Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Day to be Gay

I'm wrapping up five weeks of some pretty intensive introspective classes. The final project in the Diversity Awareness class was to assume the role of someone in a non-dominant category. In our society this includes male, heterosexual, white, no physical or mental handicap, you get the idea. So generally if you're a healthy straight white male you got it made; if you're a gay black woman in a wheelchair you're pretty much screwed. And again, these are just categories to help us be conscious of how we relate to each other.

So I chose to be gay for my project. Being the only black person in room of white faces has happened more often than not so I decided to tackle an issue that would require me to stretch outside my comfort zone and force me to look at my embedded fears. I grew up with nineteen years of homophobia programming, and while it never got as bad as this [warning: disturbing video], there was still plenty to overcome.

So click on the link below to find out more about my adventure.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Brain Freeze [plus important PSA]

Sometimes things happen that, for all your logic and intellect, momentarily paralyze you with disbelief. Last month Jen and I attended the Unity convention in Kansas City, KS where the following [paraphrased] conversation took place between her [JEN], an innocent bystander [IB], and an unenlightened booth attendant [UBA]:

JEN: Did my husband just come by and make a purchase?
UBA: No ma'am. I don't think your husband was here.
JEN: Are you sure? He said he was going to come by make a purchase?
UBA: I'm fairly sure he wasn't here.
IB: There was a gentleman here five minutes ago.
UBA: That wasn't your husband...It was a black guy.

When Jen recounted this, my brain literally stopped working due to the shock. Then I went straight to disbelief and even hinted that she must have misheard because it was absolutely impossible that in the twenty-first century someone assumed that a blond-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian couldn't be married to a black man. Even more bizarre was the fact that this took place at a Unity convention. Unity...the poster movement for acceptance...probably the most gay-friendly religious movement...where you could have green skin and antennas growing out of your head and we'd still love you!

The only way I can rationally comprehend the entire incident is to believe that for a brief fatigue-induced moment, this man's embedded world view got the better of him. He was a white man in his sixties, most likely the product of wholesome mid-west upbringing that told him people who look different don't get married. And, most likely because of Unity's teachings and life experience, he intellectually turned his back on his childhood prejudices to become an equal-opportunity lover of humanity. But in that moment, as in many moments of our lives, he switched to default and spoke without thinking.

After getting over my shock came the realization that defaulting to our embedded views, whether religious or social or ethical, is more the norm than the exception. For me this means that any real and lasting change can only come through our children, and for that to happen we need conscious parents. Jen & I consider ourselves students of this conscious parenting practice, and Joy calls us into it every day.

Some of you know Jen has been co-hosting a Spiritual Parenting web-radio show on Unity.fm for almost the past two years This fall I'll be joining her as the new co-host...HUZZAH!!...let the hilarity ensue! I'll be the edgier who-gave-him-a-mic/good-lord-what's-he-gonna-say-next bad cop to Jen's I'm-trying-to-do-a-show-here!/just-hide-me-now good cop. HA! All kidding aside, I'm really looking forward to it. For our many struggles, we do parenting pretty damn well...just look at Joy [knock, knock]. So tune in [I'll post exact link later] and in the meantime check out UNITY FAMILY MATTERS, a site dedicated to conscious spiritual parenting.

Catch ya soon on the air waves!...or would that be the web waves?....hmm.....