Monday, April 25, 2011

I had an interesting revelation last week after a conversation with my roommate. I'll provide some quick backstory. She and I are both moving home for the summer, and then moving to Austin permanently in August. For the first time, she and her boyfriend, who will be a freshman here in the fall and living on campus, will have some time to themselves and will be able to define the rules of their relationship and when they get to see each other. Anyone that has lived in a dorm can back me up in my assumption that I will be seeing a lot of said boy around my apartment next year. It should also be noted that my boi and his friend, who is also queer, will be living across the street from us in another apartment.

So the conversation started when I got home and she told me he had said something to the effect of "that's so gay", and she didn't quite chew his head off, but strong words happened apparently. I asked her if that was a frequent thing and she looked at me very seriously and said that it was, but that he also uses words like "retarded" and other oppressive language. I told her that I would A) flip out if he ever said that anywhere around me B) Flip out if I ever knew about it happening when I wasn't around and C) Kick him the fuck out of my house. She nodded and told me she would back me up in such an action.

Being the awesome person and ally that she is, I believe that she will stick to what she said and spend a good chance of the summer educating him herself. But to be honest, it makes me worried. It has been a long time since I had to worry about my own space being unsafe for me or for the people around me that I love. It was a fresh reminder that I am very lucky to have my own safe space and how so many people don't. My sweetie is currently playing the housing shuffle game until he moves into his new apartment in August because his parents want to break his lease and their house is obviously unsafe. It's happening, but it's a pain and a half that makes summertime a lot less appealing. Both of these scenarios make me worried that my queerness, his queerness, and/or our collective queerness, will somehow make housing one of those difficult problems in life (i.e., insurance, health care stuff…etc) that are already difficult and become a lot more difficult when queerness gets involved. While I always knew that that could be an issue at some point in time, the fact that said point in time has arrived is stressful for sure, but a reminder that that we have a long way to go and there is still a lot of work to do.

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