I hope my daughter grows up entitled. I don’t mean the kind of entitled that comes with money. I mean the kind where she believes she can be whoever she wants to be. She can love whoever she wishes, she can look the way she wishes to, and she can fly her freak flag high, if that’s what she chooses. I’m married to a man. That man is her father. But we talk about how sometimes mummas love other mummas. And daddies can dig each other too. One of her best mates at daycare loves wearing tutus and princess dresses, and he looks supercute while he does.
She wants to marry her best girlfriend, and that’s cool too. So is being Elsa and turning the world to ice while she finds her prince. She met a little girl at the park the other day and was fascinated by her colour. I was nervous she might inadvertently say something wrong, but all she wanted to know was whether the girl had to wear sunscreen. Rors was jealous that her darker skin meant she might not burn so easy. Children aren’t born racist. That’s entirely learned.
My generation were mostly raised by parents who were raised in a time when being white and straight wasn’t only the best way to be, it was the law. Tolerating gay people was a choice, and not necessarily a popular one. Actually being one took tremendous courage and an acceptance that some people just wouldn’t ‘get’ you. That they would think you were Godless. Or immoral. Or sick. Or unfortunate. Or all of the above. And having a friend ‘of colour’ was kind of you.
But it isn’t fair to apply what the world is like today to what they were raised with and judge them accordingly. The earliest law decriminalising sodomy in Australia was in 1975. The act of love between two men could land you in jail. It was illegal. So it must be wrong, right? My view – that love is love and I don’t see how its anyone else’s business at all about who consenting adults choose to be intimate with, is only recently ok in the eyes of the law, popular culture and average citizens of the world. So I don’t think older people who are racist or homophobic are bad. They are wrong, but it is very difficult to rewire your brain after so many years of training.
I keep seeing people on the same side argue over the details. What is a feminist? Does that blogger go too far? Is it ok to say ‘gay marriage’ when you mean ‘same sex marriage’? Is it ok to dislike a person while supporting their opinion? Or love a racist? I don’t think the answers are black and white. But maybe that’s ok.