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Monday, June 30, 2008

 

Gay revelers celebrate pride, marriage rights By MALIA WOLLAN AP Google June 29, 2008 "I'm calling and e-mailing my friends urging them to get involved in the campaign. I'm reminding them this is a civil rights issue," Julie Kendall said."


S.F. revels in annual outpouring of gay pride By Marisa Lagos,Chris Cadelago, Chronicle Staff Writers for SFGate Monday, June 30, 2008 "Some visitors expressed surprise at the sheer size and diversity of San Francisco's event."


One of my favorite people championed the cause for everyone’s rights. One of my hero's challenged authority at every turn. I love you daughter!

My daughter has a gift. She saw the need for a safe and equal environment for everyone when she was a student in middle school. The defender of others, the voice of reason and the vision of inclusion; this is the person I raised and this is the person who began practicing on me at every phase of her emancipation starting at age two years old.

We had 'time out to talk', no facing the wall for this little girl. She and I actually enjoyed (at least I did) the in-depth tug of words about the "But why, but why, but why?"

My son (22 months older than his sister) endured those 'time out to talk' sessions. Although he did benefit I believe, he said he didn't. I think 'time out to talk' time did help to formulate and perfect his social butterfly skills. But when he was a teenager he told me point blank how torturous those 'talk time outs' were. He wondered why I didn't just spank him like his friends parents did, and just get it over with?

I still don't have an answer for him, not one that would satisfy his serious inquiry as to why I was not like his friends parents. The only thing I could say in response was "Ah, but look at you now. Something must've worked." Today he is older wiser and even more grounded in ways that should keep him going on in life. He's ready for bad times as well as good. Was that my job as his parent, to help him get here, today? I think its a two way street really. I learned and he learned. I'm still learning and he's still learning how to go forward. I am so proud of who he has become by way of who he once was.


My daughter is not from the same mold as her brother. She looks at things more deeply and is more intense about worldly issues. My son enjoys making people laugh, telling jokes and taking naps. They both insult and marvel at eachother's strengths. I let them play out that harmeless childhood rivalry they do in front of me still today and just ignore them.

They grew up with a very diverse layer of family surrounding them. The word 'Alternative Life Style' came in to their vocabulary early. You could always tell which family members were really paying attention to the correct terminology to use when talking about their Uncles or Aunts life partner. They would repeat it as often as they could. How many times should one use the word 'Life Partner' in a sentence? I still give credit to those individuals, they were at least trying.

Some of us weren't as PC, we just felt that 'his boyfriend, SO or husband' or 'her girlfriend, SO or wife' fit because it was natural. Why not? Just like anyone else's G-friend or B-friend or anyone elses SO or somebody's spouse. It meant the same for anybody.

The day my daughter challenged her teacher in class on a subject that was forbidden, was the day that I knew this child of mine had an element of courage few could muster. The class had just ended their assigned topic in Health class, using the schools VCR as a visual. She caught something frozen on the video as the teacher turned the television towards the wall.

She was the first to ask what was on the rest of the tape. But the teacher resisted answering her question. My daughter insisted that she know what was on the rest of the video. Finally the teacher told the class that the remaining portion of the video discussed different kinds of families and living in a home with two same sex parents. Almost the entire class wanted to watch the rest of the video and wanted to discuss it in the class. Finally the teacher told the class that if she were to present this part of the video to the class, she would lose her job.

My daughter knew that this was true. But why would that stop the teacher from teaching kids what they needed to know? That simple. Who doesn't need to know that there are all kinds of families in society. My daughter felt that the teacher should've risked her job to teach them. My daughter held her ground until the bell rung that day. And everyday that she attended that health class in her middle school, she reminded the teacher that she was the reflection of new generation that wanted everyone to know about all people and said so in no uncertain terms.

The kids that were the quietest in class that day, were the kids who had two Moms and Two Dads, my daughters friends. Not unlike other great champions of equality, certain people know when to be the loudest one in a group of different thinking. They seem to know without reservation, that they will become the lightening rod for unkind words or actions. But that doesn't seem to phase them at all.

I think I was more in awe of what my daughter was willing to do to equalize her world within her school and within her neighborhood, just by asking "But Why. But Why Not." This young individual tried to find logic in everything imaginable. She's still doing it and now my daughter gives her gift to my granddaughter.

I will say that my daughter tackled so many things in her school that before she graduated from middle school she had called for at least three meetings with the school principal and vice principal to discuss concerns and ideas that she and her friends had.

She and her friends did make some head way at times, like when she challenged the pizza party plan that was awarded to specific students for just coming to school. For students of color only. It sent the wrong message to all student's not allowed to participate. There was a better way, a more equal way. Finding balance, that was her mission. It's still her mission!

You might be thinking about how much time she spent trying to open the minds of the school faculty to consider other ways of thinking - equal ways of thinking and doing, how did she get her school work done?

She did it with honors. And I'm honored everyday that this young woman is my daughter.

I wanted to share this story with you because my daughter, her brother and young adults who were students in the 1990's are our 20 something’s today. They are our strongest echo for equality. The normal diversity of their world included everyone. The normal diversity of everyday included addressing all of the ISMS. The normal diversity of everyday was expected everyday. And the normal everyday diversity of their life’s meaning is undeniably woven within their family and friends.

We - people my age - had a chance to open the minds of our children to thinking about how diverse their worlds were. No matter how their world looked compared to another, there was always a wonderful way to embrace and celebrate who our lives are a part of, who our lives are spent with. Sometimes we succeeded in showing them the lessons through hard faught progressive initiatives and in place practices. Sometimes we failed to get through a wall of prejudices and a mote of biasness.

But we never give up on the knowing that Equal Belongs to Everyone. And Everyone Knows They Deserve to Belong Equally.


2 Comments:

Blogger Scorpian King said...

This is really a nice Christmas blogs, But to know about the traditional customs, history and origin of Christmas you must explore the A Christmas Story Weblog.

June 30, 2008 11:19 PM  
Blogger Awakening said...

Thanks for the nod Scorpian King. But when you have more time go to the December 2005 archives

http://nolostfamilycustoms.blogspot.com/2005_12_01_archive.html

the beginning...

http://nolostfamilycustoms.blogspot.com/2005/12/christmas-story-12142005.html

http://nolostfamilycustoms.blogspot.com/2005/12/letter-written-121005-and-sent.html

Read the first post and especially read 'In the Spitrit of Not Giving.'

http://nolostfamilycustoms.blogspot.com/2005/12/in-spirit-of-not-giving_24.html

This blog started because of a family in need, in New Orleans, after the devastation of the breach of the levees after Hurrican Katrina. This blog was named so because their Christmas became my Christmas. The name of this blog is a reminder to everyone who stops by...that the people in the Gulf Coast suffered a horrific loss and are still enduring their loss today. If someone links to any of the blogs or organizations in New Orleans, then the blog did what it was intended to do...Remind people.

Thanks again and let me know what you think of my orginal post, which is the name of this blog.
awakening
ps..you have also givin me an idea. I'll create a link to the original story so others will possibly connect the story w/ the name of the blog. Thanks much.

July 01, 2008 4:13 AM  

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