Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Most Passionate No On 8 People are: Heterosexual

I've had five (now over 10) or more conversations with heterosexual (all women) friends about prop 8. And they all tell me how angry it gets them. "It's a civil right." (Meaning not up for debate at all.) They are all married or have been married or are about to get married and are so happy for my partner and I being able to get married and they are all taking the yes on 8 stuff very personally. I am so deeply touched by their passion. It's funny how you get when your relationship and orientation are not taken seriously. You get used to the institutional discrimination as fact and feel privileged to finally be allowed to get married.

And I must admit to having Eeyore moments some times in the "Oh, they're going to take it away again. Oh well." Even though I would be profoundly disappointed if 8 passed, as it means a lengthy delay while we wait for the demographics to continue shifting in our favor as they already are, so the Calif Constitution could be reamended (Calif constitution is amended and reamended all the time so, while it's a pain, there's nothing written in stone about it at all.). But I'm digressing. My point is that you get used to discrimination and you kind of expect it. I've lived in the Bay Area for 15 years and it's been so refreshing to not be treated like a second class citizen, but I'm always aware that a large part of middle American would rather see me dead or at least not there.

Heterosexuals don't feel that discrimination, yet my friends are very aware of directed at the glbt community, and since they have not had the experience of being discriminated against, it makes them really angry to see us treated in this less than human way. Where us glbt folks (I'm a monogamous bisexual actually though I don't worry about such details in the fray of prop 8) are too used to it. I need them to feel the righteous indignation that I've had beaten (not literally, fortunately) out of me.

I am profoundly grateful for our heterosexual allies.


Anonymous said...

One of the things I have noticed about my relatives and at least one of my friends here at work is there acquiescence in the oppression of the glbt community and an unspoken acknowledgment that they are rebels at least if not out and out "odd."

I know from my studying and from my own observations of nature and articularly from watching my birds behaviors for many years, that there is not the kind of bias against varieties of sexuality that our Victorian culture tries to hold us to. Our genetic make up is from our early primate foremothers and forefathers who had a much wider range of sexuality that we currently do in our country.
Homophobia is clearly (to me at any rate) very Victorian and Christophilic. For some reason, although I've never found any biblical basis for it, hard-core Christians seem to have a very narrow understanding of sexuality as male-female, reproduction centered. That's just simply garbage, rot, nonsense. If that is the case, why don't people lose their sexual impulses when they grow past child-bearing age? They don't. To me that is one of the best arguments against the procreation based arguments for male/female definitions of marriage. Note that it's not based in love and respect, it's based in gender which is completely irrelevant in my understanding of the roots of a healthy relationship.

I've had to really argue hard with my friend here, John, who is gay and yet in some ways still homophobic. It's important to dig down into your assumptions about yourself and the ways you relate to people I think, if you are going to overcome self-limiting biases. John doesn't really want to do this. He lives a lot on the surface with not a lot of self-reflection. The study of our human/primate ancestry as well as our belonging to the realm of Creatures on Earth, is critical to our understanding of our sexual biology and an acceptance of the varieties of loving and sexuality. Christianity has put limits on our ability to understand with the promulgation of the belief that we alone are descended from God the Father. Bunch of crap. We--all of Creation--are God's Children, and Children of the Gods.

And that, is my sermon for this afternoon.

Jennie said...

That's interesting. I was attributing my relative apathy to being unpartnered, but yeah, some of it must come from the sum of previous defeats.

It is hard for me to get enthusiastic about a hypothetical partner that I might not get to visit in the hospital, to which I couldn't leave my estate automatically, and our hypothetical shared child she might not automatically get custody of. (Especially if the hypothetical partner could be male and would automatically get all those things!)