Here's why today sucks:
First off I finally received a response to my middle grade fantasy novel, which I had submitted to an editor with a big well-known publisher. It was a rejection, which is always a bummer, but I have to say the REASONS why my story wasn't right for him made me laugh out loud, considering the obscene and irreverent nature of a lot of my previous work. Here's what the editor said:
"Thank you for letting me read this, but I don't think it will work on my list as the story seems too old-fashioned and twee for my taste. Good luck finding the right publisher for this."
I don't love having my work rejected, but I understand his reasons and kind of enjoy being called old-fashioned and twee. Especially since just last night I listed two "My Little Penis" coffee mugs on Etsy.
The other reason today sucks is that I had to sit here at my desk and listen to a discussion/debate between a student and a substitute teacher about whether or not gay people deserve equal rights. It was a Social Studies class, and they're researching the different presidential candidates and their stances on the major issues.
The student is Mormon, and VERY insistently anti gay marriage. The substitute did an AWESOME job of questioning the kid's faulty reasoning and trying to make him see the other side of the issue. But I have heard this kid go on about it before, and he's unfortunately full of brazen confidence and good-natured smiles and Mormon brain-washing. Blond, blue eyes, clean cut, just as you would expect. He's always been extremely polite and respectful to my face, and he KNOWS I'm gay, and married to a dude. It's amazing how people like that can sit right there in front of you and argue why you shouldn't have the same civil rights they do, and expect you to just accept it.
It's like they expect you to react the way you would if the disagreement were over which is better, chocolate or vanilla ice cream. No big deal, right?
So I listened to them go back and forth for a while, respecting each other's opinions, smiling and laughing, yet making their points. Finally I got up and said, "You know what? I wasn't going to say anything, but I have to. You all know I'm gay, and that I have a husband. Well, it's really weird for me to sit here and listen to you guys debate whether or not I should have the same rights everyone else does. I just think you should consider that, and try to imagine what it's like for me. It's like if you were arguing in favor of racism right in front of a black person."
The kid tried to say that it's not discrimination, and he had all sorts of weird incorrect ideas obviously from his church. He was saying that if they make gay marriage legal, then if a church won't marry gay people, they'll have their tax-exempt status removed, and go bankrupt, and it's not right for the poor churches to go bankrupt over that. I finally interrupted and said, "It IS discrimination. What you want is the right to discriminate, and you should just be HONEST about that."
I also said that during the 6 months or so that it was legal in California, my husband and I had a civil marriage ceremony, we certainly didn't FORCE ourselves into anyone's church, and I didn't hear about any OTHER gay couples doing that. I told him I wasn't even sure if he was correct that a church could be forced to hold gay marriages. I said, "I wouldn't want any part of a church that didn't respect and honor my marriage, anyway. Why would we want that?"
Another issue the substitute had raised was the right for a gay person's partner to be involved in medical/health decisions, and hospital visiting rights. The kid actually, honestly, said, "Oh, but that's such a minor thing!" He even argued with the substitute about HOW minor that issue is. And he was not kidding. And he's a SENIOR. And we're a college prep academy.
I told him it may seem like a very minor thing to him, at his age, but my husband is diabetic and it has and could in the future be a very real issue for us. It is VERY important.
I tried my best to be firm yet not seem angry, and to give the impression that I respect the Mormon kid's viewpoints, even though I most certainly do not.
I know some gay people might have thought it wiser to say nothing, but I REFUSE to make it easy for anybody to debate my equal rights in front of my face. Especially when the person arguing my rights away KNOWS I'm gay. That is seriously fucked up. It's like that type of person banks on me (the minority) being too intimidated to say anything.
Needless to say, my nerves were totally shaken by the time that period ended, but I was determined not to show it.