I've decided that I absolutely adore it when people quote me, or refer to my writing.

"And I could just respond by pointing to the excellent essay by Amy Fox in Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme  but I’d rather go on engaging myself here. (If there is any hope for us all, it lies with butches like Amy Fox.)"



[from Facebook]

 I disagree with the idea that their protections are others' protections [e.g. non-censorship of popular media]. There is overlap, but the WBC's actions are not the same as a controversial novel.

I see free speech not as an end in itself but as a means to further the public discourse; to make sure that ideas are given fair weight and not ruled out through force or other social principles that ultimately default to the threat of force (if you get evicted and refuse to go, the landlord can call in the cops - exercising force).
Following from that, I think it is reasonable to restrict speech which does not serve this purpose and which, on average, creates harm greater than the cost of prohibiting and punishing it.
Thus, I am okay with hate speech laws - one cannot advocate genocide or incite people to violence directly or through dehumanizing arguments (as dehumanization curtails empathy, which is a key step in inflicting mass violence) against a demographic of people defined by race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation and... a few other things I can't remember (but not gender or disability apparently, which is odd, but that's Canadian law for you). Through hate speech laws, we have removed "wholescale slaughter" from social consideration and will focus our cognitive engines elsewhere.
There are many other restrictions on free speech, ultimately backed by force,  which I usually agree with (and which are generally considered intuitive, yet are not included in most discussions of free speech): uttering threats; breaching confidentiality; impersonating a police officer or other public official; identity theft; offering to pay someone to inflict harm; spreading malware; sexual harassment; giving false professional advice; following someone and shouting at them after they've asked you to leave them alone; breaking noise control ordinance; fraud; the old "shouting 'fire' in a crowded theatre" example; as well many other crimes even if one defines them as "performance art." All of these are crimes of communication, of speech or expression (they are "speech-acts"), and all, on average, contribute greater harm to society than a benefit that they would stand to create by furthering the public discourse. They have been ruled out of bounds. I am generally okay with that.
I don't think what the WBC does should be legal as it is harassment and hate speech and contributes nothing to the public discourse. But I don't mind that they get away with it - it does wonders for the public perception of homophobia.
I understand it's a generalization. That's not my point. I want to know *why* one group of lesbians is stereotypical and another isn't. What causes it?

Read more... )

To change these cultures then, one needs to pick the place for people to socialize, one with a carefully constructed social-geographic culture. Then put the word out to queers of all stripes, let them self-select, then let it snowball.

The dykes you're describing: justice oriented, countercultural, dogmatic, white/cis/middle-class guilt. Did they meet their fellow queers in college, then hang out at nonprofit events run by people with degrees? Are they union/NDP-affiliated?

The lads: did they find themselves as gay men in a sweaty disco room?

Can you think of queers who didn't come out this way? Did they break the stereotype?

See link

(What I didn't write was - Xtra West - perhaps you could hire some more people who do not identify as cisgendered homosexuals?)

A lot of homosexuals forget that the word "Queer" was coined in part to unite the wide range of ways of living outside the norm - undoing some of the damage wrought by psychiatry, which defined homosexuality as an illness, distinct from breaking other gender norms. And I know many one-woman/one-man couples who are definitely Queer.

Some are gender-variant, and when not holding hands (and sometimes even when they are), get read as gay or lesbian. If one of them acts gender-normative, and the other does not, the "normal" one may still be ejected from the hetero club on account of hooking up with a swishy dude who might be mistaken for a woman, or a woman who's too butch, and who may be mistaken for a man.

Sometimes one or both are bisexual. If they're both bisexual, one of the things they have in common is constantly taking flack from hets for being too homo, and flack from homosexuals from being too het - homosexuals who refuse to date them, and then who condemn them for sleeping with the other sex rather than choosing a life of bisexual celibacy.

Sometimes, one or both people are transsexual. Your relationship might be hetero, but bigots won't see it that way. Remember Pvt. Barry Winchell, murdered by his coworkers for going out with a transsexual woman?

Or they could be poly - many forms of which are still illegal in Canada.

Or they could be more than one of the above.

All of the people in these couples can be targeted by anti-queer laws, slurs or fists, just as much as anyone in a same-gender relationship.

Think also of norms of dating based on race, religion, ability, class and age.

What unites us as Queers is breaking with the assumption that everyone should be heterosexual, cisgendered, and live in a suburban bungalow with 2.5 children.
I want Queer roleplaying - and I don't know how to get it.

I'm getting back into roleplaying games and storygames, but I've changed sex and started paying attention to the society that I live in. And this is causing some alienation.

Like other media, most roleplaying games, especially the big brands, tacitly endorse status quo ways of thinking and problem-solving. There might be spaceships or dragons, but these are often not more than mad libs for an underlying adventure story that's a cross between the (feudal) heroic narrative and a kind of "character building" that resembles a (socially oblivous) business growth strategy - there's an evil enemy, and you plan and whack it and take it's stuff, and are honoured far and wide, and next time, you're that much stronger.

It's a shame for a medium that champions imagination.
Read more... )
Read more... )
To the interior designer from the company with a name that sounds kinda gay:

You saw me covered in powdered drywall, wearing a filter mask while sorting through wires. I saw that you were very tastefully dressed - which is appropriate given your occupation.

Our only social interaction today was me saying "excuse me" as I walked past you, while you and my superiors were going over the layout. And you helping me when you saw that I couldn't figure out how to open the jammed sliding door. Still, you seemed unusually friendly to me.

Before you left, you were sure to specifically let me know that you'd see my later.

Oh yes, this was definitely worthwhile.

From Wikipedia

In gay slang, a "friend of Dorothy" (occasionally abbreviated FOD) is a term for a gay man.[1] The phrase dates back to at least World War II, when homosexual acts were illegal in the United States. Stating that, or asking if, someone was a "friend of Dorothy" was a euphemism used for discussing sexual orientation without others knowing its meaning. The origin of the term is unknown and there are various theories.[2] A similar term "friend of Mrs King" (ie Queen) was used in England, mostly in the first half of the 20th century.[3]...

...In the early 1980s, the Naval Investigative Service was investigating homosexuality in the Chicago area. Agents discovered that gay men sometimes referred to themselves as "friends of Dorothy." Unaware of the historical meaning of the term, the NIS believed that a woman named Dorothy was at the center of a massive ring of homosexual military personnel. The NIS launched an enormous hunt for Dorothy, hoping to find her and convince her to reveal the names of gay servicemembers.[9]


Mar. 7th, 2008 09:49 pm
Friday, March 14th

B.Y.O.Gender, 8pm, Highland Pub, $3-6pm sliding scale

A Night of Gender Performance, Games, Contests, Prizes, Music and Dancing!  It's our traditional end-of-QAW party, and everyone is invited!  Unleash your inner gender!

Featuring DJ Like the Wolf, who you may remember from a little disco called Bent. This is also a benefit for the Trans Youth Drop-in!

This should be even better than last year's - and that's saying something.
Plus I'm one of the judges.
I'm following up on the letter I sent out earlier to a woman's kink thingy.

What amuses me about all of this is:

[edit: I'm leaving the remaining typos in to remind myself why I shouldn't write important letters when I should be sleeping]

1. With this dyke event, where variant gender-expresion is presumably welcome (short hair, comfortable shoes), I'm going to bat to have body-variance included

2. At the women's centre, where they are pretty darn good about body-variance (i.e. intersex, MtF), I am (actually, I should say "was, and may again after the CFS stuff is done") trying to get gender expression included so the space users will stop bothering women with short hair.

So we have people who belong to the one, who would wonder whether they're welcome, and fully welcome, at the other. Maybe I should introduce them.

Man, this shit makes me tense. It just pokes a stick in me.                Boundaries. Boundaries.

Anyway. The letters. I guess I'm putting them here to prove I exist, that I am doing this. I think that probing for these answers is the right thing to do, but I feel like I'm being a jackass.

What I want is a clear answer, and it annys me and scares me when I can't get one (confer: BC vital statistics and changing gender). With a clear answer, I do not have to worry about me or one of my friends getting a hurtful response where they thought theywere welcome. I might even be able to look forward to expanding the social bounds and esources of somethnig that I care about (see examples one and two above).

The Cass identity model of coming out.

It's somewhat outdated, culture-specific, and doesn't apply as much to transgendered people (i.e. both transsexual and gender-variant), but it's good.

6 am and awake since 4:40 ish.

Woken up by a variant of an earlier dream: I'd been a negligent pet owner and the sickly abandoned rodents bred and bred and bred until they produced too many sick offspring to count - and it was my fault.

Hard to get back to sleep after that.

When I'm awake, what swirls around in my head like nothing else - and what has, for years, swirled around in my head like nothing else - is this feeling of being unable to speak.

The  most common form of this is my tendency to run into bands of old-fashioned lefty discourses that tell me (usually indirectly but occasionally to my face) that I have no right to be saying what I'm saying - that my mouth is selling us out. Might as well write it out.

Queer math

Sep. 11th, 2007 11:15 pm
I just sent this email off to a queer speed-friending/dating site.


I would love to know how you solved the combinatoric/organizing problem inherent in queer speed friending/dating. I've filled many a piece of paper trying (and failing) to figure it out and present it in a simple form so that participants could follow instructions.

Hetero speed dating is fairly simple - everyone in group A (i.e. women who like guys) has to meet everyone in B (i.e. guys who like women), but neither A nor B is to meet anyone in their own group - you just form an inner and outer circle and one rotates. There are n people; n/2 in A and n/2 in B and you have n^2/4 meetings with n/2 happening at per turn with n/2 turns.

Same-sex speed dating is a more complicated as it requires n*(n-1)/2 meetings and the double-circle method fails to introduce everyone to everyone else. How did you do it so that everyone meets each-other without making the instructions too complicated for participants to follow? Did you group everyone into groups A and B, do the double-circle for one complete rotation then subdivide A and B and repeat with two double circles, repeating until done?

I could see it work if you had 4, 8, 16, 32 and so on people and could give everyone a slip of paper with who they need to talk to next, or a number slightly below an exponent of two, with a few people sitting out each round

I'd love to know how you did it - and I'd like to attend the next 19+ Rhizome event too,

- Amy

Strange - after a bit of a lull, I seem to be back going over my queer issues.

(Note the use of the term "queer issues" and not "gender issues. See below)

Following my own advice, I plan to look at the context and not hold back with my thoughts.
You know what to do - giv 'er! )
Going to Chicklets with April, as well as my newly-moved cousin and her girlfriend was not just fun, but felt like a coup. I don't entirely understand why. It may be the combining of queer events and family that I like. Indeed.

Music: up and down, widely varying themes, some awesome top 40 and 80s including a lady sovereign mashup that should have been left as-is, but also repetitive dance, some tunes semi-undanceable, inconsistent volume, higher tones and high hat often painfully loud

Crowd: sparse until 10:30 then increasing until 11:45, very gradually diminishing thereafter. Ages range from legal drinking to mid-fifties, with the median age being perhaps early thirties? Mostly White, but many more Black and Latina women than I am used to seeing anywhere in the city. Some Eastasians. No Southasians or Aboriganls as far as I could tell in the dark without my glasses. Pants near-ubiquitous: some shorts; no skirts. Guessing 90% women; 6% trans; 4% men sticking to their female chums. Women tended towards the gender-variant. A shorter crowd than I would expect - I was one of the taller non-male people.

Entertainment: two excellent aerialist acts turned the head of the entire dance floor; go-go dancers pulled off 1960s fashions well, but looked vaguely out-of-place. Screens overhead cycled through different videos, some visually cool and appropriate, others a bit sleazy, some just pretty and abstract. Pretty L.A.S.E.R.s and fake smoke abound.

Staff: friendly all-around, from door to staff, to bartender and attentive waiters.

Space: good size; some bumping getting into and off of the dance floor. Smoke room. 90% wheelchair accessible when not crowded.

Drinks: mostly ice

Personal and Social Context:
Running opposite HerShe may not have been a good idea, but it drew a packed house eventually.

Since this was the first time that I'd been to a Queer lasses' event (unless you count the three-and-a-half months of the 2004 course "Queer women's autobiographies"), I am unable to reach any strong generalizations. The social spacing and eye contact indicates that this particular event was a "take your  friends and dance together" rather than a "have a few and hook up" kind of thing. Is this generalizable to other dyke nights? if so, it could contribute to the pronounced difference between the number of gay clubs (a lot) and lesbian clubs (maybe one and they don't have a webpage).

I must say that I enjoyed the space. It had the queer of out-on-campus, and a lesbian-normative atmosphere, but it's also all-genders-welcome which makes this radical warm and fuzzy, instead of awkward and guilty.

If anyone has the goods on Lick (such as "where can I find out what they host over a given week, as - they don't seem to have a webpage") I'd like to hear it.
- Amy

After several big-name donors pulled out, The Pride society requires about 200 parade marshalls for this year's 30th anniversary parade. Otherwise they may be unable to hold it next year.

I say if you're going to Pride anyway, being a Marshall means that you get the best seat in the house. And if you have any suggestions for future parades, volunteering is a fine way to get your foot in the door. And if your friends are Marshalling, this is a good way to hang out with them.

Here's the form.

See y'all there*

*Except Ruby. She's in Manilla**

**As if that's an excuse

(and fill out the survey if you have time)
I am talking to a woman who is conducting a political survey. I have explained how to spell:
- fiscally
- frivolous
- alientates

...but the laundry-list of questions that she asked about Harper and Dion shows me that, overall, Canadians ask good questions about their leaders.

Queer Sh*t

Feb. 27th, 2007 08:20 pm
1. Out-Out Campus is doing super-cool Queer awareness week stuff. There is a drag show on the 16th. You have to go.
I mean that you actually have to. You don't have choice - we passed it at forum last week. There will be drag kings with fedoras, painted-on mustaches and tommy-guns arriving at your place of residence shortly. Sorry.

2. This gay marriage ad campaigns point out the obvious: a lot of gay couples are pretty straight except for the gay part. Turns out that it had already been done in Canada (it's on the left side of the screen when you scroll down). These ads are funny and accurate and I like them but fall short in two areas.

  a. Gay marriage bills can fail in some areas because gay is seen as a White issue.
  b. Many people, of any sexual orientation, find something alarming about being in a conventional marriage.

I still like them, but I would like to see a multiracial genderfucked six-person bloodplay and the tagline:
Don't worry, you don't have to be a part of this...
but you're thinking about it aren't you?

Just sayin'

3. A few people have been a bit surprised by my gender issues. I've heard that many people don't find me to be that feminine, and that this acts as a source of confusion. Cool.           (and long live Eris, goddess of dischord!)

Here's the short of it: much as trans folk aren't necssarily straight, by which I mean "attracted to the gender opposite their preferred one" (in fact, I think that trans folk are more likely to be non-straight than cisgendered folks), gender identity doesn't always square with mannerisms. There are nelly transguys, who may be gay, straight or bi. I know of one butch translass.

Furthermore, Transgender shit is an intense process of self-blah-blah-blah-blah. In this, and often in transsexual cases of doing awesomely psycho shit to your mind-body with hormones (we must be mentally ill if we want to go through puberty again), people often find that they don't wind up where they expected. There are even trans folk who were homosexual in their old gender and still are in their new one

Changed sex, still queer, sorry dad.

So's you know.



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