Friday, May 28, 2010

Gender Graph

Found this graph at and added my question mark


Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Year Since Undergrad Part 2, Conservatism

Firstly, I'm feeling better about being out of school now; I really needed to rant. There are some noticeable benefits of being out of school:

- NO HOMEWORK!!! No reading assignments, no papers, no assessments, no poopy group work!
- I didn't want to believe it but, once I got my narrative transcript, there's no denying the homophobia of at least two art therapy instructors. I know another semi-out art therapy major who was adored by these same instructors, but she was inactive rather than militant and never made anyone squirm through gender-neutral pronouns (yes. This happened.).
- The art therapy internship programs altogether. I know you guys had mostly great experiences and I'm glad for you...but mine went from bad to terrible very quickly. "Jeanne Zilske" - need I say more?
- LESS BULLSHIT!! I have to bullshit customers, but that never lasts more than ten minutes.
- Less drama. It's ALVERNO
- Alverno's in denial of how it's a lesbian school. Either you're queer (Lauren, you're an honorary lesbian) or you're pregnant there, but everyone is in denial that that's how it is. Don't have to put up with that anymore!
- The majority of my weekends were spent traveling...the majority of my time in school was defined by long-distance relationships. NO MORE!!!


At work, we're getting more and more conservative books. The tea-baggers are getting louder - greater in numbers and power perhaps. In one of our most popular stores at the airport, I counted a dozen books:
1) "Voices of the True Woman Movement" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
2) "Radical" by David Platt
3) "To Save America" by Newt Gingrich (TAKE A HISTORY LESSON, YOU DUMBNUT!!)
4) "Conservative Victory" by Sean Hannity
6) Glenn Beck...vomit
7) Ann Coulter...double vomit
8) "Losing Our Religion" by S.E. Cupp
9) "Defining Conservatism" by Jonathan Krohn
10) "Liberty and Tyranny" by Mark R. Levin
11) "Obama Zombies" by Jason Mattera
12) "Catastrohpe" by our stupid friends Dick Morris & Eileen McGann

To summarize all these books: True Christians have to choose between Jesus and the corrupt American ways because Americans, lead by Obama, are waging a crusade against True Christians. Up until Obama, secularism, science and socialism* didn't exist in America, just Christianity. Some of these authors even cry that Obama is COERCING WORKERS INTO UNIONS!! GOD HELP US!! Anyway, the majority of these books were written and published after Obama was elected and some of them are selling very well. I'm worried that the tea-baggers will succeed with whatever fart-hole they present at the primaries. It's not that far away!! Obama hasn't lived up to his promises to the LGBTQ community and, if tea-baggers do regain power in '12, we're doomed.

*Public schools, public libraries, free clinics, food pantries, collectives, co-ops, Red/Yellow Bike programs, etc. are all fruits of socialism.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A year

A year has passed since I graduated from Alverno College.

...this is it?

I have managed to accomplish a few goals in the year:

1) I moved to Chicago
2) I had an art show
3) I got a kitty
4) I got a fulltime job with benefits
5) I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do within the next 5-10 years (travel to do artist-in-residency programs in State and National Parks, get my masters at the School of the Art Institute)
6) I set boundaries with my mother regarding our difficult relationship

I've also managed to get into a great relationship with Captain Awesome, make two very necessary (but still painful) friend-breakups, start volunteering at a kitty shelter, and move TWICE within a year.

Now that I write this all down, it does seem like a lot... But when I was in school, especially the last three semesters that were so difficult, I thought and felt that the only thing that kept me from tackling the world was school. I could have been taking road trips, wrestling bears and punching capitalism in the face were it not for class, assessments and the tyranny of Burnie, Zilske, Lamers and the financial aid office. In my post-undergrad life, my insane amount of debt is holding me back. Were it not for all this bullshit, I'd be in southern Utah right now!!

The first six months were blissful...especially after I finally moved back to Chicago. And then everything came crashing down while I was waging a desperate job search. Now I'm stuck working retail, have lost most of my friends after a failure of a housewarming party (yes, that still hurts. A lot), and have basically lost hope in catching the eye of art galleries.

A message to everyone who's graduation right now: LOWER YOUR STANDARDS

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Word

I'm currently reading Looking For Alaska by John Green and it, like his other FANTASTIC books, is about a geeky high schooler. He's taking a World Religions course and the fossil of a teacher assigns the class to write its final paper on what the post important question is.

Up until reading Lamb by Christopher Moore I dunno what I would have considered to be the most important question.

Growing up super-Catholic, "The Word of God," "The Word made flesh" and other references to "The Word" were frequently said in mass, class, prayer, educational films, etc. I understood nothing in kindergarten, "The Word" didn't stand out. I paid little attention as I grew up since thinking about things over which you have no authority is sinful. When I finally rebelled, I didn't think about anything except for emptying my head of that brainwashing. Years later, when I returned to the pile of brain-guck I had scooped out, I didn't understand "The Word" any more than as a child.

In Lamb, Jesus is told that what the Hebrew people needed was the Word of God. They were poor, struggling, had no control over their own lives, and their political activists were getting publicly slain. Moses, Elijah and other prophets had heard and delivered the Word of God in bad times before. Jesus needed to BE the Word for them now. He needed to be the manifestation of the Word of God in order to lead them.

In this way, human beings ARE our most important question. We are the question of time, will, adaptation, creativity, destruction, society, etc. manifest and we are also the answer.

Sometimes I miss school (certain classes) because you don't often encounter questions like these with the will to answer them otherwise...except for blog geeks like me. Thanks, John and Christopher!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Attraction Terms

The terms "homosexuality," "heterosexuality," and "bisexuality" really don't apply to reality. A vast amount of people have some kind of "same-sex" sexual experience - whether it be actual sex or a crush or a fantasy - and still function as "straight." These terms really only work for the people who use them to malign people. A "same-sex" experience works like the "one-drop rule" of race: just once is enough to change how you're treated.

Apart from the Kinsey-esque proportioning of sexual experience in humans is the difference between genitalia and functioning. When you pass people on the street, you probably have no idea what genitals they have, what chromosomes they have, etc. You probably don't even know your own chromosomes! And you don't know with whom they have sex, about whom they're thinking when they have sex, etc. Biology and actual sex have nothing to do with anything...until you're caught at it.

What really matters, more than biology and more than one's sexual experiences, is how one functions in reality. A masculine, woman-identified female functions very differently from a feminine intersexed person who passes as a woman. And how could you possibly ascribe "homo-", "hetero-" or "bisexual" to either of those people? "Man" and "woman", "male" and "female" not only leave out people who don't fit into those two categories, but they also exclude more finite ways of being that affect people in more significant ways.

Just three terms aren't enough to cover everyone...but the government, military, religious institutions, advertising agencies, and many others in positions of power use those three terms - if we're lucky - and two terms of sex/gender. In reality, these terms mean very little. Hell, the handkerchief-flagging system is more efficient than check-boxes!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Gay Identity

I've been thinking a lot lately about gay/bi identity. In growing circles, especially upper-middle, post-mainline-Protestant/liberal-Catholic, semi-liberal ones, there is no gay identity. There's no need to come out, you can bring home anyone (provided they're in somewhat the same parameters as you) and there won't be an issue. In these safe, white-bread circles, there's no need for queer activism because homophobia is not known...except for the state/federal level.

The safety and acceptance is wonderful, but there is no gay/bi identity. I've known a small handful of people in situations like these - one of them took me a few months to wrap my mind around - and they have a really ard time relating to the queer community because they lack or even decline the identity. The thing with these social groups is that everyone is so "straight-acting"; gender variance is Other.

These groups are a lot like the HRC: the safety and acceptance are exclusive no matter how much they pretty it up. They don't see homosexuality and bisexuality as gender-related issues (Riki Wilchins says the exact opposite. I think it depends on the situation) so, if you step outside the liberal-by-comparison gender roles, that welcome is withdrawn. Queerness is held at arm's length or further, nonconfrontational gayness and bi-ness are fine. This is where the gay and bi identities wear away to no identity and leave gender-variant people out in the cold.

The thing is, the government, powerful religious groups, renters, employers, schools, etc. and violent people in general equate all non-breeders with each other no matter how "straight-acting you are." They care about the doing, not the being. The less gender-variant you are, granted, the less likely you'll experience discrimination and harassment. On a government level, though, we're all fucked.

Unfortunately, for a lot ofp eople and institutions, gay/bi identity exists because we are oppressed. Without oppression, our actions and behavior would be considered "normal" so the safety, symbols, empowerment, etc. would not be considered necessary. I honestly don't believe that I would have Pride or even the identity had I come into an accepting environment - it just wouldn't occur to me. I do love my Pride and queer identity!! Not because I'm oppressed but because I love the community, culture, freedom, etc.

Take away the oppression, discrimination, harassment, raised eyebrows, closet, etc. and gayness/bi-ness becomes normal. When it's normal, there's no identity. This is a long loooonnnng way away...but it may happen. I hope that Pride won't wear away with it.