I generally think that coming out is a bad idea. Anytime you have to articulate your identity you are giving credence to the ideology of heteronormative behavior. When was the last time someone came out to you as straight?
Coming out presupposes a world of coerced conformity. A world where nuclear, heterosexual, two person, monogamous relationships are the prescribed norm. Coming out states that you acknowledge this and are stating your identity as something other than this. Making an apology. Telling people that you understand that everyone is presumed straight, until they say otherwise. This fosters an ideology of reinforced heteronormative behavior patterns. Expecting that people will love you, even though your queer, puts the burden of tolerance, and the power to represent the default identity, on straight people.
I never really thought much about coming out. I grew up in San Francisco. Everyone was queer, queer friendly, out and proud. There were more gay flags flying in my childhood than bigots screaming slurs, a lot more. I’m thinking about this a lot this week as last week I was chased out of a party being called gay. How is it possible that “gay” is an insult? I’m living in a very scary world where heterosexuality is presupposed, expected, and thought to be desirable. I’m living in a world where people use heterosexism as a weapon.
I have issues with coming out, with having to come out and with the problems that you cannot undo once you come out. I’m all about being yourself and not having to explain it to anyone. I’m gonna come out though. Not that you don’t know I’m queer. I’m sure I have said it before. I talk about my girlfriend and about how I prefer to be in non-traditional relationships with people of non-conforming gender identities.
I’m gonna come out as a parent. I have offspring. I almost never mention it to people who don’t need to know. I want to protect my children from the bizarre world of professional perversion I live in and love. I want to keep my worlds separate. I want to have a modicum of privacy. I want to have my cake and eat it too. If I never told you I have children don’t take it personally, you have to be very close to me to have been brought into my world. I don’t trust most people with this part of my life.
I’m in a position where I feel I must come out though. Being silent about my children on my blog and in my art is no longer advantageous. The man who knocked me up when I was a teenager is not giving me any choice. I must come out if I am going to write about the full spectrum of a major problem I am dealing with. If I am going to not censor my writing, I have to come out.
Alright, so now you know I’m a mother. You might be asking how this is relevant. I’m getting to it.
The father of my children, after our brief high school fling, became an evangelical Christian. Once he was into kinky sex and drugs. Now he is married in the suburbs slandering my queer intellectual identity. His wife is a stay at home bleached blond who has nothing but time on her hands. She is reading this blog.
The two of them have a real problem with the way I live my life. They want to throw stones and suggest that I’m not allowed to have more fun than they are. It has been a long time since I have been able to deal with the father of my children in a way that is indicative of adult communication. I’m tired of being called the antichrist. I’m tired of the threats and the hostility. I’m tired of them trying to keep my children from me because I’m a queer, kinky, sex working academic.
The shit has to stop now. I can’t really process things without writing about them. When the wife started posting hate mail to this blog I realized that I could not tell you what I was doing without these crazy Christians knowing too.
I sat stewing for a while. I was going to post my upcoming travel but I didn’t want to tell them what I was up to. I thought I would be covert about it, telling you that I’m having problems with the right wing and that I can only tell you vague details of my trip. I’m sick of trying to dance around their bullshit so I figured it might be easier to out myself as a mother than it would be to deal with them holding this over me, trying to harm my family, playing games. I’m sick of it.
I’m coming to New England to attend a conference, visit some family, and play. I’m bringing my teenage son who wants to look at colleges in the area. I’ll have a little bit of free time to play. Hopefully you want to play. I’m really in the mood to have some fun, get off this crazy coast, away from the Christians, out of the vapid self-loathing monotony of southern California.
I’ll have time to play March 13th – 16th in Western Mass. I might be heading to Cape Cod on the 13th and I will be in NYC for a day but I’m not sure which day. I’ll be in Cambridge with very limited availability March 19th – 21st.
I hope I get to beat you, piss on you, and write a dirty story to anger the crazy Christians. Help me have some fun, pay my increased tuition, and get out of the funk that is becoming the essence of my life. Come on, let’s live a little!