My lovely friend Lane was one mom in a two-mom household. Her story of dual-mommying was one, in my opinion, that needed to be told. When Lane not only agreed to chat with me but was excited about the opportunity to share her and her wife’s story; we went about the same process I do with everyone I interview for The Delicious Day – chat, transcribe, edit, repeat. I did this until all was finalized, and then posted a link to the final article on my social media networks. Lane posted it on hers. A few enthused friends posted it on theirs. It was The Delicious Day as usual.
UNTIL…people started reading it in a manner that can only be accurately described as – Hog. Freaking. Shit. Wild. It was being read as if Lane and I did not have social media networks but social media dynasties. The piece went crazy, mad, bonkers. It was the biggest one day reading in Delicious Day history to date.
Dudes, I had previously interviewed Monica Lewinsky’s father.
This all happened eight months ago. Since then I have interviewed people with social media networks 10s of 1000s strong, people who have been on every major news channel in the world, bestselling authors, leaders in worldwide environmental movements and people who make insane amounts of cash regarding how others can do the same – among many, many other wonderful people. And what remains as one of the most read pieces on The Delicious Day? The life of a dual-mother with a personal social network a few hundred deep.
This raised a lot of questions among many. Why did this happen? Why was there such a huge response? Why were so, so many people interested in this story?
As I am the one MCing this thing right now I am going to tell you my theory.
The first part of my theory is this – when I lived in Puerto Rico there were these guys that got into their ’78 Honda Civics, strapped a megaphone they stole from the neighborhood soccer stadium to their roof and with one hand on the wheel and the other on their kid’s Barbie microphone they would drive around spouting off whatever came into their heads regarding Jesus, the government, their ex-wife, pineapple prices, you know whatever comes to your head when you are driving around a 78 Civic with the exhaust dragging on the ground and a part of the local stadium bungee corded to your roof.
Had I not been in Puerto Rico for months on end to witness this whole very loud, very repetitive thing, I may have left thinking what, ‘Wow, a lot of Puerto Ricans are really PO’d about pineapple prices.’ However, after being there for a bit I started to realize, ‘No, the vast majority of Puerto Ricans don’t give a rip about piña prices. It is just that these few Barbie microphone guys are sucking so much airspace that it could be easy to mistake their persistent noise as a sentiment embraced by the entire community.
I believe the same is true with the right wing freak show’s war against the gay community. In actuality they are a much smaller group than the ruckuses they are thrusting on unwilling communities make them appear to be. And although it breaks their little freak show hearts, there are actually many, many people who care about and want to better understand the gay community. AND when the opportunity to do so presents itself – they take it – as witnessed with the enormous number of people who read Lane’s story.
Especially since, and this is the second part of my theory – so many people are terrified to ask. I think two mom or two dad households are still unique enough in our culture that they raise well intended questions from people who truly care about the answers but would never ever do anything crazy like ask. In other words, there are countless people in this world that have questions which would help them best understand the gay community or any community and when they evaluate the risks of asking the question with the rewards of knowing the answer they decide carrying on with cluelessness is preferable.
And to this I just gotta say, ‘REALLY?!?!?!’
How many times as a society do we have to learn the consequences of one community not understanding another, one person not understanding another before we permanently throw out the stigma of political correctness and start doing some serious Q & A??
As someone from the United States that has spent a lot of time traveling and living outside of the US I have been on the receiving end of all kinds of questions and the like from people who, in my opinion, could have perhaps thought a bit more about political correctness, overall appearance of their intellect and how perhaps what was about to come out of their yapper might be perceived. A few examples being:
- Is there just, like, violence everywhere in America?
- How much money do you make?
- Do you have a gun?
- Are you rich?
- Where is your cowboy hat?
- Are you religious?
- How can it be that you are not religious?
- But you are Catholic, right?
- Did you vote for George Bush?
- Are you sure you didn’t vote for George Bush?
- Well, then who did vote for George Bush?
- Do you drive a really, really big car and have a really, really big house?
- Do you have a horse?
- Are you sure you didn’t vote for George Bush?
Then there are the people who just bypass the whole asking thing and move right on to telling. To note, all of these people without exception, have never been to the US. Not even an airport. A limited list of things I have learned from them are:
- All Americans love violence. All of them.
- You are smart – for an American.
- No one plays soccer in the US.
- How can you be from the US???!?! You don’t look like you are from the US.
- You are the only American I have ever met that I liked.
- I bet I can name all of the states in the US before you can.
- Getting a job in the US is really easy.
- I hate___________<insert something about the US> and __________ <something else about the US> and….
- The only food in the US is fast food.
- Washington and Washington D.C are NOT two different places.
And then there are the people that don’t say anything at all.
But they don’t have to.
Their body language does all of the work for them. When first meeting them they typically show the same honest curiosity almost everyone does when meeting someone new – until – they learn that I was born in the land of 50 states and well then, I would say a small but consistent percentage of them are flat out a-holes and their a-hole behavior has included laughing at me, refusing to talk and/or look at me or, and I am not even kidding here folks, walking immediately away from me.
Dudes, I am being serious here. As serious as I am when trying to convince these people that New York City and the State of New York are actually two pretty different geographic entities. And yes, ‘I am’, as I repeatedly tell them, ‘pretty confident about that.’
‘But as someone who has chosen to live in a world where dealing with all of this from time to time is an unavoidable reality – this is what I have decided. It will never not blow my freaking mind that someone can honestly believe, ‘Yeah, it is completely feasible that there are 310 million arrogant, war mongering Americans running around with guns, cowboy hats and bibles, but maybe just for the hell of it, since she is standing right here, I should double check.’ As I am sure it will never not blow the minds of any community, religion, ethnicity, geography, belief or lifestyle what people don’t know and the questions that come out of that not-knowing. But even the most well intentioned individuals will never intimately know the nuances or even most of the major aspects of every community’s life and as such we cannot be simultaneously outraged at another’s ignorance while being incensed by their questions. And in the end, no matter how or why they did it – those who ask questions did something that those who live in fear of being politically incorrect will never do – they gave me the opportunity to share my perspective and themselves the chance to change theirs.