Friday, October 15, 2004

She's a what?!!?!!!

Juan Cole is a must read for anyone trying to keep honestly abreast of how things are going in Iraq, but his analysis of domestic issues is remarkably lucid. His take on the Cheneys' wig-out over their openly gay daughter being referred to as gay:

"Why are Lynne and Dick Cheney so angry that John Kerry mentioned their daughter Mary's lesbianism in the third presidential debate?

The difference of opinion on whether the mention was appropriate is rooted in two different worldviews, and on two different metaphors for gayness.

The behavior of the Cheneys demonstrates that they view being gay as like being disabled. Or rather it is like being disabled in the William F. Buckley conception of disabled people as not just different from ordinary persons but actually inferior in their enjoyment of life."

It is worth following the link and reading his full commentary.

I wonder at times if this is how my parents see my being gay: as a handicap. It is a difference, and it does require that I consider it in how I approach things, but not any more than being Southern or of limited wealth. There are limitations in life and I have accepted mine and have learned how to embrace them and use them to my advantage.

It is somewhat worth noting that actually becoming comfortable with being gay and not really treating it as anything to be ashamed of or to be troubled by has made my life much, much easier and made me much healthier and more able to deal with others. Growing up gay in rural AL is not the easiest thing on a kid, but strangely looking back, growing up in rural AL isn't really all that easy on anyone. And the more I go along, the more I am convinced that growing up isn't really easy anywhere. After you make peace with your own difficulties, you can begin to see that it is not the only kind of trouble. Sometimes the thorns in our sides are blessings.

So it makes me a little sad to see someone's parents treating their openly gay child as an embarassment or with pity. When I detect that in my parents it cuts pretty deep. But mostly I just get mad: like every child, I expect better from them.

Where we are from, I am sure everyone knows that I am gay, or damn near everyone, but gossip spreads in a funny quiet way that one doesn't often have to confront too directly and I am not back there very often so I wonder if they have been confronted with this publicly and if they were how would they react? I have seen them show amazing backbone when faced with ignorance and bigotry in times past, so I imagine them telling anyone who said something inappropriate to shove it, but I wonder if they are where they could hear about it being casually being mentioned like it were nothing remarkable and treat it as no big deal? It makes me sad to hear that other parents can't, but then again, I think my parents are much better people than the Cheneys.

Hey, don't ask, don't tell.

(but while we are talking about Mary Cheney, can't we take a minute to comment on her new hair do? Maybe she finally made friends with some of the log cabin boys and they took her to a hairdresser instead of a barbershop. It is still a bad republican haircut, but it doens't look like cornsilk taped to an orange anymore. But can someone tell Chris Matthews that her old haircut looks no better on him?)

1 comment:

tattooed heathen said...

I feel bad for Mary Cheney. How humiliating must it be to know that the entire world knows that your own parents think you're a freak.

A parents love should be unconditional. Sadly, it often isn't.