I have a friend who hates seeing little kids at political rallies. A fair viewpoint I suppose; we’ve all had the occasion we wished Mom and Dad hadn’t dragged us to in hindsight.
This thing is, he was telling me this belief at a gay pride parade.
I tried to let him out of it; he had made cissexist comments in the past, and I figured maybe he just needed a little nudging in the right direction. But he held firm to his stance. That kids shouldn’t get indoctrinated with these sort of political shenanigans so young.
I thought about how I could argue with him about it without seeming like some sort of crazy, liberal Seattle-ite basking in their own radical Northwest utopia. But the thought I keep circling back to is that this is their lives. They are living this, they are basking in the celebration of being able to have their family be not only tolerated but recognized and respected. Just because they’re kids doesn’t free them from the distinct “othering” that comes from living outside a societal norm (hello, playground?).
And while I suppose the case could be made for those children who are made to go to church before they’re able to make up their mind about anything, or even just a tot dragged along to the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear or whatever, I feel like there’s a distinct missing link for straight people.
To have your identity politicized may seem like a “get out of jail free card” or a social justice nusciance to those who have had the privilege of living within the status quo. But really it’s just exhausting. To have yourself be viewed as a political act is taxing, and while it may seem like pride parades or “privilege shaming” are a mindset that’s being pushed on you, but maybe it’s not about changing your views at all. Maybe it’s just about living.