Monday, January 10, 2011

Rainbows not Gaybows!

I do not have a speck of homophobia and am very pro love whoever you want. If you prefer same sex partners, great. It's a non-issue for me. I raise my kids to consider it a non-issue. Now that's as far as I'm going to go with defending my liberal ole' self.

What bugs me, is Sassyface has suddenly decided she can't have anything with rainbows on it because "People will think I'm gay." What?! You're a girl! Girls and rainbows and glitter and cupcakes- they all go together. There's not a thing wrong with a tweenie wearing a rainbow anything. But no, the toerag 6th graders are raised by shitheads who must be trickling their intolerant hatred upon their spawn. The 6th graders think anything rainbow is obviously gay. Gay gay gay, you big gaydo gayhead. Look at you with your cute sweatshirt with a RAINBOW on it, you so must be gay.

Those kids are now in high school. My girl is now a mighty 6th grader (in Feb) Guess who's going to be attending every single parents meeting next term. Guess who's going to raise a shit storm by encouraging all the parents to speak to their kids about not letting such prejudices seep into school and become bullying on the playground. And let's just remember: This is primary school. Not high school. These kids are 10-12 years old.

I remember 10-12 and there were no fears of the gayness taking hold because we dared to wear a rainbow! I may not remember how I first met people 20 years ago* But I remember never being concerned that someone would think I was gay. Even when I went to an all girls school. This may be because I wasn't gay so the thought never entered my mind. So far as I know, no one in our class was gay. They were all too in love Duran Duran for the subject to come up. But I don't remember it ever being an issue. Public high school, college, university...nope one could wear a rainbow and be instantly labled a fag or dyke.

Not too long ago it was purple triangles that were symbol for gayness, right? Or pink triangles? I think I'm mixing my TellyTubbies and homos, here... Yes, pink triangles because that's what the Nazis put on homosexuals in the concentration camps. That's reclaiming an identifier in a positive way. When did the gay movement drop the pink triangle begin using rainbows? Wait, look, there's a whole Wiki on the LGBT Flag.

 So, rainbows don't automatically make you gay. Spread the word. Don't let homophobic Tweenies steal the colours! I wish I knew what to say to my daughter that will make her ok about rainbows. I still think rainbows are a lovely image for childhood and that's being taken from her. I'm not mad at the LGBT movement for using a rainbow, but I'm saddened that a wee girl feels she'll be labeled if she wears a rainbow.

(Turns out she wasn't the only one I'd lapsed over and I'm just going to accept that it was all the cigarette smoking I did in college that has caused memory lapses)


Anonymous said...

My baby is in tenth grade and is pretty much the opposite. She's such a staunch supporter of gay and lesbians, I wonder if she is gay. (Not that being a supporter makes you gay!) She wears purple, wears rainbows, writes NoH8 on her hands etc.

We have to teach our children that it's okay to be different. And to stand up for ourselves when we do think differently. Stand by our convictions.

It's hard though! Because you want your kids to fit in and you want them to have an easier time of it, growing up. Sadly, there is no manual.

Did you know that grade 6 is the WORST year you will every have as a parent? They are ALL hormonal and mental and this is the year that they rip apart into cliques and they try to destroy each other. The girls are the WORST! Grade 6 sucks balls. Trust me, I've done this twice. Brace yourself. And try to give your girls as much "sticking up for yourself and your beliefs" talks as you can. It will help.

jomamma said...

I hope the anti-bullying movement takes hold all over the world like it's being pushed here in the states. I don't think anyone should be bullied for any reason, and liking rainbows may just mean you are a meteorologist or a storm chaser from Texas.

jmc said...

My mom has a mug with a rainbow on it -- it came as part of a floral arrangement years ago, maybe 20-25 years ago? My stepdad refuses to use it IN THEIR HOUSE because he says it's gay. I wouldn't call him a homophobe (he doesn't care about anyone's sex life, gay or straight, as long as they don't PDA in front of him) and he's not the most pop-culture-aware guy, but if he thinks rainbow=LBGT, then the symbol is irreversibly linked. For now, at least.