilyn Monroe. It was him JS: When he was in his show. KK: Th ey photographed it and us ed Photoshop different colors. JS: Andy Warhol, kind of. 14 JM: Oh, neat! KK: Yeah. And, it's him. JS: (laughs) He's a mess! Well, darling, I know you have more to do with your day. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""""" 14 Referring to Andy Warhol's painting Marilyn Diptych which features fifty images of Marilyn Monroe based on a single photograph.
%) " JM: Yeah, I'm sorry I've taken up all your ti me! JS: Oh, it's not for us! KK: No, we just want to make sure you get through all your questions. JM: I w as wondering this is one of my last questions. How do you sort of because in Florida, you can't I don't think you can make a law saying this is gay or lesbian only, right? KK: Correct. JM: How do you keep the spirit of the how do you keep it a mos tly gay and lesbian community? Do people get to vote on who gets to move in, or is it just ? KK: A couple of interesting things have happened. But when we came to visit (dog growls) That's gonna be fun when you do the transcriptions. When you come to look at the houses, ( ) who has been the realtor tells you it's a gay community. Obviously, if it's two men or two women he doesn't have that conversa tion, but they will ask, "Are there straight people here?" And there are two well, one's gone in to foreclosure, but there's one married couple that lives in the back A nd they're just as happy as they can be, because everybody's so nice. So, the people w ho are obviously a married couple, he has to inform that, you know, most of the people here are gay, and if you are considering buying a home here, you need to be all right with that. Some people are, and some people aren't. So that's how it's do ne, beca use you're right: you cannot legally restrict it to only gays. JM: Do you know if there was anybody when [the realtor] had that conversation and they asked were there any straight couples and he says, "Yeah, there's a couple, one or two ," do you think the re was anybody who didn't move here because of that? JS: That I don't know. KK: He would know that more than we would know that. I'm not aware of a case of that happening. I know that people have driven through the neighborhood and they have no clue. And so, they may call him and come back, or something, and then you never hear from them again. JS: Yeah, he may do it on the phone. That's the first contact they have, and that makes it a lot easier. It's not face to face. He's not saying he's gay. He might give them the Website, because that would make it a little easier. (laughs)
%* " KK: Some of the pictures. When we first came here, all I could think was, "Why would a straight couple want to live here?" And the one house that is now in foreclosure, their son is gay. So, it wasn't a stretch for them to be here. The other couple is younger and they just want to JS: They're not younger. KK: They're not younger? JS: No. They just look younger. KK: They do. (JS laughs) And they're fine with it. They're comfo rtable. JS: They come to some of the gatherings Not all of them, just some of them. KK: And everybody's fine with it. They're just nice people. JS: But, if they [straight people] choose to move in, then fine. Just like with the rental thing that's a bi g deal to me. I really think that that's an imposition on somebody's standing in the community j ust basis, because they don't have enough money to be able to handle it. If we could tweak it in one way politics, but I'd be fine with that. KK: Yeah. Peopl e don't realize that once a house goes into foreclosure, everybody's home value goes down. So, it could have been prevented at least with one couple down the street. They requested in writing for permission to rent. You know we have two different homeown ers associations; us and the people in the back are separate. The people up here are the people who have been here since the beginning and they said, "Absolutely not. No rentals." So, that's unfortunate. JS: Yes, it was. KK: As far as do they have to re quest anything in writing two gentlemen have put a contract on the house that's foreclosed. They actually did write a letter to the community asking to please be accepted. And we were like, "Well how soon can you be here?" (laughs ) You know? And they're t wo men; it was a gay couple. But they felt that they wanted to introduce themselves, I guess, and JS: And their dogs. KK: And their dogs, yes. JS: We were not asked to write a letter asking for acceptance. Ours happened like overnight. "Bing ba bing! C h h!" We were here! KK: We aren't sure. And I'm on the board of directors for the trust. And we aren't sure why they wrote that letter, or if they were asked to write it by [realtor].
&+ " JS: And that could have happened. It could be part of the stuff that' s another thing to ask [the realtor], because we don't know that. JM: Actually, I haven't be en able to really talk to him. I called him the one time, and he told me to just try to talk with ( ) I don't kn ow what he wanted to do with it. So I don't know. KK: He's kind of in a funky place as the realtor and nothing selling. He's seriously going to get back in the job market and try to get a full time job because he made almost no money last year. That's really tough. JS: Right. And his partner's not wel l. There are lots of reasons why he might not want to. KK: They re like thirty years difference in age between the two of them. JM: Wow. KK: Yeah. That's big. JS: I think that he tends you know, some of the guys here in terms of community, I will say t hat the guys that were here in the beginning t he ones that started it, the ones that had the block parties and everything they haven't been as accepting of having women in the community. That's one reason why we felt so good about the boys the guys on each side being so wonderful with us. They've just been dear. I mean, I can't even say it differently just dear. KK: Yeah. A lot of the people just wanted the boys that were here in the beginning. Because it was different. JS: They still do. KK: When we we ren't here it was different. JS: The new people a re asking for things to transition, like the rent thing. And they didn't want that to happen; they want it to be the way it was. The scary thing is, nothing's the way it was whether you want it to be or n ot. (laughs) So anyway, we don't know about the letters. We don't know what recommendations were made or anything like that to any board before we got here. We know we didn't do any of it. JM: That's pretty much all my questions. Is there anything I have n't asked or mentioned that you want ed to talk about? JS: Let's see
&! " JM: Funny thing is that with how many questions I had, you've covered them all just in conversation. (laughs) JS: Yeah. JM: (inaudible) KK: Mm hm ( all laugh) JS: We meander. We ten d to meander JM: That's good. And that's the best way to do it! JS: Yeah, and it comes out. There was something that I thought was kind of KK: You said something about the a ging in p lace? JS: Well, we were told when we moved here that there was supp osed to be a fac ility and aging in p lace was going to be a big push. That has since come into light that it is not going to really happen. They put in for governmental what are those things called? KK: Nonprofit Nonprofit organization status. JS: And ha ve received it, or some form of it something about it. But there's been no action. Part of that's because the vote went out and most of the people did not want a facility here that dealt with the entire surroundings [nearby city ], [nearby city ] area stric tly for gays. And I don't even know exactly what it is, other than maybe ambulances all the time. KK: Well, it was because we didn't feel like we wanted to build something that was used by other people with our resources. JM: Right. JS: Well, and when w e purchased, they told us that it was for our community. JM: And then later, they wanted to add the whole JS: Right A nd that s the only way that we could do the non profit for it to become more of a global thing. I mean, maybe it will change; m aybe a ll that will change. KK: Part of the survey was, "If there was an assisted living place, would you use it?" And most of the people said no. They would just as soon stay in their houses.
" JS: Yeah A nd so if there could be an area where people were assiste d but it wasn't a nursing home situation. But they would go from that place out and assist in the community or people could be taken to that place and cared for during the day and then brought back to their homes. So, a ging in p lace is huge, I would say, in terms of the way that I can't even think of anyone that's against it. KK: Right. P art of the original thought was gay men in particular do not want to be placed in a nursing home scenario because the nurses, male or female, all assume they're HIV posit ive and they treat them differently and won't touch them. So, that's such indignity. JM: Absolutely. KK: So, that was part of the original thinking, that there would be a graduated care facility. However much care you needed, you could get. But then when since we purchased, they did that and Rebecca did it sent out the questionnaire: "Would you use it?" And most of the people said no, which means let's say you build a twenty bed facility JS: You've got to keep the beds filled. KK: W e might use two or t hree of them. JM: Okay. KK: And who's going to fill the rest of them in terms of staffing and medical support? So, I think they have gotten the 5013c 15 or something, nonprofit designation. But there's no mo ney to build anything like that, a nd it would b e a long time coming. JS: Right. And most of the people that are here would like a facility but something that would assist them to stay where they are instead of having to go out in a nursing home situation. Anyway, that's that. KK: I think that's the only other thing that we didn't talk about before ; that was part of the original plan for the community to have that assistance if needed. We've had two of the people who passed away, went from here to hospice. JS: Hospice is wonderful. It doesn't matte r who you are. Are you familiar? KK: Do you know about it? JM: Is that the in home? I'm not sure. KK: No. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""""" 15 501(c)(3), a particular t ype of tax exempt organization.
&$ " JS: You can have in home hospice care, but when you get really so unwell you have to go in to one of their facilities. JM: Oh, okay. JS: It is nursing home ish, but they accept anyone that you have to have the doctor has to have said that you only have six months. Now you can it can extend forever f or well, however long. But the doctor has to say that you have six months left. And then they wil l give you in home care, but there comes a point in care that the nurses can only do if they're in actually a bed in different places, you know. KK: Like ( ) at the end of the street. He had a nurse coming two or three times a week. But he got to a place where they couldn't manage his pain. JS: Right. KK : Well, he had cancer. So, he stood it as long as he could stand it a nd then he went into hospice. They just made him comfortable. JM: That's great. JS : They were wonderful. KK: Yeah, they'r e just amazing. The stuff that they see every day is stuff that we see once every few years to try to deal with it. It's a wonderful way to exit. You're not in a hospital, you're with your friends and your family, and you're not in pain. And it's a wonderf ul thing. And that's of course along the lines of what that assisted facility was supposed to provide: the next level of care that a partner couldn't give. Because, you know, we're both getting older. A couple of the guys in the back, one has his legs are really bad because of diabetes. And his partner at eighty three is having to do laundry all the time to just keep up with thing s. It's exhausting for the well partner. J S: The caregiver. KK: Yeah, the caregiver. Whatever. Well, on that happy note! JS : Yeah! (laughs) JM: Okay, do you have any question for me? JS : I'm going to! (laughs) But I don't know what they are right now. JM: Definitely feel free to call or e mail.
&% " JS: How do you feel about social networking like Facebook or Twitter or wha tever? JM: (laughs) I was expecting a serious question! JS : No, no, no! (laughs) What do you think about that? Cause you know, I have students, like I said before, and I'm finding out that some of them are gay, and I'm thinking to myself, "Well, I guess they really don't care." Everybody knows. JM: Because they put it on their Facebook. JS: Yea h, put it on their Facebook. "I'm married to [ another woman]." And I'm thinking to myself, "Well, [ former student ]? Check it out! You go, girl!" And so, you have the level of whatever ; however you want the world to perceive you. JM: I'm not sure I mean, maybe this is true or not for those people, but I know some people just put it up as, like, a joke with their friends when they're really not married. JS: Ah. Okay. JM: So i t might be something like that. But I do some people who are out completely on Facebook I'm not, because I teach and so I'm not sure about if I guess maybe I don't know M aybe I start from the middle of the road when you talk about the continuum b ecause I don't when I'm out, you know if we're out at a restaurant or something, I'm not going to act differently than I would at home. And so, you know, like, we're affectionate and stuff like that I'm not going and I've been out at dinner a nd then at the end of the night the person who gave us the check says, "Oh, you're my teacher, by the way for [a specific class] ." So, it's kind of like, O kay. Like a little bit of a JS: (laughs) Oh! (makes sound effect) JM: But it s one of those thing s that it' s gonna come up, and I'm prepared for that sort of And I know that ll happen, and they probably and I mean, if anybody has any idea about what's going on when I lecture, it's usually something that's about "being gay," usually. You know, if I t alk about the family, I'm going to talk about okay, how is this idea of the family very heteronormative and who are we leaving out in the way we define family? Who does that leave out? When we talk about sex, we talk about birth control say, if you're he tero sexually active, blah blah blah. You know what I mean? I say things that if you we re paying attention it'd be obvious But I don't know that students are that aware, especially if they're straight ; they 're probably just like "Oh okay, she's being s ensitive." You know what I mean? So, I'm not out on Faceboo k. A nd also part of that is that I have well, part of that, a big part of that is that I'm friends with my great grandpa on Facebook, friends with some of my cousins, and family members that I'm no t out to, either.
&& " JS: I'm not asking JM: Yeah, I know JS: But I see what you mean. JM: I feel like I should be. JS: I see what you mean. And some people do use it as a joke. Like my nephew is oh L ord W ell anyway, he's on Facebook and he's one of the reasons why I wanted to be on there. I wish I could think he was teasing (laughs) about a lot of the stuff that he puts on it. JM: Yeah. I a ctually looked for you but there were like I don't know, twenty JS: Eight hundred. (laughs) JM: So, I didn't know who was who anymore. JS: Let's see M y picture now is a small little person under [the] Strawberry Fields 16 sign in New York. (laughs) JM: I'll have to check back. I did look, though. (laughs) JS: Let's see. How else could you look it up? Let 's see. KK: Can you look by e mail address? JM: Probably. JS: Y eah, y ou could probably by e mail with u s. Yeah. [ My former place of employment ] B ut anyway I don't really have anything on there that says I know Katherine and I are on there in some of my profile photos b ut I haven't been open. I'm not open out there. My nephew and my niece know. My whole family knows. JM: It's interesting. It would be I mean I have lots of pictures of ( ), too, but it's not on the "In a Relationship" list I t doesn 't say "I nterested in women." But i t would be the ultimate coming out cause, I mean, everybody from high school would know. JS: That's right. Oh yeah. Yeah, baby! JM: That would probably be the most public way to do it if you were wanting to send a message. JS: Well, that social networking s a little scary. I mean, I really think it is. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""""" 16 Probably r eferring to the John Lennon memorial in Central Park.
&' " JM: Sometimes it gets out of hand. JS: It is. I mean, I think it is. I think (jokingly) "I think that e mail is evil." I mean, Katherine has dug herself into so m any holes. KK: Death by e mail. JS: Death by I call it death by e mail. I mean, honest to goodness! It's like JM: (laughs) What do you mean? KK: (laughs) Because the way I say things is the way I think about things. I'm very straight line. I'm not go ing to beat around the bush if I'm going to say something. And so JS: She's gotten better about that, I will say, an d e mail has pretty much done that. I'd like to think I've had some (laughs) KK: Yeah. And, you know, there's some things where before I've felt like I need to say that to that person W ell, not really. Because it's not gonna change ; it's not gonna help. So, I have gotten better about it. JM: See, you have mellowed out! (laugh s ) JS: She has that, thank goodness! KK: Who'd have thunk? JS: Oh, there y ou go! (laughs) KK : Y eah. So, I try to be more careful. And that's one of the reaso ns I haven't gotten on Facebook, b ecause and I'm so surprised that Juliana is, because she's in a way a much more private person than I am. JS: I am. An d you'll see it in the be cause I really don't there's very little information. If somebody from [ my former school ] wants to find me, or Radford College, yeah A nd if they happen to remember my name, you know, all that stuff, they can find me. But other th an that, I think it's very generic. JM: Yeah, and it is, I think also problematic because it's really legally ambiguous. S o, you know, if you have something in an e mail that could be used in court, right? If you say something racist about an employee that you fired later, that 'll be used. That sort of thing. Facebook I don't know if there's ever been a trial about Facebook, and so people don't and also wait! There was something I read recently Facebook just had to
&( " they were trying to say that they o wn the identities of people on there. Th e people just got their identities back on Facebook. JS : Yes. A s a matter of fact, right now there's a little caveat at the top that just says "If you want to be involved in whatever the rules and regulation chang es are," is what generally says. Click on whatever it is Because, yeah, the y are having and it is public. Everything about it is public. I mean, if someone sends you a picture if you get tagged in a picture, let me say, your name is mentioned Y ou have ac cess even though you don't know that person, you can get access to all of the pictures in their photo album, w hich I find very unusual. Cause visually, I find that very, very unusual. Like, every time ( ) makes those little videos for ( ) this is my frien d down in F ort Myers e verybody can see that. KK : Yeah, she does a litt le cause she has one of those PCs [personal computer s ] with o r a Mac [Macintosh] with a camera in it. She makes a little video for her grandson JS: W hich is sweet. But KK: But then Juliana listened to it last night. JM: (laughs) JS: Well, of course I did. There's [my friend] I'm gonna listen to it. And I know it's gonna be sweet. JM: And the thing about pictures, too, is you can untag yourself so that it doesn't show up on your profile, but you can't get rid of the pictures. JS: No! JM: If there's a picture of you don't want public JS : But you can untag I didn't realize that. JM: You can untag. JS: That's good to know. And there are each time that I go in, I find somet hing different, and I find that type of socializing is it's something that will be some we're talking about earlier on, what was it that I call it? Entitlement. Entitlement T hat's a weal th of knowledge that you have. I really use it for very selfish purp oses. I'm like a voyeur with my students, my ex students that I've wanted to keep in contact with tha t then mad e contact with me. And my niece and nephew, a nd now, my family! Actually, my family in Maryland and all over the place, and so that's the only wa y I really keep in
&) " JM: It's really (inaudible) JS: It's an impressive set up, but it's scary how much information is out there And for people who don't use computers a lot I think that we're not up on the cutting edge stuff, but we're pretty knowledge able about how dangerous it is to have any personal information on the Internet at all. So, yes, it was a big deal for me to get on. I think I found you [on Faceb ook], because there are a few Jessica Merricks JM: Did you send me a [friend] request or something? JS: No. I didn't want to KK : She's just sn e aking around. JS: Yeah. I'm just sn e aking around! (laughs) Well, looks like you put in my nam e, and I can put in your name. We had said before JM: I would, if I knew which one was you! (laughs) J S : Yeah! Well, you only had a couple of pictures, and you had said you had a girlfriend. So, I thought and I don't even know why I had the time. I was just on Facebook. It was just JM: That's what you do you waste time on Facebook. (laughs) JS : Yeah A nd it is a lot of wasted time. But it's kind of cute. And like with m y little nephew little nephew! He's twenty one. I just it's breaking my heart! I'm gonna have to have this really, crazy discussion with my brother about him, because he's still living wi th my brother, and ask if there's something that we can do as a family to help him. But he [the nephew] puts it right out there. JM: It's scary. JS : To me, it's really scary. JM: I know definitely certain employers before they would look at somebody [t o hire], they'd look at their Facebook an d make sure they're responsible, that they're not saying, "Oh, I'm hung over today." People write stuff like that. KK: I know! JS : I know, but that's nothing compared to [ my nephew]! I'm thinking to myself, "!" And in the Face t he way that you put yo urself out there, I dunno. So, I worry about that.
&* " JM: Yeah. JS: Information. Well, anyway. Like, finding this JM: (inaudible) b ut they have to be smart about it. JS : But they can't be smart about it because th e y don't really understand it. I mean, e ven [my nephew], w ho sh ould be he came up in an age where he had to use a computer is still not on the edge where he should know and understand what he's putting out there. KK: Or for his family to see. JS : Well, it doesn't matter for his family I mean KK : Not to mention the cops, if they catch up with him. JS : Well, yeah. JM: Oh, that kind of stuff, too. KK : He has a couple of pictures of payday ," where he's taking all these and he's not wor king where he's got ten all this a thousand dollars. So, what do you think he's selling to g et that money? It' s not too much rocket science to figure it out. JM: Jeez. JS: Yeah. But anyway, just the idea of Facebook it can be used in so many different ways. It depends on t he person's thoughts and intentions and needs, and where you start in terms of what you understand about the privacy issue. I mean, I'm just stunned at how much is out there. I agree with you. And in terms of the continuum, yes. The more we've talked, the more I realize I really am right in the middle. I like just being a person. (laughs) It just so happens that I happen to be JM: There's a lot of little things to negotiate with. Lots of different people on a daily basis, it depends on contacts it's more complicated than yes" or "no." JS: Absolutely. KK: It's like people thinking that we made a choice. We chose to live this life. JS: Well, I may have. See, I'm not sure where I am on that. That's another discussion, but I'm not sure where I am on that. I think you're attracted to what you're attracted to. KK: And you can chose to especially the more religious people, I suppose could
'+ " chose to live what they consider to be the right life, which may be to deny their sexuality. Sure. You can make that choi ce, and you'll be miserable most likely. Or, you'll be like Juliana would be: find a way to make it work for you. JS: Oh, yeah. KK: So, I guess you can think of it in a number of different ways but I just knew that this was what I am, what I had to be. I'm not gonna JS: So, I'm in the middle of the continuum, you're (laughs) KK: Yeah. I guess I'm farther along than you are. (laughs) JS: Yeah, that's my girl. W e knew that, yeah. (laughs) KK: Okay, and if you find you have other questions for us J M: Yeah. JS: Or you want something end of interview