Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I’ve decided this blog needs a reboot. I also need a distraction from grad school-induced stress that doesn’t involve watching TLC and eating pie (I do love TLC and pie, though!). So I’m challenging myself to write something, anything, every day.
Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite stories. My parents (M and L) are a lesbian couple who conceived and raised me together (before it was fashionable!) living in the American Midwest. A few years back, one of our neighbors, a conservative, elderly man, came up to L on the street and initiated a conversation, a rare occurrence from a normally reclusive neighbor. He stopped her in the street to tell her that he and his wife had voted against a measure to define marriage as only between one man and one woman because of my parents. Because living next to an openly gay couple made him realize they were like any couple; they worked, raised a daughter, and were good neighbors.
It’s a small moment, but it’s shaped my idea of How Things Change. In my youthful activist days, I stood on a street corner on the weekends, holding a sign protesting the proposed Iraq War. I wore political t-shirts, went to workshop after workshop, put together booths and activities at diversity fairs, and emerged skeptical of a protest culture that, to me, felt more like a group of people assuring each other that they were not alone. There is a place for this; it makes people feel happier and stronger and more able to work for change, but I think protests, rallies, and parades more often alienate the unitiated than change their minds.
I think people like my parents do much of the grassroots work for social change. They are educators; they hold block parties on national holidays; they loan sugar to the neighbors and take food to sick friends and co-workers; they sing in a community choir; they vote in every election; they call out friends and acquaintances on homophobic comments (M has perfected the quiet, pointed look that effectively re-routes a conversation); they are open and honest about their sexual orientation when it’s safe for them to be. They live quietly, honestly, and unapologetically. And, person by person, they make their bit of the world a friendlier place for gay people.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
For now, sleep, followed by work (sigh)