"Is she Black!
That was one of the mortifications of high school, my father jeering that out when I came home and said that I had a date. Repeatedly. It wasn’t mortifying because I cared anything about skin color. We had lived in Hawaii with Asians and Polynesians. One of each had been my teachers in grade school. One of my best friends was half-Filipino. I was in love with Hawaiian mythology and religious legends, and read every book I could get my hands on.
In junior high, many of my classmates and some of my teachers were Hispanic. Some were Native American. We have a little Amerindian in our ancestry, which I thought was pretty cool. I didn’t have any Black friends or dates because I had never lived in a place where many of them did.
I don’t know why he picked that particular jeer, other than the fact that we were living in a place that had been segregated in both residence and school, and it was during the height of the civil rights movement in the early 1960s. There were no Black kids in our high school. It hurt not because I cared anything about skin color. It hurt because I knew from long experience that he meant it to, because he was expressing his contempt and dislike, his disgust since early childhood that I was a member of his family. Something that he taught to my siblings.
It hurt to live with. A couple of times I almost didn’t, but failed to escape. So when someone lied and got me dragged off to the local loony bin, This Can’t Be Happening, where the keepers took any vile hearsay as justification for their actions, where they took that kind of childhood experience to claim that I am more dangerous than others, and made it their mission to make me believe so, for me it was just another set of bullies with another set of jeers.
Well, who wouldn’t find that state-sanctioned laying on of hands and psychiatric diagnoses to be healing? Maybe just those of us who don’t believe that Johnny-come-lately, fly-by-night witch doctors have any superior insight into long self-examined grief. The kind of white witch doctors who would take any mention or explanation of such grief, and convert it into psychopathy and deviance to justify their own existence and right-to-treat. Who would rub one’s nose into one’s misery just to create the kind of shock and pain that seem to fulfill the Oklahoma State Code Title 43A legal requirements for involuntary “treatment”.
Wow. Almost like family. Although I’m straight, I might have some understanding of the abandonment gay kids feel when their families kick them out onto the street. I wonder. Are they any happier or luckier if it didn’t start when they were five years old?
Of course, the way I hear it, anyone who tries to discuss this, even in private, is “just trying to bring down the family name”. The Favorite Son is not amused. As I’ve heard him say more than once, “It’s all about Me.” The right to all critical thinking is His alone, passed down from His Earthly Father. Happy Holidays. "