Yeah, I know this blog goes back and forth. A lot. One day I'm talking God, the next day, I'm talking Disney movies, and the next day, I'm a radical feminist. What can I say...it's all in here. Kinda like Prego, but different. Hang on. It's a wild ride, but it all adds up, and even sometimes overlaps in the most unexpected ways. In the end, it's who I am--someone who feels deeply, wonders frequently, thinks too much, rejects the dominant paradigm, plays freely, and laughs far more than average. I'm trusting you, you're smart, you can deal, you're a go-with-the-flow kinda person (or if you aren't, get workin' on that, it's good for your health, not that I'm always the best example myself).
So here's the deal for today...
Don't you love it when you find someone or some blog on the web that says exactly what you want to say but either haven't found a way to say it or haven't gotten around to saying it or are maybe a wee bit shy of the flogging that will ensue? Sure ya do.
Well, today, thanks to my friend Ron on facebook, that happened to me. And so I'm just doing the good do-bee thing, and passing it on.
I'm tired of pretending that it's over--not only for queer people, but hell, for half (more than half?) of the human race. I'm tired of the naivete and lie-down-and-roll-over ethic expressed by the people holding signs saying "We Are Equal" or "Freedom=Equal Marriage" because marriage has become legal in six states. I'm tired of assimilation, of a movement that has morphed into a fight to be regarded as "normal". I'm tired of a movement that, without criticism, adopts overly sexualized heterosexual norms in order to advocate for a civil rights issue (one which, frankly, has very little to do with sex, and a lot to do with justice) without regard for the fuel that they provide to the oppression of women (which, believe it or not, is not up for trade in exchange for gay rights). I'm tired of the political correctness which has made frank and analytical discussion about some subjects taboo, even within the gay and lesbian community--that we have become a people who silence one another for not going along with the "party line"--the very antithesis of our genesis. I'm distressed at the misogyny that is inherent in the disappearance of butch women in the lesbian community (and the lack of conversation about it).
No, despite all appearances, I'm not a killjoy. I like a parade. I like a party (well, by some people's definitions of party, since I don't drink and don't understand its relationship to fun). I like celebrating. I like marching with friends. I am proud of who I am. I just think we've lost sight. In a big way.
I'm someone who believes in history. I'm someone who believes in honoring those who came before--not through holding them up as tokens or heroes (which serves our purposes rather than theirs)--but by digging in, reading, understanding what they did, why they did it, who they were, and what they have to say about what is happening now. I'm someone who believes that every action is a political action, that, in the parlance of the 70's, the personal is political. Sadly, I am someone who, like a lot of us, folds a bit too easily under the pressure or even subtle ostracism of peers, who can't always live up to the excellent advice to speak your mind, even when your voice shakes.
I'm someone who has no shame in my age, in my grey hair, in my history in the women's movement, in the earlier days of the gay and lesbian movement, in the women's music movement. I'm someone who has no qualms about being a feminist first, that I have and will always have--not individually but as a rule--far more in common with women than with gay men. I'm not embarrassed at the music I like, the shoes I wear, the clothes I wear, or my size.
I sound angry. It is shocking to say, but in the almost 30 years since I came out, I feel as if have been increasingly and steadily isolated from my community by my own (purported) community. It continues to this day. In our "transformation" into "everyone else", into an indiscernible part of the dominant culture, those of us who used to be welcomed in our renegade troupe are once again nearing the fringes.
I don't know, I think that would piss anyone off.