Posts Tagged queerness
The time has come to bid farewell to Dee Greene. I’ve been pondering Dee’s departure for some time. Ultimately it was a mixture of NPR, married men posing as lesbians, and a long-overdue chat with my dad that prompted me to put the pseudonym to rest.
“Today I got confused looks in the doctor’s office waiting room.”
“Those looks where they can’t tell if you are male or female?”
When I saw Nicole Hardy’s piece in the New York Times, “Single, Female, Mormon, Alone” [link], about the author’s visit to Planned Parenthood as a 35-year-old virgin, my chest expanded with recognition. Yes, I thought. Yes yes yes. As I read, my pulse quickened in a rush.
The recognition was cultural, rather than directly personal. She was not telling my story. My adulthood did not include many years of celibacy. I took a different road from a similar starting place. But reading this account brought unexpected comfort and insight.
Discussions about religion and sexuality that rely on hefty doses of contempt, if not outright vitriol, leave me weary and discouraged. The underlying message usually seems to be, “if only those foolish people would wake up and shuck off the chains of silly religion, they would be free!” I find such a view frustratingly narrow.
Before watching this video, I had no realistic glimpse of pre-Stonewall America. Sure, I’d read things, watched things, been told things, learned things. But something about this presentation, about the prime-time major network report, it affected me. And the stuff about Boise – I had no idea. My head gently swaying in disbelief, I kept thinking how my parents were young adults when this aired. My lover was a small child, and I’d be born within a decade.
Certainly, queerness was vilified where I grew up. But to whatever extent this video reflected widespread sentiments of the day, the degree of disdain and horror and dismissive attitudes was far beyond whatever I knew or understood or had experienced.
I have taken so much for granted. Today I’m feeling more thankful to have been born in the Bicentennial, to have had an adolescence in the Culture Wars as opposed to the Repressive Cultural Slaughter (or Self-Preserving Underground) I perceived in watching this film.
It was hard to watch, but I’m profoundly glad that I did watch it.
(I do wonder if there was another show on The Lesbians, given the extreme male-focus? Or perhaps that’s another thing I take for granted, at least a nod toward balance if not equality.)