I was watching television. Nothing special, whatever was on when the power button got pressed. In this case it was an episode of Law and Order:SVU- the one with Ice-T in it. The episode was about a cop who’d shown up dead- and in the twists and turns of the show it turns out despite having dated Mariska Hargitay’s character, he was gay and HIV positive. His end came in relation to a circle of black men who were on “the down low.” When he fell in love with and threatened to “out” one of them, he got killed in response. Ice-T got the dubious honor of explaining the concept of “the down low” to the TV audience.He framed it like being out and gay in the black community was neigh impossible and so gay black men are undercover as a result. Then when he confronted one of them he threatened to “out” them blackmail style in order to get his cooperation and in the process, says something like- “you have sex with other dudes- that makes you gay- period.” And at home in the comfort of my living room, I thought well- that’s not entirely true though. I mean, I’m sure there are black men living a lie due to cultural pressure and all, but some of those brothers are Bi too, and that complex possibility wasn’t mentioned.
Hence perpetuating the misassumption that any man who has sex with men is gay and that bisexual men don’t exist. LAME.
I actually saw a headline on Nerve.com that claimed, “Bisexuality exists,” and was attached to some new scientific study. You don’t say….So I was a little sad to realize that something so obvious could be still up for debate but then again in some places we’re still arguing over evolution, when we share 98% of our DNA with a chimpanzee, so I don’t know why I’m surprised at all on another level.
Anyhow, my day was saved by the commercial that came on afterwards.
It was a Tide commercial, featuring a mother who’s got a child she can’t seem to keep clean. The outstanding part comes in that the child is a “tomboy” and the mom comments as to her acceptance of her child’s lack of gender normativity. It was something like, “She’s never going to be the kind of girl who plays with dolls and keeps her clothes clean and I love her the way she is.” That was the message if not the exact wording. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to being brought to tears by a detergent commercial. I might even forgive myself and switch from my hippie version back to Tide and finally have laundry soap that works. The point is- when did TV get so Gay?
I did think it was funny though that they say we have fewer behaviour problems because lord knows I’ve never been well behaved…
I had the opportunity yesterday to feel for a short while what’s its like to be gay. As an ally, I am still generally cossetted by straight priviledge. I walk around feeling theimmediate approval of most people I meet. I imagine this is not the case for someone who is recognizably gay, like my mom’s butch girlfriend is for instance. She concurs that people stare and are often rude.
For a moment or two thanks to my bright red “Legalize Gay: Repeal Prop 8″ t-shirt I got to walk in those shoes. I doubt my shirt would provoke much reaction in either of the metropolis’ I was traveling between, those being SF and LA. In fact I was stuck in this situation because I was driving down the 5 in a rush to make it to the last few hours of Los Angeles Pride. Hence the T-shirt choice- And the highway takes one on a detour from the the liberal urban oases and through California’s most conservative towns. I could have at least been wearing a bra…. Everytime, by which I mean all three times I stopped for gas or snacks, I could feel everyone’s eyes on me the second I stepped from the car. It took them a milisecond to read my chest and then settle their faces into a scowl. I decided to eat in my car rather than sit inside with their stares. Even though it was very hot out and I was tempted by the air conditioner.
It is amazing to me that this is a lesson I am learning still, the experience of others ignorance. I found myself composing speeches in my head in which I explain that I am not gay but they are still lame. I keep writing in my head most of the way home.
Found a couple of articles out there in the world that relate to my quadrant of interests, aka queers, jews, babies, acting…. on the upside of life, Vermont has joined Iowa in the list of places more enlightened than California. Although my smart friend Jeff did mention that Iowa enjoys the peculiar distinction of being the first state to legalize Gay marriage due to its residents voting in the opposite direction. Okay- it’s maybe not the gayborhood yet…Still, technically speaking its ahead. Anyhow, that’s the bright spot, other than that I got a really disturbing article from Haaretz about racist and misogynist t-shirts IDF soldiers are having printed. Check it out at http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1072466.html I own one such shirt- by which I mean a shirt printed by an army unit to commemorate the end of a training. It is bright pink and features a man yelling and holding a gun. It came to me because someone in my ex’s unit had ordered the color spontaneously but balked when it actually arrived. It was a large and had a hood to boot, until i modified it to be vaguely wearable. I like it a lot but don’t want to be even remotely associated with the kind of shirts mentioned in said article. Why do people suck so much sometimes? It’s like its a messed up situation not made better by inciteful fashion, jeez. At least the kids in my youth movement are doing something about it. I was directed to this piece of info by a letter written by fellow Habo Head- http://www.chicagomaroon.com/2009/4/7/between-bias-and-a-hard-place
As to Babies- there was a great article in the New Yorker about breast pumps and their evil side. Now, I know that they are part of how we American women are being denied reasonable maternity leave and that while they enable more women to work more, this isn’t in itself necessarily a blessing- plus they are based in milking machine devices. I also liked the history part of the article where I learned that America had a motherhood craze in the mid19th century and that women supposedly ran out of breastmilk or at least thought they had at one point- fascinating really. Here it is: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/01/19/090119fa_fact_lepore
love me some breastfeeding!!!