Category Archives: Politics

STOP THE SHAME!

I recently participated in a conversation that got me thinking about all the shame associated with sex.  One of my friends admitted to exploring sexuality from a young age and another friend admitted to being uncomfortable with the idea of masturbation, both friends were laughed at and teased for being “too sexual” and “not sexual enough” respectively.

Shame doesn’t do anybody any bit of good, what does it matter if someone’s personal buisness isn’t what you think is right?  What you think is right is just right for you.  Don’t force anyone to conform to your ideals no matter how right you think they are and don’t conform to any ideals that are not your own out of shame.

Stop sex shaming
Stop virginity shaming
Stop kink shaming
Stop woman shaming
Stop man shaming
Stop fetish shaming
STOP SHAMING!

I love and accept you as you are, no matter how “different” you may seem.  And remember, there is a place for you somewhere.

Yours in Queerness,
Duo Spiritus

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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

It Gets Better When You MAKE It Better!

Although the following post may seem to contradict this; I do (sometimes) enjoy Lady Gaga, ke$sha, Britney Spears, Rihanna and other Pop Music Icons. I watch Glee (and enjoy Santana) and I (to some extent) support the It Gets Better Campaign.

The problem I have with all of these Pop Culture mainstays are twofold, heteronormativity and passivity.

In the song I cannot seem to escape, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, Lady Gaga gives support to those who are Gay, Straight, Lesbian, Transgender or Bisexual. She leaves those of us who live and love OUTSIDE the gender binary out in the proverbial cold. And beyond that she give naught but support when in reality Queer Human Beings need to stand and fight (with words and peaceful protesting) rather then remind themselves they are “on the right track baby [they] were born this way” and try to wait until “it gets better.” It will NOT get better until the masses give up this passive approach, and IF it does get better not one of us will be around to see it. Hence my annoyance with the It Gets Better Campaign… Yes it is important for ALL teenagers to know that life gets better as they progress through adulthood, but youth need to be told that we need to MAKE it better, not just wait around. If Ruby Bridges had been told that “It Gets Better” would she have been one of the bravest little girls I’ve ever had the pleasure of sharing similar skin pigmentation with? If the members of the resistance and the righteous gentiles during WWII had sat back until “It Gets Better” how many more lives would have been lost before the Allied troops finally stopped waiting for it to get better? Not exactly parallel cases but the message is clear, if you want it to get better then MAKE IT BETTER!

And Glee is just as bad, the Students on the show spend all their time complaining about their drama and then MAKING MORE. They complain about how cruel and mean everyone outside of the Glee club is and then they are cruel and mean to each other within the club. The whole plot is centered on heteronormative stereotypes (even the gay guys) without even a little bit of a twist to them. The writers clearly took the idea that there are no new characters to the extreme…

But on a more positive note, there are some artists who produce music about not only the fact that life gets better but about MAKING it better now, for everyone not just those who fall into clear binary life roles.

Warning, this video may cause emotional responses in anyone with a heart. Side effects of watching this video may include but are not limited to: Anger, Tears, A drive to advocate for human rights and Fear for the youth of the world.

I encourage you all to take a few minutes reflecting on how you can make it better, right now, enjoy some good music and then get out there and make it better. Be it on Facebook, outside, by calling a friend who needs you or by smiling at strangers to give them hope (or all of those and more) and make it better RIGHT NOW and forever.

Yours in Queerness,
Duo Spiritus

On Pronouns, Gender Terms and “So What are You REALLY?”

I get a lot of weird questions, most of the time it’s not the question I wish I got more often.  I get questions about my race, my hair, if I have found Jesus (I thought he was dead, not missing…) and if I know where to find the ____.  But nobody over six or seven years old, except in very rare situations,  just asks me about my gender.  Everyone who “knows better” looks at my body and assumes I am somebody’s daughter, that the correct pronouns are “She, Her and Her’s,” and if they are “liberal” they assume I’m a lesbian (I prefer Sapphite, but that’s another blog all together) but if not they assume I’m heterosexual.

In reality I love when people use Masculine, Plural or Gender Neutral pronouns but I don’t really mind when people use Feminine pronouns either.  I’d really like it if people would just ask the question, they could ask in so many ways!

Just to find out my Preferred Gender Pronoun (PGP):

  • Whats your PGP?
  • What pronoun do you like?
  • Do you have a PGP?

Or to be blunt and open about gender in general:

  • Whats your gender identity?
  • How do you classify your gender?
  • What gender are you?

I cannot speak for others, but I can speak for myself, and what I have heard from other folk who are as queer as I, It is SO much better to just ask politely then assume and be wrong.  A polite question shows your respect for your fellow humans, no matter their gender and makes sure you don’t keep offending them every time you use a pronoun.

But remember these few tips to slide gracefully through gender/pronoun errors or fuax pas:

  1. NEVER use “It” unless told otherwise by that specific person.
  2. If you make a mistake just apologize, it’s not the end of the world.
  3. If you forget, ask again.
  4. Treat everyone with respect and humanity.
  5. When you ask, be polite.
  6. Don’t ask strangers or even new friends about their sex at birth, thats none of your business.
  7. Don’t ask about somebody’s “real name,” the name that fits their true self IS their real name.

And as far as gender terms?  Child, Sibling, Partner, Date, Spouse, Parent… The list goes on.  If you don’t know, use those.

Your’s in Queerness,

Duo Spiritus

p.s.

The REAL question should be “WHO are you really?”

;D