Okay, readers: I seriously need to vent. I have gotten SO sick of some of the anti-gay BS I've seen lately. Much of this is actually embodied in the very words people use. Even when people aren't trying to take away our rights under the guise of religious freedom (AHEM, Indiana), they're carelessly tossing out words that are hurtful to gay people. There are dozens of them, but I'm just going to list a few that have been getting under my skin lately.
Gaelic: Supposedly "Gaelic" is a group of languages associated with Celtic culture and history. But it's hard to deny that the root word in "Gaelic" is "gay." Even though the term "gay" didn't exist hundreds of years ago, it exists now, and associating homosexuality with an ancient language is NOT okay--as if homosexuality is ancient and somehow not "valid."
Homogenize: This deceptively innocuous word means "a process in which the fat droplets are emulsified and the cream does not separate." "Emulsion" means "a mixture of two liquids that can't be completely blended together." Which makes it sound like homosexuals cannot, in fact, be mixed--like our relationships are not valid. Same deal as the word "Gaelic." I'm sick of it!
Daikon: A "daikon radish" is a vegetable, but the way it's pronounced is "dyke-con." True, I may say the word "dyke" from time to time, but I don't want OTHER people to say it, especially when they're referring to a flavorless vegetable shaped like a phallus.
The Queen of England: Okay, Great Britain, it's 2015. While it's nice that you have a name for your female figurehead, the term "queen" is now used in common parlance to mean effeminate gay men of a certain type. Continuing to use it to refer to the original "Queen," the Queen of England, robs the gay community of a valuable cultural reference point.
The Tooth Fairy: My objection to this outdated name for the fictitious winged creature is similar to my objection to the Queen of England. Shouldn't we drop this term before children begin thinking that little gay men are flying under their pillows and stealing their bicuspids?
Heeheeheeheehee.... April Fool's! If you believed this, I got ya! Happy April first, dear readers.
And apologies to the Queen.
After I posted the initial "butches at work" slideshow, I received 70 more photos of butches working in various occupations! So revised the slideshow, mixing all the pics together in random order. Here are just a FEW "teaser" images from it:
If you think these are cool, or if you want to find out what these butches do for a living, you've GOT to check out the new, revised slideshow in the post below!
A slideshow of over 150 butches doing ALL kinds of jobs. Firefighters, professors, machinists, nurses, lawyers, scientists, builders... The list goes on and on! I find it incredibly cool to see the breadth of the occupations we're all in. As one reader told me when she sent me her picture, it was "great to see so many faces I don't know, but recognize still."
I've been feeling a little off-kilter lately, dear readers. A close friend just lost her brother, my grandmother had a medical scare, and my very healthy aunt (who's only in her 50s) had a heart attack--all in the same week. These are the kinds of things that give me pause and make me wonder: if I died today, what would the point of my life have been?
(Maybe I'm thinking about all this stuff because I'm down with another cold, and when I'm sick, I feel vulnerable.)
Maybe it sounds trite, but when I think of the lives of the three people I mentioned above, they've all had various effects on me, small and large, even though one of them (my friend's brother) I never met. They've all brought some measure of joy to my life, and I am grateful for that. This made me wonder: do I bring joy to anyone? If so, is that enough for me to feel like I've lived a useful life? I like my work and think it's useful, but it's useful in an attenuated way rather than an immediate one. It's not like I'm not a pathbreaking cancer researcher or an EMT or an organizer for social justice.
My DXH (that's Dear Ex-Husband) and I used to have a conversation wherein he would talk about how he just wanted to keep his own little corner of the world clean--to make an impact on a local level and help those around him. I would tell him that for me, that wasn't enough--that I needed to have a bigger impact or I'd never feel like my life had been useful. Ironically, he's now in a job where he has very clear, large-scale positive impact, and I am not. At the same time, I don't think either of us has regrets about our career choices.
My DP (Dear Partner, to whom I've formerly referred as my DGF, but "girlfriend" feels a little too trite, I've decided, so she's henceforth DP) and I talk about this, too. She wonders whether she's having enough positive impact on the world. This is a woman whose quirky jokes can instantly brighten a room, who has volunteered for disaster relief, and who has informally mentored others in her workplace. I find it mind-boggling that she could even begin to question her own positive impact. Yet I question my own, so I understand.
If I'm quietly content to live out my life helping others where I can, bringing joy to people in conversations and maybe occasionally through my writing, is this a life well lived? If I spend a lot of my time cultivating a kind of inner contentment through gardening, drawing, and other solo pursuits, does that denote zen-like virtue, or is it a cop-out?
I don't think other people have any particular obligation, but I haven't yet decided what kind of standard I'll hold myself to. I just know that I want to be accountable.
Does anyone else ever struggle with this?