a place to start?

so, I keep looking at this old handout, something derived from The Meaning of Difference by Rosenblum and Travis. They lay out stages of identity development for both people in privileged statuses and people in stigmatized statuses. and I keep wondering where the hybrid of these two are – how it is that some LGBT people end up being a part of the mainstream in some way, even if not completely, while others are completely locked out. and how their identities differ because they are at least partly a part of the broader society… a place I’ve never been. And then while I’m reading Queer Phenomenology, I also think about Ahmed’s descriptions of the “straight” line being a family inheritance – heterosexuality as a family inheritance/expectation rather than an essential orientation, “straight” as a family/society-produced line people take. Then assimilationism and liberationism become lines, as well, and which families push their children toward one line over the other? and which people choose these different lines? and who has the resources to choose their lines and who doesn’t have the option?

I don’t think I had the option. I never had the right mindset to fit in with the middle class kids – my first few years of college were hell until I figured out that I wasn’t going to fit and that I just had to live with that. and lately i’ve been watching gossip girl on CW and realizing that Jenny and Dan are very much like I was in college – no doubt. Trying to fit in like Jenny at first, and then finding myself in trouble, so I just decided to live like me and be more like dan. It helped, I suppose, that I was driven, always, to education and academics, a place where I hardly fit until I’ve gotten wrapped up in books and the time comes to make a well-articulated argument, and I refuse to hold my tongue. It’s in those moments when i find that i have what it takes to make it in academia, but there’s something I’m always reminded i’m supposed to do that i won’t do. I’m not supposed to say “always” but from where I sit some things are “always”.  straight white men are always the source of patriarchal power, and those of us left on the ground getting kicked in the face are always not straight, not white, or not men. or not physically abled, or not middle class, or not wealthy, or not whatever it is that’s in control right now. For me, no matter how many exceptions there are to the rule, these are ALWAYS occurrences. I suppose this is something most academics don’t get because they are so focused on shaping their argument to be “correct” according to academic standards that they missthe feeling of things. Where I come from, getting kicked in the teeth is a regular occurrence – figuratively, of course. And some things are always. Like the sun always rises in the east, so George W. Bush will always be a freaking moron. And he might just be gay, but you’ll have to ask the staff at BoHo. And he might just have murdered someone to keep her quiet about his “jungle fever”, but I best shut my mouth, because the same might happen to me. But the truth is, I don’t live in fear… and academia is somewhat fearful. Academics are afraid to put themselves out there because they’re afraid they’ll be proven wrong, and that just slows up progress, folks. And to be completely honest, I’ve fucked up so many times it’s not even funny – and sometimes I lie my way out of it, but at this point, I just say, sorry dude – this one’s on me. Because there’s no other way out. But i always leave the situation thinking well, at least i put something out there. And maybe, just maybe, it’s dangerous to study yourself in academia, but where else is truth? You can’t objectify social subjects – because people are not objects… perhaps that’s why every attempt at macrosociology has virtually failed – because people are not objects, and they can’t be reduced to such.

Must… stop… ranting… now…


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