Friday, September 22, 2006

baciano le donne

okay, so school/work/doing-all-that-is-required-for-me-to-remain-fabulous has drained me a bit, so i took a walk to the feminist bookstore this afternoon. just to clear my head and get a break.

i was in the store, checking out all the super-cool things they have in there. as is usually the custom, this bookstore was filled with gay pride and queer merchandise. i have always bristled at the fact that whoever finds out that i am a feminist calls me a lesbian. it makes me angry that a woman, whoever she is, who stands up for herself and other women must have some sort of sexual agenda. feminists are straight, and feminists are gay. the fact that lesbianism is a big part of the women's movement is because the women's movement exists to address issues important to women. this includes, but is not limited to, family, career, sex, love, marriage, children or the lack thereof, fashion or the protestation of such, religion/spirituality, etc. a woman who is discriminated against for loving other women should not have to go find her own movement. the movement is for her as much as for anyone else.

that being said, i was a little overwhelmed. i almost felt out of place because there was just so much of it. there were many things i could not relate to.

which is fine, i don't have to relate to everything i see. whatever.

so i'm browsing and some lesbians come in. that's fine and dandy with me; i have a lot of respect for lesbians. (i like the idea of woman as completely self-sufficient, even sexually.) but then, old stereotypes and fears came into my head. from where, i do not know. i like to think of myself as pretty tolerant. hell, i must have zillions of gay best friends, but they are all male.

these nice ladies were just shopping, minding their own business, and i'm thinking those crazy thoughts straighties tend to have. "what if someone thinks i'm a lesbian because i'm shopping here?" "what if a woman hits on me?" i was immediately ashamed at having such thoughts. when i am around men, i don't worry about unwanted attention. if it comes, i deal with it appropriately, but more often than not it does not. so what's the difference? is a lesbian going to reach out and grope me? i mean, come on. i have been hit on once by a woman, and survived to tell the tale.

in the great american psychological tradition of blaming one's parents for everything, i would like to offer up at least one excuse for my behavior. when i was growing up, we knew gay people, but they were living in sin and went to our church in order to abandon their lifestyle and be spared the wrath of god. that poster illustrating people going to heaven and hell that i looked at every day for most of my childhood? on one side of it, it said, "AIDS - the gay plague," implying god sent it to punish gays.

my parents are not hateful bigots, they just believed everything the church said, lock, stock and barrel. mother acknowledges today that that was a sick fucking poster.

come to think of it, mother loves fellow seeker, and the three of us enjoy watching 'talk sex with sue johanson' together, but she would be totally grossed out if she saw him kiss another man in front of her. as far as parents go, what with their upbringing and all that, mine are not too bad. but if me or one of my sisters turned out to be gay, they wouldn't be able to handle it.

it's interesting how ideas that are so ingrained come back to bite us in the asses. but, at least being conscious of it is a start to some sort of change.



Yeah, I get a little skeeved about guys kissin' too. I don't care if they wanna love each other (hey, if gays wanna suffer marriage like th' rest of us then more power to 'em!) but I just DON'T need to see it!

fp said...

"2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,140 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."141 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial.

They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection."

---Catechism of the Catholic Church