Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Go Ask Alice

One of the things people who vote for such homophobic amendments as the one that passed in NC often say they're doing it "for the children." I'm here to tell you, it does affect them, but probably not the way those bigots are hoping it will.

My young nieces and nephew were traveling with my parents when a break up song played on the radio and the girls sang along. Zach, six, demanded to know what the song was about.

"It's about a girl who broke up with her boyfriend and she misses him and wants him back," explained his grandmother.

With a dreamy sigh, Ellie, four, said, "I miss my girlfriend." Zach, always pedantic said, "No, no. You're a girl. You can't have a girlfriend. You have to have a boyfriend."

The oldest at eight, Alice said with long-suffering wisdom, "Well, in New York, she can have a girlfriend, but not in Virginia."

Even three years ago, Alice was already a veteran of the culture wars. When she heard about the plans in her state of Virginia (She may have been a tender six at the time. We don't know how she finds this stuff out, but we suspect she surfed the web in the wee hours of the morning.) to strip her aunts of every form of attachment to each other we'd created, health care proxy, life insurance, etc., she was devastated at the thought that her aunts would be "illegal" in her home state. Not only would we be unable to visit her, she reasoned, but we would be taking a huge risk just driving through on our way to someplace else. Poor kid, this really plagued her. The worries kept her up at night. Oh yes, "think of the children."

Alice told her mom she wanted to work against the passage of the law, against the amendment to "make her aunts illegal." She went to meetings. None of this was created or encouraged by the adults in her world. She just couldn't handle the idea that people would be so mean. Despite the efforts of other fair-minded people, Virginia continues to be well, not so much for lovers outside the margins of approved, church sanctioned reproductive ones.

Now at eleven, Alice understands that while the states might seek to limit the rights of her aunts and other loving committed couples, the tide is turning. She worries about our rights, but not that we are "illegal." In fact, the spark of activism, I'm sad to say, seems to have been smothered under cynicism. She now prefers to get her news from Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart. If the people so intent on "protecting children" would talk to Alice, maybe they'd see that all their hatred and fear is doing is creating a generation that will mock their pathetic bigotry with a well-timed eye-roll and a "Seriously?"

The only thing they really want to save is their tiny narrow view of the world. Go ask Alice to explain it to you, haters.


Tam said...

I have found kids really are the easiest ones to explain things to. They get it very quickly and are not scarred for life in the process. I remember my daughter was around 6 and we were in the car and I have no clue how it came up but she said "2 boys can't have a baby." In that tone of voice that only 6 year olds use. I explained "Sometimes when two boys get married they can adopt a baby or have another lady have a baby for them, and when two girls get married they can have a doctor help them have a baby."

Her response was "Huh." Probably similar to if I'd told her some random fact about squirrels. End of subject. She got it. She just hadn't realized it could be done that way, now she knew. (Mind you, at the time she also thought men only had one sperm and once you got a baby, if you wanted more, you needed another husband. LOL)

I'm not sure how it protects anyone, children or adults. As if people who aren't married can't have children or form families. There is this weird mind-set that people ONLY get married to someone of the opposite sex because it's their only option. Kind of a "Well damn, women are my only option? Fine. I'll marry one if that's it the, but let me tell you, if I could marry a man? Woohee, let me at it." Unlike 1580, you don't NEED to marry anyone to have sex or babies, so stopping people from marrying doesn't stop any of the things the anti-folk are worried about. Because they don't really care about pension benefits, or spousal abuse or power of attorney, they just don't want those people having *whispers* S-E-X so if we don't let them get married, it won't happen. (Ignores all teen pregnancies around them). Shakes head in dismay because I just don't get it.

Christina Auret said...

The NC situations is sickening, but I wouldn't be human if I did not admit that it also made me just a little bit proud of my homeland.

Some really bad things happen in South Africa. Really, really bad things. But, every time something like this NC thing happens in the 'first world' I am so very proud to be able to say: At least Mzanzi got that right.

The fact that NC got wrong what even a third world country (with, ok, an admittedly rocking constitution) can get right, well, it doesn't do much for their image, now does it?

I hate that people can't mind their own business (seriously - who gets married to whom only concerns the couple involved). I hate that people are so insecure in their own happiness that they can't allow others to be happy in different ways.

I hope that this ban gets reversed. I believe it will, maybe not soon, but I believe it will.

The world is far from perfect, but there might just be enough good will for things to keep changing for the better.

Unknown said...

Well said!

Treasure said...

I hope Alice gets to run the world one day

Pia Veleno said...

Thanks for sharing that story. Alice is a wonderful soul.

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