The Nitty Gritty

But more than all of those I am an entertainer. I carry around a ukulele with me for the same reason a gangster carries a gun; better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Stage or sidewalk, Your Pal Pete shows are just where they happen.
Currently, I'm working on a musical, RagnaPOP(or she's got the bomb), set to premiere at this year's Capital Fringe Festival. I'm also working on music, comedy, and musical comedy; for kids and/or adults.
The fruit of these projects will be available on this site, so check back regularly!

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Pigeonhole Paradox

I was recently reading the blog of a friend of a friend where she was complaining about how after changing the orientation on her myspace profile from "straight" to "bi" she immediately got hit up by couples waiting to be more "adventurous"; meaning wanting her to be their ambassador to bi-curiosity. Her point was that "bisexuality" is not short for "freely promiscuous". And she, in my opinion, is absolutely right.

A friend told me about an uncomfortable discussion with a group of people she had met. She identifies herself as a Lesbian, although she has had boyfriends. This led to too many questions about her sexual orientation and how it affects her life, especially as an African-American. She complained about this to a friend and he told her it was her responsibility to educate people on behalf of Black Lesbians everywhere. He, in my opinion, is wrong.

But I understand the curiosity, if not the tact. One of my main observations about human behavior is that people hate to be pigeonholed, but they LOVE to pigeonhole. That's how we make sense of new things, to have a relatable experience from the past to help explain the present.

The problem is when you identify yourself as anything, you immediately take on whatever characteristics and attitudes that people believe that group has. If someone is Christian, the popular assumption is that they will preach to you; If you're a liberal, you drive a Volvo and favor lattes as your beverage of choice.

My pal Lonnie faced a bit of this recently when immigration was such a prominent part of the national discourse. At the time, he worked at a nonprofit agency that provided legal assistance for immigrants. Having a unique perceptive on the issue, he felt that a particular country's immigration policy should not be decided by those with a desire to immigrate here especially since the Mexican government actively assist and advise poor Mexican on how to safely cross the border illegally(here's a link). This position riled a lot of his more lefty friends, who were quick to accuse him of turning "conservative."

Now to know Lonnie is to think that's a ridiculous, he's the one of the most liberal people I've ever known. He used to love going into conservative chat rooms type "Long Live the Welfare State!" and bask in the resulting flames from outraged red staters. He is also a person with dynamic opinions that evolve with life experience and information gathered and not necessarily fitting with pre fitted notions or leanings.

In other words, an adult.

Yes, I realize I myself have pigeonholed in this post; just because I recognize it doesn't mean I'm above it.

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