Being part of a "culture." It's such an odd phrase for me to hear. I guess it's because being a part of a cultural community, as it were, is such a complicated idea. After all, I am a young, (mostly) Caucasian, middle class, bisexual female. So, what's my culture? Is it only young, Caucasian, upper middle class, bisexual females? Or is it any combination of the above? Where do we fit in anyway?

Culture can do many things. It can bring together as easily as it can divide people. It can create disapproval just as easily as it can create tolerance. Is culture the line or a way to transcend the line?

I don't know. I honestly hope that cultural "boundaries" are imaginary, that we all coexist much more easily than we seem to. Unfortunately, I think that's probably a childish, naive hope. My most glaring example is being a bisexual in a predominantly monosexual, especially heterosexual world.

My mother made a defining comment to me the other day. I was talking about a male friend who is bisexual and she kind of shuddered, saying "Well, you certainly wouldn't want to date that." When pushed for an explanation, she simply said, "Well, imagine all the diseases he could be carrying."

The thing that struck me about this conversation was more than just the ignorantly bigoted things that she said, but also that she referred to it in such a matter-of-fact manner. It was no big deal to be saying the things that she was saying, after all, as far as she's concerned, everyone thinks these things.

In this day and age, it is no longer acceptable in most social circles to be intolerant of those of different races, genders, age groups, cultures, and abilities, but we have somehow hung onto the right to fear and stigmitize those with different sexual orientations.

I guess that's where I (naturally, as it is *my* situation) most clearly see cultural lines separating, not just defining people. I think that line can be blurred, just as many other lines of intolerance have been in the past, but I'm still waiting for it to happen.

Until then, I suppose all of "us" will try to befriend all of "you," even with a canyon of misunderstanding in our way.

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