Saturday, December 3, 2011

Flamers, and Why We Should Love Them

Got into a fight on the good ole interwebs yesterday. Twas a troll sparked the flame, and I probably shouldn't bother posting anything about it/her, as it gives further voice to her inanities. As we all know, however, I have heaps of trouble learning lessons.

A viral video was posted, a video about a young man who looked to be in his late twenties, speaking on behalf of his lesbian mothers. He went into detail about everything they'd done for him, how much they had changed his life, and how his success was far from hampered by his mothers' orientation. He wasn't successful in spite of them, he was successful because of them. He was pleading, that they may be granted marriage rights. It was a beautiful beacon of proof, proof that the families of the LGBTQ community are not doomed to failure because of who we are. It cut like a hot knife through bigot butter.

...and like all good trolls, K. swooped in and started vomiting half-formed, I don't know, ideas (?), all over my wall.

Her main point in regard to said video, I think, was that these people had a "designer baby", a baby she thought was "genetically inclined to success", and because of that, this story was not beautiful to her. Also, that gay "marriage is the least of our worries".

The stupid non-points about the baby I could ignore. The comment about is where you picture cartoon flames shooting out of my eyeballs.

In her infinite wisdom, K. also stated that her problem with the gay community is that we are "self-righteous and flamboyant." Lots of people on this planet suffer, sez K. Our plight isn't that important because other people! They also have problems! We should stop all our nakedness, and fluffiness, and be more dignified in pursuit of our goals (suddenly, gay marriage DID matter to her, but we were going about obtaining our rights in the wrong way). Then THIS crawled out of her mouth:

"Point is, conservatives don't like the radical flamboyance and it is the conservatives that are making it difficult for us."

... it-it- the f - it -flam - flames. Flames, on the side of my face, breathing-breathl- heaving breaths. Heaving breaths... Heathing...

I don't think the gays woke up one day and said hey, let's put pussy stickers on our foreheads and march on Washington! The outrageousness and pageantry of Pride evolved from our sordid past as closet-occupiers. It was not safe to be gay and honest about it only fifty years ago. Some would say it's not safe now, either, and I agree...but in this sense I mean it was literally not safe as in if you walked outside your house and said that you were a gay that fifty greasers would take a pipe to your homo head and wouldn't stop till you were no longer breathing. Certain behaviors, i.e. the gesticulations of effeminate men, the habits of masculine or opinionated women, were telling. Some of these men and women had to fight every fucking day of their lives to keep their desires a secret, or face exile, public shaming, and sometimes death. There are some gay men whose natural mannerisms are flamboyant, and some women whose default personality is far from traditionally lady-like (yo). The fact that they had to monitor their every move, fight their every natural instinct, change their very nature, day after day, for the entirety of ther lives, is utterly heartbreaking.

Eventually, enough was enough. Stonewall set fire to powder, and we took to the streets in 1969. We dared to publicly request that we be treated as human beings. No more trying to pass, no more gritting our teeth and settling into unwanted heterosexual relationships. It was time to step out into the sun.

Pride in the U.S. and other developed countries has snowballed significantly, especially in recent years. Drag queens outdo each other in full, befeathered, sequined regalia. Men and women alike walk shirtless. We cover ourselves in glitter and body paint. We're loud and obnoxious and our collective voice has grown strong.

It started as a protest, and grew into a celebration. We honor the men and women brave enough to bring us into the sun.

K. says we shouldn't be naked. K. says we shouldn't be flamboyant. We should be subtle and dignified. What K. fails to see is that the outrageous, flaming, and yes, sometimes silly pageantry isn't just men in makeup and booty shorts. It's a collective war cry declaring that we are different, we will no longer hide our otherness, and there is nothing you can do to make us go away.

K. would have us "tone it down". To help get the conservatives on our side (I swear to god, that was her actual point.). Okay, K., you tell us, ye wise one, ye who art so generous in deigning to spread your facebook enlightenment to the masses. What should we do to tone it down? Take away the booty shorts? Fine. We'll do that. Oh but but, ANOTHER conservative group just said that even the most subtle and passable drag queen is offensive. Oh well can't have that, sez K., K. knows all and K. says we gotta suck a little dick to get places in life. Take away the drag queens, wipe off their makeup and get those trannies in a suit. This isn't about who we are, this is about DIGNITY, goddammit. K.'s special brand of dignity! Oh but but but wait, yet ANOTHER group of right-wing Christianists just absolutely BAWL over the parade ITSELF. How DARE us scary gays collectively GO OUTSIDE and BE GAY OUTSIDE (if you read this, K., you know that there are several protesters who are not swayed by subtle clothing, they protest the act of the parade itself). No more Pride, 'cause what we want is conservative buddies! Maybe if we put away the pussy t-shirts and fluffy skirts, Jerry Falwell will take me out for ice cream! REPUBLICAN HOMO SOLIDARITY!

Seriously, though, if we censor the flamers, the sluts, the silliest of naked gays, where do we draw the line? When would it stop? When would our opponents finally take our side?

The answer, of course, is never. Before we marched, we wore nothing BUT suits and dresses and did nothing OTHER than try to pass. They hated us then, too. There is no level of "dignity" and "subtlety" we can achieve that will garner the support of bigots.

K., I am ashamed of you, ashamed of you and embarassed by you. You, and any other gay/straight/asexual person like you who would shove us back into the closet and pander to the monsters. You go right ahead and lick those bigots' boots. And keep a detailed list of EVERY SINGLE BIGOT whose head you've turned by requesting that the gays "tone it down". I'm confident enough in the stupidity of your master plan that I will have that list tattooed on my ass cheek should even one name grace its pages.

P.S. I will be making a complete and utter drunken, be-glittered, obnoxious ass of myself at Pride this year, JUST to piss off you and yours. Cheers, asshole.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Abortion, again? Really?

I am most likely preaching to the choir, as I am lucky enough to be surrounded by lovely, feminist men...but I'm severely rageful and have to get this out. If I want to have an abortion and wear the "baby's" bones as a fucking necklace...that's my right. Why?

Because the paltry wad of cells a man shoots toward my cervix is the extent of his physical involvement in the matter.

Should a baby come to term, I carry it. I deal with the morning sickness, the flat feet, the heartburn, the abused and battered and broken body. I could be forced to experience vaginal tearing, dystocia, or, worst case scenario, death. Should I be fortunate enough to experience a breezy, pleasant pregnancy, with zero symptoms outside of glowing skin and an aura of maternal calm, I know myself...I would 1. hate or resent the child, or 2. feel absolutely nothing for it.

I know what you're could someone so consistently pleasant, with such a sunny disposition, possibly foster such cold feelings toward an infant? Shocking, I know.

Being a mother, in our culture, means a lot of things. In my experience, a LOT of people in our culture believe that it is the sole event that ushers a woman toward becoming a complete human being. Women who cannot (or choose not to) experience this phenomenon are seen as lesser creatures. Cold, selfish, incomplete. Not by everyone, of course, but the majority. Motherhood gives women a reason to live, to be noticed. Example: had she not had a passle of children that she couldn't afford with a cheating douchebag, no one would know that fucking Kate Gosselin existed. She's as deep as a puddle at high noon, with a bad dyke spike haircut and deplorable taste in men. She's a nobody. Same for Nadya Suleman.

Being a mom is awesome, it's to be applauded, it is heaven on earth...if you want to do it. Want to know what happens to a woman who has kids, even though, deep down, she knows she probably shouldn't? That, secretly, kids annoy the shit out of her outside of that first five minutes that she finds them cute? A woman whose friends keep jumping up her ass about the "joy of motherhood", when they don't even stop to think that some women really don't give a FUCK about the adorable booties and the adorable diapers and the pants-shitting "joy" of being covered in vomit and shit until the kid learns to use the toilet?

I don't know, maybe you should ask Casey Anthony.

Abortions are necessary for a lot of reasons. Rape, incest, life-threatening complications can occur...and those are always the first defense that women bring to the table when defending our (already granted and perfectly legal) right to an abortion. All are completely legitimate. In my opinion, however, women are not NEARLY CUNTY ENOUGH when it comes to defending our right to feel how we feel. I don't want kids. I won't say that I never will, but I find it HIGHLY doubtful. Whatever starry-eyed asshole conservative douchebag believes that, upon gazing at my child's face, I would suddenly have an overwhelming urge to cuddle it and love it and sprinkle it with fairy dust and treasure it's widdle head forever and, sir or madam, do not know me. I'd put that thing up for adoption faster than Michelle Bachmann signs her welfare checks...excuse me, foster parent's public assistance check. I would absolutely feed it and clothe it and hold it and read to it and treat it with all the tenderness that a newborn deserves, until I could find a loving, sane, stable family with which to place it (whom I would screen to absolute hell and back, to verify said qualities).

I would not look back. That is my right, and it does not make me a monster. It makes me a woman who knows what the fuck she wants, and who the fuck she is. It makes me someone who does not want to put a child through the pain of being resented by it's own mother just so she can flounce with all her friends at Baby Gap.

Men are the main presenters of this recent tide of anti-abortion legislation. If you are a man, you have absolutely no right, whatsoever, at all, to put in your two cents when it comes to the children, fetuses, three-day-old cell clusters that occupy the bodies of the women you've never met. You do not experience the physical and emotional pain of pregnancy, childbirth, or motherhood. If the thought of a woman scraping meaningless cells from the walls of her own body parts makes you clutch your pearls in horror...don't fuck women you're not married to. Keep your dick in your pants until you die. Forcing women to keep children that they don't want makes women miserable, and children miserable. There's nothing sadder than being raised by someone who resents you.

Women: we have to speak up, rally, sign petitions, write to our state representatives. I have no need for abortion services, but I will fight for them. We are not cattle, or sows, to be shackled and bred. Do not stay polite and silent.

On behalf of loudmouth cunts everywhere: Keep your hangups to yourself, asshole.

...And for fuck's sake, leave Jennifer Aniston alone.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It Gets Better. My GOD Does it Get Better.

This is my contribution to the It Gets Better Project.

I had a dream a few nights ago.

Rarely do I put any stock into dreams. People interpret them, write them down, try to determine if they are predictions for the future or visions of lives past. Personally, I believe them to be brain vomit. I think we store a lot of unnecessary crap up in there, and our brains are just browsing through forgotten tabs, left open, old documents on the desktop, half written. Delete delete delete. Oh and morning-after-a-roaring-drunk dreams are your brain smashing control, alt, delete until your keyboard catches fire.

This particular dream, this dream I had a few nights ago, almost died in my brain along with thousands of other forgotten dreams trampled to death by my profound exhaustion. I've always envied people with excess amounts of energy, those who experienced sugar highs, people who actually WANT to get on a fucking treadmill and run, grinning like madmen as the wind whistles between their teeth, grinning till their teeth crack. Puberty crawled up my ass and died when I was barely 11, and when it died, it decided to take all my crazy little-kid energy with it. Remember being able to play freeze tag for 7 hours, until your socks were full of bush-stickers and the lightning bugs came out? I don't think I experienced the sensations of sweat OR shortness of breath until after puberty. I could run for days. Suddenly, 11, I can't run anymore and I've got fat pockets hanging from my chest and I'm fucking TIRED forever.

A bug pulled me out of the tired. I felt a bug on my arm, and, being an insanely light sleeper (seriously, I've had the sensation of my own eyelashes on my cheek awaken me. I also realize that it's weird that I'm constantly tired but so easily awakened. I blame most of my bad teenage decisions on chronic insomnia.)...I woke up. No bug. I swear it was there.

It was the dream I'd been having that was important, anyway.

I was in the car. My father (who committed suicide in 2005) was utterly drunk, raving and screaming obscenities at myself and my family. I knew my family was in the car, but I didn't turn around to look at them, because I was helping my father drive. Every now and again, I'd grab the wheel, turn it right, mumble something to help my dad stay on the road. It was pitch black outside, and we were on a tree-lined road, weaving dangerously close to the scattered trunks. Eventually my dad decided he was tired of driving, and put me in charge outright. I started to steer the car...and the road got smaller. The light got brighter. Everything disappeared, and I was suddenly steering a bike. I was on a bike on a narrow dirt road surrounded by high green grass and late afternoon sunshine. I was in control, and alone, and relieved.

This struck a chord because, to some degree, this actually happened.

It was sometime in high school. I have a famously shitty memory when it comes to timelines, so I don't know the year. All I know is that my dad died a few years after this happened. My mom was at work, and my dad was eyeballs-deep in his addiction to prescription medication. I was desperate for money (my parents were constantly poor and I thought that "allowances" were a fairy tale that only happened on tv, like unicorns or non-alcoholic fathers), so I wanted a goddamn job. I'd had a few crappy jobs, one from which I was fired for stealing (I'd "damage out" items to give to my friends as gifts), the other I liked, but didn't pay well enough (life guarding). I'd applied for a job as a cater-waiter, and it was rumored that they paid EIGHT DOLLARS AN HOUR. I wanted that job, I NEEDED THAT JOB. The interview was a ways away, and I couldn't really walk. I needed a ride. I asked my dad.

My dad said yes. Popped some pills, made some coffee to help himself "wake up", and got into the car.

I spent the entire car ride praying that we wouldn't die, and occasionally making an especially loud noise to startle my father into half-consciousness.

His meds made him drowsy. Most of the multitude of prescription pill bottles my father kept over the kitchen sink had icons of little sleepy eyeballs or crossed-out martini glasses plastered on the side, indicating that one may experience drowsiness and should not imbibe alcohol while taking this medication. My father did both, in large quantities.

He was weaving slightly between the lines, eyes half open, trying to clutch his coffee cup and steer. When his eyes drooped enough, almost closed, I'd clap, or say HEY DAD. His eyes would pop open, about half-mast, and I knew we'd be alright for another thirty seconds or so. It never occurred to me that he might pass out altogether, as he was wont to do. The Christmas before he died, he took so much medication that we couldn't wake him up with full-fledged slaps to the face, and he was snoring so loud it sounded like he would gulp down his own uvula and choke to death. I just prayed that we'd make it to the interview on time, in one piece, and that my mom wouldn't be pissed that I'd let my dad drive like that.

We made it. I got the job. We made it home.

I envied kids with complete, mostly-sane families. In 2004, if you'd given me a choice between a VW bug full of 100 dollar bills and burritos, or my father's health and sanity, I would've chosen the latter, hands down. I just wanted to be able to get a ride to a job interview, to find my way, to make some money to buy some manic-panic hair dye and jeans that weren't from fucking Kmart. I wanted a life that I could control, that wasn't cradled in the hands of a man who so hated himself, who wanted so badly to die, and whom I so desperately loved.

Through that dream, I'd realized, although it had taken WAY fucking longer than I'd preferred, I'd gotten just that.

I have a bike, bought for me by my fiancee. Her name is Tracy. She's crazy smart, completely gorgeous, and makes fun of me for being vain. She likes Simon Pegg and cats, she dresses up for Halloween like I like, and makes really good fried rice. We ride bikes together on the weekends, when it's not too hot. We're getting married, probably outside, under the trees, like I'd like. If I could take a snapshot of my life, on bikes with my gorgeous soon-to-be-wife, and hold it up to that 14 year old kid...if only. If only I could give her hope.

It gets Better. So much fucking better. Hang on, trust yourself, work hard for what you want. Money doesn't grow on trees. Figure out how to budget, and STICK with it. Do the math after taxes, figure out how much money you need to make in order to pay rent AND utilities AND your phone bill. Realize that, if you are born poor, you may stay poor for a while. I had no income other than by donating plasma and keeping a part-time job for over 8 months, and I still made rent. Get out of your shit town, your shitty life, get away from the things that hurt you. Don't settle for people who don't love you like you are the SUN and MOON and STARS. Unless they carve your name in their arm or break your windshield when you piss them off. Those are the crazies. Know the difference.

It's going to get better, and my fucking god, is it worth the wait.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fat Vogue, Thin Vogue, Shackles Either Way.

The above article features plus size women featured on the cover of Italian vogue.

Okay, I'm all about inclusion, but in my opinion promoting obesity is just as bad as promoting anorexia. Both diseases have similar outcomes (heart disease, risk of early death, bodily deterioration, i.e. bones or tendons), the symptoms are just acquired for different reasons. You're not balancing out the scales by promoting the opposite-yet-equally-unhealthy end of the spectrum (in fact, calorie restriction, within safe bounds, is likelier to extend your life than remaining obese/overweight, and myriad studies have proven this to be true). Here's what we need: a muscular, healthy, animalistic portrayal of powerful women.

Fashion is an industry that is predominantly aimed at women, and, at least partially, RUN by powerful, strong women. Yet we insist upon starving the shit out of a bone-white near-fetus and propping it up on a marble pedestal. Then everyone gets pissed at this hampered, shackled, wing-clipped creature who can't bear the weight of her McQueen armadillos. They get pissed, then secretly go home and lick tidbits of fat-free Yoplait off the back of a spoon and yearning for visible backbones. Fine, the fashion industry says. Here's a "healthy", Rubenesque "beauty". Her features are regular, her skin is beautiful, but she's pounding down the runway with 75 pounds of extra body fat dragging her to the floor.

If a woman is hampered, shackled, chained, she is beautiful. Healthy, wild, and free...she is a threat.

Give me a muscle-bound, brown-skinned bitch with kinky hair, an indeterminate nationality, and a spear. Send her down the runway in dainty lace, sexy leather, a foot-high green velvet bonnet, or whatever other weird shit that fashion decides to pelt at my eyeballs. Dead-eyed, bleach-skinned, starving androids are boring, expected, and at this point, a dime a dozen. If you want to get my attention, provide the alluring dichotomy of a cavewoman who'll both stare me down...and rock that petticoat like a fucking champ.