Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

What tattooing’s taught me.

December 17th, 2008 by

Growing up in the South, I haven’t had what one could call the most tolerant of upbringings.  My tattoos had managed to get quite the unsolicited response from some of my older relatives at family get-togethers and my parents’ own concerns were voiced in quiet conversations they thought I couldn’t hear.  Joining the Marines seemed to quell some of their collective fears since they knew drug testing was mandatory and at least I would have a job.  Some of my more vocal detractors were silenced when they found out that the threat of impending violence from yours truly had been backed by some good ole’ military training.

I held the moniker of black sheep for some five or six years in this pedestrian Southern Baptist family until that fateful day my younger cousin brought a black girl (we’re white, try to keep up) home to meet his mom and dad.  God I love that kid.  A little while later they were married with a baby on the way and suddenly my tattoos didn’t seem so bad.  Then it hit.  The bombshell that shook my family’s foundations to its core, the aftermath of the announcement that to this very day threatens to sever blood ties.  One of the cousins came out.  It was a shockwave of gay that had people talking and taking sides on the morality of a family member’s sexual orientation.  Some folks stopped talking to her because they didn’t condone ‘lesbianism’, whatever the fuck that is.  What’s worse is that it ended a twenty-some-odd year friendship because someone thought they had to pick god over a loved one.

Meanwhile, I’m sitting in the catbird seat ’cause all I did was get a few fucking tattoos!

My interracial cousins are fine because ‘I guess it’s not so bad to like pretty girls as long as you like girls, he could have been like (insert gay cousin’s name)’

All because my lesbian cousin didn’t want to have to hide who she was anymore.  (did
I mention she didn’t come out until she was like thirty-five?  Must’ve been like a living hell  all those years…)

Tattooing’s taught me the difference between being different and being different.  I get to pick my tattoos and even whether or not to get them, but you don’t always get to pick who you’ll fall in love with and that must be horrible for those people who fall in love with someone they aren’t supposed to.

Now let’s play ‘who’s the bigot!’

Love ya, mean it,


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