Hey, girl. Autostraddle publishes a plethora of posts each week, but sometimes we just can't squeeze in every detail. Here's the stories we missed this week!
An election is happening soon -- did you know? Sometimes I forget because I live in a world where everyone loves me and people I don't agree with don't exist. But your election highlight this week is that time a gay dude on Reddit posted a letter to his dad about voting for Romney being a bad decision:
For the first time in our nation’s history, a U.S. President and his party have publicly stated that gays and lesbians are equal citizens and should be such under the law. I know you’re aware that Obama believes gays and lesbians, like me, should have the rights and responsibilities of marriage and that the 2012 Democratic Party Platform will include marriage equality as one of its tenets. You will never know what it is to be gay in this world at this moment, but I’d bet at some point in your life you’ve known how it felt to have your essential worth validated by someone with authority. I can’t overstate the power of having my president and his party say to me, and the nation, that I am not less than, but equal to, and validate my inherent right to pursue my life with liberty and unimpeded happiness. Never before has this happened. So, never before have I made the argument that you should vote for the Democrat. But, today’s a new day.
But really, elections mostly just remind me/us/the world that Hillary Clinton is a badass - still. Also, of that one time Michelle Obama hung out with Gabby Douglas and there's footage of it we can watch, rewatch, and fangirl over.
Good things happen each week, sometimes even more than is possible to express in one mere Sunday Funday, and this one was no different -- especially since Uganda, one of the worst places to be gay, just had gay pride. And in Reykjavik, Iceland the mayor supports gay marriage and Pussy Riot, a winning combination. In Germany, gay couples just won a tax break.
In the U.S., Eagle Scouts are returning their badges in the name of queer separatism and liberation (just kidding, sort of), and Barack Obama just told the Boy Scouts to quit hating gays (which will probably help Jennifer Tyrrell raise her money to stop them from doing so). The Kentucky Human Rights Commission supports lesbians making out, perhaps even in public space, and the Mississippi State Commisioner said gay people are allowed to be married at the state's Agriculture & Forestry Museum. The FAA ended mandatory psychological evaluations for trans* pilots, and the Commission on Presidential Debates will give us a female moderator this year. Also, sexting is officially a real word and you should celebrate maybe by sending one, if you're into that. Maybe also take some time to end the war on pubic hair today.
And if that isn't enough, let's take a rare look into the punished homophobes, like those currently feeling the 49,000 dollar fine imposed on gay marriage opponents in California.
Did I mention gay families of all stripes and from around the globe are feeling the pressure to be "real and normal families with children" like "everyone else?" I hope gay families are talking to their kids about sex! That's special. Also, if you are hoping to one day be a part of one these gay "families," you should join a dating website full of other queers who do, too. Only maybe the social implications of that are weird, you know? Now, if you'd like to, you know, participate in an overpriced social network while simultaneously fueling digital white flight, you could just register on app.net.
But all this good news isn't to say each week isn't partly bad and ugly: a queer Canadian couple were hospitalized in France last week following a transphobic and homophobic attack, a gay boy in Camden, NJ was killed in his neighborhood last month (and it broke his mother's heart entirely), marriage equality in Hawaii suffered a blow last Wednesday courtesy of US District Court Judge Alan C. Kay, a homophobic conspiracy theorist won the Democratic state senate primary in Tennessee, the Family Research Council still exists and says / writes words, and Bryan Fischer wants to kidnap kids with gay parents because heterosexual people like him are clearly stable and rational. Also, some doctors want to use medicine to get rid of lesbians, tomboys, and everyone in between, which is basically my type, so.
Let's be honest, though -- most of the homophobia in the world simply pales in comparison to one man burning a box of Honey Nut Cheerios in order to express his anger toward gay-marriage-loving General Mills. On a side note, gay marriage is adorable, and my favorite GM cereal is actually regular Cheerios.
Here is what I wore before I was a man: dark denim, unbuttoned Henleys, white T-shirts, fitted flannel, tattoos, desert boots, boat shoes. In a lesbian bar, I looked like a lesbian. Which is why, as the mirror went more and more funhouse on me, I quit bars where anyone might mistake me for one.
Because, try as I might, I wasn’t gay. The two self-identified lesbians I’d dated in my nearly 30 years of Meow Mixes and Lexingtons and Eagles and Phoenixes and El Rios were exhausting in their efforts to convince me of my femaleness. I get it: they loved women, they wanted me to be one.
This kind of reminds me of that time the NYTimes went in-depth and reported from a gender-varient children's camp, and it warmed my heart and soul. Also, Harrod's now has a gender-neutral toy department, which sounds amazing. Did you know, by the way, that Norman Spack transformed the way we treat transgender children? Now you do.
The Rumpus also interviewed Ivan Coyote this week, and it was amazing:
Here’s what happened to me once when I was brought in to diversify the audience at a storytelling festival with a really straight, white-bread crowd: fourteen dykes drove up all the way from Michigan, like fucking fourteen hours, to come see me. And there’s a whole bunch of – literally – church ladies in the first ten rows, so I can’t serve the audience who actually came to see me. I can’t speak directly to them because I’m going to alienate half the little old ladies there who are already alienated anyway as soon as I walk on the stage, just because of what I look like.
Damn, 14 hours in car? Traveling makes me hungry. Are you hungry? I'm hungry. Wish a drag queen would teach me how to cook. Or maybe 15 of them.
Hopefully you're not hungry enough to eat The Evilest of All Evils, Chik-Fil-A, although admittedly I wouldn't give a shit. A Dallas cop may or may not have purchased Chik-Fil-A on National Chik-Fil-A Appreciation Day, however, and then gotten reassigned due to some negative / offensive / typical comments on his own part. The verdict is out on whether or not some weird dude using a chicken sandwich to make fun of lesbians in his workplace is worthy of a staunch investigation, but I honestly support investigating all weird dudes who make lesbians uncomfortable because we are all-knowing and The Future. While we're discussing police, I need to let you know that a former Police Community Support Officer in Canterbury is accused of attempting to rape a 20-year-old lesbian last year, but denies it.
Meanwhile, other weird dudes on Reddit are posting women's nudes and semi-nudes from Photobucket, which seems too creepy to be at all sexy. But what do I know. I'd much rather discuss how dangerous hegemonic masculinity is anyway. And the Olympics ended on Sunday and we/everyone discussed it at great length, but there's always more to say about sexism, sexism, and sexism and racism happening at once during the games, among other things that give you deeply conflicting feelings during women's beach volleyball. Ugh, it's actually almost as disappointing as The Atlantic's ladyblog that hasn't even launched yet but already sucks or something.
The good news is that Olympians are not the only athletes or women affiliated with athletics: take, for instance, these 32 "fearless student athletes" on Buzzfeed (some of whom are actually female!) and the first-ever female NFL ref ever in time ever.
But also, if you're just gay and into gaming, there's a convention for that.
To be honest, my shot at fame will never come in an athletics bundle package and will probably never be sponsored by Nike unless they start selling really nice cotton underwear for gay people. But MTV is casting for yet another "It Gets Better" special, and I'm slightly, slightly, super tempted. At least if I was famous I woudn't use it as a platform to be a homophobic douchebag like Bret Easton Ellis. Maybe I would use it to normalize and exhibit relationships between gay dudes and their girlfriends like everyone else. I just really don't want to be casted against my will on The Real L Word, even if one woman describes it as "the best reality show ever created."
For Janelle Monae, fame has bestowed upon her the title of Covergirl, AKA Covergirl's new cover girl, AKA Ellen's old job. Walk that tightrope, girl. You're so fabulous.
Normally I would use this space as a segue into a story about gay rappers, but maybe the bigger story is why "gay rappers" seems to be a category people don't opt into and can't break out of. I'm tabling my mixtape until this problem ends so that I can increase my chances of collaborating with Drake. Whatever.
I guess I'll just go camping this weekend. Hope I'm not on my period so that nobody writes an academic paper about it