Archive for the ‘queer’ Category

Movie Reviews + What Music I’ve been listening to. + Being Queer and Straightedge

January 25, 2010

I saw the movie last night, “Imagine Me and You” and it was really cute. It was a lesbian romantic comedy. Some of the lines from the film were hilarious. “How are we ever going to have grandchildren?” “The turkey baster was invented for a reason.” Haha.

I also recently watched “Food, Inc.”. I think it’s a really important movie and everyone should watch it to be informed about where their food is coming from. It was more focused on the meat industry but it isn’t veggie propaganda. It just shows how the meat industry is. It lifts the veil of what they don’t want you to know.

It’s been awhile since I’ve mentioned anything about music. I’ve been listening to Mischief Brew – which isn’t usually the type of music I’m into – but it’s pretty awesome folk punk. I also bought Refused, The Shape of Punk to Come, and it’s a pretty solid album. I have also been listening to Fagatron which is awesome queercore.

Apart from that, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be straightedge and queer. The center focus of the queer scene is bars. People go to bars to drink. I don’t drink and people usually take it as a personal offense that I don’t. I don’t go around advertising the fact but when someone asks what I’m drinking, I’m not going to lie. I do get to parties early and leave when people start getting too drunk for my taste. I don’t like being around drunks. I just don’t feel comfortable.

It’s almost like being straightedge is anti-queer. Or maybe, just maybe, the queer scene has it wrong. That it shouldn’t be about supporting evil corporations and poisoning your body. I’ve tried a handful of times to build a queer scene without the booze but it just hasn’t worked. I don’t know if it’s because people lack the confidence to be their true selves without intoxication or if there’s just no interest in being sober. I’ve never need substances to have a “good time.” I don’t understand the appeal, but that’s just me.

I have never met another straightedge vegan queer who wasn’t drug-free without a history of past abuse. I am not really all that interested in people who abuse substances or eat meat for dating. I guess that’s the difference between being drug-free and straightedge: is the dislike of substances. Being drug-free is abstaining, but being straightedge is avoiding all association. I am for the legalization of marijuana because it’s not my choice to make other people’s choices for them. But, I don’t want to be around it. That is my choice.

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Identity Conflicts

January 3, 2010

What do you do when your perceived notion of self conflicts with your true self? You thought you knew yourself well and something comes out of left field that completely shatters that theory. Do you evolve or hide? What does it say about you how you react?

For me, an identity conflicted year was when I was 22. I just realized I was a queerling and I always thought myself to be straight. It was part of how I defined myself. It completely shook my foundation. I already establish my identity as what was “me” and “not me.” I thought I had a nice neat package to present to the world when that presentation was wrong. So, faced with this, I accepted that I was a queerling, after a year of being confused by what I was feeling. I suppose I didn’t want to admit it to myself. It wasn’t the fact that I cared whether I was queer or not, it was more the fact that I had “defined” myself and the definition didn’t fit. I am happier for redefining myself and accepting myself for who I am.

Some people don’t accept themselves when they have realizations about their person that they might not like. I think this is the more painful route to take because they are always denying themself from being who they really are. It becomes a matter of keeping up appearances and putting skeletons in the closet. It becomes about acting and being an image rather than being you.

What do you have to lose by being yourself? What do you stand to gain? By denying yourself being yourself, you lose true connections. Everything is fake because it is all an act. Whereas, if you are yourself without holding back, you have freedom to be you. Your connections are real – since there is no inhibitions on your part.

I’ve only been drunk once in my life and I learned from that experience that I wanted to be as free sober as I was drunk. I didn’t want to be dependent on a substance to show my true colors or blame it when something was improper. I wanted to be me – all the time.

I used to play the game with keeping up appearances to be what I thought people wanted me to be and not being myself. I just got to the point I couldn’t handle such fakery anymore. I stopped playing the game. I lost some, gain more, and now I am much happier for it. I can wake up in the morning and face myself for who I am – not who I want to be – I am my ideal self.

It takes a lot of working on yourself to get to the ideal state. But, really, what is more important in this world than working on making yourself the best you can be? So often people settle for an image that is being sold to them rather than figuring things out for themselves. It’s a harder path to take but in the end is much more fulfilling.

What does “Queer” mean to you?

December 29, 2009

Being “queer” is different than being “gay” or “lesbian.” “Gay” or “lesbian” is a sexual orientation. Queer is more a sociological lifestyle rather than a sexuality (or gender identity). With the mainstream trying to make money off the “gay” and “lesbian” identities they use the word “queer” for marketing value such as “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” or “Queer as Folks” but not really addressing what it’s like to be queer.

For me, being queer is about rejecting heteronormalitivity and mainstream values. It’s not about being a sheep and following into line. It’s about thinking for yourself and being independent. It’s about rejecting societal and cultural norms. It’s about living life as you want to live it rather than being told how to live it. It’s about questioning everything – even yourself to come up with the solution that works best for you.

A current example of my rejection of heteronormalitivity and mainstream culture: my stepsister is downstairs on the couch cuddling her boyfriend while watching a show that makes fun of people. I don’t see how watching a show that makes fun of my fellow human beings to be entertaining since it’s laughing at their expense and not with them. They are so conditioned that they don’t even see that there’s anything wrong with chosen form of entertainment as I hear laughter trailing upstairs. I found something gravely wrong with the mainstream culture and what other people find permissible. I don’t find the misfortune of other’s to be funny. They do it for the sense of fitting in, to be cool, and possibly their minds are just that fucked.

Being queer is about not being fucked up like mainstream society. It’s about being vocal while the masses are silent. It’s about seeing and addressing the problems we face. It’s about having the best parties. 😉 It’s about swimming against the stream rather than going with the flow. For me, part of being queer is how I present myself to the world. I am rather butch, wear a frog bra, have tattoos, piercings, and a mohawk. I don’t “pass” at all. For some people, my mere appearance is a confrontation because I don’t follow gender stereotypes. I get stares, sneers, sometimes verbal assaulted, and once physically assaulted. Violence never solves anything. You can bash my face in but you can’t touch my mind. I won’t stop being queer just because you don’t approve.

I once saw a poster that said, “Not Gay as in Happy, But Queer as in Fuck You.” Queer is about being in your face and getting your hands dirty to change things. It’s not about being political correct. You can also be straight and queer. It’s a mindset and a way of being. It can also be a sexual orientation for those who defy the binary. It’s many things to many people. What does queer mean to you?

Transgender: An Ally’s Perspective

December 23, 2009

I was talking to someone today and somehow it came up that I knew a lot of transboys.  “They must be confused.” They said.  I furrowed my brows and shook my head, “No, they aren’t confused.  They just have the wrong body.”

I know that people understand male and female.  Everyone is aware of their gender from the moment they can understand anything.  But not everyone understands transgendered.  Transgendered is not confusion or anything like that – in fact it is quite the opposite.  It’s a deep knowing that the gender assigned to their body doesn’t match the gender in their mind.

Some people who are transgendered know from the very beginning that their body doesn’t match what’s inside.  Others, go on quite a journey to figure it out.  It’s probably really hard for most cis-gendered people to imagine what it is like to feel like an alien to your own body.  The closest metaphor I can use to explain the discomfort is it’s like the dream that you’re naked/in your underwear and everyone else is clothed and staring.  It makes you really self aware and very uncomfortable.  It’s like everyone else blends in and fit but you’re the missing a piece to the puzzle.

I feel for my transgendered brothers and sisters.  It’s not easy by any means standing up and saying, “Hey, this body isn’t right for me.”  Nor is it easy to go through the steps to set the body to match the mind.

I don’t know much about the transition process.  It’s a series of surgeries and injections.  It takes it’s toll.  Some transgendered people chose not to transition due to all the risks.  If they can’t “pass” they will be plagued in life being boxed into a box that doesn’t fit.

Every three days in developed countries a transgendered person is murdered.  Also, transgendered people are often left in the dust by gays and lesbians organizations who are trying to assimilate, most notably the HRC.

Not only are they abandoned by their supposed allies, things that people take for granted as being status-quo can be a threat to transgendered individuals safety.  For example, going to the bathroom.  No big deal for your average man or woman – but if you are a man in a woman’s body or a woman in a man’s body, it can be a very dangerous situation.

The point of all this is that transgender people are usually really awesome and don’t deserve such bad treatment by society, gays, and lesbians.  Being transgendered is no more someone’s fault than being left handed.  It’s just how they are made.