Late Night DJ

Just now, driving home after the mauling that is pilates, I was thinking  how blogging is like being a late night dj – especially blogging about one particular little area, like being a femme mom/wife/ass kicker (as opposed to blogging about politics or whatever – not that being a femme mom/wife/ass kicker isn’t political, because it is). When you’re a late night dj, you’re pretty sure most people are asleep, but you still want to do a good job because if there are some people awake and listening, then you know they damn for sure need what you’re playing.

So here, for those of you who are also femme mom/wife/ass kickers and for those of you who derive sustenance from reading these words, today I post, I post!

I just started reading The Well of Loneliness which, if I’ve ever read it, was a very long time ago and I don’t remember anything. I’ve gotten to the part where Stephan is  14, just got her new racer, Raftery, and said goodbye to her French governess. There’s this extremely well-done sense of how hard her father is working to hold back the forces of doom, push them off for as long as possible, to protect his daughter, to let her be herself as much as she can before the world comes crashing down on her. It’s sad that her mother can’t seem to show her daughter the same kind of understanding nor does she seem to be able to express her love, despite her best intentions; the idea that her own child somehow turns her stomach is a very distressing one. I don’t know much about Radclyffe Hall, like if she had any kids in her life when she was an adult,  but her understanding is spot on of the whole delicate balance between allowing our children to find out who they are by themselves while at the same time guiding and doing one’s best to protect them which is right at the heart of being a parent.

Queer parents or straight, our kids aren’t usually who we’d necessarily like them to be, or who we thought they might be. And you don’t have to be the parent of someone like Stephan to experience deep disappointment and/or worry about the life of your child. In his book-to-which-I-refer-as-if-it-were-the-Bible-as-it-seems-to-have-been-written-expressly-about-Seth, Get Out of My Life But First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall? A Parent’s Guide to the New Teenager by Anthony E. Wolf, he gives us the example of Molly, who is somebody’s daughter. Molly is turning out to be rather a slacker, getting C’s and D’s in school and preferring to hang out with friends more than anything else. Wolf says one of the hard thing about being a parent of a teenager is that we start to see that some of their less edifying traits, excusable when they were children since they were still changing and developing, may be traits that will stay with them into adulthood and we have to deal with it. He says we have to have our own process of grieving our lost hopes and expectations, hopefully in a way that won’t make the teenager feel bad, and then move on, saying to ourselves the equivalent of, “She’s just going to be Molly.”

And accepting and protecting a queer child – why does that have to be so fucking difficult? Why are children still dying? It’s really no different than accepting and protecting any child. I’m not naïve, I know there are hundreds of complicated reasons people damage their own children, not least of which is that they are themselves damaged. But I’m holding out hope, spinning the platters as the clock ticks over to the lonely hour of 3:30 am, just positive that the people listening, however few, are nodding their heads and humming along, and that when day breaks, they’ll take those same tunes out into the life of the world and yes, it will make a difference.

Published in: on October 28, 2010 at 6:27 AM  Comments (3)