Thursday, March 15, 2007

Nobody Passes

No, this isn't my review. Just some comments on my thoughts.

As I've been reading this wonderful collection of essays, I've been thinking a lot about passing, and not passing.

In my life, other people have assumed that I'm Catholic, Jewish, Irish,
Persian, Russian, Mexican, Spanish, Italian, French, Greek, and
probably a host of other things that I wasn't aware of. Sometimes I
correct them. Usually I don't. It's not that I consciously try to blend
into my surroundings; it's more of a survival adaptation. Inlieu of disappearing entirely, I melt into the background.

You'd think that eventually, when they learned that I wasn't what they
thought, they'd be angry. Not so. But here's the funny part (funny to
me,because I have a perverse sense of humor). The only times my
authenticity has been challenged has been when I've opened up about who
and what I really am to members of theGBLT community. I wasn't
expecting a welcome gift basket, but the verbal abuse and hostility I
encountered every time floored me. And so I pass as a fag hag and let it go at
that, because I'm more welcome in that role than as myself. Go figure.

3 comments:

Amanda said...

i'll never understand intolerance and lack of compassion. we are all humans and we should be able to bond over that at least. labels, presumptions and prejudice suck. my symp/emp-athies

Kathleen Bradean said...

Thanks Amanda.
I don't think I'll ever get over the shock of a young lesbian standing with her fists clenched as she kept screaming at me "You're not real."

Not - You're not a real memember of this community.

Not - You're lying.

Just denial of my very existence. And thus, like the sisters in Shirley Jackson's "We've Always Lived In The Castle," I became myth.

Now if only my credit card companies would accept my unreality and stop sending bills, I'd have it made.

Amanda said...

jeez how awful. but good luck with your credit card myth plan ;)