Politics

Dropping the T from LGB

Dropping the T from LGB

It’s the last point on which the legislation died. The right wing whipped up a frenzy about “men” being allowed into women’s bathrooms, and that was all the general public heard or knew about the amendment. Even Wikipedia describes the ordinance solely as a bill which “gave transgender women the right to use women’s restrooms.” Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Contemporary, Queer Blogging

Dear Haters

Yesterday was a bad day for you, wasn’t it? Heh.

I spoke to many people yesterday, more than one dismayed at the Supreme Court ruling. And I did what I always do when confronted with people like you, I tried to engage in a calm debate, and dispelled some of the more outlandish myths you’ve been sold. No, you’re not going to lose your house in a lawsuit if you play piano in church ever again. No, your priest won’t have to resign. No, a thunderbolt from heaven is not going to wipe out the United States.

wedding ring

Credit: fsegundo @ Free Images

And every time I end those conversations, here on my blog, on Facebook or Twitter or anywhere else, generally I’m thanked for remaining reasonable, for respecting your religion or opinion, and for allowing you to say to my face that you think I’m a lesser human being than you are.

And every time, I feel a little bit dirtier. A little bit more disgusted with myself for indulging you.

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Posted by Kate Aaron in Queer Stuff

Make Me Uncomfortable

Anyone who knows me, knows I love books. I was the child reading by torchlight under the covers when I was supposed to be asleep, I was the kid who took a personal library on camping trips and car journeys. I did two degrees in literature and listen to audiobooks in the car. I have been known to sit outside my destination with the engine running for many many minutes, until my friends send out search parties to find me, because “I’m just finishing this chapter.” I’m also a history geek, a data-sponge. I have the sort of mind which remembers that the fastest human ever recorded lived in Australia 17,000 years ago and could sprint through wet mud quicker than Usain Bolt can run the 100m, but can’t remember whether or not I turned the oven off.

If I could only read one type of book ever again, it would either be historical or non-fiction. Whether we’re talking Bronte and Renault, or Ellmann and Wildeblood, I don’t care. I’m as happy reading Wuthering Heights as I am Richard Ellmann’s lyrical biography of Oscar Wilde. One of my all-time favourite books is Peter Wildeblood’s Against the Law. Wildeblood is a name largely lost today, although if I ruled the world, there would be statues of him in every town square. He was the first man in modern history to stand up and state before a court and before the press that he was gay (actually, he used the word “invert”). This was in 1954, and it cost him eighteen months of his life.

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Posted by Kate Aaron in Queer Stuff

Time to be Unreasonable

My patience is wearing thin. I am done with the “reasonable” debate about the rights I “deserve,” if falling in love somehow makes me “less” than other people, if I’m safe to be around children. I’m done debating if my landlord has the right to evict me, if my boss has the right to fire me, if I have the right to be upset about people debating my rights. Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Queer Stuff

What is Wrong with People?

At the beginning of June, opponents of Houston’s recently passed Equal Rights Ordinance submitted a petition containing 50,000 signatures demanding a repeal of the bill. The ordinance bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as sex, race, color, ethnicity, nationality, age, religion, disability, pregnancy and genetic information, as well as family, marital or military status. It applies to businesses that serve the public, private employers, housing, city employment and city contracting, but religious institutions are exempt. Apparently, there are 50,000 people in the Houston area (assuming all the signatures are valid) who think that not being allowed to discriminate is a bad thing.

What the hell is wrong with them?

restroom

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Posted by Kate Aaron in Queer Stuff

Spot the Agenda

I’m bored of hearing about the ‘homosexual agenda’. It seems we can’t turn on the TV anymore without hearing someone from the right wing spluttering about agendas and liberalism and the sheer unfairness of it all.

agenda

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Posted by Kate Aaron in Queer Stuff

Batten Down the Hatches…

…the backlash is coming.

I’m talking about the battle for LGBT equality, which has picked up dramatically in recent years. Throughout the UK, Europe, and America, it seems there’s legislation and lawsuits being debated all over, and we’ve made incredible leaps and bounds. But sometimes it’s ‘two steps forward, one step back’.  There are only the barest handful of US states who haven’t already legislated LGBT equality (same-sex marriage; anti-discrimination laws) or who haven’t got such legislation being tabled right now. There are many reasons for us to celebrate, but it isn’t all plain sailing.

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Posted by Kate Aaron in Queer Stuff

Another Point About Gay Marriage

So, just before Christmas a federal judge in Utah ruled the state’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. It was a bit of a shocker to most people, but couples from all over rushed to take advantage, resulting in startling scenes of queues dozens deep lining up to get married; clerk offices staying open around the clock to deal with the sudden influx of people desperate to get married; and even the Boy Scouts delivering pizza so nobody had to leave their desk while the madness unfurled.

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Posted by Kate Aaron in Queer Stuff

What The Duck?

So suddenly social media is going mad over some guy I’ve never heard of, from a show I’ve never heard of, on a channel I’ve never heard of, but apparently he no likes the gayz and I should be bothered.

 

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Posted by Kate Aaron in Random

Censorship (Again) in Erotica

I’m sure by now you’ve all heard the news. A small shitstorm started in the UK about ‘obscene’ ebooks depicting underage sex, bestiality, (pseudo) incest and rape fantasies has grown in the last few days to an all-out war on indie books. Some genius apparently went to WH Smith’s online store (powered by Kobo) and typed in “daddy”. You can imagine the results.

In the last two or three days major retailers have responded with almost unprecedented enthusiasm. WH Smith shut down their entire ebook store; Kobo have pulled all self-published titles pending a review of each one, and Amazon have also started taking down books, sending authors cryptic non-compliance notices and allegedly removing copies of those titles from the Kindles of customers who have legitimately paid for them. If you click on the Kobo links for my own titles right now, you’ll find them ‘Not Currently Available’.

kobo

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Posted by Kate Aaron in Books

Don’t Boycott Russian Vodka!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware of the increasingly hostile situation faced by gay men and women in Russia at the moment. It’s never been a good time to be an LGBT Russian, but since the recent passing of an anti-gay propaganda law things have only got worse. Stories of foreign nationals being arrested have already surfaced; and entrapment, torture and even murder are becoming commonplace. Those who do attempt to fight back are attacked in the street and the Russian police does nothing to intercede – often arresting the protesters, rather than their attackers.

Yet Russia is due to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, and corporate sponsors are meeting public outrage with a wall of stony silence. Reading such stories, I think we all feel helpless. We can’t even donate money to Russian LGBT organisations, because they’ll get fined for receiving it. So what can we do?

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Posted by Kate Aaron in Queer Stuff

Nanny Doesn’t Always Know Best

Some of you may have seen a (very quiet) announcement in the news that by the end of the year, the majority of British ISPs will block access to pornographic content unless a homeowner opts in to receiving it. There are a multitude of reasons why this is a Very Bad Thing, and why we should all be worried.

1. Who voted for this?

Not me or you, or anyone in fact. This is a deal that has been struck under the table between senior politicians and the ISPs. Commercialism over Democracy. Whatever the measure, whatever the cause, we should all be concerned about sanctioning such methods. Today it’s ISPs being bullied into blocking porn; tomorrow… who knows?

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Posted by Kate Aaron in Random

Lying to get Laid

An interesting case came up for sentencing today in Scotland. Chris Wilson was sentenced to three years’ probation and 240 hours community service for the crime of “obtaining sexual intimacy by fraud”. His fraud? Not telling his girlfriend that he was trans.

Such a ruling has vast – and terrifying – implications. Firstly, that crime. Who knew? Last time I checked, lying to get into someone’s pants was a pretty regular occurrence. People claim they’re single when they’re not; that they’re rich or successful or otherwise rewrite their personal history to get laid. When was the last time you bared every grubby fact of your personal history to a potential new partner?

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Posted by Kate Aaron in Queer Stuff

SCOTUS Hearing Prop 8 and DOMA Cases

Yes, it’s finally here. The US Supreme Court is hearing two major cases this week – first on California’s Proposition 8 (that particularly nasty piece of legislation which took marriage equality away from people to whom it had already been granted) and tomorrow DOMA itself.

marriage equality HRC

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Posted by Kate Aaron in Queer Stuff