UK Yankee have family pride and are proud supporters of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and today, in my inbox, I had a personal message from George Clooney (via HRC). Obviously, that made my already sunny day especially Red Letter. But in addition to his handsome countenance, his message made my heart sing.
The message really resonated with me because it made me wonder where my own family stood against things like racial and gender equality during those turbulent years when women campaigned for the vote and African-Americans weren’t welcome at the lunch counter. Not to mention, where did they stand on issues of Pride?
At that ponderous moment, a particular family photo popped into my head (stay tuned to the end of the post). It reminded me of my wonderful grandmothers who took all the following peculiarities in their stride:
One of my brothers decided that college was definitely the time to pierce his ear and to wear not just an earring, but a gold hoop. My parents were in an uproar and to my recollection informed him that he would have to be the one to tell his grandparents. So he did. And their response was just acceptance. Of his immaturity at the age of 19 and of his questionable fashion sense (really? A gold hoop? Why not a nice David Beckham diamond stud?). Because they knew it didn’t define him. My brother is not his earring.
I upped and moved an ocean away from my family; was desperately home-sick and consequently moved in with my boyfriend. Psst…we weren’t married (at the time 🙂 ). To make matters worse, my family is Catholic. So officially, we were Living In Sin. It was actually my grandparents who talked my parents down from the precipice they were about to throw themselves from (to defend my immortal soul, no doubt). They knew that this did not define who I was. I had a good head on my shoulders; such a good head, in fact, that I snapped up that wonderful boyfriend and married him.
ANOTHER Example Of Family PRIDE
Family Pride in my own family – Another brother was getting married. To a man. I recall having the most charming conversation with one of my grandmas in the bathroom of the the engagement party venue. The conversation between 2 stalls went like this:
Grandma- You know, in my day, two men would never have dreamed of getting married.
Me- Yes, haven’t times changed?
Grandma- I’m glad that those boys are getting married. If they love each other then it’s the right thing to do.
Acceptance. Very Buddhist for a couple of Catholics.
I honestly don’t know how family further back would have stood against equality and human rights issues. But I do know that my immediate grandparents were proudly open minded and accepting of all the little differences and nuances that make up life.
In memory of two amazing grandmas! Miss you both xx