When I was a little girl my father used to take me to ‘the gay day parade.” He would sit me on his shoulders and tell me to holler when I saw the dykes on bikes. We went every year. No one ever told my mother. I found this out recently.
Going to the parade was the single most influential thing that happened to me as a child. You see my father is not gay. Oh I suspected he might be for a while. He has lived in San Francisco for more than thirty years. He knows everyone and everyone knows him. I was sure that he must be … but no, he is pretty dam straight.
So why did he take me to the parade? Why did he say “you see that rainbow flag – that is the gay flag – every time you see the rainbow flag you know those people are gay.”?
Maybe he did it because he is a big freak. Probably. What is did was remove any possibility of bigotry from my being at a very young age. Getting excited for dykes on bikes is something I still do, but because I was exposed to this as a kid I grew up loving “the gays.”
For that matter anyone who was in a marginalized group was welcome in my family. My father would always sing the most racist improvised songs, get the stereotypes out there, make fun of everyone, but he always invited them in for a drink. For a bit I thought he was being hypocritical until I figured out that we are all marginalized, every one of us. If we embrace the slurs and stereotypes the judgment will have less meaning, and thus hurt everyone less. If mocking all marginalized groups of people equally actually reduces hate in the world what does political correctness do?
So many people are overly concerned about not offending anyone. I say if you don’t offend someone you must be dead. But even death offends us here in the states. Did you die too young? In the wrong way? Unexpectedly? Shame on you for dying.
What the fuck? Why are we all so easily offended? Why can’t we hurt each others feelings a little more often? At least then we would know we still felt.
But back to the gays.
At first it was gay then Gay and Lesbian. Shortly after the bisexuals wanted in on the action. And a while passed before anyone started using the T. The T – not the train in Boston but the letter adding Trans to the list. As in GLBT and now we have the Q. if you haven’t seen it yet don’t worry, you will. These gays are reluctant to send out press kits like “We added another letter – YAY – hurray for us” They just sneak it in slowly like a passive aggressive ex would do when he wanted to move in his new boyfriend but you hadn’t moved out yet. How come Q is hanging around all them time? Is Q gonna spend the night again? Fuck Q used all the half and half – fuck it I’m moving out today!
Yea, Q is here and Q isn’t going anywhere. Now maybe you are asking “What the fuck does Q stand for?” Or maybe you are QUEER and you didn’t have to ask. I identify as queer and so I got it but I wasn’t all that excited about having yet one more letter to the list of gays.
Until I went to Sex Tech in January I could not pronounce GLBT without stopping to annunciate it. It just wasn’t the sort of thing the rolled off my tongue naturally. I figured I had better master it before I got there, just in case. It was worth it. Try saying it and if you can’t — keep working on it. Once you can say it you will use it all the time. GLBT GLBT GLBT GLBT GLBT GLBT GLBT GLBT — OMG it is so fun to say! GLBT!
But now we have the Q.
Isn’t that a sandwich?