Before I embark on this post, I have thought about something. The use of the word “suggested” in relation to my counselling sessions.
In client centred, or person centred counselling there are processes known as active listening and reflecting back. I in no way wanted to give the impression , via the use of the word suggested that Tina is putting ideas in my head. In most cases, she is just expanding, or more theoretically reflecting back what I have said. Tina in no way feeds me ideas. All my thoughts in session, and indeed here in this blog are my own.
Right that’s the disclaimer out the way. Now on with the post title.
When my mother suggested that going to The Edge was not mixing, per se as everyone is in a minority, I was so annoyed that I said I was not going to gratify it with a response. However I have reflected on this and changed my mind.
During the session we also had a little chat about My Transsexual Summer and issues around the representation of minority groups and their responsibilities when representing a larger corporate whole.
So this is what made me change my mind.
To suggest that going to The Edge is not mixing because everyone is in a minority is not only gravely insulting to me but also to everyone else who goes there, and to everyone who attends a gay venue across the country and the globe. Bold statement? Yes.
For this blog is not only my voice but the voice of my friends, and the minorities , or as The Guru would say, oppressed minorities that I belong to.
It is their voice too. A chorus of voices, after all are stronger than one in isolation, unless it has a big belt.
Minorities mix like anyone else. Just because their social circle may be smaller, it does not therefore automatically lead to a lack of social or cultural capital. Indeed, many friendships amongst minority groups may be richer and deeper than those who are not part of them.
As a parallel, one of my best friends is Deaf. She was educated in an all Deaf school, and met up with friends from there last week. She then told me how much she missed being part of the Deaf community, because it is easier. There is less explaining to do and less time spent asking people to repeat things, for example.
There are many parallels between this and the LGBT community. Many things can be left unsaid because a shared understanding is taken for granted. Less questions are asked because the sheer breadth of diversity amongst people who belong to the LGBT community is amazing.
Moreover, there is less social awkwardness around a lack of convention, because there is a less limiting definition of normal in covert operation amongst the LGBT community. A broader definition of normality allows for a broader potential understanding amongst LGBT citizens in 2012 which can only be a good thing.
I insert the word potential, because even though two human beings are members of the same community, it does not mean they will like each other automatically. This indeed is true of and for all human beings, so it is nothing new, unexpected or unusual. You also have less chance of being labelled unfairly.
So if there is less of some things, what is there more of? More empathy, more understanding and more compassion. It is telling that The Edge is playing host to some of the cast members from My Transsexual Summer and kudos to them for doing so, and all other venues across the UK who are involved also. It is telling because The Edge is showing its support for transsexuality, and fully endorsing and acknowleding transsexuals as a part of the wider LGBT community.
Perhaps for the heteronormative world, The Edge is not mixing, but I put this to them. How do you think it is for the guy who is beaten up just for being gay? How is it for the girl who hears her friends talking about their boyfriends, but never feels able to mention her girlfriend? Shitty I suspect. So through a common interest, the LGBT community demolishes these feeling of shittiness, and replaces them with ones of shared understanding, support and catharsis. It should be no surprise that people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual want to mix amongst themselves. There are issues that come up you would just never bring up with straight friends. You do not even need to be on the gay scene, if that is not for you. Just find a group of kind, understanding friends and take it from there.
Being in the LGBT is very much mixing because your actions and speech are usually digested and commented about by most. The notoriety of the scene can be difficult when you want some chilling out time.
On another issue, my mother and I are still not speaking. It would seem that the supposed bonded between mother and child is loaded with cultural and social expectations. “She’s your mother/only one mum” etc.
But I just gently remind people that the bond between mother and child is no different to any other. It it just as liable to fracture and breakage if not more so, as the intensity of that bond should begin at birth. However, its success or failure is dependent on the characteristics and attitudes of people involved, and are not someone protected by a magical forcefield or immune from damage. By viewing the mother child relationship under the same microscope as any another. I think you are placing yourself in less danger and setting yourself up for less disappointment and hurt.
It perhaps may not be the trendy way but I think it is a healthy one and it is working for me. I have good friends and a good support network and I love them so much.
But as minorities, we are opressed, and we have a responsibility to represent the whole as well as ourselves. How we do that though, is part of freedom, and for me, it is such a liberating thought.