Queer Community

The History of Homosexuality: The Rainbow Spectrum

Through the 1960s as homophile organisations started to form in defence of queerfolk, the community which was only just forming began to fracture. Societies like the Mattachine wanted to present an assimilationist approach to queer emancipation, representing the white, middle class, straight-passing men who politicians and lawmakers would relate to and find most sympathetic. It wasn’t these men, however, that were being targeted by the police and rounded up by the dozen, but the butch women, effeminate queens, cross-dressers, and trans*folk who were the most visible and obvious targets for prosecution, and the easiest to turn into folk devils and scapegoats. It’s no surprise it was those members who first fought back and put queer emancipation on the political agenda. Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in History, Queer Blogging

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

Something in the #Facebook Water #MyNameIs

So this all began a week or two ago, when Facebook deleted a ton of accounts en masse, all belonging to drag performers, all for contravening a ‘real name’ clause in their terms. Basically, they can all use their full legal names (and Facebook is requiring legal ID to evidence them), switch their existing profiles to ‘fan pages’, or get off Facebook completely.

mynameis

Source: Unkle Mikey, Facebook

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Posted by Kate Aaron in Random

We’re Not All Like You

So marriage equality is sweeping the west. Slowly but surely, state by state and country by country, we are winning, and we are doing so on a platform which says, in effect, “We’re just like you.” Gay couples want to settle down, raise children, say ‘I do’ before their friends and family. They want the white picket fence and 2.4 kids, to work 9-5 at a respectable, responsible job, pay the mortgage, walk the dogs in the park at the weekend, and enjoy lazy Sundays spending quality family time together. It’s a dream many of us, even in my generation, grew up never believing we’d see come true. 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

Looking After Our Allies

I’ve seen a lot of negativity from the LGBT community this week, following Jared Leto’s acceptance speech at the Oscars. Sadly, it’s nothing I haven’t seen before, and I’m not going to address the specifics of that instance here. Suffice it to say, sometimes we in the queer community have a problem accepting that there are cis straight people in the world who give a shit. And, no, they don’t always get everything quite right, but let’s cut them a little bit of slack. They’re trying, they’re learning, and sometimes they’re gonna make mistakes because our experience is not theirs.

proud ally lgbt quality

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Posted by Kate Aaron in Random

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

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

Serial Killers and the Ex-Gay Movement

I’ve broached this subject before. Ex-gay organisations are up in arms over an episode of Criminal Minds that this week featured a serial killer who’d undergone sexual conversion therapy.

The show portrays members of the ex-“gay” community as ticking time bombs who are potential serial killers…It is obvious that the ex-gay movement has become such a threat to the homosexual agenda that their allies in the media and entertainment industry now feel they have to work so diligently to discredit us…

Oh, boo hoo. Everything’s a conspiracy, isn’t it?

Ex-Gay Poster

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Posted by Kate Aaron in Queer Stuff

Gay Men and Women

I was out in Manchester on Saturday, for the first time since Pride. God, I love the Village. It reminds me of my godforsaken youth, of three magic years when I lived there and going out was essentially my life. I’m a scene queen, I admit it. And despite so, so much of it that has changed – since I lived there, since I was last there – so much of it is the same. I met old friends and new, I went to some of my favourite haunts from the bad ole days and I went to bars and clubs that have been rebranded, reopened a dozen times or more since I called that place home.

But some things never change. The attitude of some of the men there to women, for a start.

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Posted by Kate Aaron in Queer Stuff, Random

Naming (and Shaming) Sexual Identities

We’ve all heard the term LGBT, right? Gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans*. Do you know how many groups consider that acronym redundant? The NYT ran an article recently on what it dubbed “Generation LGBTQIA”. Here’s just a sample of some of the labels you can apply to your sexual identity: gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, queer, homosexual, asexual, pansexual, omnisexual, trisexual, agender, bigender, third gender, gender queer, intersex, two-spirit, polyamorous… The list goes on.

Do we really need all these different definitions? Is it really necessary to split our community into smaller and smaller chunks of identity? At what point does an identity become so individual that it ceases to have any relevance to a wider group – and are we damaging our own equality movement by getting bogged down in a plethora of unnecessary labels?

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Posted by Kate Aaron in Queer Stuff

Putting the T in LGBT

We’ve all heard the expression LGBT Community. Yet too often that very thing – community – is most lacking. There are lines drawn in the sand all over the place: between gay men and women; between gays and bis; between trans* and everyone else; and between all the different shades of grey that make up each stripe of our little rainbow. Humans are essentially contrary creatures and too often it’s the case that the more marginalised we are ourselves, the quicker we’ll kick discrimination down the line to someone else.

Why that should be, no-one knows. Personally, it riles me no end that we can’t all get along as human beings without having to distinguish between creed, colour, race, religion, gendered or sexual identity. Someone once said that the day we actually discover alien life will be a watershed, not because we’ve proved that we are not alone in the universe, but because for the first time we’ll all be united as a single species. Chances are that even then we’ll find something to disagree with our neighbours about.

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Posted by Kate Aaron in Queer Stuff