Fun Home post

So I was personally handed fun home by my gay brother during my senior year of high school when my family was finally getting it though there heads that I was definitely bisexual, as I had been saying since I was 13. No, I’m not bitter at all. But for me it was really interesting to read about this girl who kinda figured out who she was without the label at a relatively young age, with an older male figure who was gay in her family. Obviously the relationship was really, really different, however, I did enjoy coming across this on our reading list during my second semester in college. I felt really connected to Alison when that happened, as I knew that I was going to get to explore gay culture as I never had been able to before, both in a literary sense and in an actually experiencing slices of life that were off limits as an underage high schooler.

So do you feel connected to Alison in a similar fashion at all?

If you are LGBT, when did you know? How did your family react in the context of Fun Home? Did you have anyone to look up to or to connect with when you did identify yourself?

Nevada Post-Renee

So I’m really curious as to why it’s ok for Maria to so openly assume a persons gender. If it were someone who wasn’t trans it seems like a large portion of the LGBT community would get really pissed off. Maybe Binnie was trying to call out this backwards way of functioning in the community, or maybe she herself is slightly problematic. I have been wondering a lot lately about who we consider problematic, and why we rarely look at those in out own community. I know the group of incoming freshmen that identified as LGBT+ became divided over an issue like this. Some of the members were talking about how they liked specific races, then when they were called out for being racist, they said it was just a preference.

So why do we seem to be ok with discrimination and problematic people if they’re in our group? Do we think that problematic behavior is excused when the person it’s originating from is also a minority in some way?

Leaps in Thought

I had two very separate trains of thought that aren’t incredibly expandable, but I feel like this works with the book so far as it has quite a few time skips and Lorde kind of blends moments and memories.

First, I was thinking about the applicability of Lorde’s experience, especially in the context of American Girl dolls. Now this may seem weird but bear with me. I grew up with the stories of girls that grew up in the depression era, during World War 2, and so many other periods of American history. As I was reading I kept thinking about how authentic of an experience Lorde is describing, yet there is only one black doll in the entire storied collection and her books are about her growing up in the north in 1855, so a very unique experience, but not as universally applicable as many of the other dolls. I wonder why there are only three people of color in the collections, and even then their stories are told as uniquely their problems. Where are the stories about the little black girl growing up during the depression and World War 2 in Harlem? And where are the dolls for the girls who read the story and identify with it?

Lastly is the idea that Lorde speaks about her mother with such great respect and admiration. I am kind of shocked about this, as my mother used a few similar methods of raising me. Obviously in a different time, but spanking, fear, and control were similar themes nonetheless. These tactics caused me to harbor a resentment towards her, even though I respected what she went through to get where she was in her life, especially raising my siblings and me. Despite this I have noticed things that I do that are similar to her. I fear some of these moments as they are often things I grew to hate, but knowing that happens with strict mothers, I was consciously looking for signs of this in the reading. I noticed it in the last chapter when she is talking about the dinners in her father’s office, and the savoring of moments, not the food. Then thinking back, she does the same thing with her mother in bed on Saturday mornings. Something Lorde looks up to her mother for is her ability to find the beauty in even the smallest things. I suspect that as we go forward in our readings Audre will grow more and more like her mother

 

Do you think that the experience Lorde is describing is a story that would be something girls 8+ could enjoy? (I may eat my words later in the book if it becomes more sexual) I feel a connection to my own childhood, growing up reading and getting in trouble for staying up late, do you?

 

Just like the question raised during Giovanni’s room, do you think that you have come to possess traits you respect your parents for? Do you think that traits like these are only noticed in ourselves if we cared to think about them in our parents at an earlier age?

Miss Furr & Miss Skeene-Labels?

Renee Woolley- Blog post 1- 8/25/16

I am really interested by the fact that there was no dramatic reason given for Helen Furr leaving her husband apart from simply finding another person. In pop fiction regarding this subject I have seen a lot of authors blame abuse or an attack or some external reason for a woman to “become a lesbian”. In fact, Stein states that she, “had quite a pleasant home,” and that “Mr. Furr was quite a pleasant man.” She wasn’t unhappy or in a bad place, but she went to find other people like her and found Skeene. I also appreciated the idea that Furr could be interpreted as more than just gay or straight. Her sexuality was presented as fluid to me. Furr and Skeene being “gay together” did not specifically come across as her being homosexual, but her definitely not being heterosexual. At the end of this narrative Furr was “gay exactly the same way”, which implies that she was the same person as she was at the beginning. If she wasn’t sexually fluid, then it means that she truly wasn’t attracted to her husband at any point. In either case I’m really grateful for literature in which sexuality has the possibility to be more than one thing. We try to categorize people who are not ourselves so much these days and assign attributes to them without actually knowing them. In popular media that does portray LGBT characters it is very rare to find ones that are not rigidly defined as one thing. The problem with this is that not everyone can be defined or labeled. Personally I know that finding a word to define myself was incredibly beneficial, as it made me feel validated and like a real person. Yet, openly labeling characters and people can really narrow the group of people that are able to identify with them. Does this mean I think we should stop assigning people as one thing or another? I think no, but we should probably loosen our definitions a little to make it more accessible to those who don’t fit perfectly.

Do you agree with me about definitions? Should we lose them entirely? Do you think they’re perfect the way they are?

What about Furr’s sexuality? Did you interpret it as fluid or rigid? Why?

—I was going to include a RHPS gif but it won’t upload 😦 —