Thursday, October 17, 2013

The New Normal...

A few months back, one of my best friend's from college posted advice in the form of a public service announcement to people regarding things you should not say or do upon hearing news of someone's specific health issue. It was very well thought out, and while most of the advice was obvious to me, I understood exactly how she felt. Often times I too find myself in the throws of the most awkward conversations regarding my personal life, most notably with regard to my children.

So here is some free advice from me to you in case you ever find yourself in a conversation with any gay person, or a gay person with children.

1) Think very consciously about not referring to straight people as normal people. For example, "I'm going to a normal wedding this weekend," when differentiating the wedding "type" from a gay wedding. Seriously. This happens around me quite often, and frankly, the expression really pisses us gay people off.

Here you are, supposedly my really open-minded straight friend. And, by default you just called me not normal. It is awkward. And, well, it makes you sound a little bit homophobic. It is just one of those words when tossed into a sentence that can really train wreck a once perfectly normal hetero/homo friendship. And god knows, your spouse might not find it so normal the way you hit on me after you've had a few drinks...Nah, I'm just kiddin' around with ya'...I say these things for ratings. Really. I do.

2) If I am holding one or both of my children close to me, you know how moms sometimes do, or if they are within listening distance of our conversation, do not ask me who their "dad" is.

You see, "dads" typically show up at some point during the first five years of a child's life. If they don't, the mom(s) can get the courts involved. Our guy hasn't shown up yet. Actually, we are not expecting him to show up. And if he did, we'd probably both have full blown heart attacks.

So let's call him "the donor" until the kids turn eighteen. And then we can revisit the conversation, keeping in mind the conversation should take place when...you got it, my kids are not within ear shot. Talk to you in 2027...when the kids are away at college...possibly calling their donor ala a scene out of "The Kids Are Alright."

3) Definitely do not ask me if the dad is David Crosby. Regardless of how drunk you are, it is very tacky. And you've annoyed me twice with that statement because you said "dad" and you said "David Crosby." If you are someone who think's it is normal to wonder if the dad is David Crosby, it's obvious at this point in the blog that you and I have terrible chemistry and we should stop what it is we are doing together. Sayonara, toot-a-loo.

David Crosby is our donor!
You're welcome every lesbian
couple who has kids forevermore.
I want my kids to be doctors. I want my kids to be car mechanics. I want anything but struggling starving to death tortured musician souls (refer to blog from 03.11.11 "Please, Just Be Doctors"). So yes. McDreamy could be the donor. But no, certainly not David Crosby. I mean, Cat Stevens I would have considered. Or maybe Sting. But asking if it's David Crosby is the second most overused lesbian cliche, even though the first overused cliche about the U-Haul on the second date is fairly accurate.
Humanitarian, Philanthropist, Genius - Cat Stevens

Ok. So now for the whole point of this blog. I do hope you're still reading because this is the most important part of it.

I am mostly kidding about eighty percent of what I have written so far. Except for the parts about my kids, you can slip up around me with your words and I will get over it. And I know I have just called the "Is David Crosby the dad?" question to myself ten-fold. I can live with it because I happen to say stupid things to straight people all the time. For example, after a few drinks I might ask my straight girl friend if she thinks her husband is gay or I might ask if their life is as boring as it looks. I mostly regret both questions in the morning a little bit...(again, ratings. keeps the readers coming back).

So now that I have made most of you completely self conscious about what you say around gay people, this is really the one thing I want to have stick in your mind when you go about your travels chatting to your friends about civil rights and the like.

4) Sarah and I fight for marriage equality, not for gay marriage. I am not gay married to Sarah. I am not same sex married to Sarah. I am simply married to Sarah. Sometimes our marriage can even be a little boring, just like normal marriages. (Dear Sarah, I know there is nothing boring or normal about our marriage. Just trying to look relatable. Ratings. We're going for big numbers here. Love, Kristen).

Unless straight people are willing to say they are hetero married or opposite sex married, let's just call it marriage across the board. Gay people like me just want equality.

Calling it a "gay marriage" is probably something Governor Christie is considering in his state, because that will keep the normal people marriages separate from those gay civil unions. And then, he probably thinks, the gay people will drop all the hoopla and let him get on with rebuilding the Jersey shore. Because that's what is really important, not gay people and their annoying civil rights. Whoops, I just channeled the Governor from my previous blog, my bad...(Big Mean Bully 10.11.13).

So I am asking you as a friend or as a rabid daily reader of my "Hangin' With Hendo" blog to make a very conscious effort to refer to the fight for marriage between two men or two women as the fight for MARRIAGE EQUALITY. We fight for equality, not for gay marriage.

I know. It's tricky. But it is an important little semantic in my life and the life of every LGBT person you know and love so dearly.

Boringly married Kristen & Sarah. Normal.
So just go around now correcting your friends and uncles who wear plaid pants and play golf that when they say things at the dinner table like, "Oh, for crissakes, enough with all this gay marriage stuff, I saw on the cover of Time Magazine that they can get married already..."

We cannot get married in New Jersey. Or in North Carolina. Or South Carolina. Or Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Montana, Louisiana, Texas, Nevada, South Dakota, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Washington, Colorado, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia (obviously), Virginia, Wyoming, Idaho, New Mexico, Missouri, Deleware, Michigan, Hawaii, Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oregon, Indiana, Alabama, Arizona, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah and Wisconsin.

We are still fighting for marriage equality in most of the United States. And the words we use when we talk about it are epically important.


"Marriage equality is the new normal." Someone better not steal that for a t-shirt. 
#Hendo



6 comments:

  1. I love this so much. The term "gay marriage" grates on my nerves like nothing else. I'm not gay-married, thanks--just married.

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  2. Great read! Loved it.

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  3. Ha! I am still laughing!!!...but seriously when are you guys coming to RI again!?!

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