I don’t want to talk to Joan. She is a bore, and other people avoid her too, I have seen them walking rapidly in another direction when she approaches. She can keep talking for ages, about her own stuff, but without any discernible feeling to which I can relate. So first I pretend to be interested, then I pretend less, and finally walk away.
But what I really resent is that she is interested in LGBT issues. She is an ally. She wants to be supportive. She came up to me and said she had seen the film Pride– isn’t it wonderful, those gay people and miners getting together. A real feel-good film. Then most recently she said she had the DVD for The Danish Girl. What’s it like?
Well, Einar discovers women’s clothes and soon wants to go out dressed female, except she’s terrified of everyone even the friendly people. Soon it overwhelms her and she sees doctors. One diagnoses her as schizophrenic and wants to lock her up in a loony bin, one wants to cure her by pointing radioactive sources at her privates, because Science, and because he’s got this expensive equipment with no idea what it might be used for, and one wants to call her a woman, cut her privates off, and create a vagina. After suffering the first two, she goes for the third, who kills her by putting a uterus into her without understanding anything about organ rejection.
“Oh,” says Joan, “Not such a feelgood movie”.
I don’t want to listen to your ideas about LGBT. I don’t want to hear that you are an ally. I don’t want you to ask me about it. This is my really really private stuff and it is not for small talk. That’s the real issue here- if you want to be authentic with me, ask me anything, I will try to help, because I want people to understand. But if you want to make small talk, and exchange superficial pleasantries exhibiting the feelings you know you ought to feel- sympathy for the poor queers, indignation at inequality and discrimination, admiration at how courageous we all are, etc- DON’T COME TO ME!!! Because it is real for me.
I have actually started telling her this. I told her I don’t want to talk to her about LGBT stuff but could not articulate why, so writing this is useful. Tell me who you are! Tell me what you love! Don’t pull me into your conventional lets all feel the same thing rubbish.
This is not, of course, my magnum opus but something I am just throwing off, now. I was up at seven this morning writing. I have a first draft.