Weekend bonus shot, 10.11.08

upsidedownboy2

“In the end it’s our families and children that are the most important,” Berkeley, CA.

Statement by E. Rice, Legislative Coordinator, Family Council, Sacramento, CA.  Rest of quote: “Prop. 8 will impact our children and their children and their future.”  

[Source: the Yes on 8 Testimonials web page.]

Oh, and Happy National Coming Out Day. (Last year’s greetings here.) What do you think: would E. Rice, et al. think differently, if they actually just knew families like mine? One of the great mysteries of our time.
 

4 Responses to Weekend bonus shot, 10.11.08

  1. pe_in_pa October 13, 2008 at #

    (I’m sorry this got so long, but by the time I went back to your post from last year, I just couldn’t help myself.)

    you wrote:

    >What do you think: would E. Rice, et al. think differently, if they actually just knew families like mine?

    Honestly? Yeah, I do genuinely believe they would. Or, at least, I believe that *many* would. I know that because of the path my own family took.

    Quoting from your post from last year (the post you linked to) …

    >We know “we are everywhere.” But not everyone else does. The idea is that when they do – and when they see that LGBT folks are as wise and as foolish, as brave and as frightened, as hopeful and as as crestfallen as the straight folks in the majority = things will be a bit better. It’s the whole “If you prick us, do we not bleed?” line of reasoning.

    That is exactly how my family’s eyes were opened. I’ve told you that I originally came over from lilysea’s blog. She and another internet friend (from an unrelated discussion board on an entirely different topic) were the first places I really began listening to the topic of glbt. This is going to sound horribly naive, but I was raised pretty much in a cave. 😉 A very conservative little pocket within PA. I now live in a much more diversified area. Anyway, when I was growing up I honestly did not know anyone who was ‘out’. I went through all of college that way (I commuted, so didn’t socialize there as much), and at least half of graduate school. (Yeah, it’s true. Stop laughing at me.) Then I became internet friends with a wonderful woman who just happened to be a lesbian, and then I found lilysea’s blog after my husband and I also did a trans-racial adoption. The thing is, when I was younger, I thought that glbt issues were tangential to my life. Something irrelevant to me. My internet travels first suggested to me how untrue that was. … … And then, along came ‘S’.

    Further quoting you from your post from last year …

    >We got to talking (can I help it?), and she made some passing reference to my “husband.” After a teeny wave of discreet, bemused surprise washed through me, I noted that it was my partner who gave birth to the kiddles, and I’m the husband, if husband there be.

    And that is *exactly* how I lost the last of my obliviousness. That statement is why I’m commenting now. Some time ago, our daughter became friends with one of her ‘extracurricular instructors’. I’ll call her ‘S’. Daughter really attached to S, in a way I’ve never seen her do with any other non-family members. One day, daughter asked if we could invite ‘S’ to a theater show for which we were purchasing tickets. I told daughter that we should be polite and invite S’s entire family. (You can see where this is going, and yeah, I was that oblivious.) Daughter called and told S that we wanted to take ‘her sons and husband too’. S made daughter put me back on the phone, and I will never forget the nervous tone in S’s voice when she said, “I don’t have a husband, but I do have a partner, and I hope that’s alright.” S is a very strong woman, and God almighty did it hurt to hear the concern in her voice over how we’d react. I’ve since learned just how hard she works to keep her situation quiet from most of the other parents (I mean, the other parents of the children in this extracurricular activity.) That conversation, and others we’ve had since then, will never leave me. It makes me cry just to remember it. I think it actually broke my heart to hear the concern in her voice. 🙁 But my point is, that GLBT issues were suddenly no longer in any way ‘tangential,’ and since then I (and husband, who’s undergone the same transition) have become pretty much raving glbt proponents. S and her partner are now considered ‘extended family’, and are listed in our wills as daughter’s guardians in case of emergency. And I swear to God, heaven help anyone who personally questions that choice. I’m a powder keg they really don’t want to mess with.

    But I guess my rambling point is that, yes, you’re entirely right. The concept of showing people the truth simply by living your own life, has never been so blindingly obvious to me.

    (And as a corollary: I recently mentioned to lilysea that I finally got just a tiny taste of the legal nightmare that comes from denied rights. Hubby and I had to be very thorough in our wills, due to S and her partner being denied the ‘legality’ of marriage. I realize it’s nothing compared to what S and her partner themselves had to go through with their own sons, and I feel guilty even complaining about it. But it was still a darn good realization for us to have to go through.)

  2. Lesbian Dad October 13, 2008 at #

    Thank you so much for taking this time, pe_in_pa. So much. Your empathy is very much appreciated.

    This is a very disheartening/challenging/stupefying time. That is, when I look too long and hard at the direction from which the (? is there anything more descriptive than hate/fear?) — from which the profound antipathy is coming from. Thank you for turning my head back in your direction.

  3. sabrae October 13, 2008 at #

    That pic. is tooo cute! 🙂

  4. pe_in_pa October 13, 2008 at #

    I was trying not to talk too much, but I should tell you that I can actually give you another example.

    About a week ago we had our annual ‘family dinner party’ for our daughter’s birthday. We have a few friends who we also consider ‘extended family’, and who come to this dinner as well. As daughter’s newest godmothers and guardians, S and her partner and family are new additions to this tradition this year.

    There was one person in the group whose reaction I wanted to carefully guide. She was matron of honor at my wedding over a decade ago, and is daughter’s honorary ‘Aunt K’. She belongs to a very strict religion (Assembly of God), and her former husband was actually studying to become a pastor at one point (until he kind of went nuts, turned abusive, got booted from the program, and they split). Anyway, she was the one I was a little worried about, and I was determined to make her see the light before the actual family dinner.

    Well as it turned out, when i first told her, she said “no judgment here”. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, she told me why. Not long ago she changed departments within the company where she works. She describes her new department head as “one of the kindest, most charitable, most genuinely good Christian men she’d ever met, particularly in his dealings with other people” — and he just happens to be gay.

    I’ve never met this man, obviously, but believe me, if he can turn K around, just by the simple act of living, then you also have a shot at even the worst of them. I should be clear that K was never vocally hateful, but I do know how very ‘strict’ her views were, and I genuinely was under the impression that I’d have to at least rein her in, if not lay down the law before dinner itself. As it turned out, she sat on one side of me at the dinner, S sat on my other side, and for awhile the two actually talked around me about a project they might work on together for the kids in that extracurricular activity S teaches.

    (By the way, if I can find your email around here, I’m going to drop you a quick email too. If that’s ok. 🙂 )

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