Monday, June 26, 2006

Testing the waters...

Today was a slow ease in to the bigger issues. We did some getting to know you activities, all basically low-risk. One woman cried while sharing her name story. Tomorrow is White Privilege, with Peggy McIntosh and her invisible knapsack on the agenda.

The instructor, who is a close mentor of Dyke Two's made a comment I am struggling with. He said that one of the things that he feels is required in his classroom is that all opinions are valued, no one is told they are wrong, no one is silenced. That all seems good at the surface, but I sat there, thinking, "But there are times when I, either as a participant or a facilitator want to tell someone that their opinion is wrong." Dyke Two and I were talking about this as we drove home, and at the time the only example I could come up with was that of someone who says that homosexuality is wrong. I have heard this said in numerous situations where all other rules of PC interaction are in effect, but in the name of religious tolerance, I am required to accept this stance. This dangerous relativism was hammered home tonight as we watched a documentary on s*i*heads, which was followed by one on another three letter group that comes right before LLL in the phone book. (I don't want to attract this type of troll to the Ark, so I am going to leave it to your powers of deduction to figure out the subject of the documentaries). So, after watching these shows, I realized that they were an even better example. Obviously, you can't sit there and engage with this type of hate-spewing rhetoric in the name of tolerance, acceptance or diversity. (Or you can try, but if you aren't white, straight and Christian, they might kill you). Dyke Two has encouraged me to call the instructor on this tomorrow, and ask him if he truly means what he said today.

My big epiphany for the day came when we were discussing life here in Smallcity. A friend asked if Dyke Two and I have found a comfort zone within the Black community. I realized that we have. Once we got engaged, but even more so since Bigfella was born, people have been reaching out to us, offering support, comraderie, love and acceptance. Our two mommy family has not caused even the slightest ripple. Yet, despite my personal experiences to the contrary, I sat in that room today, assuming that the Black women in the group would be uncomfortable with my sexuality. Where does this come from?

I think we all know that there is a myth in the White gay community that Black people are homophobic. And, until today, I believed it, without one shred of personal evidence to back it up. I was a little embarrassed to realize that I took that baggage willingly and without question from various gay leaders, most of whom are middle-aged, upper middle class, White men. (Dyke Two did remind me of a particularly uncomfortable confrontation I had with one middle aged woman who happened to be black, but even I know better than to assume that she spoke for all blacks.)

Maybe this omnipresent, unilateral "Black community" (don't get me started on that idea) isn't actually homophobic. They just think the gay folks they know are assholes.

But the biggest news of the day is that Bigfella finally hefted his big self up off his quilt and rolled from stomach to back. He has kind of done it before, but only when diaperless. Today, he did it fully clothed. It is hard work to lift 19 pounds off the ground when your muscles are only 4 months old.


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