After a week of writing angry, caustic responses to our community Center, I have finally whittled one down to bare bones and censure. This is what I'm thinking of sending tomorrow. What do y'all think?
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my email about the potlucks. If you had read the email with a little more attention, however, you would know that not only am I an active and happy member of GLPU, but that the creation of a separate “potluck for parents” is exactly the opposite of what I was requesting.
Though a “parent’s potluck” would be a worthwhile thing, as you pointed out in your first email to me there is the GLPU for such gatherings of parents. What is unique about the neighborhood potlucks is that neighbors who would not normally meet are brought together to form connections and enhance the sense of community and empowerment. Of all the many, many people I have talked with this issue about, all of them express surprise and confusion about why a neighborhood potluck would not include the families that live in the given neighborhoods – even if they do include children. Though I would be willing to captain a neighborhood potluck that is truly inclusive of ALL GLBTQ members of our community, and was titled and advertised as such, I am not willing to devote my time to something that will serve to reinscribe the division between parents and non-parents, families and “family”. Such a division falls in line with popular homophobic thought that queers must give up family life when they come out and that children do not belong within the GLBTQ community or at GLBTQ events.
It’s the hypocrisy of the language around the potlucks that has me upset: the hypocrisy in a charter that claims to serve all GLBTQ people, but actually doesn’t; the fact that the word potluck evokes a casual, family style gathering, while these potlucks are not family friendly. If these events were neighborhood cocktail parties or even set in the evening I wouldn’t think twice about questioning the appropriateness of a ban on children. If the charter admitted that these events are meant only to serve a specific portion of the queer community I would be disappointed, but I wouldn’t be trying to change them.
Yes, I am disappointed in the Center’s position on this issue. I had thought that the fact that the potlucks reinforce a regrettable division within our community was merely an oversight on the Center’s part that, once pointed out, would be rectified. Thank you for letting me know where the queer families and queer parents of our community stand in the Center’s programming priorities. If your and Valerie’s thoughts on this matter change I would be more than happy to volunteer my time and energy to helping the project succeed. In such a situation you may call me at 555-1234.