Sunday, May 31, 2009
A pre-Blogging for LGBT Families Day rant
Somehow, tomorrow is June 1st. Which means that it's another "Blogging for LGBT Families Day."
(Quick aside: Can anyone tell me where I put in an application for a moratorium on the passage of time? Just until I can finish the reading I've supposedly been doing for my comps. Or at least for the equivalent of a month or so.)
I'll be posting what I hope will be a more coherent post tomorrow, but wanted to throw out a few of the thoughts that passed through my head as I was pondering on my planned topic.
Trillian and I do not face a lot of obvious discrimination, or even dislike for our "alternative lifestyle," in our daily life. I think that a lot of this occurs because of the way we present ourselves. Matter of fact, not asking for others' opinions on who we are. Having a kid can make this a little easier too, since other parents can certainly identify with the priority our son is.
But... I can feel pretty certain that there are at least two sets of neighbors who strongly believe that our family set-up is wrong. They both belong to a church that says this in their doctrine, and it's not a church most people would attend if they disagreed--there are plenty of other churches for those people. Yet our neighborly interactions are perfectly pleasant, and Scooter regularly plays with the one kid who's close to him in age (at his house or ours, whichever is most convenient for the time).
Hate the sin, love the sinner and all that, I guess. Though I do often wonder what they really think.
There's the standard assertion that coming out, being truthful about who we are, helps fight homophobia. How could someone who knows and respects, maybe loves, somebody who's gay continue to think bad things about homosexuals?
Except that Trillian and I have first-hand experience of the fact that this is not always the case. We recently found out that one of Trillian's aunts and uncles, who happen to belong to the same denomination as our neighbors, signed a petition in order to bring an anti-gay referendum to vote in their state. Not just that they voted for it, but that they played a role in its creation. This was not even "just" a same-sex marriage issue, but one that specifically addressed the rights of gays and lesbians regarding custody of children.
They know Scooter. They send him gifts. They say complimentary things about him. And they don't think our family should exist. Their church told them to sign the petition, told them this legislation is necessary, and they didn't--not even for a second--make the connection to their own niece.
All the numbers show that the vast majority of those who oppose same-sex marriage and the other rights that have been coming up for a vote (and I won't even get started on the issue of voting on people's rights) are demographically concentrated among older voters. For most, as in a majority, of the younger demographics, this is simply not an issue for which they consider debate necessary. And yes this will sound crass, but they will grow up, the older voters will die, and there will be a shift.
Not that it will free us from these uncertain and uncomfortable moments, as there will always be individuals who feel as our relatives do, but I will be much happier when they are undeniably in the minority.