In solidarity with my heterosexual lefty fellow traveler, I note that:
- When I lunched with Bay Windows editor Susan Ryan-Vollmar, she said that she and her crew were a bit surprised to discover that a marriage-equality advocate would be heterosexual, and as old as I am.
- At Chris Cagle's going away party in August, there was one of those What?! moments. We still have two boys at home and my wife was tired. So she skipped it. I think everyone else at the party was gay, but that didn't come up at all, until...I was in the open kitchen talking with hosts Whit and Joe. Maybe 30 guests were handy -- it was where the wine and booze were. We were talking away, personal, blogs and politics. Then I said something about my wife and he reflexively shouted, "YOUR WIFE!" It was a classic movie moment as everyone stopped talking and whipped their heads to look at us. He composed himself and then said what several others commented separately later how he read this blog and had always assumed I was gay from its politics.
The bad thing would be if you were holding forth condescendingly. No matter what the group, if you see yourself as the necessary savior for those who can't help themselves, grow up and deflate that ego!
I can outfret Andy too. When I was just out of journalism school, I ran a Black newspaper, the weekly in South Carolina's capital, Columbia. I'm as WASPy, honky looking as possible, down to blond hair (what there is left). No one would mistake me for African-American, unless they consider Chief Justice Margaret Marshall one.
My Andy moment there came early and I got it out of the way. A board member (all Black board) spoke to our college newspaper banquet, saying they were struggling and could use some help. When I left school, I went to him and said that I wasn't sure what I would do next and I'd like to volunteer. He looked at me for a long time before saying, "What we really need is an editor in chief."
My single thought was like Andy's. Would that be right for a white guy, long-hair, earring and all, to run the weekly for the Black community? Well, unlike Andy, I had seven board members letting me know that it certainly would be.
They were fine with it. I had a job to do. The staff and Black community members had no problem. The only questions I got were from people like the governor's press secretary and the few journalists who had not met me before. The white guy from the Black newspaper, what's that about?
Whatever you're blogging on or campaigning for, if your head is pointed right and you don't see yourself as God's gift to your cause, do it. Do it right. Do it intensely.
Spend a very short time rolling around any doubts or guilt. Then get over it and on with it.
Tags: massmarrier, MassRevolutionNow, guilt, blogging