Saturday, January 01, 2005

Home again! And still gay!

So, I am totally thrilled, in the giddiest, nerdiest, library-geek-goes-to-the-prom way, to be a finalist in the GLBT category of the Best of Blogs (BoB) Awards. I've also been having a blast nominating other people and reading new blogs I've never seen before, including several of the other GLBT finalists.

It's made me think, though: how much of a queer blog is this, really? I mean, aside from the fact that I'm gay, my partner's gay, and our kid has gay parents (and who knows, maybe the cat's gay too). Mostly I don't write directly about GLBT Issues. I certainly spend much less time thinking about the fact that I'm a lesbian than I did at, say, twenty. Partly, it's just less interesting-- hey, I'm still queer! Aside from protesting about discrimination, it doesn't feel like I have that much to say about it after twenty years or so. I couldn't even think of anyone to come out to this year on National Coming Out Day: my co-workers? They know. The parents at my school? They know, too, and so do lots of the kids. Family? All got invites to our commitment ceremony years ago. My dentist? Yup.

RW and I noticed soon after Mermaid Girl's birth that having a child makes us both more and less visible as lesbians. It's less possible to just elide over the issue: the three of us together are definitely a family, and people have to deal with it, and we have to deal with them dealing with it. On the other hand, either one of us out alone with the Girl is usually assumed to be her mom, and therefore straight, with a husband who's presumably home doing yard work or something. Even me, with the short hair, sensible shoes, and that distinctive dykey lack of fashion sense.

Having a baby brought us into the Great Tribe of Parenthood: I now have way more in common on a day-to-day level with the average Christian Republican mother of a four-year-old than with, say, the average nightclubbing young lesbian without kids. I can easily imagine plonking myself down with that hypothetical mom and having an animated hour-long conversation about sassiness, picky eating, Blue's C1ues, and Gr0ovy Girls dolls, but I haven't been to anything like a club in years. (Whether we'd be friends in the long term is a different question.)

We didn't have a kid as a bid for acceptance, but it's turned out that being parents has made us more acceptable to many people who disapprove of homosexuality in theory, including some of our relatives. Partly, it just gives them something else to do with us: they don't have to get all uncomfortable around us, to try to avoid or work around the subject. ("So, elswhere, how are you and your, uh, er, um, friend?") They can just talk about the kid ("So, elswhere, Mermaid Girl will be in kindergarten next year?"). It makes us seem (gasp!) normal. Now, it's true, queers without kids should seem normal too--but maybe we're the thin edge of the wedge, the infiltrators, you know? If we're so normal and wholesome and, honestly, boring, what does that mean about all those anonymous others with their Gay Agenda? Could it possibly be that they're not so evil either?

So, I guess this is always a queer blog, even when I don't write about it, the same way that I'm always a lesbian, even when my main preoccupation is whether I'm going to be able to get Mermaid Girl's hair brushed without a major screaming incident.

Just in case you clicked over from the BoBs looking for specifically GLBT content on this blog, though, you can find it here and here and here and here. And here. And definitely here. And sort of here.

Enjoy, and happy 2005!


Blogger Anna said...

Excellent post, and in fact I had many of the same thoughts on "is this a gay blog?" Because since the BoB people specifically said they didn't want to label, for instance, European blogs, and separate them out from American blogs, it made me wonder why separate out a queer blog? As you said, you're queer even if you're writing about Mermaid Girl (and her hilarious personality), just as someone would be French if writing about how annoying work is. It's just part of life. So...I don't see the difference in pulling out one into a category but not another.

That said, at least it's another category to bring good bloggers to the fore, and I'm so glad you made the short list! Go elswhere! (: I'll help you pick out your prom dress.

(I also find it interesting that having a kid made you MORE acceptable to people...I'd have thought, people thinking the way they do, that it would have given them one more reason to be biased. But then, I guess I can't say why the hell people think the way they do after all.)

Glad you're home!

3:35 PM  
Blogger WordsRock said...

Hey, congrats on the nomination! :)

And you make some interesting points in this post. I also wondered what criteria would be used for the GLBT blogs. However they decided, a good choice was made when they selected this one!

Luck and such! All good. :)


11:35 AM  
Blogger McVane said...

I'm slightly too fuzzy-headed to think of anything but offer a heavy dose of deeply-felt congrats for the nomination. You deserve it after all this time entertaining us [with special thanks to Mermaid Girl].

7:13 PM  
Blogger Kate R said...

Hey, I nominated you for the parenting blog. Seems like family life is the emphasis of your blog.

Do you suppose there will be a day the tag of gay will be an afterthought? It's happened in my world, at least in terms of my friends and neighbors who are gay, but I have to admit it took until my thirties to understand that y'all really are Just Like Us. . . Before then, I'd assumed that gay people were way Cooler and far more hip than your standard hetero.

12:02 PM  
Blogger orbicon perpendaplex said...

I didn't even know I was gay until the nomination. Now I too am deeply concerned about the GLBT content of my blog.
Congratulations, by the way.

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, what could be gayer than a blog about the life of a lesbian family? I mean, what is gay content? Should it be writing about the author's sex life? (Which, in some cases, might make for a very short blog?) Should it be about politics? Being lesbian permeates everything I do, just like being a teacher does, or being from New Mexico, or a dog lover. I think I talked more about lesbianism in my twenties because I'd had less of it and was still bolstering my lesbian self. But now I'm saturated with it. Like you, how could I write something which was not lesbian?

On the other hand, just because a person is, for instance, very fond of dogs, that doesn't make their accounts of, say, their work life necessarily canine blogs, does it?

But being a dog lover is not charged; fondness for puppies doesn't mark one as different or dangerous.

Oh, dear, this is a difficult question. I believe the real problem is that we are wandering into the realm of deconstruction here, and if we go any farther, we will discover that there is in fact no blog which could be said to be a gay blog, because the term is empty of meaning.

Go els, your blog kicks and you deserve this recognition.

Your devoted fan,
Angela Foucault

11:41 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home