My school was designed by an architect. That little factoid always surprises me somewhat. My school has corners, lots and lots of visually interesting, child concealing, corners. I suspect this was an attempt to hide the institutional nature of the school. Which is strange, because we are an institution. You might as well be honest about the fact. I think the University of Queensland got it right for the most part in their layout and design. Of course, they don’t have small children, so they can get away with water features such as actual lakes.
The other strange thing about my school is that the paths are not in straight lines, despite the straight lines of sight. Anyone who has had the pleasure of trying to herd children will know that, like birds, they will take the most direct route even if it means walking through several garden beds and over a few low brick walls.
Schools are institutions, we should learn to be ok with that.
Whilst shopping two children were arguing, the younger one started to wail and the mother turned her fury to the older one:
Mother (to older child): Stand here. Right here. On this very spot! Do not move!
Younger Child (to mother): Why does he have to stand there?
YC (to sibling): I think she’s going to leave you here.
YC (to mother): Are you going to leave him here?
YC (to sibling): I reckon she’s going to leave you here.
The dice have spoken. The topic is Queer. The genre is opinion.
Where do I start? I knew I liked guys when I was 13, and for the record, I still think fondly of the senior A swimming team. I wasn’t Queer until I hit university. Queer is much more than a physical desire, it’s a political framework that gobbles up gender, sex and sexuality. I used to be radical. Then something happened. Bills mainly, work, and family functions. A few HIV scares, mostly my own hypochondria (sniffly nose? probably AIDS!) but such was the internalised homophobia of a young man in Queensland at the time.
There are two schools of thought on the path of Queer politics at the moment. One says “Don’t fight for marriage, it’s a trap! Don’t become like the heteros, ours is a path more fabulous and different” the other says “We will swallow them whole, we shall marry and have children and be on tawdry school committees”. Which one is right?
Queer is about diversity, of gender, sex and sexuality. Queer embraces all, the conformist and the non-conformist. If Queer is to remain radical and not to become domesticated like Feminism has (Power dress for success!) then it has to only do one thing, fight for the right to be different and free from discrimination because of that difference. What does that mean? Gays and Lesbians should be able to get married, but if we honour the rights of couples maybe we should also recognise the rights of thruples?
It’s not a case of “don’t reward the gays and lesbians for acting like straights” it should be a case of “freedoms and benefits for everyone, regardless of their relationship status”. Inevitably some tool suggests that without families there will be no children and we have to support coerce people into these relationships by having punitive measures in place. These people probably need counselling, and nicer children. If marriage is such a delicate thing, that making it even slightly more inclusive would kill it, then it deserves to die. It won’t though, it will evolve into something different. The challenge for the Queers is to make sure everyone can enjoy the ride, married or not.