Mom pointed me toward yesterday’s interview on NPR’s Fresh Air with Bishop Robinson, who was ordained four years ago this spring. Listening to him talk about Christianity and the contention over sexual orientation and identity always makes me want to cry because he’s just so articulate.
The whole interview was interesting, but I was particularly struck by his story about a recent media kerfluffle over a joking remark he made about the civil union he and his long-time partner are planning for this summer in New Hampshire. He told someone he had “always wanted to be a June bride.” Apparently, this got out on the internet and people were quite wound up about it. Anyway, Terry Gross asked him about it, and his response was really striking in its feminist perspective:
I think part of why that [comment] raced around the world in no time flat due to the magic of the internet has to do with misogyny and its connection to homophobia. I think the thing that really irritates the world about refering to myself as a “bride” is that I’m supposed to be privileged because I’m male, not female, and to refer to myself with a feminine word like bride offends the patriarchal system that I think is beginning to come apart–and gay and lesbian people, I believe, are helping to begin the deconstruction of patriarchy [begins at 26:10].
He also had some trenchant thoughts on the way he negotiates living in Christian community with people who are not accepting of homosexuality and other sexual orientations and identities without either walking away from them or compromising himself or the lives of other marginalized people.