Sunday, January 30, 2005

The Upcoming Rainbow Families Conference

Our neighbors across the street called the other day to ask if we were going to the upcoming Rainbow Families Conference.

Luckily, BioMom and I are of like mind on the topic: we're just not that into it.

Sometimes I think I am homophobic. I, frankly, cannot think of something I would like to do less on any given weekend: processing and hanging out with hundreds of glbt folks because they are glb or t. As an aside, this line of thought has driven me nuts for quite some time. Why should we presume that we have anything in common just because our sexual preference/orientation is similar?

Of course, I've never been to a Rainbow Families conference, so I can't even speak from experience, so at the very least, I am being judgmental.

We have, however, been to a few Rainbow Families events. Basically, the organization is for gay and lesbian parents and kids. You get together, you talk about being gay/lesbian parents, share your stories, grievances, etc. etc.

In theory, this is great. Any group, let alone a socially degregated one certainly has shit to process. Hell, that's what this blog is for isn't it?

And, to be honest, I certainly went throught the I'm-Here-I'm-Queer-Get-Used-To-It! phase in college. You know, that separatist see-me-but-don't-treat-me-differently rally that gets underneath people's skin and has nothing to do with the being gay part of it at all. I drove my family nuts with my own discomfort:

Brother: Do you want some extra hot sauce with that enchalada?
Me: But I'm a lesbian!!! Why won't you accept me for who I am?

Ahhhh, the twenties. . .

Now, however, even though I still enjoy Gertrude Stein, I question the need for such separatist space.

The neighbors said they thought that such a group will be an excellent source of suppport for their two boys as they grow up.

BioMom spent the afternoon yesterday thinking about this. We agreed that it is a bit like a chicken-and-egg argument. If you live a separatist life--a disproportionate amount of glbt friends as compared to the general population--then it would feel strange to find yourself one day as a heterosexual adult without a heterosexual role model. Of course, this feels all-too-familiar to the glbt parent.

Presumably, most of us are spawn of heterosexual parents and then navigated our way through adolescence fumbling with our own strange and alien sexual desires and emotions. Maybe that's the deal: we expect that their lives will be like our own.

That's the flaw in the logic, I think.

Although these kids will face some issues that separate them from their heterosexually-parented counterparts, they will probably be heterosexual themselves and therefore fit in with the rest of the world quite nicely.

Furthermore, I wonder if we (as glbt parents) live our lives with friends that reflect the sexual-orientation statistics of the general population, will be giving our kids experiences that see that as normal. Of course, my parents never talked about any glbt people, so it all came as a relative shock to me.

With the sort of experiences we're providing the FYO, maybe the Rainbow Families stuff will seem strange or overkill or something.

In any case, I think the message is simply: be true to yourself. Fortunately for us, that means not only being happily lesbian, but also happily Conference-free.

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