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The following Featured Post comes from TV Series Group 4, Thread 9.

84. edgewalkers...
Wed, Sep 29, 1999 - 8:59 PM/EST

uhope asked if anyone saw themselves as edgewalkers, my hand is up. since i was a kid, i've always connected with people on the fringe, and for many gay friends in school- i was the person they came out to. no matter where i am, i'm different and it's made me more resiliant.

maybe people feel excited having a connection to something. being an adoptee,i didn't know what my backgound was. i knew i was bi-racial, and later found out i was part ukranian, irish and dutch. i know it sounds silly, but whenever i meet someone of any of those groups, i want to say "me too!" like i said, silly. but i didn't have a connection before five years ago. maybe SOME people feel that.
what do you guys think?

85. Domdotcom
Thu, Sep 30, 1999 - 12:12 PM/EST

I know what you mean about the desire to feel "connected". I'm not adopted, but many factors played into our family not having a real relationship with my parents' families. I couldn't identify a cousin, aunt or uncle out of any line-up. I do know all of my ethnic backgrounds (Chickasaw, not Cherokee!), but since my mom's family came over on the Mayflower, there's no "Old Country" connection there, and it's the usual situation with my father's slave ancestry. And we live over 1,000 miles from any known relatives. No casual drop-ins here. We're just plain American; no hyphens available.

I've always been envious of "ethnic" movies depicting close-knit Italian, Irish, Hispanic families - even "Soul Food", wishing for something like that for myself. Watching "The Joy Luck Club" the other day even set it off. We have no family "tradition", which is kinda sad. So I try to expose myself and my son to as much cultural influence as possible, emphasizing the bits that are part of our heritage. "Riverdance", Celtic music, "Dance Africa", jazz & blues, Debussy & French perfume ;-) "Monty Python" & "Austin Powers" (mom's predominately of English extraction). Foods. Discovery Channel documentaries about the countries our people came from. It's all great and we assess which parts move us the most. Actually, I really dig Latin music & dancing, though that doesn't represent any part of my heritage. But it's good to be well-rounded, I think.

86. uhope
Thu, Sep 30, 1999 - 11:34 PM/EST

thanks for the response. i think that lack of connection is one of the main that seperates people more than color. i find that people who come from a background rich with tradition and culture, can get along easier with others that share that background. they don't always get along, but if you're hanging out and there are people from different ethnic groups and music is playing, watch the group. most people who come from backgrounds where they celebrate openly, think nothing of enjoying the music. look at men of various ethnic groups when they see each other, they usually hug. some guys are so homophobic, not only will they not hug, they can't sit together in a movie theater! ha! and think of the weddings you've attended and had the most fun. it didn't matter what color anyone was, it mattered that they could be open and share in the tradition.
i'm sure introducing your son to so many things is good for him to feel more connected.

87. Domdotcom
Fri, Oct 1, 1999 - 1:40 PM/EST

Yeah - it's ALL about culture. Background and culture determine even your friends, let alone your mates! And who you share (and DON'T share) those things with are often very different from who you might think. A person's race may not have anything to do with it. That's why it's so important to be open-minded with our associates. Frankly, I've had more fun at "white" weddings than "black". Probably since I can't dance, there's more of a tolerance for goofy spazziness at "white" weddings ;-). I can't handle the pressure! But I had a BALL at the Hispanic weddings I've gone to.

88. culturally estranged
Fri, Oct 1, 1999 - 5:48 PM/EST

here's another one, i know two of my grandparents immigrated, at least one other grandparent was the child of immigrant's - all Irish. so what's happens when I move to SF, a town with a very large Irish population? nothing! I don't hang with Irish folks- I quess I could but I always seem to find myself living and working around wierd artists, and and in black neihborhoods. I don't really try to understand it, it may have to do with being the second generation. the first always works so hard to assimilate that their kids are left trying to figure out just what the ancestor's culture was. I do teach my kid her 'Irishness' and the culture as I've been given it. It's been a long time since I felt comfortable in the mainstream, so I guess I too 'hang with the fringe'.

95. finding your cultural way
Mon, Oct 4, 1999 - 10:06 PM/EST

i will be the last person to think i know all of the answers to people finding comfort. i agree that if you are exposed to different things as a kid, you adjust easier as an adult.
as i learn more about me, i also find that i need to give myself a break. there's always going to be someone who won't get me because i can't be pegged in any racial stereotype. there will be people who try to tell me how i should look and all. but i have to know that i am who i am and that's the only thing i can give. a few years ago i was in seattle and went to snoqualmie falls (please forgive me, i know i've butchered it.) i had a spiritual epiphany while watching the falls. i know that god made the falls and i can see how beautiful it is. and since i know that god made me, why can't i see the same beauty in myself and others? and that's when i began to accept myself. i think that we multi-cultural people have to make our own way, our own culture, whatever it is. maybe we have to learn about all of the things that made us, even if they come from the old south or italy. we need to start believing that it does matter who we are-not what we look like, or how anyone else will see us. i get a little hot whenever someone tries to tell me what i am, and i still have to work on that one, but i'll get there.
so, uhope will find comfort someday at black weddings and patkelly will find a way to teach her daughter about being irish. but we can't put that pressure on ourselves as we find the way to do it.

97. domdotcom
Tue, Oct 5, 1999 - /EST

I was very touched by what you wrote. I think you are so right.

98. Domdotcom
Tue, Oct 5, 1999 - 11:45 AM/EST

What a beautiful comment! Being comfortable with ourselves is a continuing saga throughout life; regardless of who or what we are. The progress comes when one recognizes progress needs to be made. Keep up the good work - I hope I can!

As for comfort at black weddings - if I can EVER keep up with the multitudinous variations of the Electric Slide and learn how to Step, I'll be home free! ;-)

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