I consider myself open-minded. I consider my parents to be kind of open-minded. I consider my dad’s mother to be open-minded to the point that she seems to be more “aware” of things going on in society more than most grandmothers. I do not, however, consider my mom’s mother to be open-minded. She’s a democrat – there isn’t another choice. She likes things a certain way – and that’s that!
The story I’m about to tell you may seem a bit all over the place. Stay focused.
First, regarding my open-mindedness, I have never really seen race, sexual orientation, etc when talking to people. I may notice if your outfit doesn’t match, but I don’t care about the color of your skin or whether or not you like someone of the opposite sex or the same-sex. I had a friend once say I was the first person who didn’t judge her and her lifestyle…well, quite frankly it’s not up to me to judge her or anyone else. I firmly believe that it’s not a decision people make. You don’t wake up one day and decide to live a lifestyle that people “kill” people over. I also had a black uncle when I was growing up and I thought everyone did – I didn’t realize our family was different.
Now onto the reason for this post. I’m not a regular viewer of Dancing with the Stars, but I do watch from time to time. As many of you may know, there was A LOT of controversy over Chaz Bono being on the show this year. Many parents took offense to him being on the show and blew up the Internet with posts about banning the show in their house because they didn’t want to have to tell their children about Chaz being a transgender, and being born a girl. I have no problem whatsoever with Chaz being on the show or about him being a transgender. But I must say I did wonder what conversations might be like in households around the country.
And then it happened! My mother and I are driving down the road one day – I’m driving and she’s in the passenger seat having her daily phone call with my grandmother (Grammy, as we call her – affectionately known as my Crazy Grandmother when she drives us nuts with the same thing over and over) and guess what comes up?? What? You haven’t figured it out? Oh…I know you are smarter than that! That’s right! Dancing with the Stars and the people on it. I hear only my mom’s side of the conversation, but it was a doozy! I hear this “Do you remember Sonny and Cher and their variety show in the 70s? Well, that is their daughter Chastity. He had an operation and is now a man – Chaz.” Needless to say – I’m sitting in the car mouth wide opened trying to figure out what the heck that conversation was about. My mother, after hanging up, tells me what went down. My grandmother tells my mom she stayed up late the night before (she’s in bed usually between 7:00-8:00 depending on her day) so she could watch Dancing with the Stars, but she said “Who was that big fat guy? He looks familiar.” And there it was…the need to tell my grandmother that the big fat guy was born a girl. Oh dear – I never expected that in my lifetime! My mother gives the Sonny and Cher explanation and my grandmother simply says “Well good for him!” End of story – onto the next thing she has in her brain that day, which was probably telling my mom everything that happened that day including who called, who stopped by, and what she ate.
I say, if my Catholic no-nonsense non-openminded (or so I thought) grandmother can be accepting – than maybe more people need to consider their thoughts and actions when condemning people for their lifestyles.