Beowabbit (beowabbit) wrote,

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Two T anecdotes

First of all, I had a lovely time at pixel's Connecticut Poly retreat this weekend. I carpooled with nex0s in her fab yellow new-Beetle (somehow the words "fab" and "Beetle" just seem to go well together, don't they?), and had a great trip. And I got to break in my humungous new tent. (I ended up being the only person who slept outside, but I was glad I did, because it was my first opportunity to set up this nylon palace. OK, a SCAdian wouldn't be impressed with it, but I think it's really cool.)

But what this post is about is a couple things that happened on the T.

nex0s, who had given me a ride, dropped me off at the T in Central Square. As I was waiting for the train, I was in a particularly good mood, because of the fun event, and good music and conversation on the way back. So I was already smiling when I spied a male couple sort of teasing each other on the platform while they waited for the train. While not at all unheard of, it's uncommon enough to see men cuddling and flirting in a T station that it sort of caught my eye and gave me a warm feeling. They saw me, and I think at first they were a bit nervous, but they saw my smile (which wasn't entirely due to them) and went back to cuddling and kissing. Subway platforms are kind of bland and dreary sometimes; they need more cuddling and kissing. :-)

That's mostly to set the stage for what kind of mood I was in for the next anecdote. I transfered to the orange line, and after a few stops a seat became available, and I sat down next to a young woman (or oldish girl), probably college age but maybe high-school age, wearing eyeliner and fashionable clothing. Three other women about the same age and similarly dressed were across the aisle; the four of them were clearly travelling together. They all had distinct Boston accents.

Because I had a dufflebag between my legs (“...or are you just happy to see me?” ba-dum, ching), my backpack was on my lap rather than on the floor where it usually is.

After a few stations, the woman next to me asked me “What does that say?” It took me a moment to realize what she was talking about: the one button I'd left on my backpack after Boston Pride (cool pix of xoxjasminexox, and one with a little bit of my foot in it). I read it for her: “Racism, sexism, homophobia: Recognize the connections.” She looked puzzled about it for a while, and the three women across the aisle got amused expressions. There was a pause. Meaning to be disarmingly self-deprecating, I said “It's deep,” but she took me at face value and said “Yeah”, and a moment later, “I'm trying to wrap my brain around it — what's it mean?” I said, “Basically, all those things are about dividing people into groups, and saying, ‘that other group is not like us, we're better than them’. And did you ever notice that it's often the same people doing all three of these things? Oh, but now I'm doing it, saying those other people aren't like us,” and she said “Yeah, stereotypes within stereotypes,” and after a pause, “I don't like all of these,” gesturing at the button and meaning racism, sexism, and homophobia. I had spent some time this afternoon reading Pixel's car, so I had a Wolfman Jack quote to share with her: “Where did bigots get the idea that God is as small-minded as they are?” and she said “Yeah, there are some good ones. I took a poetry class once” and she gave me a quote which unfortunately I've forgotten (although it was one I'd heard before). At that point we'd reached Wellington, where I was going to get on the bus, so I said goodbye and got off. (As I stood up, I realized I had my Poly Boston T-shirt on, with “Expand Your Family” on the back.)

Given the fact that I was preaching to the converted, and I'm not sure who was teaching whom anyway, it wasn't the most high-impact piece of activist outreach I've ever seen, but it gave me a good feeling, and made me think I should start wearing buttons more often.
Tags: boston, cars, diary, friends, important, politics, poly, queer, thoughts, travel

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