Thursday, June 21, 2012

Post-GCLS Con Response

It's strange to move back into regular life after the GCLS conventions. My post-con experience is different this time because I had to drive so much for so many days to get back home. Last summer I was living in the Orlando area, so there was no travel lag. I thought that I hadn't been as affected this year, but not so. It is just taking longer to catch up. It's hard to explain how different it feels to move through the world in the majority rather than the minority. Instead of being part of the 10% of the female population (approximately) that is lesbian, when we meet together in large groups for several days like that, we get to experience the world through the eyes of the majority. We get to slip out of being part of a marginalized group and move through the world temporarily as part of the core of it. I suspect that's why all the festivals and gatherings are so popular and why so many (those who can afford it), go from gathering to gathering in order to continue feeling central to the world rather than marginalized. I suspect also that the reason Facebook is so popular is because it allows us to move out of the shadows on the fringe of society and into the light of full acceptance by our tribe. Yes, there are still minorities within this minority group. There are still "ghettos within the ghetto," as I called it in Community Connections, the LGBT newspaper in Asheville, NC, back in the 1990s, after attending the Lesbian Health Conference. I hope that has changed some and continues changing. I think it is changing on Facebook at least if not at the gatherings. I suspect that many lesbian gatherings are still far too white for most of our sisters of color. As in the 1990s when I first addressed this issue, I am still dreaming of a lesbian culture where color and ethnicity flow seamlessly into the tapestry of the larger group. Not in a way that dulls the richness of the variations, but it a way that allows each part of the tapestry to stand boldly highlighted as part of the larger picture. If we step back and view a masterful tapestry from afar, the richness of each part is revealed. Up close, we have such a limited perspective. May I always see the world--lesbian culture and our global village--as the overall tapestry, rather than as just a few threads here and there.

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