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21st Century Lesbian Trailer Trash

These are the mad musings of a middle aged woman, dyke, nurse, poet. I have a dog, a cat, a mobile home, and delusions of grandeur.

Location: California, United States

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Identity & Obligation: BlogHer Workshop

Workshop Topic #1: Identity & Obligation

Do you control which parts of your identity are exposed?

A: To a degree, yes. I work for a Mormon owned company. And while they hire openly gay department heads, the corporate culture is very family oriented. I don't want an employee with a personal issue to Google me and be able to say, without a doubt, that 21st Century Lesbian Trailer Trash is my blog. More so even because of my left wing politics than because of my sexual orientation.

Do you feel an obligation to represent for your gender, race or culture?

A: I feel an obligation to represent for my gender and for the LGBT culture in real life so of course this is reflected in my blog. However, I do not feel that anyone else has an obligation to do the same. This is such a highly personal choice. Some people resent feeling forced to address topics that might place them in any particular category and I respect that. The internet is such a wonderful medium for creative and personal expression. I love the opportunity to fly the flag of my choice. And I love that everyone else gets to choose also.

Do you feel you’re not allowed to comment on issues facing a group to which you don’t belong?

A: No. But I do believe that specific groups have the right to say what is, for example, racism and what is not. So many white folks are unaware of the pervasiveness of racist thought and action in our culture. Yet they persist in asking questions like "But why are you so angry?" Or, "Why can you talk about white people and I can't talk about [black, asian, hispanic] you?"

It's human to be egocentric. But in this century, we need to shut our mouths and step outside ourselves a bit in order to consider the other point of view. And it's critical for all of us to recognize that there are some things we cannot understand because, simply, we are not living it every day.

Discussion Questions:

How do you decide what aspects of your identity you will reveal in your blog: culture, sexual orientation, political ideology, religion?

A: Probably the only topic I stay away from with much regularity is my spiritual practice. I do complain about fundamentalism, particularly christian fundamentalists, but more from a political perspective than religious. I truly don't have a problem with christian fundamentalism. It's the interface between that and the government that makes me crazy. We do, theoretically, have religious freedom in this country.

How do you feel about using your real name? Your childrens’ names?

A: I do not have children but I don't think I would use their names. I don't use the names of my siblings or my nieces on my blog. Pam is my real name but I am protective of my surname because it is somewhat unusual. I am certain that I have made some people angry and I really do not want them knocking on my front door.

If you blog about your race, religion, etc, - or even a personally difficult time of your life - do you feel it opens you (and your family) up to attack and/or do you feel it is a wonderful way to promote acceptance and diversity?

A: I think both are true. People are people. Some are open to new ideas and new ways of thinking. Some are not. It's a risk that we all take every day in life. So why not on my blog?


Blogger ~ nellenelle said...

Nice responses... I held back from reading yours until after posting mine, just to keep from influence, given I agree with you on so much!

1:28 PM PDT  
Blogger NursePam said...

Thanks Nelle! I just finished reading yours and enjoyed them very much.

2:59 PM PDT  
Blogger ~ nellenelle said...

I really love delving into this stuff, not just my own, but reading of others... and it strikes me, after writing mine then reading yours, we really agree a great deal on the overall questions posed.

5:20 PM PDT  
Blogger Shannon said...

Thanks for your thoughts NursePam!

9:04 PM PDT  
Blogger El Güero said...

Interesting and thoughtful responses.

Mormons...now they make my blood boil!

1:16 AM PDT  
Blogger KMae said...

Very introspective.
I agree on all of it.
I try to be mainly careful of my job; not mentioning the company name or saying anything about it that could get me fired.
And I always feel I am representing... mainly the softer dykes.

11:53 PM PDT  
Blogger NursePam said...

Who'da thunk it Nelle? ;^)

Thank you Shannon for a terrific idea!

They may make your blood boil EG, but I have to give them their props. Of all the nursing home corps in town, the Mormons run the 2 best groups from both the point of view of patients and employees.

If we put out sexuality out there KMae, we are representing whether we think we are or not :o)

7:12 AM PDT  
Blogger KMae said...

Yep, so true.

1:03 PM PDT  

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