I really thought that this post would be about my reflections on attending (this past weekend) my 20 year (gasp) high school reunion. In a way, I sort of am writing about it, but not exactly. So before I get all cryptic and nonspecific on your arses, let me explain.
There was, in fact, a class reunion and I did go. I had a good time and do have some reflections about the grand affair, but what is most pressing on my mind today is a comment made on facebook in the aftermath of the reunion.
Ahhhh, facebook. The lurky, voyeuristic haven of delight. Really, some days I could spend hours looking at peoples notes and articles posted, baby shower and wedding pictures, reading the bios and info people write about themselves, and on and on. So entirely time sucking, but oh so strangely interesting. Like many I suppose, I have the status update page sort of ever lurking in the background of my day, not really paying attention to it, but it sort of sits there, notifying me that someone commented on something I also commented on, or maybe hugged my virtual pet–Cheese, or wants me to take some inane quiz about some shit I know nothing about. But sometimes, a comment just catches my eye, and I am hard-pressed not to say something. Take today for example.
Its no secret that there were some really beautiful people in my high school, AND they are as beautiful today as they have ever been (the whole getting fat and ugly reunion myth is just that, a myth–some of us (…ahem..cough cough…) have gained some pounds, but whatever, so not my point). Anyway, due to the nature of facebook, there has been some photo sharing and tagging and commenting going on since first thing Sunday morning–the day after.
So, one person commented on another persons page, and then another person, commented on that comment, and then that is when I had to find some words–as thoughtfully chosen as possible–and comment. The original note was about excitement and waiting to see so-and-so’s pictures. “Those will be fun!” Well, sibling of so-and-so saw the post, commented on how great they were and said this:
“If I was a homo, I think I would try to make out with you guys!”
What? Wait a minute, really? Is that really what you just said/wrote? Really? So in full disclosure, here was my response: “Yeah, and this homo–thinks ya’ll are beautiful. Not in *that* way, but because you are kind, lovely, sweet people.”
All day this has been eating at me. Why would I even justify not in “that” way. What way is it? Why in 2009 do we still live in a world that uses derogatory inflammatory language as humor? Actually, why is it still acceptable to say homo, or dyke, faggot or “that’s so gay” but somehow we all understand that it is most certainly not OK to call someone who is Jewish all those slurs. And someone who is black, all of those hateful words. But the LGBTQI community somehow–its still funny? Its still socially acceptable?
I wish I could say that today was the first time I have chimed in and up about this on facebook–but its not. I wish that I could tell you that I called the commenter personally, and explain to her that her words are hurtful. I wish I could be “That One” who rights the wrongs, bravely speaks out, who will be the loving voice and face of normalizing what it means to be a homosexual in a heterosexual society. But I am not.
I am just me, thinking about how sticks and stones do break bones AND words do sometimes hurt me.
Tonight I take comfort in the prayer and words of St. Francis of Assisi (*with some minor updates and additions in parentheses):
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, (on facebook)
Where there is hatred, let me sow love; (through pokes and gifts)
where there is injury, pardon; (and comments)
where there is doubt, faith; (or at least a good quiz)
where there is despair, hope; (maybe update your profile info a bit)
where there is darkness, light; (I can totally facebook in the dark!)
where there is sadness, joy; (the essence of facebook, no?)
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love
For it is in giving that we receive; (karma, but not lil’ green patch for G-d’s sake!)
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; (pass a drink or something)
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. (update those privacy settings or you WILL have eternal life on the interwebs!)
(And where the word “homo” is used frivolously,
Let me call love by its real name.)