Thursday, April 03, 2014

Blacks and Queers and Jews and a Bonus

When I was in high school and then later, college, I used to look at African Americans and I would think, “If I was treated how they are treated, I would be so pissed off, I’d spend every minute of my life protesting. Every single minute.”

This was the 70s and 80s and it sucked. And people did not treat Black people like they were people. Not really. Not yet. It was ridiculous.

Of course, I was also enraged because I was gay and similarly mistreated. But look, I could at least travel incognito. I had little breaks from the horror. They never got a chance. I could distance myself from my own rage and secretly ally with the Black kids. I felt their outsiderness.

Wonderfully enough, the Western World has changed, dramatically, in my lifetime in that most of us, or at least the people I know, don’t even notice skin color any longer and as a bonus, I am married to my male husband and it’s all fine and cool. Thank God/Allah/Nature/theLiberalMedia.

But you never get over the shit. Not really. Okay, you do. You get over it, some. But you were formed when you were formed. And it’s in there.

Living on the West Coast, there is a great sense that all  history is dead, that you should live right now as it is right now and if you are at all hampered by your past, well, you should just make a movie or a cabaret out of it, get it off your chest and carry on, happily. Closure. And in some ways, I agree. But, stuff does creep back up on you from days gone by and you can feel sort of undermined by it.

In the East, the past is never ending. It’s like Europe here. And it’s a heavy energy. My West Coast Jews make fun of the Holocaust. My East Coast Jews are still feeling it. I understand the horror. It was so awful. So much so, I know Jews who are not much older than me who won’t go to Germany. But I have such lovely friends in Germany and I think they’d all get along.  But the horror is too great.

They say it takes seven generations to really get past something. Seven.

I’ll be so dead.

Until then. We inch into better times.

Now, let’s help our transgender brothers and sisters. Immediately. It’s their time.

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