Walking into the grocery store with my same sex spouse, we speak and yell out to each other about what food items we need for the week, “Do we have enough oatmeal left? What about apples?”
Although seen as an ordinary task for heterosexual couples, I am quite conscious that, as a gay couple, we are seen as somewhat of an anomaly. That is especially true in areas where most people rarely see gay couples going about their daily life.
These days, many of the challenges faced by the LGBTQ2* community take more subtle forms usually referred to as micro aggressions, a less overt intolerance against LGBTQ2* individuals.
Sometimes intentional, sometimes not, these persistent micro aggressions pile up in everyday experience, and in their sum total can become quite a burden to carry day in and day out.
Here are just a few of the many examples of micro aggressions commonly experienced by LGBTQ2* individuals:
- People referring to your long-time partner or spouse as your “friend” – refusing to acknowledge your romantic relationship.
- Having people overly focused on your sexuality – like being constantly referred to as “a gay friend”, or “a trans co-worker”, “a nice lesbian couple”.
- Having people insist you’re just confused about your sexuality, even if this is something you’ve known about yourself your entire life.
- Depictions of sexual minority experiences perceived, or presented, as a joke – rather than legitimate human experiences. (e.g. automatic laughter over the idea of two men kissing, or ridicule of a trans person dressing as their gender).
- People presuming you should connect with every other LGBT person they know – regardless of whether you have anything else in common with them
- Constantly facing stereotypical assumptions about your personality or interests (e.g. gay men all love to decorate… bisexuals are so promiscuous…)
Music can be an uplifting and powerful voice and that is what the RHP choir attempts to do – create a more accepting society through this powerful form. Normalize the different, albeit in a fun way.
Indeed, the choir, led by co-directors, Johanna Hildebrand and Justin Odwak, has a lot of fun interpreting songs – messages of acceptance done with humour.
A Red Carpet Event is the theme for the RHP’s 5th annual fundraiser dinner. Aptly named since it falls the day prior to the Oscars (Feb. 25).
The choir will be bookending the night by performing a couple of movie favourites including the Rocky Horror Picture Show “Lets do the Time Warp”.
Speaking of the Oscars, I don’t want to be a kibitzer but I’m of the opinion that we need a TV Shondaland in Hollywoodland. Writer Shonda Rhimes has written many gay characters into six ABC shows with a seventh that will hit airwaves in 2017.
Yet her shows are hits that occupy ALL of ABC’s coveted Thursday night time slots rebranding the weeknight as TGIT. No small feat for this black woman, a pioneer in terms of diversity.
When asked why her shows featured so many gay characters she responded, “Because I believe everyone should get to see themselves reflected on TV.” She normalizes the different.
One day, when my spouse and I go shopping, we won’t be seen as an oddity. Instead gay couples will go about their daily lives like heterosexual couples do, without unwanted stares. Society will understand the gender of the person you love is totally irrelevant.
Help create a more accepting society through the power of music. Check out sponsorship opportunities at https://www.rainbowharmonyproject.ca/red-carpet-event/
Rainbow Harmony Project’s 5th Annual Diversity Dinner
Art Auction & Cabaret
Sat. Feb. 25, 2017
6 p.m. Wine
7 p.m. Dinner
Roblin Centre, Red River College Exchange District Campus
P308 – 160 Princess Street, Winnipeg, MB
Early Bird $125 (extended to Feb. 15, 2017)
A tax receipt will be issued: $95 for full price tickets and $75 for early bird tickets.
Tickets Online or phone (204) 788-0937 or from Choir Members