Inside the ROGD Home
the Zen koan of fake family harmony
This is a repost from the Redford Greene substack…
In my current life, at home with both my daughter and my husband, in order to live without daily conflict and turmoil, I censor myself. I never speak my daughter’s name or pronouns—biological, chosen or otherwise. When I need to say something, I must go to her. I don’t shout across the house to her. I don’t talk about her in front of her, as we tend to do in family homes. And I certainly do not bring up gender ideology, queer theory or any of the horrific harms done to gays, lesbians, women and children in the name of Trans that I read about daily.
With my husband, who agrees that our daughter is not a gay man, things are slightly different. I can talk about my fears regarding Carly* but if I go on for too long, he grows brittle and distant. He doesn’t want to travel to the dark places, and he is sure she’ll grow out of it. If I tell him about an article I read, if it comes from someone on the right side of the aisle, he’s not interested. He abhors “right wing talking points” like CRT and groomer, and dismisses them out of hand. So Marcus* agrees with my general take, but not with my “influencers” or my obsession, and he doesn’t share my level of panic.
So now the question is, how do I live in my house with my daughter, whose desires diametrically oppose my own? And how do I coexist with my husband who thinks I’m spewing right wing bullshit?
How do we get along without censoring ourselves?
The answer is, we don’t. If we don’t self-censor, we fight. We’re all shutting parts of ourselves away in order to cohabitate in strained harmony. Marcus isn’t gabbing on and on about the podcasts he listens to. And Carly, for the most part, lays pretty low.
Which begs the next question—
How do we not resent the shit out of each other?
Maybe by taking the position that we’re doing it for something bigger than ourselves—for the family. Call it a code of conduct. Live by the code.
But for what? If it’s not true harmony, then what is it? A mirage? An imitation? A facsimile? And isn’t our daughter attempting to be a facsimile? And now we’re doing it too?
What in the ever-loving fuck?