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02 June 2008 @ 07:42 am
But of course, they don't call him THAT: Thoughts on the Gay Fairy and the Straight Fairy  

Blog for LGBT families day. This is an illustrated lecture, without cuts.

I talk a lot about GLBT parenting around here. It just seems to come naturally.
I am bisexual, passing for straight. I'm married to a man with trans tendencies. My oldest child, Bun, is openly bisexual.

My kids have gone to Gay Pride for three years now. A couple years ago, drag queens were pausing in the parade route to snap pictures of them, all wearing their matching "I [rainbow heart] my family" t-shirts.
In Memphis, this is a tame affair. We, as a community, are very aware that we live in hostile territory and stepping out of the Gay Neighborhood is not a safe act. Those of us who "pass" live elsewhere, but those who are openly gay tend to stay around Cooper-Young.

Bun came out at the age of 13. She's beautiful and brave and has taken no end of grief about her bisexuality from her peers, from school administrators and from shrinks. The one place she's never had to take any is at home.

This is her first Pride:
Gay pride 2006

The summer she came out was the Summer of Zach. Her first involvement with the GLBT community was the local youth group. Her second was the Love In Action Protests.
She's the one with the brown sign.

The bearded man near her is my husband, Mudd.

This has been as much a journey for my beloved husband as it has for my daughter. Mudd is a Christian. He was always of the fundamentalist stripe. He dealt with my bisexuality mainly by ignoring it. After all, I was married to him and not seeing women.

Bun's has been harder to ignore since she dates both boys and girls. He has spent the last couple years coming to peace with his daughter and his religion and his own past. He's a card carrying PFLAG member (or will be when he re-ups his dues). And a banner-carrying one. He's marched in the last two Pride parades, carrying one end of the PFLAG banner.

This is Mudd, protesting at the "Love Won Out" conference at Central Church--home of Our Lady of Manifest Destiny (the Statue of Liberty holding the cross).

If you don't have Logo, the show documenting this is here:
(Mudd turns up around -1.27 of part 5)

The title of my post comes from a comment Bun made. Her shrink, while she was inpatient, had said she could not be gay because she was too young (at 14-15) to have a sexuality. That bisexuality was a phase, either experimentation or hesitation to acknowledge gayness.

Bun looked at the shrink as if she was crazy and said "So when I'm eighteen the Gay Fairy will bonk me on the head and say 'Be fabulous' or the Straight Fairy--but, of course, they don't call him THAT."

At this point the shrink put her on restriction, having never heard that a sense o humor is a sign of an integrated personality. Her dad and I were quite amused at the story.

So where does this leave us?
Protecting an out and proud girl as she makes her way through high school.
Active in the local GLBT community
And waiting and watching, knowing the way will be smoother if the others come out.

This is what a GLBT family looks like--at least when mom's behind the camera and dad is raiding the holiday fudge.

Saraphina, born to speak all mirth and no matter: Kaylee by wickedsybbiesaraphina_marie on June 2nd, 2008 02:30 pm (UTC)
CUTE kids!
And Bun looks just like you! She's going to be dangerous! ^_~

Psychiatrists by and large can blow me.
The one I got sent to didn't have a sense of humor either and I began to develop depression and an anxiety disorder from seeing her. When I was allowed to stop going, I got a lot better.
I still sleepwalk, which is why I was sent to begin with, but that, it turns out is a neurological issue and not a psychiatric one. So my parents were cool when we figured it out.

We're a gay-friendly-family as well. I have lived with it my whole life, having several close family members (that were adults as I was growing up) who are very openly gay. So I have a hard time understanding what the big deal is. Doesn't everyone have gay aunts and cousins??


You're doing a great job!
Angel: debbie--role modelvalarltd on June 2nd, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC)
Everyone says that, but I don't see it.
Bun looks just like her daddy. Always has.
Well, without the beard.

The big deal is that in "Proper Families" (tm) the gay aunts and cousins are hidden away and can do no harm to impressionable you minds
*gasp, pearl clutch!*
(actually in mine, the bisexual uncle was a pedophile into the bargain, so talk about the ugly cliche stereotypes)

This is why some of us are stepping up and saying "hey, we're here. We're ordinary. And Normal is a setting on your washer."
Saraphina, born to speak all mirth and no mattersaraphina_marie on June 2nd, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC)
Well, my aunt was closeted from the family for quite some time. I have no idea why. I thought everyone knew. But I guess my grandmother was in denial and my mom can be oblivious. But everyone else knew, including me, which is what she was trying to avoid, but I am pretty fast on the pick-up and it was pretty obvious.
Cousin Denny never hid it from no-body and he is still a fabulous flaming San Francisco queer!
There are rumors that my grandmother's brother, who killed himself at age 16 back in the 30s, was gay and couldn't handle it. So we wonder if that talk about the "gay gene" is true since it seems to run in the family.

But yeah, to quote Francesca Lia Block, "All love that is love is right."
"Normal" is highly overrated. In addition to being a very openly gay-friendly family, we are also a matriarchy wherein ALL the women have powerful, high-paying jobs and are the primary breadwinners. Also, there are mostly women in the family since my grandmother had 3 girls. ^_^

Bun has your grin, your eyes, and that funny cute way you cock your head over. Sorry, ma'am, the girl takes after you!
Reannonreannon on June 2nd, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC)
I have no gay relatives except my step-nephew (is that a relation?). But I grew up with honorary uncles, friends of my mother, who were gay. To me, it was just another way of being, from the time I was very young and "Uncle Steven" hung around a lot, and "Uncle Kenny and Aunt Jeffrey." I didn't get why they called him "aunt." He introduced me to sasparilla.

I am so, so grateful that my Kiddo is growing up in the social circles we've found.

P.S. I agree with Sara re: Bun. :)
Angelvalarltd on June 3rd, 2008 02:57 am (UTC)
I remember you posting about explaining to Kiddo what "gay" was.

We had a talk with Dollface this week, too. She knows it means the way her sister kisses girls. But, it doesn't mean the way her brother wears skirts.

Reannon: straight not narrowreannon on June 2nd, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
Bless Bun for her courage. Bless Mudd for his open-mindedness. And bless the rest of you for being generally awesome. And fooey to the counselor - 14 is too young to have a sexuality? The hell? If a fourteen-year-old girl says she likes a boy, do we tell HER she's too young to have a sexuality?
Angel: debbie--role modelvalarltd on June 3rd, 2008 03:01 am (UTC)
Our thoughts exactly.

Mudd's open-mindedness has been a long journey.

And Bun is 10 times braver than I ever was.
Then again, growing up in a queer-positive household, instead of a blatantly lesbi-phobic one. had to help on the front.
Juliaskogkatt on June 2nd, 2008 09:00 pm (UTC)
You are doing a great job. I love that story about Bun and the straight fairy. I'm in your boat on being bisexual and passing as straight thanks to my male partner. He's not Christian, though, and he's very supportive of my sexual orientation. When I was Bun's age, I was totally closeted, though. I knew very early that I was interested in boys and girls, but that it was not acceptable to be interested in girls, so I had better learn to close that part of me off. I'm very glad that Bun has a family who does not encourage that sort of self-censorship, even if people outside her home do. I think you're all awesome and brave.
Angel: bivalarltd on June 3rd, 2008 03:02 am (UTC)
I figured it out about her age.
And I made the church hold the closet door shut for me for a lot of years.

Growing up Bi and Pagan in the MidSouth has been its own set of challenges, believe me. But so far, we haven't had to turn anyone into frogs.
queerunityqueerunity on June 8th, 2008 08:52 pm (UTC)
you guys r def aqueer family, and u rock