Which sounds like it has something to do with ignore and something to do with ants. As if one is ignoring ants who, though insignificant, have big things to say about major stuff. Or something. Maybe it's just that I feel like an ant sometimes.
Or maybe it has something to do with dancing. Ignoring through dancing. Dancing around things that you never want to step on, never want to talk about, never want to know.
The process of ignoring. Ignor-ance. Whatever.
As if knowing how or why it happens could stop it. And maybe it can. Or maybe it would just make it that much more frustrating.
A recent post of Betsy's struck a chord with me because it's similar to something I've been wanting to blog about. She talks about how a colleague of hers who is going through a divorce has decided never to marry again. She'll just live with her next boyfriend. Betsy points out that there are legal rights that this woman might want to try and recreate should a live-in turn into a life-partner. Important things. Yes, important even to heterosexual folk. Like my Aunt who lived with a man for 8 years, until he was killed in a airplane accident, and after his death his children took everything from her in a bitter court battle. They took everything including the house she got from her first divorce. These are things that heterosexual people don't think about until they're caught by it and queers can't stop thinking about because it's always looming.
"these were intelligent people. one a lawyer. and they had NO idea. it’s not the first time i’ve had conversations like this with straight friends. they simply never put enough thought into same-sex relationships (why would they?) to grasp the fact that our rights are not the same as theirs."
The depth of ignorance blows me away. Always. Even though I know better. I am just that self-absorbed. I think that everyone knows the legal constraints I live with. I mean, how can they not?
They can. If one doesn't have to live it, it is so easily danced away from. So easily ignored. Not (normally) in a "I'm going to ignore this until it goes away" way. But in a "that's sad, but it doesn't really have an impact on the immediacy of my life so what can I do other than feel sad and keep on keeping on and then it just disappears" kind of way. And I know all about that. I do that all the time with issues like the environment or immigration or any number of isms that I don't percieve as directly affecting me. Yes. I do. I know that I do it and I know that even if I don't percieve them directly affecting me they do because we're all connected. And yet still I keep doing it.
This is not a bitch post. It is a hmmm post. A "how can I complain so much about this when I do it myself" post. A "practice talking about this so I can be a better educator" post. A "lay pieces of the problem out so I can look at them better" post.
One of the most surprising things to me is the question that most often gets posed to Kristin and I when people who are not super close to us try to figure out our family. They ask us: "Did you adopt her?" They ask this because her skin is a different color than ours. They ask us this because they really can't see how else two women could get a child. Sometimes, after we tell them that Kristin birthed Julia they repeat the question to me, sometimes putting it in the future tense: "so, are you going to adopt her?"
And each time, each time the question surprises me. Because it normally comes from a liberal, educated adult. And they have no idea, or don't remember, that it was only 6 years ago that gay adoption was made illegal in Utah. Only 6 Years Ago. And yet, so many liberal, educated adults who have lived here longer than 6 years have forgotten it entirely. And I have to re-educate them, every time. No adoption. Not here. Not now. This is why we have to move. And yes, the people who voted for that law are still in office. Because educated, liberal adults keep voting for them. Or not voting against them. Or vote against them but never talk about why, never let others know why. So that others, maybe not so liberal but not so bad, don't know that there are reasons not to vote against them, too.
But the forgetfulness. The ignor-ance of this particular, recent law. There were protests. There were flurries of Op-ed pieces. There were speeches and stumps and rhetoric. And our legislators voted against alternative families. They voted against the best interests of children in favor of the best interest of popular opinion, popular psychology. The law in Utah reads that no unmarried, cohabitating adults may adopt. That means even straight people who are partnered, but not legally married, can't adopt. That means that if you are roomates with another adult, but not romantically involved -- maybe just wanting the company or needing the rent money -- you can't adopt a child. And so many people don't remember this. Or don't realize the ramifications. And it's funny, because this law actually makes the marriage-rights fight in Utah that much more pointed and poisonous. Because the ban on adoption, the protection of children, isn't based on sexuality but on marital status. If we could get married in Utah, or get married outside of Utah but have it recognized in Utah, the adoption law wouldn't need to be changed. We could adopt, simple as simple. The web of laws that governs us is devious, circular, self-supporting. We can't be allowed adopt because we aren't married; we can't be allowed to marry because then we could adopt.
And the circle goes round and round and round. And people get lost in what is real law and what are real threats and what is only rhetoric and bluster. And when you're dancing like that it's just easy to get lost in the music or the metaphor and mistake bared teeth for smiles and smiles for bared teeth...
This is a "post that rambles and doesn't have a real ending or pithy point" post.