February 2nd, 2008

Haring Family

Rocky Horror, Then and Now and a Little About Slash and Identity Labeling

So my elder daughter (15) went to The Rocky Horror Picture Show last night, with two friends. They were totally adorable doing each other's hair and getting all dressed up for it. And then they all slept here afterwards. Of course the hard part for me was waiting up for them. My little one was at a sleepover birthday party and the big one was at college so I was alone for a few hours. When I mentioned in the morning that I'd be by myself while "you two are out partying" Kendra mock indignantly said, "I will not be partying. I will be going through a rite of passage." Bwah!

Anyway, I was thinking that it is a rite of passage of sorts but it's also a really different experience for them now from what it was for us thirty years ago. When we went it was a kind of transgressive experience, gender-bending campy humor that our parents couldn't understand at all. Now Kendra and her friends R and A all have parents who know all the lyrics to the songs.

I was somewhat anxious about them being out so late. NYC has the lowest violent crime of any large city in the country, but still. I tell myself that the grey hairs I get from worrying about my kids out and about in the city are balanced by the ones I don't get, but my suburban counterparts do, about their kids driving. I did give them cab fare and said if they felt at all uncomfortable approaching the subway, they should take a cab, and they agreed. But they did come home by subway and returned the money and had had a wonderful time.

I really want to do a post about slash and sexual orientation identification but I have to think about it some more. I've said here my views on how sexual orientation, sexual identity labeling and sexual behavior interact, and a little about how that relates to slash. That post still represents my views in general. But I'm hearing a lot of "everybody's bisexual" or "everybody's bisexual until proven otherwise" in the recent discussions of slash and canonicity. And I think it's worth talking about why some people with the capacity to have sexual and/or relationships with members of the other sex (and sometimes with the history, as well) identify as gay or lesbian and not bi. All I'm hearing in this discussion is that people do it for "political" reasons, but I think it often has very little to do with politics and much more to do with sense of self. But I have to think about it a little more before I articulate it. I do think a slash writer needs to grapple with both whether the character will identify with any sexual identity labels (some don't think that way) and if s/he does, which label it will be. Anyway, I'll muse and then perhaps meta