So a little slice of life -
My mother was raised in a racist and homophobic environment, because her parents were raised in a racist and homophobic environment and so on and so forth. My husband’s mother was raised in a similar setting, but add in a large dependency on religion.
Well, I really believe that life won’t always give you what you want, but occasionally it will give you what you need.
When my brother started dating men, my mother hadn’t been informed of his orientation but some part of her must’ve always known. She jokingly said that he was at his friend’s house enough that she wondered if he was gay. And he looked her dead in the eye and nodded, then told her that he was. She looked at me and asked if I was and I shrugged and told her I was bisexual. To my mother’s credit, she only freaked out for one night before she was able to shake everything she’d ever been told and come to terms with that. What I mean by that is that she was told at 9pm, and by breakfast the next morning, she was smiling and hugging again.
A few years after that, my brother told me about a guy at his work who was very attractive but seemed straight and told me I should go and take a look (because gay brothers are the freaking BEST wingmen ever!). So I went in and met the man who is now my husband. I brought him home, my mom looked at him and her face got very pale, and only then did I realize that the fact he was black might be an issue for her. And my dog, actually, who was so fascinated at discovering a person who was an entirely different color that he shoved his nose in the man’s crotch and tried to wear him as a hat for the first four hours he was there… She pulled me aside, made sure I knew that some people would have an issue, and despite her own reservations, accepted my answer: that I didn’t want to live my life by ignorant moron’s rules and if he was my somebody then I’d damn well have him.
His mother actually asked him if he was planning to keep it in the family, which is apparently some creepy phrasing for “Are you going to marry a black woman?” instead of some gross demand he marry a relative, and he flat out told her that wasn’t happening unless something changed because he hadn’t found one yet that clicked with him in literally any way. She didn’t like me for awhile, haha. When we had our first child he came out whiter than snow and because he has the shape of my husband’s eyes, he looked sort of Asian. She immediately jumped on that and suggested we should get a paternity test, not because she doubted of course, but because other people might. Mhm. She herself had told me that her own children (who are the color of rich mahogany) all came out whiter than me and got darker over the following weeks, but apparently when mine did it was a freak occurrence in her head, I’m not sure.
As for her opinion of my brother marrying a man, there were some very offensive comments and laughter at the time. I left their Christmas party one year because a relative said something ridiculously homophobic, but I stopped at the door and turned around with a smile on my face to inform him that the wine he was drinking was bought with the proceeds of gay smut. The look on his face was so gratifying that I’m smiling right now just remembering it. Twas a merry Christmas after all.
Well, it’s been years, we had another magical color changing baby that looked one race and then turned into a bunch of others and our patience and tolerance has finally paid off. His mother has come to terms with the fact that I bred with her son, so even if he isn’t in the picture, our children and myself by association still will be. Forever. She told me earlier this week that out of all of her kids, it’s me and Vicky (another woman of a different race who is planning to marry into the family) that are always there for her and that she’s so happy to have us in her life. To clarify, my husband and his brother (Vicky’s fiancé), don’t give their mother the time of day. The reasons are vast and I’m not going to get into them, but for years I’ve maintained the relationship with this woman who initially and enthusiastically hated me, I answer the phone every time she calls and I help her as much as I physically can (and often more, putting my own life on hold to help her sort out her shit). Now the daughters she never wanted are better to her than her own kids and she seems to genuinely appreciate us. *shrug*
Times change. My mother was raised in a house full of ignorance and hate, and now she welcomes me, her three sons of many colors and two biracial grandchildren into her home with open arms, actually complains if she doesn’t get to see all of us on a weekly basis. My mother in law, who like my mother came from a long and miserable background, now carries a picture of us in her wallet and proudly shows everyone her kids and grandkids. She’s actually gone to Vicky’s defense many times, screaming that she’s Vicky’s mother when asked who she is and why she’s getting involved, which can be entertaining because they always look at her and at Vicky like maybe they don’t realize that they’re different colors. She happily and proudly encourages my work (knowing what it is, mind you) and asks about my brother every time we talk.
The reason I bring this up now is because both of these women have, within the last week, met or seen their very first transgender person. My mother saw a woman in the grocery store who was still going through her change, and not only smiled at her, but struck up a conversation to ask how she got her hair to do what it was doing. My mother in law had a long discussion with the young man she met about his transition (To the young man she met, if you’re reading this I’m sorry! She means well but she’s curious and blunt. I facepalmed when she told me what she was asking him. The man was a damn saint for putting up with it.) She later added him to her phone so that they could go furniture shopping together. Then she called me to tell me about it, trying to explain to me that it’s very difficult for trans people as if I hadn’t been trying to tell her the same damn thing for the last 11 years, haha.
I thought that was worth sharing, because I’m really proud of these two women for choosing acceptance and love, even though it was a long and hard trip for both of them. Trust me, there’s plenty of people in both families that haven’t, but maybe that’ll change with time.
And if it doesn’t, then we can just have a multi-racial lgbt parade stomp by their house.
Now I’m off to read a few books and work, although what I’ll be working on, I can’t tell you. I have too many books in progress. Updates as they become available