Back to Top

Societal Bingo

 Friday, 7th July, 2017

Member and Writing Salon contributor, Mat Wandless, gets to grip with his Pride neuroses.

Last weekend I took my daughter to a fete at the pre-school she’ll be starting at in September (it’s got to be in at least the top three most twee things I’ve ever seen in my life, there were pony rides). Molly, the gregarious little person that she is, introduced herself to a young girl named Grace. Grace earnestly announced to me that she has two Mummies and I had a reaction that I don’t know how to react to. I guess it’s appropriate to the topic that I think the closest way I could describe it was… pride.

I then spent the rest of the afternoon wondering if I’m being an ass by being pleased that my kid is going to go to nursery with a girl whose parents are both women, like I’m playing some kind of societal bingo. “You’ll never guess what, not only is Molly friends with a Nigerian boy and an Iranian girl, now I get to hang out with lesbians at the PTA!”

How do you avoid defining a minority by your own pointless, privileged guilt? How do you just be happy that people are able to be who they want to be, freely, and your kid might get to be friends with their kid if they can agree to take it in turns with the doctor’s kit?

I’ve heard it asked whether or not we still “need” Pride in the aftermath of equal marriage. That’s really not my place to say because Pride is not for me. I can say that I live in a lovely quaint liberal bubble where I get to make self deprecating jokes about being cisgender because we’re all on exactly the same black, gay, hummus-encrusted page of a book that is very deliberately neither blue nor pink. When you’re in that bubble it feels like everything is hunky dory but this is why elections going the other way feel so shocking and outrageous. There are places out there that will pop that bubble quicker than you can say “outdated gender prejudice”.

I hope that by the time Molly and Grace grow up we won’t need Pride, or a second stethoscope so that they can play for longer than five minutes without tears/violence. I also hope I can figure out how to support stuff without tripping over my own neuroses. A guy can dream, no?

Connect with the Writing Salon at the next event on 17th July.