Archives for category: Gays

UPDATE: I now realize that my real problem with Prop 8 and the whole “marriage equality” argument is that it’s all well and fine for those queer couples that have wealth and for whom existing economic systems work well.

What I mean by that is, it’s all well and good for those (largely gay white men) who have well-paying jobs with health benefits that their partner can take advantage of.

But what about us queers that are poor?

Why should I care about whether my girlfriend and I can marry and pass on wealth when I don’t have any wealth?

What about us queers that are targeted by the police state? How does being married help when all that’ll give us is the ability to have conjugal visits? (and probably be raped in the process, don’t get me started on police.)

What about us queers that aren’t legally allowed to be the gender we know ourselves to be? What about those of us who live outside the heterosexual-defined gender binary?

To paraphrase Michael Jackson, “they don’t really care about us.”

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Without meaning to, I assure you.

The signs: I’m highly excited about beer now, and it occurred to me that this is a sign of being a true gay girl – you not only drink beer in order to get up the courage to talk to or dance with a woman in a bar (or in my case to tell your parents that you like like girls, in that way)…you start drinking it for fun, like on weekend trips to French bistros in Brooklyn (Ommegang, please?)

The signs: You live in New York and buy a used bicycle to ride around the city, to make you more authentically “anti-establishment.” (Some “straight” girls do this too…more on that below).

The signs: You begin growing your own vegetables so that you do not have to shop in corporate-owned chain supermarkets or even in faux-co-ops that still carry corporate-owned “fair trade” brands.

The signs: You refuse to throw out a really disgustingly dirty pair of Tretorns that you’ve worn for five years, because they’re the most comfortable shoes. And you wear comfortable shoes like all the time because who can stand the pain of wearing heels? (Unless it’s a kinky gift for your girlfriend for the holidays, [this does not mean that I have done this, Dad. I just know people who have done this. Friends…um…yeah, friends.]).

The signs: You start thinking every girl you know is a closet lesbian, because how can anyone really like men, like, like like them? (please, dudes, do not get offended. This is humor!)

I think maybe I should start a “stuff gay girls like” blog to compete with “stuff white people like.”

Please note: I purposely used the word “like” a lot. I do not actually talk this way. Well, okay, sometimes I do. But not at work.

Writing a blog has its benefits. For a writer who’s used to editors dictating what prints and what gets deleted, it’s freeing to be able to decide your own fate. You get an audience, and increasingly people are getting book deals from their blogs. (That can go either way – sometimes what’s funny on the screen is not funny on the page.)

Obviously things in life come in pairs – so there’s a downside to blogging too. This is the teaching of Swami Vivekananda, a lecturer from the late 1800’s who I greatly admire. Hence, the drawbacks – anyone can read your blog. ANYONE.

So, my dad read my blog.

My blog is all about being gay, and I’ve only recently come out to my parents, and they’re not completely accepting yet. So him reading my fierce blog about how awesome it is to love girls was kind of frightening. I got this “comment” on my blog that said “cool blog – Dad” and I sort of freaked for a minute. I didn’t know what to do. Call him? Explain myself? Pretend it’s not really my blog? It took all of three minutes after seeing this comment in my email for me to receive a lengthier email response from him.

The essence of this response was “We love that you are so proud, and we are so proud of you too!”

It’s weird coming out on the internet. This is why I wanted to do it – there’s no unique way to come out anymore. It’s like, the world understands that there’s this “coming out process” and that it’s “Oh, so painful! Pitiful!” etc. etc. Well, if there’s anything I want in life it’s not to be pitiful and full of pain, and also not to be ordinary. This is why I wanted to blog about my “coming out process.” It’s a work in progress.

I wanted to come out in a very strong way, and to chronicle it. And the journal of yesteryear is the blog of today. My mom won’t be reading my little flowery journal from 6th grade anymore – she’ll Google my name and come up with “Orange Coat Girl” (this is also how she got wind of a vaguely risque-in-a-Miley-Cyrus-way photo shoot that I did with an ex-boyfriend, the photos were posted on Facebook, and my dad joined Facebook).

The only appropriate response to my dad’s email of approval was tears, excitement, relief, overarching joy. I called all my friends. I said “they’re ready!” My parents are finally going to be able to get to know all of me.

The reason for this blog post? It opens up a new door. I haven’t written a post in a while, but that’s not for lack of contemplation. I didn’t have a lot of time, but I also didn’t have a lot to say. There were a lot of thoughts, but none appropriate for the whole world to see, until now.

You know how your parents tell you they will always love you no matter what? No kid really believes that. But now, I do.

“Whatever you have done to the least of my brethren, you have done unto me.”

Two days ago, while reading People magazine*, I found out about the murder of an openly queer middle school student in California whose name was Lawrence King.

Lawrence (whose friends called him Larry), had recently come out as gay to some people in his 8th grade class. A few weeks after he took that first brave step of coming out, it is alleged, another student shot Larry point-blank in the back of his head, twice, while Larry was sitting at a computer typing, and oblivious to the end of his life. Larry was only 15 years old.

This murder of one of my queer brothers struck me deeply. I cried at my cubicle for his senseless death.

Larry was, by all accounts, a strong yet amazingly loving boy. His passion in life was insects. He loved nature and the outdoors. He also had recently discovered another love – wearing skirts, high-heeled boots, and makeup. Like most children, Larry was fluid in his conception of gender, and he relished experimenting with different modes of dress.

He was so proud of himself and full of love for himself and his uniqueness that he even began wearing a girl’s uniform to school, advising classmates on where they could purchase fierce boots like his (“the expensive kind” as he told another girl).

Larry was so, so brave!

I am so saddened by his death. For me, living in New York, where I can date whomever I like and hold hands on the street with them, without fear of slurs let alone physical violence, with absolute love showing on our faces, it really hit home for me that this country is much different than those of us in these big metropolitan areas have come to believe. This country is much less tolerant that we give it credit for. It is much more outdated than we give it credit for.

Larry’s murder happened a few days shy of the tragic 10th anniversary of Matthew Shepard‘s death.

Yes, it has been 10 years, and we are no closer to complete parity and equality for people on the LGBTQ spectrum, than we were a decade ago. We are still living in a world in which two little children can come to blows over one child’s internal identity.

Like Matthew Shepard, Larry’s name might also become a code word for the sick and sad truth of homophobia in our society. I hope it does.

It is shocking. It is unfair. It is blatantly wrong.

My girlfriend once said to me “Us gays, we have a mission from God (insert whatever deity or energy you believe in here)! We have been brought to this earth to suffer like Jesus did. Because we were made to love each other, and to be persecuted for that love, and for love alone, we endure so much pain.” I have come to believe this as true.

Gay people come in all shapes, sizes, colors, nationalities, speak all languages, and have this unique position at the intersection of so many other “others”.

For instance, two gay men, one Black and one Asian, are a minority within the two racial minorities in the U.S., within their families, across language barriers perhaps, etc. etc. Our position to unite the world can be seen as easier, because there are so many of us from so many different places, and we are called together by a single persecution.

We are a tribe culled from every mountain and from every city, from every desert and tundra, from every continent, country, state, and city, language, color, and ability. We have a special calling!

The more pain we endure as the diverse group that we are, the more of us that are killed in cold blood for our difference, each death, each slur, each ouster from a job or loss of parenting rights, will be a catalyst for unity. Like the AIDS crisis, these problems make us stronger (at its beginning, in the late 70’s and 80’s) – every death unites us!

It is my hope that people are riled up with hurt and pain after Larry’s death. It is my hope that people who are homophobic or who welcome homophobia into their homes and lives through others, will wake up. We must pray, hold hands, and overcome. Every single person on this earth is different.

“Whatever you have done to the least of my brethren, you have done unto me.” – Jesus Christ (Mat. 25:40)

*Full Disclosure: I work at People magazine.

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