Fighting Within the GLBTQ Community is “Gay”

gay hate 2Last time i checked, the GLBT community wasn’t REALLY passing out toasters. Last time i checked, we weren’t required to have membership cards for our sexual preferences or any awards for JUST HOW GAY/BI/STRAIGHT/TRANS someone is. And if there is a newsletter or Facebook page displaying what is currently politically correct, please, sign me up, because frankly, all of this shit is confusing.

if one more person tries to tell me how i SHOULD be- I’m gonna flip my shit.
if one more person tries to tell me that i’m not THIS enough or THAT enough- I’m gonna flip my shit.
if one more person states how it IS- when it concerns MY LIFE- I’m gonna flip my shit.
if one more person changes the terminology of things on me- I’m gonna flip my shit.

THEN there is the P.C. police. and the gender police. and people telling me what is ok to say when I only just got used to saying things the way I did from the LAST time they told me what to say. Please stop, my brain has turned to Nutella.

I don’t remember getting a rule book when I came out over 15 years ago. I probably missed that class too.

Rather than sit there and TELL ME what to do and what NOT to do, maybe, JUST MAYBE, focus on living a happier life and focus on helping the community. maybe. JUST MAYBE, stop telling people what to do.

I remember when the only thing you had to be mindful of was not saying that something was “GAY” to refer to something negative. Now, the list is never-ending. The following list is just a sampling compiled from my Facebook Friends-

“i hate fags.” “she’s a big dyke.” “he’s not manly enough.” “her hair is too short, she has to be a lesbian.” “she should just come out of the closet already.” “it’s totally a guy- just look at IT’s hands.” “bisexuality doesn’t exist.” “i’m a gay man, and i still hate fags.” “i only date girly girls.” “shemales.” “he’s flaming.” “she’s only a lesbian because she never had good dick.” “i hate straight men.” “he’ll never pass as a guy.” “being bisexual just means you are confused and can’t commit.” “he has boobs.” “Cis privilege.” “what the fuck is CIS gender anyways?” “i don’t need any straight people on my side.” “Bisexuals need to pick a side, already.” “I hate the whole gay rainbow thing.” “bunch of fucking tranny queers.” “nelly fag.” “i don’t date HIV+ guys.” “the trans community needs to stop riding the coattails of the Gay Community.” “i bet HE takes it up the ass.” “gay for pay.” “the word TRANNY is an insult, DON’T say it.” “he’s just a man in a dress.” “the whole uhaul joke.” “is pansexual a REAL thing? i’ve never heard of it.” “since you are bi, you can’t be faithful or monogamous, because you’ll always want the other side.” “aren’t all transexuals just cross dressers?” “they’re straight. what do they know?”
“trans people don’t belong in the community, because it’s a gender NOT a preference.” “if you are trans, you shouldn’t be stealth. you should always be trans.” “she’s only doing it for attention.”

WHO MAKES THIS SHIT UP? you know who? we do. WE.DO. It’s bad enough to be called names and condemned by the closed minded people of the world, then we have to fight against people and organizations like the Westboro Baptist church- but now- we are FIGHTING WITH PEOPLE IN THE GLBTQ community. We need to STOP fighting with each other. Let’s take all of the wasted energy calling each other out and making useless rules to work together for a more supportive community.

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Taking Back “Tranny”

I am tackling the whole “TRANNY” issue, once and for all.

fag.
homo.
dyke.
queer.
cunt.
tranny.

My mother used to let us swear as far back as I can remember because she always said that words were just words, and it is true. Words ARE JUST words. People give power and meaning to words, they do nothing on their own.  Without added emotion, feelings, and images to represent it, a word is just a bunch of letters hanging out together.

If the word is meant in an insulting way then, yes, it is negative. No one wants to hear kids saying “that’s so gay” when they don’t even know what they are saying. But I’m talking about people making the blanket statement that “TRANNY” is a bad word, because, no, it isn’t.  “Tranny” is the shortened form of “transgender” and also “transvestite” which are indeed two different things.  I can assume and understand that a transgender person doesn’t want to be labeled incorrectly as a transvestite, but neither term should be considered offensive; neither should cause embarrassment, shame or anger if applied incorrectly by mistake. Now, I’m not sure when using the term “TRANNY” became shameful or insulting, but just even within the last two weeks, I have been told more than a dozen times by a handful of different people that it is.

You can make ANY word positive or negative. What you CANT DO is TELL ME that the word is wrong based on YOUR opinion, because, to me, that says that YOU have a problem with the word. And I’m not even using the argument of “only trans people can say it”  like the whole “only black people can say ‘nigger'”. Yes. The word has very nasty negativity behind it. I personally flinched every single time it was used in Django Unchained, because it was MEANT to be demeaning. It was SUPPOSED TO BE NEGATIVE. But if someone wants to reclaim the word and USE IT TO BE EMPOWERING- who are YOU to stop them? Who are you to tell someone that a word is wrong or right, positive or negative?

fag.
homo.
dyke.
queer.
cunt.
tranny.

These words have been RECLAIMED. And fucking rightly so. Many hate crimes have resulted and much blood has been lost over WORDS. These words STAND FOR THE FIGHT. They say “I WONT BE FUCKED WITH ANYMORE.” They say, “I used to be afraid. I used to hate hearing someone call me FAG, but I WONT LET ANYONE BULLY ME ANYMORE. I am a fag. and I am proud to be a fag.”

Rupaul made the word “TRANNY” a household word, and for that I am grateful. Rupaul fought her way to the top. It is NOT YOUR PLACE to tell her that she can’t be proud to use the word TRANNY. It’s NOT YOUR PLACE to take away someone’s hard fought battles. It is NOT YOUR PLACE to put people back in the closet, or back to being afraid to walk down the street wearing whatever they want. Even if you are trans, IT IS NOT YOUR PLACE to take away someone’s courage and strength. If you are offended by TRANNY, then maybe change how YOU look at the word before you EXPECT everyone else to be offended by it. Instead of being afraid of words- look to those that HAVE ACTUALLY SUFFERED to earn the RIGHT to be fags, homos, dykes, queers and yes, even TRANNYS.

gay-left-04

draghttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/transcript/stonewall-transcript/

The Old Boy Story

by Aria Riding

Once upon a time, a man is kidnapped and imprisoned for about seventeen years without knowing his crime or his accuser.  When he is released, he meets a young woman and they fall in love.  When they are about to marry, they discover they are father and daughter.  Of course this is unsupportable and they feel very bad and separate, although they feel a great pain, because their love is a true love.  In time the man meets another woman and they fall in love.  As it happens, she too is his daughter.  She feels heartbroken and he feels heartbroken and confused.  They separate.  They divorce.  He meets another woman. They make love.  They fall in love.  She is also his daughter.  This happens two or three more times.

Finally, the man swears he is unlucky in love and that he will never marry.  The woman sitting across from him on their date says, I wanted to say exactly the same thing.  In this moment, their eyes meet and they fall into deep deep love.  They marry and after a little bit discover they are brother and sister.  They separate, and like all the other women before her, she never tells him about the pregnancy.  In fits of ecstasy and despair the man marries and separates from three more women, all of them undiscovered sisters.

The hapless guy gives up on love; he thinks, I will never be able to meet a woman.  And from time to time, he mopes, Who is it that imprisoned me and condemned me to this crazy fate?  My crime must have been really terrible and my punishment, to be related to and forbidden from love, it must be justified.

The man decides to go into seclusion and enters a monastery.  All of the monks are very quiet and kind, and he thinks, A little bit sad, he thinks, With guilty consciences like me.  They rarely speak and their nods and acknowledgments are infrequent, and if their eyes meet, there’s usually a little flash of knowing, a little flutter, a little color in the cheeks.  The head monk is very warm and kind.  His gestures are more effusive and bourgeois than the man would have expected from a monk.  This elderstatesman starts to invite the man into his chambers for tea and philosophical conversation and they play board games which seem kind of symbolic.  One thing leads to another.  The man is resistant at first but he rationalizes to himself, This man is much older than me, he cannot be my daughter or my sister, and as I’m condemned to never meet a woman, maybe I can accept at least the touch of this old man.  It takes time, but attachments form (in May).  After a few years the man is finally able to admit he loves the old man as they lie in a soft, sunlit embrace.  The old man says, Of course, it’s only natural for a son to love his father.

The man cries out, Father, I’ve been so unlucky in love!  He extrapolates: I was imprisoned for something like seventeen years, and since I was released, I have only unwittingly loved my own daughters and sisters, and now, my own father.  And to make matters worse, I don’t know my crime or my mysterious accuser, but I must have been the worst kind of person to be punished this way.  The father is taken aback, Son, you’re taking it all the wrong way.  Please stop torturing yourself and feeling so bad, you didn’t do anything wrong.  It was I who imprisoned you.  You are a good boy, just like all of your brothers.  The old man gestures broadly towards the grounds beyond the window, indicating all of the other monks going about their daily chores and meditations which usually lost focus, unraveled and reassembled into contemplative orgies.  You see, we are a very loving family, and what I did, I did out of love for you, because I loved you so much I wanted to keep you for myself.

Then the man saw that every trial in his life had had to unfold exactly as it did, love upon laboriously planned and awkwardly unseemly love, so that he could now naturally, and of his own accord, fall into the loving arms of his father.  And he did.  And there they stayed, father and son lovingly making love … until some young man that the man did not yet realize was his own son showed up at the monastery and the embrace of the two monks slackened as their hips both swiveled towards their new great love.

Aria Riding, 1977, is an artist and performer; the body of her work is about intimacy, mutations of love and intimacy, holding intimate time and space, limits of the mind and body, and the poetry that comes from exposing or being exposed by these limits.   She likes doing music and dance training with special abilities people.  Her writing, painting and sculpture collections are entitled the Book of Total Darkness and Grinder Family Archives.  Her performance work incorporates butoh dance, theater, installation, literature, and altered states like Hysteria, prisons, obsessive compulsive disorders, bloodletting, love.  She has co-directed the performance group, Danse Perdue since 2002, and the Teatro de la Psychomachia (a theater, art and workshop studio located in Seattle, U.S.A.), since 2010. Since 2005, she has performed, exhibited, and taught in different places in the United States, and, always by the grace of Flavia Ghisalberti, in different parts of Europe and Russia.  She can’t update her website from her fainting couch, but can look her up at facebook.com/lostdance.

For Days I Could Only Speak in Cliches

by Kait Maurorising

through the depression.
I felt, without a body, something in agony

or maybe a body without a soul, stiff
and too heavy to pull from the bed.

Yes. An obese body, my own flesh and grief,
too heavy for my body to lift. There is no other way
to tell you I woke up afraid I was going to live.

There is no other way to say how I was overwhelmed
by the mundane things –
dishes, the shower, breakfast –
I could not be anywhere.

I ran from Saint Louis
across the rolling ground to Colorado,
where I found the mountains
could no longer offer me comfort,
to my mother’s home in Pennsylvania,
where the red wolves used to hunt and stalk,
to Chicago.

From Chicago I ran back into my heavy tired body, to find
that where the soul had been there was now a hard river stone,
small and cold and smooth. Many suggested a hospital stay,
but what can doctors do for a stone?

I crave a body I can crawl into.

-Kait Mauro is a 21 year old photographer and poet who resides in Western Pennsylvania.
Her work can be seen on kaitmauro.com.

When I Used to Love

by Mr. Wolf

I used to love…
When he would hold and kiss me
When times were better
When we didn’t care who saw
When we just discovered our feelings
When I found him again on Facebook
When he told me he loved me
When we held hands
When we held each other
When we slept in each other’s arms
When I was 17 and he was 20
When we were a grade apart
When we were in the JROTC
When we made love for the first time
When we cuddled in the backseat
When time knew no bounds for us
When we were two kids in love
When our hearts were synchronized
When our souls were one

Then…the heartbreak
When I found out he wasn’t the one
When he left me for someone else
When I used to love

 

“Mr. Wolf,” was born and raised in Detroit, MI. He graduated from Cass Technical High, but still hangs around with his younger friends from time to time. He’s 18, and has his share of hustles to get by. He loves to write and debate. He is also a Liberal Republican, defending both the NRA and gay marriage. He’s bisexual, and looking for his love once again. This poem is based on his relationship with a former schoolmate, and the first time he was in a relationship with another guy.

Sex

by Victoria Bell

The fairer sex-
The weaker sex-
Opposite sex-
Sexting-
Sex kitten-
Sexy bitch-
Sex education-
Same sex marriage-
I want your sex-
Sexy and I know it-
Contains some sexual content-
Let’s Talk About Sex-
Sex, Lies and Videotape-
Sex and the city-
Sex drugs and rock n roll-

None of these is how I feel for you
Wouldn’t it be easiser if it was?

Make no mistake, I don’t want to “make love,”
I want to fuck you. But it’s more.
And you feel it, every bit of it.
This would be easier if it were just
lust.

-Victoria Bell fancies herself as a writer and calls Seattle her home.
She doesn’t shy away from sex. She has a pen and she’s not afraid to use it.

Love Letter

by Kait Mauro

Sleeping in the Forest by Kait Mauro

Sleeping in the Forest by Kait Mauro

This is for you.

The universe conspires on your behalf. You are here because you are wanted and needed.

You are the entire universe manifested in blood bone and beating breath. You are terrifying and beautiful. You are wild. You are affection embodied, and the earth delights with you. It offers itself to your imagination, calls to you by your many names, tugs at the hem of your sweater. And you have survived everything

so far. Though you are only one in seven billion, your hunger and fear and delight are not insignificant. You are the alto moan of July thunderstorms, you are the hedonistic beckoning of the forests, the Cascade mountains, you are the slick dangerous dance of the sea, the tamed bones, the laced cartilage. Has there ever been a more human phrase than, “I want you to know?”

I want you to know that you are savage wonder, childish delight. You are joyful and sexual and being and it is alright to live. You are the wise and infinite redwoods. You are raspberries crushed in the hand and confusion and discontent and sleepless nights and you are loved. And, no matter what they said, despite what you’ve needed to hear and were not told, it was not your fault.

Learn to cup your palms together to hold the grief lightly because the furled leaves of the trees are offering, to you, their invitations. My body, too, hungers for simpler spaces and lighter ways. I, too, crave more human contact, answers, questions. Doesn’t the soul shiver nicely?

Your body was meant to heal and to take it and it has. I can only guess that the soul was made just as slippery and giving. Remember that we like you. Remember that you are wanted here and that, like ivy, we grow where there is room for us.

-Kait Mauro is a 21 year old photographer and poet who resides in Western Pennsylvania.
Her work can be seen on kaitmauro.com.