Category Archives: Advice

DADDY!

Father’s day.

Two words that can cause any number of thoughts and feelings to go through the minds of people with fathers, and fathers/father figures, the feelings flashing through my own mind are feelings of apathy and anger with a greenish tint of envy and an undertone of hurt.

My father is one of the many fathers who are undeserving of any day of recognition so in the process of building my own family I’ve found a few people who I will be honoring today.  I’ll be thanking people who came into my life and filled the “father” roles when my own father was unable or unwilling to do so.

If you’ve found a father figure, no matter what other roles they may fill, don’t forget them today; give them a call and tell them how much they mean to you.  I know I will.

Yours in Queerness,
Duos Spiritus

Confessions of A Reluctent Brony

Little more than a year ago I was talking to a friend about the “Brony” phenomenon, we decided that My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic wasn’t the worst show targeted at little girls and that it could be worse.

A little under a week ago I was talking with a different friend about my recent exposure to MLP:FIM and my opinion on the show; it’s good, not worth going out of ones way to watch.  I went home that night and out of sheer boredom I started watching the show, from the beginning, and yesterday I watched the final episode of season two.

I LOVE PONIES!
You should go watch ponies.
It’s a great show!
Go watch it.

Yours in Queerness,
Duo Spiritus, Brony.

“No Homo lolol!”

“No homo” is a phrase I’ve heard and seen after phrases as innocuous as (“I love your shoes”) to the most sapphic (“Your tits look GREAT in that top”) and no matter what precedes it the phrase confounds me.   What about paying someone a complement indicates romantic interest?  And isn’t romantic interest just another complement?   If you understand this phenomenon, feel free to explain it to me but if you are as confused as I am then feel free to share this question with whomever insists that they are “no homo.”

Yours in Queerness,
Duo Spiritus

Where’s The Restroom?

Earlier this month I was blessed with the chance to attend a leadership and activist training as well as participate in a day of advocacy at a state level, this was my second year attending this summit and, to be honest, one of my main reasons for returning had nothing to do with the change I could make.  I wanted to go so I could spend a weekend surrounded by people who asked for my P.G.P. (Preferred Gender Pronoun), in a place where ALL the bathrooms were gender neutral and where I knew I’d be accepted as I am.  When I left I realized just how important having a gender neutral bathroom was, and how often I risked my own health to avoid choosing one or the other, I realized that if I know I’ll be able to make it to a gender neutral bathroom I’ll simply hold it even if I get an infection because of it.  I realized how uncomfortable I always am when I have to choose based on biology and I realized that if I feel this way then I can’t be alone.

If someone as self assured as myself is afraid to choose a bathroom based on comfort then how can we expect others to do the same?  If someone as confident in their gender as I feels diminished and trapped by the bathroom choice then how must it make those just coming out to themselves feel? And what can we do about it?

I can’t answer about the feelings of others, but I can tell you what you can do; If you find a place with gender neutral bathrooms you can let them know how much it means to people, if you find a business that has gender neutral bathrooms you should choose them over their competitors and if you have a place you feel safe enough suggesting gender neutral bathrooms then you should do it.

Yours in Queerness,
Duo Spiritus

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

I have read very few books that manage to cover issues of freedom, gender, sexuality and youth while maintaining an interesting plot, Beauty Queens is one of those rare literary gems.

The book opens with a note from the book’s sponsor, The Corporation, telling us that although the book begins with a plane crash everything will be OK! Then of course is the aforementioned plane crash and we learn that it was a plane full of contestants in the Miss Teen Dream Pageant (hosted by The Corporation), the plane crashed onto a seemingly deserted island and we are treated to what seems like the beginning of a Lord of the Flies style survival book. But in Libba Bray’s work things are never exactly as they seem.

I always hesitate to give away TOO much, but I can assure you that even the Corporation ads spaced throughout the book are enthralling, the plot thickens when some sexy British pirates show up on the island and that we are given the gift of queerness on so many levels throughout the book. The audio-book differs slightly from the printed book and is read by Libba Bray herself, very well I might add, and is worth a listen.

GO READ IT!

Yours in Queerness,
Ignis Viperi

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice…

I was talking with some women a few days ago about the expectations of their gender that bothered them most, the unanimous answer seemed to be having their anger belittled. “It’s your time of the month isn’t it?” “Calm down, it’s just PMS.” And other such jokes are the most overt ways that women and girls are told that it’s not ACCEPTABLE for them to be angry, that their anger or annoyance isn’t as IMPORTANT as someone else’s.  It gets subtler and more damaging too; if a little boy hits someone out of anger in play I’ve seen them scolded for violence and told to find better ways to deal with anger, but if a little girl does the same thing she is informed that “it isn’t ladylike to hit” and that she “shouldn’t get so upset about thing.” What is the message there? To me the message is simply that anger is for boys.

The double standard is perpetuated through nursery rhymes such as “ What are little boys made of? Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails. That’s what little boys are made of ! What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and all things nice. That’s what little girls are made of!” and the toys given to children, when older kids are roughhousing and misbehaving girls are called “trouble makers” while boys are just “being boys,” and when teens go through angry stages girls are always just hormonal while boys are rebelling and growing up.

Yours in queerness,
Duo Spiritus

On Jokes, Stereotypeing and Gender “Differences.”

Today I spent time with family members I don’t often spend time with, one in particular, and I was reminded of the reasons for the separation during our visit today.

For the most part I ignore cruel and sexist comments such as “you through like a girl.” But when one is surrounded by such comments, even if they aren’t directed at you or are meant as a joke, it hurts.  Between the sexist jokes of my grandfather, the gender based discrimination at the hands of my own uncle and the silent acceptance of everyone around me except my mother I find my spirit nearing it’s breaking point.

The pain I felt with every assumption made about me based on the presence of breasts on my chest and with every family member that just let it slide…  On a less personal note I must remind all of my readers to avoid making generalizations about anyone based on anything they cannot change.

It’s fine to assume someone is part of a sub-culture if they dress like they are, it’s fine to assume someone is buying books if they are in a book store and it’s fine to assume someone wears a bra if they have boobs.  But other gross generalizations based on BIOLOGICAL FACTS THAT CANNOT BE CHANGED are inappropriate, unfair and rude.

My rant is done, I’ll be back with a more logical and less emotional post some time next year.  Until then, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Yours in Queerness,

Duo Spiritus

Sex (The Good, Safe Kind)

Yesterday I attended a “presentation” about safe sex for queer youth, there were so many problems with the presenter I could not begin to address them all in my blog.  But I CAN try to give better answers (based on research, not expertise) to the questions that came up.  But remember, I am not a doctor or any other expert on sex of any kind, so read what I have to say and then go look at the resources I paired with each question .  And ask a real doctor any important questions.

Q.  Could I get HIV/AIDS from food?  Or any STD really….

A.  Nearly all STDs are transmitted only by the exchange of blood or genital secretions, the exceptions to that rule are genital warts and herpes (as far as I know) in which case it is contact between the sore or wart (as well as blood and genital secretions) and sensitive skin or a wound that can result in contracting the STD.   The best way to be safe and avoid STDs is to only have sex with a person you love and trust, and both you and your partner getting tested regularly.

http://kidshealth.org/teen/sexual_health/stds/std.html#

Q.  What is a Dental Dam? 

A.   A dental dam is a piece of latex or silicone that one should place between their mouth and their patners vagina/anus when participating in oral sex.  This creates a barrier between partners to prevent spreading of STDs and should be used if you do not know if your partner is free of STDs or you know your partner does indeed have an STD.  But the best way to prevent STDs is still to be picky about who you have sex with.  Although in the singular case of deantal dams a QUALITY plastic wrap will work as well.

http://www.pamf.org/teen/sex/std/oral/dentaldam.html

Q.  If I ask my doctor for birth control/plan B wont they tell my parents?

A.  At age twelve your parents have no right to information shared between you and your gynecologist, for females age twelve is the age they receive legal control over the reproductive health.  I do not know if the same is true for biological males…

Q. What about “Pulling out?” Doesn’t that work too?

A.  No, “pulling out” provides no protection against STDs and very little protection against unwanted pregnancy.  There are indeed sperm in pre-ejaculatory fluids. (pre-cum)

http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/birth-control/withdrawal-pull-out-method-4218.htm

 

Remember to do your own research, using reliable sources, and wait to have sex until you and a partner you love are ready.

Yours in Queerness,

Duo Spiritus

Holiday Sadness and How You Can Help

For most the holiday season is a time of great joy, family, kindness and so many other good things, but we should not forget that there may be someone near us for whom the holiday season brings naught but pain.  There are those who have no family to turn to, no home to decorate or funds for festivities, there are people who have had awful things happen in their life around this time and the yuletide greetings do nothing for them but return them to those horrid times and there are people for whom this is their first holiday alone.

Look around you, and at yourself, if while you look you see someone who is saddened by the holiday cheer then do what you can to help.  Listen to them, give them a hug or suggest resources for them.  I’ve included a few depression and suicide prevention resources for you yo use yourself or share with someone who needs your love right now.

 

This is a site that has a more comprehensive list of suicide prevention hotlines then I could ever create:  http://www.befrienders.org/

The Trevor Project has both online IMing and a hotline for queer youth dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts or feelings, as well as resources for their friends and loved one:  http://www.thetrevorproject.org/

And remember that I am here to answer questions or just give friendship.

 

Yours in Queerness,

Duo Spiritus

 

Enjoy Your Youth While You Have It

When I was a little kid I wanted so very much to grow up and be an adult, but now as I near adulthood I want so very much to regain my childhood. I want to still believe in Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, I want to still know with all my heart that mommy can fix everything and I want to still see the best in people. Yes, maybe my life has made me grow up a bit faster than normal but the time will come to everyone when you long for that innocence again.

Pre-teens, I urge you to claim your youth and all it means for as long as you can. Play games, make silly mistakes and learn from them, eat junk food and plan your dream vacation. Don’t let the pressure to grow up get to you, you don’t NEED to start dating or kissing or any of that. You don’t NEED to be fashionable or sexy, just be cute and have fun.

Teens, Learn to drive, think about college and make silly mistakes. Play the games you loved a few years ago (and still secretly do) have fun and be happy as a teen, adulthood comes much too soon.

Adults, stop telling young people to “grow up.” We’ll have to do it soon enough, don’t force us into it too soon. Let teenagers make mistakes, be there for us when we fall and bandage our owies like you always have even if they are bigger than before. If we really screw up remind us you love us no matter what, and help us fix the problem, how else will we learn from it? And when we go off to college be ready for 3 AM calls about made up emergencies when we just need a parent’s love and comfort.

Youth is the time to learn to be you, safely. Enjoy it.

Yours in Queerness,
Duo Spiritus