Anyway, Peterson's blog is well and truly on form at the moment with this little offering about an African-American lesbian mother and grandmother.
Her father sexually abused her relentlessly.
He referred to queer people as "those goddamn faggots!"
He cursed her for being lesbian.
He died in bitterness and alcoholism.
Regina never liked him.
But Regina's mother sat her down this past November to set the story straight.
"Regina, when you told me you were a lesbian, you may have wondered how I took it all so well," her mother began then dropped the bomb.
"Your father liked men."
Seems all his homophobia was aimed right at himself as part of his own self-loathing.
He never hated Regina because she was lesbian; he hated himself.
In spite of the mess she was given, Regina speaks of hope and healing and love.
Regina: "If we are not real, it will kill us and we will take other people with us."
Regina: "I want to expand the meaning of the phrase, My People."
Regina wants to include more than just other African-American Lesbian Women in her group. She seeks to embrace among "her people" all queer folks, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Disabled, more and more, a wider coalition of humanity that she calls kin. "Everywhere I look, I need to see my people."
I like this line "Everywhere I look, I need to see my people". Too much damage is done when we don't see people as our own. In Milgrim's infamous study, "teachers" were less likely to give a high shock to someone they identified with. If they were told the person they were shocking was from the same town as them or the same school as them, they were prepared to resist demands to inflict pain on them. In short, they identified with them.
Back home I have heard Protestants say, 'She is one of them' or 'He is not one of us' meaning that said person is Catholic. Catholics say it about Protestants too. My family are Protestant, I remember moving to a mainly Catholic area when I was 9 years old. Even so young, other kids saw me as different. Kids whispered in the street and said, 'That's her, she's the one' and then asked if it was true, 'Are you a....you know, a Protestant?' Then they'd kind of giggle and say, 'Well our mams say we have to be nice to you anyway, but is it true you don't go to mass? And there are no nuns at your school? Do you not believe in the Virgin Mary? And your church services last an hour and a half - do you not get bored?' Actually, on that latter question, maybe they had a point ;)
Of course, having never been exposed to Catholicism I was just as ignorant - I mean I didn't even realise that Catholics were Christians. 'So is it true you dress up and get loads of money for your first communion? And your priests wear big dresses? And they're not married? And you have statues in church? And nuns at your school? I wouldn't know what to say to a nun - what do you say to a nun? Do they all wear them funny outfits and are they really strict? And when you have communion, they put it right in your mouth - ewwwww. Is it true you pray to Mary - we don't, only to God. And really, you believe in Jesus do you? That's interesting, so do we...'
~Come on lads, shake hands - you're both my people even if you do, lets me frank, act the eejit...ahem.
But I wonder, how much conflict could be avoided, how many friendships formed, how much violence and injustice eliminated if we could just see more people as our people.