March 2000


Does Blood Really Run Thick?

Honest to God, I don't know how I got stuck with the relatives I did. I mean, how could we be more different? I'm this left-wing, spiritual, sort of dizzy out-there girl...you know, one of the "rioteers." And I have this whole slew of Southern Baptist relations, who, of course, don't have the slightest idea of what to do with me. They take me to church (this is considered an activity suitable for everyone), but are evidently afraid that I'll contaminate them, and keep as much distance as possible while still maintaining the public front of the Large and Loving Family. There've been a few whispers about my spiritual destiny, and whether or not there's anything that can be done to salvage my soul, but the subject is generally considered taboo. After all, who wants to speak the name of evil?

And, of course, there's the infamous Gramps. He's a domineering fellow by nature, somewhat blunt, and occasionally a bit frightening, as in "Straighten up this instant, young lady, or we're all goin' to hell!" My uncle "George" slaps his knee and hollers, "Well, at least we'll have some interestin' company!" and chuckles so hard that my grandpa gives him the hairy eyeball until he shuts up. My twenty-seven or so cousins gather in a cluster and look at me as though I have somebody's butt poking out of my nose, my aunts tsk-tsk, while my grandmother, a wispy sort of person, mutters, "...to hell in a handbasket, to hell..."

My parents aren't nearly so bad. As a matter of fact, they've been quite loving and supportive (though somewhat disbelieving.) But, of course, they're outnumbered. It's impossible to understand the situation unless you've actually witnessed a group of angry Republicans attacking a pair of liberals...

I suppose one could argue that they can't really be blamed, because they were brought up that way. Which is undeniably true, in some ways; but then again, my relatives blame me entirely for making the "decision" to be a lesbian, so I have a hard time letting it go at that. Both things, really, are defined from the moment of birth, if not before (in my case.) And it seems that both are equally hard to budge.

Have any of you read the story "Am I Blue," by Bruce Coville? I think it would be infinitely amusing (and educational, too!) if, in fact, everyone who was gay or even slightly bisexual turned a different shade of blue. Wouldn't it be wonderful? Everyone would be exposed, and after a bit of sputtering and protesting, we could all come out of the closet. Yay! Happy!

Well, anyway, I'm deeply sorry if I offended anyone by writing this article. It was kind of fun, though, don't ya think?



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