Category Archives: all gays think alike

“The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks”

“The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks”

It’s a gorgeous sentiment, from a beautiful and talented actress.

It almost feels like the tide might be turning, like those ridiculous hate-filled arguments against gay marriage are finally being exposed for the small-minded poppycock that they are.

I count my blessings, not often enough, that here in the UK Civil Partnerships became a fact of life with little more than a few placards at Parliament and some snippy opinion columns from the same people who hate anyone who isn’t straight, white and morbidly dull just like them.

We managed that, and the hippy-dippy state of California was thwarted by the rich, white old people in Orange County (and their ilk) and uh, the Mormons.

But it’s going to be okay, because you’ve got Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine already on board. As Mark Morford notes in this article, the tide of ‘what’s the big deal?’ is getting bigger and will eventually sweep aside the bigotry and disgusting intolerance of the past.

If, as Patricia says, this truly is the age of Obama, it would be nice to see his administration spending less time defending DOMA and more time actually implementing that change we’re supposed to believe in.

Advertisements

“I don’t go to therapy to find out if I’m a freak”

It’s astounding to me that this can still be the case, but there are therapists out there in Blighty still attempting to “de-gay” people.  Even the expression ‘treatment for homosexuality’, as this article phrases it, fills me with a kind of cold dread.

Saddest of all is that people even in our ‘enlightened’ age can be made to feel that being homosexual is an illness, that it’s something so wrong or shameful that they simply have to have it exorcised, like some form of perverted demon.  While I have had the occasional bout of questioning, of musing over how much easier my life would be if I just stuck to dating men, ultimately it comes down to biology.

When I see an attractive woman, the relevant departments wake up and make their individual contributions to a physical ‘zing’, and all the well-intend chatting in the world won’t stop that from happening.  Similarly, although there are a great many men I find to be handsome and witty and brilliant, I don’t get that ‘raaaaaaaawr I’m gonna jump him’ feeling at all.  (Fernando Torres being the exception, but as I keep reminding everyone – he looks like a girl!).

Ultimately, if people seek ‘treatment’ for whatever reason, therapists can’t simply ignore them or pretend it isn’t an issue.  I really can’t see an alternative course to helping those affected to rationalise and accept their homosexual feelings, any attempts at a ‘cure’ just simply don’t work.  Offering the impossible would be unethical at best.

In further sex-sex-sex news, the Committee of Advertising Practice (judging by some of the adverts lately, there’s an R missing from that acronym) is considering a relaxation of the rules on advertisements for abortion services and condom/STD ads before the watershed.  To which I say, about bloody time.

In the many snippets on rolling news channels that I was half-paying attention to, a seemingly educated gentleman made the point that these are all perfectly legal services, and why therefore should they be subject to restrictions?  I couldn’t agree more, because this country needs more sex education and not less.  The problem is, with everything from Hollyoaks to the Pussycat Dolls (oh, get your own ‘yoof’ terms, I’m on the march to 30 dontchaknow?) that teenagers (and younger) are being presented with the fantasy of sex.  What they need is a large dose of reality – including consequences like STDs and pregnancy.

Speaking of which, here’s an absolutely terrifying report about the irresponsibility of 16-24 year olds: 68 freaking percent admitted they don’t use condoms.  What the hell?  Are you really saying that in a huge metropolitan place like London, with all the access to the internet and everything else that so many people can think that sort of behaviour is safe?  The comments of sheer ignorance regarding HIV made my jaw drop when I first read it on the Tube tonight.  Not getting AIDS because you’re “not gay” or too young, or the disease isn’t as fatal and life-wrecking as it used to be?  While I accept that advances in HIV drug therapies have made it livable, this is not a lifestyle change you want to make voluntarily.  I feel like I’m in a flashback to the 80s (though of course I was only a nipper then) and any minute now there’ll be a press conference with Ronald Reagan not even saying the word.

Are we really back there?  The misinformation, playing Russian Roulette with every ejaculation?  I really don’t know what to say about this anymore, but if ever there was a sign that we need to ramp up the accurate information being given out to these morons, I think we just received it loud and clear.

“I kissed a girl, and I liked it”

People, we are living in some rather dykey times.  Just when you thought people had forgotten about lezzbians, we’re suddenly in every corner of the media.  Used to be you had the occasional big splash: Ellen coming out, Madonna snogging Britney, or um, that-Brookside-storyline-I-hate-having-to-reference.  Now we’ve got the sensational, but fairly well-received Lindsay Lohan being all loved up with Sam Ronson and Jodie Foster outing herself at last in an acceptance speech.

Really, it’s all just one big elbow in the ribs for me to get out and make some comment as the Grand High Lesbo that I am.  Let’s turn our attentions to the issues of the day, or whatever I just clicked on from the Guardian homepage as the case may be. 

Since I tolerate commercial radio during my driving lessons, I got the super-catchy “I Kissed A Girl” by Katy Perry stuck in my head.  Not being able to absorb lyrics until I hear them through my earphones, I made a quick iTunes purchase when getting ready for work tonight.  As soon as I got the jist, I couldn’t help but smile.  It’s funny, it’s feelgood and it references cherry chapstick.  Sure, it’s all ‘oops, don’t tell my boyfriend’, but the ultimate message is kissing girls = a very good thing.  How can I disagree with that?  And yet, as soon as the iPod shuffled on to the next track, I mulled over the possibility that a percentage of the gay community would be up in arms over this trivialising lesbian relationships.  Predictably, today’s Guardian has this.  No doubt we’ll be hearing about a Stonewall boycott before long, and while I didn’t know about her previous single which is a little bit more pejorative about the homos, I just can’t bring myself to get worked up over a little bit of name-calling.  With all the honest to God oppression still going on in this world, can we really devote so much time and energy to reclaiming the word gay?  It’s the same as this stop bullying campaign which only deals with kids being bullied for homosexual tendencies.  Guess what?  Kids get bullied.  Not ideal, but why should the gays be exempt?  Maybe I’m just sheltered because I didn’t ‘realise’ until out of the pressure-cooker school environment, but it just doesn’t feel like a priority. 

I should preface my next item by pointing out that I haven’t actually read The Well of Loneliness.  Sure, it’s sitting on my bookcase, somewhere near the bottom of my haphazard ‘to read’ pile; there was never any doubting my access to it, given that I live with a double-Masters expert in books and queerness.  I struggled through Oranges are Not The Only Fruit out of a misplaced sense of obligation, and generally resist any recommendations about books that are formed purely from them being about the lezzbians.  Reading this article I’m tempted to conclude the label is in fact defunct.  Mostly I used to feel a little self-conscious about hitting the Gay/Lesbian section in Waterstones Piccadilly, but more because I thought people would assume I was looking for p0rn than because I was ashamed of my sexuality.  Surely though, the whole essence of a good story is that it ‘transcends genre’ as my bezzer expressed it (with her customary eye-roll) last week.  Some of the greatest books I’ve ever read have had, on the surface, so very little in common with my own life. A skilled author, however, can take anything from the life of a magician’s assistant, a homeless man, or a teenage terrorist and make it resonate with me.  While the historical breakthrough is something we ought to be grateful for, since acceptance in the arts can go a long way to acceptance in society, I think doing away with the label of ‘lesbian’ fiction can only further that progess.  Think of the close-minded sorts who might never pick up something like that, but who could stumble across it and gain just a little bit more tolerance from a story well told, something that can humanise the abstract idea they held a prejudice against.

To round off a busy few days, it seems the Archbishop of Canterbury no longer bemoans our very existence.  So long as we don’t shag around obviously, but then churches are that uptight about the heteroes as well.  Maybe he mellowed because there just aren’t that many lesbians on TV these days.  Maybe there would be more if the L Word wasn’t so utterly rubbish.  Thank God the torture is almost over, and as long as I avoid the constant late-night repeats on cable, I won’t accidentally sully my brain with any more of it’s unrealistic nonsense.  To think what a vehicle it could have been for the lesbian community, and instead we get poorly-acted soft p0rn with no basis in reality. 

With that, I’m off to stare at the latest promo pics from House, because a girl needs some eye candy after thinking all these serious thoughts about her lifestyle.

“I’ve been cheated by you, Meryl Streep”

I love Meryl Streep.  I love ABBA.  I love musicals.  I secretly love cinema visits where singing along is positively encouraged.  In essence, I AM the target demographic for the Mamma Mia film.  So why did I walk out of Cineworld this evening like I was suffering from shell-shock?

Suspending disbelief is not an issue for me, I can happily accept people bursting into song left, right and centre.  This was just utter tripe, like a Comic Relief sketch gone on 90 minutes too long.  Darlings, I adore a bit of hamming it up as much as the next musical-loving homo, but this was like a really bad pantomime.   At one point, I snarked to Kaite that the woman pouting to Money, Money, Money was the most Oscar-nominated actress of all time.   Sure, after decades of frosty heartbreak, maybe Meryl’s entitled to blow off some acting steam but holy mother of crap I cringed so hard for the first hour that I now have cramp in my shoulders.

This wasn’t a good film, not even a ‘feelgood blockbuster’.  This was like your watching your mum (and her drunken friends) hammer the karaoke.  I hate the premise, the book is amateur crap.  I may not be any kind of a real writer, but this cliché-ridden claptrap is up there with the play I wrote at nine years old, in which ‘naughty’ teenagers get drunk on Babycham.

Not entirely without merit I suppose, Christine Baranski was underused but completely nailed ‘Does Your Mother Know’.  The ‘oops, how do we fit in Waterloo’ non-problem (by remembering it’s not about the actual Battle of Waterloo, duh) was solved by the faux-music video bit over the credits.  Had it just been the bit at the start of the credits, I might have felt it was worth the ticket price.  It might have been when you factor in Colin Firth frolicking like he was at a G-A-Y foam party, but it was really beyond redemption at that point. 

Oh I know, what kind of misery guts criticises a film which is basically a fluff piece?  It’s just that I like talented people doing stupid things for a laugh – for example the splendiferous Judi Dench doing a spoof of “I Am Sixteen, Going On Seventeen”.  This was just a waste.  Meryl almost pulled it out of the mire by attacking “The Winner Takes It All” like the pro that she is.  It wasn’t enough though, and anything that makes me question Pierce Brosnan’s sheer awesomeness is best left alone. 

Meh.

“if you were queer, I’d still be here”

Miracles do still happen, I got the Saturday off for London Pride.  Anyone who has known me over the past few years might be surprised that a) I’m planning to go, or b) that I’ve even noticed when it is. 

There’s been a shift, especially in the last year or so.  In terms of struggles with my sexuality, I know I had a fairly easy time in comparison.  Such is my non-affiliatory nature (oh God, I was given a Union membership form the other day!) that I’ve always been loath to define myself by my sexuality.  That ship has sailed though, most areas of my life are affected by being a lesbian, I’m out at work and to my family, I am quite proud in a low-key sort of way.  It won’t make the haters hate us any less, but instead of getting uptight I’ve decided to go to two of the biggest and best parties of the year with my dearest friends and just have a freakin’ good time.   I may not be changing exactly, but I am evolving.  I’ll still have to grit my teeth when presented with Stonewall’s latest superficial cause, but I’m never going to be militant and that I can live with.

 

Not to mention that Brighton Pride falls during my scheduled long weekend.  FTW!

“One for my baby (and one more for the road)”

I’m fairly sure that given my pro-BoJo sentiments of these past weeks, there’ll be more than one person waiting to jump on me about the latest Tory ‘family’ initiative.  Would that it were simple enough for me to be either outraged or in agreement, like the centrist I am, I fall somewhere in that grey area. 

Let’s start with the obvious: a) je suis lesbo and b) I do want a family some day.

Throw into the mix: I broadly disagree with IVF, especially making it available on the NHS. If we spent as much money curing disease as we did getting people pregnant (WHICH IS NOT A DIVINE RIGHT!) or even just redirected the money altogether, well….  Trot out the old chestnuts about kids waiting to be adopted etc. 

I am concerned about male role models for any potential children of mine, I am not the sort to demonise men just because I won’t do them.  I want any son or daughter to grow up with a balanced view of straight and gay, to treat men and women as equals.  I am conscious that my life at present is short on male friends that I consider myself close to.   I do think that the number of violent and unhappy children coming from broken families is a worry (but not an absolute rule, there are plenty of success stories from one-parent families).  Just as I wouldn’t choose to raise a child alone, I wouldn’t want them to be deprived of access to male influence, although I know any two parents can be good or bad regardless of the gender dynamic.

It’s important to note that the provision does not exclude lesbians and single women, merely places a condition, one that is fairly easy to meet.  Plenty of other medical procedures (some less optional, like transplants) have conditions placed on them, so why is this massively different?  Is it selfish to have a child when you have a limited support network – for example I would need to consider the distant location of my family, the busy lives of friends, and the financial burden of paying someone to take up the slack for me every now and then.  That wouldn’t be easier in a couple, even a straight one, but we’re not talking about ‘oops I’m pregnant scenarios’ – this is a rational choice and should be treated as one. 

Having waffled thus far, I’m no clearer as to my exact position, but I’m certainly not offended, nor do I feel this suggestion is that far out of line.

 

 

“I’ve already left this place in my mind”

Petty vindictiveness and institutionalised hatred, coming atcha from my hometown. You’ll forgive me if I take a moment to go into a corner and beam with pride, right? Is it any wonder I ran from that shithole the first chance I got? Coming hot on the heels of Lastyearsgirl’s excellent post on the misjudged and frankly hateful comments recently emerging from the bile-filled mouths of Scotland’s Catholic representatives, it seems everyone in Motherwell is determined to make me so ashamed I’ll never return for so much as a flying visit. And people wonder why I had to flee in order to have any kind of life? London is not the perfect solution to any problem, but most places here I can walk down the street holding my girlfriend’s hand, or be open about my sexuality from the first time I meet a new person.  Back there I’d expect anything from insults to people still getting a kicking in the street, and I know I’m not far off the mark.

What makes me laugh is that Breeder McQuaid (male component) says it’s not intended as a slur against the gays.  No, instead it’s a mature and reasonable reaction along the lines of the “I’m no wae them, we’re diff’rent, I don’t wantae catch thur germs”.  Fucknuts.  The problem for religious wackjobs like these is that they’re so desperately insecure in their evermore fallible faith that they feel the need to lash out.  What they don’t understand (and nor does the tribunal apparently) is that legally there’s no actual difference between marriage and civil partnership (I’m forever hazy on the details, but it’s nothing significant if they do still differ).  The difference is religious, it’s just unfortunate that the religious ceremony is seen as the ‘true’ one, encoded in the law.  Would they protest if the form lumped registry office and chapel weddings in the same bracket?  No, because they already were.  So this is just the “they’ve got cooties” defence.  Hysterically, yer wummin McQuaid reckons that people would be confused about whether they were straight or gay just from these forms, but it becomes fairly obvious in any situation where it matters that if one has a dick and the other doesn’t, most likely it’s one of those splendid heterosexual unions (the ones with a nigh on 50% divorce rate, eh?).

Surprisingly, the news of this first came from my parents and for once they were outraged on my side.  It angers me most of all because by creating the distinction these backward folks are leaving gay people open to the sort of discrimination that the legal system is trying to eradicate.  It forces people to ‘out’ themselves on official forms, and while that may be nothing much in say, Brighton – Sodom of the South, it’s clearly still a big fuckin’ deal in We-Hate-Gays, Lanarkshire.  If these numpties are claiming their own form of discrimination – religious – then surely the two should be weighed against each other according to the harm principle.  Forcibly outing people, or causing them not to claim their correct legal status is far more detrimental than ‘hurt feelings’.  And if they have such a big bloody problem with it, why not ask God to sort it out?  If the Invisible Man has such a problem with us queers, then surely there would have been lightning bolts hitting ceremonies all over the place since December 2005?

I’m mostly pissed off since I’m one of the least militant lezzbians you could come across.  I don’t see an issue with civil partnerships being named differently to marriages, so long as the legal standing is equal.  It’s a final battle I’m willing to let slide where many aren’t.  Then eejits like this crawl out of the woodwork and you wonder if there’s any way to have the Catholic Church branded a terrorist organisation, and let Dubya sort them out.
—————-
Now playing: Ryan Adams – God Bless the Week You Went Away
via FoxyTunes