Musings on Life for the Queerly Inclined

Archive for June, 2012

ATTENTION: The National Threat Level Has Been Raised to RAINBOW

Last night I had a crisis on my hands.  I mean a full-fledged disaster.  It was like running out of glitter.  Okay, not that bad.  What to wear for dyke march?  The question hung over me, drenching me in desperation and doom.  The blue jeans short shorts?  Or the pink jeans shorter shorts?  These are the questions that keep me awake at night, people!

Keep in mind, pride weekend is a two day affair: Saturday is dyke march; the parade is on Sunday.  There are multiple after-party opportunities following both.  Gotta figure out what fabulousness I’m gonna wear for each event.

Sequins are gonna happen.  I mean, duh, that’s pretty much a given.  I decided on a silver sequin top (ya know those items of clothing that toe the line between a shirt and a dress so you besta wear something underneath them?  ya, that), with the pink shorts, a pink chunky belt, and pink sneakers.

If you’re gonna be at Chicago dyke march, come say hey!  I’m gonna march with FFICA: Fierce Femmes in Chicagoland Area.  We have a huge red velvet banner–yeah, we’re keepin’ it classy–that says “femmes” on it in red and pink sequins and white lace.  Needless to say, we won’t be hard to miss.  I helped make the banner, so you should check out my fancy cursive lettering in red sequined fabric.  Holla!

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Have You Ever Had a Gay Experience?

Aaaaaaand the Canadians win. Is anyone surprised?

(This coming from the woman who thinks pretty much anything can be construed as queer.) Anyone who’s seen the music video for LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” has most definitely had a gay experience, so that’s like everyone, right??

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LGBTQ Little Ponies

LGBTQ Little Ponies

I’m just gonna leave this here. I’m half enchanted and half completely unsure of what to make of this. Happy pride month, everyone!

Feelin’ the Birthday Love

This just showed up in my inbox.  Wow.  Pretty sure I’ve tried to get off this mailing list about four times.  It has been, ya know, five years since my college search, but apparently I’m still considered part of the inner circle of College Confidential.  Come to think of it, this was the first birthday notice I got last year too.  Whatev.  Time for my Facebook notifications to blow up in 3…2…

That’s right folks, it’s my birthday.  At the ripe old age of 22, I’m officially a post-college 20-something.  Amid the endless barrage of “LET’S GET CRUNKKKKK” parties that leave the partygoers with no memories and huge hangovers, I’ve decided to keep it classy.  So…*drum roll*…

I’m going to a speak-easy.  A good old-fashioned “class it up, no disgustingly over-sugared or bro-y drinks here” speak-easy.  I mean, since we’ve technically left the Prohibition era, it’s really a speak-easy-esque bar, but that’s not the point.  Think old-timey drinks, art deco, and dapper folks.  The Violet Hour comes highly recommended by a couple friends and, though I’ve heard there are long lines, it should be totally worth it.

From the list of “House Rules” on the website:

  • No O-Bombs.  No Jager-Bombs.  No bombs of any kind.
  • No Budweiser.  No light beer.  No Grey Goose.  No Cosmopolitans.
  • And finally, please do not bring anyone to The Violet Hour that you wouldn’t bring to your mother’s house for Sunday dinner.

Well okay then.  Bring it.

Upon hearing the name, my mom’s first question was “Is that a gay bar?”  No, mom, for once in my life, violet is not a code word for gay and I will be spending my night starting my night* somewhere that doesn’t specifically scream RAINBOWS.  That’s a first.  Just going out with a couple lovely ladies for a classy, classic night on the town.  Then again, we’ll be bringing the queer with us…as per ush.

*No guarantees about where I’ll end up…

Why You Can’t Take Me Out in Public

This past weekend was Andersonville Midsommarfest, one of Chicago’s 598206 annual summer street fests.  For those of you who don’t know, Andersonville is a historically Swedish area that now has a reputation for being the queer women’s neighborhood.  When my friend and I were there on Sunday afternoon, the sun was shining, the temperature was above 90, the music was blasting, and the beer was flowing.  What did this mean?

Okay, what else?  It means a brigade of HRC volunteers were out collecting money and signatures to support their ceaseless campaign for same-sex marriage.  Now don’t get me wrong–I think marriage equality is an admirable goal.  As long as marriage is the key to gaining tax breaks, healthcare, immigration aid, easier adoption, etc, I absolutely think it should be equally accessible.  Marriage also means a great deal to many people, so yes, I support same-sex marriage.  That sounds lovely, but it’s not my top priority.

My issue with the HRC is that it claims to represent and fight for the needs of all LGBT (where’s the Q?)** individuals and families, yet it’s really a one-issue party.  Everything the HRC does or addresses miraculously gets tied to marriage equality.  I was a member for several years, but finally gave up after receiving an email informing me that a right-wing politician who was campaigning for a governorship had ties to a white supremacist group that had publicly called for the murders of queer folks and people of color.  This was a problem because if he won and if (hypothetically speaking) a marriage equality bill were to come to his desk, he might veto it.  Excuse you…WHAT?  No.  That’s a problem because the guy is part of a hate group that wants to kill peeps.  That’s not a marriage issue; that’s a HOLY SHIT WHITE SUPREMACY issue.

Besides that very extreme incident, I’d rather throw my (limited) money and (bountiful) support behind an organization that reps a full community of queer folks, not just white, class-privileged, gender-conforming ones.

So…I walked into Midsommarfest and was immediately stopped by an HRC rep.  (Side note: why they gotta have so many hotties working for them?  C’mon why can’t the hotties be more critical thinkers?)  (Reminder to self: okay, okay, people just have different values when it comes to their political organizing.  That’s fine I guess.  Boo.)  There was a petition for me to sign and oh I could donate too.  I quickly and politely, but firmly, explained why I quit the HRC and that if their values aligned more with mine–addressing hate crimes, safety in schools, youth homelessness, inclusive and accessible healthcare; fewer black tie dinners–then they should talk to me again.

I found my friend and we continued walking through the fest.  While giving her a brief rundown of what had just happened, we were stopped by another HRC rep.  Another petition.

Me: When the HRC gives a shit about trans* people and people of color, come talk to me.  [Walking away]

HRC volunteer: [Calling after me] We’re getting there!

Me: [Calling back] Very slowly!

Me in my head: “We’re getting there?”  What does he think this is, 1970?

My friend, Elizabeth: I love you.

Later in the afternoon, we saw him again.

HRC volunteer: Can I talk to–oh, I saw you earlier.

Me: Yeah, you probably don’t wanna talk to me again.

HRC: I actually don’t know that much about the HRC.  I’m a straight guy and I’ve just been volunteering for the last two years.

Me in my head: Thank you for clarifying your straightness.  I might have misread you as a sneaky gay.  The horror!

HRC: I’ve been hearing some criticism of the HRC–now some of that has been directed at our last president–some people have said we’re elitist and not in touch with “the common man”…

Me: You hear correctly.  [Mini “marriage and rich white people aren’t the only issues” spiel]

HRC: Well, what I’m talking about today isn’t marriage.  It’s about employment.  Have you heard of ENDA?

Me in my head: I probably know more about ENDA than you do.

Me: Mmmhmm.

HRC: Ya know, there’s actually more state-by-state discrimination against transgender people than against gays and lesbians.

Me in my head:  

He assured me that there were some trans* people working for the HRC– “I learned that there aren’t just men and women, there are people in between and all kinds of other ways”–and that he in fact knew a couple.  He proceeded to tell me about his girlfriend’s friend’s birth name, her current name, and her medical history.

Me in my head: Please stop talking.  I’m happy for you and I genuinely would like to talk with you about what you’re hearing about non-binary genders and how different people experience their transitions, but right now you’re outing your acquaintance.  I’m sure she’s beautiful and yes, I’m she sure rocks that dress, but I DON’T NEED TO KNOW THESE THINGS.  This is not my business and you are outing her in your effort to demonstrate your own trans* friendliness.

The conversation kinda ended there, as he needed to get back to talking to people who wouldn’t problematize every word and might even donate some cash.  Before we parted, he reiterated his hope that things at the HRC would get better (ie more inclusive) with time and that their new president, Chad Griffin, might push for that.  We shall see…

In other news, I got to catch up with the lovely Elizabeth and share one of these:

Oh and I won a beer glass (I would) and a bottle of water (really?) at the Proud to Run tent.  Good times.

**In this case, LGBT has been interpreted as big G, small L, tiny B, no T.  Forget radical queer, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people.

Hey, I Just Saw This! And This Is Crazy!

I would like to address an event that’s near and dear to our hearts–read: a raging controversy in some circles and up for passionate debate–the Miss USA pageant.  Yes, that one, run by Donald “These are the most beautiful women…oh and I guess I should say they’re smart too…did I mention I’m rich?” Trump.  I’m not gonna dissect pageant culture right now, except to say that the whole discussion of beauty standards still applies (except that, ya know, there’s no androgyny in this line-up).  Instead, I’m gonna jump right into the important stuff: they made a music video.  That’s right, all the contestants dusted off their mime skills, busted out their best dance moves, and jammed to Carly Rae Jepsen’s musical classic.  As Carly Rae would say, you should know that, so if you have no idea what I’m referencing, go watch and then continue reading.


1. South Carolina is wearing gold sequins.  Approve.

2. I love NY because she’s miming/dancing like she lives for these moments (0:29) and I’m liking the bold purple and green~~props to you, NY.

3. Who is the awk man at 1:29 (boy band import?) and, more importantly, 1:57?  Anybody else reminded of a bad werewolf impression?

4. New Mexico is working it while riding backwards on an escalator (1:41).  Skills.

5. If I were in this, I would be Virginia at 1:48.  Yep.  All of the time.

6. Oh heeeeeeey there 1:26.  Can we talk about the massive dose of queerness that just popped up?  Now they’re dancing at 2:45~~this is love.

7. There are matching bikinis.

8. Dear Donald Trump, until you came into this video, I did not miss you at all.  Why the awk cameo at the end?  You’re fired.

My Life Is Rough

WordPress tells me that I have readers in the USA, the UK, Pakistan, Germany, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico.  Welcome, everyone!  Now to business.  I would like to draw upon your collective creativity and knowledge to help me solve a most urgent problem.  *drum roll*  How can I watch The L Word without being subjected to the outrageous shenanigans of Jenny Schecter?  She starts off okay, but by halfway through the series, she needs to go.  By the final season, she’s unbearable.  As Diane Schipley wrote in The Guardian in 2009, “the death of whiny egomaniac Jenny was probably long overdue.”  (That does not need a spoiler warning–season six premiered three and a half years ago.)  Suggestions?

My solution?  Bypass The L Word all together and instead watch Noah’s Arc.  So many gay men.  So much awkward flirting.  Let’s see how long I can stick with that.  It’s dramatic and entertaining, but the patronizing macho power plays really put me off.

On to the good things in my life:

1. I actually made breakfast.  Real “I’m home now and have access to a fully stocked kitchen and super fabulous professional stove” breakfast.  The house was filled with the sugary scents of cinnamon rosemary artisan French toast, stewed bananas on the side, all sprinkled with crushed pecans and drizzled with maple syrup.  Last night I had pennette with homemade pesto (my mom grows basil).  There’s also been an exponential increase in the amount of homemade guac and chips since I returned home.  I’ve missed cooking…

2. My mom (of her own accord) bought the new Allison Bechdel book: Are You My Mother?  I promptly stole borrowed it.

3. This.  All of this.  Who’s in Chicago?  Hit me up.  We’re gonna find out who these people are (already got one of them), where they are, and when we can party it up with them.  Let’s go drink champagne and get you laid.

Chicago Wins…Again

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