textualdeviance: (trapped)
Dear The World:

Asking you to stop requiring people to be either butch or femme doesn't mean I'm denying those gender identities to others.* It certainly doesn't mean I'm denying gender identity itself. I'm not trying to take away your lipstick. I'm just asking you not to support a cultural paradigm that says I'm a worthless, pathetic creature (or should at least have the decency to identify as butch instead) because I don't wear it.

See also: just because I'm an atheist doesn't mean I'm trying to burn your church down, asexuals aren't anti-sex, blah blah blah.

This isn't like voting, where abstaining can have negative effects on others. It's just a matter of how one goes through the world on a personal level. If you can't enjoy playing a game without coercing everyone else into playing it, too, the problem lies with you. It's possible--really, it is!--for people to be different and yet have equal value in the world.

*Assuming those identities are, in fact, natural or at least freely chosen. If I see someone who's trying to do the femme thing but it's obvious she's not happy with it, and is only doing it because she feels obligated? I'm still going to call her on it.
textualdeviance: (Default)
Am slightly obssessed with this topic in the last few days in the wake of John Scalzi's not-gonna-say-"privilege" post about privilege. (This included two of my own followups on my quasi-legit blog.)

Need to actually do paycheck work today, but thought I'd throw this out as a mental exericse on the topic:

All other factors being equal, who's going to have it harder in life:

An MTF, who had the advantage of male privilege as a child, but the disadvantage of expressing characteristics of the underclass gender


an FTM, who had the disadvantage of being female as a child, but the advantage of expressing characteristics of the dominant gender?

Obviously, each person will struggle merely due to being trans, but does the extra shitstorm that comes with being a "girly" boy (as opposed to a tomboy, which is something relatively accepted) erase all other privilege that boy would have had merely for having boy bits and being identified as a boy by others for most of his childhood? Does the fact that FTMs often have male-coded traits/behaviors that enhance power and self-sufficiency (vs female-coded traits/behaviors that enhance dependency and submissiveness) give him a boost?

There are, of course, several living-room pachyderms inherent in this topic--essentialism, for instance--but assuming that femininity/female sex = cultural disadvantage and masculinity/male sex = cultural advantage, does that actually translate to advantages for FTMs before they officially transition? Or would the expressed-gender advantages be rendered moot by the perceived-sex ones?

There are, of course, personal reasons for wondering this. Sometimes I think being a tomboy made my life significantly harder, because my culture violently enforces femininity (though not quite as overtly violently as it enforces masculinity for boys), but it also made my life easier in some ways, because my nature aimed me toward an economic-self-sufficiency-centered life instead of a economic-depdendency-centered one.

Hm. Something to think about.
textualdeviance: (bi slut)
This whole chorus drama thing is reminding me that a lot of people think I'm Not x Enough. Which is pissing me off. It's also especially pissing me off because I've had some moments recently that remind me that there are all sorts of uniquely stupid fuckery that we bi folks face that the Gs and Ls don't.*

To wit:

I'm sure they mean well, but I'm getting quite tired of folks acting surprised at the fact that we're being open about who we are for the adoption. I've actually had several people now wondering why we even bother telling anyone about it (one even used the "it's none of their business!" argument.)


No, really. WHAT?

It makes me wonder if the same people would argue that a single gay man or lesbian ought to hide that fact in order to adopt. After all, it's not like they have a partner they'd have to squirrel away. They can just pretend to be straight, and no-one will ever know the difference.

You know, like closeted people have done for hundreds of years?

Welcome to being an invisible minority. Baggage Claim is to your right AND left )

We are queer identified, and given my gender stuff, we're actually considerably closer to a pair of gay men than we are to Ozzie and Harriet. Do most of our neighbors and co-workers and distant relatives think we're straight? Sure. Because that's not a subject that's all that simple to bring up in a conversation about the weather, and we can't just prop up Convenient, Same-Sex Partner at the annual office party to instantly and non-confrontationally disabuse people of that notion.

But we are NOT straight, and when we have the opportunity to inform people of that, we do. Especially when said people are potentially going to be entering into a lifelong family relationship with us. We're not going to lie about being atheist or growing up poor, either, even though those things aren't readily apparent, because those things are important parts of who we are as well. I'm not interested in carving off parts of myself in order to impress people, and if I can at all avoid that, then I do. Maybe some people like the idea of pretending to be something they're not. Me, I find the whole idea abhorrent.

* )
Feb. 8th, 2012 02:42 pm

It's a sin

textualdeviance: (Faith Healer Lee)
Even though my conservative religious upbringing was comparatively mild, and ended when I was 12, I think I still have some lingering fuckery from it even now. In particular, I have ongoing wars with myself over anything I enjoy, especially food or leisure-related stuff, because I still feel like it's sinful/wrong/immoral to indulge in something pleasurable without paying for it with subsequent pain. Bleh.

Realized this because I was just thinking about the Puritanism involved in the anti-gay/anti-abortion crowd, and how their greatest fear is the idea of pleasure without painful consequences. Poke the "but the baybeez!" anti-abortion arguments, and you'll get to the root of it: believing that the pain and risk of pregnancy and birth is a just consequence for a woman's sin of enjoying sex. (Some will even put it in so many words--birth is a woman's burden because of Eve's sin. Bleh.)

But even among the non-religious, there's still a lot of lingering Puritanism of other kinds. In secular society, we've mostly accepted the idea of consequence-free sexual pleasure--we're down with contraception, pre-marital sex, etc. But we seem to have transferred that idea that pleasure is a sin onto other things. We can't rail against Lust, so we're railing against Sloth and Gluttony instead. (And Greed, but that's a different thing, as there are consequences beyond oneself for Greed-inspired acts. Same with Wrath. Envy is more or less victimless, unless it leads to stealing, and excessive Pride just makes you an asshole.)

Practical advice v. moral righteousness )

Now, the practical stuff still applies, of course. Saving for retirement, for instance, is a smart move even entirely unconnected from ideals of morality, and too many rich people don't understand exactly how connected their bottom line is to the well-being of the working class. Sometimes indulging in short-term pleasures can have exponentially worse long-term consequences, and shooting yourself in the foot in some sort of ill-advised rebellion against people telling you what to do is just stupid. But if you've already done the practical analysis, and know at which point you need to stop before you hurt yourself or someone else, there's no sense whatsoever in denying yourself pleasure just for the sake of doing so. Live it up.

Of course, some people will get on your case for this. Some have so committed themselves to such righteous suffering that it makes them furious to see someone who isn't also doing the masochism tango. They also consider your wanton displays a cavalcade of temptation for them to sin. Why else would half those Family Values sorts get caught with their pants down?

Cultural bulimia )

The thing many (including yours truly) need to learn is that as an adult in this earthly life, you don't get gold stars for being a martyr. Yes, some folks are still true believers in the idea of earning heavenly Brownie Points, and will continue to deny themselves any pleasure in order to make a sadistic deity happy. But if that's not your personal theology, why let your behavior be driven by what boils down to the same motivation?

Of course there's some courtesy and compassion involved. It's rude to grossly enjoy oneself in a way that rubs it in the face of others who are suffering. But, assuming you're not being a mocking jerk, if you didn't have a hand in that suffering, and what you're doing has no bearing on whether it will end? Go to it. It's not inherently mean to indulge in a passion for painting just because some are blind. If you got in their face and said, "neener neener! I can see all these cool colors and you can't!" then sure. You're being a total dick and deserve a slap. But the mere open enjoyment of something you love is not a mockery of those who don't have that thing. Enjoying a pint of ice cream doesn't mean you don't care about starving kids in third-world countries. Driving to work because you get claustrophobic on buses doesn't mean you don't care about global warming.

What it all comes down to, I think, is this: for most of us, life kinda sucks fairly often. Unless you're born into every privileged class imaginable, you're going to suffer on some level. And because there's so much suck in life, why on earth would you voluntarily increase that suckage if there's no benefit to doing so aside from some vague sense of moral purity? The only people who will be impressed by such wholly voluntary suffering are assholes, sadists and control freaks. They are not worth it.

And on that note: I think I'm going to go take a nap. ;)
textualdeviance: (Beardy Connor Not Amused)
Irritating me at the moment:

-"Let them eat cake" attitudes.

If you're lucky enough to be in a position of privilege which means you've never had to experience a given hardship, please don't prescribe behavior to people who have.

-The implication that bigotry is just a difference of opinion, and it should thus be no barrier to making friends with someone, especially if you have other things in common.

Let me guess: You'd also suggest that rabbits ought to try to make friends with cougars just because they're both mammals, right?

-The implication that fighting for one's rights and complaining about discrimination means you don't care about anything else.

It's true that sometimes people get oppressed-person's-myopia, and that does consume their every waking hour. But chances are good that if all you see about someone is that they're (insert trait here), it's not because they're making a bigger deal about it than they should, but because YOU are.

-The implication that having a non-standard gender or sexual identity, and being open and honest about that, means you're obsessed with sex.

Yes, said folks may on average be more aware of and in touch with their own sexuality, but that has jackall to do with how much shaggery they think about/want/have. Yes, Virginia, there are celibate queer folk.

And for the cherry on top of this: The implication that having a big interest in sex is a bad thing, regardless of one's gender or sexual identity.
textualdeviance: (Connor/Becker secrets)
I think the reason I get so twitterpated when I see men showing each other affection is because it's so, so much more likely to be sincere than any other sort of PDA (in Western culture, at least.)

Women are affectionate all the time, but the affection shown often well outweighs the actual emotion behind it. We often do these things by rote or cultural expectation more than because we feel truly compelled to do it, so any given hug isn't guaranteed to be something genuine.

And straight guys, of course, will show affection to women expressly for the purpose of getting them in bed, so there's no guarantee that's genuine, either.

But it's different when a man's hugging/kissing another man in public. The cultural stigma against this is so great that it takes quite a lot of feeling behind it to get a man to push past whatever the world might think of him to be demonstrative with a man he loves.

The one caveat is that this isn't necessarily true in gay spaces. With the stigma removed there, hugs and air kisses between men can be just as insincere as the same between women. (That said, gay men also know they don't have to fake affection to get laid, so that part, at least, is somewhat less likely.)

But in general public spaces? Yeah. Probably means something. I'm talking here, of course of PDA outside of celebrating touchdowns, acknowledging major life events and "man smacks." Full-body hugs, kisses, cuddles, handholding, etc.--those always mean something if they happen in view of random other people. It's not always sexually charged, of course--though it often is--but regardless, there's real emotion behind a pair of men joyfully embracing each other when they're nowhere near a sports field or funeral.

And because so many people these days seem afraid of showing emotion and bonding with others, seeing something that real and genuine is incredibly touching to me. It's a sign that maybe not everyone in the world has lost that need. It's hopeful, in other words.

So... Yeah. Bring on the huggy boys, please. :)
Jul. 12th, 2011 02:18 am


textualdeviance: (trapped)
Been finding myself in a few Someone is WRONG on the Internet! debates of late, primarily around queer/ss-marriage issues. Keep running into the assertion that ss couples just want to "destroy" marriage, The Family (tm), etc. I can usually run interference on most points of fact these folks get wrong, but this one is always a head-scratcher for me, because I just don't get it. I just can't figure out why anyone would consider someone else's relationship, and the legal status thereof, to be somehow threatening.

But I think I sort of get it, now, and I think it comes down to two things: Insecurity, and a cultural sensibility that translates to, "If you're not us, then you're them, and therefore the enemy." And I get that because I've felt that way, too.

You're a fan of the books rather than the movies? DIE, TRAITOR! )

I think a lot of homophobes who aren't irretrievably brainwashed are people in minorities themselves. They're poor, or POCs, or have little access to a larger, multi-cultural community. And those things result in isolation, and the sense of digging in for shelter. They hate queer folk not for any real reason or as a matter of religious idealism, but because they're unfamiliar, and not like the traditions and cultures in which these people feel the most safe. It's the same reason they hate people who live in cities, or people with extensive education, or people who speak a different language. They're afraid of being out in a world that isn't guaranteed to be supportive and familiar.

And I get that. I also get how incredibly hard it is to get out of that habit.

I'm not quite sure that understanding all this is going to help me get anyone else out of it, of course--homophobes least of all. But I do think I can at least work on it for myself. I'd at least like to get to the point where I'm perfectly happy saying "Yay, me!" without an attached "Boo, you!" on the end of it.

Of course, my paranoid side could well be right, and trying to do this is just going to turn me into the world's doormat in some way or another. But if the world really is that threatening, then it's going to take me down eventually whether I'm bravely facing it or not. And because the potential benefits of that bravery are pretty damned high, then, well... It's time to stop being a gutless wonder.

And who knows? Maybe in doing so, I'll at least set an example for someone else, and they can unlearn some of that paranoia, too.
textualdeviance: (*headdesk*)
Sometimes, my weird gender stuff is really damned tiring. Most of the world is cisgender-oriented, and I'm just... not. Which can feel uncomfortably isolating sometimes.

Was just thinking about this WRT to fandom, since I had a slight epiphany that the reason I'm interested in a canon "het" OTP for the first time in basically ever is because it's gender-role reversed (yes, in canon. Yay!) I've seen a couple more of these here and there (would love to see more of the Claudia/Fargo crossover stuff, for instance, and I love Gwen/Rhys in Torchwood) but it's really quite rare.

IME, most adult (AKA: sex-friendly) fanthings are primarily attracted to traditionally masculine men, whereas the more-submissive guys I like tend to attract younger/more-delicate-minded fans who perceive their submissiveness as asexuality (which is pretty much never the case; they're just as horny as any other guy.*) Just not a lot of other fans out there who share my yes-quite-prurient interest in guys like that, which makes the squee-sharing adventures a little less than fruitful at times.

And finding other folks who appreciate a strong woman? Even harder. Some straight guys are into them, of course, but most of the ones who are are the creepy sorts who are primarily interested in the challenge of breaking her (see: Whedon, Joss.) There are, of course, many women who appreciate strong ones (as opposed to finding them threatening, as is most often the case) but that tends to be in the hero-worship/role model vein, rather than the "Daym! I can haz?" one I usually have in mind.

The other challenge? Most of the folks who fit my type are usually gay. Theoretically not an issue for the women, but IME, the married-bi-chica thing tends to act like dyke repellent. Dammit. :(

Ah, well. I spose my life would be a lot less interesting if I happened to be more mainstream. So maybe this is just how things are supposed to be for me. Always a little on the odd side where most folks are concerned.

*Side note: Must say I was very amused watching the first couple of Wilfred eps. In the back of my mind, I could hear Elijah's sexphobic fantwits going apoplectic at some of the stuff he was doing. Heh.
textualdeviance: (bi slut)
So, Evan Rachel Wood just told Us Magazine she's bi. Not much of a surprise, really. What's interesting, though, is that she mentions that she's open to actually dating women. I've seen so many of her generation who declare themselves bi, but would never consider actually having a relationship with another chick.

Yes, technically they're bi, and I'm all for more folks being honest about their attractions, rather than hiding behind a gay or straight identity. But it's no wonder so many people don't take us seriously when the public face of bi women is so often some wild child who's just up for equal-opportunity screwing around and won't go beyond that. A bit of waist-up drunken fooling around while your boyfriend watches isn't exactly the same thing as someone who's open to actually having full-on relationships without regard for gender.

Bi-curious? No. I'm bi-serious, thanks. )

Realistically, the dating-other-people thing is history, of course. Since we're going to be obtaining a kid, soon, any thoughts of trying to introduce a new parent at some point are definitely off the menu. The sprog is going to have a challenging enough time with slightly oddball parents, and being adopted. No sense in making things even weirder. And, practically speaking, doing anything else is probably out of the question, too. We barely have the bandwidth to socialize with folks in non-sordid ways. ;)

But even so, I still know where my orientation lies, and I still get annoyed when people assume I'm just another flighty bi chick because that's what they see most of the time. Even though my practical circumstances mean I'm functionally monogamous with the guy I'm married to doesn't mean I'm not actually bi. Were circumstances to change, there's a very good chance the next person I dated would have female bits. If, that is, I could find someone with said bits who didn't assume that stereotypes and history meant I'm something I'm not. The funny thing is that part of the reason I've dated far fewer women than men is this precise issue: Most of the women I've been interested in haven't been interested back because of this assumption. They assume I just want a fling and stay away if they're interested in something else, or get freaked out when they find out I'm not like that. Crazy.

Anyway, yay for Evan, and I hope she has a good experience with being out. It's a minefield.
textualdeviance: (Whole Lotta WTF)
Why the hell is this question even being asked? And why the hell are they framing it as a sex thing?

Of course children's shows should include queer characters. And it has absolutely nothing to do with sex.

Even very small kids understand the concept of romantic love. They understand the concept of liking someone so much you want to spend the rest of your life with them. They understand that grown-ups pair off, get married, share a house, raise kids, etc.

Yes, sexual attraction plays a part in these pairings, but it's hardly the sum total, and that's the case whether the couple in question is opposite or same-sex.

If it's OK for kids to see Cinderella finding her prince, then it's OK for kids to see a prince whose idea of happily ever after includes another prince.
textualdeviance: (bi slut)
Aren't we beyond this whole "lookit the freaks!" thing?

The article isn't negative, per se. It's just treating these poor guys as if they're some sort of strange novelty, like some eccentric who collects Victorian hair jewelry or something.

I think there are a ton more bi guys in existence than are out. They're just not very visible, because there's such a stigma about it. The reaction many gay men and straight women have to the concept is so childish and negative that it's not surprising many of them just try to ignore one side or the other of their attractions and blend in: If they're honest, it's hard to get laid.*

The strangest part about this reaction, IMHO, is that it stems from the same sexist bullshit: Both stupid straight women and stupid gay men see bi men as somehow feminized and therefore less attractive. The straight chicks obsess about bottoming and figure any guy who would remotely consider a passive sexual role must be a big ol' girl. And the gay guys figure any guy who wants a woman must be a pathetic loser who wants the supposedly inherently feminine state of being married and having kids.

(Of course, then there's the other contingent of gay men who fetishize "straight" guys who cheat on their wives. If those guys were actually out bisexuals instead of downlow, lying bastards, it'd totally kill their buzz, I guess. W'ev.)

In any case, I really wish people would just get over it, so more men could feel comfortable being honest about who they are.

*Though it's far easier for a bi guy to get laid if he already hangs out in some sort of alternative culture: Pagan, geek, SCAdian, etc. Notions of gender roles are already a bit more flexible there, so there's less of a stigma.
Jun. 26th, 2010 02:03 am

<3 My City

textualdeviance: (Cascadia)
Have I mentioned lately how much I love living here?

OK, technically I don't live in the city limits. But still.
textualdeviance: (Bridal Illusions)
So, the CA Prop 8 ruling came in, and there's an interesting bit in the decision that upholds their previous decision--that same-sex couples must be afforded all the rights and privileges of opposite-sex couples--while acknowledging that the amendment itself restricts the word "marriage" to opposite-sex couples. (This upholds CA's DP law, btw.)

Thus, the simplest way to resolve this? Simply change the name of the civil contract. Everything else about it would remain the same. It would just be called "legal partnership" or "civil union" or "contract of domestic legal and financial interdependency" or some other fun, bureacratic name. "Marriage" licenses would be "civil union" licenses. A certificate of "marriage" would be "certificate of civil partnership." Something like that.

The hardcore people who want the M word can still get it. They'd just have to get it from their clergy, because the M word would have no meaning in a legal sense. The civil contract--which is what this whole thing is about in the first place--would just be called something else.

Not that this will make any sense to the genetic rejects who don't get the difference between Holy Matrimony and the civil contract. But hey, it's a start.
Jan. 31st, 2008 11:45 pm

I give up

textualdeviance: (bi slut)
The only thing I hate more than the religious right is people who tell me that I shouldn't be trying so hard to fight them, because doing so is "intolerant" of other people's beliefs.

Well, fuck me. I had no idea that trying to protect oneself and one's friends from being violently oppressed was so terribly rude. Pardon me while I go do their work for them and throw myself off a bridge. Maybe then the fuckers will stop complaining that their religious rights are being trampled on.

(And why the fuck is it always straight, gender-role adherent people who argue this?)


I know some of them are just naive kids who sincerely believe that if we just close our eyes and wish really hard, that asshats like Dobson, Phelps and Robertson will just magically see the error of their ways and start supporting the rights of queer folk, women and non-Christians.

But some of them? I don't get it. The only thing I can think is that they think we're asking for too much. Maybe somewhere inside, they believe that the fundies are right, and that women and queer folk really are less favored in $deity's eyes, and therefore we're being far too uppity when we demand that people stop fucking us over because their scriptures tell them to.

I've lived too long and fought too hard to have any more patience for dicking around trying to play nice with people who think I should be jailed (or worse) because I don't wear skirts and submit to my husband. Life is too short to waste it on trying to build bridges with people whose sole purpose in life is to apply C4 to said bridges before the ground for them has even been broken.

We have wasted too much time trying to coddle these people into seeing things our way. It's time we put our collective feet down and started the process of surgically removing the tumor of religion from the body politic.
textualdeviance: (bi slut)
[livejournal.com profile] caraeileen reminded me: Happy National Coming Out Day!

For those unaware (all two of you?): I'm bi, genderqueer and theoretically poly (leaning polyfi).

Although I'm in a nominally opposite-sex relationship (M and I may have different plumbing, but our gender identity is about the same), being queer informs a great deal of who I am and how I go through life.

This is especially true with regard to politics. Human rights, especially matters of economic and social justice, are paramount to how I vote, volunteer and donate. I believe in walking the talk. Slogans and coming out are great, but without backing them up with action, they're meaningless.

If you believe in the cause of equal rights for all, please do more than just talk about it. Think about how (and whether) you vote. Donate time and money to organizations like PFLAG, GLAAD and the Pride Foundation. Write to your congresscritters in support of queer-friendly bills, and in opposition to anti-queer ones.

Equal rights are an issue every day, not just today. Think about your actions, and do what you can to make this world a better, safer place for everyone.
textualdeviance: (bi slut)
This is so many kinds of awesome I lost count.

Out of the closet with Right-Wing Ralphie
textualdeviance: (bi slut)

Damn straight!

Or... something...
textualdeviance: (bi slut)
So, I was reading this hilarious The Year in Gay article at AfterElton and saw that apparently, the whole business with Zach being straightened up was figured out by TV Guide's Ausiello.

Yep, just as I thought. The kid's management are the ones who flipped their shit about Zach being gay. As usual, the nitwits got dollar signs in their eyes about their client's potential to be a teenie magnet, and so decided it was necessary to de-gay him.

Of course, what amuses me is that even in some of the comments on the various articles about this, there are STILL clueless fangirls insisting he was never gay, even after the show's creator acknowledged that that was the intention. Poor folks at AfterElton are now under siege, probably from the same twits who (apparently; I didn't actually see the post) decided to feature me on f_w for my rants on this topic a couple of weeks ago.

They should be proud, though. If you're pissing off the psychotic, addled harpies at f_w, clearly, you're doing something right.
Dec. 8th, 2006 08:03 am


textualdeviance: (bi slut)
This amuses me on many levels.

The right-wing apoplexy about "Happy Feet" makes me giggle.


textualdeviance: (Default)

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