Posted by jos76 on March 12, 2008
During my sophomore and junior years in college I lived in France. I originally intended to live in Paris and to attend one of the universities, but I realized after a few weeks that it was too expensive for an American student to live there, so I packed up and went to Rouen, in Normandy. This was a much smaller city about an hour west of Paris. I enrolled in the University there and took a position as an English Teaching Assistant in a high school.
I lived in a little suburb of the city called Bois-Guilliame (William’s Woods) in a small apartment above the garage of a professor at the university. We became great friends and had almost every meal together. She was much older than me and had just divorced before I moved in. She needed someone to talk to and I wanted to talk as much as possible in order to practice my Parisian French (I had a French-Canadian/Quebecois accent when I got there), so we were a perfect match. It was kind of like a Harold and Maude situation, but the updated gay version. Each night when we would set the table, there were the required elements like plates and utensils, but I learned to add a dictionary (which we would always seem to need) and Brigitte’s cigarettes (Marlboro Box), a lighter, and the ashtray. It was France after all.
I am a French teacher so I have been back to France many times since college, but it has always been with 20-40 students in tow. I have enjoyed traveling with students, but student travel companies are not known for choosing the best hotels and restaurants. This Friday, Dac and I are leaving for Paris. It will be the first time since college that I have been without a group of students. It will also be Dac’s first time there as well. I’m very excited to show him around and experience this amazing city again.
Cheese, cafe, croissant, baguette, oh my!
Posted in Friends, Fun, The Past, What's Ahead | Tagged: baguette, cafe, cheese, college, croissant, france, French, Gay, gay marriage, gay wedding, lgbt, Normany, Paris, Quebec, Quebecois, Rouen, teacher, travel | 3 Comments »
Posted by jos76 on January 14, 2008
I spent some time in a Mennonite boarding school in Pennsylvania when I was in high school. Suffice it to say that as the resident gay kid I learned to have a thick skin. I never personally felt that my faith and my sexuality were in opposition to each other, but I constantly heard how evil the “homosexual lifestyle” was.
I graduated from high school in 1994 and went on to a large state university where I tried to fit in, but quickly realized that I was way more religious than I had thought. I spent my sophomore year in France where no one wanted to listen to any kind of religious banter. I quickly realized that churches in France were just pretty museums that tourists appreciated more than French citizens did.
Once I graduated from college, I went to live on Cape Cod where I also taught for four years. I had a really rewarding experience with a group of colleagues that taught me that I could be openly gay (and even date at times). I took them up on it and eventually met my partner, through and online dating site.
I don’t think my colleagues saw it coming, but I moved off of Cape Cod to be with my new boyfriend. During our first date we had a quick conversation about whether or not we wanted to be together exclusively and we both agreed. We have been together ever since. We were together for five years when we decided to get married two years ago.
We both have very interesting families and friends that always keep us guessing. In these postings, you will be introduced to many of them and will come to see the experiences that we have as a young (can we still say that at 29 and 31 years old?) gay couple. Stay tuned.
Posted in Faith, Family, Friends, Fun, The Past, What's Ahead | Tagged: cape cod, Chemistry, Family, france, Friends, gay kid, gay marriage, HRC, Human Rights Campain, UCC, United Church of Christ | 1 Comment »