Thursday, November 22, 2007

Reflections On Reflections

Okay, so I've been absent for way too long. But I've definitely been thinking about this blog. I wonder if anyone even reads it anymore.

It's getting down to the point in the semester where I really can't bs anymore. I just picked my classes for my last semester of law school. I don't know if I will stick with all of the ones I chose--I might make some changes. I also have been writing about sports. I got an article published, and the publishers actually contacted me personally to let me know how good they thought it was and how knowledgeable I am about the team I wrote about. I've found that although it really pisses some men off when a woman knows her sports, a lot of them love it.

Sports has become one of my saviors for this semester. I think one reason why so many women hate sports or just don't understand why men love them so much is because we view them as mindless/unintelligent. That's one of the attractions for me. Traditionally, music has been that, but music today is just so bad. I don't listen to the radio anymore, except maybe a jazz station, and I definitely don't watch music videos. Sports is quickly becoming the passion that music used to be, so much so that I find myself wondering what I could do career-wise related to it. And before you suggest sports law...I'm not "smart" enough to get that kind of job, unless you know of some hole-in-the-wall law firm that won't care that I'm a black woman who is nowhere near the top of her class. I would love to get paid to be a sports commentator, though, particularly just to write articles and analysis. I have found, however momentarily it might last, a [new] passion!!
Sports is not what I want to write about, though, at least not right now. I haven't really written about queer issues in a while, and I feel that I should...particularly that I should write more about where I am now with my feelings towards the LGBT community, coming out, etc--the issues that really got me started with this blog.

Well, first of all, I remember writing in one of the "Why I'm Not Out" posts that I felt like some people, particularly some people in my family, already kind of know. I've come to the conclusion that my mother really doesn't know. I can tell by conversations that we have. It amazes me that she won't see it. (I frame it as "won't" for a reason) I think that she does think about it, but if I "came out" to her she wouldn't say anything like "I already knew." I think other people in my family might say something like that, i.e. "I kind of thought that might be the case." I've realized that my mother is one of those people who thinks being queer is a choice, and that's the main reason why she doesn't know. So, she'll spend an hour on the phone with me complaining about men and sometimes finish by saying something like, "But, no matter how I'm treated, I wouldn't get angry enough to go to women. I just wouldn't cross that line." And sometimes it feels like what she's trying to tell me with that is "don't resent men to the point of dating women," i.e. she's worried that all the marital problems the women in my family have will make me come home one day and say I'm into women.

Now, that causes a problem for me, because if I ever do decide to tell her that, that's the reaction I'm going to get. But I feel like, all my life, there have been signs that she has to have picked up on with me. That's the reason I thought she knew. But what I've learned about straight people who think being queer is a choice is that they don't 100% believe that to be the case. They contradict themselves and don't even realize it. How can people "look" or "act" gay, even from a young age, if it's a choice? Yet, most straight people recognize certain homosexual qualities in people they encounter, even young kids. And as far as black people go...what is the point of the gay black boy in the church whom everyone knows is gay even though he's never told them he is--and he knows everyone knows he's gay--keeping that quiet but acting the way he does? Most gay people give off gay vibes that they can't help but give off, whether they are open about their queerness or not. So I wonder if hetero black people think gay black males in the church act the way they do as a way of coming out to them, because, otherwise, it doesn't make sense to me for so many black people to think homosexuality is a choice. I just think of "trysexuals," the only "queer" people who choose to be queer, as way more open and in your face than the black male everyone can see is gay but he never says he is ("trysexuals" being people who carry on with members of their sex, but basically simply for fun or out of curiosity, and they remain committed to members of the opposite sex).

Really, everything my mother says about men I already knew--she's the one who is just now learning those things. All my life, it's women whom I've never understood. So, I'm at a point where I don't think I'll ever figure out whether or not I like men romantically, because having everything I thought about men confirmed by women in my family 100% makes me not want to ever be with one. And, I guess, that, in a way, adds something to what my mother is worried about. But, while I knew these things already, I just think maybe I thought there'd be one man out there who wasn't everything so many women say men are that pisses men off. And now, looking at my family, I just don't think there is. Even if there were decent men out there in terms of personality, I ask myself how many would want to be with me, especially considering that black women aren't "in." Either way, that doesn't change the fact that I liked the women better on TV shows than the men when I was a kid, or that I can now think of several girls that I had crushes on growing up. It doesn't change that I preferred to hang out with guys, wanted to be outside playing football and basketball with them in the streets or my backyard in the first neighborhood that I grew up in, or that I tried to play soccer with them at school in elementary and junior high school, or that I preferred (and, honestly, still do) "boy" clothes and toys growing up.

Unfortunately, I think being as old as I am and perpetrating the idea that I'm heterosexual are some of the things that make coming out harder to believe for people like my mother. And I just don't like dealing with difficult things. I don't like confrontations. I like to go about life as if everything is easier than it is, because that mindset makes it easier for me to get through so many things. I just don't see a good way of coming out to people in my family, and I don't like that. There's no way for it to be easy. And the fact that my mother and I do have such a good relationship...I really don't want to deal with it. In the cost/benefit analysis, to me, I would honestly rather keep everything the way it is than come out. Right now, I still don't feel like I'm missing anything by not doing so, and I'm not unhappy with being "closeted"--that's why I don't think it's worth it for me. I'm unhappy with many things right now, and that's not one of them--and I think coming out, especially right now, would make what I'm dealing with now--hating law school and not knowing what to do with my life or how I'm going to pay off my educational loans, feeling really...I don't know the right word...racially, etc--more stressful, and I just don't need anything else right now. Gay people forget/don't realize that dealing with queer issues is not every queer person's only/biggest problem, and I think one reason it's hard to keep up with this blog or write posts that are a little more about being queer is that I do think about so many other things before thinking about queer issues.

I have noticed, though, that I tend to refer to myself as a lesbian more now in writing and in my own head. I'm not sure why, i.e. if it's because of what I concluded about what kind of relationship I could have with men, or if it's because it's just easier to give in to traditional labels, or both. I think the class about queer minorities that I'm taking has made me think more about using the term "queer." I still don't personally see problems with it. But there are just so many diverging thoughts on that subject. And, for me, there's still that problem of just what to call myself if I did come out, because I still don't think "lesbian" is the right term for me.

As far as the LGBT community...I 100% don't see a space for me in it. Different sayings tend to come to me in "moments of brilliance," and I adopt them. One of my latest ones is "white people will be white people." That's pretty much how I sum up the LGBT community, i.e. the racial alienation. As for queer minorities, I know few. And I think, depending on where you live, you have an easier or harder time finding/meeting queer minorities. And then you have to find the ones in that group that you actually identify/connect with. Aside from Chicago, I've never really lived anywhere where that's a possibility. I mean, if you read other posts in my blog about my experiences with LGBT people of color, you know that hasn't exactly worked out yet for me...and knowing my experiences with people of color, period, it probably never will. I'm just not the kind of person who connects with other people based on shared identity. I suspect the majority of my friends will remain hetero, and I feel that I've become very accepting of that.

Another "moment of brilliance" I had also sums up how I view the LGBT community. The LGBT community is the worst characteristics of white people and black people. If you take enjoying/doing lame/crazy things and thinking there's something wrong with people who don't like/do those things, racism, self-hatred/wishing you were someone you're not or at least self-esteem issues that generally stem from your identity, being culturally unaware/ignorant, having a victim mentality sometimes to the point of ridiculousness/paranoia and sometimes it's not entirely justified, and setting silly standards for everyone else of your background (i.e. we're all supposed to think alike, care about the same issues and like all the same things) and alienating those who don't live up to them all the while claiming that you're a "community"...put them've got queer people. And recognize that some of these things apply to both blacks and whites, i.e. all of us are racist, and more than a few blacks are also culturally unaware/ignorant, be it about blacks and/or Asians/Latinos (trust me, we all know pretty much all there is to know about whites, or white Americans from the US, that is).