MARCH ISSUE OF QUILTER’S HOME WILL NOT BE FOUND AT JO-ANN FABRIC AND CRAFTS
The full story can be found here. Please read Mark's blog post before reading on. It might not make sense other wise.
It is a little upsetting for me to here this. Yes, I know Jo-Ann has the right to carry what they want. I just think it's a bit upsetting that they would not carry the March Issue because of one article. To me this is like radio stations not playing the Dixie Chicks because of what they said about Bush (turns out they were right).
The magazine is even in a plastic wrapper. I have read this article and I have to agree with Mark at best it is only PG-13.
This kind of hit home to me for a few reasons. I have been thinking over the past few days that I wanted to do a post about acceptance, but was not sure how I would go about it. This is a great lead-in and it just goes to show you that not everyone is as open-minded as we would like or think.
I was a member of a quilt guild and would go every month. It was a lot of fun. I would learn neat new things and get to talk with friends that I only get to see at guild. The Kansas City Star even did an article about me being the only male quilter out of 160 some members. Each February is their Quilt Guild retreat and I thought I might like to go. With money in hand I went to sign up as it was first come, first serve. They took my check, but I was told they would hold on to it and see what they had left as I was the only male. They thought the place had a room available in the boiler room. I was o.k. with that because really, how much sleeping would I being doing that weekend anyways? It's all about making new friends, quilting and food. Well, to my shock, they called me to let me know they were sorry, but they were unable to find room for me and my check was being returned to me. I took this at face value, but after talking with the guild president who was one of my quilting instructors at the place I worked. She told me that they were wrong in what they had done and I should have been able to go. She told me to sign up as soon as the next person is appointed leader of the retreat. Well, long story short, I left the guild because of this. Here I thought the guild really wanted me around, but as it turns out, they did not. Only a select few wanted me around. I was the topic of the board meeting I later found out. They did make up a rule that people were not allowed to tell about up coming quilting class, because I would share the up coming quilting class for the place I worked. I was the Education coordinator and it was my job to promote all the classes. I did not feel welcome anymore so I left the guild.
I laid low for a while, not wanting to join another quilt guild for fear of the same thing happening again. I was talking to another instructor/friend of mine and she really wanted me to join her quilt guild. She told me I could be the guest speaker one night and share all my quilts for them by putting on a trunk show. I thought I would give it a try. Went to a meeting and thought afterwards that it was not too bad and maybe I would be welcomed there. As it turned out I knew more than a few of the guild member because of my job. This guild was also having a weekend retreat and I thought I would give it a try and not wanting a repeat from the last guild, I went ahead and just paid for a room of my own. I put my name on the list. A few days later I got a phone call telling me that I would have to pay extra for the room because only one person would be staying in it and they had based everything on double rooms. I was fine with this because I told them I would be bringing a friend and we would be sharing the room. She told me it was only open to guild members. I said that is fine, he would not be doing anything with the guild, just sharing the room with me. He could go sight-seeing when I with the guild and I would meet up with him at night. Well, a few days later the guild president called me to make sure that I knew how to "act in public spaces". I was confused as to why she would say that. She does know me after all. I knew her before joining the guild. I listened to what she had to say and told her that it was fine. So in her mind, she thought everything was handled and there would be no problem. Later after much consideration I decided that it was not their place to dictate what I could do while I was away from the guild. I woke up early one morning and wrote a full page letter stating how disappointed I was with their automatic belief that I would be doing something inappropriate. There was no question of anyone else being inappropriate, only me. Long story short, I quit the guild and asked for my membership dues back. I did ask a dear friend of mine to read the letter at the next guild meting and later found out people were sorry that the board of the guild would act that way.
I do not know if I can ever trust a guild again. I have been burned by two different guilds because I am a male quilter and it did not have anything to do with my sexuality.