It wasn’t okay back then either

Hi,

It’s another long weekend in the UK. Yay for another bank holiday! Things to be cheerful for eh?

The Ever Lovely Mrs J has recently sprung (Translation Spock? Exchanged currency for an item or service, Captain) for a family license for Spotify. Oh, other streaming services are also available 🙂 This is mainly as both Wee Man and Little Miss are of an age where music is a large part of their lives, although while young Master Jones may have pinned his colours to the tribe of metal, Miss Jones remains decidedly undecided.

As I was driving home I happened upon Gary Numan track – My Name is Ruin, if you’re curious – and has the last bars of heavy synth faded away I was reminded of seeing Gary on Top of the Pops all those years ago with Cars. I guess I would have been around eight at the time.

Anyway, I remember reading a newspaper article – TBH, if history has taught us one thing, certain papers are just full of sh**e – in which they’d pegged him as being an odd duck. Even back then in the unpleasantness of the 80s I felt this was cruel and inaccurate. Odd? According to who? Odd: like queueing up to shout on a number of men kick a ball about, or go out to give a kicking to someone who has a different taste in music or skin colour to you? All of those things seemed odd, but, I was a boy who liked pretty things and dreamed of cute clothes with sharp lines and wonderful colours: so what would I know? 😉

In a mate’s role-playing book, if your character was nearly killed, you rolled dice to see want insanity your character would pick up. Phobias and aversion of what happened, well, I could understand that, but said book had listed homosexuality, transvestism, etc. I remember thinking at the time: okay, so Paul’s dwarf fighter has been royally roasted (no, not like that 😉 ) by dragon fire, and what, he likes men now?!  WTF? 🙂

Which, as usual, leads me to the takeaway from the post: that as we’ve moved on as a society, we’re a little more understanding and – despite certain aspects of society and the gutter media – empathetic. What was once considered acceptable by the masses – racism, chauvinism, violence even, etc – is mostly considered odd and those that preach it, more so. We understand that people are different, that there is a spectrum of autism, and it’s not that kids are thick, it’s dyslexia that explains why they struggle to read.

There are a few folk in my life who would probably – and indeed, proudly – go and stand under those respective flags. One’s a guy in my office, another’s a close work mate, and another goes to Chams. All of them are capable of feats of spacial awareness, leaps of logic, or insight that I cannot comprehend. Equally, my use of language baffles them. We’re not better or worse than each other: just different.

I am hopeful that despite the current blip caused by populism that ultimately, we’ll keep progressing and keep understanding that we’re all just people on one planet. I am hoping that those reading this blog will make their way in the world – be they trans, or a partner thereof – and will gracefully and slowly push against the barriers that say being trans is odd: it isn’t.

Take care,
Lynn

7 Comments

  1. I keep reading a lot of LGBT commentators with history/sociology backgrounds who suggest the sexism/racism/homophobia/etc of "the old days" are a modern invention. And before that humanity managed pretty well with everyone loving, screwing, wearing and associating with whoever and whatever they wanted.

    1. In honesty, I can only talk about my limited experiences as a middle class, straight, white kid from a rural county. Some folk were live and let live, but, well, I've written about the rest already. 🙂

      Do you have any links to those blogs, Pandora? They sound very interesting.

  2. Good piece there. I think the principle of something not being considered 'odd' is lots of people do it is one that can also apply to bad fashion or hairstyle choices. With hindsight we can look at things that look so dreadful now but because so many people went with it at the time it was accepted as normal. I would say todays example – which as being slightly older, we can recognise for ourselves – is how over the top the split knee jeans thing has got with younger girls. I'm sure they will look back and say 'what were we thinking' – but with so many doing it it's just considered normal. And in fact would probably be considered odd for a girl of that age to be seen in totally intact jeans.

    1. Thanks. 🙂 I think fashion is another world, TBH. There's that old line about the difference between stylish and fashionable. Sometimes those paths cross, but not always. The bold red lip vs HD brows, for example. 😉

      As to people, well, as we get more understanding around neurodiversity, I think – hope? – that society shifts slowly towards learning and then on to acceptance. Cultural change takes a long time tho.

    2. No, they tend to turn up randomly on Tumblr, and then get buried by nonsense. But when I say "the olden days" I'm talking pre-Catholicism

  3. Society has moved forward no end. I keep telling myself that the current wave of populist hate is just the old guard's death rattle. I just hope so anyway. Sue x

    1. Yeah, I think if I look back from the 80s, we have: people out, people able to marry who they want, women priests, better rights at work, online & real world communities, etc. I still think we've got a way to go, and as you say, I'm also hoping the current spike is the last hurrah of the old guard. When I listen to Wee Man and Little Miss talk about their beliefs (acceptance, fairness, openness), I'm hopeful for the future.

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