NCOD 2022

It’s National Coming Out Day, and everything’s happening at once. Well, it’s NCOD and that’s a big thing in my world. All the more because it’s the day my man Jacques and I chose to serve as a surrogate wedding anniversary; actually, Jacques reasoned his way to October 11th as the best of all possible days, and I saw that he was right.

About J&A Day and NCOD, with affection, silliness, and a certain amount of playful raunchiness, see what I wrote last year in “This day”, and enjoy the Robert Emery Smith photograph of husband-equivalents J&A in 1996:


Into this came, yesterday, the announcement from the Linguistic Society of America that Rusty Barrett had received the LSA’s Arnold Zwicky Award (for LGBTQ+ linguists); and then today the society’s COZIL LGBTQ+ History Month interview series for 2022, one of the three interviews being with me. Notes below.

Meanwhile, my medical life — filled with a ton of apparently auto-immune afflictions, including a number that doctors (among them, my rheumatologist, this morning) end up judging to be “puzzling” and “fascinating”. This morning’s focus was my extravagant DOE (dyspnea on exertion), which at the moment leaves me gasping for breath just from walking inside my little condo. Lots of thoughtful talk about how to interpret my symptoms and what, if anything, can be done about them. Laboring with an incentive spirometer has been difficult and not very effective, so I’m now under doctor’s orders to try a whole lot of shapenote singing, every day. Sit up, or stand up at my walker, haul out the Sacred Harp (1991 Denson revision), dial up the YouTube videos, and shout out the treble part. Now there’s a prescription I can get behind.

At the same time, my nephrologist — my previously failing kidneys were an urgent focus of care — has been jiggling medications, amping up dosages of several drugs (while we’re tapering off on the prednisone). There’s no standard procedure for doing any of this; we’re all just trying stuff out, and we’re not at all sure what’s going to happen.

I’m stumbling through this — the heatwave days a while back were hellish, and their effects stuck rather than passing away — with the useful attitude that each day is a gift and a surprise. I never expected to make it to the announcement of the first AZ awardee (Kirby Conrod), much less the second, so it’s all a delight.

I weep for Jacques, missing him after all those years (he went into a dementia care facility in 1998, died in 2003), but the past two days would have given him joy unbounded: he was a staunch supporter of all my LGBTQ+ activities, and loved my Sacred Harp singing too.

Rusty Barrett and the AZA.  My posting from yesterday: “Mayan language revitalization, hip hop, drag queens, and leathermen”, with a version of this wonderful photo, full of meaning:

(#2) (photo: Univ. of Kentucky)

Field work and interpretation of the language, language use and other cultural practices in the Mayan community of Nahuala, Guatemala. Meanwhile, RB also engages in field work among various gay male subcultures. And is pleased to wear a beautiful Guatemalan shirt that is far from normatively masculine streetwear.

Interviews! COZIL’s LGBTQ+ History Month (this month, October) interview series for 2022, released today:

(#3) With three interviews on the LSA site:

— an interview with Robin Queen by Montreal Benesch

— an interview with Bill Leap by Mingus Murray

— an Interview with Arnold Zwicky by Martina Gerdts

Martina Gerdts’s piece is deftly cut down from the original text she extracted from me, and it includes a link to the full original, which I posted on this blog on 10/9, in “What I’ve been writing”. (Thanks to MG, I have some further topics to post about — but not today, not today.)

Breathing exercises. Lung function tests a while back showed reduced function in both inspiration and expiration, hence the prescription for an incentive spirometer:

(#4) The Soulgenie “breathing exerciser”: you inhale at a rate to raise one (600cc), two (900cc), or three (1200cc) balls, hold at the top of the tube for a period (from 3 seconds up to 8-10), then release

From Wikipedia:

A spirometer is an apparatus for measuring the volume of air inspired and expired by the lungs. … [An incentive spirometer is] specially designed to encourage improvement of one’s lung function.

The idea that Sacred Harp singing would be an equally good exercise obviously speaks to me. My enthusiasm has been documented; see my 2/13/17 posting “Rainbow”:

[The song Rainbow (SH344) is] one of my favorites, and indeed me leading Rainbow is now available on a limited-edition CD of Bay Area Sacred Harp singers put together by singer Dan Harper … The cover of the CD, which shows Chris Thorman leading (and me in the photo right behind him [in the treble section]):


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