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Please Lend Me Your Mental Ear......

Good Morning My Confidants

I'm having a little trouble waking up this morning and so apparently is my phone. Just as I was ready to make "this" post, it vanished. So, more coffee and a reboot later ....

The front door is open again, there's a lovely breeze, the wind chimes and birds are singing, the dogs are yin and yanged around me, and I am contentedly taking my time waking up. I was not that late last night, but I did stay up to finish watching an episode of Alias, after having spent a lovely evening with friends.

It's going to be a full week. A good one. Time with friends. Good things to do. A wonderful anniversary party for friends this weekend. But by Sunday I'm probably going to sleep all day. We'll see if I make it to church!

I got caught up in a little bit of ugliness over the last couple days but I'm not sure how I feel about. I certainly didn't help the situation, but I'm still glad I said something, and I'm glad I was not exiled from the group in which it happened.

For those of you who follow me on a regular basis, you know I recently got a new doll called Ken Kouture. I really love him. But for some reason in the dog community he has caused a lot of controversy. There people calling him ugly, there are people calling him a tribute to the gentleman who had all the plastic surgery to make himself look like a Ken doll (and eventually transitioned into a Barbie doll). This negativity really distressed me and I was trying to figure out if it was because I somehow was taking it personally. Which I know from The Four Agreements I should never do.

But what I was clearly seeing, that I wasn't just making up, was that a lot of it really was based on GLBTQ phobia. And the more people argued that it wasn't, the clearer and clearer it came to me that people just don't realize how much internalized hatred that they have of anyone who's different.

It made me empathize more and more with people whose skin color is different than my own, who's gender and gender identification is different than my own, his abilities are different than my own, and so very much more. Over every surface of this globe, people are made to fear or hate what is different from themselves. Why is that? Is it a biological imperative of some kind that served us at one point over the millions of years, but now that we are supposedly civilized it no longer serves us?

The lady that stirred up my wrath was talking about how she hated the fact that Mattel was "emasculating" Ken and that she thought the new doll was way too "feminine" for her. And damn it, it really PISSED me off. Not that this woman's comments were any worse than any comments like this that I've heard my whole life, but it was just some kind of....straw I guess...that broke the camel's back.

Because what was absolutely positively CLEAR to me was wild this was only a plastic doll, she was making a judgment on a type of man. She was using the phrase "too feminine" as a derogatory description. She was using it with disdain. This doll was not good enough for her because it wasn't masculine enough for her.

And a tiny way it reminded me of the whole purpose of the bear community, which was to show that we could meet beautiful in all our shapes and sizes and should not have to be bodybuilders or models to be considered worthwhile or attractive.

In an avalanche I realized how many times in my life I have done this very same thing. I'm sure some of you have witnessed it. Some of you have probably scolded me about it. And you were right to do so.

But what made me so mad, with what I've said above already, and it was that I could hear the pure vitriol dripping from her mouth. And in her reaction to me calling her out on it, pure and angry denial, I could not help but reflect on how deep-seated the hatred of people who are different lies.

Now the part I'm a little bit ashamed of.

I took a look at her profile picture and what I saw was what might be considered a "masculine" woman. Broad-faced, not a trace of makeup, unkempt hair, features far from delicate. And so, I hang my head at this, I told her that the doll might have been "too feminine," but I was surprised that such a masculine woman would say something like that.

I wish I could 100% say that what I was trying to point out, and it was about 95%, was that no one should be judged by how feminine or masculine they are. And that she could claim all she wanted that we all had a right to an opinion on a doll, but she was not disliking it for any reason other than her interpretation of masculinity or femininity. That yes, it was just a doll, but what was separating her from casting the same judgments on living human beings? I admit that there must have been a part of me striking out at her (was I being immature enough that I wanted to hurt her? over a doll?), but I was truly trying to wake her up. I wanted her to be startled and to thinking about what I had to say.

It did not work out that way.

She publicly called me out for it on a separate post, and doing so in a way that made her look righteous, but when I angrily responded, something happened.

I truly realized that her calling this doll "too feminine" triggered me into hearing on some level decades of having the same accusations made upon me. That I wasn't masculine enough. That I was feminine. I felt threatened. What was happening when I lashed out was the fight of the fight or flight reaction to being threatened. And it was when I explained that that the admins decided to take the post down and not kick me out.

But more importantly, I realized two things. Number one, that I could not let this ugliness change my love and loving attitude. I should not let her ugliness affect me. And two, it was another severe lesson and waking me up to my own judgments of other people.

I mean, damn it, that very day and a Facebook group of men over 60 someone had made a comment about the fact that they noticed that most men in the group had beards, and he preferred to clean shaven man. One gentleman responded by posting his clean-shaven face, and my reaction to his picture was how extremely feminine he looked! Holy shit!

I did the same fucking thing!

I judge somebody else's femininity or masculinity!

But on reflection, I will say that I did not say this to him, and it also taught me a lesson. To just see the happiness and the joy in his face and to allow him to be himself.

Why just on Saturday while Noah and I were at the coffee shop, I could not in any way tell if the person who is helping me was male or female. They were both.

And I suddenly thought to myself, this is a non-binary person, and isn't it wonderful that they are being themselves. That while I am just as cis as cis as cis can be an identifying as male and loving being male, not everyone is. And this individual who is helping me is not being prejudged on some deep level as male or female. This person is who they are. And does a penis or a lack thereof mean anything?

Aren't I a major lifelong Star Trek fan? And isn't it important philosophy of that show the IDIC? Infinite diversity in infinite combinations? My God! They came up with that in the '60s!

And I have to laugh and shake my head when people today ask the stupid question, "When did Star Trek become 'woke'?"


From the beginning?

I am proudly woke. And I keep realizing day by day by day by day that I'm going to have to keep waking up. Especially to any kind of internalized hatred or discomfort within myself. To clearly see that there's nothing to be afraid of. That a gorgeous tapestry is made of hundreds of colors and that's what makes it so beautiful. All those individual threads, combined with each other, to present true beauty.

I don't know if I have a final conclusion or if I battered everyone over the head with it already, but these are thoughts that I need to make. These are things I need to constantly be thinking of. That my heart needs to be constantly opening to. And that I must constantly be on the alert for.

To anyone I have ever judged by their looks, including that lady, I deeply apologize. And for everyone in my life who has helped wake me up, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I promise to keep growing and to keep waking up.....


BG "Gentle Ben" Thomas

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May 22

Yeah. Posts on blogs are just one person's opinion. And there are lots of things that might be going on in that person's life that make them react that way and write it out on that particular day. As am example, I wasn't feeling good yesterday and wanted to bite people.

Replying to

I hear ya

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