It’s become apparent to me in recent years that the addition of letters with which our LGBTQQISSA+ community chooses to identify our multi-fractioned selves is nearly limitless. And that’s just fine, except for the sad but true fact that very, very few people know what all those letters stand for, which again renders us invisible.
That being said, perhaps it’s time to add another set of initials to identify some of us.
“Which letters would those be?” you ask. Perhaps BMF, for “bad m*tha f*ckers”? I like that, but no. Maybe COTUSAWFDID (citizens of the United States of America who fear democracy is dead)? Descriptive, but that describes most of our country these days, whether straight, gay or otherwise identified.
The letters I propose to be added to the panoply of our descriptor initials are COD. Crazy other demographic? Close. Cute offensive doll face? Love it, but again, not specific enough to our queer community.
For me, and an increasing number of my friends, the letters COD would represent those of us who identify as a Cranky Old Dyke.
Before your panties, boxers, and briefs get wadded up and the words “Ageist!” “Sexist!” and “How dare you?” start forming on your lips, hear me out. I don’t consider the state of being old or a dyke as the least bit offensive or insulting. Old is a relative term. I know some people who are in their eighties who aren’t as old as other people who are in their forties.
And dyke? Well, that term has been long embraced as a term of power for many of us lesbians, regardless of age. Those of us who are dykes use the term among ourselves with love and respect — and exclusivity. Which is to say, if you’re not a dyke, you best not call me one.
I don’t have a cane or a porch, or a lawn, and it’s a good thing I don’t. It’s safe to say that if I did, you could find me shaking and standing on the first two formers while shouting at kids to get off my latter on a semi-regular basis.
Firmly ensconced in my mid-sixties, (and how the ever-loving f*ck did that happen so quickly?), it’s undeniable that my patience with minor affronts to my oh-so-delicate sensibilities is waning. Waning, big time.
Predictably, I hate loud music coming through the walls from my 20-year-old neighbor. Sometimes I even mutter to myself, “You call that music? You can’t even understand the lyrics! And the lyrics I can understand are filthy! That’s not music — that’s just noise! Hmmph!”
Those mutterances are generally immediately followed by the question, “And why is my mother’s voice coming out of my head?”
There are other bits of evidence, especially as related to television and the media in general. Increasingly more often I find myself saying things like, “All the best television shows are the ones that were filmed in black-and-white.”
And what’s up with all these catheters, adult diaper delivery, and dick-hardener commercials? I’ve spent my whole life not giving two hoots about erectile or bladder dysfunction, and I’m not about to start now.
Yet, “Pull over at the next exit, Honey. I need to pee!” has become my travel mantra.
And I watch The Weather Channel like it’s a sacrament. And God helps them if they skip my Local on the 8’s in deference to a program about a tornado that hit Alabama 15 years ago.
And dang it to hell, if I’m interested enough to read a story online from the New York Times or Washington Post, don’t tease me with a few paragraphs, then do an onscreen fade-away because I’ve already read my limit of free articles for the month. When my screen fades like that, it makes me think I’m stroking out.
And just a couple of weeks ago, I swear I heard my long-deceased mother say, “Look at that! Disgraceful! This is the Super Bowl, not some porn show! Kids are watching!”
The evidence doesn’t lie. I’m a Cranky Old Dyke. Might as well embrace it, register the trademark, print some T-shirts, and make some money off Etsy. I’m feeling less cranky already.