Straight up, folks, the glow is slipping. My eyes are starting to get just the tiniest bit beady. The corners of my mouth are getting just a shade taughtly down-turned. My voice has just an edge of ice to it. Any minute now I expect my nostrils to begin flaring with incipient indignation and all small, fuzzy creatures within a ten foot radius spontaneously to expire.
Kristin's convinced that my period is nearly upon us. She's excited, poor woman.
But, we saw Jennifer last night, and that's always a fun time. And we had some AMAZING triple creme well-aged brie. And, most importantly, I got the rest of the Pride pictures up.
Funny thing about Pride... it's FULL of kids. Kids are excluded at most of the "community" functions and I can't get the Center to accept that queer parents are worthy of more than just one program, but the Pride festival positively explodes with children and their queer parents*. A huge part of our joy this year was simply basking in the happy glow reflecting off all their faces -- and looking around at all the potential new best friends. And then we went home, and Pride ended, and the parents with their children did their disappearing act again.
Where do they go? Do they feel isolated? Do they feel unwelcome at any other events or are they just wrapped up in their own, individual lives? Where have they found community, or do they not need it like I do? Was the joy on their faces simply a revelling in community that they rarely have time for, or was it relief at being, in this one instance, safe and welcome and included and, perhaps, even valued, in a community? How much of this is my projection?
Of course, not all of those children were children of queers. Some were children of allies. And how wonderful is that? At a festival in Utah (the land of all things conservative and quiet for the "sake of the well-being of children and society") where, for once, buttoned-up Utah lets it all hang out, kids run around drag-queens, bull-dykes, fetishists, passionate kisses, skin and more skin. Here children play, unaffected except by a sense of heightened festivity and love. They leave and return to their lives with happy memories, pleasant associations, a lack of fear. The larger the festival and the more children in attendance, the greater our chances for sustained change in the long run. It's really too bad that the leaders in our community don't seem to undestand that -- and thus they deny us more opportunities to change the future through children.
On a related note, my emails to the center about the community potlucks have not resulted in a change of policy. I'm seriously considering sending letters to the editors of our local queer magazines and maybe trying to organize an inclusive block party. However, I did have one moment of satisfaction. The organizer of the potlucks is an acquaintance of a member of our parenting group. During the festival she attempted to greet this member and the member gave her the cut direct in honor of me and my struggle. I know this shouldn't make me so damn gleeful, but what can I say? I'm petty like that. If I can't achieve substantive change, at least I can be snippy, gossipy, unpleasant and immature about it, don't you think?
Speaking of snippiness...
There's a new theme up at Scheherazade. When Cali first suggested a Short Story Saturday I put it to the masses and many of the masses said that they thought it was a good idea. So, masses, there you go. A theme to spark creativity. I know you're busy, so if it's not a good time to write, that's OK. The Lady knows that I didn't get to last week's theme, myself. But even if you can't write a story, you should definitely make time to read what the others are writing. And, if a story is not your thing, I am willing to link to poems, photographs, or other forms of art that build on a week's theme. Cause really, as Lauri would say, I'm super easy.
* I am trying to refrain from referring to them as families because I consider childless couples in long-term partnership to be families, too, and I don't want to exclude them from this title even though I'm trying to make a point about the joys of being surrounded by families that include children.