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October 5th, 2007


Hope you had a great day "filled with fun-packed awesomeness like a party!"

You remember Grace? She was the subject of this blog entry—now attending a (Quaker) school in which she's thriving instead of being bullied just because she doesn't conform to society's idea of what a girl should look like.

They recently had "Curriculum Night" at her new school, and the kids wrote an invitation to their parents to come. Of course, Grace wrote hers to her two moms, and this is what it said:

Dear Moms,

Welcome to curriculum night.  Thank you for coming.  School has been really good and filled with fun packed awesomeness like a party... My favorite subject is drama because we are putting makeup on the students.... Math has been very trickey in a good way...I am looking forward to the farm School.  I've never been to an over night field trip...

XOR Love,

Grace (in cursive)
Grace (printed)
"Beckham", "Twellman", "The golden boot" and "Jaguar".

I don't even know Grace, but I love her, and I'm so glad she has two awesome moms raising her. Here's another excerpt from Grace's mom:

Maybe it's time for an analogy that's closer to home. [This posting is in response to a "heated discussion" that is going on in the discussion forum about how gay people should "best act" in order to be "best accepted" by "society."]

My daughter Grace, about whom I've written extensively here, has just turned 11, and is still androgynous of figure.  She refuses to look at clothes in the "girls" section of stores because they do not reflect who she is (which is a relief to me, because I find a lot of girls' fashions bordering on tarty, to my taste.)  Grace likes to dress like this:

Grace is constantly mistaken for a boy.  And, she has also seen me often mistaken for a man.  As her mom, I believe that one of my responsibilities is to help her develop skills and tools that will support her ability to feel comfortable in her own skin.  So I will never tell her, "Well, if you dressed more like a girl, maybe people wouldn't mistake you for a boy."

Frankly, I have spent my whole life dealing on a very personal level with our sexist culture's very narrow ideas of what masculinity and femininity are.  What I model, and what I tell her, is to always correct someone who mistakes you for a boy.  The only way that people's narrow views are capable of changing is if alternatives to those views are standing in front of them, in the flesh, proud and unashamed of our place outside the "norm."  Maybe it won't happen in that one encounter.  Maybe it won't even happen in our lifetime.  But if enough of us do it, maybe, just maybe, the water will wear away the stone and the universe will shift even slightly away from its sexist axis.

It is very hard work, even exhausting.  It would be so much easier for Grace and me to let people think that we're male, to just put our heads down and tell ourselves that, well, at least I know I'm female.  But that just feels so wrong to me.  It's not easier, it doesn't make me feel better, it accomplishes nothing, and it eats away at our souls. 

I have talked more than once with Grace about whether she feels "like a girl," whether she likes being a girl, how she feels in her body.  Because the last thing I want is to contribute to some sort of oppressive situation because she's really a boy in there, trying to figure out why she ended up in a girl's body.  One night she was upset because my ex had actually said "If you dressed more like a girl..." to her.  So I was hugging her while she cried and I stumbled through some statement about how I love her no matter what, and if she feels like a boy inside I think I understand and I will always love her.  She blurted out through her tears, "But Mom, I love being a girl!!!  I just don't want to dress like one!!!!"  I just said, "I know what you mean."

When I read or hear about the thrashing in our [LGBT] community about what is acceptable and what isn't, or who should be visible and who shouldn't, it saddens me but does not surprise me.  Have we not seen that every group needs another group to put under its heel?  Whether it's the flaunters putting down the sexual modesty folk, or vice versa.  Whether it's the folks who hate children putting down the folks who desperately want children, or vice versa.  Whether it's the folks who want to be married putting down the folks who see marriage as a straight-wanna-be cop out, or vice versa.

Does this serve any of us? Why should we expect anyone else to be for us when we can't even be for each other?



I'll let this stand for my posting today. It was just the SSDD for me. Mostly all homework.

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