Sunday, July 1, 2012

On Tiny Crumbs and a Beautifully Brave Wildflower

Yes, I'm late to the game, but thankfully Wildflower Ashley Wilkinson was not. In the unlikely event you haven't read about Club Unicorn and Josh and Lolly Weed and their mixed-orientation marriage, follow the previous link. Then read Ashley's response. Then read her whole blog, because it is simply excellent. 

If I may... I would like to say a word regarding the Weeds and their post... this is my uber-honest opinion. UBER-honest. 

Before I do, let me say first that I come from a mixed-orientation marriage which transitioned into divorce. A pretty good divorce. I am much happier now than when I was married, and my former spouse and I get along quite well. And, just like Josh and Lolly Weed, I am also a fully-active card-carrying member of the LDS Church.  

But back to Club Unicorn... I actually believe this couple is sincere. I also believe their blogpost is akin to a gray wolf in meticulously tailored and ridiculously fashionable sheep's clothing. It is elegantly written with no stone unturned, though the stone-turning has lent itself to discourse suppression, something called discursive closure. Things get cursorily mentioned as if to address them sufficiently enough to move on. But they haven't been discussed sufficiently. I'm not ok with that. And while the Weed's post may be helpful to some... maybe...

...Ultimately, I find it highly problematic.

Problematic because these types of shared experiences can be dangerous. Dangerous in a world where people hope desperately for reality not to be real. Or for someone else's reality to be their own.

These kinds of declarations should come with big yellow warning signs. Like a wise Wildflower said the other day... Results not typical. Not everyone would choose to live the life of an informercial. Buyer be warned.

My intent is not to yell and scream at Josh and Lolly Weed and tell them they are wrong. I'm not even here to argue whether or not mixed-orientation marriages should or should not occur. The point is, they happen. Accepting what is, let us not be deceived by our assumptions about what mixed-orientation marriages truly are. Let us, instead, talk about what they truly are. One way to start is to talk about what they truly are not. (Teaser for future blogpost.) 

To illustrate this point most eloquently, I share a snippet from amazing author Dan Pearce of the blog Single Dad Laughing wherein he demonstrates particularly appropriate insight without having experienced a mixed-orientation marriage himself. Thank you, Dan, for writing In Which I Respond to Josh Weed's Club Unicorn Post.

What gets under my skin is how many people are using his post to say, “SEE?! TOLD YOU SO!”
There are people who are using it as an example of how it can be and how it should be for every gay person. They’re using it as a religious mold into which they believe all gays can fit. They’re using it as proof that people who are struggling with it just aren’t trying hard enough; they just aren’t doing it with the right mindset; they just aren’t doing it with enough determination. If they were… surely they could achieve the same thing Josh and Lolly have achieved.


Josh Weed's marriage is NOT an example of how it can be and how it should be for every gay person. I would add that it is not an example of how it can be and how it should be for every straight spouse. Josh and Lolly Weed have said as much.

And yet Josh Weed's Club Unicorn post is still viral. Right now. Just two nights ago another friend was excited to tell me about it and how she posted it to her Facebook page only to be precariously "liked" by countless other Facebookers. Again. To this I have to honestly say I am as equally concerned as I am grateful, as others have noted as well, because the Weeds have contributed greatly to a very necessary conversation. For that I would like to express a sincere thank you to Josh and Lolly Weed.

I suppose what I'm really doing in this post is providing a very small bibliography of two of my favorite responses to a post gone viral. A dangerous post gone viral. And my main message here isn't to the Josh and Lolly's of the world. Not that they aren't important too. They are. They have stories to tell. And, right now, they have Josh and Lolly Weed to help them do that. 

Today, my message is to all those who have tried and tried and tried and not ended up in Club Unicorn. And to those who are trying and trying and trying and wondering if they ever will or even want to make it into Club Unicorn. And even to those who are considering signing up to try and try and try to join Club Unicorn. To you lovely people, I would like you to know:

It's ok NOT to believe in unicorns. 


You have permission to be the rule, and NOT the exception. 

Please feel welcome to leave comments!