We arrived at the People’s Food Co-Op in Ann Arbor, Michigan, just as Sarah was finishing her lunch break. With only 20 minutes before she had to go back, we did a high-speed interview in the employee room of the Co-Op. At least we had a chance to finally meet Sarah, who’s been a good friend and immense help to YGA over the past few months by emailing us every time a link is broken or a picture doesn’t load. If only we could get her on the YGA payroll.. If only we had a YGA payroll!
YGA: Hey Sarah. Awesome to finally meet you. So are you from Ann Arbor?
SARAH: I was born and raised in California, but I’ve been in Michigan since 1990.
YGA: What brought you here?
SARAH: I moved here after my parents’ divorce, cuz my mom’s family is here.
YGA: How’s school goin?
SARAH: Actually I’m not taking classes right now, I’m just working and trying to save money. I’ll go back, though.
YGA: What’s your major?
SARAH: Women’s studies. With a minor in psych. Don’t ask what I’ll do with that.
YGA: There are a lot of things you can do with that.
SARAH: I guess. There are so many things I’m interested in. I’d love to do women’s stuff, involving writing. Obviously something involving gender and psychology could be interesting.
YGA: Tell us something more about you.
SARAH: Let’s see… Well, I’m a total internet geek. I’m on the computer all the time. I’m really into the theater, film, arts, I like going to see things, singing and acting.
YGA: Do you have any favorite shows?
SARAH: Gilbert and Sullivan. There’s a Gilbert and Sullivan society at the U of M.
VOICE FROM BEHIND US: I hate Gilbert and Sullivan!
YGA: OK now who’s the peanut gallery?
SARAH: My friend Reed, who’s apparently listening to everything we’re saying…
YGA: Are you dating someone right now?
SARAH: Not right now.
YGA: Where do you meet people?
SARAH: I don’t really. It’s so hard to find other lesbians around here. Ann Arbor has a good gay community but it’s all older. There are a lot of groups but mostly the women are in their 30’s and 40’s. That’s cool, but it’s difficult to find people socially to hang out with. My last girlfriend lived in Lansing. That was kinda tough. The distance was one of the reasons why we broke up… U of M has a lot of youth groups, but then I don’t go to U of M.
YGA: Is that hard living here when you don’t go to the school?
SARAH: Sometimes I feel out of it a little bit. Everyone just assumes I go to U of M. Which, I should be. My sister went, my parents went. My grades just weren’t good enough.
YGA: Did you come out and stuff to your family?
SARAH: Yea I’m out to my mom and my sister. My family is pretty liberal.
YGA: That’s cool.
SARAH: I mean, my mom doesn’t understand or anything really. I don’t talk to her about specifics or tell her about girlfriends much. She’s not homophobic, she just didn’t want to know the details.
YGA: And oftentimes you probably don’t feel like telling her the details.
YGA: So who are your role models?
SARAH: I don’t really have any role models that I know in real life. More like celebrities who I like.
YGA: Like which celebrities?
SARAH: Do you know who Kate Winslet is?
YGA: Yea. Of course.
SARAH: I love her. I made one of the very first Kate Winslet websites on the internet. www.abbagirl.com/kate.html . I like Angelina Jolie too, but who doesn’t. My roommate and I have an Angelina Jolie wall in our apartment.
YGA: Is your roommate bi?
SARAH: Yea, and she has a lesbian mom.
FRIEND REED FROM BEHIND US: My friend’s mom is like that!
YGA: Must be great living with another bi girl.
SARAH: It is. It’s really cool living with another bi girl. We like all the same music and actresses and things. And the best part is, we can both drool over the same people. If I’m all around lesbians I can’t talk about boys.
YGA: Do you think everyone’s really bisexual deep-down? A lot of people say that.
SARAH: I think that’s a trendy, cheesy thing to say. Certainly a lot of people might not be as straight or as gay as they think or say they are. I don’t like defining everyone else’s sexuality for them, though. I think people aren’t 100% one way or that other, that’s just crazy. I think sexuality is fluid, and it probably shifts over time. Someone might find themselves attracted to someone later on who they thought they wouldn’t be.
YGA: Tell us a bit more about Ann Arbor.
SARAH: Well like I said it really had a vibrant gay community, but for some reason has only one bar. The Aut Bar. (www.autbar.com). All my friends are like totally mystified by this fact. Lansing has like five clubs, but for some reason here there’s nothing. Lansing even has a woman’s club. There’s a female club in Detroit too called Stilettos. But nothing like that here.
YGA: We saw a pretty cool-looking bookstore a few blocks away from here.
SARAH: Yea, at least we have Common Language.
YGA: So why do you think you’re such an internet junkie?
SARAH: I don’t know I’m just a total geek. I’ve been into the internet since it started pretty much. Back even before there was a web. I’ve had a website since the beginning. I dunno, I’m just addicted to it. I have so many friends online all over the world and some also on adultfrienedfinder app. I lot of them I’ve actually met in person. The net is a really good way to meet people who have the same interests as you. Especially in a place like Michigan. Ann Arbor is definitely one of the best places to live in Michigan in my opinion. It’s intellectual, liberal, diverse. But the rest of Michigan is mostly middle-class white conservative. The internet has resources for everyone who doesn’t live in the more liberal areas. Pridesource.com is a great website; they’re run by Between the Lines, Michigan’s weekly free LGBT newspaper.
YGA: Thanks for chattin with us Sarah!
SARAH: Thanks to you guys for comin to visit. Wish you coulda stayed longer. Happy and safe travels!