I’ve Never…Shot a Gun

Playing cowboy with the Pine Mountain Posse By Erin Rook, Source Weekly As the first child born to overprotective parents, I am naturally predisposed to approach life with caution. As such, I’ve always had a healthy respect (read: mild fear) for anything that can cause loss of life or limb. Chief among those agents of…

For Better or Worse

The beauty and bureaucracy of (gay) marriage By Erin Rook, Source Weekly In some ways, it was like any other Monday. I woke up before my fiancé, took the dog out, started coffee and oatmeal. And while I rarely missed work, on this day, I called in. “I have a personal commitment that I cannot…

Ponderlust: Taking the plunge

By Erin Rook, PQ Monthly As we turn into the parking lot, big fluffs of cottonwood fall from the sky like heavy clusters of snowflakes. They’ve even dusted the branches of the trees with a thick layer of frost-like fuzz. Closer to the lake, the air is clear and we can see a group erecting…

Ponderlust: Practicing patience in the Valley of Search

By Erin Rook, PQ Monthly “There are resources to help you change.” “I’m not sure I want to change,” I say quietly, as if it were really an option. The stapled print out of religious verses on chastity and obedience, with their implications of lifelong repression, feel heavy in my clenched hand. I need time…

Ponderlust: Friends and neighbors

By Erin Rook, PQ Monthly The late morning sun pushes through the gaps in the drawn blinds, casting irregularly shaped vertical bars of light across the bedroom wall in front of me. The cheap, apartment-issued window covering, already distorted from regular use, hangs slightly askew. I should open them, but I don’t. It’s not unusual….

Ponderlust: Flying solo

By Erin Rook, PQ Monthly I take a deep breath and type “How to make a decision” into the search bar on my boss’s computer. It’s not uncommon for me to work from her desk. As the director of the university’s international education programming, she is often traveling and needs someone to take her calls. Her…

Ponderlust: Can you see me now?

By Erin Rook, PQ Monthly “That’s an interesting tattoo,” the checker says, pointing the black bird holding a rolling pin and playing cards half-visible below my rolled up shirt sleeve. “What is it?” “It’s based off a card game called Rook,” I explain, pushing the sleeve up past my elbow. It’s a family tattoo I…

Ponderlust: Stepping into the Sky

By Erin Rook, PQ Monthly I am sitting on the bedroom floor, tarot cards spread out in front of me. I’m not sold on this approach to knowing, but I figure if anyone’s capable of reading my mind it ought to be me. And so, I take a deep breath and hope that I inherited…

Query a Queer: August/September 2012

By Erin Rook, PQ Monthly Question: For all the talk of queer solidarity, there sure seems to be a lot of cattiness and cliquishness in the community. What’s that about? Answer: Though I’ve never stood in a circle, holding hands and singing “Kumbaya” (OK, maybe once or twice at Girl Scout camp), I have always…

Query a Queer: March/April 2012

Originally published March 15, 2012 in PQ Monthly. Question: When a homo gets into a relationship with someone of the opposite sex (cisgender or trans), how does that affect their sexual identity? Answer: In other words, is a lesbian who dates a man (trans or cisgender, gay or straight) still a lesbian? Or does her identity shift or…