Changing times…even snails can travel miles given enough time.

17 Aug

I’m two years old…those bastard boys I live with only remembered the week after my birthday.  Slightly better than my first birthday when we had a party a month late.  Bitterness aside, my point is I’m only young;  The world hasn’t changed much since I’ve been in it.  Maybe it has, maybe I’ve just not noticed…

I was around at Noo Noo’s new house the other day to admire how far he had progressed with decorating (bravo to him for tackling it himself, we wimped out and got men in).  He had been ripping up some old flooring and underneath was some yellowing, local newspaper from 1958!  We found the front page (amongst sheets filled with ads for hair curlers and push-along vacuum cleaners); the cover story of the day was:

” “COUPLE HAVE BLACK BABY”  When [generic man name] comes up from the pit, his face is black and his hands are black.  After a quick wash he is white again, unlike his new son…”

We were shocked,  how was this ever headline news (or news at all)?  It got me thinking, when did this stop being news?  Was there a cut off point in history when suddenly adopting a child of a different race from yourself didn’t require a picture, full-page article and interviews with your neighbours (Angelina, Madonna, Sandra Bullock-you’re all excused)?  Of course not, like a glacier, cultural and social norms move imperceptibly slowly.  Who knows, in fifty years or so there may even be a black president of the USA!

Being 28, I’ve never really been exposed to this sort of crazy race-carnival-show mentality.  Even growing up in a small, mainly white town with only four families of differing race in the my whole school (the Cronins’ and Nizar Sudani were the black contingent, the Hadads’ covered the Arabic sector and my family were the oriental representatives), the white kid with the bald head and medical crash helmet got the brunt of school-yard teasing (I got the odd “chink” and “ching chong” kids can be so… creative).

My life as a present day gay is generally a pleasant hassle-free life.  Maybe it’s the people I socialise with, the places I go, the place I live…no problems at all.  Had a big, gay wedding (well, civil partnership), shacked up with the hubby (OK, civil partner), all is rosy; It seems not everyone is as lucky.  The Prop 8 issues in America highlights that we are in a time of transition.  It was only 2004 when same-sex civil partnerships were legalised in the UK, we still can’t actually marry.  I remember when I bought my first house my Moogie said to me (after her and the Old Man generously gave me a pile of pennies) “well we won’t have to shell out on a wedding”.

It’s 2010 and the tabloids, blogs, podcasts, TV shows are full of “such a Z-lister is gay!” and “Mr fat-old-politician is fucking rent boys!”.  Gay is news, gay makes the news, gay requires a picture, full-page article and interviews with your neighbours.  What the LGBT is fighting for is to not be news.

*2060*

I was around at Robo-Noo Noo’s new house the other day to admire how far he had progressed with decorating (bravo to him for tackling it himself, we wimped out and got decorating cyborgs in).  He had been ripping up some old flooring and underneath was some yellowing, local newspaper from 2010!  We found the front page (amongst sheets filled with ads for breast augmentation and Roombas); the cover story of the day was:

“MIXED REACTION TO RICKY MARTIN’S GAY REVELATION” Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin’s announcement that he is gay has prompted a host of reactions from fans and pundits, ranging from support to indifference. In a statement posted in English and Spanish on his website, Martin said he was “very blessed” to be “a fortunate homosexual man “. “

It’s 2010, we’re getting there.

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