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I’m Jennifer Tullock and I’m from Louisville, Kentucky.
The thing about Louisville is, there’s a weird dichotomy of intense Christian culture–intense Southern Christian culture–and a sort of progressive, artsy scene. So I grew up wedged between those two and felt constantly pulled by them. I don’t have much contact with people from Louisville now, so it’s funny…Facebook is such a strange world now, the Internet is such a strange world, that I’m very open in my life about how I live it and who is in it and what I do, and so I have Internet contacts and that way people from my old life…
About two months ago, I had posted a link to a poem by this queer poet activist named Staceyann Chin who is amazing and it was about marriage equality. And I posted it on my wall not thinking of course about the people who would be opposed to it. It’s Facebook, within its strange world. But I was Facebook with a man whose kids I’d been raised with in Louisville, and he wrote one of the nastiest, craziest responses to it, which basically said, “You don’t believe this crap, do you? I’m so sorry the world has gotten into your heart. I’m terrified for the sin you’re living in, I’m so glad my own children aren’t exacting this sort of rebellion in my home.” And I forgot–I’m so comfortable in my adult life, in my Brooklyn life, in my career, in my social life, that I forget that that’s where I came from, until that man brought me hurdling back towards that place and it gutted me. And I responded, I mean, I felt like I almost shouldn’t even dignify it with a response but I had to and I– My mother wrote me an email and she said, “You know, he’s speaking out of fear. And I’m sorry.” And this was a friend of hers.
I’d gotten a little cocky, to be honest, thinking I’m safe, I’m comfortable, and here, this man who I don’t really care about, or thought I didn’t care about, said these things to me and it just darkened my week.
Jennifer Tullock is an actor and writer residing in Brooklyn. Her work has been featured at Second City, Broadway Comedy Club, and New York Fringe. She can currently be read as a contributor for brooklyntheborough.com. Her play “The Projectionist” will be presented this summer as part of the New York Stage and Film Festival.