Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"A House Homo"

Before I post about Florida...

Yesterday, Ricky Martin came out. DUH! Some argue that this isn't a "brave" move for him since he's no longer relevant and it's somewhat safer for celebrities (particularly pop starts) to come out now. I see where they're coming from and the queer community ten years ago sure could have used him. But I'm not him, I don't know his situation and, obviously, I'm not Latino - I can't fully relate. This situation reminds me of Lance Bass' outing and led me to wonder...in future books that mention N SYNC, Ricky Martin and other late 90's pop music, will they mention that/when they came out? There are some queers who argue that it would be irrelevant and gayness should be taken as normal and, thus shouldn't be mentioned and then there are some queers who think that it shouldn't be "covered up" and should be boasted with Pride. I think that it depends on the book, frankly.

As Don't Ask Don't Tell grows as a social/political hot topic, the rift between [HRC + Barney Frank] and [everyone else] expands. HRC, particularly President Joe Solmonese, is separating itself from Lt. Dan Choi...a.k.a. Captain Planet Gay (wow, redundant). A lot of people said that the March on Washington this past fall, hosted by Cleve Jones, split the gay activist community. DADT definitely is proof of that and splits it even more. Equality IL co-founder Rick Garcia, recently, called HRC "a house homo" (if you don't get it, it's a play on "a house slave" or "a house n*gger") in reference to how it panders to Obama's administration. ........REALLY?? Did he REALLY just go there? It's not an inaccurate metaphor, but there must be a less INSANE way of phrasing that. That just doesn't help anyone.

This inter-community fighting is a waste of time, resources, and...everything.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Option 3

I use ChaCha, a text program in which you text a question and you receive a brief answer after some advertisements. I've been using it for a couple months and give it 4/5 stars, the ads don't bother me since I just delete them.

Today, though, I texted a question and my reply was not an ad or an answer. Apparently I had to fill out a survey via text in order to continue receiving service. Ok, that was fine. Question number one was "what is your gender? Txt MALE or FEMALE back to us." Uhhh.....what? So many things are wrong with that question, but I just replied "both".

Second text from ChaCha: "Chick flick or wrestling? We need 2 know ur gender so we can send you offers you care about! Txt MALE or FEMALE." EXCUSE ME?!?!?! This is just stereotyping. Obviously they're trying to classify which ads would be most effective and using binary gender stereotyping (not to mention that "male" and "female" are biological sexes, not necessarily genders). I replied "transgender," using the umbrella term and figuring they must have received that answer before.

Third text from ChaCha: "Oops! Only 4 little Qs stand between u and a satisfying relationship with ChaCha! Here's the 1st one: Txt MALE or FEMALE." Ok if they had sent this text rather than that second one, I probably would have replied "FEMALE" and shrugged it off. But that "chick flick or wresting?" irritated me so I send the same reply. The fourth and fifth texts from ChaCha was basically the same and I continued texting "transgender."

Sixth text from ChaCha: "Dude/Dudette! We can't answer your Q until you help us out. Txt MALE or FEMALE." I don't even know at this point. The seventh and final text from them was an email address to which I can complain. AND I WILL!!

Pandora has a similar advertising program and I've checked the "female" and "male" boxes at different times. The "male" advertisements are almost always androgynous and the "female" ads are insulting. I'll edit my ChaCha email and send it to Pandora as well...but I enjoy Pandora too much to stop using it lol.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bathroom surprise!

Friday, I was over in Gold Coast/River North (for you non-Chicagoans, that's the area directly north of downtown. It's REALLY ritzy and full of hipster-yuppies) and used a Starbucks bathroom. Yes, I still use the women's. When I came out of the stall, the two young yuppie-housewives jumped in shock and almost yelped! They exchanged a confused glance and gulped down their words. I was thrilled, I love confusing people...especially yuppies.

At work, there are unisex, single-stall bathrooms...that are also the family and handicap bathrooms. I really don't want to use those when someone with a sick kid or a wheelchair actually needs it more than I do. So I continue to use the women's; because it's O'Hare and, thus, full of weirdoes, I get odd looks only once a week or so.

It would still take a lot for me to use a men's multi-stall bathroom.

A lot of customers say "ma'am" and "lady" in reference to me. I like the respect (as opposed to saying "that bitch over there") and I shouldn't expect them to know to use gender-neutral terms like "rabbi," "doctor" and "captain"...especially since I'm not actually any of those social ranks. "Sir" and "bud" make me giggle, especially since the two people who have called me that didn't realize afterward that I'm neither of those. Maybe I should just make a new nametag for my uniform, "Officer K," and bug people to salute me.

Monday, March 15, 2010

So much time has gone by :P

10 years ago: I first became a Beatlemaniac. It was actually right before Christmas '99 that I discovered and fell in love with them; it was so soon before Christmas that people had already gotten me N*SYNC and Backstreet Boys crap and I didn't even want it anymore! At this point, the only albums I had were Abbey Road - my mom's copy - and an orchestra cover album. The first Beatles albums I bought were Rubber Soul and Revolver together, June '00, and they really do go together.

10 years ago: I rejected Confirmation at my Catholic school. Bullying had been bad before this, but now all hell broke loose and only one faculty member stood up for me...subtly since she didn't want to lose her job.

10 years ago: I finally got out of that terrible K-8 school and began high school at my beloved Loyola Academy! There was still bullying, of course, but I had friends who were my friends because they WANTED to be rather than stuck as outcasts and the faculty was on our side. High school was really when my life began and that's why I care so much about what happens to Loyola now.

10 years ago: I rejected bullshit. This was really complex and the symptoms of the bullshit were that I wanted rhinoplasty, I wanted to be popular, I followed trends mindlessly, I said that I had a crush on the most popular guy as a last desperate attempt for acceptance, etc. Because of The Beatles, I quit all that. They, more than anyone or anything else, taught me that it's ok to be myself and fuck anyone who doesn't like it.

10 years ago: my birthday this year will be the 10 year mark of no contact with my dad. He's turning 79 in June and I really just want him to DIE ALREADY so I can finally forgive him and move on with my life! I need to wait until he can't come back again (he's periodically sent angry emails) before I can make myself that vulnerable to him.

10 years ago: I came out to myself as bisexual and, over time, that gradually wore down to full-on queer.

5 years ago: I came out as a lesbian! Lol I was such a lipstick lesbian back then...it was ridiculous. My family was so awesome about it and, later, I found out that some people at Alverno had thought before then that I was flaming! I was exuding queer without even trying!

5 years ago: I cut off my looooooooonnnngggg hair. It went down past my waist! At the time, I honestly considered growing it back out...but then I noticed the attention I got from girls and how much easier it was just to make it through the day without this THING I was carrying around.

5 years ago: I got my first tattoo: the red female/Venus symbol on my right hip. Then, especially since I was such a high femme, I considered it a feminist symbol. Which it still is...but now I want a blue male/Mars symbol on my left hip. Feminism isn't solely about femininity, it's about everyone. I might even get a purple question mark in the middle someday lol

5 years ago: I had my first girlfriend, Jackie. God, that was an awkward situation...I'm so glad it's OVER! I'm grateful it happened, though, and that she was my first rather than...another person (if you knew me back then, you know what I'm talking about).

5 years ago: Last but not least, I became friends with Katy and Lauren!! YEAH!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

K.......-ay (no)

So I've been working at my full-time job, an airport bookstore, for nearly two months now. Earlier this week, a random guy referred to me in the masculine and I was greatly amused :) that was the second time in around six months. in addition to that, kids stare at me and women in the bathroom give a start when I walk in; I love it!

The uniform is a burgundy button-down and the worker must provide black shoes and nice pants. My shoes are from the boys' section of Payless and about half of my pants from from the boys' section of Target (I don't fit into men's sizes) so I manage to look pretty androgynous.

Due to all the hard work when I applied and began the job, I am known far and wide as "K" rather than the pre-adult-life "Katie" (blegh). Some people write it as "Kay" and I even had to white out the "-ay" on my printed nametag...no biggie.

I'd still really really like to take Androgel or something similar, but the money issue keeps it from happening. Having a fulltime job does not mean you get to live! And, although I hate to admit it, there are times when I will take advantage of "feminine wiles." If a guy lets me get on the crowded bus before him, hell yeah I will! Provided there are no pregnant or elderly people waiting behind me, of course.

And if I ever get to live out the hobo lifestyle, traveling from farm to farm and seeing the world...I think it would probably be safer to be taken as a woman than as ambiguous.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Identity Continuum


0, 7, 12...the last one baffles me. I like androgynous/masculine females/intersexed/transpeople.

Being Grateful

I'm currently reading "A Year of Living Bibically" by A.J. Jacobs. It is very interesting, especially since I just finished "The Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver. Among the remarkable contrasts between the two books is one point that illustrates Jacobs very well: a character in "The Poisonwood Bible" says that growing up is when you realize that you can't just sit and wait for someone else to take care of something (cleaning, cooking, food-gathering, mending, etc.), you need to do it or else it probably won't get done. Jacobs, at least when it comes to raising his young son, seems to have missed this lesson. "A Year of Living Bibically" so great because he interviewed and collaborated with so many brilliant people!

"The Poisonwood Bible" is historical fiction (and it's fantastic!) about the history of the Congo in the 60's-80's, mostly about the extreme poverty. People were happy to get a hubcab in which to cook what little food they could get. And then to read Jacobs pining over a Jaguar in NYC...coveting was one of his greatest struggles. We all want things, of course, and that's a habit almost impossible to lessen, let alone break. Wanting isn't necessarily bad, but wanting to the point of ignoring what you already have and those who have less than you is...capitalism.

There are a lot of things that I want, of course - the primary one being to have no debts. But appreciating what I have (health, food, clean water, heating, electricity, indoor plumbing, shelter, medicine, soap, clothes, the internet, cell phones, public transportation, friends, family, an awesome girlfriend, a nice assortment of rights and privileges, etc.) and even what I don't have (a car, slaves, a house, a pimp) is very humbling. And it helps me connect to others in a way that no things can and, even if they aren't, I can be grateful for what they have and don't have as well. It's like intercessory prayer, only intercessory thanks!