Copyright 2020 Lisa Haddock. All rights reserved.
Jane Travers. No matter how much I tried to hate her, ignore her, or forget her, I couldn’t keep her out of my thoughts. I met her on Halloween weekend in 1982 during a camping trip sponsored by the Progressive Students Coalition. I was a 21-year-old journalism major at the City of Tulsa University. I knew I was queer, but I was terrified to act on my feelings. Then, I spotted Jane, a 25-year-old CTU sociology graduate student. She was a short, sturdy woman with close-cropped sandy hair and pale blue eyes. Advertising her radical politics, she wore olive drab army pants and a matching sweater with shooter’s patches. More importantly, she was a loud and proud queer. When I saw her, I knew I could blast my way out of the closet.
Jane embraced every radical theory that came her way. Big white Jane targeted me, the brown girl from Tulsa, for radicalization. She pointed out my internalized racism, externalized racism, false consciousness, gynophobia, male identification, cryptocapitalism, phallocentrism, xenophobia, bourgeois taste, and heterocentrism. Desperate for love, I became her acolyte and doormat.
Jane and I went to Crystal’s soon after we became a couple. Our trip was disastrous. Jane viewed alcohol as a poison designed to create false consciousness among the proletariat. Meanwhile, I wanted to dance. After too many beers, I begged Jane to get on the dance floor. But she wouldn’t dance in an environment polluted by heterosexist music.
I’m alone in this dingy bar while Jane, defender of the oppressed, is playing house with Rita, tool of the capitalist oligarchy.