South of Nowhere

  • May. 3rd, 2009 at 4:00 PM
lu: (Republican)
I've spent the last three days at my grandmother's house in a really small town called Ituverava. When I was a kid, I used to stay here for a couple of weeks during summer vacations, and enjoyed it very much. Despite the fact that I always had knack for staying home on a sunny day, spending a few weeks at Ituverava, diving in the pool, climbing trees, renting movies, playing video games, and reading under a shade always managed to cheer me up.

However, when one grows up one realises the several problems that are usually attached to the quiet life of the countryside. Two years ago, when I stayed here for three weeks straight, I realised the depth of the homophobia, the racism, and the narrow mentality that infests most of the people who were born and raised in small towns. I'm definitely not saying they're all like that. Unfortunately I found out my grandmother is very much the stereotype.

Two situations specifically annoyed me this time.

In the first one, we were in the car and she asked me what was my boyfriend's name. I said I didn't have a boyfriend. Then—on an unexpected twist—she asked me what was my girlfriend's name. I figured I could right then and there make someone up just to come out of the closet and be done with that. But I chickened out. Not only I don't have a girlfriend at the moment; I really didn't want to hurt my grandparents. And having a gay granddaughter, for them, actually seems like the end of the world. So I said I didn't have a girlfriend. She then said that it was absurd for a twenty year old girl not be in a relationship. I refrained from commenting.

Later that night we were watching television and there was a story about a lesbian couple that was adopting twins. My grandmother loudly disapproved. A few minutes later she asked me how many boyfriends I previously had, and whether they were handsome. I pointedly said I wasn't going to comment on the subject and asked her to drop it. She wasn't happy. She proceeded to go on and on about my cousin's ex-girlfriend, whom she considered to be the perfect daughter-in-law since she could cook, bake, and sew. Needless to say left the table as soon as etiquette allowed me.

Now, I know I'm a spoiled brat, that I was raised by the most comprehensive, caring, open-minded parents in the World, and consequentially suffered very little prejudice from my own family. Even my maternal grandparents have always approved of my girlfriends, asked after them, invited them to all the parties, and made them feel welcome. I know that's not what usually happens, and I know there are queer people out there who have to endure so much more than I do.

But I still think I have every right to complain. We cannot accept this sort of behavior from the very people who are supposed to love us for who we are. Being prejudiced against by your own family is so oppressing that even I, who have been out and about since I was fourteen, can't find it in me to tell them the truth, or to stand up for what I believe in. The last time I felt like this I had a nervous breakdown. This time, I've spent only three days here and am already going crazy. One thing is for sure, though: I'm not coming here again without my father and my stepmother to back me up. I just can't do it alone.

South of Nowhere

  • May. 3rd, 2009 at 4:00 PM
lu: (Republican)
I've spent the last three days at my grandmother's house in a really small town called Ituverava. When I was a kid, I used to stay here for a couple of weeks during summer vacations, and enjoyed it very much. Despite the fact that I always had knack for staying home on a sunny day, spending a few weeks at Ituverava, diving in the pool, climbing trees, renting movies, playing video games, and reading under a shade always managed to cheer me up.

However, when one grows up one realises the several problems that are usually attached to the quiet life of the countryside. Two years ago, when I stayed here for three weeks straight, I realised the depth of the homophobia, the racism, and the narrow mentality that infests most of the people who were born and raised in small towns. I'm definitely not saying they're all like that. Unfortunately I found out my grandmother is very much the stereotype.

Two situations specifically annoyed me this time.

In the first one, we were in the car and she asked me what was my boyfriend's name. I said I didn't have a boyfriend. Then—on an unexpected twist—she asked me what was my girlfriend's name. I figured I could right then and there make someone up just to come out of the closet and be done with that. But I chickened out. Not only I don't have a girlfriend at the moment; I really didn't want to hurt my grandparents. And having a gay granddaughter, for them, actually seems like the end of the world. So I said I didn't have a girlfriend. She then said that it was absurd for a twenty year old girl not be in a relationship. I refrained from commenting.

Later that night we were watching television and there was a story about a lesbian couple that was adopting twins. My grandmother loudly disapproved. A few minutes later she asked me how many boyfriends I previously had, and whether they were handsome. I pointedly said I wasn't going to comment on the subject and asked her to drop it. She wasn't happy. She proceeded to go on and on about my cousin's ex-girlfriend, whom she considered to be the perfect daughter-in-law since she could cook, bake, and sew. Needless to say left the table as soon as etiquette allowed me.

Now, I know I'm a spoiled brat, that I was raised by the most comprehensive, caring, open-minded parents in the World, and consequentially suffered very little prejudice from my own family. Even my maternal grandparents have always approved of my girlfriends, asked after them, invited them to all the parties, and made them feel welcome. I know that's not what usually happens, and I know there are queer people out there who have to endure so much more than I do.

But I still think I have every right to complain. We cannot accept this sort of behavior from the very people who are supposed to love us for who we are. Being prejudiced against by your own family is so oppressing that even I, who have been out and about since I was fourteen, can't find it in me to tell them the truth, or to stand up for what I believe in. The last time I felt like this I had a nervous breakdown. This time, I've spent only three days here and am already going crazy. One thing is for sure, though: I'm not coming here again without my father and my stepmother to back me up. I just can't do it alone.
lu: (Sad)
It's been... nearly six months since I have last updated this journal. And to think that I promised myself I would actually try to keep posting as regularly as possible. But you know what happens. Things start to happen in your life, and then, when you see it, so many things have happened that you feel lazy to just explain it to your dear readers (not that I have a whole lot of readers left after this hiatus).

I just feel like I've been compromising to do so many things that I just can't honour all of those commitments. It's not that I don't have the time; I just don't have the energy.

So I promised myself that these vacations I was not going to screw around and do nothing, but that I would study and read things I needed (and still need) to read for college, since I am now in two research groups, and they demand some of my time.

Today I sat down, and decided I was going to throw myself head long into the case I'm supposed to study and yet... And yet I ended up on my Live Journal looking for a copy of the Chart to send to a friend of mine. Oh, and all of that while trying to download the first episode of the fifth season of The L Word on a really slow internet connection.

Did I mention I'm at a vacation resort at Bahia?

Oh, yeah. My whole family is here and I've been acting straight for such a long time now that I am this close to freaking out. Actually, I have not been myself to a point in which whenever I engage on a conversation with my father or my stepmother I just blurt out comments about the lesbian world. I know my dad accepts gay people and all, but how desperate need a person be in order to do that?

I just... feel like I'm in the closet all over again, and that feeling creeps me out. I had made the decision to actually come out to my overly Catholic grandmother and my father's side of the family, but after three weeks with them I have decided I am not that bold. Also, I don't feel like the moment is right, since I really don't wish to spoil the trip or give my grandmother an opportunity to ask me stupid questions and annoy me to an even greater extent than she's managed to annoy me during the past weeks with her homophobic comments regarding other people.

The decision has, therefore, been indefinitely postponed, even though I hate the feeling that everyone knows I'm gay, and is being careful around me not mention a subject that could bring it up. But they all clearly already know, since nobody has mentioned marriage, kids or boys to me since I went to the countryside on December 19th. It is either a world record that they are taking such a long time to taunt me with inquiries regarding boyfriends, or the subject has become more tender than my family can swallow. Obviously, I would go for the second option.

On other news, I broke up with my ex-girlfriend for the second time, something I had never done before (this sounded like a paradox. I meant to say, I never broke up with anyone in my life "for the second time"). It was a weird experience, but a relieving one — not an offense to Chris, since I know that she has felt the same relief. As good lesbians that we (or I) are, we're still friends, and are doing ok.

Speaking of the girls in my life, my best friend is traveling on Friday, and I unfortunately won't see her until my birthday. I already haven't seen her in ages, so I'll have to figure out how to live without her hugs for a little while longer. We also decided to record a podcast about The L Word, which was pretty fun to do, and that we should keep recording for the next months as season five develops.

Speaking of season five, I'm now off to finish the first episode, and then, hopefully, get some work done.

Post scriptum: some people have added me during the hiatus, and I have no idea who some of them are, so please, if you're still around, identify yourself!

You like bowling, don't you, Montag?

If you don't want a man unhappy politically, don't give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. If the government is inefficient, topheavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of 'facts' they feel stuffed, but absolutely 'brilliant' with information. Then they'll feel like they're thinking, they'll get a sense of motion without moving. And they'll be happy, because facts of that sort don't change. Don't give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy.

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