A little over a year ago, in the run-up to the national general election, I was talking with a friend about how frustrating it was to watch politicians cash in on anti-gay rhetoric. "I'm past just wanting my full civil rights," I said. "I want us to get organized; if we had our act together people wouldn't just stop this stuff, they would be afraid of ticking us off!"
Well, today the future looks a little bit brighter. Following reports in the media and from the American Family Association (insert gagging noise here) that Ford Motor Company was responding to anti-gay pressure and pulling back its previous ad buys in publications targeting gay audiences, John Aravosis over at Americablog trained his spotlight on the issue. He and other members of the liberal blogosphere then coordinated a response, and today, we won.
This is what I want. To not even have to fight, because people slowly but surely realize that business models driven by narrow-minded bigotry won't work.
Wondering what to get me for Christmas? Send John Aravosis a little something on my behalf. (John Aravosis, PO Box 21831, Wash, DC 20009. Make checks payable to "John Aravosis.") The guy is doing great work.
I grew up in the almost entirely white town of Big Flats (guess the state.... nope, New York). I work in a school in central New Jersey now, and am so envious of the students in my remarkably racially diverse school. I missed out on so much, growing up in such a culturally monolithic environment. And I didn't even figure THAT out until I was well into my twenties.
When I talk with students about our son's two-mom status (as I am sometimes asked to do), someone inevitably asks me about whether I worry about how he'll be treated. And I do, to the extent that every mother worries about her child. But I am also tempted to say, "What, are you kidding me? He's a white male!" (I sometimes don't say it, but writing this I think maybe I should make a commitment to saying it.)
Knowing what I know, and having lived the life I've lived, I am much more concerned about how I will prepare our son to recognize, address, and fight racism than I am worried about the queer-related crap he might have coming to him. After all, he's got two in-house experts to help him sort the queer stuff out. Helping him grapple with issues of race and racism is a much more daunting prospect for me, in part because I still feel like I have so much work to do just in my own life. I think about this stuff all the time; parenting is not for sissies.
I think the next step will be to reach out and make sure that I've got friends who are thinking and talking about these issues as they relate to parenting, so that I don't have to figure it out all on my own. (Is there a Yahoo! group?)
I wish sometimes that we could stipulate racism, so that everyone could be doing the work of unmaking it. I can't believe how many people there are in the world who persist in thinking that racism is 1) a thing of the past, 2) not all that bad, 3) no problem of theirs, or 4) all of the above. Depressing and/or enraging. Thank goodness for artists. And now, maybe, bloggers. I'm looking forward to reading everyone else's posts.