Monday, June 01, 2009

Jena Malone is a QueerSpawn

Jena Malone (actress, singer, photographer)

You might know Jena from such movies as Saved, Stepmom, Into the Wild, Bastard Out of Carolina and the recent horror movie The Ruins (I saw it, she was fabulous). These have won her a Golden Globe nomination, an Independent Spirit Award in 1997 for Best Debut Performance, and a SAG Award in 1997 for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries.

In 2006, she made her professional stage Broadway debut in the production of the Tony Award winning play Doubt. In 2007, she was released her first single on The Social Reistry, a New York City experimental music label. And currently, Jena has joined the cast of Sucker Punch

Jena was born in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, and moved to Southern California. Her mother was active in community theater, so Jena got very comfortable around the theater at an early age. Until age 10, she lived in Lake Tahoe, raised by two moms (mom and Godmom). Then her birth mother broke up with her lover and became a born-again Christian. Legally emancipated since 2000, Malone says she is close to her large extended family, which includes four brothers and two sisters. Jena stated, “I had two loving parents. Love in any shape or form is a beautiful thing.”

Flying the Flag - Blogging for National LGBT Family Day

My partner and I have a tradition ever since we bought our house, that on June 1 we fly the rainbow flag in front of our house. June is a time for us to be proud of the how far the LGBT movement has come. It is time to celebrate family – my lesbian mom and partner, my gay brother and all our friends. It is a tradition that was extra special this year, because it was our son’s first.

Of course he won’t remember it, but it did have a great deal of symbolism for us standing on our porch, Papa, Daddy and Farber. We were a family, and proud.

But this tradition raises eyebrows as well. Every year during the month of June only when the flag is waving, our house gets egged. Now, I have done my fair share of egging and TPing, and I am sure that this has a karma twist to it. But these “kids” have no aim, nor any creativity. Their weak attempts at causing outrage are sad. Just as sad as the hate mail that my mom’s once got. (Do haters ever use spell-check?)

What people don’t realize is that when we fly our flag, we have to take down the American Flag for the month. I am sure people gasp at this notion. But to us, the rainbow flag is the American Flag. Everything that is possible in both flags, freedom feels possible in both flags. And until America supports our family in an equal way, this tradition and swapping will feel hallow in some part. We are proud to be American’s but sad that the rest of America doesn’t embrace us.

Speaking of family, what an amazing one we have. My dad recently remarried and we have gained an awesome load of new family members. And the rest of the family continues it expanding, growing and rebirth.

So this June, like many others, families like ours are posting what makes us tick, what makes us proud, what makes us love. Flying the flag is just a tiny thing we are doing. But more importantly, love is our symbol. Chris and I have been together for more than 13 years. Mom and Sue have been together for more than 24 years. Love withstands all struggles.