FamilyPosted: August 3, 2012
Rad has been home with Mom and Dad Rad for the week taking care of Dad Rad following major surgery. Dad Rad is in his seventies, still a large man, generally healthy, but was in need of a new knee. Mom Rad had surgery a few months ago herself and has not returned to normal. So, Dr Rad packed up, left the lil ones at home with MrDr Rad and subsequently has been enjoying the best sleep she’s had the last six or so years. Wow. Sleep. And I’ve been getting some work done. Not as much as I’d like, but enough to get some projects moving into the writing stage. This, of course, between episodes of driving to WalMart for pills and various unnecessary objects. WalMart. I had not been in one of these box stores in almost three years.
I had been feeling pretty down in the past few days regarding this chicken thing. I’m assuming you do not live under a rock and know what this is about. If not, see here and here. And here. Here. I could continue, but instead I’ll assume you know how to work the Google. Even Dad Rad does.
Fig1. A chicken.
I seem to have two diametrically positioned groups of ‘friends’ on Facebook — those that registered hurt from seeing people gleefully run to the closest Chick-Fil-A and those that gleefully ran to the store or else said they would. My friends of the hurt-sort were mostly friends from college and/or graduate school. The other camp were comprised of the few people that I can still remember from high school and, of course, members of my close family or friends of the family. I fought a little on Facebook (ie I pissed into the wind) and then decided to work off some aggression at what turned out to be the best spinning class I’ve attended in I don’t know how long.
Interestingly, the woman running the class, who happened to be an elementary school teacher (and had the intense southern drawl of my natal home site) passed out the following, hand-written on a piece of wide-ruled paper, to everyone in the class:
Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones would would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.
Her handwriting was childish–clear, but looked as if it could have been written by a 10-year old. The sentiment was so sweet, simple, absolutely true. I have no idea how this particular spin instructor ‘feels’ about, you know, ‘chicken.’
Fig2. This isn’t a spin bike.
However, in line with the above sentiment, I can say that I have always had gay friends. I did not know any openly gay friends in high school, but in college, many or most of my friends either identified as gay or certainly were not afraid of teh gay. Some of my currently closest friends are gay. These gay friends are my family–the ones that were hurt, and continue to be hurt, by this ridiculous war sponsored by one of the largest consumers of chicken products in this country.
Fig3. Chikkin is Amerikun
Currently, I live in the luxury of not having to defend my lifestyle from crazed right-wingers that insist marriage is between a man and a woman. Currently, I do not have to experience hatred from my relatives since I am married to a man. But this strange war with the chicken mascot affects me, since I’ve never been exactly straight. Call it what you will, scoff all you want–but I predict that should I divorce, I will not be skulking about the ‘Woman seeking Men’ section of Craig’s list. I doubt this would be a shocking revelation to Mom Rad, who used to worry that I was a ‘dyke.’ Dad Rad would not take it well, and our relationship would become more complicated than it is already. I’m certainly not hiding in a heteronormative relationship; I love my husband, he knows I’ve had a girlfriend or two in my past and he absolutely does not care. I cannot fathom why people would get themselves so worked up about my sexuality–even though I disclose it here, it is a personal aspect of my life. Why the protest at the local Chick-Fil-A? Why does this topic so enrage people that they will, hilariously, sit in a fast-food line for an hour or so?
There are two roundabout points I am trying to make–one, I want people that are gay who feel singled out and hated right now to know that they have allies. I glitter-bombed my Facebook feed as much as I could. And two, my family includes the people that accept me and love me. Your family is what you make it.