It turns out that living all by yourself while quarantining is LONELY! I have an extrovert since I popped out of the womb. I was kidding myself to think I could do this alone. So I bought a one way ticket back to Phoenix for next month and I’ll be back once Corona dies off.
I knew I shouldn’t have seen Brennan one last time. Things had become kind of… stale but I still enjoyed the companionship! He was always very sweet to me. But I often ignore my gut in favor of pushing the envelope just a bit further. I bought some toys and slapped on some white lacy lingerie and headed over to say “See ya later” to Brennan.
Thirty minutes, unappreciated underwear, discarded vibrator, and a bruised uterus later Brennan and I cuddle up on the couch to drink some craft beer and watch animal documentaries. We’re laughing at how much my palate has evolved and somehow we get on the topic of my love of cartoons. They are really all I can stomach right now. The new ones are beautifully animated, have interesting plots, and there’s a ton of representation! I especially love the gay and lesbian storylines I’m seeing. Everyone deserves to see themselves on screen.
You imagine how livid I am when Brennan says “I worry about the gay characters. I wouldn’t want that to influence kids.”
I was shocked because his brother is gay. Oh but he continued on that exact thread.
“For instance my brother’s fifth grade teacher talked to him and another girl about homosexuality and coincidentally… they’re both gay.” I mean did it ever occur to you that perhaps the teacher just knew these kids were different and wanted to offer support?! You’re 35, you cannot be this fucking dense! Sexuality is NOT a choice because why would i willingly submit myself to be attracted to men when they are consistently behind in terms of politics? And it doesn’t get better with age.
After I explain the importance of diversity in the media and how our sexuality is not influenced. He brought up how there are cases of transgender people regretting their transitions and how we shouldn’t allow children to make these decisions until they are older. I shut that shit down immediately. I then told him that maybe just maybe they regretted their surgery because society has made it difficult for them to be themselves and they may not have a solid support system. We shouldn’t have to wake up everyday and fight to be ourselves. I am elated that upon further research now ( M Landén 1, J Wålinder, G Hambert, B Lundström) 3.8% of transgender people regretted their hormone therapy or surgeries. Wanna know why? Because of the lack of support from the patient’s family, and the lack of representation in their group of friends. This was in 1998, I can imagine it’s gotten slightly better with the use of social media. He just nodded.
We get to the topic of comedy. Who doesn’t love laughing? I admit I don’t watch much standup but Brennan does. He goes on to say he loves Chappelle and how comedians shouldn’t be canceled for making jokes that are offensive because it’s part of their job. I think that if you claim to be good at your job, you can do it without punching down. Dave never had to make jokes about transgender people. And his reasoning for doing so is conflated with other things, I believe. It’s strange to me because Brennan has spoken about wanting a better society where there is equal respect, less struggle, more honesty. How can you advocate for that and not understand that if people’s main exposure to anyone different is always negative… we’ll never see a society like that.
“Cancel culture just doesn’t exist, B. Chappelle still landed a 50 million dollar deal with Netflix. He won a Grammy. It’s not a thing.” He then brought up that New York Times editor that did brownface at a party in 2004 (we thought it was the 80s but whatever)
“It was socially acceptable then. It shouldn’t be held against him now, 30 years later.” He argues.
Black, brown, yellowface whatever man, since its INCEPTION it has never been socially acceptable. It has always been mock marginalized people! I eventually got fed up.
“The reason you feel it is socially acceptable Brennan, is because you are white. It was not okay in the 1800s when it started and it is not okay now. We cannot allow racist people to hold positions of power and influence where they can silence diversity.”
“Well it was a white woman who resurfaced the pictures not Puerto Ricans. And he said he changed? Do we not believe that? His employees said he was nothing but nice.”
“You have never had to experience choosing to defend your identity over keeping your job. You will never have to experience that because you are a white man. You do not understand the implications of being a person of color and working. You don’t understand that in workplace cultures like that, a white woman’s voice is more likely to be heard.” Silence.
“What about Chappelle doing white face or White Chicks? Can that not be seen as offensive?” Imagine comparing years of perpetuating harmful stereotypes that are still used against people of color to some tropes about white women? We love a logical fallacy!
It was in that moment that Brennan was really coming to a realization that he was white and the system was made in his favor? I think the icing on the cake was when I asked him.
“Why is it that white kids make it part of their coming of age stories to have racist phases? And then to publicly post those racist or homophobic or whatever shitty takes on social media and never delete it? Why is it only chalked up to a mistake for them and it should be forgiven with just a simple apology?”
“Kids make mistakes, HB.” He said emphatically.
Why is being racist seen as simply a mistake instead of a belief system? A purposeful act?
There’s typically a reason I don’t talk politics with men I’m seeing because there’s a 90% chance they’ll disappoint me like this. Do you choose the blissful companionship or filter out to almost no one? My friends tell me “Well you need to give up white guys because they are more likely to be racist.” As if that absolves races of men from being colorist, homophobic, transphobic, aggressively capitalist, or just down right unromantic. By being a darker skinned Black woman, my life is political by existing. There is no way to avoid that when dating. I mean it when I say I am trying to date myself because I never wanna feel like I felt last night on that couch being blown away by a grown man’s ignorance on how the world around him works or what exists. I think I’m mostly frustrated because I just want people to care about one another; differences or not and just be a good fucking person. If that makes me “PC” or “easily offended” so be it. I thank Brennan a lot for being sweetly romantic and letting me know I was not asking for too much but I cannot ignore ignorance and idiocy.