Saturday, September 24, 2005

Wake Up

Once upon a time, in the way of fairy tales and happy endings, I believed in such things as innocence, truth and honesty. The time of wearing rose-colored glasses disappeared many years ago. I now live in a cynical world and rant from my own personal soapbox. I see injusticie everywhere I look. I see a society determined to restrict, to oppress and to limit, a society willing to promote hate rather than forgiveness, a world far too unfair to accurately fit into a simply worded description. Do I sound jaded? Do I sound beyond help? My words are harsher than the truth, but sometimes I think they reveal a deeper truth about how I have changed since the days of youth and innocence before I saw the world without my rose-colored glasses.

But, like Sophia on the Golden Girls, I digress. I am starting this blog today as an outlet for the words that swirl in my brain, longing for release. Do not worry, dear readers, that the words will be all harshness and cynicism. I am not that jaded. Sometimes, though, when things really make me mad and I need an outlet for my voice, the harshness and cynicism may prevail.

I have always realized the importance of words. I have always realized their power, but never the expanse of their power. Words motivate. Words change. The world does not change from a simple thought, but from the expression of that thought through words.

The world is an unfair place. Humanity is an unfair race. Poetry in motion, readers beware!
Society exists to place labels that limit and oppress. A simple example: Republican and Democrat. Another example: male and female. Ah, never thought of that one before, did you? From labels come stereotypes and from those stereotypes come the limitations unfairly imposed upon individuals. The world is not so simple, or rather humanity is not so simple, as to be clearly defined by labels. My religious or political preference does not define me. The color of my hair, skin or eyes, does not define me. I cannot be easily lumped into a simple category that explains who I am, and yet society does this on a daily basis. The world at large views people by these labels/stereotypes and never truly view the individual as a whole.

Where am I going with this, you might be wondering (or maybe you're not)? I am going where few dare to go: beyond the stereotypes to the reality.

I am a gay male and yet I don't neatly fit into the effeminate stereotypes many people have about gays and or lesbians. Yes, some of the stereotypes apply to me, but many of them do not, and they do not apply to my friends (some who are also gay). I am not a decorator. I did not get that gene. I cannot dance. That gene skipped (oops, stereotypical gay usage) right past me as well. I can cook, but so can Emeril and last time I checked he was not - repeat, was not - gay. I have some fashion sense, but not a great deal of that - damn, another gene that skipped past me. I am not effeminate. Yes, I do like Judy, Barbara and Bette, and I love dance music and I'm a huge Broadway fan. I also watch football. Okay, get up off the floor - hetero and homo - alike. It's not that big a deal. Gay men and women enjoy watching sports. They also enjoy working in their yards. My partner of 11 years loves to work in the yard. He not only cuts our yard, but sometimes our neighbors because he enjoys it so much. He also (big gasp) prefers to drink beer or scotch and water. No sissy drinks for him. He's also an avid football fan who never misses a game and can tell you the stats of all the teams. I sometimes think he is becoming my father, but that's somewhere I don't even want to go right now, especially because my sisters swear I am becoming more and more like our mother. NO, dear ignorant lost in stereotype people, not because I am effeminate, but because I love to cook, I do the cleaning, and I play bridge. As you can hopefully see by now, simple stereotypes cannot define me as a person. It is the whole that defines me, and I only hope that people can see past the stereotypes to the whole person. Society needs to understand that labels are not helpful, they are damaging.
That's it for this rant from the soapbox right now. I'll have more later, trust me on that.

Until tomorrow, or whenever I get around to ranting again . . .