sad to hear that california is continuing to be so lame. I am especially upset by that lady, whose name is so close to maggie gyllenhall’s, comments that justify this discrimination as being in the best interests of the children. Um, excuse me, but i’m pretty sure that encouraging the second class citizen status of their parents is not going to make things better for those kids. As the child of lesbians I am all too aware that the real hardship in having gay parents comes from an intolerant society.
even though its shavuot and therefore far too late for passover I couldn’t help but include this amazing article about a Seder in Brooklyn put on by the fetish community.
It reminded me of my mama- bless her heart…Also this frum bathing suit is hilarious and kinda hot( both literally and figuratively)
As I trawled through my email- an activity indicative in my life of unusual levels of leisure- or in this case a napping charge- I found that my friends have sent me some really cool stuff that piqued my interest. Not surprising per se given their general fabulousity but inspiring nonetheless. Now for introductions: Ethnopediatrics! The field of studying parenting across cultures. I am fascinated by this, as so often parenting practices go unexamined or the culturally determined aspect of them gets taken for granted. I am guilty myself. When I traveled in SE Asia in 2004 I was sure there was some sort of child abuse conspiracy that explained why tiny infants were able to go on long bus rides and such sans diapers, geared up instead in split bottm pants. What cruel things had they done to assure such amazing and precocious continence? It never occured to me that perhaps thay had a more effective potty training system to our own, albeit one that would be hard to translate to our lifestyle. Only once i’d done research into cross cultural potty training- you mean not everyone bribes their kids with m&m’s? did I discover the myriad of other facets of parenting that varies by culture and locale. Here’s the article:
I am very much looking forward to reading in its entirety the book on which this article is based. Perhaps it will join modern religious theater as subjects i’d like to get a degree in, if I ever have enough money and can justify another useless degree- remember my bachleor’s is in experimental theater. Along with of course, Genocide Studies- my other pet interest- turns out there’s a framework for that one- The Raphael Lemkin Institute at the University of Bremen- a friend sent me an article written by one of their folks that I thought was rather provocative. It suggests that the West’s support of the Palestinian population in Gaza, amounts to a proxy war against Israel because over-population leads to conflict- aahhmmm…Brought to mind the tricky proposition of outsiders suggesting/coercing birthcontrol for others, which has a shady history on the whole. But then as a feminist I also believe that having control over ones reproductive processes is essential to women’s rights and that having eight kids tends not to be conducive to personal liberty. tricky tricky- Here it is:
On the same subject of Israel, here is a not too recent article from the NY Times I got through a habonim sister. It basically talks about how symbolic measures like Israel apologizing for what happened to the Palestinians in 1948, or them recognizing Israel’s right to exist are more important to people than money or material concessions. Carzy but true and very interesting….
http://www.nytimes. com/2009/ 01/25/opinion/ 25atran.html? emc=eta1
People often kid with me once they know my familial situation that mother’s day must be really stressful. All those mothers…I joke back that at least I get father’s day off. But seriously folks, I am way lucky when it comes to my family- I got four amazing moms, each one unique and precious and loving.
The AP via Yahoo had an article yesterday about how five years of gay marriage in Mass has not led to the apocalypse. Check it out at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30660002/
I enjoyed it as there were some queerspawn included.
So as part of the work I do for a local lawyer, I happened to be filing something with the county clerk’s office. Whence I arrived to do so, I immediately noticed that the man behind the counter had a certain distinctive look about him. He was large with a shaved bald head and a large mustache. He was rocking a plaid shirt. He was either- a biker or and this is what got me all excited- a bear/leatherman. Now, both are plausible possibilities. Santa Fe is a popular stop on the open road, and motorcycles are a common sight plowing through town. It also has the second highest per capita gay population in the country, only to be outdone by my hometown, the other SF. So, I was all the more curious to know. Maybe this is none of my business- what is my perogative in trying to make assumptions about his identity or lifestyle? At the same time-identifying members of your own community and making yourself known to them is great fun… I kept trying to brainstorm something I could say or ask him to make obvious whether I was barking up the wrong tree. I imagined the outcome of the relatively “straight” forward tack- “Are you a bear sir?” or maybe I could just “woof”? Bears at the Folsom street fair “woof” at each other sometimes. I imagined everyone thinking I was crazy if he wasn’t in fact a burly gay man into other burly gay men. Would it be better of worse for him to have any clue what I was talking about in that case? And what exactly was I hoping he’d say back if in fact he was a leatherman? How was I planning to explain my own connection? Luckily, first I had to find the right question to ask… “Are you family?”, maybe? Friends of Dorothy? I ran through all the in-code I could think of. “Families like mine”- the Guide to Queerspawn talks about “in-code”, the language formed to talk amongst yourself and community. Yiddish is my favorite in-code, a language that existed as a response to the anti-semitic environment jews inhabited between the Crusades and the Holocaust. Everything in that language is an inside joke- “how you doin” literally translates to something like f-ck Jesus and his followers, it’s hilarious. Anyhow, none of that was help to me in calling out the bear behind the desk and so I was stuck just smiling excessively at him. And when he smiled lots back I was no more clear on whether it was flirtation or mind reading or basic politeness that was behind it. Ah well….
So in my trawling of the web for things that relate both to my work and my procrastination, I found an article in the New York Times called “Growing up with mom and mom” http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/24/magazine/24KIDS.html It’s about this girl Ry Russo Young and her lesbian moms. I have heard of her before, our community isn’t that big, and she went to Oberlin, along with everyone else i know, so of course we’ve got people in common. So, i’m reading this article and thinking wow- this is the person who is most similar to me of anyone i’ve ever read about. Lesbian moms, raised in the gayborhood, a natural performer who identifies with drag queens but is straight. After complaining yesterday about not identifying with most of the stories in “families like mine”, today i am having the opposite problem. too much identification. I admit I feel a little jealous which is silly because its like being envious of yourself. I can’t name anything she’s got that I don’t have and want- but somehow I feel just a little bit less special knowing she’s got it too. kind of toddler like reaction. Also, it weirds me out some of the stuff we have in common, like “hey i thought that was who I was as an individual”, but seeing that we share this laundry list of things in common makes me wonder if in fact this is all my upbringing shining through. If we were both pink obsessed as young girls, does that mean our moms have to do with it? what can I blame on coincidence and what do I need to examine? maybe pink obssession is a weird thing to blame your dyke moms for but still…For a second i was concerned that perhaps she was older than me and therefore in front of me in the imaginary line of numbered queerspawn. I used to think I was the first kid of “out at birth” gay parents. A talk with a COLAGE organizer burst that bubble but they were nice enough to assure me that I was at least in the first one hundred, though there was no guarentee as no real study has been made. No one knows who the first was, is the point and so in my head I line them all up, all those damn folks born slightly before me and therefore stealing my queerspawn thunder and coveted first position. No worries, my place in line is secure. Next ,I was worried that somehow this might jeopardize the all important book, since so much of it rides on how unique this whole situation is- if lesbian moms were a dime a dozen, noone would care to read my account. I was in a bit of a panic until I remembered that only part of the story is gay momness- i still have the Israeli combat soldier/peace activist romance angle to cover. Thank God.
Things worth mentioning: today I found out breast milk is parve thanks to Frum Satire http://www.frumsatire.net/2008/05/18/did-you-know-that-breast-milk-is-parve/ also big shout out to all the awsome things that are happening in terms of Gay rights. Wish my rights didnt hang on public opinion but hey at least we are slowly winning that battle. Check out a good summary at Mombian.com
so i’ve been doing research as part of writing my book proposal that has included undertaking to read all the first hand accounts by other queespawn like me. I have started with ” Families like Mine” by Abigail Garner. It’s a great book but its definitely made me conscious of how lucky I was growing up. I not only had lesbian parents ,I had great lesbian parents, maybe the best ever. I grew up in idyllic San Francisco. The gay Mecca.The first chapter of the book mentions the fish bowl phenomenon by which kids struggle due to the disportionate amount of attention put on their family. I loved the attention. I fancied myself rather special. I have a touch of what Augusten Burroughs refers to as ” magical thinking”. Maybe my drama queen personality made me particularly well suite to my environment, like gills in water. I though being the poster child of the gay community was lots of fun, i still get a little envious when things about queerspawn don’t include me, like ” hey why didn’t they call me about that?’ I guess my being straight helped my chances of gettting used in promotional materials, which is an unfortunate reading of what “turning out well” means. Mostly I seem to drive interviewers crazy with how persistently upbeat I am. They are always looking for conflict, it sells. “You mean you really never felt ashamed about your family?” You never missed having a male influence in life, really?’ As though my happiness must be a front. Even one of my moms recently asked me a similar line of questuoning, inspired by a friend whose daughter had recently chosen to move in with her straight Dad. ” I’m sure there were times when you wished we weren’t gay” Only, I don’t remember any. honest. ” I’m sure it was hard on you” not really, not in San Francisco. I wanna tell her, lady you were born in 1925. only in lots of places it’s not much better- present day Iran for instance, i’d rather be in 1925 if I had the choice. Anyhow, i felt a slight twinge of that accusation in the book, like somehow my experience was too happy go lucky to be representative, and maybe that’s true.