Even the title makes me cringe. The subject came about when I was watching Patrick, Age 1.5, which I reviewed on an earlier post. The couple moved into a typical family neighborhood as they were expecting to adopt. Tensions arose when they attended their first neighborhood party as a couple and shocked the neighbors. They then became the gay couple and the homos to the kids around. Their mailbox was knocked over, they were conveniently excluded from birthday parties, and were made to feel like aliens as a whole. Only one of the partners was distraught over the treatment they were receiving, hoping that things would improve when they received their adopted child and became a normal family.
Mainstreaming in general is a four letter word for me. It screams follower and conformity, and sees difference as a virus or disease. I’m a huge fan of differences and sometimes have gone out of my way to buck the system. The main reason mainstreaming is so dangerous is the stress it puts on those trying to be a part of the group. If you are successful it’s amazing and you can become a pod person, but if you aren’t able to conform enough, you spend your time on the edge of the group. You might be a part of the majority but still on the end, one disagreement or shift in position away from being again on the outside looking in.
Can you imagine everyone acting alike and looking alike; no one with the courage to change the status quo? A lot of the joys and freedoms we currently have wouldn’t exist. Mainstreaming needs to go the way of the dodo bird. Be different, be outrageous, be strong enough to say my life is mine, the way I live it is mine and it’s amazing. It’s not to stay for you yourself to ostracize those who decide they enjoy the majority. Being different doesn’t give you the right to look down on those who can’t or just don’t want to be outside of the box, but keep your spirit of difference a live and inspire. Who knows what your act of defiance can lead to.