Friday, April 11, 2014

I am heterosexual.....damn auto-correct

So, my phone always auto-corrects the word "here" to the word "heterosexual" when I am texting. When I text to let a friend, or my husband, know I have arrived somewhere to pick them up it types "I am heterosexual". I always chuckle, back space and then re-type "here" before pressing send. So far, I have never sent the text announcing my sexual orientation.

Yesterday I sent a text to my brother letting him know my daughter was in town. I typed "[her name] is here", but it came out "[her name] is heterosexual". I chuckled and shared it with her because she was sitting beside me. I chuckled because she isn't. We laughed that even predictive text was trying to straighten her out.

She and I went to a show on Wednesday night called "Gender Failure". Two story-tellers shared stories and songs about their experiences living in our gender-binary world. Their stories were thought-provoking, and sometimes sad, often funny, and profound for someone like me. Someone with my heterosexual privilege. During the intermission I turned to her and commented that their stories were so sad. I asked her if she had sad stories. In her twenty-five year old wisdom she said, "We all have sad stories, but that isn't all that we are".
And there it is.

When she truly came out to us fifteen months ago there was a part of me that was surprised, because she had been in a heterosexual relationship for the past four years. Part of me was sad because I knew that despite the world changing and being more accepting of homosexuality, there were still people who would be unkind, and places that would be unsafe. I just didn't want that for anyone I love.

But, we all have our sad stories. We all have places we don't feel safe. As Ash Beckham says, "We all have our closets, and closets are not any kind of place to live."

Part of my journey of being the parent of queer, fabulous, femme daughter, is reading. Reading and more reading. The author and books that helped me on my journey was everything written by Ivan Coyote. Everything. Including all their you-tubes.

So, meeting them on Wednesday night was so wonderful. I couldn't tell them everything I wanted to in that few moments we had to shake hands in the book signing line. I hope they knew how sincere I was about the writings being so important to me, and to my relationship with my daughter.

I am still learning so much. My daughter is teaching me. Ivan and Rae and Ash are teaching me. I am learning to use the gender neutral "they" pronoun when I become aware that is what a person wants, and every time it is a little less awkward.

The world is changing. I want to be a part of the change, because I think it will be a better world, a safer world, a more inclusive world if we could all just get the hell out of our closets.

1 comment:

  1. So many parents wouldn't be so willing to open their minds and challenge beliefs they've grown up with. She's lucky to have you. This post made me feel all warm and fuzzy.

    <3 Jenna


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