Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Out and about

Just saw an interview with Rachel Maddow on AfterEllen. If you don't know who Rachel Maddow is, there are two things you should know:
  1. She is a really smart political commentator on the television. Mainstream television. MSNBC.
  2. Despite the fact that she is an out lesbian in a committed relationship and a total nerd, everyone who does know who she is, regardless of sex or orientation, has a giant crush on her.
If you want more information than that, you're already on the Internet. Go do some research. Anyway, in that interview, she said this:

“I think the responsibility that we have as gay Americans,” she says, “is to the extent that we can - and we ought to be really ambitious about the extent to which we can - we have to be out.”

“That’s the thing that we owe the people who came before us who are the pioneers, and that’s the thing we owe the next generation of gay people in terms of clearing the way and making life easier for them. I think that there is a moral imperative to be out, and I think that if you’re not out, you have to come to an ethical understanding with yourself why you are not. And it shouldn’t be something that is excused lightly. I don’t think that people should be forced out of the closet, but I think that every gay person, sort of, ought to push themselves in that regard. Because it’s not just you. It’s for the community and it’s for the country.”

And I totally agree with her, philosophically. So, count me out.
I have been out in my real life since 1992. Out to virtually everyone in my real life for a shorter time than that, but still a long time.
I've kept the queer off the blog because — I don't know. Probably because:
  • It makes me more easily identifiable, in case people stumble here accidentally (everyone in my real life knows I'm queer, but not everyone in my real life knows I'm bzzzzgrrrl), and
  • I am b i s e x u a l, and that is a word that, spelled without spaces, attracts absolutely the wrong kind of people to a blog (and, sometimes, to me personally), which is a bummer, and which is more easily dealt with in my real life, where I can give hard stares.
So, yeah. Big queer here. Last two relationships were with women. Single and looking, if you know anyone.

Does anyone read this blog who didn't know that? Maybe the one guy. Hey, keep coming back, one guy.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask 'em in the comments. Or use the comments to come out on the Internet yourself. Go nuts.

Update: It strikes me that who "absolutely the wrong kind of people" are is maybe not as clear to everyone as it is to me. Those people are the people who have bought into the pornography myth that my particular orientation means I will sleep with literally anyone. If you are one of those people who think I will sleep with literally anyone, you are mistaken. If you are merely mistaken, and not a total jackass, I am sorry to call you "absolutely the wrong kind of people," but you need to be disabused. Really, feel free to ask questions without fear.


Funky Kim said...

I didn't know you were gay. And I can see why it's important to come out. I wish it wasn't important to come out. I wish that the news media would stop reporting that "John Smith, a black man". I wish that sort of stuff was as irrelevant as it should be in a perfect world.

I have a daughter who is gay. And she's chomping at the bit to move back to Columbus, Ohio where she spent almost a year. I understand that Salt Lake City isn't the most comfortable place to be gay. But I keep telling her that she should stay here and help it become more comfortable. Of course, I'm selfish and hated it when she lived so far away from me!

bzzzzgrrrl said...

When I was younger, my family was very involved in the movement around the ordination of women in the Episcopal church. And once we had women priests, my know-it-all 11-year-old self wondered aloud to my father why any woman would be Catholic, when they could just be Episcopalian. And my dad said, wisely, that some Catholics who cared about women's ordination did leave. And others stayed, to try and make things better from within. And that in his opinion both of those things would have to happen to make real change.
Which is a long and overpersonal way to say, I get staying in SLC. I also get wanting to go to Columbus.
Thanks for letting me know you're reading. And about this daughter: Is she cute? Is she single? How does she feel about New England? :)

Cousin Mouse said...

You may be "out" to the world, but you'll always be "in" with me.

please don't report me to the "blog" of "unnecessary" quotation marks.

bzzzzgrrrl said...

Aw. Thanks, cuz.

Mike said...

I'll admit to a small Rachel crush.

bzh said...

I'll admit to a big City Mouse crush.

PMJG said...

Hee hee. You said "nuts."

No, wait, what I meant to say was that the internet presents an interesting problem for following Rachel's advice.

On the one hand, it's a great platform to present your writing in a vacuum, forcing readers to judge it on its own merits and not based on the author's appearance, race, orientation, religion, etc.

However, that's not going to lead to the kind of acceptance that Rachel is talking about (and that society needs). I guess that the question is when you should reveal that kind of information.

I've read good, interesting work by people that later revealed they were from all kinds of backgrounds. Even Canadians.

bzzzzgrrrl said...

Here's the thing. There are other platforms where people judge my writing without knowing things about me, both on the Internet and in print. I am lucky like that.
But this blog? Is about my life. It's snippets, granted, and I don't tell you people everything. But I've posted about religion and politics at this point, and my pregnant mover.
I think my stories probably come across as funny-ish, but they also come across as slices of a day-to-day life. Of a woman who happens to be queer (and voting for Obama, and Episcopalian).
That is probably just the kind of normalization that smart political commentator (who just happens to be queer, and foxy) was talking about.

bzzzzgrrrl said...

Oh, I am also foxy.
I tend to assume most of the people who read my blog already know me, and therefore already know that, but not everyone does.
I am also very foxy, but different from Rachel Maddow.

mike said...

For the record, the "mike" who posted that he will admit to a small Rachel crush is different from me, which is not to say that I'm not suddenly in awe of Rachel, having discovered her about a week ago. (And I didn't know she was gay until I read her Wikipedia entry, which notes that she was the first openly gay Rhodes Scholar, but I sorta suspected -- "gaydar" and all.)

Anyway, I grew up in D.C., attended Guilford College, live in Takoma Park (gay mayor and prominent gay activist city councilmember), and have kids with lesbian moms in Northampton, so I've been rather sheltered from communities where gay/bi people feel the need to stay in the closet. I wasn't aware of any time when you, bzzzgrrrl, were.