#COVID-19 · homophobia

Week 11. COVID-19. #BlackLivesMatter

Dude. What the ever-loving fuck. I’ve sat down to write a blog post multiple times. I skipped week 10 if you noticed. Because I literally couldn’t formulate coherent thoughts about the shit-show that is happening in this country.

I finally funneled it down into a few significant moments in my own little lesbian life.

My wife bought my son’s water guns. They came home very excited to show me. They also looked somewhat nervous because they knew I would never have bought them anything with the word gun in it. I couldn’t see my facial expression but I know I raised an eyebrow and looked up at my wife who sighed and shrugged in resignation, and my sons looked a mixture of excited and nervous.

They all knew I was gearing up for my soapbox. I remember thinking of a beautiful line from my favorite classic, The Long Hot Summer (Paul Newman version, don’t even talk to me about the 80’s version. It doesn’t exist in my head), when the Southern Daddy says “I get preached to on Sunday….” and young hot Paul Newman interrupts and says, “Yeah and you don’t listen…”

Because I was gearing up to preach. And they all knew it.

I’ll shorten it here. But I basically said until young Black men and boys can play with toy guns I’ll be damned if my sons will use their white privilege to play with toy guns.

It was said in a semi-four-year-old version. I tried explaining that police sometimes go after the wrong person. My sons were quick to interrupt and tell me police officers get “the bad guys”. I had to try and explain that some times they get the “wrong bad guys” and just because some one has different color skin doesn’t mean they are bad.

My wife cut me off when I was about to get a bit too graphic. I forget to keep it rated G when I’m in full on soapbox preacher mode. But I want them to get it. I want them to understand it is a privilege that they could carry those damn water guns. I mean I think they got it.

Then when we watched Out on Disney+ and I was silently sobbing and asked Declan what he thought it was about; he told me it was about the dog causing trouble, and then they got it to stop and could we please just watch Scooby Doo now?!

So yeah…who knows. At some point they will be of an age when they will get it though. Because I’m going to drill it into their heads. Because if Black and women and men have to have these horrible conversations with their kids; I’m having them with mine. If young Black men cannot have toy guns; my sons won’t either.

Because until they feel some discomfort nothing will change. White heterosexual men and women have to feel some discomfort for change to occur. My sons are going to feel it. Because I feel it. Because I am horrified by the state of racism in this country. I am horrified by how the administration condones it. I am horrified by the amount of white people who do not feel at the very least discomfort with these deaths.

Meanwhile let me insert a screenshot of a Facebook post. No, I’m not deleting the person’s name. It was a response to a person asking about LGBTQ resources for online groups for teens who are stranded due to COVID with potentially homophobic and/or transphobic families.

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This is the shit. This is the reason I cried watching She-Ra and Cattra kissing and saving the universe with a lesbian kiss. This is the reason I sobbed watching Out. This is the reason I feel horrified not just minor discomfort by Black boys and men dying. Because homophobia is real. Because micro aggressions and overt aggressions are a part of my every day life because I’m married to a woman.

But I can hide it. I can’t imagine wearing it on my skin.

I find being married to a woman possibly the most challenging part of my life. Because it defines who I am. It makes me vulnerable. It makes me strong, while also wishing there were times I could just break. Could I just be part of a FB group for therapists and not have to experience homophobia? Could I just be a part of society in general and not experience homophobia? Could Black men walk down the street and not be killed?

Could we just co-exist? It seems we can’t.

I know my sons at age four don’t need to know certain things. But I also know some day they will be old enough to know things. And I will tell them.

Another therapy group I’m in asked recently what people do when clients are homophobic and/or racist. I replied I discharge them. There were a lot of therapist-y responses. That’s when I really feel the nurse part of my training come through. I’m not flowery and I don’t feel I owe it to a racist to “try and understand where these feelings come from,” I feel I owe it to myself to take space for my work and allow myself to work with clients I feel I can help without any transference or counter-transference negatively impacting that work.

Week 11. COVID-19. We started hiring baby-sitters because who knows when daycare is going to open. Black men and women are still being killed when they are innocent of any wrong-doing simply because they are Black. And white people still suck. Watch Nanette. “It is dangerous to be different.” Read “Me & White Supremacy” by Layla Saad. Do your work.

And until all children of all colors can play with toy guns; don’t freaking buy them. And when you don’t buy them. Explain why.

“Diversity is strength. Hindsight is a gift.” Hannah Gadsby

#COVID-19 · homophobia

Week 9 Pandemic Journal Entry: She-Ra Season 5 Nailed It.

I was in the midst of writing a pitiful journal entry. Luckily I stepped away and waited a few days to come back to it. Now I guess is technically Week 10 as it’s Sunday. Week 9 was rough. It took one of my son’s about a two days to beg to go back to school and see his friends. It took my other son seven weeks. It took me nine.

I’m an introvert. I don’t like all people. Or most people. But apparently even I miss people. I miss inviting friends over and playing outside together. I miss happy hours. I miss vineyards. I miss child-free nights.

I re-read Harry Potter Book 5,6, and 7. I cried when Dumbledore and Sirius and Dobby died. I also cried at the end when Fred dies. Because that’s just wrong. I’m thinking I have twin boys, and what would I do if we were in a war? I continue to find it interesting that Umbridge is carried away by the centaurs…and raped?! Dark stuff.

Then I read a trashy romance novel. Then I watched She-Ra Princesses of Power Season 5 on Netflix. I was always a fan of She-Ra. Even the scantily clad 80’s original. I had some complaints about the Netflix version. 1- we never find out her origin story (which obviously includes He-Man which is amazing). 2- Glimmer annoys me. 3- So much sexual tension between her and Cattra and no kiss.

Well Season 5 granted my wish- for the kiss part only. 1 & 2 are still not wrapped up. But finally a show where lesbian and gay relationships are normalized and not the central focus of the story. There is no awkward coming out scene. There are no issues around homosexuality. There is just sexual tension built up between certain characters and their gender doesn’t matter.

The kiss between Cattra and She-Ra occurs as Adora (She-Ra’s alter ego) slips away and and cannot access She-Ra. Their kiss allows She-Ra to emerge. A.K.A. a lesbian kiss saves the freaking universe. Literally. The whole universe.

My clients always ask me if I’ve seen this gay movie or that one. I say no. I generally despise all Queer focused movies because it’s all about them being gay. It’s not about them being just human with their sexuality being normalized and not the focus or problem.

She-Ra of Netflix freaking nailed it. No weird Queer side stories. Just a story where the characters can be Queer. And a lesbian kiss that saves the universe.

It took five seasons to get there. But we made it.

For all you hetero’s who don’t think this is a big deal- that’s your privilege showing. Every movie and show and novel is heteronormative. Often the Queer characters have being Queer as the storyline. It defines the character.

When really being Queer doesn’t define me or my life at all. It’s a fraction of who I am. It’s almost impossible to find a show or movie where being Queer is “normal” and it’s not a big deal and it’s not the defining feature of that character or the “problem” in the plot. She-Ra and Cattra don’t save the universe with a lesbian kiss. In that moment, in that episode, and in that entire series it’s just a kiss between two people who love each other.

It allows the central character to access her alter ego which can only be accessed when she embraces love. I don’t think they use the word Queer, lesbian, or gay at all in five seasons. Yet gay characters are everywhere. It’s amazing and had me in tears for the entire last episode. Finally. Normal gay people who aren’t defined by being gay.

Watch it. Love it. And if you write books or scripts replicate it. Don’t make media about being gay…because we are so much more than just gay.

 

 

 

 

homophobia

Straight Hate.

This is a term I learned recently. It was said jokingly about my blog.

Ha. Ha.

I don’t hate straight people. I used to be one. (Anyone get the Mrs. Doubtfire reference? You are my people if you did.)

I do feel a certain type of way about heterosexual individuals who are not aware of their het-privilege and then become defensive or deny when it is pointed out to them.

I am very aware of my white privilege. I also have felt the gut instinct to deny it exists because it is uncomfortable to sit with it.

It’s likely not hate you are feeling from me. It’s an uncomfortable niggling in your gut that you have heterosexual privilege and I am ripping the band-aid off and making you look straight at it.

It’s human nature to deny that you are “better” than some one else. Especially when you’ve used the privilege to your advantage without even being aware you were doing it. Especially when you haven’t used your privilege to help and advocate for those without it.

Heterosexual privilege exists. Trust me. It exists every time you make plans for a vacation. Do you ever consider your safety? When traveling within the United States do you ever wonder if you can travel to South Carolina or Alabama because you might not be welcome there? I do. We literally don’t travel South unless it’s directly to a friend or family member.

Have you ever held your breath when a stranger starts admiring your kids and you are not in a totally safe place, and they mention their “Mommy” and you wait for your kids to correct them and say, No this is my Mama, Mommy’s not here. Giving away your secret. I have. I have exhaled in relief when my kids didn’t mention that they have two Mom’s and then later felt a deep sadness that they will have to hide this at other times in their future.

Have you ever left a job because you couldn’t be “out” about your partner? I have.

Have you ever lost clients or customers because of your sexual orientation? I have.

Have you ever been asked about your sexual relations leading up to pregnancy? I have.

Have you ever been unable to marry the person you love due to your genders? I have.

Have you and your partner ever been harassed at bars or in a restaurant by another male who thinks ‘you just need a dick in you both’? ¬†We have.

Have you ever had a bible shoved in your face to show you how you’re going to hell? I have. Three times. By three different people.

Have your parents ever called a homeless shelter and told you to go to one, and that you have two hours to pack a bag and get out? My wife has.

Have you ever known some one who has been physically assaulted by their parents when they came out to them? I do. Too many people. Injuries included dislocated joints, broken bones, and black eyes.

The list could go on. Your privilege exists because you have not had to experience any of these things in order to love who you want to love.

Me pointing this out is not “straight hate”. It’s Queer love. My yoga instructor always says, “Sit with the uncomfortable. Move through the uncomfortable.” That’s what I encourage every one to do when examining your privilege. Put away the defensiveness and denial. Acknowledge it exists. Stop perpetuating the idea that it doesn’t. Stop perpetuating the idea that anyone pointing it out spreads hate.

I’ve said it before. I have a homosexual agenda. It’s to show everyone that my marriage and who I love doesn’t define who I am. Who I am defines who I love.

My agenda includes bringing light to an issue that has been stuck in a closet in the dark for far too long.

Straight hate probably exists in some Queers. It doesn’t exist in me. But the knowledge that more hetero’s need to acknowledge their privilege…that does exist. That mission of mine won’t stop.

If that’s not something you can handle…probably read a different blog then.

 

 

 

homophobia · lesbian mom

Homophobic In-laws and Fixing the Broken Doggy

This week has been rough. Clients/family/adulting (in the form of medical bills, taxes as a business owner etc.)…tough…along with restarting intermittent fasting hardcore. Which makes me rather cranky. In the midst of hell week…a call from my wife’s family.

My wife’s company gave out Fitbits in order to track our steps and exercise patterns. They will put extra money into our HSA if we hit certain goals. So yeah. If you’re familiar with fitbit you know that they apparently vibrate when you haven’t moved in awhile?! Now not only am I making dietary changes like intermittent fasting and paleo based diet but I have a watch that vibrates to tell me that I am sedentary. Awesome.

It’s generally guaranteed to start vibrating during that intense moment with a client when they are revealing something super personal and vrrrmmm vrrrrmmm vrrrrmmm “you haven’t moved in awhile!” And I’m thinking this damn watch has to go.

I work as a nurse practitioner with 30 minute appointments for medication management follow-ups, 60 minutes for therapy, and yeah I’m booked through February so there’s a lot of back to back appointments with me only moving to walk some one out and the next one in.

But thanks for the reminder that I haven’t moved.

I have bumped up hot yoga to 3 nights a week again. Which makes me feel less bad when that damn thing vibrates.

This week also started every morning with my sons as a shit-show. Yesterday Jackson slammed Declan’s fingers in the bathroom door- it was an accident- but no less horrible. Screaming. Bleeding. Swelling. Meanwhile in my head I’m like, ‘I need to make my smoothie and we have to leave in twenty minutes!’ We had to call my wife, and my Mom via FaceTime to tell all his people his sad story and show them his swollen bleeding fingers.

He recovered and I got to make my smoothie.

Friday morning was show-and-tell. Me- “Don’t bring that it will break!” Him “I’m bringing it, it won’t break Mama I promise!” Him at 6:30 tonight when I come home, “Mama! My puppy broke!!!” Me- “———” Me in my head “Mother&$^#&@*$&*@$*###&&$$*#(@&&”

Let me add a little lesbian content (That’s a Hannah Gadsby reference if you still haven’t watched Nanette stop reading and go watch it, we can’t be friends until you do) my wife’s family disowned her 13 years ago now.

Then in this lesbian mom’s group I’m in some one asked how to cope with watching your partner deal with being disowned by her family. Too many responses. Too many of us have experience with this. My response was there’s nothing you can do. Keep your opinions to yourself. I didn’t share my opinions until we had kids. Then it was, they are either in or out. None of this pussyfooting bullshit. I don’t walk a line. I pick a side.

They didn’t impact me emotionally. But they weren’t going to be in and out or set up false expectations to our children. My boys either have a second set of grandparents or they don’t. Her parents have consistently chosen the side of intolerance and hate under the guise of religion.

What irks me, yes irks, is their consistent statements that they are “praying for us” to be brought over to “God’s plan”. Because I’m always thinking, “What if you’re wrong and THIS, this amazing life we have, is God’s plan?!”

I could go on. And on. But I won’t. Well maybe a little because yes that was said this week. The we are praying for you line. It’s also rather mean-spirited because if their prayers were truly answered our family would be split up. If we “followed God’s path or plan or whatever” we would both be heterosexual, divorce, and preach against gay marriage. That seems counterproductive and insulting. To everything that we are.

Suffice it to say, love your kids. Unconditionally. Even if they bring the stupid overpriced breakable puppy, that they painted in a stupid overpriced paint your own pottery shop, to daycare for show-and-tell when you explicitly warned them not to do it.

I glued the stupid puppy back together. I’ve had to chip off certain pieces with the biggest knife in our house (because the little knives didn’t work and weren’t sharp enough), glued my fingers to the stupid puppy (it’s gorilla glue, and trying to make nice seams)…but I still love those kids.

I’m also approaching my first birthday without my Dad. Yeah, I would never waste one second with my kids. I want to be in their lives until they tell me to go away, and even then I’ll come back.

We have our challenges. We butt heads. But their sexual orientation and gender identity wouldn’t make me turn them away, it would make me love them harder/stronger/more protective. Instead of kicking them out why would I not feel the need to protect them more?!

I will never understand my wife’s family’s decision. To cut her off and throw her out. To then continue homophobic views after she’s a Mommy and after we have two beautiful sons. I continue to pity them and the live’s they miss out on and I also continue to pray for them to see the light and love and acceptance of a God so different from their own.

I have no regrets in my relationship with my Dad. My only regret is not having more time with him. I knew with his last breath that he loved my sister and I. I knew we were his life. I knew that because he waited to die until she left and I was in the other room. He even tried to greet me and my sons with a smile the day he died.

I hope I have many years until my own death, but when it comes I will meet it with no regrets in my relationship with my sons. Because I choose love. I choose tolerance. I choose to accept rather than cast aside. I choose to learn from my parents and my wife’s parents. My parents accepted and loved.

I choose to pass on the legacy of love. Nothing less.

So I fixed the puppy.

Followed by a discussion about them listening to me when I veto a show-and-tell decision.

 

 

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Yes it’s freaky looking
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The Broken Puppy Glued back together