Thursday, June 23, 2011

I'm going to make myself sit and contemplate shit (and other delicious substances) via the written word

Thanks for your kind words and good thoughts...Really, it is great to have such dedicated and thoughtful readers out there.

And. I decided not to stop blogging. Mostly, because I had this interaction a few days back that made me think a lot. Then I started reminiscing in my head about how, in the past, I would make myself sit down and write about the thoughts that surfaced after an interaction like the aforementioned. And that is what I am going to do. I'm going to make myself sit and contemplate shit via the written word. It is, after all, how I make sense of the world. It may be infrequent, but you all can live with that, right? And, I can at least make sense of the world around me through writing it all out when I have a few minutes. The tension for me about keeping this blog was that sometimes all I want to do is write for me, but work and life muddy the time I would spend on such an endeavor. So I have to clear the waters and make time for me.

The interaction that made me think was all about being a queer parent. The person I was chatting with ( who happens to be a white, straight man in a heteronormative state-sanctioned marriage) really thinks that after queers win comprehensive rights and discrimination hides its ugly head for always, we will be able to display the dysfunction that is in queer families. He thinks that right now studies--the few out there--demonstrate queers as having more stable families cause people are on ultra good behavior. Also, it would hurt "the movement" (though I still do not quite know what that is) if any dysfunction surfaced in the media.

While I think, for sure, there are plenty of fucked up queer families among us--similar in their messiness to hetero family dysfunction--I tend to think that many queer folks had to contemplate the notion of parenting much more thoroughly than straight people. Same gender loving people have to roll the idea of expanding family around in their heads for a lot longer than the thought of two teenage or young adult heteros who achieve off- spring creation spontaneously in the back seat of a dusty dodge. Because there is so much thought and footwork that has to go in to acquiring a child for queer folks, the children of queer couples/people (cause coupledom is not the way all households are configured; there are single, double, triple, quadruple parenting households, etc) have a leg up in that they are often, at least, wanted.

I work with many people who were unwanted as children. People who came from hetero-normative families and who, in the midst of all of that "normalcy" ended up deeply damaged by the misogyny and violence so wed to straight, heterosexist coupledom and family. Out of the patriarchy so came the disheveled tentacles of oppression.

Please know I am friends with many great straight folks; I have blogged about these friendships profusely here. I am not slamming those folks, or so many other people who are straight and/or participate in the reality of straightness. You know: state sanctioned marriage, the social benefits and ease of movement associated with being involved with a person of the opposite gender (i.e. all the dudes at a meeting with political leaders shooting the shit about the wives and kids; if I speak about my beloved and kid, well then I have to provide clean up services for any backlash, fall out, befuddlement, or bumbling foolishness associated with trying to make me feel okay about being queer).

Any which way, I love my daughter immensely. K and I waited 11 years to have her. Of course, had we had our way we would have had her after being together 8 years, but even 8 years is still a lot of time and contemplation. The suck-ass world of infertility gave us even more time to think about the really huge thing we were doing. You know the commitment for the rest of our lives to this dear child? Come hell or high water, she is ours and we belong to her.

So, ya, I think many queer families are different from many hetero-normative families. And, ya, I'll keep on thinking about all of this and sharing it through writing here. Let me know what you think about queer families, too. Maybe start with a definition: the anatomy of a queer family; the anatomy of your queer family. I get there are nuances and I am totally generalizing above...Okay, I'll shut up my fingertips now and go sleep on the edge of my not-big-enough-queer-family-bed.


vee said...

I'm glad you've decided not to leave us. I would have missed your thoughts (and the pics of your sweet daughter). It's interesting to contemplate what may be behind the findings that kids raised in queer households generally do better. I suspect many of the factors are the same as the positive factors that can work for any kid (being planned and wanted, financial stability, relationship stability and so on). Whilst not "queer" factors, they may be more queer-prevalent, simply because of the ways we have to create our families. I'm pretty riled by the idea we're all just biding our time until greater social acceptability means we can f up our kids without worrying we'll damage the 'gay agenda' (right, what IS that?) Is the fact that we make good parents such a threat?

Anonymous said...

Whew. Glad you are still here. My internets are not the same without you.

Lesbonurse said...

I'm glad you're still here, too! I don't have time at the moment to comment on queer family definitions...will have to think on that.

Anonymous said...

i think your friend probably doesnt have the best grasp of the scientific method. and besides we dont need a study to tell *us* that people are people. we need studies to tell *them* that people are people*. most straight families raise healthy kids and most queer families do too. *not that there is an "us" and "them".