Do you have a reputation? What is it, and where did it come from? Is it accurate? What do you think about it?
Oh, ha ha, this is an amusing prompt.
Of course I have a reputation, multiple reputations. I am a woman with opinions who has the audacity to voice them and not always in a manner that is considered proper. Whether I’m talking about cupcakes or politics or soap operas, I am often pushing against doors that are stubbornly wedged close.
And I think that’s true of most women who have political opinions. You want us to vote and attend rallies, but not necessarily examine the board memberships of our allies holding office or have original thoughts.
I can’t really define a popular opinion of me because they change so often – if I’m in the room for example. Or if I’m needed to write a blog post on a certain topic. My overall impression is that some people really dislike me both for what I have to say and for saying it, others feign indifference. Others, still, really are indifferent. And some people are supportive.
Joan Jett’s song “Bad Reputation” came to mind, but I would lie if I said I don’t give a damn about my bad reputation. It does bother me sometimes. More often, it frustrates me. But I can see tangible results, changes to the systems here in Pittsburgh that while not attributable to me, I played a part in making happen. And that does matter. It is nice to be invited to the parties and the events and offered exclusive interviews, but it is “nicer” to be invited to the table.
I am not invited to the table, but I see that more and more other queer women are at the table and that’s rewarding. There are worse fates in life that being a reputed obnoxious lesbian with an axe to grind. Really. I don’t even own an axe.
When I do feel sorry for myself, I think of the topics I’ve been privileged to cover – the death of my friend Cathy, the warriors fighting hunger and homelessness in this region, the tenacity of women like Jessi Strucaly and giving a voice to those who are ignored.
Perhaps this is a more wry take on my reputation?