Category Archives: being_me

Not just “those people”

When people speak negatively of gay couples, they almost exclusively paint a picture of nameless, faceless people who have nothing to describe them except their genitals. Sorry to be crude, but there it is. They don’t see a person, they see a set of genitals. They don’t realise that these are real people with real lives who have something to offer. They just see “male genitals + male genitals” or “female genitals + female genitals”. Therein lies the root of much of the bias and prejudice.

A couple of weeks ago, I met up with Mum in a shop. I’d just seen that Julia Gillard had been outed and Rudd was back in, and I was excited, and expressed my excitement. The shopkeeper saw fit to comment, and a discussion about politics ensued. That was all fine and well until I mentioned that I don’t like Rowan Ramsey (local politician) because he has ignored the wishes of the people he is supposed to represent, and stated that he will vote no on marriage equality, regardless of what the voters want.

The shopkeeper (who doesn’t know I’m gay; I don’t advertise the fact) saw fit to announce that he has no problem with “those people” as long as they didn’t hit on him (I hate the assumption that gay = predator!), and that they shouldn’t be allowed to have or raise children.

I asked why. He said,
“Because it’s wrong, that’s why.”

I asked how he felt about single mothers, and he said he has no problem with that, because they’re straight. I asked how he knew that they’d be a better mother than a gay woman, and he said ‘they just are’.

I can usually respect other people’s views, but this kind of view is the reason people like me can’t marry, and the reason there’s so much stigma about us raising children. I was raised by a straight couple; my biological father raped me multiple times when I was a child. But hey, he’s straight, so he’s a better parent than a gay guy *rolls eyes*

I ended up walking out of his shop.

See, the thing is that I am not “those people”; most gay people aren’t. I am a woman who is attracted to other women, but I have a name and a face and hopes and dreams and a past and a future. I am somebody’s daughter, somebody’s sister. I have been a mentor to several young folk who refer to me as “Aunty” or “Mum”, folk whose own parents (oddly enough, they were straight) let them down in varying degrees. I am not just a set of genitals.

Gay people are people, just like you. Who we are attracted to does not define who we are.

Rant over.

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I’m on the bus!

I boarded the bus at 20:08 tonight. And that’s where the fun begins…

When I booked my ticket, I requested the very last seat at the back of the bus. This is my usual procedure, since I have anxiety issues related to having people behind me. No worries, the driver wrote “13A” on my ticket, and I boarded.

The bus was occupied by about a hundred wide-eyed feral tweens. Fighting the immediate panic I felt at the sight of such a full bus, I made my way to the back. My panic increased when I saw that all three rows at the back were full.

A helpful onlooker, and possible RAICOF (Responsible Adult In Charge Of these Ferals) helpfully suggested that some seats near the front were vacant. I squeaked “13A!” and she shrugged. Another possible RAICOF to my right said,

“It’s okay. Those two at the back are meant to be in front of me. I’ll make them move.” And she did. The tweens glared at me as they were displaced, but it was MY seat!

So I settled in to my seat, pulled out the computer, and logged on to the interwebs. All good, I relaxed, I was in my spot and I was safe.

And then the singing began. It started as one off-key wannabe popstar who mistook us for a dedicated audience, and she was determine to give us our money’s worth. So I took out my headphones and tuned her out with my own music.

Ah, bliss!

Then three other wannabe popstars joined in, and even the headphones were insufficient to muffle their screeches. To make matters worse, about a million of the ferals decided to enhance the concert atmosphere by turning their overhead lights on and off rapidly in quick succession. Ugh!!!

Then another of the RAICOFs piped in with,

“You lot, leave those lights alone!!!” The ferals complied. And the voices went down. Peace resumed, and I decided to do some study. I put the headphones back on, resumed moodle, and lost myself in the cheerful world of elderly incontinence and sputum.

And gradually became aware of a rising chorus. That’s right, the popstars were back. Only this time, all billion of the ferals had chimed in.

On the verge of calling animal control, I was relieved when a RAICOF near the back of the bus suddenly shouted, in a deep growly bass,

“YOU LOT SHUT UP! THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE ON THE BUS!!!”

That was 15 minutes ago. Peace has prevailed, and the dozen ferals have been subdued.

For now.

To be continued…

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