Tuesday, December 22, 2009

This Year To Save Me From Tears... (or: a Queer Holiday)

This will be the first time I spend Christmas with a boyfriend. It's not that big a deal, I know... But I guess what I've always liked about Christmas is the sense of tradition that it involves, not on a religious register, but that every year our family would get together and do stuff together--hang ornaments, go "elfing" together (my sister and I for our parents, my dad for my mom, ect...), and then of course waking up in the morning, eating freshly baked bread, drinking coffee, and opening presents in age order--no anarchic ripping wrapping paper willy-nilly, no siree!

This time around, it will be a bit different: I'll be in Chicago while J. is with his family(s), and I'll be with the Barister and his b/f and a friend from work--actually, something of a little brother. Then, J. and I go to NY. And he gets to meet my folks, my friends, and see my city (haha, "my!"). J. will become, in a way, a part of that tradition, even though that tradition is changing. But I like that. I like that the tradition can accommodate me, and J. That, even though we aren't the "traditional couple," we still are a part of this tradition.

Recently, the Writer wrote a bit of a rant against a father who refused his gay son. It is beautiful, and I thank him for his intervention. Silly as it sounds, these sorts of moments prompt me to reflect on how lucky I am to have a family, especially a father, as welcoming of me as they are. When it comes to issues of family and the private realm, I am something of a conservative--I do think that if we lose a space of privacy and familial intimacy we lose the foundations of our society. Obviously, I don't go down the route of many nasty social conservatives, but to the extent that my family has been a formative, and often times crucial bulwark against a lot of cultural detritus, I do think that the family is indispensable. That is to say, we need to re-imagine the ways in which we understand "familial intimacy" in radically more inclusive ways.

I'm proud of my family for being courageous enough to do the work of re-imagining familial intimacy. The conversations I've had with my Momma and Old Man in the last few days have been so reassuring--I don't think I realized just how nervous I am/was about bringing J. home--but talking to them has put me at ease. I know they'll be just fine, and I know i will be, too. And as much as I want everything to go well, I'm sort of just happy about the chance for the two of us to spend a week together, in NY, with people I love.

No comments: