Small Town Scandals

[trigger warning: transphobia, homophobia]

Most of my extended family lives in another province, so my mom and my aunts like to call each other a few times a week to catch up on the latest gossip news. Apparently, my great aunts (who are in their eighties) were in a state today because of a major village scandal.

They seem to think my cousin is converting to……wait for it…….Anglicanism, because he’s been doing genealogical work for an Anglican archbishop.

But, seriously, ANGLICANISM! THE HORROR!

A little background on this. My extended family lives in a predominately Catholic village and come from a time where when the RCC cautions against “mixed marriages” they meant Catholic-Protestant marriages. (Fun fact: My dad was a Protestant–United Church–but he converted. I wonder how well that went over.) One of my great aunts in particular is the really devout type who goes to church more than once a week, and, of course, everyone attends everyone’s baptisms, funerals, weddings, and the like. If someone isn’t a different faith than you, you notice.

I suppose it’s hilarious to someone like me, born and raised in the city my whole life, that someone could be so scandalized by the mere suggestion that someone could be a different kind of Christian than they are (non-Christans might as well not enter the picture at all). I see it in my mom, who only really learns anything about other traditions by what she sees on the news. Take, for instance, when she went into a shop that sells halal foods and asked for (and I swear I am not making this up) pork.

Yep.

As you might imagine, every time my mom opens her mouth on the subject of religion, I am (more often than not) embarrassed by her ignorance. And before you ask, I’ve offered her books, she has no desire to educate herself. Oh, and she can’t seem to wrap her head around the fact that her daughter showing interest in other religions does not translate to “her daughter is going to end up joining a cult”.  If she only knew. Fortunately, she’s also (for all intents and purposes) computer illiterate, a fact that I take full advantage of with absolutely no shame whatsoever. Yes, I love my mom, but sometimes she just grinds my gears. Don’t get me started on my biofamily, who are racist, homophobic, and transphobic. I’m ashamed to call them family, TBH. For those who need a refresher, my stepdad refused to let a transwoman cut his hair because he didn’t want a “faggot” touching him, and my biomom says things like “No one was gay in our town  [because none of them were stereotypes, because obviously every gay person acts stereotypically].”

This is what we call irony, everyone. (I should also note that I am my mom’s only child. My dad has two with his wife.) There’s a part of me that wants to come out to her out of some twisted desire to throw all her homophobia back in her face, but in all honesty, I’m not sure it’s worth it. I’d rather wait until I live apart from my a-parents, which I can’t do until I get a job, which I’m finding it hard (read: impossible) to do because of my disability.

You know how people talk about playing the cards Fate has dealt them? Sometimes I think Fate hasn’t dealt me cards, she’s given me chess pieces and told me to play poker with them, against people who have been playing poker since poker was invented, and I have no idea how to play poker (actually, I know the basics, but that’s besides the point), for that matter, I don’t know how to play chess. My point is that I don’t really have a hand, but I guess it’s better than being dealt nothing.

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