Friday, June 16, 2006
....if only in patches, but I don't care because I have a girl who loves me and it's all good.
So, the rest of my trip. Yes, let's talk about that.
When we last left our irreverent heroine, she was sleeping next to a mouse called Jack in Scotland. Sadly, I couldn't move to Edinburgh and live with Dan and Jack forever and ever, though by that point I pretty much wanted to. Don't tell Mom but I actually think he's rather cute these days (Dan, not Jack), and he has such a delightfully sensitive and romantic soul. The last day I was in town we went to the liquor store to buy some whisky for my dad and he ended up buying a bottle of sake (of all things), and then he searched all day for some sake glasses and a jug. Yep, he's a real English boy who watches Chinese films and drinks sake. AND he loves the Scissor Sisters, Le Tigre, and Kinnie Starr. What a wonder. Why he doesn't have a girlfriend is beyond me.
From Scotland I took a loooong train to Wales, where I spent five days with my lovely friend Sarah, whose house had just been broken into and her laptop stolen right when she had two 5,000 word essays to write. Good effing times. Despite her downright miserable circumstances, she was a champion of a hostess and set me up with her adorable friend Greg, a super-fun and nice gay guy who has his commercial pilot's license and wanted to take me flying....but the weather was too crappy. Damn.
From Wales I went to Paris and met the Bro, who had been in Europe for a couple of weeks already. We biked through the Loire Valley, sat in cafes in Provence, and I made my own perfume at a factory in the rather famous perfume town of Grasse by the Cote d'Azur. My perfume is a lot like me, chaotic and rather unncessarily complicated, but I think in the end it means well. And I have yet to meet someone who hasn't liked the smell, though I'm still waiting for Hayley to notice it. We ended up in Cannes, home of the rather prestigious film festival and some amazing beaches. I loved it there, and I got a pretty awesome tan.
Travelling with the Bro was generally good and pretty relaxed, although we did get into a few heated sociopolitical discussions. It turns out that my dear sibling is a bit of a homophobe. Not in the way you'd think. He doesn't disapprove of me or think I'm going to hell or not want me to live my life the way I want to. He's more of a homophobe in the most literal sense of the word -- he's actually afraid of it. This is a guy who values his normalcy above most other things. He's fiercely heterosexual and he seems to think that anyone who isn't ought at least to act like they are. He told me he thinks that Pride events and media representation set gay people back and encourage homophobia because they make them appear to be conspicuously different from the rest of the world. Appear is the key word in that sentence. Basically, he thinks it's fine to be gay or bi or whatever, so long as you don't TRY to be different, because in his opinion gay culture is an artificial construction that just makes people hate us more.
I pretty much can't begin to tell you how much this pissed me off. We argued about it for hours, until he admitted finally that perhaps one day his views might change. He is, after all, only 18 years old.
But it did really hit home for me the fact that even people who say they understand really don't understand. Apparently the Bro told my dad that he thought my relationship with Hayley was the result of me trying to follow a "fad," as if I have or would ever follow fads. Even my own mother thinks this is "experimentation."
This is the point at which I start to feel really distressed and misunderstood, and I just want to create some little biosphere where love is love and sex is sex and we don't have to force everyone kicking and screaming into neat little boxes where they can be easily defined and then prompty demonized. It makes me sick, and I feel so alone in it that I can scarcely remember to breathe.
So for all of you out there who think it's all fine and dandy to use the word "gay" as a synonym for lame, and think that Stephen Harper and Bush and the religious fundamentalists have the right idea, for those of you who stand there on street corners waving pitchforks and dragging kids behind cars, please know that on some level you're all the same, because you all hurt people who have done absolutely nothing to deserve your scorn.
Okay, end of rant. I hate it when life forces me to fight rather than to sit down and have a few gin and tonics and read a good book.
Really, the rest of my trip was good, and it is really nice to be home again. I missed my family, my cats, my girl, and this fine, if somewhat cloudy city of mine.
Sorry I didn't have a chance to write much earlier. French keyboards are the pits and my internet time was really limited.
Thanks for listening to my ranting. I think I'm all ranted out.