queerspawn problems

Passing "privilege"

Okay so tons of people far more brilliant that I have talked about passing phenomenon from gender-, race-, and sexuality-based perspectives, but I think it’s important to acknowledge what the experience of passing does to a person before we can officially talk about it in terms of privilege.

And I say this as someone who lied for almost a decade. I got good at lying, at twisting my own words so that I always said mother in the singular and parents in the plural. At remembering what I’d said my mother did for a living and a father too if I had to construct one to get around an awkward school project or even just a simple conversation.

Lying is hard. It’s work, and it’s psychologically taxing to have the constant threat that something that’s true but incidental to your worth as a human being can jeopardize your safety. It’s not the cold anger that comes from someone, everyone, crossing the street once they notice your face, or the strange job interviews that mysteriously always end in them not seeking anyone for the position at the moment. No, it’s the fear that you can be outed, that you can be discovered, that you can be rooted out and depending on the situation, killed.

And having lived with that fear I don’t think it’s a privilege. It’s just the other side of the coin of being a person of color, being female, being genderqueer, being queer, and so on. You’ve simply had (perhaps through chance or perhaps through your own intent) a situation arise where you’ve traded one set of inequalities (the black tax, for example) for another (worrying that your hair looks too natural and having to take the time and resources to straighten it).

It’s not a privilege, it’s the same bullshit being expressed in a different way.

"real marriage" and "faux marriage"

People who call my parent’s marriage “faux” get ready to get fucking slapped.

Because they’ve been together and stayed together in spite of all the shit your lot has thrown at them. And I don’t just mean the subtle but daily, breath-it-in-and-pretend-you-don’t-notice misogynist and heterosexist nonsense. I don’t just mean that they have to work to get noticed by certain waiters because they’re just women. I don’t just mean that telemarketers asked for me when I was still in elementary school instead of them because I had a guy’s name and neither of them did.

I mean how the sperm donor had one of them barred from proceedings because she wasn’t “really” my mother. I mean how the courts decided they owed him so much for the six months he didn’t have custodial access to me that they made them pay his legal bills. I mean how those bills drove them into bankruptcy. I mean how they had to suffer the indignity of their fellow Californians (yes, tell me how much more enlightened than those other Americans you are) voting to deny them marital benefits not once but twice. 

Call my parent’s marriage fake one more time and I’ll give you a black eye. Because they’ve been through hell and back and never split. They’re more married than you’ll ever be.

Queerspawn Mothers' Day is SRS BZNS

I bought my moms a bottle of champagne, two types of chocolate (milk with peanuts for one, dark and nut-free for the other, their favorites), a pound of their favorite brand of coffee, and a donation to charity in each of their names.

Is it enough? Is it? I feel like I should go buy another thing, since one of them likes coffee but the other doesn’t, but I couldn’t find any good tea for the one who prefers that at the store oh god how do I do this.