Thursday, April 02, 2009

Quote o' the Moment - Exactly, and Good Questions

"Growing up, coming out, living in the world, we've all had to deal with the voices of negativity. In learning to speak about who we are, we've always needed to respond to critics before anything else. The voices of homophobia -- both the strident ones in society and the more subtle ones in our own heads -- have largely dictated the course of our discussions. As a result, our definition of self is only beginning to emerge from the shadow of what we're not. 'We are not sick, not evil, not sinful, not perverted, not child molesters, not anti-family, and in terms of basic humanity, not all that much different from anyone else.'

"Saying 'NO!' to homophobia is one of the healthiest steps any one of us can take, yet when our whole self-definition is based on negation, we miss something vital. We know who we're not, but we still don't have answers to the same basic questions, 'Who are we?' 'What does it mean to love as we do?'"

-John R. Stowe

16 comments:

Pom said...

Unfortunately it takes waiting for the negative connotations to be taken out of a "thing" to stop talking about what you are instead of what you are not. The fact that there are negative connotations connected with homosexuality is not the fault of the gay community but the propagandists who have perpetuated this crap for too long and yet likely know not a single gay person. It is indicative of THEIR problem - not yours.

However... the times they are a-changing! Maybe not quickly enough, but the change is coming. And then you'll state who and what you are instead of what you are not. Believe it or not - despite what the media covers - 'we' already know.

Evn said...

Believe it or not - despite what the media covers - 'we' already know.

We know you know. And we appreciate you. ;)

Word verification: fajot. Looks like Blogger reclaimed a derogatory term and changed the spelling. How very Pagan of it. (grin)

knottybynature said...

My daughter turned 11 in January. It occured to me that I never explained to her about homosexuality.

In a nutshell.... "You see how daddy and I love one another? Sometimes women love other women the same way, and men love other men the same way. I don't believe there's anything wrong with it. But do not ever make fun of anyone or look down on anyone for the choices like this in life they make. There is enough hatred in the world - let people love one another. Remember meeting aunt Terry? She has a wife named June. Remember meeting Uncle Rodney? He has a husband named Tony. It's okay. There's just more love in the world than people can believe in."

I don't really know if I need to keep reiterating that kind of conversation. She IS eleven. I just want to make sure that she stays open-minded and accepting of people.

Thalia Took said...

Knottybynature, I would imagine that repetition of that message would be a very good thing, considering how unending and relentless the homophobic messages of our surrounding culture are.

Evn, negation is a form of rebellion in some ways, I think. In that when we say we are not something, we are rebelling against what someone else is telling us we are. And rebelling against something gives that original idea power. I think rebellion is a phase, a good phase, and one that has to be gone through to make sense of things.

But (and) on the other side of that is the positive definition of oneself, the I am not the I am not; and the power then belongs to the person claiming it, not the idea rebelled against.

I don't think I'm making much sense; I'm feeling particularly incoherent right now. Pretty much I'm agreeing with Stowe. :)

Thalia Took said...

Oh, and yay! for Iowa.

Evn said...

Oh, and yay! for Iowa.

For the record, everyone in Texas thought it was an April Fool's joke. What a wonderful relief that it's not.

Yay for Iowa, indeed! (Even if I personally prefer Nebraska. But I don't judge.)

Yvonne Rathbone said...

Iowa rocks.

And it's really pretty, too. Rolling hills of cornfields. Seriously. After a day in Missouri and soybeans growing to the horizon, Iowa was great.

Maybe I'll marry it since I love it so much.

Yvonne Rathbone said...

Oh, and you can't say "yes" until you can say "no". It doesn't work the other way around for some reason. And you don't grow out of the terrible twos until you can really mean it, which explains the fundies.

Yewtree said...

Excellent post. Hurrah for Iowa (and also Vermont).

Homophobia - just say no.

Homosexuality - just say YES!

Yewtree said...

You may be interested in this article by Tom Moon, Ten Queer Spiritual Roles

Kitty said...

You know, one thing I have learned with raising my own children and doing some teaching of other young children is that when you make an issue separate, then it becomes 'bad' in a sense to a child. So, when talking to children about love, most people are referring to hetero love, and then add a caveat to include homo love if they even discuss it at all. That is still making it 'different'. What I have done with my kids from the time they were very little is make clear that the definition of love means any combination of gender. My 4 year old had childrens books where not only do the prince and princess fall in love but in the book "The King and King" the princes fall in love with each other and live happily ever after. In giving him books like that I am making homosexuality a common, UN-different thing in his personal culture.

In fact, a few months ago my 14 year old daughter told me she thought she might be bisexual. I was like 'ok'. The other day she told me she is sure she is bi. She was excited to discover a facet of herself in the way she might be excited about discovery she likes to draw. But it wasn't some shameful, lascivious, or rebellious teenage discovery. My response was still "ok, I'm glad you figured that out..now did you finish all your homework?" I wasn't trying to belittle her discovery, but neither was I going to make a bigger deal out of (in other words yet again making it 'different') than if she told me she has a new crush on a boy at school.

Sorry to be so long winded, I hope that made sense. Basically, by making a big deal out of how different something is, like the fact that your friend is of a different race than your other friends, then you are also making it a bigger deal and therefore up for more scrutiny than if you hadn't pointed that out.

Thalia Took said...

Oh and also now yay! for Vermont, too!

Evn said...

I know! And yay for Texas... um, one of these days!

It'll trickle down here eventually. Probably. I gots hope.

Word verification = dental.

Fuck.

Thalia Took said...

Oh no on your wvw, Evn!

And now mine is 'nowinwa'--I hope that's not a bad sign.

It does feel like something is gaining momentum now. I mean I don't want to jinx it, or get my hopes up, but...

Thalia Took said...

Hey, you, you're not in some kind of dental Hel again are you?

You all right?

Evn said...

I'm still here! No current dental woes, just a bit bogged down at the moment.