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
A friend of mine gets the ‘Sugar Rush’ DVD for her 18th birthday. She is understandably very excited, and jumps up and down lots. No one bats an eyelid. She lends me the same ‘Sugar Rush’ DVD and I am suddenly conscious of eyebrows raising across the room. Talk about double standards.
I have to admit this isn’t the first time I have faced eyebrow bullying for Channel 4’s adaptation of Julie Burchill’s novel. I did watch it religiously when it was being aired, until I was carted off to baby-sit a group of younger girls from school at a summer camp. Not only did our accommodation not have plugs (or heating), but also the television in the common room was turned off every evening at 9.55pm. No fair.
So as I was just texting to the outside world on my one battery bar, I heard the girls discussing it, yes, they were discussing what happened in ‘Sugar Rush’. I was initially shocked, but gathered myself to beg what they knew from their friend on the phone. My interest in ‘Sugar Rush’ then raised eyebrows.
I do have a reputation as ‘lesbian in denial’, but really, if watching lesbian-themed dramas incriminates me – surely it also incriminates everyone else? All those 15 year olds who gathered around a mobile to hear the news. My friend who received the DVD as a gift for her 18th. The people who were likewise hooked to the series, but who aren’t gay.
However, raised eyebrows were a small price to pay for the DVD. It really is excellent in a kind of trite, tacky but wonderful way.
Mid week drinking is much better than weekend drinking. I find alcohol goes to your head much quicker when it knows it can make you feel like a grisly bear on sedative the next morning. It is perhaps for this reason that mid week drinking is also much cheaper.
I don’t feel so bad about ‘enjoying’ a drink, or several, when put in the context that I’m gay.
The rates of both alcohol consumption and alcohol problems are higher among lesbians and gay men than in the general population. Even worse, LGBT youths appear to use alcohol and other drugs more than other young people. While there are genetic factors involved, some argue that environmental factors are the ones that primarily influence members of the GLBT community to drink heavily. Environmental issues can range from dealing with "coming out" to being bombarded with suggestive advertising.
Indeed, there are few real outlets for LGBT people to socialise that are entirely away from the influences of alcohol. Gay bars in many cases do well not because they are nice bars to go to, but because they are simply gay.
Many of my friends refer to Alco-pops as ‘poof juice’. While to drink a pint of beer is a dykish thing for a female to do (unless of course, you work in the knicker factory in Coronation Street).
Aside from discovering the secret cure to hangovers is Smirnoff Ice, I have discovered something else this weekend. To be fair it really isn’t a groundbreaking revelation because I have suspected it before (but been unable to remember it). Yes, coming out after drinking is a danger to all young aspiring alcoholic lesbians.
This is, I believe the sole cause for gay bars. Gay bars not only allow gay people to meet other gay people, provide countless drag queens with employment and provide ex-X Factor contestants somewhere to gig in, but they also allow gay people to get plastered without coming out to their hetero-Christian friends. ‘Guess what guys – I’m gay’ doesn’t have the same effect when surrounded by lesbians, although I must admit, I’ve heard it many a time from drunken homos.
Chaucer’s Wife of Bath believes that a lecherous mouth begets a lecherous tail after wine. It also, from my experience, begets a loose tongue. Not only do my peers not need to see my tongue (which is, for the record abnormally long), but they also don’t need to know my secrets.
So – as a proper devil-worshipper-spawn-of-Satan-corrupting-disgusting-filthy lesbian, I got my Christian friend shamelessly drunk. Admittedly this wasn’t hard, but she at least remembers nothing. And if she does, well, there’s always blackmail. Or repentence, salvation and becoming a pretend born again Christian.
Note to self. If bottle is open, please remember to keep mouth shut.
Yes, Birds are punishing the world for ‘strengthening and encouraging homosexuality’. Or at least they are in Israel, or so says Rabbi David Basri. He believes that the recent outbreaks of bird flu are God punishing Israel for the Liberal Meretz Party’s campaign to legalize same sex marriage.
Basri, who is part of the Kabbalah sect of Judaism says "The Bible says that God punishes depravity first through plagues against animals and then in people”
Surely the fact that diseases naturally mutate and evolve in animals, becoming deadly to humans is irrelevant to his argument. If it’s a scientific argument, you can’t blame the gays. That would be a shame.
In the same way a Ballymena DUP Councillor believes that Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment for Gays too. I can’t help but feel this local politician, and probably many in his party, would really get on quite well… Maybe I should set them up?
Politics (and this case religion) seems to be very much a game of finger pointing. If you can point the blame at someone else, particularly a group, which is under represented and discriminated against, then that stops you actually having to do anything productive.
I have been witness to baby photos this week. The baby was pink and round and looked, to my untrained eye, much like every other baby. I did my very best to coo and aww at the glossy photos of the mini ball of life, apologising for my somewhat amateurish acting with ‘I’m sorry – I’m really not a baby person’.
My company spoke to me in the same tones as they were addressing the pictured infant. ‘Aww it’s alright, you’ll want a baby some day’. I don’t. I mean, I really don’t.
It’s strange to be patronised for knowing what you want, just because it’s something you’ll ‘grow into’. I have never expressed any maternal instinct, preferring to leave nappies, boke and lukewarm baby food to those with this strange personality trait.
Have I convinced myself I do not want a child because I know that as a lesbian I can not have a baby (at least without some third party)? Have I suppressed a broody instinct in favour of apathy? Or do I just not want a child? Besides, why is that so wrong?
My mother is horrified at my lack of interest. I think it’s pretty well thought through. Children = expense. Expense may mean I can’t indulge in holidays or expensive tastes. Some call me selfish, but I reckon it’s just common sense. If I have no real passion for motherhood, why should I develop one at my own personal cost?
Call me untraditional to not be fascinated by little bootees in Mother Care. Call me a dyke for refusing at accept a maternal instinct.
I couldn’t let St. Patrick’s Day pass entirely unnoticed, although a bit like Christmas people seem only to glad to have it over for another year. Of course no one does March 17th better than the Americans (ironic or what? I didn’t even get the day off school).
And so I was surprised to find that the big parade in New York doesn’t allow Irish gays to march behind a gay flag. Irish gay groups have been banned from the parade for the last 16 years as officials try to keep politics out of it.
Please forgive me for showing my surprise at this – America? The promised land of liberty and equality?
As if this wasn’t bizarre enough, in Belfast, where a religious group tries very hard to stop the annual pride parade from going ahead. Where gays are very much an unheard minority. A 50ft gay pride flag (which I have previously dragged round the pride route in 2004) was present in the parade, flanked by members of gay organisations.
People say the Irish are weird, that they have a strange way of doing things backwardly. I would say this is certainly the case when Belfast beats New York on gay rights.
I feel a bit like I’m living in the 1800s. Not only do I study 19th century literature, but I study the history and politics of the time. My mother also insists on forcing me to watch period dramas, and if they are by Hardy, all the better.
Thank you Sarah Waters for making it all bearable. I’m trying very hard not to join in the compulsory lesbian novelist worship cult, but she is a bit fabulous. Not only is her writing spot on, but it’s also a bit of lesbian escapism at it’s very best.
If you are forced to watch as many period dramas as me, you cannot fail to notice that the actresses inside the corsets are all practically the same. In many cases they are the same. My mother doesn’t realise that it makes it much, much easier to sit through several hours of good old 19th century chivalry and scandal if you can imagine the female protagonist passionately embracing another woman in a dramatisation of one of Sarah Water’s novels.
The memory of Sarah Waters also puts an entirely different angle on basically every woman in the novels I have to study; because now I know they are all secret lesbians who have their passion quashed by a patriarchal society. My English teacher disagrees.
She has clearly never read Waters.
If you haven’t bought Sarah Water’s new book, ‘The Night Watch’. Do.
‘Little Britain’ was one of my favourite TV shows. I admit I jumped on the bandwagon, because everyone seemed to like it. The show was funny because it took all the stereotypes we find in Britain and exaggerated them to show not only how stupid they really are, but also how stupid we are to allow ourselves to fuss ourselves over them.
‘Little Britain’ can be said to have been good for gay visibility. Although on the surface of it, I wonder why. A prissy Queen in latex and outlandish club gear who seems about as small minded as local religious fundamentalists.
And yet, the inclusion of the character of Dafyd was perhaps the most politically centred character in the hit show. All the other characters could be said to have been for comic value, and while ‘the only gay in the village’ never failed to draw a laugh, he reminded us that not only are most gay people nothing like that, but that we do exist even in villages in Wales.
The Dafydd sketches also went above just mocking a gay character. They included aspects of gay culture, from internet meets with an older ‘bear’, a lesbian bar maid who seems straight to discussing poppers with a granny at the church fate. Funny to those in the loop, but also enlightening to those not in the loop.
If people can resist the temptation to cast us all as Dafyd’s, ‘Little Britain’ has the potential to go beyond the humour, to give people a glimpse into our culture. Perhaps then, it won’t all be so alien.
Perhaps then, we might get better acceptance of who we are?
My parents are computer illiterate. They can just about type in Word and click print. I think they consider me the spawn of a new generation, spending hours sitting in front of a screen tapping my hands in some sort of alien Morse code.
They are amazed at how I can theoretically do all my studying and shopping from the comfort of my computer chair. I can contact family across the world. I can also meet lesbians from my area – but they don’t know that.
They still look amazed when little packages pop through the door from ebay. The very idea that I can order all the books from my course without having to trawl through bookshops (and indeed, get them second hand, and cheaper) is almost beyond their comprehension.
Who needs the radio times when you have google? Who needs HMV when you have downloads? Who needs parents when you can adopt someone much more to your liking from a forum? Who needs a counsellor when you can pop virtual bubble wrap till your heart’s content?
Soon you’ll even be able to book your Civil Partnership online in Brighton and Hove. You can probably order your outfit, flowers and possibly even guests online. Who needs physical contact when you have broadband??
My parents are trying very hard to understand this new world. But to be fair, it’s almost worth keeping them in the dark...
Smoking out of the toilet windows in school seems like an apt place to start a blog on a rainy day. I am an honorary smoker in school, not because I smoke, but because I accompany smokers, rain or shine, to the little area where they puff.
Some regard me as a bit crazy, to risk being caught and put in detention, even though I don’t smoke. Call me feckless, but it’s my last few months. I dislike smoking as a habit, but I won’t sit alone in the canteen. Maybe when I was 14 I wouldn’t have gone near the smelly people who smoked, but call me open-minded… I don’t mind it now.
Wednesday was National Non Smoking Day. I am sorry to say that on the day following that event, the number of smokers hanging out the toilet windows (it was raining, and wet hair is a giveaway, apparently) was not diminished.
I can’t really understand smoking to be honest. With so many warnings it seems silly to start. But then I was never one for peer pressure. I like to be in control of my own decisions.
As I looked at my peers through the smoky haze, I realised how many of them are lesbian, bisexual or at least curious to my knowledge. I realised that’s why I accompany them to smoke, because we have a mutual understanding that we are all at least bi – even if we don’t say it out loud.
Research in America has shown that teenage lesbians have the worst rates of smoking – 40% of lesbian or bisexual girls smoked at least once a week, compared to 4% of heterosexual. But as the lead researcher, S. Bryn Austin says:
“Antigay stigma and harassment, rejection from family and friends, and sometimes even physical violence can create a hostile environment for many young people coming to terms with their sexual orientation. This, combined with the tobacco industry’s targeted marketing to lesbian and gay communities, is putting lesbian and bisexual girls in harms way.”
I have a secret. If you have read any of the rest of this blog (or indeed looked at the colour scheme), you might think you’ve guessed it. You haven’t. My secret is not that I’m gay, but rather that I’m closeted.
But am I really closeted? Or is closet not more of a state of mind? I don’t think about my sexuality that much, because I’m out, at least to myself. When I feel most alone I brood on my closet state, but when I’m happy it doesn’t seem that bad. I am open to myself, which is more than many people are to themselves, or to me. I don’t suffer that much for neglecting to mention my sexuality to friends and family. I am restricted, but not that much.
I could be considered a ‘quiet gay’, as opposed to a closet case. I’m not really screaming from the rooftops (as much as I think I’d enjoy that), but last time I checked, the majority of gays are about as quiet as me. In fact, I reckon I’m all the louder for my closet ness.
Do I have to stand up and state my sexuality to my family, like some girl guide/cult swearing in ceremony?
“I promise to do my best, to love KD Lang, to serve the local Pride committee, and to uphold the lesbian law.”
I often find these months to go exceedingly quickly. No sooner is Christmas over than I am racing towards summer exam time. So it’s with no surprise I find myself typing another blog on a threatening-to-rain Sunday evening.
I am often intrigued by the sheer number of anonymous blogs on the internet. Many people have a personal blog, and an anonymous one on the side. Anonymity allows for the freedom often not afforded by having friends and family connected to words. Freedom to criticise and analyze parts of their life that they cannot do to their name. I write anonymously, and uncensored - my real name is not really ‘Straight Talker’ (funnily enough).
And yet in my blogging I come across some people who I would love to know in real life. Their anonymity adds mystery, but their blog adds personality. I understand entirely the need for an alias; I am a closeted lesbian writing thoughts that would be shocking to friends and family if they were ever to read them. I am still upset to find I cannot know more of other people’s real lives.
So today I set up an email account, firstname.lastname@example.org to allow others who feel the same way to contact me. You never know, if I feel certain you aren’t my minister I may even give you my name.
In many ways to be anonymous is silly. My parents don’t actually know what a weblog is. My friends are hardly going to be trawling blogspot in search of my lesbian self. But it’s just easier just to be nobody for a little part of the day.
Christians are worried, and not just because the world is over run by the gay and proud homosexuals, sinners, and all that jazz. Many are worried because in many cases there is less Christian debate than ever before. People just don’t seem to ask the question “How can you prove God is real?” in the 21st century. It seems the outreaching Christians are finding it more difficult than ever to make disciples of us, because people can’t be bothered to argue with them anymore.
“OK, so you think we’re ruled by some bloke in the clouds. Good for you, now feck off.”
In the same vein, I’m worried. Not that people aren’t asking theological questions as much anymore. But more that people aren’t asking me questions.
“Are you gay?” always allows me to answer in a vague (but affirming) way, or in the negative - depending on the person. Indeed, unlike in Christianity, I think the lack of questions actually affirms that they believe – that I’m gay.
Just like Christianity this has it’s pros and cons. If you’re a Christian you go to heaven. If you’re a lesbian they don’t bother asking you dopey questions about boyfriends, ex boyfriends, blow jobs and male celebrities, which is good. Christians have to be good at the time, not swear, not drink. Being gay isn’t that bad, however, I feel cheated.