Suburban Shushing Silencing and Shaming by the Priveleged

Suburban Shushing Silencing and Shaming by the Priveleged July 7, 2018
"Suburban Addictions" by Pat Green
“Suburban Addictions” by Pat Green

Dear Fellow Suburban White Cisgender Person,

When you tell my son or partner to not speak about their sexuality or gender identity in front of your children while you openly celebrate your marriage and openly call your kids son or daughter, I have a problem. When people from the suburbs tell my parter that gender fluidity is dangerous to speak of in front of your wine drinking friends while referring to your children openly by gender all over the internet, I have a problem. You’ve made your problem their pain.

This is what privilege is. You did not cause it and it is not your fault. But you do have a responsibility and you do need awareness. Most of the time people think your kid’s lemonade stand is cute. But did you know our neighbor’s call the police on black kids selling water? Some of you this weekend may go to the pool in your suburban HOA. Someone you elected may be calling the cops on one of your neighbors for swimming while black. Mowing the lawn, having a bbq and trying to run for an elected position while white and while black carry different results.

If you get a sitter for the kids and decide to go out on the suburban town, you can hold hands and not be beaten for it. When you were dating your spouse, you had concerns and many of them were valid. But you never had to decide when you were going to tell them your assigned sex and actual gender. You have never had to face an uncomfortable discussion where someone may focus entirely on your genitals. You never had to worry what would happen if that conversation did not go well.

Common courtship rituals at bars and on dating apps have turn deadly for trans women if they do not reveal in a manner to cis het folk’s likings. And yes, cis het women face rape culture in common dating rituals. I will never diminish that. Cis women face domestic violence in ways most of my gender can never identify with. That is not diminish the topic here, it actually heightens it for the white cis het male who feels sooooo put upon that he has to create and sign civility pledges to take the heat off.

When you call your child son or daughter or boy or girl, you don’t have to worry about someone telling you they are not your son/daughter or a boy/girl. When your child goes to a public restroom, locker room or retail dressing room, you have very valid concerns about stranger danger. You do not have to worry about self professed armed vigilantes patrolling suburban public restrooms and changing rooms. You do not have to risk job loss if someone finds out your kid’s assigned sex matches their gender. No one has called your child an abomination.

Instead of Being Mad at Me…

Don’t get mad at me for what I write. Look in the mirror and ask yourself why you shush and silence others for something you do every day. Ask yourself why you tell others to be civil who cannot enjoy the daily activities you do without fear of arrest, beatings or death.

I am not telling you to feel guilty. Neither am I telling you to not enjoy the things you enjoy. I am asking a few things of you. The first is to help others enjoy the same privileges you do every day.  The second thing I am asking for is supporting others publicly and in front of your friends, spouses and children. Finally, if you cannot do these things, could you please be quiet? Shush!

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