Name::straighttalker05 From::Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
I'm an avid dreamer. I have big ideas, and I'll probably take them somewhere. Watch this space.
I want to present what I think - and not with words minced up into an acceptable platter. Some things need to be told straight - particularly gay rights. Particularly life in the closet, it's very nature means no one hears it. If they do it's usually tinted with nostalgia.
I'm confident, I know what I like and what I don't. Please don't confuse this for arrogance. I'm probably more insecure then you imagine. View my complete profile
Pack your glitter, ridiculous rainbow accessories* and boot polish. Fill your suitcase with combat trousers, tank tops or cocktail dresses and stilettos. Flag down your local gay friendly taxi service and meet me at the airport.
I believe the time is now, the countdown is over and our day is upon us. It is today that we leave the straights to fend for themselves, and watch through our giant telescope from the moon, as they flounder, drowning… Lifting their fingers to point and say ‘Look Gary – a big dyke’, but realising their voice is caught in the vacuum. That the dykes in leathers and pretty girls that they saw kissing in the corner over their beer are no longer there.
Who will they point and stare at? Who will they raise their eyebrows and narrow their eyes (an unintentionally humorous facial expression) at? Will the terms ‘dyke’ and ‘lezzer’ pass into disuse with the ‘thee’s and ‘thou’s of former days?
On second thoughts… To ensure the future cohesion of the universe – we should stay put.
* that you’d never own, let alone wear, if it wasn’t for their gay connotations and the hilarity of watching extended family commenting upon the ‘gay chap at work’ who has a belt just the same.
They say appearances are deceiving, but sometimes the deceit is so obvious it only serves to reinforce the opposite of their aim. Fake tan for example - particularly poignant in my school of white shirts and orange collars. I won’t pretend a bronzed goddess isn’t attractive in the right situation, but a streaky, orange face with a pale neck is about as attractive to me as horse dung. In December you can’t even pretend it’s from sun bathing at the bank holiday – so give it up.
I asked a friend what ‘looking cool’ really meant. She told me it was being in fashion, comfortable and most importantly – not trying too hard. Unfortunately, like most things, any attempt at ‘looking cool’ fails miserably if your audience is against you. Dress in the same clothes as your peers, and that girl who bitches about you, will still bitch.
So if being cool is all in perception, but being comfortable is also part of looking cool, could I manipulate people into just wearing their pyjamas all the time? On second thoughts – there are some who might try too hard to be cool then, or maybe they just sleep naked.
And what about punk and alternative dress? You do have to worry when alternative becomes mainstream. They repackaged rebellion and sold it back to us - in mass produced tartan, complete with safety pins and ‘real life’ distressed look.
In a desperate attempt to make us feel a little better about ourselves, they made it all mainstream. From geek chic to chav chic – never before were we all so damn fashionable.
Then why do we all still doubt ourselves and judge each other?
I don't usually pay attention in school assembly, perhaps because they have them on a Monday morning. One that did stick out was when a friend of mine was reading ‘For every compliment you receive, you will receive 3 criticisms.’ A blonde girl sitting behind me, also obviously not paying attention like me turned to her friend and whispered (all be it loudly), ‘Her nose is a weird shape’. My friend doing the reading wouldn’t have heard that criticism – at least not from the blonde girl.
Do we become thick-skinned to protect the tenderness?
I like to imagine myself thick-skinned and generally feckless. It’s easy for me to say ‘I don’t care what she thinks’, but then I was always a good actor, other parts of my life are evidence of this. Some people regard me as open, and I am – at least in the bits they see.
I get a lot of criticism, constructive and otherwise. Maybe I’ve become so accustomed to it that it barely registers. I do know that I am accused to never taking a compliment – I put it down to modesty – others say it’s low self-esteem.
It’s easiest to compliment and criticise those at a distance from us, as a way of keeping that distance there perhaps. And what of criticising ourselves? Is that keeping yourself at a distance too, to stop us becoming too involved in ourselves? Or is it just how we’ve been taught to keep ourselves ‘levelled’ – by destroying ourselves.
Criticise me today, but don’t compliment me tomorrow. My thick skin is a façade.
I look back sometimes. Over my shoulder at the things I’ve said in the past, and the actions I’ve made, that look positively absurd now. Watching myself in time that’s gone is like a grainy film – with bad hair, bad clothes and usually pretty poor acting, if I do say so myself.
But what is most frustrating about memories, is that I’m watching them. Like the films where you want to shake the character and tell them to wise up and realise that they love their best friend, you can’t change anything.
As if it’s the curse of being able to remember the happy moments of life, we also have to face, again, those that were painful. Being mocked and coming up with a witty retort 7 years too late is a hard price to pay for watching a re run of your first kiss.
If my life were a DVD, where would the chapters start and end? I can see some breaks that would make sense to me, but would seem incoherent to others. If I could rewind and watch myself again – where would I start? If I were to fast-forward – what would I see? And would I want to see it anyway?
If I knew life would end in despair – would I live my life to the full potential or lay down and give up? Sometimes blindness is good. It stops us seeing that which we don’t want to see, and that which we need not to see.
I made a pact, with myself. I promised to merge my two lives, that is, my gay life and my ‘straight’ life.
However, like all the other promises I make myself at various times during the year (New Year, start of July, September), it tends to get old after a few weeks. It’s not that I’m incapable of sticking to something, it’s just that gym membership, and dieting and stopping biting your fingernails are all easier said than done.
But what if my life was not really two after all? I can’t really make myself act differently. I think ‘gay thoughts’ whether I’m in a gay bar or among school pupils. If I don’t lie – am I really living a lie?
It’s perhaps a little bit of a stretch to say I ‘don’t lie’ – if someone came right out and said ‘Are you gay?’ and I wasn’t in a situation I was comfortable with, I’d probably deny it. But my answers to such questions, which used to be point blank, are becoming blurred and non-committal – ‘Stop being daft’, ‘Million dollar question?’ and ‘What’s it to you anyway?’
I do still differentiate, but not so much between my ‘gay life’ and my ‘straight life’ – more between my ‘open life’ and my ‘closet life’. Even those are unfair titles. I’m an open person – if you asked the colour of my underwear I’d probably tell you. My closet life isn’t really that suffocating – it’s only my mind that can do that.
Seems odd to want to ‘blur’ your life some more in a world where we are always trying to focus on something. Only when you realise things are focused – you want to blur them all over again.
I have come to wonder if I may be a Jekyll/Hyde creation. I believe I look slightly more attractive than Frankenstein, but am I really a victim of two lives? Am I constantly at war with myself?
There are many people who are having their own battles; I won’t pretend I’m the only victim of war. There are many others who are facing doubts of Christianity/Faith vs Sexuality, Traditional/Stable Family Life vs The Truth/Extradition and The Closet/Safety vs Freedom/Persecution.
By day I have freckles on my cheeks and ribbons in my hair. I’m the perfect daughter and student. I do my homework on time and help old ladies across busy roads.
But lo – when it gets dark I indulge my ‘darker’ passions – not PVC, whips or chains… women. The freckles on my cheeks fade and are replaced by a rainbow flag in my hand. My pigtails come apart and my homework is left undone. Meet Ms. Dyke.
So what happens at the end of the story? The ending is certain to be both bitter and sweet. A distant sun follows the dark cloud of inevitability. Two lives will merge. The reader will see that my sexuality doesn’t affect my personality, and that I am who I am. The End.
I am certainly not against religious freedom, but sometimes I feel like religion is out to get me. I raise issues, not with the bible, but with the way it is often translated to fit in with zealot’s preconceived views.
I couldn’t help but be outraged as a colleague read from the book ‘Every Young Woman’s Battle’. The book disputes, in 2 pages, the lives of 1 in 10 people. According to the book we are born male or female, if we have homosexual feelings they should be suppressed, and there is no ‘gay gene’. I never thought I would be willing scientists to find a gay gene – just to prove them wrong.
Oh – and homosexual feelings may be created by the relationships with our parents. If we are particularly close to our mothers and not our fathers, we may imagine we are lesbians. I can’t say this applies to me. Maybe it does to some people – I won’t dispute that there may be a parental contribution to sexuality. I do however disagree with being told to change myself by someone who, in my opinion, has no idea of my situation and my upbringing.
The book also offers other helpful hints on dressing – young women should be careful as to how tight their shirts are, to ensure no one is exposed to flesh that is … er… exposed. Why not try the ‘Hallelujah’ test? Raise your arms in the air, just to check that your top isn’t riding up too high. It all sounds too preposterous to be true.
This is what we’re up against. Or rather, what is being put up against us. It’s not all bad news however; there is still some hope for Christian lesbians. Making small waves are http://www.christianlesbians.com/ which proclaims that ‘It’s not a contradiction. Neither are you.’ Elsewhere, Rev. Debbie Gaston will marry her long-term partner, Elaine Cook in the first Civil Partnership Ceremony, when the legislation comes into effect this December.
My friend, who read me such awe-inspiring extracts of this book also shared with me her astonishment that there were churches in America that actually welcomed gays. Of course – when accused of homophobia she quoted ‘love the sinner, not the sin’. How very original – it’s almost like it was taken direct from one of these books – oh wait, it was.
It seems to me that the religious fanatics who spew out these books are closing their eyes to reality. Gays exist – get over it. I wouldn’t mind so much if I didn’t think there were impressionable girls being tormented, and essentially led up the garden path about their sexuality.
American’s dislike me. Not because I have a problem with their president or because I'm just an unlikeable person, they dislike me meddling in ‘their affairs’. American’s may complain bitterly about their country, but perhaps like me, they oppose anyone else who shares their view. Inside they are all pathetically patriotic.
Queer America is however in crisis. Across the board marriage is being ‘defined’, that is, one man and one woman. No matter what way you add up their new equation, same sex marriage just isn’t the result.
But, don’t worry. I have the solution.
All the Americans have to do is ensure that Miss New Jersey, Miss California, Miss Alabama, Miss Southern Maryland and every other Miss being entered into the Miss America Pageant is a lesbian. Of course there is the slight issue that most feminists reckon the pageant is degrading to women and promotes the idea of women as objects (which can be linked to women being inferior or subjects of their male counterparts). It’s also pretty cheesy, but for the sake of our rights, we can just overlook that.
So anyway, once we have out Misses in place, we train them. Our representatives won’t be twirling batons; they’ll be talking about lesbian music icons, the history of the pride flag, and even the history of that fabulous holiday destination, the island of Lesbos.
And when our pretty lesbians have to answer those daft philosophical questions, what they want for the world etcetera, our little Misses will reply ‘Equal rights for gay people, same-sex marriage and positive action to end the abuses suffered in countries such as Iran.’
Ok, so I admit it’s a bit flawed, their wish for ‘world peace’ hasn’t actually gotten that far. But it’s worth a try surely?
There are many influences in my life that I don’t recognise now. There are some I choose not to recognise, and some I’m just unaware of. Some of my influences deserve thanks for what they made me become - but it can be hard when you aren’t on speaking terms with those who made you discover the most about yourself.
Life is what we make it, but also what others make it for us, and, confusingly, what we chose to make of what others make for us. Some people try so hard and get nowhere, through no fault of their own.
But I’m not going to whine on about the injustices of the world – plenty of other people do that.
I’m going to thank all of my influences. The good, the bad, and the downright ugly (although I believe it’s more politically correct to just thank everyone.) I won’t send them all an overly gushing card, that is also convieniently overly priced. Words will do the job just fine.
Time to thank the teachers who inspired me, the teachers who made me cry, the girls who hurt me in ways they’ll never know, and the girls who made me smile (in ways they never really knew.) To the grown ups who helped me to see life, and the grown ups who hid me from the light so I wanted it more , thank you. Thanks to the stranger who ignored me, and the stranger who is now my friend. Thank you my friends, and my ex friends, those I’ve lost contact with, and those I’m only beginning to get through to. Thanks to those who gave me a chance, and to those who didn’t give me the chance - you’ve both made me a better person in varying degrees. Thanks to the life long friend who I’ve told means so much to me, and to the person who I’ve never told it too. Thanks to the homophobes who made me bitter, and then pity them. If you led me on, thanks. If you lost me, thanks. If you lead me to the light (whatever that may be), thanks.
If you’ve taught me something I didn’t know – then I am grateful, at least on the inside.
Sometimes I wonder if I have super powers. Not the powers I’ve dreamed of, super strength, beauty, intelligence or success. I don’t possess the ability to spot a lesbian from a mile off; I can’t even twiddle my pen on my thumb like I once saw someone do.
But just as Superman could hear the panicked voices of someone in trouble, I have super sensitive Queer Connotations Senses (QCS for short.) I am proud to be able to spot a pride flag, even if it is hidden in the dark corner of an office. I can watch cartoons and spot the gay connotations behind a cross-dressing Bugs Bunny. I can even sense rainbow accessories in a shop.
So where did this astounding talent come from? God-given talent? Struck by lightening as a child? Family curse? Or did I just find it at the end of the rainbow?
Inside I know this talent is actually more likely to come from my desperation to find likeminded individuals. Perhaps they are unconsciously signalling to me too – like small rowing boats surrounded my cruise ships, not in distress, but solidarity.
Sometimes it seems the lines are crossed, like most things in queer identification. I’m quite, quite sure the 11 year old who has covered her school folder in the colours of the pride flag is unaware of the statement she is making. The physics teacher with a lambda symbol on a poster in his room is probably equally oblivious to the messages he is sending pupils like me. But I can forgive them, because in the land where we are blessed by (relatively) free speech, I guess they have as much right to carrying those symbols as I do. As long as I’m allowed to continue doing so, my QCS will stay sharp.
My history teacher maintains that isn’t what happens that matters in history, but it’s how people perceive events. Quite a sweeping statement, but one she assures me she would put her name to. I agree to a certain extent, because sometimes events don’t even need to have happened to have earth-shattering consequences.
I’m not talking French Revolution or Nazi Germany in this case, but more applying this to today. How often do we accept, unquestionably, the stories of others? I’m a curious individual, I wouldn’t call myself gullible, but I know myself that I have often accepted mistruths because I simply can’t be bothered to think for myself.
I only call the injustice of this into question when the person that suffers is me. Call me self-interested if you must. Honest if you please.
So what did happen? To tell the truth would smash the illusions that have made me so interesting for a while. As a creative soul, I am perhaps being a little gullible to allow the stories to run away with themselves – even if there is some truth in them.
They are getting so carried away at this moment, that they are saying such things like ‘She’s gay’. True. Yes. But in saying it out loud they are almost obliterating any possibly I am. If it’s gossip – it’s almost certainly untrue or exaggerated, and once the initial wave of giddiness has passed, it will be forgotten and assumed to be unfounded anyway.
Ironic – in outing myself, I have secured the lock and bolt on the reinforced steel door of the 21st century closet.
What are we teaching today’s children? Self-righteous parents groups argue that certain advertisements should be banned, for example advertisements for ‘The L Word’ (see image) or the billboard campaign for Ra-Re men’s clothing line (which features two men kissing). Discrimination is blatantly obvious, rife, and poorly defended. Across America there seems to be a rush to ‘define marriage’ – and that’s not in the favour of gays.
Groups claim that they aren’t being homophobic – these advertisements would be crude and distasteful no matter if it was a heterosexual couple or a homosexual one. Perhaps I’m cynical, but that just doesn’t wash with me. The simple fact is, sex sells, and your children are going to be exposed to hetero-sex from a young age. Why then should same-sex be so taboo?
The Citizens Defence Movement said that they respected homosexuality “but it can be difficult to explain to young children.” So are lots of things – suicide, child molestation, murder... Homosexuality is none of those things, it’s love. If you can explain a man loving a woman to a young child, why is a woman loving a woman so difficult?
Perhaps it hasn’t dawned on these groups that homosexuality is fact. Giving the LGBT community inferior rights will not make them go away, it may make life harder for them – is that what you want for your children?
It’s time to stop using children as an excuse. Teach children values which will be of benefit to them personally, and to the society they will come to create and live in.
Found this on a journal site, thought I should share it.
Spread the word...
I am the girl kicked out of her home because I confided in my mother that I am a lesbian. I am the prostitute working the streets because nobody will hire a transsexual woman. I am the sister who holds her gay brother tight through the painful, tear-filled nights. We are the parents who buried our daughter long before her time. I am the man who died alone in the hospital because they would not let my partner of twenty-seven years into the room. I am the foster child who wakes up with nightmares of being taken away from the two fathers who are the only loving family I have ever had. I wish they could adopt me. I am one of the lucky ones, I guess. I survived the attack that left me in a coma for three weeks, and in another year I will probably be able to walk again. I am not one of the lucky ones. I killed myself just weeks before graduating high school. It was simply too much to bear. We are the couple who had the realtor hang up on us when she found out we wanted to rent a one-bedroom for two men. I am the person who never knows which bathroom I should use if I want to avoid getting the management called on me. I am the mother who is not allowed to even visit the children I bore, nursed, and raised. The court says I am an unfit mother because I now live with another woman. I am the domestic-violence survivor who found the support system grow suddenly cold and distant when they found out my abusive partner is also a woman. I am the domestic-violence survivor who has no support system to turn to because I am male. I am the father who has never hugged his son because I grew up afraid to show affection to other men. I am the home-economics teacher who always wanted to teach gym until someone told me that only lesbians do that. I am the woman who died when the EMTs stopped treating me as soon as they realized I was transsexual. I am the person who feels guilty because I think I could be a much better person if I didn’t have to always deal with society hating me. I am the man who stopped attending church, not because I don't believe, but because they closed their doors to my kind. I am the person who has to hide what this world needs most, love. I am the person who is afraid of telling his loving Christian parents he loves another male.