lgbtq

Why Police Brutality is an LGBTQ issue

Police Brutality has been a source of violence, grief, and fear in both the LGBTQ community and communities of color. The Black Lives Matter movement has made many Americans rethink their relationships with the police. Considering the context of the Stonewall Riots, queer history adds to the discourse on police brutality, exposing the patriarchal nature of law enforcement that is a major component to these violent encounters.

Current-day queer people are still facing these issues. In the 2015 US Transgender study, it was revealed that 58 percent of respondents who interacted with police who were aware they were transgender experienced verbal harassment, misgendering, physical or sexual assault, and being forced to perform sexual acts to avoid arrest. Is it the feeling of power, the patriarchy, brutal transphobia or something else that leads to these encounters?

500 Words on Pride

Image result for gay pride

First of all, it’s complicated. Second of all, it shouldn’t be.

This year—just like last year, and the year before, and probably several years before that—there has been at least one attempt, proliferated across social media, to host a “straight pride parade.” Most people’s first instinct is to laugh, not necessarily due to the nuanced absurdity of the situation, but because it’s just so incongruous with what we’re used to. “Straight people don’t need pride” is a common sentiment. And that’s true, but not for the reasons that everybody thinks.

Pride—at least, the LGBT pride that we celebrate every June—does not exist in a vacuum. Many people are proud of many facets of their identity: I’m proud to be a good student, proud to be a Minnesotan (seriously, it’s nice up here), proud to be a responsible person whom others can depend upon to get things done. Let’s indulgently refer to these traits as “virtues.” I’m proud of my virtues—as is everyone—because they make me a better person.

And this is where people get confused. Sexuality and gender identity are never virtues. They’re integral parts of our identity, nothing we have to work towards, nothing we actively cultivate. They exist, and that’s all. There’s no reason to be proud of being straight or of being LGBT, because neither of these are accomplishments.

Except that’s not exactly true.

Through no choice of our own, inherent and unchangeable aspects of the LGBT community’s personhood are combatted at every turn. In some parts of the world, this means that our existence is punishable by death. In the most progressive of areas, our right to marry is constantly in question. We are often unable to receive appropriate medical attention, especially if we are transgender. We are denied access to employment, to bathrooms, to interactions with young children. We are censored from TV, books, and music. We are beaten, degraded, robbed, tortured, mocked, raped, and killed simply for being ourselves.

I didn’t choose this. I don’t know a single human who would. I wish that my transfeminine friends could pass through a TSA security check without being flagged for an unexpected object between their legs. I wish that my girlfriend could wear a flannel jacket on the bus to work without being sneered and spat and cussed at. I wish that I could play online games without being called “a faggot who deserves to be lynched” due to my non cis-passing voice.

But these things happen anyway. For the foreseeable future, they will continue to do so. And we’re fighting as hard as we can, but nothing changes overnight.

In the meantime, we have pride. Pride in not only who we are, but in what we’ve done—pride in the virtue of our resilience. Each year, we aren’t using this month to flaunt our sex lives or paint everything rainbow, whatever corporations might have you think. We are using it to celebrate our survival. And since queerness comes with such a tremendous burden in today’s world, celebration of our traits and our achievements are one and the same. Meaning that our identities are, after all, virtues of a sort.

So, sure, be proud of your heterosexuality, if it really matters that much to you. I wouldn’t say I’m proud of having brown eyes—happy with it, sure, but not proud. What I am proud of is myself and all of my LGBT siblings for existing as ourselves, and loving who we love in spite of the threat it poses to us. I’m proud of us for surviving another year. Here’s to many more.

Translucence

murky storm clouds

 drifting over a pride parade

 

muted conversations

 beneath a firework display

 

flirty interactions

 on tentative replay

 

a kiss on the cheek

 instead of being brave

 

blush strokes upon skin

 before truth fades away

 

another neo-sapphic love poem

Image result for pomegranate

pomegranates they all write about

pomegranates and i think it’s fucking stupid i think they yearn for

that clean contrast,

fruit on marble like

blood on grass,

like skin in sea,

the oxymoron in

“angel of death” but

we are all in opposition already,

mythology is redundant,

binarism is flat beside triangulation and

after all, our grandmothers found their way

not by following the sunset

but by tracing the stars.

Pansexuality in Schitt’s Creek: A Win for Represenation

How is everyone’s beautiful day/night/evening/morning/afternoon/twilight going? Wonderful! Well, mine is just fantastic, thank you for asking. Why is it so fantastic you may ask? Oh haha ta hee ha. Let me tell you. Because of a very special TV show called “Schitt’s Creek.”

Justification

I won’t to be your princess

I rule my own damn castle.

 

/I refuse to be your statistic/

I am flesh, blood, bone, human.

Hear me fucking roar.

 

Don’t make me the object

of your hidden desire, sheathed

neatly, behind excuses

and defenses,

 

you paint them like I give a shit

or asked for this

or asked for you ––

I fucking didn’t.

 

It’s not me who begged for the validation

of your desire,

didn’t ask to press my stomach to yours in defeat

at the gravesite where you bury

your secrets like me,

 

I’m not your therapist,

won’t fix your broken wing

won’t justify myself to you.

 

Today

for the last time

she will make her bed in defeat

 

Tomorrow

for the first time

she will raise her arms to the heavens instead

 

She will live

with no justification.

Gay Dating in a Straight World: John Boughton’s Guide to The Gay Dating Game

Let me introduce to you, the safest & best dating app there is for men in the LGBTQIA+ community.

Welcome back ya cuties! Today on Gay Dating in a Straight World (GDSW), we’re going to stick with the theme of dating apps and talk about a very special one. It’s exclusively for gay, queer, bisexual, pansexual, asexual & trans men. It’s name? Chappy.

Coming Out For Someone Else

Don’t

That’s the short answer. Of course, it isn’t as simple as that. Being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and living a thrilling, freeing gay life every day, you start to pick up some skills. One of those is picking out your fellow brothers and sisters before you’ve even met them. What I’m talking about is a “gaydar.” It’s a popular phrase, coined somewhere in the 1990s, but some say it was first heard in the show “Futurama.” I tried to do some research, but it was all very limited. So if you find out where it comes from, let me know. But back to this article! A gaydar is a tool one possesses in sensing someone else’s sexuality. I’m sure if you’re reading this blog, you know exactly what I’m talking about. But if you don’t – it might be time to get out of the house more often – but I’ll do you a favor this time and help you out a little bit.

10 Hilarious Queer Comics to Watch Out For

Stand-up comedy is a tricky subject for a marginalized audience. Though we may all know queer icons like Ellen DeGeneres, Margaret Cho, or Tig Notaro, queer comics can seem to be few and far between. And in the age of #MeToo, when we are realizing that many comic icons like Louis CK and Bill Cosby are sexual predators, we are more aware that mainstream comedy does not represent minority communities than we ever have been before. Worse still is the fact that despite queer comics being underrepresented, cis-heterosexual comedians still place us as the punchline to homophobic and transphobic jokes that are often horrifyingly violent, such as Tracy Morgan’s homophobic tirade in which he says he would “stab” his son for coming out as gay, or Lil Duval’s appearance on variety show The Breakfast Club when he joked about killing a sexual partner if he found out she was trans. The occurrence of disparaging jokes against the queer community is not limited to just these two examples, either–it is disturbingly common and routine in sets from non-queer comedians to presumably non-queer audiences.

Gay Dating in a Straight World: John Boughton’s Guide to The Gay Dating Game

Trying to find that perfect match in a society where we’re “swimming against the stream,” is like attempting to complete a 1,000 piece color spectrum puzzle.

It’s not easy, but all we want is that one special loved one. So we sit at that table, organizing pieces by the candlelight, and one-by-one, the puzzle (might) start to come together. As a gay man who has been single for almost 2 years, I know the game a little too well. So I’m here to impart some of my wisdom and share some interesting experiences that can hopefully help all you lovely people in avoiding what could potentially be a sad, forever alone life.