Michael Shirzadian

Ally

image depicts me and great pyreenes Palo, whose right paw rests near my left shoulder. Palo looks at or past me. in a display of vanity, i seem to be checking the screen to make sure the selfie turns out OK

I’m writing this for any queer Cedarville student who needs a place to talk. Or a place not to talk. I’m writing this for queer students who maybe just need a place to stay for a few days-a place to be and think that isn’t hostile. A place to dwell. I’m writing this for CU’s queer students of color, who might struggle to differentiate between the violences of heteronormativity and white supremacy. I’m writing for CU’s queer disabled students, who aren’t sure which is worse: being invisible or being all too visible-being silenced or being tokenized.

I’ll keep it short: I’m an ally. My partner Kim and I graduated from CU a few years ago-me in 2010, she in 2012. We didn’t get out unscathed. But now we live in Columbus, where we’re surrounded by good people who listen to our CU stories empathetically and tenderly, who listen without formulating “but what about…” counterpoints. People who reflect on the ethics of listening every day.

Kim and I are renting a small house near OSU but it has a nice/private guest bedroom. We also have a car, and, schedule permitting, we are willing to drive to CU to pick you up. We have a cat and a dog who are quite frankly perfect and who would love to meet you.

If you need to get away, or if you’d just like to talk, email me at michael.shirzadian@gmail.com.