Thursday, October 21, 2010

Do You Really Want to Burn Bridges?


January 12, 2009 was the day I was desperately trying to find a way to talk to this adorable guy I’d met a few days before. It was the day I decided that I wasn’t going to wait for him to figure out I was attracted to him by sending coyly worded messages through Fetlife. It was the day I knew I had to find some way to open a dialogue with him in order to get into his pants. It was the day I asked that infamous question which at first seemed so innocuous- “what’s twitter?”

In the almost 2 years since then, I’ve logged 14,161 (as of this moment) tweets, have followed many interesting people, and have eventually met nearly 2/3 of them. I’ve also carried on a major flirtation with that adorable guy who I now call Daddy. Twitter has been my lifeline during times I’ve been alone; my source for information and the tweeps have made me smile, laugh, learn and think. Ask a question on twitter regarding any topic and somebody has an answer.

But after watching my tweetstream yesterday become populated with comments about why some found it ridiculous or offensive that many tweeps were wearing purple in support of Spirit Day, I’d signed off for the day. I’d had enough. I was so disgusted with some of the tweets that I didn’t even want to log back in this morning. It saddened me that some people could be offended that badly, simply by people wearing purple and tweeting about it. I wondered if I should just give up supporting anything and go back to talking with my friends and flirting with Daddy.

I’d wondered why some people were offended by the idea of Spirit Day. I mean, we have Veteran’s Day in which we honor our service members (even if you don’t agree with the wars in which they’ve fought). We have Mother’s Day in which we honor our mothers. And we have Independence Day in which we honor beer and fireworks. (ok, so I’m kidding). Why get your panties all in a bunch about honoring the memory of those kids who reached the end of endurance? Why is remembering them by wearing purple and perhaps opening a dialogue with someone about why you're doing it so awful that you'd have to snark at people for it?

So to all those naysayers and bitchy tweeps who got offended by Spirit Day, all I can say is that I obviously didn’t do it to support you. You don’t need “my” support. I’m happy for you. I’m glad that you realize that you’ve got everything in your own life under control. You’ve got all the “rights” you’ll ever need and you’ll never get offended in a group of people who may question even your right to live. Not everyone is so lucky though. My support of Spirit Day wasn’t for you. It was for all those others that aren’t as lucky as you.

But before you get all whiny about whether or not allies are really allies, whether wearing purple is a good or bad thing, or whether or not it’s a bandwagon and silly, I’d ask you to remember a few things.

I don’t *have* to support anything. I’m a cis-gendered, heterosexual woman. I can live my life perfectly well within existing laws and societal mores with very little problem. I can ignore GLBTQ everything if I wish to. Disdain my support, in whatever form that it takes, and there’s little reason for me to fight to have you accept it.

But don’t ever make a mistake and think that I have no stake in the problems experienced by the GLBTQ community. I’m not supporting you if you don’t want my support. I’m supporting the people in my life that mean everything to me. Those people for whom my support matters a great deal. My sister. My friends Jon and Gerry.

And most especially for my granddaughter. You see, without my “support”, she’s liable to grow up to think exactly the same way that my parents and grandparents do about “fags”.

I’m a bridge between what was, and what could be.

So ask yourself, do you really want to burn this particular bridge?

No comments: