Friday, March 30, 2007

green, black, white and blue

I went to San Antonio's only all vegetarian restaurant, green, yesterday with Roberto. The food was decent but the little one had a grand time irritating others with her running around and jumping (yes jumping). she ate my soup and had half of a chocolate espresso cafe and enough milk to feed a baby cow.

The last couple of nights I'd taken her to the Esperanza's CineMujer festival for all kinds of documentaries and films about and by women. Because I work out in gringolandia, I was late to the movie I really did want to see - Mom's Apple Pie, a documentary that was heartbreaking in talking about lesbians who were fighting for custody of their children. Relationships broke because of the struggle for custody, friendships and organizations grew and fell because of the need for support for lesbian mothers and their partners.

It hurt me to realize how treasured (and still precarious) my life is. I did parental reliquishment years ago because I didn't want this kind of hassle but I still face the stupidity of heterosexist people who, even this week, could face me and question my ability as a parent because my daughter spends afternoons at my mother's house. I have no choice but to be an incredible example for myself and my daughter by working, trying to maintain self-sufficiency and working to be a voice in any space. Of course I hate that I cannot pick up my daughter from school everyday but I have to bring money in that keeps her healthy and warm. And for that one thing to serve as an example of bad parenting when, in truth, my child is brilliant, is upsetting.

It's worse that those in this country would even try to suggest that the worst straight parent is better than a good queer parent. My brother's girlfriend hinted at such, suggesting that my daughter wasn't acting like a "lady". I told Tigrette that "ladies" were men's versions of what women were supposed to be and that, if anyone should define what it means to be a woman, it should be women - not men. And she continues to talk - saying I should spend more time with my child or that caring for my niece once in a while would make my daughter jealous (and, do I really have any more time to give another baby anyway? I mean, I already neglect Tigrette...).

I wish that I could get this woman (and others like her) to understand jealousy has no place in a household. That we must define ourselves or we are defined by those around us (and not everyone around us is good) and, believe it or not, that sexuality doesn't rub off on another person. If it did, we'd all be straight because they are the majority here.

It just hurts me. It's upsetting that I couldn't smack someone on the head to get them to understand. My mother tells me she's not a parent yet - that having a baby doesn't make you a parent right away. That role grows on you or you become a parent.

So, of course, I'm in all this internal turmoil while Tigrette goes to the concession counter at Esperanza to buy popcorn and finally the next movie is on. "Pura Lengua" was an interesting short piece but the highlight for me was a performance by Adelina Anthony. She is amazing. She did a couple of scenes from her "Bruising for Besos" theater piece that had me freaking, laughing, remembering, contemplating - sometimes all at once. In particular, she read through one piece where a woman is trying to comfort her partner after a big fight. She ends up slapping the partner and tells her she was going crazy but that she's there for her. Adelina plays the voice of the one who was hit. That inside look revealed not just her own thoughts as the person hit but also how the hit wasn't done from a situation we would normally expect to witness within abuse but that it was still abuse. I remember when Ya Vez would sit on me and hold me down, telling me I'd provoked so much emotion and love from her. As though that expression in this physical attack was justified. I went home that night and wrote about it.

All this rain, and everything around me has me a little triste. I would love a cup of lovingly-made cafe. I would love to not be at work having horrible cheese and peanut butter crackers for lunch at 3 in the afternoon. I would love to feel a little justified.

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