Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Previous Blog-entry Reminds Me...

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Gender Is Personal

Last Friday, Pat and I broke our routines -- either synagogue services at our NYC congregation, or more often, Middle Eastern food out locally. Instead, we attended a charity-event with our friend, at her request. We went out of loyalty to her more than for the non-profit organization. In fact, we felt a bit betrayed by the organization; when one of its leaders first explained the rationale for the upcoming transformation to me last September, it made brilliant, intellectual sense, but sitting at the event, I felt wistful and not altogether happy:

It had transformed itself from GenderPAC into True Child, which I couldn't even find on the web when I looked for it. At the event, I learned that by design, they won't launch the site till later this month. We felt betrayed because GenderPAC represented people of all ages, whereas the new organization was dedicated to helping children, it seemed, and even as I got it intellectually, I felt left out emotionally.

As some consolation -- actually, as *great* consolation to Pat -- as part of the event, Pat got to meet the very sexy-cute-lovely-genuine CNN anchor, Soledad O'Brien who was acting as a celebrity-chef in the event's cook-off, and who said she was helping the organization because as a mother of four, she wanted all of her kids to be happy with whoever they were; I'm paraphrasing.

Bitterly and hungrily in a number of ways, I sat at the event, thinking, I haven't got kids and I want my GenderPAC back, and then also felt guilty at my lack of being able to subscribe to the big-picture. We left with gift-bags, each of which contained a mini rolling-pin. I surprised Pat and rolled it down her arm pre-sleep, which simply made her chuckle; we're going on 17 years together.

The next morning, my friend and I took a walk while Pat attended her soup-kitchen-volunteer-recognition luncheon. I confessed that we went only to support our friend, who's on the board, and that we didn't subscribe to the tenets of the organization any longer: "You're so much better than I, as you don't have kids either [and you're heterosexual], but I just don't want to support an organization that excludes me, when it used to include me."

"We figured this would happen, that we'd lose a number of the GLBT community, but the ones we lose don't realize --"

"It's for *us*, I know," I said, "because it's true that gender anxiety is all about homophobia --"

"Exactly! And so by educating people before it's too late, while they're still educable as children, it'll benefit the GLBT Community ultimately."

I know that my friend is right. And if a heterosexual, child-free person can believe in True Child, why can't I?

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