After the tasty pizza enamored our tongues Saturday evening, the family lodged back at home and conversations brewed. The topics ranged from sexual deviation, to family interactions, to fine art, to finally the highlight; how my sister in law's parent's fell in love. Like tongues to pizza: enamored!!!
In describing the interaction somehow she phrased herself hands on her hips, "Well my stupid lesbian grandma!"
We erupted in laughter my brother saying, "Here comes a blog post!"
I, breaking away the tears of humor, responded, "Stupid grandmother would have been good enough. Continue with your story!"
None of this is to be taken offensively or personally. The whole episode enlightened in me questions. Why did I break out in laughter when in other cases this would have aggravated me had it been someone I didn't know saying this? Why does it matter that someone said stupid lesbian grandma at all? Why is this a problem? Would someone say stupid straight grandpa? How about stupid old grandpa? Should we consider old just as offensive as gay or lesbian? Loads of questions filled my head! few answers followed.
All of this adds up to something much larger. A child raised in a toxic home with racist, sexist, ageist, whatever ism, yet playful humorous slurs could some day go to school and udder, "My stupid lesbian grandma." In front of a lesbian who hasn't come out. Or, "Dad says niggers are lazy. He knows black people." To someone of a different race. Or "Asexuality isn't a sexual orientation because asexuals don't have sex." Written on a well respected blog by a well respected young man. Or.
The purpose is to first identify why we say and do the things we do and decide how to interact with that reasoning to make a difference. Surely, it was funny, but in a school setting, in the work setting, and in home setting, much of this can become uncomfortable and escalate. Had I been in the closet, I would have been impeccably offended and ravenously disgusted with myself and my family. I am glad things have gotten better and that I am free to express myself as necessary. I am not free from any of this!
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