What’s in a word? How the world sees you, treats you, claims you is all wrapped up in words. Self identifying as “bi-sexual” for a man can cause people to be leery, as a woman can make her the life o’the party. Even words like “fat” “whale” “cow” and “dummy” carry a wallop if someone is flinging them full force. Words matter. Words signify the majority / dominant party. Words are issued by the Cool Kids, the Mean Girls. Words can hurt, shame and conjure.
I’ve pointed out that “gay-marriage” is a ridiculous term. It’s a marriage dammit. I’ve argued there’s no such thing as gay-parking, gay-shopping or gay-eating until you know what? Chobani yoghurt proved me wrong. One Million Mothers’ group complains the recent ad depicting two (married) gay women is offensive. OMM states Chobani “should be ashamed of their latest commercial for attempting to normalize sin.” I swear I don’t make this shit up! The ad shows a woman eating yoghurt in bed while her partner sleeps beside her. She playfully tickles her partner’s foot. The ad ends with the yoghurt eater pulling the sheet off the bed as she exits, revealing the partner is (wait for it) another woman (!)
I thought to myself, who would eat in bed while their partner is trying to sleep? Pull the sheet off? Eat yoghurt with a finger in lieu of a spoon? Obviously the only point to filming in this manner is to punchline. Ta-da! There’s another lady in the bed! If this commercial had been filmed with two heterosexuals in the leads, they would have been sitting at a table. Which leads me to conclude: I guess you can “gay-eat.” My bad. OMM writes on its website. “The ad states, ‘To Love this Life is to Live it Naturally.’ There is nothing natural about homosexuality.” Now we’re back to names hurt. Calling a lifestyle “natural” or “unnatural” isn’t helpful, isn’t kind, is a meant-to-be inflammatory statement. If it wasn’t so hurtful it’d be funny.
We might argue living in cities isn’t natural. Getting a paper certificate that licenses us to drive isn’t “natural.” Eating trans-fat isn’t natural. When I get right down to the brass tacks what is natural? Being a bitch. There I said it. And it is a biological truth. Humans are hardwired to protect their young. A pretty pathetic young we are. We take years and years (sometimes 40) before we are able to live on our own. You know how long it takes a puppy to wean? A horse? Few animals require adult supervision as long as humans. Apparently One Million Moms feel their young are threatened by alternate lifestyles and have responded in basic bitch mode.
There I said it, so you don’t have to. You should, and I CAN have a judgement and here it is. (Drum roll please) Gay people minding their own business harm no one. One Million Moms objecting to alternative lifestyles harm everybody. They harm their kids by raising little bigots. They harm their kids (who may be gay or bi or third gender) by shaming them. They harm the cohesiveness of society with their hatred and outrage. We shouldn’t allow the most fucked up person in the room to set the rules, right? Am I right?
Years before the internet, I had a friend who admitted bondage aroused him. He wasn’t into shame or humiliation, it was really just the aspect of restraint. He found himself fettered by self-doubt and embarrassment when broaching the subject with new partners. I imagine my queer friends getting very upset with me at this moment. WTF, Kumari, how dare you analogize a sex freak like that with the LGBT community! Bear with me. My point is, and I do have one, is that I didn’t think he should identify so fully with this one aspect of his life. Sexual freak? He was a whole person with quirks and strengths, weaknesses and interests. I assured “Lattice” that if he met the right girl discussing what they wanted to enjoy in bed was truly nobody else’s business.
I long for the day when people are judged for the content of their character and not for entirely random cultural norms. Pillar of the community? Good Christian wife? Sometimes the reasons a person is admired in a community is weirdly arbitrary. Divorcee’? Fat chick? Sometimes the reasons a person is disdained are outrageously underserved.
Sometimes we suffer from too much information. Personally I don’t talk to my parents about anything, my sex life is no exception. But that’s not fair. Gay people, third gender, triads, polygamists – – they shouldn’t be made to feel invisible. If heterosexual siblings are proudly announcing a new significant other, why can’t gay siblings share? In the realm of “sin” the OMM ought to consider when I was growing up having baby out of wedlock was a sin. Getting divorced was a sin. Entering a church without a head covering was a sin. If we were to hold the current generation to those standards, who the hell would fill the church?
The double standard I so often see is gay people working overtime to be inoffensive, to be quiet, and accommodating while cis-gender people make ass. That ain’t right.
In my last blog I wrote about my blonde co-worker who called her friend to report a “black man was at the Fort Tejon.” I felt disturbed by her need to broadcast sighting a person of color. She responded by explaining an attempted rape had been reported earlier that week at the Fort. I would that she had suspected suspicious people in lieu of black people. I feel equally disturbed by people who insist gays are more likely to molest children. I am quite sure the statistics prove otherwise. More crimes of “passion” are committed by straight males than anyone. Are we to lock up all the straight guys then? Call our friends when we see one?
How about we do something useful instead?
Not only is equating homosexuality with sin wrong, forgiving those who spew hate is wrong. Have you ever wondered why queer youth suffer from clinical depression and commit suicide at higher rates than average? New Flash: it ain’t because they’re gay. It’s because they are shamed and bullied and made to feel unwanted, uncomfortable, unnatural and unwelcome. Wouldn’t that make anyone depressed and suicidal? Here’s the real mind-bender: asking a poor disenfranchised gay youth in therapy to understand where his/her parents are coming from – making them feel as if all the dysfunction is on their side when No. It is not.
Parents who don’t love, nurture, protect and encourage their offspring are the dysfunctional ones. Right? Forgiving people for doing evil is crazy-making. In my book the definition of evil is exploitation of the vulnerable. You don’t get more vulnerable than being a dependent child. According to a study by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, as many as 40% of homeless young people in the United States are LGBT. That statistic ought to be more shameful than loving someone of the same gender, dat’s fo shur. Being angry at people for letting them down would be a healthier reaction for the average queer than learning to forgive those who mete out cruel judgements.
Won’t the anger eat them alive? Ruin their lives? Poison them? My friend BethAnn told me being angry at someone was like eating poison and hoping the other person would die. But that pre-supposes my anger is all consuming. And it’s not. I feel how I feel until I am done feeling it. That’s how I work shit out. Not feeling the feeling that’s true, that’s what ails us. Yoga teaches us to see things as they are, unveiled, up close and personal. If we label and name stuff as “negative” that’s human. That’s understandable. That’s natural. But that don’t make it any less real. The reward for being authentic is peace. No more living a lie for Caitlyn Jenner. Bravo. Somewhere over the rainbow all lives matter. But every time I approach that rainbow the end dissolves and moves out of sight. Picture a circular rainbow.
Now Y’all play nice!