Archive for the ‘that's gay!’ Category
Tomorrow’s the Gay Pride Parade in my nearest city and I’m so excited I’m worried I won’t sleep tonight.
The first time I went to Pride, it was more than a little magic. Even though I’d been out a year, being in a small city and seeing families — moms, dads and children — and well-wishers watching the parade was a revelation to me. It was like a veil was lifted and I could see a time when being queer would be ok.
Sadly, that time has still not arrived, but we’ve come a long way.
Six years after I saw that pride parade, I returned to that city and married my beloved. Our marriage was (and remains) legally recognised and the ceremony was performed in a church. Things have come a very long way, at least in some places.
Still, Pride is necessary. We LGBTQ need safe places like gay bars and community centres where we can just be ourselves. More than that, we need that one day a year where we can pretty much take over our cities and make them ours. We can walk hand-in-hand and not stand out. We can be a part of a sea of people who are all somewhat like us.
Yes, there’s nudity and blatant sexuality. If we’re lucky there’s even quite a lot of hooking up and casual sex.
It’s the rare day that being “other” is celebrated. Let’s enjoy it. It’s our magical glimpse into a future only we can dream into reality.
Happy Pride Everyone!
Sexuality and love can be different things. I can be attracted to a woman sexually, but it doesn’t mean I want to be in love with a woman. If I’m going to be with a woman sexually, it doesn’t mean I’m a lesbian.
Cameron Diaz in Playboy
A while back, OttoKitty talked about coming out as bisexual and noted that,
To be perfectly, brutally honest – I might have a lot of fun with a straight man for a few weeks. But odds are he’s going to be too steeped in gender crap to put up with for longer than that.
In her case, bisexual men or enlightened straight men are still an option, and she mentions her less promising crushes on gay men too.
But does desire alone dictate our sexual identity? Is it enough that I have been attracted to both men and women to say that I am bisexual? Or must there be the possibility of love with the object of my desire for it to count?
Obviously we use the terms “homosexual”, “bisexual” and “sexual orientation”. Sexual desire does seem to get the emphasis in our terminology, but is it the sex that matters, or the feelings?
Normally I dispense with colours in the images used on Big Gay Closet. It’s a conscious decision, in order to keep the attention on the wonderful stories that you all have been so good to share with us.
Today, we have colour and lots of it.
A Facebook friend recently posted these images to her profile. I told her I had to share them and she graciously gave me permission. Thank you Jennifer.
I thought some of you guys might find this interesting:
If any of you guys are entering, let me know!
In honor of INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA and PRIDE MONTH (June), The I Want the World to Know Initiative is holding the FIRST Funniest Coming Out Story Video Contest! The winner will be decided by a viewer poll and will receive a digital camera! Winner will be chosen on June 11! Good luck!
Directions on how to submit your video:
-Video no longer than 10 minutes
-Video files must be .mov/compatible with Quicktime Player
-Send video file to email@example.com via YouSendIt or MegaUpload
-MUST sign and send the IWTWTK Release Form to firstname.lastname@example.org
When did you first realize you were gay/bi/trans/queer?
When did you come out to your family/friends and what were their reactions?
How do you define your sexuality, if you choose to?
What advice do you have for people who are thinking about or in the process of coming out?
What do you love about being gay/bi/trans/queer?
I’m relatively lucky to live where I live. I may not be able to marry my partner, but we have our freedom to be who we are. We can safely march in a Pride parade. Hell, I once made out on the train during morning rush hour. Ireland may not be the most forward-thinking country in the world when it comes to all things queer, but it’s not a place where we have very many safety issues either.
So today it’s worth sparing a thought for those in countries where things aren’t quite so peaceful.
Take for instance Uganda. On other blogs, I’ve written a lot about Uganda and their proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Kaj Hasselriis took that a big step further and visited Uganda to report on the community and how they coped. It was a very powerful series of stories he published from that trip. The big thing to remember however, is even if the Anti-Homosexuality Bill falls away (as many are now predicting), Uganda’s queer community are still considered criminals and have zero expectation of personal safety. Spare a thought for Ugandan queers.
In Minsk, brave activists managed a rally before 8 people were violently arrested by the Belarusian police.
Think back to 2007, when Russian police stopped harassing Pride marchers long enough for about 200 neo Nazis to jump in and beat up the queers for them. Britain’s Peter Tatchell was in the parade that year, and has told the story:
‘The whole area was swamped with riot police and then suddenly, as if on some signal, they dispersed to allow around 200 Neo Nazis to storm in and attack the marchers at random,’ he recalls.
In the ensuing melee, Tatchell was dragged to the ground. ‘I was kicked and punched in the head and body by half-a-dozen thugs while the police stood and watched. My vision was blurred. I was worried I might lose the sight in one eye. Then when the police thought I’d had enough of a thrashing, they moved in to arrest me and allowed the heavies to walk away. It was as if the whole attack had been orchestrated.
‘One policeman demanded to know if I was gay. I hesitated before saying yes. Then he started thwacking his truncheon in the palm of his hand and said: “Just wait until I get you back to the station.”
‘For two-and-a-half hours I sat in the police van with a group of ugly looking Neo Nazis. Clearly, the intention was to scare me witless.’
However, thanks to the intervention of an English- speaking protester, who alerted the police to Tatchell’s identity – and the probability that his wrongful arrest would have repercussions internationally – he was taken to hospital, then freed.
‘When I came back home, the symptoms in my right eye worsened,’ he recalls. ‘My co-ordination, balance and concentration deteriorated. But I carried on campaigning. That was my coping mechanism.’
There is a much longer list of bad and scary things that happen around the world to people who simply defy gender norms or fall in love with a person of the same sex.
However, homophobia isn’t just beatings and neo Nazis. Homophobia can be in us homos too. When we believe that a member of our community is less able to perform the same job as a straight person, we are homophobes. When we believe that thinking someone is one of us can be called a “smear” or accusation, we’re homophobes too.
The battle against homophobia is two-fold. We must fight homophobia externally and internally. We must call out ourselves (and our community) when we start to limit our fellow queers because of who they are. We must also call out the wider, international community to treat gay rights issues the same as they treat religion discrimination and sex discrimination.
Happy International Day Against Homophobia. If it’s safe for you to make out on a train somewhere, take advantage of it.
This is part of Harvey Milk‘s famous Hope Speech — the one that starts with “My name is Harvey Milk and I’m here to recruit you.”
Today, these two paragraphs stuck out for me, and I thought I’d share. I hope you find them as grounding as I do.
Harvey says it’s all about “coming out”. Our anger, our frustration, our loneliness and ultimately the hope we can have in our leaders — those that come from our community — it’s all ours, and while having friends in high places is great, being in high places is better.
Like every other group, we must be judged by our leaders and by those who are themselves gay, those who are visible. For invisible, we remain in limbo–a myth, a person with no parents, no brothers, no sisters, no friends who are straight, no important positions in employment. A tenth of the nation supposedly composed of stereotypes and would-be seducers of children–and no offense meant to the stereotypes. But today, the black community is not judged by its friends, but by its black legislators and leaders. And we must give people the chance to judge us by our leaders and legislators. A gay person in office can set a tone, can command respect not only from the larger community, but from the young people in our own community who need both examples and hope.
The first gay people we elect must be strong. They must not be content to sit in the back of the bus. They must not be content to accept pablum. They must be above wheeling and dealing. They must be–for the good of all of us–independent, unbought. The anger and the frustrations that some of us feel is because we are misunderstood, and friends can’t feel the anger and frustration. They can sense it in us, but they can’t feel it. Because a friend has never gone through what is known as coming out. I will never forget what it was like coming out and having nobody to look up toward. I remember the lack of hope–and our friends can’t fulfill it.
Does one have to be transsexual in order to need to have sex reassignment? I know that sounds like one really loaded question, and it probably is. The problem is that I have never considered myself transsexual. In fact, I loathe thinking of myself in that way. Many of my friends and family insist that they’re all but positive that I am, somehow, intersexed at some level but I cannot afford to find out just yet and the doctors do not always too a good job of listening to those suggestions.
Growing up, I had no male identity, and was never pushed to form one. It was as if everything around me was inverted. I was a girl being treated as a boy. I wore boys clothing, but never dropped any of the female body language. It was as if I was living in a mirror. Somehow, I was Alice and I had jumped through the Looking Glass.
That is where I am. I do not know what to do. All I want at this point is to stop having use the labels transsexual and transwoman and just consider myself a woman from this point on.
Thought this was an interesting discussion on identity and labels. She brings up a really important question — who gets to define us?
From the “too cute to not share” files:
My seven-year-old daughter and her friend were listening to the soundtrack to SPAM-A-LOT in the car one day, and we got to the song about everybody getting married. The friend asked, “So who does Prince Herbert marry?”
“Lancelot,” my daughter answered.
“No, Prince Herbert.”
“They’re just gay,” my daughter said. “It’s no big deal.”
If a seven-year-old daughter of straight parents can get it, why can’t everybody?
In response to this post (a quote from ‘s “Tranny Chasers”) I had a tweet asking me was I not sick of all the bitching and infighting over labels?
My answer? Yes. Bitching and infighting get old very quickly.
I am, however, not finished with discussion. Identity is important. Discussion of identity, I think, keeps us from becoming too complacent, and possibly forgetting the whole point. I don’t want to use labels to target or exclude, but to understand (and most importantly, tags are a really easy way to get around the blog).
Personally, my identity continues to evolve. I identify most comfortably as queer, but more commonly as lesbian, since the word queer can still be upsetting to people (and my identity shouldn’t upset those people, although I have no problem with it upsetting some). I use the word “gay” a lot too, as a catch-all, because it’s small and portable and you all know what I mean.
I don’t know where it comes from, but my old professor used to say the point of preaching was to “comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” While I no longer have any intentions to stand behind a pulpit, that mission statement sits really easily with me.
So labels… yea or nay?
(I contemplated a poll, but I’d rather a discussion)
Jewish kids have Mitzvahs, both Bar and Bat. Mexican heritage offers the Quinceañera. Americans do the Sweet Sixteen thing. When I came out as a lesbian, the reception I got was like none of those things. So I’d like the LGBT community to come up with something more like a celebration for coming out. Something like the Independence Day thing, or that New Year’s Eve thing. Or maybe just make it a rite of passage, where the honoree is…well, honored. Instead, what we get in coming out is usually a bullshit conversation.
The basic conversations (in my lesbian experience) are:
- Tolerance: “Oh, you’re gay…well, you’re still our daughter, so I guess we’ll learn to live with it.”
- I Knew It All Along: “It’s about time, we were just waiting for you to figure it out.”
- The God Talk: “Oh hell no, neither your mother nor I (nor God!) authorized this behavior, young lady! You’re on a slippery slope…”
- Hey Everyone, Did You Hear ____’s Gay: “We know you’re gay, so we’re not gonna wait for you to tell people, we’re gonna out you in the most public and humiliating was as possible.”
- Shock (AKA WTF?!): “OMG! WTF?! No way! But you’re so pretty…”
- Denial: “You’re not gay, you just haven’t found the right guy yet.”
And there are probably 100 more not-celebration conversations around our initial coming out, but I don’t have time for that here. What I do have time for is how it should be done. Now, I can’t speak for you, but I can speak for me. Finally.
There would be friends. There would be family. There would be relatives. There would be co-workers. There would be strangers. There would be a band and some champagne. Imagine New Year’s Eve. Where you celebrate the end of the year past and look forward to the new year to come. There would be laughter. There would be fun. There would be a section over in the corner for toys. Hey, it’s not that every girl who likes girls needs toys. But it would be nice to start out knowing that A) they’re there, and B) there’s nothing wrong with using them should both parties agree to have fun.
There would be a little ceremony about the right to speak and act as a human with human emotions, human love, and human compassion for those who don’t understand us.
There would be a commitment ceremony to honor pride in oneself, one’s heritage, and one’s future.
There would be a Big Gay Closet for one to come out of, complete with cargo shorts, AE Outfitters gear, Chapstick, an array of flip-flops and Doc Martens, and a plethora of hats and visors on the shelf.
And by God (or Buddha or Allah or Ellen), there would be celebration. A celebration of oneself, and of all the possibilities in one’s future. A celebration of hope. A celebration of Pride. A celebration of our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community. A celebration of life, in all its expressions.
Where I come from, (umm…the same place you came from) coming out should be a celebration. And I think it’s high time we start treating it as such. Are you in?
Dian Reid is a Certified Professional Life Coach in Long Beach, CA. She works with the LGBT community in coming out and being authentic in your every day life. When she’s not coaching fabulous people, she’s walking her dog in cargo shorts, Chapstick and blue baggie in tow.