Tuesday, June 21 on PBS’s POV series. The Education of Shelby Knox. According to the Incite-Pictures Web site, that documentary “is a coming of age story about a teenage girl who joins a campaign for comprehensive sex education in the high schools of Lubbock, Texas. As Shelby is swept into the fight, she begins to question her deeply conservative Southern Baptist upbringing; when the campaign broadens to include a fight for a gay-straight alliance, Shelby confronts her family and her pastor, in the end declaring herself a feminist and a liberal Christian.”
Read the review in Lubbock Online and a preview at pbs.org. (Air date subject to change, of course; check local listings.)
Read about gay Lubbock topics in my online newsletter Rainbow: Lubbock. I update it constantly.
On a related note, please read the following excerpt from “Fat Diary,” a story I wrote for The Acorn Gathering: Writers Uniting Against Cancer.
Forcing myself not to scream, I quickly changed the subject.
“I noticed on your application that you’re married. How long?”
“How long what?”
“How long have you been married?”
“We were married five months. We just got divorced, but we were still married when I filled out my application for you.”
“I’m sorry,” I offered, trying not to think about the fact that my marriage only lasted five weeks, and that I wasn’t sorry at all when it ended.
“It’s okay. I’m like so over him! He thought he was all that because he was manager of the last Piggly Wiggly around here, but it closed down and he wasn’t manager of nothing. He’s a bag boy at the super center now, but I don’t go in there. It’s like a magnet for stupid people. My new man is more sensitive than my husband was. He’s a theater major, anndduh…he has a part-time job at the flower shop!”
I stifled the stereotypes that flooded my mind, and I mentally kicked myself for thinking those stereotypes. “He sounds nice!”
She indicated exclamation with some sort of cheerleader motion of her right hand. “Oh, you wouldn’t believe how nice! But we’re not real serious. If he wants to buy me stuff, that’s great, but I need to be my own woman now, and I don’t need any help raising my kids.”
“Kids?” I said the word too loud for decorum, especially in a library. One of the housewives, spending way too long reading the back cover of a love story she would soon check out for the fifth time, looked up and cocked her roller-covered head.
“I have two kids, but I live with my parents now, so I don’t need any help. I’m a independent woman! My little sisters are both pregnant, though, so we need more income while I’m in college, planning for a career with some big company, maybe Enron or K-Mart.”
While helping Ian check out his TV/paperback tie-in and noticing for the billionth time how he and Lynn Williams always appeared at the same places at the same time, I bit my tongue over a myriad of “don’t go there” thoughts. Still, after Ian left, I couldn’t help but voice one of those thoughts. “I take it the Acorn School District still uses the abstinence-only, no-discussion sex education program that’s so popular in West Texas.”
“Yeah,” said Tiffani, chewing her bubble gum and tugging at the lacy bra strap that peaked out of her red sweater’s V-neck collar. “Why fix what ain’t broke?”
“And speaking of the Dewey Decimal System,” I swiftly and breathlessly replied, before I could get myself into trouble.