Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013, December 03, 1999, Page 50, Image 50

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decflmtaflf 3. 1999
P O R T L A N D GAY M E N ’S C H O R U S
Presents
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h
Jam ilij p i
thè
O ur 20 th A n n iv e r s a r y
H o lid a y C o n c e r t !
Join your "family" this holiday season for all the
humor and sentimental trimmings you've come to
expect from the Portland Gay Men's Chorus!
Fri., December 17, 1999 • 8:00 p.m.
Sat., December 18, 1999 • 8:00 p.m.
PCC Sylvania Performing Arts Center,
y inner jock
12000 SW 49th Avenue, Portland
Tickets $20/$15/$12
SFASIVCXm-TUOL
You’re never too old to appreciate a fine female athlete
by L ee L ynch
M
Financial
Advisors
American Ait-fines'
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FABULOUS FIBD
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FIFE
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ne of the myths that seems to enshroud
lesbians is the myth of the jock. All girl
jocks are dykes; all dykes are jocks.
I don’t think so.
I will admit that I check out girl athletes,
but that’s just an old validation-hungry habit.
For the most part, straight girls seem to be as
well-coordinated and competitive as lesbian
superwomen.
It’s hard to tell which came first, the chick
or the egg. Was I, for example, drawn to athlet­
ics because I identified with strong
women or because I am one? The
mmmm
truth is, I was never exactly an
— rJ overachiever in the sports field and
as a kid didn’t know there was such
an animal as a woman athlete,
except for maybe Esther Williams.
In junior high I almost became a
champ for a day. I loved to run and
was fast enough to win the tryouts
for our field day. Problem 1: I didn’t
know squat and ran smack into a
wall, decimating some ligaments in
•
my right ankle. Problem 2 : 1 lied
that I was recov­
ered so I could
compete. Prob­
lem 3: How could
I know they’d use
a starting gun?
After I jumped
out of my skin, I noticed the other
runners had taken off without me. I
got the message, but not the medal.
My team later won the relay race,
and I have an arthritic ankle.
These days, clumps of sweaty girls, lone
women and female-male couples jog through
the streets like it’s not aberrant behavior. I read
stories of greats like Rebecca Lobo and Sophie
Witherspoon. Title IX seems to have freed the
caged athlete in everywoman.
In high school I was more concerned with
freeing the caged lesbian. Believing the myth, I
was convinced the track to true dykehood lay
in sports. 1 was too busy writing to devote my
whole attention to that ambition, but I joined
the Girls Tennis Club. Not team, because there
was no one for us to play, but Club, like a
bunch of girls would join.
It wasn’t that I was enamored of the sport—
Billie Jean King wouldn’t win her first Wimble­
don until I graduated— but the Tennis Club
advisor made my heart beat stronger than Billie
Jean’s arm. Ah, the romance of it all. I remem­
ber the day it snowed on the tennis courts, and
.
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CHARFIAIE TOAST
Y2I PARTY FAIIIS
&
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I r i n 2I I frifn. lie. Ji. m i ii sitiatiitrs u lie iiiiaieiie.
I. nauei u. u ririiaii
$ 2 5 ($ 2 0 B EFO R E DEC. 10) AT IT'S My PLEASURE, IN OTHER WORDS, R MUSIC MILLENNIUM
Iradley Angle House
exual Minority
programs
Just Out
Chei What Cafe
Women in
the Woods
It's My Pleasure
Portland Lesbian choir
Love Makes a Family
FOR MORE INFO
Elise Campbell,
Bender Properties
Jewel,
Prudential NW
Properties
Millyn James,
Equity Croup
Touchstone
Coffeehouse
NetTenna Website
Development
Floreid Walker
Waddell & Reed
Rita's Flowers
~ 7 6 8 - 5 7 2 2 • M illM asic@ hotm ail.com • www.NetTenna.coin/MillMagic
I felt hot as tropical sands as our club advisor
corrected my stance with her gentle, profes­
sional, gloved hands. I learned a lot from Ms.
Advisor, but not about lesbian life.
In college the PE majors were totally
superb, playing rough at field hockey, gliding
around campus with the enormous confidence
of women who used their bodies for something
other than attracting men. The occasional cast
or crutch lent a heroic halo to these minor
deities. How I wanted to be one of them!
Working in retail food was the closest I ever
came to realizing my jock ambitions. I caught
freight off the semi, stacked it on a dolly and
dumped it in the aisles. I sliced cartons, stocked
shelves and tore down boxes. I stacked crates of
milk in the cooler. I rotated ice cream in the
walk-in freezer till my fingers froze. On my feet
all day, I learned teamwork with co-workers,
squeezed side by side behind the deli case. This
was my all-time favorite job, though without
the physical training provided to most boys, my
body wasn’t prepared for the proud punishment
it underwent.
Straight and gay, the women of the store
It's becoming more and more
obvious that not all jocks are dykes
and that an awful lot of women, gay
or not, are jocks at heart.
BY
LEE LYNCH
IN H I
—
crew piled into someone’s VW after work and
went to a softball game. We found sustenance
in pitcher Joanie Joyce, a softball legend. She
was a walking, talking pitching machine. Her
thighs were pure shorts-stretching muscle. She
could hit a softball out of Raybestos Park.
Walking off the field near her, I felt like a
toothpick about to faint away. I’d work twice as
hard at the store the next day, dreaming of her
power.
In creaky middle age I find myself surround­
ed by couch athletes. Ex-jocks, wannabe jocks,
women who always pitched like girls slouch
before televisions to watch the Liberty and the
Comets, or ogle soccer champs tearing off their
shirts or tennis players coming out. We’ve
come full circle since the days when girls’
sports consisted of watching, not playing. It’s
becoming more and more obvious that not all
jocks are dykes— and that an awful lot of
women, gay or not, are jocks at heart.
I L ee L yn ch is a novelist and columnist who lives
on the O regon coast.