Help! The gays are oppressing me!

9 04 2009

“There’s a storm gathering. The clouds are dark and the winds are strong and I am afraid. Some who advocate for same sex marriage have taken the issue far beyond same sex couples. They want to bring the issue into my life. My freedom will be taken away. I’m a California doctor who must choose between my faith and my job. I’m part of a New Jersey church group punished by the government because we can’t support same sex marriage. I’m a Massachusetts parent helpless watching public schools teach my son that gay marriage is okay. But some who advocate same sex marriage have not been content with same sex couples living as they wish. Those advocates want to change the way I live. I will have no choice. The storm is coming. But we have hope, a rainbow coalition of people of every creed and color are coming together in love to protect marriage. Paid for by National Organization for Marriage which is responsible for the content of this ad.”

This has been all over the internet by now, but this amazingly stupid ad campaign from a group calling themselves the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) was something I just had to comment on.

I swear, these people stopped just short of saying “HELP, THE GAYS SNATCHED MY PENIS!” Like, I’ve seen some bad anti-gay marriage ads in my time, but never have I seen a group of people so threatened by the sexuality of others! “Dark clouds”? Give me a break. And what’s this about “I’m a doctor who must choose between my faith and my job.” I’m sorry, but as I have said before, if you’re a doctor who refuses to do your job because it violates your so-called “moral” beliefs, you’re probably an asshole.

Also, it both distresses and amuses the fuck out of me when parents get their panties in a knot that somebody is out there teaching their children that it’s alright to be gay! The horror! Here’s something I’d like to say to all those parents. If your child is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or otherwise queer, they will be that whether you want them too or not, with or without being taught about LGBTQ people in schools. However, if your child is taught that being queer isn’t actually that terrible, it may be the difference between that child growing up to be happy and well-adjusted, and that child committing suicide before the age of 20. That being said, I’m convinced that a lot of fundamentalists only have very conditional love for their children.

Also, the “rainbow coalition” remark made me laugh. Oh no, the gays are even stealing rainbows from the straight people! Now all races and religions can unite in their distaste for people like me.

This is all accented by the fact that a group named NOM is all too easy to make fun of. As a commenter on Feministing said, “I just can’t see their name without thinking “NOM NOM NOM,” as in, their campaign has about as much intellectual rigor as a lolcat.”


I’m not normally moved to tears by YouTube videos, but…

15 11 2008


“Somewhere in Des Moines or San Antonio there is a young gay person who all the sudden realizes that he or she is gay; knows that if their parents find out they will be tossed out of the house, their classmates will taunt the child, and the Anita Bryant’s and John Briggs’ are doing their part on TV. And that child has several options: staying in the closet, and suicide. And then one day that child might open the paper that says “Homosexual elected in San Francisco” and there are two new options: the option is to go to California, or stay in San Antonio and fight. Two days after I was elected I got a phone call and the voice was quite young. It was from Altoona, Pennsylvania. And the person said “Thanks”. And you’ve got to elect gay people, so that thousand upon thousands like that child know that there is hope for a better world; there is hope for a better tomorrow. Without hope, not only gays, but those who are blacks, the Asians, the disabled, the seniors, the us’s: without hope the us’s give up. I know that you can’t live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you, and you, and you, and you have got to give them hope.”

-Harvey Milk, 1978

Remember to Join the Impact in your city today! I’ll be there, protesting in Toronto.

Happy Pride!

28 06 2008

Despite the (so far) crappy weather, I will be enjoying Toronto’s pride festivities all weekend. I’ll share my thoughts and such after it’s wrapped up on Sunday. Until then, I leave you with this creation, which I arranged for a party I had last night:

I have too much time on my hands.

Teenage Sex Panic, part eleventy-seven

26 06 2008

So I’m sure almost everyone has heard of the somewhat mythical “Teenage Pregnancy Pact” by now. In fact, I’m not even going to link any stories about it. In case you somehow don’t know about it – Google is your friend.

Anyways, the media (and followers of it), are having a classic moral panic. If there was indeed some “pregnancy pact” (and as more is revealed, it’s sounding like more and more like somewhat of an urban legend – see Rainbow Parties), that’s messed up. There. I said it. But what would make it messed up is not that teens were having sex – it’s that they were missing enough love and validation in their lives to seemingly “need” the unconditional love that having a baby would bring. That, and they don’t seem terribly intelligent or mature.

By the way… IT’S. NOT. ABOUT. JUNO. Or Jamie Lynn Spears. Give me a break.

Why is everyone so afraid to be even the slightest bit positive about teenage sexuality? Let’s get this straight: unprotected sex is bad. Sex before you’re ready, or for reasons other than simply wanting to have sex (i.e. societal pressure or pressure from your partner), is probably also not the greatest idea. But, as said before, teenagers are sexual beings. And, no, admitting that does not mean that you want to have sex with teenagers. Teens will have sex, regardless of what scare tactics you use to dissuade them, and, as Seinfeld would say, not that there’s anything wrong with that. So, good sex education and readily available sex education is in everyone’s best interest.

Back to the moral panic. Am I the only one who’s realized how sexist it is? It always surrounds the fact that the pristine innocence of young girls is being tarnished. Girls are losing their virginity* in high school! Girls are dressing slutty! Girls are giving blowjobs! And, yes, while some girls do said things because they have low self-esteem, are trying to impress their friends or their partners, a lot aren’t. For example, some girls (some, not all) enjoy giving oral sex, or at least, don’t mind it. And, apparently, the boys reciprocate more than you might think, according to what I’ve read.

Oh yeah, a quick note to the media: IT’S NOT ALWAYS WITH A BOY! Us crazy queers do have sex too, and for the queer girls, it’s not just with boys, because we’re miserable and closeted. Some of us have sex with women! And you can date, or sleep with boys, and still be queer. Bisexuality, pansexuality, and general non-descript queerness do exist, and it’s not just because it’s “trendy” either. Transpeople exist too – of course, not a lot of people consider that, outside of concern of the “Oh my god, you’re so unusual!” variety.

Wow. Am I getting off-track here, or what?

Anyways my point is: before you freak out about it, teenage sexuality isn’t as big a problem as you make it out to be.

*I hate the concept of “virginity”. But that is another rant for another time.

Oh crap! Now I have to come out all over again!

8 06 2008

I have a confession to make.

I, Miss Nomered, who, about a year and a half ago, was all “Hey everyone! I’m a lesbian!”, am now dating a boy.

Actually, in the past year or so, I’ve been pretty reluctant to label my sexuality. I’m definitely very attracted to women, much more so than men. But I’m attracted to men (or people outside the gender binary, for that matter), every once in a while. But all the guys I’m attracted to are either trans, or really femme queer guys. (My boy is one of the two, but I’m not sure I’m supposed to announce which one.) I have zero attraction to straight, non-trans men.

Does this mean I’m bisexual? I don’t really feel bisexual; as said before, I’m way more attracted to women, and I have no attraction to straight, cisgender guys. Plus, the term “bisexual” seems to enforce that there are only two genders – when a lot of the people I’m attracted to are kind of outside the binary. Am I pansexual? No, not really. I’m not equally attracted to all genders – I really only am attracted to males once in a blue moon. And am I a lesbian? Well, up until a while ago, I thought so. I really love women, but that term doesn’t really fit if you’re dating a guy. And the whole “political lesbian” schtick, quite frankly, annoys the piss out of me. Mostly because it’s adopted by (actually straight) hippy-dippy granola womyn types. (Nothing wrong with being a hippy, or liking granola, it’s just that the Michfest crew et al have done a lot to piss me off lately). So none of the accepted labels fit.

Why am I going on about my personal life, in a blog where I never talk about my own life? Because the personal is political, that’s why.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you probably know that I identify as queer. It fits the best, it leaves something to the imagination, and being a “reclaimed” term, it catches people’s attention.

Some people, especially older, more conservative LGBT folk (and I use the shortened acronym, since they really don’t want to leave room for anything else), have a problem with me identifying as queer. And I understand it. I really do. Yes, I’m aware that it was used as a slur, and that it may make you uncomfortable. But you know what makes me uncomfortable? Being forced into a box that doesn’t fit, just so some feelings don’t get hurt. I don’t like being alternately referred to as “bisexual” and a “lesbian”. Nothing wrong with identifying as those – I just don’t. And I don’t like seeing my allies and friends told “You’re neither L, G, B or T, so get the fuck out.” Who are they even kidding by adding the “B” and “T” onto the acronym? I don’t see much concern for the B’s and T’s. Or anyone who’s main interest isn’t getting married. Same-sex marriage is a hugely important civil right, but is it really going to help a 15-year-old trans kid who’s living on the street and taking black market hormones without doctor supervision? The queer/trans community is not a monolith, and I’m sick of having to follow the party line to make people happy.

And for anyone who questions the legitimacy of me dating a guy? (It’s a new development; I don’t know if you can call it a relationship at this point.) Well, I am very, very happy – and still as queer as ever.

Even if I do have to come out all over again.

Sing if You’re Glad to be Gay (or Trans)

29 05 2008

“It’s not a choice!”

How many times have we heard this?

And it bothers me. A mandatory disclaimer: no, I do not think sexual orientation is a choice. But really, does it matter?

The thing that bothers me about the choice versus biology thing is that it assumes if it was, indeed a choice, we’d have a moral imperative to choose straight. Unlike members of the religious right, I see absolutely nothing wrong with same-gender love, desire, and sex. Absolutely nothing at all. So why must I constantly defend myself? I don’t like turning myself into a victim of my natural and healthy desires. Nor do I like kissing ass to the religious right. Because, I feel, that a lot of times when people so adamantly say, “It’s not a choice!”, it’s almost like they’re saying that being queer or trans is a terrible way to be.

Let’s be honest. It’s not easy a lot of the time. The world, unfortunately, contains a lot of homophobes and transphobes, who have a stick up their ass so big that they feel the need to hate people for the kind of sex they have, or the fact that their genitals don’t match their gender presentation. When you think about it, it’s kind of pathetic. Pathetic enough for me not to want to lend any credence to it by pandering to that kind of fucked up ideology. And queer/trans people do face a lot of obstacles, almost all of them caused by prejudice rather that being queer or trans in of itself.

If I had a choice, honestly, I’d choose queer. There are a lot of really great things about being part of the queer/trans community.

The big part of it is the community. The culture. We have our own books and magazines and TV shows, our own hang-outs and our own way of living. I have a lot of queer/trans friends (and lovely straight allies!) who are like family to me. The queer community is so vibrant and amazing that I can’t imagine ever wanting to give it up.

Then there are other things. A queer activist friend of mine once joked with me that the reason the religious right is so obsessed with the way queers have sex is because they’re jealous. I’m pretty sure queers have, on average, better sex lives than straight people. I think we have fewer hang-ups about sex, since traditional straight-up straight sex isn’t usually an option (unless you’re bi/pansexual/whatever – in which case, you probably still have same-gender sexual relations from time to time). Plus, we know how to get creative, if you know what I mean.

There are a million other awesome things about being queer. I can’t list them all at the moment, but I think being queer can be a great experience. That’s why I refuse to make myself a victim. That’s why I refuse to yell, “It’s not a choice!”. Because I like being this way. And yes, I’m glad to be gay.

(S. Bear Bergman had a great speech on this topic. I know the title is similar – it comes from a song, and it wasn’t an effort to rip off Bear’s speech. Go read it. It’s awesome)

Day of Silence Wrap-Up

26 04 2008

It was amazing.

We had an estimated 50-60 participating, although it was hard to gauge, because, it being a Friday afternoon, the turnout for Breaking the Silence wasn’t huge.

It was extremely powerful. At one point in the day, I thought “Damn! I am one of thousands and thousands doing this. And if I hadn’t organized this, there would be about 50 less people.” The responses were almost all positive – my law teacher was taunting me a bit as expected, but I had quite a few positive responses as well. And I saw quite a few teachers wearing their black ribbons. However, apparently some people called one of my friends a “fag”, which was really disheartening. Homophobia and transphobia are alive and well at my school, which is why I think we need to do the Day of Silence.

Did I mention that fate seemed to work perfectly in my favour? You see, kids, I had what can be assumed to be a meeting with some bad scallops the night before. Or something. I wasn’t horribly violently ill or anything, but my first thought was “Dear god, please do not let me have the stomach flu.” And I didn’t – so I guess it was some very mild food poisoning. Or something. I was mostly fine the next day, except for not being able to eat much, and my stomach feeling slightly unsettled.

And today, we have a surprise transit strike. I just found that out about five minutes ago. That’s what happens when you live on the internet and update your blog every day and don’t watch TV. Anyways, I got really lucky. Because if it had happened the day before, we’d have been screwed – almost nobody would be at school.

That hateful asshole Fred Phelps says that “God Hates Fags”. Well, obviously, if there is a god, he/she/they LOVE the Day of Silence.

All kidding aside, one girl, who’s straight, wrote this brilliant facebook note about her experiences doing the Day of Silence. I wish I could link to it – it really is amazing. Anyways, I think she hit the nail on the head when she said that being silent all day taught her how hard it is to be silent.

So I say we stand up and fight, until none of us are silenced.

A few pictures (there would have been more, except I couldn’t track everyone down to ask permission to put them on here):

Some of my friends:

Me, with a friend: (I’m on the right, in case everyone was wondering what I look like)

The folks who turned out for “Breaking the Silence”:

It was an amazing day.

I will be back to my normal ranting tomorrow. No worries.

Update: My friend Sinead wrote a great blog post about participating in the Day of Silence. Check it out here.