Saturday, February 27, 2010

Daniel Radcliffe is passionate about the Trevor Project

Hey, awesome.

...Some may ask why Daniel Radcliffe would film a public-service announcement in support of a nonprofit that seeks to help gay youths, to which the actor would respond: You don't have to be gay to be a supporter — you just have to be human... Now that Radcliffe is an international superstar with an enormous fanbase behind him, he's determined to get the word out that downtrodden LGBTQ youths can depend on the Trevor Project — and those ignorant enough to torment them need to be stopped. "I remember being quite shocked when I was young," Radcliffe remembered of his early encounters with homophobia. "And now I am in a position where I can help an amazing thing like the Trevor Project." Read more.

Visit The Trevor Project.

Girlyman & Margaret Cho: Young James Dean video

Are you familiar with Girlyman? They are one of my all-time favorite bands. I saw them live a couple weeks ago for the second time. No surprise, they are still amazing. Actually, probably even more so. True story, it has always been a dream of mine to start a band, and basically what I have always wanted to do is, uh, pretty much what Girlyman does.

But the reason for this post is not (or not just) to say all of that. The reason is that another one of my favorite people, Margaret Cho, teamed up with Girlyman and helped make their first music video. How freaking cool is that? I've been wanting to post this for a while but hadn't gotten around to it. I knew I had to share it here just in case you hadn't seen it already. The song is called "Young James Dean," and has been one of my faves for years. It's a song for all of us who don't quite fit in. Regarding the video, Margaret says:

Pretty much everyone involved in the video (both in front of and behind the camera) is trans/butch/queer/femme, which for me, in the greater LGBT world, is my family. The song is a meditation on butch identity, and so I wanted to show how beautiful we are as a community, no matter what gender we are or what we choose to be.

So here it is:

I also wanted to share the following video, in which members of the band talk about the origins of the song and the content of the music video:

I really need to read this book, The Last Time I Wore a Dress. Like really.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Walking Through Wonderland

"The animated short entitled Walking Through Wonderland captures a glimpse of youth homelessness in a surreal and edgy manner. Framed around two characters building a friendship on the street, this artistic work highlights the dualisitic nature of youth homeless culture - on one hand there is a sense of community and safety; on the other hand, many of these young people have experienced traumatic family pasts and exploitative street encounters... Bryan Hofbauer and Derek Jessome developed the film in collaboration with a group of youth who have experienced homelessness."

I like this film, and I hope a lot of people see it. It's a really important issue. Even though the piece is focused on Canadian youth, it's applicable to lots of other places.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Stuff and events you should know about

I debated for a few seconds about catchy titles for this type of post. Maybe I could come up with something. "Bi-gest" briefly crossed my mind, but then I realized that it was terrible. Y'all know I am not the best at coming up with that sort of thing.

A few things I'd like to point out that are happening this weekend:
**February Guerrilla Queer Bar Columbus event at Circus for Funkdefy (Fri. Feb 19 - that's today!, 10 pm):
Our events so far have been more focused on socializing and finding good dive-y bars. This will be our first try at infiltrating a dance floor. I am really excited!
**Columbus Bi Network Social Meetup (Sun. Feb 21, 2 pm, Travonna Coffee House)
This is our first social meetup since starting the group in January. Should be great! I heart Travonna.
**Girlspot Columbus Social Meetup (Sun. Feb 21, 5 pm, Travonna Coffee House)
I have not been to a Girlspot event yet, but I figured I should get out more, and also this is right after and in the same exact room as the Columbus Bi Network meetup. I think it's funny that we unintentionally made back-to-back reservations.

Now on to the stuff to share!

Kinksters work to stay out of public eye (The Other Paper)
It's cool that TOP wrote this article. The article makes me kind of sad, though. It's 2010, we should all be able to be out.

Columbus Could Soon Offer Domestic Partner Benefits (10TV)
H/T Columbus Underground. Don't read the comments, they'll just piss you off. My favorite part: someone actually said "cheese and rice."

Big bill for county domestic partners (The Other Paper)
Franklin County employees receive domestic partner benefits. But because the government does not recognize domestic partner benefits, those benefits - paid for by the county - are considered taxable income by the IRS. Also, couples who want these benefits have to sign an affidavit saying they are a couple. So if people want to withdraw from the benefit program because of its cost, they have to sign an affidavit saying they are no longer in a relationship. Read the article for more details on this messed-up situation.

Saperstein to McConnell: Denounce Pogrom Analogies (Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism)
Ken Blackwell, Ohio's least favorite conservative a-hole and losing candidate for governor, is at it again! “[Mr. Blackwell’s] likening of Ms. Johnsen and Ms. Feldblum’s confirmations to the persistent and violent killing of Jews in Cossack-controlled Russia desecrates the memory of those who died in the pogroms."

Jamaican man fears persecution for his bisexuality if deported from Canada (Bisexuality Examiner)
"Originally, immigration officials didn't accept Smith's claims of potential discrimination, saying he 'doesn’t fit the profile of a gay man.' The officer refused to believe that Smith would face danger or torture if sent back." I hate to use lolspeak, but... FAIL.

Bisexuals: putting the B back in LGBT (Guardian)
This article summarizes a lot of the crap that bisexuals have to deal with. Also, it's from the Guardian, which is cool. Furthermore, its initial points are especially important to bring up in light of articles like...

...Betraying the Cause? (Advocate)
"Author Chandler Burr accuses gay rights leaders of sabotaging marriage equality by refusing to use one potent political weapon: the fact that being gay is not a choice." There are a lot of things wrong with this article. Unfortunately, I couldn't fit them all in the 1000 character limit for comments. Ha, ha.

Are Any Olympic Athletes Going to Win a Gold Medal and a Fun Gender Test? (Queerty)
"With the 2010 Winter Olympics underway and gold medals being handed out, the question of whether 'suspicious' athletes will need to have their genitals and blood examined arises. And so too does one glaring fact: gender testing is completely biased against women."

"God Hates Gaga"
The WBC has gone after Gaga. This is a little old, but also hilarious, so in case you missed it, I'm posting it here. Check out the Megan Phelps parody of "Poker Face."

Up Glenn Beck's Nose
What do Glenn Beck and Barack Obama have in common? H/T Joe. My. God.

Testosterone and the Trans Male Singing Voice (TransGuys)
I was very interested in reading this post. As a singer, this is something I've wondered about.

Why DADT repeal gets more attention than ENDA (Bilerico Project)
Good post.

Mass. Says Federal Marriage Law Unconstitutional (Washington Post)
Massachusetts AG Coakley is taking this all the way to the feds: "[she] says a federal law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman interferes with her state's right to regulate the institution." H/T Empowering Spirits Foundation

Cupcakes for Men. No, Seriously, Cupcakes for Men. (Sociological Images)
I hope this business is meant to be kind of tongue-in-cheek.

Stupid Callous Homophobic Hateful Legislation


H/T Anthony

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Lesbians are not bisexual, unless they are.

There is an amazing book by S. Bear Bergman called Butch is a Noun. In it, there is an essay talking about what a butch is and what a butch is not. And I wish I had it in front of me because I would love to quote it. But you should find the book and read the essay. It is along the lines of, "A butch is X... unless ze is not."
"A butch is not X... unless ze is."
I keep thinking of this chapter when I'm reading tweets from @thelesbianmafia talking about how lesbians are not bisexuals.

I am about to give some of y'all head-explodey. Here it is: Did you know that there are lesbian-identified bisexuals? They exist. You might be thinking, "How can someone be bisexual and lesbian at the same time? That doesn't really make sense." Well, I'm not a bisexual lesbian, but in the interest of defending other members of my community, I want to say a few things about this issue.

First of all: There are essays in Bi Any Other Name and Getting Bi from lesbian-identified bisexuals/bisexual-identified lesbians (Protip: GO READ A BOOK. EDUCATE YOURSELF). Labels like lesbian and bisexual are, of course, related to orientation, but they are also related to political and community identity. @bivisibility said it well: "You can't be homosexual and bisexual by orientation. You can be lesbian by identity and bisexual by orientation." Some people feel more comfortable in lesbian communities. Some people develop a lesbian identity and then come out as bisexual, but don't want to give up their lesbian identity. Et cetera. I also know a pansexual lesbian who works at one of my alma maters. She is from the Bay Area and feels that those words best describe who she is - someone with a lesbian identity, but who is open to being involved with all genders. At first I dismissed her as ridiculous. Then I thought about it, and read other stories of women like her, and decided that it can make sense, and furthermore, it's not my place to judge what anyone wants to call themselves.

Those of us who are speaking in defense of bisexual lesbians are not trying to say that all lesbians are bisexuals. Apparently this needs clarifying, so let me say it again: We are not trying to say that all lesbians are bisexuals. Neither are we trying to attack lesbians, or trying to flog you with the P.C. whip (man, I hate the term P.C.). We are trying to tell you to pay attention, and to educate you a little. Here is where the Bergman chapter reference comes in. What we ARE saying is, lesbians are not bisexuals... unless they are.

Someone made the argument that this would never be said about gay men, but not only do I have a uterus, I'm a big ole feminazi, and I am going to call you on your b.s. Oh, and by the way, there are gay-identified bisexual men.

Suddenly I find myself defending my own personal labels. Like I should have to justify my argument with, I myself am not a bi-lesbian-whatever, but they exist. And that's exactly the problem with this argument. Why do you care so much what someone else calls themselves? Why do you have such a chip on your shoulder about what a lesbian is or is not? Do you really not understand the difference between lesbian as an orientation and lesbian as an identity? And who put you in charge of handing out the queer membership cards? The women who I have heard of who are bisexual-identified lesbians, etc. - do you have any clue who they are? I am sure that there must be such women from all walks of life, but truthfully, all the ones that I personally know of are older women who were there when this whole thing started going down in the 60s and 70s. They have fought in the feminist, lesbian, gay, bi, queer and trans rights movements for decades and decades so that they, YOU, we ALL, can be out and proud. Who do you think you are to question them? Respect your elders. You should not be mocking them, you should be thanking them and showing them your respect. A little history lesson for you.

I would also like to point out that (fact) human sexuality can be fluid, and (fact) behavior doesn't always match identity. There's a lot of obsession in the lesbian community with gold star lesbians, and (sadly) there is still a lot of biphobia in the lesbian community, and I have to wonder how much of this whole thing is related to those issues.

A better point is, why do you care so much what people call themselves? Choose whatever label you feel works for you (or don't label yourself at all) and go with it. Change it if you feel it's necessary. At the same time, let other people live how they want to live. Why bother wasting your time trying to tell people what they are or are not?