That's What She Said

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Melissa Carter: Gay parents, don’t be like this

Former Atlanta Disc-Jockey Melissa CarterHelicopter parents. It’s a term originally coined in the book “Parenting with Love and Logic” by Dr. Foster Cline and Jim Fay, and refers to parents who hover over their children like a helicopter. Gay moms and dads, don’t let this be you.

I was not aware of how prevalent helicopter parenting was until I recently had dinner with a friend who is a teacher. She told me that on the first day of school this year she witnessed parents coming in to stock and organize their children’s lockers. Not just one kid’s parents, several.

Oh, and did I mention she is a high school teacher? I thought it was a joke until she reassured me she wasn’t kidding.

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Melissa Carter: Pride can mean more than a party

Former Atlanta Disc-Jockey Melissa CarterBreak out that gaudy rainbow attire because Pride is back in town! I have to be honest: I had a hard time deciding what to write about this week in honor of Pride.

Among the choices was my first Pride celebration in 1992 when I was still in the closet. Weaving my way among the 60,000 people I realized with watering eyes that I was not the only lesbian on the planet. Or ten years later, when I was honored to be a grand marshal in the Pride Parade. I was in kidney failure and on dialysis, but my friends made sure to crank the AC in the convertible that day so I wouldn’t pass out.

There are great memories of marching in the parade every year afterward with Q100, even pushing my way down Peachtree Street in a torrential downpour. If the crowd was getting drenched while celebrating, I thought, so would I.

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Melissa Carter: Chasing a straight girl never ends well

Former Atlanta Disc-Jockey Melissa Carter“Hey, Melissa. You watch ‘Rizzoli & Isles?’”

I hear this question often since many lesbians hope the crime-fighting duo on TNT is a blossoming lesbian couple. But no, I do not watch the show. Granted both Rizzoli and Isles are a 1995 kind of way.

Why 1995? Because that was the year Xena and Gabrielle first appeared on air. Back then no one was brave enough to show a lesbian main character on television and the simple insinuation was enough for “Xena Warrior Princess” to obtain a loyal lesbian following.

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Melissa Carter: Freaks, geeks and letters that jiggle

Former Atlanta Disc-Jockey Melissa CarterAh, it’s that time of year again, Atlanta: Dragon*Con.

Many who have never attended the convention see it as just freaks and geeks who like to dress up in elaborate costumes for a weekend. This may be partially true, but Dragon*Con happened to be where I realized something about myself that I had never known before: I have a reading disorder.

Besides parades and parties, Dragon*Con offers a large variety of sessions on everything from costume design to how to conduct a successful ghost hunt. Last year, I attended a session on graphic novels that included a panel of guests.

One speaker was a librarian who expressed his frustration at the difficulty he had in convincing schools and libraries to take graphic novels seriously. He credited these books with saving his education. As a child he had suffered from a learning disorder and the only books he could read growing up were graphic novels.

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Melissa Carter: A brief life inspires us to never give up

Former Atlanta Disc-Jockey Melissa CarterOne of the things I admire most about my girlfriend, Katie Jo, is her community. A Georgia native, Katie has maintained friendships with folks from high school, college, graduate school, and her jobs.

Since I moved away from Tennessee, most of my hometown and college friends live hours away. Plus my growing phobia of the telephone hinders any opportunity for those hours-long conversations to catch up on every detail of each other’s lives.

One group of Katie’s friends is the “Book Club.” I put this in quotes since I’m not convinced they actually read books or even talk about them. My take on their monthly meetings is like a shirt I saw recently — they “Read Between the WINES.”

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Melissa Carter: My screen debut in a new kind of family video

Former Atlanta Disc-Jockey Melissa CarterUntil recently, my acting resume consisted of a non-speaking part on the “O.C.” for three frames. Seems that was enough to land me the role of Friend #4 in a new form of family entertainment: the adoption video.

I was not aware of this new marketing tool used by would-be parents and am still unsure of how common they are in the adoption world. But like everything, even adoption has apparently gone Hollywood. These days, even the loving act of bringing a baby into your family requires you submitting to judgment based on beauty, success and wealth.

My friends Ken and Matt had made their home the “set” and hours of filming had already gone into their adoption video. I missed earlier scenes which included “The Cookie Jar” and “The Band-Aid to the Rescue.” Earlier in the week, Ken and Matt had sent out the outline of the shoot and casting assignments to their friends and their kids. The couple had pulled out all the stops in their efforts to become new dads to some lucky baby and their mini-movie was the latest part of their attempt to show how welcome a baby would be.

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Melissa Carter: How our country’s journey into space inspired my own journeys

Former Atlanta Disc-Jockey Melissa CarterI still have stretch marks. They’re not from pregnancy or weight loss. Instead, my stretch marks came in the early ‘80s during a very painful growth spurt. And this week’s final space shuttle landing reminded me of that time.

My love of all things space began at a young age, and my first dream was to be an astronaut. Of course, at the same time my biggest fear was flying so I soon realized the only way I was ever going to see space was by watching “Star Trek.”

My room back in 1981 was filled with images of all things celestial and in my mind those walls doubled as NASA Control. Scotch tape framed images of the space shuttle Columbia, whose maiden voyage had just taken place, at about the time the aching of my growing legs kept me up at night in tears. And to see those images of Columbia’s dusty landing at Andrews Air Force Base helped focus my mind on something other than being elongated in torture like Stretch Armstrong.