Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Talking about talking

I hope you didn't pass out from the emo-tude of my last post. Into every blog, a few asymmetrical bangs must fall. Ain't that the truth. But it really brings up a topic that I don't like to think about due to its hyper-meta nature: Talking about talking. When you have an "exotic" sexual or gender identity, all sorts of people want, demand, or imply explanations. I have a zest for educating people, but I sometimes forget to tailor my answers for my audience-- and for my own comfort level. I should probably say different things based on who I'm speaking to: Family, friends, readers, acquaintances, radio show hosts, talking animals. At this point in our cultural lives, we're pretty used to talking about sex. But talking about sexuality (similar words with a big, big difference) is still relatively unknown territory. If you're straight, you don't talk about that. And if you're not, you probably do want to talk about it-- but I for one have had a confusing time figuring out how best to do so. Our parents are probably straight, and based on statistics alone, the vast majority of our friends are probably straight as well. This is obviously not something we're taught in school. And growing up, I certainly didn't have any queer role models to suggest what to say. So I figure this out as I go along. Everyone else does, too. I might have issues when it comes to off-the-page illuminating conversation. But 10 years from now, it'll be easier, I promise.


maymay said...

Me, and my love of meta-understanding (an understanding of our understanding), makes me think that the problem is deeper than just not knowing what to say: it's not knowing how to talk.

When, aside from an elementary overview, have you heard anyone ever talk to you about the process of communication? I'm consistently described as one of the most articulate people other people know, and yet I'm still completely baffled at how communication actually works, or doesn't work, at times. This is a frightening thought.

Ily said...

I'm consistently described as one of the most articulate people other people know...
I'm sure the people are asking: What's your secret? :-) At least someone has a love of meta-understanding; if I did, I would probably be in a ball under my bed by now.