Wednesday, January 22, 2014

stay classy, san diego

i'm weird. this may already have occurred to you, but if not, i'll just put that out there.

e.g., i often say i don't really like people. but that's not entirely accurate. i mean, i am a sort of hermit homebody, and i do have a fair amount of social anxiety, and schmoozing and making small talk with a bunch of strangers/acquaintances sounds about as fun to me as an evening plucking out my eyelashes one by one. i'm also weirdly cynical about certain things, e.g., i have literal panic attacks about global warming and renewable energy resources and fresh water supplies and getting attacked in my parking garage aka rape dungeon. and when i listen to the news i often find myself asking, what in the flying F*CK is wrong with people?! (side note: someone needs to come up with a f*ck-version of H-E-double-hockey-sticks... KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN, MIXED UP, WITH.. A... "U"! Yeah. Take that! ;)) still, somehow, despite all this, i believe that there is a lot of beauty in the world and that most people are generally good and kind, or at least, well-intentioned. so i often feel broadsided when reality does not comport with this hopeful ideal. and one place guaran-friggin-teed to disprove one's theories re: general human goodness is the internet.

did you guys hear this "Oprah: Where are the now?" interview with Tia & Tamera Mowry of "Sister/Sister" fame? i never watched the show and barely know who these people are. the headline just caught my eye: Tamera Mowry: "I have never experienced so much hate, ever." apparently, Tamera has a new reality show featuring her (white) husband and their son. and, well, the filthy internet trolling scumbuckets of america seem to have forgotten that it is TWO THOUSAND AND FOURTEEN, because some of the stuff they said in response to Tamera's interracial marriage is F*CKING INSANE. for example, that she is a "White man's whore," and "Back in the day, you cost $300, but now, you're giving it away for free." wwwhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaat????????? you guys! seriously?! what in the H-E-DOUBLE-F*CKY-STICKS?!?!

so yeah, that just blew my mind. (not in a good way). but this post was originally about another, albeit less outrageously out-of-line, example of bigotry a little closer to home.

if you read this blog regularly, you probably know my little brother is gay. he came out to us early in high school, to little fanfare. except when stuff like Prop 8 goes down, i don't really think about it too much. it's usually a non-issue. obviously, i am aware that there is a segment of society that is homophobic and hateful toward gays and lesbians. i even have family members who say things that make my blood boil on this topic. but until recently i assumed, apparently naively, that this was just a very vocal minority whose antiquated thinking was geographically quarantined to places far away from me - places where people didn't feel comfortable coming out, and whose residents, therefore, had never actually met or interacted with many gay or lesbian folks and were just regurgitating some backwards, bigoted BS held over from another era. mostly places with crocodiles and burmese pythons. i never for a second thought i would encounter that crap in San Diego, California. this is "The Left Coast," after all. (of course, until 6 months ago, the "left coast" approved a constitutional ban on gay marriage, so i'm not sure what alternate reality i was operating under.) still. while it's no san francisco, san diego has a large LGBTQ community and i have always just assumed it was totally cool to be gay here. just goes to show the straight middle class white girl don't know shit.

my brother was in town for christmas, and we had tickets to go see our friend's band, Hot Buttered Rum, play at Winston's in the Ocean Beach (OB) neighborhood of san diego. while we were getting ready to go out, i noticed my bro was putting on "guy liner." i told him that OB is a bunch of beach bums and bikers and the place we were going was basically a dive so guy liner probably wasn't required under the dress code.  but hey. i was wearing makeup. who am i to say he shouldn't? and it's not like he'd listen to his big sister anyway :) this is not an integral part of the story. not sure why i felt the need to mention it. just to paint you the full picture, i guess.

anyway, we went to the concert and interacted with some people who put the "strange" in stranger, which is par for the course in OB. one guy in particular was definitely high on something other than life and was kind of bugging us but i didn't think a whole lot about it. we enjoyed the concert, but as we were walking back to the car we started talking about the creepy dude. then my brother tells me that, among other things, the guy said to him, "oh, you're one of THOSE." my brother inquired as to who/what one of "those" might be and the guy replied: "either a meth head or 'a' gay." okay, first of all, you're forgetting a third, completely legitimate category - long lost member of fall out boy or some other punky emo band. and second of all, eff you, man! that is so rude! and what does that even mean? that all gay men look like drug addicts? i was so pissed! i was like, WHAT?! we're goin' back in there! don't hold me back! that douche bonnet's goin' DOWN!

for some reason my brother and husband would not let me fight the guy. but you will not have the last word, sir! i will write about you on my secret blog and 37 people will read about it! so, there! kentucky-fried-chicken-steak-head! (yeah. you like what i did there?!)

my brother also told me some other guy bumped into him by the bar, knocking his drink, and was like, "hey bro, you dropped your umbrella." like, his drink was a "fruity" cocktail because it was being drunk by a gay man. it was a freakin beer. and did he intentionally bump him??? what in the ever loving f*ck?!

my brother handled both situations with a sense of grace i myself would not/do not possess. i was/am so angry on his behalf! and i got the feeling that this was not an infrequent occurrence in his life. that just makes me sooooooo sad :(

but at least they didn't call him a $300 slave.

in that vein, the other night i made DM watch "The Help" with me, and we got to talking about the parallels that are often drawn between "The" civil rights movement, and the current struggle for equal rights being fought by the LGBTQ community. we wondered if any african americans resent the comparison? (and/or japanese americans, or really, any people of color who lived through such appalling atrocities as slavery, segregation, internment camps, etc.) not to undermine the battles being fought by and for LGBTQ folks. clearly there are similarities in their struggles. but it's a different war.

that being said, i couldn't resist tossing in some Martin Luther King Jr. quotes - thankful as i am to his legacy, which allowed me to drink mimosas on the beach and ponder the mystery of human existence this past monday. cheers to you, dr. king.
in other words, don't punch the skeeve ball talking shit on your little bro
but do tell the skeeve ball to suck it. then maybe give him a hug. then sanitize accordingly. 
hope springs eternal.
and how could i forget this?!?
okay. so. my sister and i may bear a small portion of the kid's love of cosmetic experimentation.
also. i feel like i may possibly have over-used the F-word today. sorry. just kidding. i'm not really that sorry. unless you are a child. then, earmuffs. or, eyemuffs. or, wait, why are you reading this blog? anyway. my cousin sent me this on pinterest. i kinda like it.
deal.

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