I overheard a conversation between colleagues today... "Everyone's partying this weekend - my son was partying and kept sending me pictures, look here's him and one of his lady friends..."
And everyone chuckled like oh what a player...or something. But...here's the thing. I know that the party was pride and that yes, that lady was a friend - but she was most assuredly not a "lady friend"" unless something has changed dramatically. In fact, the son in question was the first openly gay man I met. (Is coming out so much easier for females everywhere or just in the NW?)
I don't think the misdirection was on purpose even, or perhaps even noticed by the speaker. Maybe it's just built in defense. There are so many people in this world that would turn up their noses and that would be judgmental had it not occurred. Yet, I see no reason for it. For me, it doesn't matter - and I guess that leads me to feel like it shouldn't matter to anyone. Because, well, it shouldn't. I'm not sure where the difference is drawn. I came from a house where, my father especially, was very anti-homosexual... well, anti-gay, anti-black, anti-Hispanic.... it would be far more surprising for him to not be part of some skin head group than for him to be part of it, honestly. He's one of the most universally hateful men I've ever encountered. But... I digress.... That hatred should have seeped into me, right - I mean, that's the general consensus - hate begates hate.
Perhaps it was being surrounded by the love of the pacific Northwest. Perhaps it was meeting amazing people who were gay, perhaps it was my own love and desire of the female form... who knows. Whatever the cause for me, love is love regardless. I am a firm believer that labels shouldn't even exist - that love should be able to flow freely from all to all without a definitive border. I think that labeling oneself straight or gay tends to set expectations that if later broken can lead the person ostracized from their social circle. I've known too many people who were "straight" all their lives and then ended up with a same-gender partner, or those who were "gay" and ended up falling in love with opposite. Or "bisexuals" who very obviously had a preference one way or the other. For me, I've never been past 2nd base with a female, and I probably never will be. I'm in a committed relationship with a man, and I plan to honor that relationship and all its boundaries... even though I would like to be able to explore the female form, I'm not sure I'd go much further even with husband's permission. For me... I'm...
| | x |
gay bi straight
there-ish. But again, I think that varies depending on my mindset and has fluctuated much over the course of my life.
With the laws and society the way they are, it is safer to be part of the group, I suppose than outside of it. Safer to be "gay" and in that community than be "unaffiliated" and with someone same-gender. I hope that within our lifetimes we can see the removal of labels of any kind - race, gender, sexual orientation. . . and just be. That we can remove affirmative action, remove scholarships from schools that are based on anything other than scholastic/extra curricular achievements. That wages will be equal across the board, that a middle-class white male will have the same chance to get into the school of his dreams as a poor black woman. Yeah... pipe dream, I'm sure. Though it's not without merit, not without possibility. Not so very far out of reach, is it? I suppose it is.
I've been thinking a lot about discrimination these days, about the way of the world in which we live. Oliver won't find it of much note if a black man is elected president in his life, as one will be serving when he's born. I can only hope that by the time he's ready to fall in love and form a real relationship that he doesn't have to worry whether the person he loves is socially acceptable or not. If he falls in love with a man, and wants to marry him, I can only hope that by that point it won't be a question of which state they'll have to go to for the marriage to have legal standing. If he falls in love with a woman, I can only hope that we'll live in a world where she has full control over her body, and can stand on an even ground in her career, or be a housewife, or whatever it is she chooses to be without judgement.
A wiser man than myself once told me advice to live by "where my toes end, another's begin" It's a good start. Realize that what someone else does, who they love, who they are... it doesn't matter. It doesn't affect you. If that person tried to step on your toes, to change what you do, who you love, who you are -- then isn't within our rights to fight back? But as long as no one's getting hurt or being imposed upon, then what's the difference to the world at large? What does it matter if your neighbors are gay, or smoke weed, or have guns? As long as they're not smoking and driving, or shooting folks, or hating on you because you're not like them?
Just some of my thoughts & ramblings of the moment....