Thursday, May 28, 2009

Are we back here again?

Today, I was talking with Lesbian Mom A on the playground after school. Lesbian Mom B asked me if my family was a two-mom family. I said, "no." She asked if I was a single mom. I said, "no - I have a partner, who is male." "Oh," she said, because there was a "lesbian party" this past weekend that presumably I would have been invited to had I been a lesbian mom and had the Lesbian Mom Club known who I was. And I felt a little bit like this would have been the time to say, "but I'm bi!" except that it would have felt a little bit like asking the popular kid, who hasn't invited you to her birthday party, if you can come to the party. (Also, I couldn't process where she was going quite fast enough, so that we were past it before I figured out what was going on.)

I think it's great that some of the lesbian moms at this school have gotten together as a group for support and friendship, and I don't think that all lesbian gatherings must include Bs or Ts or Gs, necessarily, but when I first moved here, I was delirious at the notion of finding some LGBT parenting community. Instead, I found The Lesbian Mom Club - which, it seems, does not even include all the lesbian moms - it seems to be a club for the cool and popular. And, on top of this, it's totally backchannel - there's no mention of the group in the weekly announcements that come home from school, so either you are invited to take part or you're not.

So, instead, I'm finding my little community one person at a time, and I guess I'm a little resentful that in 2009 we are still doing the Lesbian Club thing and not thinking about what other LGBT folks - and allies - might be lingering around the outside of the playground, wanting to come in and be part of the community.


CrackerLilo said...

*nods* If you don't have "one of each" for partners, it's like you're just buried as a bisexual person--and sometimes not even that helps. Some of my friends are bi parents, and they have similar experiences. Even the ones who are same-sex-married!

An 8-year-old girl of my acquaintance can casually and quickly describe how her Da "was married to my Ma, and they had me, but they always made each other angry, so they got divorced. So Da moved in with his friend, and they fell in love, and now they're married and his friend's my stepdad." This very bisexual experience is sometimes described by others as Da's "finally being truthful" or "coming to terms with being gay." She'll correct people who describe her father as gay, too--"He's bi. He likes ladies, he loved Ma once." It amazes me that a child can get it, but so many adults just *won't* get it.

I guess the alpha-girl thing never quite goes away, no matter how old you get. The poor kids on the playground still think they'll grow out of that one day. Suckers. :-)

Plain(s)feminist said...

Yeah, it is pretty amazing that kids often have little difficulty with this and adults have so much.

I was telling a friend this story today: I gave a talk last year on incorporating LGBT material into the classroom, and afterward, a woman started talking to me. I mentioned something about my partner, and she applied the female pronoun. I corrected her. She was confused - and she apologized for jumping to the conclusion that I was a lesbian because of the topic of my presentation and because I had used the word "partner". She then went on to say that it hadn't occurred to her that I might be straight. "I'm not straight," I said. "But you're married?" she asked, very confused.

What's funny to me about this story is that after all of this, it turned out that SHE identified as bi, and that she was married to a man and had been for some time. That she was still confused by my similar story and needed time to process and understand it suggests how disconnected bi people can be from our own lives because we end up focused on those damn little boxes we are supposed to fit into...

hexy said...

You're more patient than I. I get so angry with even the mildest lesbian bi invisibility these days.

Elizabeth McClung said...

This story makes me tired and sad and I miss the groups I was in which were LGBT and where it wasn't and issue. And I don't understand why it is, because when you live socially on the net due to disability, you are sort of used to the 'Oh right and C is t-male but presents as a female due to hips and is part of a triad' and 'D is part of a Christian group where he is openly gay but stays with his wife' and 'E is in a stable quad' and 'F just met the woman of her dreams but still identifies as straight' and so reading over time that someone dates women and men is like...okay, good for you. And then to go out to a meeting and find out that people are hung up over two femmes married or a bisexual at the meeting or something else that is the flavor of the month (I remember once when anyone who shaved thier legs was not welcome as feminist oppressors and I was: a) It is hair, and dead hair at that - no hair was kill in this shaving) and b) I am a femme - I thought as I woman it was my right to my identity?). So yeah, it makes me sad; people missing out meeting other people because of predjudice (isn't that was preassumed ideas of people is called?).