Blame It On the Gays

One man comes to an important realization– gay people are the cause of all problems. Seriously, though, it’s pretty funny.

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The Rebel Alliance

I have a problem with the term “ally”, meaning one who supports LGBTQ people and is not a bigoted jerkwad homophobe/heterosexist/cissexist/whatever kind of assholery one may choose to indulge in. If you want to know why, read this. It covers most of the points I could talk about, but I have a few more ideas.

The point of being an LGBTQ activist or ally is working to make the world a place that isn’t homophobic/heterosexist/cissexist (I’m just going to write homophobic from now on for speed but I mean all those good things). By world, we don’t mean, “whatever people decide to think that. We’ll just let those homophobic nutjobs do whatever they want”. By world, we mean everyone. We want to make the world a safe, fair and equal place for everyone, and have a world where, ideally, no one is homophobic. The term “ally” separates out straight and cisgender people who are not homophobic from those who are.

Fighting homophobia– ur doin it wrong.

Let’s get this straight. Actually, let’s get this queer. Being an ally and calling yourself an ally does not make you a bad person in my book. I appreciate you. I appreciate that you are not a brainwashed psycho clone who thinks the gays cause earthquakes by getting married (“I now pronounce you wife and w–AHHH!”). So “allies”, don’t take this the wrong way when I say that being straight and O.K. with gay people shouldn’t be special.

If a straight/cis person is working extremely actively to create awareness among straight/cis communities, raise visibility and make safe places for everyone, that is flipping fantastic. You deserve a big hug. Also, I will take you out to ice cream as soon as I’m not broke. But being, like, totally cool with gays! And having gay friends! Really isn’t that special.

We are working towards a world where that is the norm. Sadly, right now that is not always the norm. But being straight/cis and an “ally” (translation: You acknowledge that we’re both human beings even though you haven’t hopped on the Rainbow Train to GayVille yet) doesn’t really mean you’re… doing much. Sure, you don’t cross yourself whenever your trans pal comes around but that isn’t really an accomplishment in and of itself. You are just being a decent human being. Do you see what I’m saying?

Another point brought up in the article I linked to is that it just seems downright appropriative to make oppression you don’t feel a part of your identity. Everyone likes a revolution! And feeling righteous! (I know I do) And revolution+righteousness+rainbow flags=explosion of gay unicorn-dolphin epicness. But the thing about LGBTQ pride is that it’s needed because if someone doesn’t tell all the babygays like me it’s O.K., no one will.* Every single day is freaking straight pride day. Every single day the world (except giraffes! Giraffes are totally gay.**) is bombarded with images of straight/cis people with a few exceptions, most of them stereotypical and flat representations. Every single day there is someone who would tell me that I’m an abomination and that I should die.

It’s not fun, but that’s oppression for ya! *sarcastic grin and thumbs up* And yes, most people have some kind of privilege, whether it be white, male, straight, class, etc. A lot of people have some kind of oppression. But you can never completely understand someone else’s oppression– I, for instance, may be gay, and I may believe in/try to work towards social justice for everyone but I’ll never know exactly what it’s like to have someone look at me differently because of my skin color. Just as straight people will never know exactly what it’s like to feel awkward when you can’t say you don’t want to watch the freaking rom-com because you are SO SICK OF STRAIGHT ROMANCES IT’S NOT EVEN FUNNY JAKE GYLLENHAAL ISN’T EVEN THAT CUTE. Sorry. I get touchy about rom-coms. But even if you’re straight/cis and want to help LGBTQ people out? You’re still not oppressed. You are not an asshole, but there is no oppression there. How can you make an identity out of something that isn’t there?

Let me know what you think. This post might not be that coherent, I’m writing this late at night and I’ve been running on little to no sleep this week.

*That was a stupid sentence. “If someone doesn’t do it, no one will!” No shit, Sherlock.

**80% of giraffe sex is gaaaaaayyyy. Tell that to the next person who tells you gayness is unnatural and God did not create us that way. “So, why did he make the giraffes that way?”

Look how cute we are! And we're both girls! In love! How cute!

“Luna” Is An Awesome Book Please Read It Now

Seriously, Luna by Julie Anne Peters is one of the very best books I’ve read in a long time. It young adult fiction, and it is about a fifteen-year-old girl, Regan, who has to cope with helping her transgender sister (MtF). It is well-written, intelligent, and honestly, just a really, really good story. I’ve read a lot of young adult LGBTQ books that the writing is sort of blah and the plot is predictable and nothing seems really unique besides the fact it has LGBTQ characters. But this book is amazing no matter how you look at it. Go check it out. (it is also an awesome introduction to thinking about the gender binary, because you can never start genderfucking too young*)

The only thing that irritated me about it was the placement in the library.

The first time I ever realized this book existed was a few years ago. I was probably around 8 or so, and looking through the young adult section. I picked up this book, Luna, and read the inside cover. The blurb on the inside is not that great; it doesn’t explain much (then again, transgenderism is complicated and you can’t really explain it in a blurb anyway) so all my eight-year-old mind took away was, “Boys dressing like girls? Yucky.” and I put the book down.

For some strange, strange reason the book stuck in my head. You know how you can never remember your grandpa’s birthday or your best friend’s brother’s name but you remember myriad strange little aspects of life? Well, I remembered that there was a book called Luna about a boy dressing like a girl (not really what it’s about, but hey, I was eight). And recently, having decided that boys dressing like girls is actually pretty badass and not yucky at all, I decided to go check it out. But I could not find the damned book. I literally scoured the young adult section. I can honestly tell you that I slowly checked every spine in the young adult section. And it was not there. I did this multiple times, just in case it had been checked out.

I really wanted to read that book.

So eventually, I did the logical thing and looked it up on the library computer. Why I didn’t do this earlier, I have no idea. My mind works in mysterious (and often inconvenient) ways. Anyway, it turns out I had been barking up the wrong tree (or the wrong lesbian, to quote Betty White from SNL). Luna had been moved to the adult fiction section.

So why the move?

Well, let’s see here. There are plenty of books with lots of sex and sexytimes in the young adult section; in Luna, nobody has sex, and I mean nobody. There is not even heavy petting. Not even a passionate make out scene. The main character has a crush on a guy. Maybe they kiss once, I dunno. Language-wise? That book swears less in the whole book than I do in half an hour.  And the writing is quite obviously aimed at teenagers. So why the hell did the High and Mighty Librarians** move the book?!

My guess is that it’s because it about transgenderism. Because heaven forbid a teenager who feels screwed up and depressed and is wondering why they don’t feel like a boy when they have a dick read a book that might make them feel like maybe someone gives a shit.

People can be such assholes.

*After reading that tumblr Guys Just Wanna Wear Skirts I am super into genderfuckery today. And how fun is the word genderfuckery? Genderfuckery genderfuckery genderfuckery…

**I have nothing against librarians. I wanted to be one, at one point. I just think this move was a total Master Douche act.

Taking the Twilight Out of Reading

If you use a thesaurus, you’ll find that the title of this post basically says, “Taking the Shit Out of Reading”. Because I like to read. All my friends like to read. Smart people generally like to read. But for the love of all that is holy I hate ABHOR LOATHE BREATHE FIRE UPON the section in my library known as “the Young Adults” section. In this section, the general formula seems to be that male protagonists get interesting, cool, relatable and well-written books. Female protagonists, however, get a steaming pile of turds wearing the thin disguise of a love story. How to Take the Ex- Out of Ex-Boyfriend, Instant Boyfriend, My Secret Boyfriend, My Fake Boyfriend, My Real Fake Boyfriend (clever, I see what you did there), The Boyfriend War, and, of course, My Best Friend’s Boyfriend are all aimed at young female adults! Yippee! Because what do young female adults love more than focusing their entire lives and fantasy lives around dicks and the men who own them? Absolutely nothing!

Well, some of us have brains. Some of us would prefer not to have to read about ur fke boytoyz. In fact, part of the reason I read is to AVOID this sort of “isn’t-he-cute-he’s-so-hot-I’m-already-planning-our-wedding” mentality. So, just for you, I have prepared a list of YA novels that are not focused around the cultural phenomenon known as “boyfriends”.

Big Fat Manifesto by Susan Vaught: This is a fun book, more than anything else. Admittedly, the protagonist, Jamie, has a boyfriend who a pretty major part of the storyline focuses around. But it is not focusing around him purely because he is a man and therefore SO COOL. And guess what? Jamie’s fat. The entire book is pretty much what the title suggests; a manifesto against fat-phobia. But it is also well-written, clever, and kind of wonderful. I recommend it for all human beings. Jamie writes a column for her school paper called Fat Girl about what it is really like to be fat, exposing assholes and irritating salesladies through the whole book. She is sassy and cool and intelligent so basically my favorite kind of person. She also sings in her school’s musical, prepares for college and has two cool friends (Freddie and NoNo) who are also complex female characters whom I want to hug repeatedly.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson: Wow. I am kind of in love with Laurie Halse Anderson’s writing, because it is beautiful and sort of fragile-sounding like if you read it too harshly the words might accidentally crack. The book is about a girl who is raped by a boy at her school and doesn’t tell anyone, becoming depressed. That description is really crappy, but honestly, it is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. The ending WILL make you cry, unless you sold your soul to the devil or are dead, but I don’t want to spoil it. Even if you are not a young adult, maybe you’re even old and crinkly and grouchy, you still need to read this because it will cleanse your soul of all impurities. Plus, there’s a movie with Kristen Stewart in it. I haven’t seen it but I can assume her acting will be stiff as usual.

Empress of the World by Sara Ryan: I found this book to be a little bit vanilla, but I like really, really dark stuff. I did enjoy it, though. It’s set at a good-pace, the writing is better than a lot of YA novels, and it has a good plot and believable voice. The basic storyline is that girl goes to summer camp, girl falls in love. With another girl. One thing I liked about it was that it didn’t make a HUGE deal out of the fact they’re both girls. Obviously figuring out that part of your identity is kind of a huge thing, and it doesn’t mention some homophobia they face, but it doesn’t seem to be jumping up and down screaming “LOOK! A BOOK ABOUT LESBOS! AREN’T WE SO INCLUSIVE AND OPEN-MINDED.” which I appreciated. And do you know how hard it is to find books with any kind of girl-on-girl romance? DO YOU KNOW?

Ash by Malinda Lo: Speaking of girl-on-girl romance… I confess– I have not actually finished this book. Actually, it’s laying splayed open behind me as I type this. I am having a hard time getting into it because of the writing, which is not really my thing; it plays out to sound very fairy-tale-ish. HOWEVER I think this would appeal hugely to a lot of people, and it won the Lambda Literary Award, YA fiction category! (That’s the award for LGBTQ literature, if you didn’t know). Overall, the writing is good, and the plot is so far interesting. It is a bit slow moving, but I think pretty good overall. UPDATE: I just finished Ash and boy, does it pick up. I was feeling so-so about it when I wrote this review but now I really love it.

Speaking of the Lambda Awards… if you are sick of reading books with female protagonists… get off this blog. If you have read a lot of books with strong female protagonists and wish to expand your mind with diversity, check out some books by Alex Sanchez. He has won the Lambda Award multiple times. All of his books are about gay guys, and there are very few ladies in sight, just a warning. But they are still pretty good and queer books are hard enough to find either way. My personal favorite is The God Box which is a great book about a young man’s conflicting identities; his identity as a gay man and his identity as a Christian. Also he meets a cute boy named Manuel who has some great lines about why Christianity doesn’t actually say homosexuality is a sin, which I am definitely going to be using. P.S. the Bible doesn’t ever say homosexuality is a sin. Read The God Box and find out more after the jump.

Girl by Blake Nelson: At my library, this is in the adult fiction section, but I think it should be in YA. It is more for the upper teens though, because there’s a lot of sexuality in it. But this book is mindblowing. The writing is incredible, and yes, it does sound like a teenage girl– but a real teenage girl, not a valley girl. It is about a (you guessed it) teen girl’s coming-of-age in Portland, OR (holla for my hometown) in the nineties. The best part about it is that it feels so real. Even some of the very best books have a thin layer of fantasy– this one completely rips it all to shreds and makes you feel like you’re reading an older sister’s teenage diary.

The Tank Girl comics are technically graphic novels, and O.K., she has a boyfriend. But her boyfriend is a kangaroo named Booga and she rescues him nine times out of ten. Tank Girl is hilarious, raunchy (yeah, really raunchy) and she kicks ass.

And if by this point your eyes have fallen out of your head from all this reading, go watch The Runaways or something. That is an awesome movie*. Promise me you will sing along to “Cherry Bomb”. And if you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments!

*I watch it whenever I’m sick and have to stay home from school. I’ve got Kim Fowley’s “I want an orgasm” speech memorized and I scream along. Which isn’t good when I have a hoarse throat, but oh well. Priorities. Plus, the music is what I’d be listening to anyways, so I can sing along! It’s sort of like High School Musical: Singalong Edition but there are cool rock star girls with guitars who sometimes pee on guitars.

Lucy, I’m Hoooome

I’m so sorry it’s been such a long time since I last posted! I have had so much homework lately, it’s kind of ridiculous. I tried telling my teachers that I am busy defeating the patriarchy and making the world a better place but they ignored me and slapped another grammar packet on my desk. So today’s post is going to be short too, because I have to memorize the collective works of Shakespeare or something. Actually, it’s not going to be much of a post. Here’s an “It Gets Better” video from Gabrielle Rivera, who made the awesome lesbian short film “Spanish Girls Are Beautiful”, which you can check out over at Autostraddle.

In case you have been hiding under a rock/really need to catch up on your LGBTQ news and don’t know what the It Gets Better videos are, I will tell you. They are SHEER AWESOME. Basically, they’re gay people who are All Grown Up and Responsible Adults and are telling the baby gays that it gets better and that the entire world is basically not a sucky place a.k.a. high school. Some celebrities have made them (including Dan Savage, who started the whole shebang, and Adam Lambert who I love because he is adorable and I want him to take me on magical glam adventures). I get all teary-eyed watching them because there is so much passion in them. Watch and weep.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr5ix1UUnPI&feature=player_embedded#at=58

UPDATE: HOLY SHIZNITS. Kermit the Frog has an It Gets Better video and it made my day. Technically, it’s not about being gay. It’s about being green. But it’s not easy being green and I think we can tack another G into LGBTQ for Green.

The Lesbrary

The Lesbrary linked to Rabbit the Feminist! Go and check them out– they are a book blog that reviews lesbian/bi/etc books, books by queer authors, or both. On their about page they say that they’ll pretty much review any book that falls into the category of “doesn’t identify as a man and is at least some of the time attracted romantically and/or sexually to others who do not identify as a man” which sounds pretty awesome to me. And I spend the vast majority of my non-computer time reading, so this will be great!

Here, Young Man, Your Hormones Are Raging

I think I’m a little late on this, bear with me.

So apparently in Montana Ken Peterson, a 75-year-old Mormon Republican senator (sounds like my kind of guy, right?) is basically the guy who kept the anti-sodomy law alive and kicking in Montana. I’m not even going to go into why having anti-sodomy laws is wrong, because if you don’t know you should probably not be reading this blog. His reasoning for keeping the law from being banished into the pits of oblivion? Because, well, otherwise gay men might just get it on in public constantly. Like, on playgrounds at recess where small children run and frolic until they see Bill and Jim banging on the jungle gym. We all know they’re too horny to contain themselves, amIright? (read the last few sentences with dripping sarcasm) And also, seeing gay people kiss makes you gay, homo, in short, a pansy, to be denounced by real men and women with plastic breasts and dyed blonde hair.

Studies done by the University of Non-Idiocy have proved that seeing two people of the same gender kiss does not switch your orientation,* and if it does, you seriously needed to come out of the closet anyway. And if good sir Ken Peterson is so worried about gay people “converting” the oh-so-pure straight folk, shouldn’t he be more concerned about horny teenage boys looking at fakity-fake lesbian porn? Because even though those actresses are probably straight and not actually representative of lesbian relationships, they are still OMG HOLY CRAP TWO GIRLS KISSING WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO. And horny teenage boys are impressionable! They might all go gay and start, I don’t know, carrying out items from the homosexual agenda**! And wearing pink! LE GASP!

But Ken Peterson is no dummy. He has proof that our young, impressionable, noble, intelligent, All-American (and most importantly, straight) boys will be turned to gays. After all, he points out, what teen boy could refuse if a gay man said unto him,

Here, young man, your hormones are raging. Let’s go in this bedroom, and we’ll engage in some homosexual acts. You’ll find you like it.

…Wait, what? Yeah, that was an actual quote from Ken Peterson! Obviously, those devious gays will use their powers of awkward sexual propositioning to… Honestly, I laughed for five minutes straight (ha ha! pun not intended) after reading that. That is possibly the most hilarious/disturbing piece of anti-gay propaganda I’ve ever heard. What gay man would actually say this? I know gay men. None of them talk like Russian pedophiles that learned English from reading Dick and Jane books (though I’m not sure Dick and Jane ever propositioned anyone on the basis that their “hormones were raging”). This is so ridiculous it’s hard to make fun of it. But I’m going to have a hard time not running up behind my friends and purring it creepily into their ears.

Let’s get our act together and realize that seeing two dudes make out does not a homosexual*** make. Also, I’m pretty sure the LGBTQ community isn’t that prone to just randomly screwing on the streets. At least no more than hets.

*Although a friend and I do have a joke that smacking someone on the head and yelling, “Coulda hadda V8″ changes your orientation. Smack a straight person once, and they’ll become bi. Smack ’em twice, and they’ll turn gay. And vice versa for everyone else. This is scientifically proven stuff, guys.

**”Homosexual agenda” is one of the two phrases (the other is “panda farts”) that never fails to crack me up. It just sounds so old-white-homophobic-right-wing guy. I mean, what is the homosexual agenda? All men are required to run about singing showtunes? Flannel shirts must make up exactly 75% of any given woman’s wardrobe (20% is jeans, 4% is hiking boots, and 1% is all the underwear that’s left after we burn our bras)?