Saturday, June 16, 2007

One celebration too many

I'm not talking about Paris Hilton or Mike Nifong, sorry.

I am so damn cranky, let's just get that out of the way right now. Sunday's Father's Day, and my father died when I was seven. I was going to do something really awesome-sounding on Friday night--roller-skating at an actual disco with excellent hip-hop DJs. (It was something Yemaya O'Reilly and I longed to do as little girls who were old enough to be aware of 1980s hip-hop culture but too young to do anything in it. I guess there are a lot of us in that demographic.) Anyway, my knees just locked up! And they hurt so bad, even with a double dose of Aleve! So no roller-skating for me, and nobody could think up any other ideas that didn't involve me hurting like crazy on my bad knees. I was so pissed. And, I can't go to the Gay Pride parade downtown Sunday(foolishly scheduled for Father's Day) because my knees are still hurting. Michigan's not a must-watch race for me or L'Ailee, but I guess we'll watch it.

Also, L'Ailee and I had a fight over fabric softener, of all things. Can you believe that? I think she uses/wants too much. She thinks I use too little. I probably do--I was allergic to most fabric softeners as a girl, and was too broke to buy the stuff when I first started out on my own, and only discovered reasonably-priced fabric softeners for "sensitive" skin a few years ago. Having gone without for so long, I think a full dose of fabric softener makes clothes feel slimy. And she wants more than a full dose. I do most of the laundry, and was the one doing it last night. She was tired as hell from all her Friday classes and meetings, and I was sore in more ways than one, so we tussled. We got our perspective back the next morning, but felt so stupid over it. One of my friends has been in a mixed-sex marriage for six years; she says that's a very married kind of argument.

That's not enough for some people. "Traditional family" groups in Massachusetts demanded the right to decide whether their fellow citizens could stay married or not. The State Legislature didn't give it to them. You know that.

I'm so grateful it didn't pass, and yet I'm just so goddamn tired of being grateful. I can't celebrate because we've celebrated too many times. L'Ailee and I have been married two and a half years and have spent most of that time unsure of our legal status, robbed of our legal status, worried over a court case or bill that would affect our legal status, etc. No straight person would tolerate that! It would be a stressor, except that our bond is much stronger than any law. The hell of it is, all this opposition doesn't make us want to give up and meekly accept a second-class status. It makes us extremely angry, makes us determined, makes me decide to give up on dialogue for a while and my wife decide to take off her grandma's crucifix necklace so nobody thinks she's a Christian.

I know that same-sex relationships are being held up as distractions from more pressing issues. I didn't sign up to be the shell covering the pea. I could let go of the need to be legally married for a few years if it means we could work on getting our soldiers home or protecting our environment. But it doesn't work like that. For one thing, the self-appointed morality police aren't just resisting new policies; they're trying to get old ones rescinded, like adoption rights and domestic partner benefits for state employees. For another, that's exactly what our lives are being used as a distraction *from*!

I loved a bisexual man once; I might have married him if he wasn't extremely insensitive about the fact that I can't see a pregnancy through to its finish. (And by the way, he married a woman who could. A straight marriage needn't contain straight people, which I think needs to be brought up much more often.) One of the few wise things he said was that attacks on LGBT rights are rather like an aspiring firefighter whose equipment keeps getting sabotaged. S/he'd *love* to go out and put out a fire, but people keep tying knots in their hose, shredding their protective suit, letting the air out of their engine's tires, etc. You can't be fully productive for the rest of the world if vocal, hard-working strangers are striving to change your legal marital status and strip you of your rights to care for each other just because they think relationships like yours are icky.

With almost every marriage, there's someone who objects or at least wonders how the hell the happy couple could stand to get married that way. Yet no LGBT person or organization is calling for the "right" to vote on the legal status of any mixed-gender marriage. We're not that arrogant. Right-wing spokespeople are complaining that voters have been "robbed" of their "right" to make very important decisions for their fellow citizens. In most situations, I'm all for a vote. But in the case of a suspect class like LGBTs, a vote can't possibly be remotely to our benefit, just as a vote on segregation in the Jim Crow South couldn't possibly swing towards blacks' favor. It's a game rigged against some people; it's a mass expression of contempt for minorities. I will pity the people who have been robbed of their "right" to determine whether strangers get to stay legally married the day chickens cry because a KFC closed down.

Link time:

To keep the theme going, The Trouble With Engagement Rings. L'Ailee and I each wear one of these horrid anachronisms.

Why is Russia so homophobic? Like L'Ailee, the writer left Russia with her pro-democracy family, who got political refugee status in the States.

Why atheists are getting angrier.

What does your carbon footprint look like?

Does country music have a color? Rissi Palmer doesn't think so. She's a talented, beautiful, and black "Country Girl" who really needs to be heard, at least as much as Carrie Freakin' Underwood.


Jon-Marc said...

And now the right wingers are saying the reason they lost in Mass. was because, ready for this?


Anyway, keep up the good fight. I know it becomes tiring but it will be worth it.

cats said...

we prayed for lgbt's in church yesterday and for those people who support them and i haven't heard any blacklash yet. (which i worried about in my unstable church.)

at a pastor's group i attend we wondered if someday people would marvel at how big of a deal we made of this issue. perhaps some day future generations will be perplexed at why this was such a fight.

alan said...

Glucosamine and Chondroitin, 3 times a day...

A good fish oil (GNC's "Multi Oil" is what I use, no indigestion like the cheaper ones) will also help your knees!

I hope they ease up soon, not just for the roller skating or the parade's sake, but your surfing as well!

If I miss my Glucosamine and Chondroitin for just a day or two, mine get really unhappy; since I started the fish oil the "creak" has stopped in the right one as well!

I keep thinking that dragon you spoke of has finally been slayed, and they keep trying to resuccitate it!

Garrison Keillor said something in his monolog on Saturday about there being submarine tours of the Capitol building in DC after the ice caps melt, the tour guide pointing out that "his is where they argued about global warming for 100 years"...

You are very right about that straight marriage thing!

Thinking of you!


Peterson Toscano said...

My carbon footprint! Yikes. I got rid of my car and I am a vegan, but it is all the air travel I do that messes it up!

BostonPobble said...

I'm sorry you hurt ~ in every way you hurt. The spat was indeed Very Married and made me giggle at the very ordinary-ness of it. The rest...well...big hugs and kisses to you. Happy Litha if I don't get back here tomorrow. :*

Barbara said...

Lise and I have dumb arguments like that too. (grin)

If you use a clothes dryer, perhaps you can use a product like this:
or here's an American alternative:

Here's an article from Natural Life Magazine about the potential dangers of liquid fabric softeners.

A quick 'net search yielded a slew of more natural fabric softeners and alternatives.

Anyway, Lise and I just celebrated 12 years together and we're still nuts about each other. Yeah, we do live in a more socially "enlightened" country and are legally married but no law written by man could ever regulate, quantify or define how we feel or know what's best in our hearts.

Writer Mom said...

I just love you ladies.

*I just glanced across my desk, thinking of something to write, and spied the calendar with quotations I gave my grandmother many years ago. I keep it out now to think of her...and today's quote:

"Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire--conscience."
George Washington.

*I love fabric softener, but I agree that too much on towels makes them non-absorbent.

Dr. Deb said...

I didn't know you lost your dad so young. Must be so hard at this time of year.