six-word stories, part 2: queer discrimination

a few days ago, i posted about the six word story contest at middlezonemusings. the only stipulation was that the submissions were to be g-rated. i thought it was a great meme/game and tagged a few blogger friends, among others jay sennett. jay, a transgendered person, crafted this insightful phrase:

no breasts. complete hysterectomy. gender: male?

unfortunately, robert, middlezonemusings’s owner, found this was not g-rated.

i hope that at some point he will offer an explanation why.

in the meantime, i find that my creative juices, which flowed quite nicely into robert’s blog (in addition to the 15 i posted here, i submitted another 15 on robert’s blog), feel somewhat constricted in a non-inclusive environment.

so – since i enjoy writing these 6-word sentences, i think i’m going to post the next few ones at jay’s blog, if that’s ok with you, jay?

i gotta be honest – i did wince when jay called robert a bigot (namecalling just doesn’t work for me). and i truly hope that at one point there can be a conversation with robert about diversity and inclusivity. i don’t know whether robert has ever been exposed to exclusion and discrimination. if he hasn’t, then maybe he is among the many who just don’t know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of that, and therefore has a bit of a difficulty understanding that what he did was hurtful.

be that as it may, as a therapist, i have a pretty clear stance here.

people’s stories need to be heard.

THAT WAS JAY’S STORY. it was just as much a story as hemingway’s “for sale: baby shoes, never worn.” i fail to see anything in jay’s story that could hurt or sully a young mind (which, i presume, is what g-rating is all about).

it is when people’s stories are not heard, when who they are is something that is not to be spoken about, that they are wounded most deeply. these wounds fester, and if they ever heal, they leave bitter scars. it is these scars and these wounds that hurt not only the people themselves but their families for generations.

of course it is robert’s prerogative to post what he deems right to post on his blog. it’s his virtual castle, and of that he is king. it’s just that inviting people to post their stories and then disallowing one of them the way he did is like calling out “come one, come all!” and then not letting in anyone with blue eyes. or who’s carrying the wrong prayer book. or has dark skin.

i can’t help but remember this:

back of the bus, rosa! — NO!

let’s hope that in the end this goes somewhere peace-full.

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

3 thoughts on “six-word stories, part 2: queer discrimination

  1. Jennifer Gee

    Hi Isabella,

    I am wondering why it made you “wince” for Jay to inform Robert that his behavior met the generally accepted definition of bigotry? In my mind, the bigger offense would have been for him to remain silent. Sometimes opening others’ eyes means feelings get bruised – certainly as a therapist I would imagine this is a concept with which you are intimately acquainted. I am partnered to a counselor and appreciate and understand the humanist impulse to embrace everyone, all the time. BUT…conflict can also be healthy!

    Simply because one is ignorant doesn’t excuse the behavior – which is kind of a twist on the concept that “ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it”, something American courts will inform you of in abundance. Perhaps the startling experience of being exposed for harboring previously well-hidden prejudices may shock Bob into thinking about how language makes meaning, and about how frequently people hide behind linguistic constructs to protect themselves from truly being known by others.

    I look forward to learning more about your feelings on this dialogue; your posts are always thoughtful.

    Thanks!

  2. Jay

    Isabella,

    First, I want to say that I heart you with every fiber of my being!

    Second, I apologize if I have made you uncomfortable. I included you in the my email exchange with Robert because I know that you would never knowingly put me or any trans person in harm’s way, and I wanted you to know about Robert’s behavior.

    Third, I believe that when you asked me what did calling Robert a bigot serve, I can say it served my truth. We are taught in Zen to speak our minds. I know that convential behavior suggests that I should now say that I regret calling him or that it was ill-advised of me to do so.

    I know that calling him a bigot seems harsh. Imagine how I felt when I read his g-related ramblings? Imagine how I felt when he first claimed he couldn’t post my story because it wasn’t g-rated? Imagine how I felt when he claimed some universal movie/TV standard that support his decision? Imagine how I felt….

    Peaceful solutions are never dishonest ones. And this is the conundrum of The Work. It was not my most skillful act, but sometimes people need to be awakened to their behavior.

    The fact that Bob kept changing his reason why he wouldn’t post the story only confirms my original statement. Had I to do it over I would do it again.

    I know that is a very unpopular decision. But it is mine and I stand by it.

    Yours in the work,
    Jay

  3. Pingback: dialogue: speaking the truth » change therapy - isabella mori

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