gender

Chow Down at Chick-fil-a

While hate is an awful thing, you have to ask yourself, what do you do about it?

From my experience, the best thing is to return hate with love.  People hate the LGBT community because they are afraid of us.  It's true.  They fear difference of any kind, and we are a violation of their beloved gender stereotypes.

They want to return to the Leave it to Beaver world of the Husband as patriarch and bread winner, wife in the kitchen, and obedient children.  Homosexuality is a direct threat to that.  We defy the stereotype that boys love girls and vice versa.

They just need to get used to us, Drag Queens and all.

Transgender and Androgyny in Speculative Fiction

Drag queen
Image by VOLPE1981 via Flickr

My new story is in trouble.  A lot of trouble.  I can not figure out what I want it to be about.  I really want to do something different, something I want to read, something I want to see, and I've learned that I am a hard target audience.

I only know one thing about the story, I want it to have a drag cabaret in it and I want to play around with gender in a way I've never done before.  I want the character list to include at least 1 drag queen, 1 transgender, and 1 androgyn.  It is hard to deal with this in a way the average reader will be able to cope.

Pronouns and gender words are posing a problem for me.  Also introducing the characters in a way that tells the readers who these characters are without a "coming out" scene or using unflattering language.

When I read iambic kilometer's META: Five+ Ways Being Transgender in Fandom Really Sucks, and Why I Stick With It Anyway, I felt an ache within me to work even harder to get this right.

The trans character is to one I am having the more trouble developing, so I might drop her from the roster.  Is it better to do a questionable job with a character or to leave them out?  I'm not really sure, but I need to figure that out.

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Acceptability/Assimilation Will not Keep Us Safe

Within fandom, as with the mainstream culture, assimilation into an ‘acceptable person’ is not a way to be safe. For years I have participated in the panels and sundry other discussions about whether GLBT fans should blend into the background, or whether we should be more vocal, and make our presence known and felt. It was a struggle at first, but eventually we came to believe the price of silence too high for us to pay.

In other words, those who were naturally straight-acting, were encouraged not to change their persona at fan events, and those of us who were a bit more obvious in our sexual orientation and gender identity were encouraged to be ourselves. The only exception we stressed was for cosplay (dressing in costume and pretending you are what you are dressed as).

While we always used common sense, we found it was best to be open and upfront about our orientation and identity. The vast majority of negative experiences I have had at fan events were when someone found out I am gay, and felt like I had hidden it from them.

I am very inappropriate

the flag of the Klingons
Image via Wikipedia

I am more inappropriate and direct with people then the average person, and will often introduce myself: “Hello, I am Eric, and I am a gay man, may I presume you are heterosexual.”

It usually gets a laugh, and will often open the door for people to understand the awkward position GLBT people are placed in by society. If we are not open about our identity or orientation, it is assumed we were hiding it.

You don’t have to be as upfront as I am, but be careful not to lead people into believing you are covering it up. This self-serving sense of betrayal is often used as a thin veil to excuse a person’s homophobia. “Well, I just don’t know who you are anymore.” Whoever you are, always be yourself, be open, and be honest.

Klingon Drag Queen

Last year, our first klingon drag queen attended Shore Leave. She was stunning and took the time to make each piece of the costume by hand to express her gender identity and passion for klingons. Unfortunately, she also experienced an inordinate amount of sneers and cat calls as she went through the convention.

Our group also features a number of male-to-female transgenders who often come in costume. They have not faced some of the same hurdles the rest of the community have. When I talked to one who asked to remain anonymous, she told me that her biggest problem at the conventions were that people assumed she merely wore a costume.

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Where is the Diversity in IDIC?

Fandom is a beautiful thing. Fandom is nothing more and nothing less than people gathering in common cause to say, “We love this!” It is a common bond bringing together people from disparate groups that would ordinarily never mix and mingle. Through movie attendance, book clubs, fan clubs, conventions, and online networks, we join in unanimous praise and critique of the objects of our love. The stories, characters, and settings we love tie us together, and give us shared stories through which we relate to each other. What happens when certain voices of the community are not represented in those stories, characters, and settings? How do these people make their voices heard. We unite with our friends and allies to hi-light the problems and seek to bring these lost voices out of the community and into the very things we love.

Minority Report

John Stewart. Promotional cover art for Green ...
Image via Wikipedia

Gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity are only a handful of the communities struggling for representation within Speculative Fiction and fandom. Over the years, I have been delegated the responsibility for dealing with issues of sexual orientation and gender identity by a couple conventions in Maryland. The problems are deep, the solutions are imaginative, and our progress has been impressive.

Roles for women, ethnic minorities, and homosexuals are not only under represented, but they are often included either as stereotypes or as the character who will be killed at some point in the story.

The Jon Stewart Green Lantern movie couldn't get green lit, but the Hal Jordon Green Lantern did.  Even in the Transformers, the black Autobot died.

It is time for more more minorities to take on leading roles without having to pander to a white, heterosexual, male audience.

Homophobia is Sexism

It is not the most widely held opinion, but I have argued for years that Homophobia is just another form of sexism. For most people, their problem with GLBT people is that we do not fit nicely into the culturally acceptable gender roles assigned to us. The solution to this is not to conform to these gender roles, or to defy them. What we need to do is be ourselves.

IDIC

In this series, I will be discussing my experiences as a gay man in fandom and SF.

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What is a Woman?

girl In the Senate version of the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act (of 2005, 2006, &2007), a woman is defined as:

(6) WOMAN- The term `woman’ means a female human being who is capable of becoming pregnant, whether or not she has reached the age of majority.

So if a female human is not capable of becoming pregnant that she is not a woman? Should I still use words like she and her when discussing this kind of person? So a woman becomes a female at menopause? Are words like mother and wife still legal after menopause or a hysterectomy?

What is the government doing trying to legislate words like woman? This is a frightening road to start walking down. When will they define man or human, and who will fit under those definitions?

(via (en)Gender)

Second Look: Space: Above and Beyond

Space: Above and BeyondStars-5I barely remember watching Space: Above and Beyond when it was on Fox in 1995-96. My significant memory is from the repeated marathons of the show on the Sci Fi Channel. I am surprised in many ways that the series actually got made in the first place.

The show chronicles the adventures of the 58th, "Wild Cards," a group of marines fighting to defend earth from an advancing military threat in 2063-2064. While that might sound like standard Military Sci Fi, common fodder for TV, the frank and gritty look at the consequences of war on those who must fight it is like nothing I have ever seen before. Issues ranging from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to combat duty rotation are covered in a realist and gripping way.

One of the most endearing characteristics of the show is how well it translates the Marines' care to bury their dead, leaving no one behind on the battle field.

Each member of the 58th came into the service for a different reason, adding many levels to what could have been yet another Military SF series.

The one thing that surprises me the most is that this series did not engender a Firefly-like fan base to keep the series alive, even if only through fanfiction.

Thankfully, I rediscovered the series through Netflix, and it has traveled past the veil from a renter to an owner. If no one else is writing fanfic for Space: Above and Beyond, then I might have to start. If you have never seen the series, or haven't watched it in a long time, pick it up and check it out. I am so glad I did.

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Ohio lawmakers introduce gay adoption ban

C.E. Dorsett Like a dagger through my heart into the very marrow of my soul, I read the news this morning and the the blade appeared to my eye:

Emboldened by the passage of Ohio's broad anti-gay constitutional amendment in 2004, conservatives now seek to limit parenting rights for LGBT people in the state.

Ten members of the Ohio General Assembly this week introduced HB515, the so-called “Adoptive and Foster Children's Protection Act,” which would legally prevent foster-care and adoptive children from being placed in the home of a gay, bisexual or transgender person (Gay.com).

I don't really know what to say. Can we get a ban on Evangelicals from having children? Every person I have ever known who converted to this hate-filled and dangerous incarnation of Darbian Christianity has become a danger to themselves and others. The solipsism of Evangelical Christianity is stunning at times. There is no evidence the GLBT parents are any different from non-GLBT parents... except they are usually older, more financially well off, and are incapable of accidentally having a child.

We have to stop this irrational hate of GLBT people, and move forward.

O My God! Literally!

  Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart threatened to kill gay men!! {Full Story}  Speaking against same gender marriage, Swaggart endorsed the homophobic rationale behind most hate crimes by saying he would commit one himself.  This is the true face of the antichristian evangelical movement.  As a survivor of their insanity, I have to say, this is a rare glimpse into their way of thinking.  Like when Benny Hinn claimed that God would kill all homosexuals with fire in the mid 1990's.  {Listen}  Did you hear the crowd's response? This is why they fight against civil rights for gays and lesbians.  They are blinded by hate, fear and loathing.  They would like nothing better than to have all people that are different from them to fall off the face of the earth... or as they tell it, they can't wait to be 'raptured' away.

Now add to Swaggart and Hinn, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell blaming the 9/11 attacks on homosexuals among others. {full story} plus James Dobson and Greg Koukl attempting to rationalize anti-homosexual bigotry, and we have to wonder how these people can pretend to be anything but the hateful monsters that they are.  Sugar sweetened poison is still poison!

Stop for a moment to think about something for me.  The Neo-cons in congress did not have time to take up a bill to classify terrorism against homosexuals as hate crimes, but they did have time to vote on the Marriage Restriction Amendment...  most Neo-cons have an allegiance to the evangelical movement... no wonder they don't want to punish terrorism against homosexuals with the same severity as terrorism against Christians.  Interesting, isn't it.

The Work Goes On

  I took a break this morning to write some things for you, I hope you enjoy.  Phara-un is coming along well, and episode two should be finished this week...Believe me, I am trying to find more time to write than I have been, but with everything going on it has been hard.  Since last night, Smoky (the dog) has had three seizures.    The vet said to double his medicine, but it is still scary.  I am still working, but the work has just slowed down.

  The Cost of Ignorance

Ignorance is bliss?  What is the real price we pay for ignorance of ourselves, our beliefs and our world?  It is higher than any of us should be willing to pay.  The price of ignorance is our lives, and I for one, am not willing to pay such a high rate.  [continue reading]

Website Update

  •   Marriage in the Bible- If they are going to claim that marriage has to be based on Holy Scripture, lets look at the other things that have to change about marriage in the US.