Why is it that I don’t know any close friends or acquaintances from now or from the past 56 years that have LGBTQI kids on a BabyTrend Expedition-Jogger stroller?
Why do I feel like the only person in my large circle of acquaintances (while growing up and going to numerous schools all over the world) that span 3 continents, with a gay (or LGBTQI) child?
With the availability of networking sites throughout the globe like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. and just plain old email we seem to be finding people from our very distant past, people that we sometimes don’t remember at all but pretend that we do so we don’t hurt their feelings. But among all these and in the midst of high school or college reunions invariably someone cracks an unacceptable gay slur or joke, and at that time I have to stop and think, because I normally in person will just automatically be the killjoy and correct people that use words that are hurtful even if they are not done in a hurtful context. I feel the need to educate the world (I guess) so that people don’t have to hide and go in closets to laugh with the rest about a hurtful joke that makes fun of them. But with people that I have not seen in a zillion years, many of whom I don’t even remember I had to stop an think, do I want to antagonize this group by correcting this now? Then I say to myself, Yes,I need to set the example, maybe in this large group I’m addressing someone will stand with me because they may have a child that is LGBTQI or they themselves may have come out in their life but not to their former school mates. So I stick my neck out once more and tell the group that I have two great sons,a wonderful marriage and that my youngest son is gay and I don’t appreciate the language used in the joke. To which I get the sound of crickets….silence….and two or three email me separately and congratulate me for being such a good mom. And don’t get me wrong, I did appreciate those people’s comments, I did get a “We did not mean anything bad by that joke” from the person sending it but after that total silence my name is banished I don’t exist, anything I try to comment on is ignored. This is definitely a form of bullying, I felt it hard and clear! but I don’t care I will stand up and correct them again if I read anymore of their emails (which I probably won’t anymore. But you know someone out there has to have an LGBTQI child or grandchild that they are not talking about. Why not? why do I feel like I’m the only one talking.
I remember growing up, because of my Dad’s line of work we traveled a lot, I changed school every 3-4 years and I’m not talking English speaking countries either, and there I was, not only the new kid in school, but also the one that spoke funny, different so it was always a difficult first day of school for me and being pointed at, ignored or what have you made me stronger, I think to be able to stand up now and not care what any of those people think.