Little Kiwi and Bauhaus

Little Kiwi and Bauhaus
A Boy and His Dog

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

My Last Visit From Santa Claus


I cannot quite remember exactly how old I was when Santa made his last visit to my house, but I do remember the last present he ever gave me.

My sister and I sat by the tree on Christmas morning, and amidst the presents for all were two special-seeming, identically-wrapped gift boxes for us with our names on them.  We unwrapped them and inside each was a classic traditional teddy bear and a personalized letter for each of us. The letter was from Santa Claus himself.  I remember reading it with a smile on my face, and a lump in my throat.

He started by wishing us a Happy Christmas, and thanking us for the milk and cookies we left out for him, and the carrots we'd left for his reindeer.  He explained to us that as we were growing up, the things we now wanted for Christmas were things that parents can buy in stores; things for big kids, things for kids who are only a few short (yet blindingly fast in their passing) years away from becoming teens - video games, music, electronic devices like a walkman or "CD player".
Santa explained that at his workshop he makes toys for little kids; he doesn't make CDs and Nintendo games.  And so, he wanted us to have one last present from him,  something classic to remember him by - The Teddy Bear.  One Last Toy to treasure as a memory of his years visiting us every Christmas.  He thanked us for the years of milk and cookies.  Told us how wonderful it was to have watched us grow up, and how Good we were as brother and sister, always looking out for each other, taking care of each other, and being kind to one another.  He reminded us to always do that, and that he would see us again one day when we were grown up and had children of our own, delivering toys for them on Christmas morning.

I do remember being in the first grade, which for me was being in a class split in half with second-grade students, who did love to impress the first-graders with their expansive knowledge of the world.
Some of those kids would tease us around Christmastime about "the truth about Santa Claus" - and I remember the actual anxiety those "truths" gave me - a combination of embarrassment, fear, crushed hope, disbelief, and a sadness (I suppose) about what seemed to be One Less Magical Thing in this world.  Not wanting to seem like a naive kid, but not wanting to give up on magic.
I remember being at a friend's house and his mother saying to us, after my friend explained to her what the second-graders had said, that "Santa is real for all who believe in him."   Having recently been read "The Polar Express" in class, where a young boy who asks Santa for one of the bells from the sleigh, this sounded familiar.  When the boy in the story gets home, and rings it, his parents cannot hear it and claim it must be broken.

"At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I've grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe."
            - Chris Van Allsburg, "The Polar Express"

It can be a tricky process of navigating how to gently ease children into the maturation process without rushing them,  or condescending to them or babying them to the point that they become socially-awkward and "behind" their peer group.

I must make a confession to Santa - I already knew that he wasn't the one who gave me the Nintendo Entertainment System, before he wrote me his final letter.  But that didn't make that letter any less special.  I remember giving my Mum and Dad a really long hug that Christmas.  Part of it was simply a child's needing comfort after a confirmation of something I'd reluctantly already known.  The other part was how incredibly moved I was by the gesture Santa had made for my sister and I, and realizing how lucky I was that Santa had chosen to say what he'd said, in the way that he'd said it, showing that he completely understood what it means to be a kid going through the process of growing up.

Thanks, Santa.











*edit
This Bear is not that Last Teddy Bear. That Last Teddy was given to a shelter many years ago.  This here is Lachlan "Lachie" Mor - Big Bear, a gift from my Granny and Papa from Scotland when my sister and I were toddlers. He ain't going anywhere. ;-)

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

How Not To Start a Conversation On Grindr....





What to say instead? Here's a brilliant suggestion: something worth replying to.  You might, for example, make reference to the content of the profile of the guy you're planning to message.  Like citing a specific thing he's said.  His profile says nothing? Then you're likely responding merely to his photo - in which case save yourself the time and get to the point.  That said, if you're looking for "more" in your Grindr-interactions, consider only messaging people who seem to have something to say, and whose profiles give you "Ins" to initiate conversation.

Or, simply keep doing what you're already doing, but if it's not getting the results you want then .... well..... put two and two together: you need to change your game.

Yes. No Grindr shame here.  Have fun, happy Grinding, make good choices.

Monday, 7 July 2014

I Love My Non-Gay Parents

Sometimes ironic satirical statements are lost on the masses, and sometimes young folks who are still in their collegiate "Me-Against-The-World" phase see attacks where there are none.  In any case, just hoping this clears up any confusion as to what this button of mine means.

:-)

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Stop Being Part of the Problem, Not the Solution

Grady Smith posted a video where he "comes out", his own words, as a Gay Christian - who chooses celibacy because he thinks it's a sin for gay men to "act on" their feelings.


His supporters have chimed in, and it's clear that they feel what I'm pretty sure Grady feels (he's yet to address my questions clearly,  so I'll update when he does so) - that non-Christians go to "Hell" when they die.  Because if you don't have "faith in Jesus", you go to Hell.

So, Anne Frank is in Hell. With Gandhi.  And the more than 6 million Jews exterminated in the Holocaust. And everyone else who doesn't follow their one narrow interpretation of one of the world's many religions and denominations within said religions.

Here's Grady's video. Below is my rebuttal video, and forgive me for not being more articulate - I popped the thing off in a few minutes.



 Hey, I'm a gay Christian. How come my church doesn't demand celibacy from me? Oh, right. Because the denomination and congregation I was raised in isn't a dogmatic cult. We don't even believe in Hell. Or exclusivity. Or that there's "one true faith."

Grady has disabled the comments on his video, which is sort of like when NOM or Fox News disables the comments on their videos: when too many folks come in to rationally and intellectually shred your arguments like tissue paper, it's the coward's choice to pretend those comments were never made.  Maybe Grady can get a job at Fox News...

However, some of Grady's supporters chimed in on my page.  Here are some from "Jake Reusink" - I've been around long enough to know that the evasive double-speak can only last so long, and eventually Jake Reusink just cops to the truth - he believes that "All Non-Christians Go To Hell", which of course is also the long-abandoned proposed sequel to Don Bluth's animated "All Dogs Go To Heaven."

Flippancy aside, these beliefs are harmful.  Very harmful.  Religious Beliefs are currently the number-one enemy of LGBT Equality - which is not to say that all religions are anti-gay.  But Grady's is.  As is Jake Reusink's.  "You can be gay, you just can't act on it."

Bollocks.

So, I posted by rebuttal and Grady terminated the comments section on his video.  I highly doubt he
will get his parents on camera as I asked him to. I highly doubt he will be clearly direct about the specifics of his beliefs.
But his supporter here, Mr. Jake Reusink, spelled them out.  And doesn't even seem to realize how ugly they are.  Here they are, for your enjoyment.



A funny thing happens when guys like Grady Smith and Jake Reusink reveal their core belief about "Hell" - they instantly prove that they don't have Faith - just Fear. They don't love God. They don't love Christ.  They believe that if one doesn't then that person goes to "Hell".

Thus these two boys do not Love God nor have "faith in Christ" - what they are doing is merely lip-service; done to ensure that they don't go to Hell, which their chosen religious cults have driven into their minds.  
Who is more generous, the person who Gives because they feel that Giving is the right thing to do, or the person who Gives because they think "God wants them to?"

If you love God you cannot believe in Hell. The second you expose your belief in Hell you prove to everyone that your faith hinges entirely around "doing whatever you feel you need to to not go to Hell."


Now, for some added satirical irony to wash away the taste of religious bigotry. *btw, Satan isn't real. Ask any Satanist*


Sidenote, and not a happy one.  While Grady's video pretty much was only seen by gay audiences, that alone is damaging enough.  A young man whom I'd met before through outreach programs, and who's been struggling for years to un-learn all the "if you act on it you'll go to Hell" messages his family and church drummed into his head, tried to kill himself just two weeks ago after seeing Grady's video.  He'd made much progress, but Grady's reiterating of the ignorant nonsense that "gay sex (even in a relationship) is a sin" was enough to set him back.  My young friend is alive, he's in the hospital, but we nearly lost him.  He jumped off of a bridge, after figuring his life was going to be empty or destined to lead him to "Hell." His sister had forwarded him Grady's video, with a message saying "SEE? This is what you should be doing."

So, thanks Grady,  for helping drive a struggling young man to suicide.


Saturday, 28 June 2014

Stonewall - 45 Years Later




We're here today because they were there that day.
                                                                                  Go out and hug your brothers and sisters.
I am proud to be a part of this community and culture.  I am proud to be out and visible in a world that wants us to be invisible and silent.  I am proud to be a part of a culture and community whose very existence proves that "the way things are" will not mean "the way things are going to say".   More and more of us Come Out every day, all over the world, in every type of family unit and dynamic, in every culture, within every religious and socioeconomic circle, all over the world.  And we will continue, as we shall outlast every fight against us.

Go to pride events - enjoy the revelry and the celebrations.  And remember that the celebration of joy and community did not come without many a fight, and without work from many people who lost all they that had in order to ensure that future generations will not have to deal with the outright hatred and violence that marked their daily existence.  This is no mere party.


Bond with your brothers and sisters - the fight is in all of us, as is the strength to continue; it's in our blood.  From the groups meeting in living rooms to discuss "who are we? what are we? are there more of us? how can we help each other?", to pre-Stonewall riots at the Black Cat Tavern in California, sit ins, small protests,  the Mattachine Society, and the many nameless faceless men and women who stood up to be counted and changed the world by being honest and open - the movement continues and it's picking up speed.

The more you learn about LGBT history the more proud you will be to be a part of our diverse communities.  We have a wealth of vanguards and heroes to be inspired by.  To the misfits and outcasts and Queens and Queers who challenged the status quo and refused to be hassled and assaulted any longer - thank you, thank you, a thousand times Thank You.

Happy Pride.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

"My Dad Says You're a Fag"





Well, a piece of mine has been published over at the incredible GoodMenProject site.
www.goodmenproject.com

the link is here: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/dad-says-youre-fag-hesaid/
"My Dad Says You're a Fag"

Check it out. And Happy Pride to everyone.


Monday, 23 June 2014

Thank You, Mum and Dad

Many moons ago I had my first experience participating in the Toronto Pride Parade, to help promote "Sugar", a film my friend had produced.



 I thought I'd surprise my parents, who were planning on coming downtown to watch the parade with me, my sister, and our friends.  My sister was in on the scheme, and kept telling my parents "Raymond's nearby, he's almost here."  And then suddenly, there I was - on top a limo, in the parade.  I leapt off, rushed to the sidelines to hug them, and then shouted "THESE ARE MY PARENTS!"    
                                   *THUNDEROUS CHEERS FROM THE CROWD*
It was such a blast, and my mum later said that she wanted to be in the parade.  I informed her that she can't just "be in the parade", but that she has to actually be a part of something. "Well, maybe I'll be a PFLAG parent!"  Sure, you do that, I thought.  Well, she did.  And so did my dad.
The very next year there I was on the sidelines with my sister and our friends, watching as my parents marched by.  I shouted, got their attention, they ran over for hugs, and then continued on their way.  At that moment I looked around and saw that everyone around me was doing the exact same thing I was doing: crying our eyes out, with happiness.




What would follow the next year would be a new tradition - our marching together as a family.  Easily the most wonderful feeling in the world.  In an age where we're still dealing with LGBT kids being kicked out of their homes, mistreated by their parents and shunned by society it is still vitally important that we march. My dad holds high his "I LOVE MY GAY SON" sign, because too many fathers don't, and won't.  My mother speaks out because mother's in Russia and Uganda cannot speak out and express how proud they are of their LGBT children.



My parents went from being PFLAG volunteers, attending the monthly support meetings to give support to other families, to manning the 24 hour support line phones, to my father becoming the Treasurer and my mother becoming the President.  I remember that phone call from Dad while I was living in Brooklyn, "Oh, by the way, Mum is the President of TorontoPFLAG now."
Oh, ok.  How about that.
It makes perfect sense as long before I came out my mother and father were already stepping up to be A Mum and A Dad to many friends of my sister and I, whom for whatever reason didn't have parents in their lives in the capacity that they were needed.  A friend who moved to Toronto from another city, or province or country found a *Mum and Dad* in my parents.
Fittingly, they've devoted their retirement years to being a Mum and Dad to the LGBTQ communities of Toronto - and to anyone who needs a hug, a shoulder, a listening ear and a support.

In 2013 my Mum was even honoured as the Grand Marshall of the Toronto Pride Parade.  Yes. THE GRAND MARSHALL.  My Mum.  My wee Scottish Mum. Icon.


My mum has now, after many hard-working years, stepped down as President of TorontoPFLAG, and  as she was making this decision she said to me, "I hope you're not disappointed that I'm stepping down."  *As if* I could ever be disappointed in anything she or my father have done.   She and my father are going to continue to give support and be PFLAG-ers, but not in the roles they've been occupying for years.  Time to do that *retire* part of retirement.  They both deserve a rest, they've been doing tireless work for years.
This was my mum's final public speech for PFLAG, at city hall honouring the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia.



A fitting send-off.  Yet that's not all.  Just recently she was honoured by Toronto City Council for her work on behalf of the LGBTQ communities.  What an honour to see my wee Mum get a standing ovation from city counsellors.











She has become a local gay icon. She has become a Mum to all those who need one.  She has helped put families back together, and through speaking in schools across the city has helped children learn to love themselves, and support their peers.
Every year on Mother's Day her Facebook wall is FLOODED with messages of "thank you! i love you!" from so many people for whom she has become the best mother-figure they've ever known.  Every gay friend that first met my Mum said the same thing: "She's just like Debbie Novotny!" - Sharon Gless' PFLAG Mom character on Queer as Folk.
I will forever be grateful to have been born to my mother and father.  More than grateful.  I have a Unicorn Existence, being born gay to this family in this city in this country in this time in history.  They inspire me, they humble me, they empower me, and their love and strength is what drives me every day.

Thanks, Mum and Dad.  I love you more than words will ever be able to accurately express.  Happy Pride. Enjoy your retirement.  You've changed lives, you've saved lives, and you inspire us all.

Friday, 13 June 2014

The Boys in the Bar from The Boys in the Band

Me and my buddy getting our drink on at Julius - NYC's oldest gay bar, immortalized in the opening scenes of the landmark film "The Boys in the Band" and in the happy contented bellies of every 'mo who's stopped by for a drink and a bite. I LOVE THEIR LIL BURGERS!  And I love their jukebox.  As you can hear from the audio, I was dropping coin to listen to some Joan Jett, some Bowie, some Yes and other rockin' classics.  So, if you're never been, and you're in NYC - head to the west village to Julius. It's rad.

Also, cocktails in Chelsea, selfies of selfies of selfies, and the joy of cute dudes' asses in the summer in shorts. *sigh* I love New York.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

My Parents' "First Gay Friend" - Part of the Story of Who We Are

By now it's no secret that my parents are shining stars.  I've blogged about them, and with them, and they've allowed to me video them as I ask them all sorts of questions over the last few years.  I've been doing a lot of thinking about how we become the people we are today - the factors and paths that lead us to becoming who we are, and in asking some of these questions my mother and father started talking about their "First Gay Friend" - so I thought I'd share it with you.


Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Are Pride Parades too "sexual"? Is there "too much nudity"? Is this Much Ado About Nothing?


every year the same few people seem to get very very upset about "sexual content" (a loose term, no pun intended) in the pride parades. thought i'd ask my parents their thoughts. these are some of them.






for more on what was being discussed in Toronto, you can check this link here:

http://www.nowtoronto.com/daily/story.cfm?content=197060

Whether or not one feels that there is "too much nudity" ("Too Much", however, being any - as "nudity" is indeed not as prevalent as some folks seem to insist it is) I can't help but think that a better plan of action would not be to tell people what Not To Do, but to instead do what my family has done for many years now - represent who and what we are, in the way we personally choose to do it.  We exclude nobody.

If one is not prepared to join in, march, and represent what it is that they claim they want others to see.....well.... what business do they have telling someone else to not march, or to march on *their* terms?


EDIT

Michael Sam has just made history as the first openly gay man drafted to the NFL.
So, Michael Sam stands next to the man he loves.  He gets news that is not just the culmination of his own life-long dream, but is indeed truly groundbreaking - he's just made NFL and American history.  He does what anyone in that situation would do if they're with the person they love - they kiss and embrace and celebrate.

Cue the bigots - freaking out that he did what any straight person would be allowed to do, with no questions asked and no comments made: kiss the person they love.

The internet and conservative media (FOX NEWS in particular)  have been on fire for nearly 48 hours now, furiously spewing bigotry and hatred and disgust at...... a simple loving and touching kiss between two men who love each other, as they celebrated an historic moment, a truly momentous one, and a personal dream come to reality.


So, taking all that into consideration - how off-the-hook insane all the negative hateful responses have been......let's remember that this summer when Pride comes around, and some folks decide that "pride makes us look bad."

To whom? To the type of people who just freaked out because two men in love kissed each other, like any hetero couple would have done?

Catering to a bigoted bully's wants does not gain you their respect - it makes you a weakling in front of them.  It shows them that you're scared of them. 

Every year we hear it from the same insecure gay men "Pride makes us look bad" - well, it seems that even two men kissing can "make us look bad" to ignorant bigoted idiots.

There are no reasons for being prejudiced and bigoted.  Only excuses.  Excuses are what one gives when they can't be logical, factual, rational and intelligent about their opinions.

So the next time someone says "Pride makes us look bad" - remember that to a bigoted idiot, even a *KISS* is enough to make them lose their shit with hateful anger.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Homophobic Gay Men of Grindr

My Profile on Grindr. No shame!

It's amazing how one little line can really get a guy all worked up.  That last line on my profile, "Btw, take your "masc" and shove it up your @ss" seems to have reallllllllly upset someone.  I'll show you who.


I saw I had a message from this guy here.  And this is what he had to say.



 Lovely.  First things first,  he can "cut people up" for being "fairys" (sic)? Um, Ok.

hope people can tell that I'm gay, actually.  I want them to be able to. I love being gay. I love being visibly gay.  It's a great way to not only meet other gay guys, which is always fun, but to let everyday people know that, yes, they do indeed interact with gay people on a regular basis.  I've been Out for nearly 15 years now.  I don't worry about people knowing that I'm gay.  And I haven't for many many many years. 

But it's interesting - I sound like a douchebag for saying "Take your 'masc' and shove it up your ass", but he doesn't sound like a douchebag for saying "No fairys"? Got it.  Nor is he a douchebag for using the terms "fem flamboyant girl fag", which is of course the exclusive language of self-hating homosexuals.  Two parts misogyny, two parts internalized homophobia, all things that people learn from a bigoted culture.  Many rise above, guys like Total Sex Pig here seem to embrace that learned hatred.

Oh well.  I guess I'm a fairy.  Such a fairy that my overt fairy fem-ness means that even a "Total Sex Pig" (who can't have guys over to his own place) went out of his way to message me,  to let me know that I'm a fem fairy. I guess we won't be marrying, eh? Oh, darn.

"It's always the fairies who complain about the masc guys calling themselves masc."  Well, except in this case, it's a "fairy-hating" guy getting upset that a guy (he probably wanted to fuck) is calling out the meaningless "masc" nonsense that he seems wrapped up in.  

But curious, if you're "not easily identified as a fem flamboyant girl fag" then why would you need to say that you're "masc"?  Wouldn't it be obvious?  I mean, if you have to *tell* me...... Oh, who am I kidding. I can't expect much logic or reason from this guy.  That one little line in my profile inspired a rather intense and nonsensical rant from him.  Sometimes it's worth noting that a guy with "Crazy Eyes" may be,  in fact, legitimately crazy.  

                                      Best of luck in life dude.  You'll need it. I won't.






Tuesday, 11 March 2014

"And How Is That Working For You?" or "Maybe Everyone Else is Sane and *You're* the Crazy One"




A buddy of mine forwarded this dating profile from Plenty of Fish to me - this guy had hit him up, and needless to say he does *not* want to go on a date with him.

This is not merely another of my tirades about internalized homophobia and the shameful and cowardly way that some Closeted men choose to denigrate, and demean the types of gay men that homophobic straight people taught them to have an aversion to.  This is more about being real, and doing the Dr. Phil thing.   The Dr. Phil thing, for those who don't know, is to ask yourself "How is this working for me?"

It's what Dr. Phil says to a person who adamantly defends their positions or outlooks despite the wealth of available evidence that, yes, "their way" isn't getting them the results they want in life.

This is not about loving sports, or interests or hobbies that greater society deems to be "masculine", this is about being real with yourself even if you're not yet ready to be real with anybody else.  Self-delusions aren't healthy.  Telling yourself everyone else must be insane is a great way to ensure that your life remains mediocre: heaven forbid one take into consideration the *possibility* that maybe, perhaps, the reason everyone keeps having the same response to you is because....well.... you deserve those responses.   Maybe you're earning them.  As someone close to me memorably said to an extended-family member, "I'll stop saying you're a racist when you stop saying President Obama is a Kenyan-born Muslim Socialist who wants America to be destroyed because he's part of the Muslim Brotherhood."  Maybe everyone thinks you're a self-hating asshole because you're speaking a language exclusive to self-hating assholes.



The second-last paragraph in this man's dating profile is the clincher.  It's the gold.  It's the thing the guy whose profile this is needs to sit and think about until he finally wakes up.  Seriously - look at the second-last paragraph he wrote. All the guys he thinks are masculine, that *he* has messaged - have shot him down.  And he chooses to ignore the reason why.

No.  You're not too straight.  You're not too masculine.  You're too proud of your self-loathing, buddy. You've swallowed culturally-learned hate, digested it, shat it out, and then ate that shit.  You are not too manly for anyone - if anything, at present, you're not yet *man ENOUGH* for any self-respecting gay man to want anything to do with.  It's actually really sad.  This is the insidious nature of homophobia and anti-gay bigotry in culture.  Gay men don't just naturally have an aversion to other gay men or perceived "gayness" - it's learned.  It can be unlearned with those who have the inner strength to do so, and self-interrogate, and question the world around them and their part in it.  You can't be a gay man who doesnt' want to be gay, and doesn't want people to know you're gay, and complain about how you've been unable to have a relationship with another gay man.  I feel very sad for this guy who wrote this profile.  He's clearly not loving life.  I have sympathy for his circumstances - but very little for how he's choosing to deal with them.

But many do not ever allow themselves the chance to do that.  Their pride in their insecurity becomes a false and poisonous safety-blanket.  The longer a person tells themselves these lies, the harder it is to stop telling them, and break free of a need to fall back on them.

I know some guys want to be "in a relationship" before they Come Out.  Careful with that one, brothers.  The longer you wait to come out, the older you get, and the older you get the more your pool of "guys your age" who are in the same place as you becomes limited.  You end up being 30+ years old, and at a place in your "gay life" where many other gay men were in the early-mid twenties, or late teens.  These days more and more LGBT people are self-identifying as such in their *mid*-teens.  There are certain rites of passage that openly gay men go though, and acknowledge.  Certain things we, both personally and socially, process and experience and collect as part of our journey and story to becoming the man we are.

The Closet is an iron maiden - you think you're safe in it, but you're really dying a little bit more each day.  It makes people crazy.  So crazy that many decide to blame everyone else for their own problems.

There's a way to get out of it.  A process every Out gay person knows - and that process begins with being real with yourself so that you can one day start being real with someone else.  And then someone else.  And eventually, in time, everyone.

And so, I present this profile as a visual reminder of the Journey.  A sadly-clear example of how toxic it becomes to absorb cultural prejudices and homophobia, and how refusing to see it as internalized homophobia only means you're poisoning yourself, and slowly dying every day, while you instead tell yourself that everyone else is crazy.  No, they're not.  They just don't hate themselves for being gay.  Calling a guy a fem or a chick or comparing him to girl doesn't make you masculine.  It makes you both a misogynist and a self-hating homosexual.  Boasting of how straight you think you appear doesn't make you more of a man.  Men stand up to be counted.  Boys give excuses not to. Men don't take pride in passing for something they're not, men are proud of who and what they are.

I understand that not all men were raised to view being a man that way.  But at some point, like I said and like Dr. Phil says.....well, "how's that working for you so far?"






Wednesday, 5 March 2014

My Mum, ever the class-act, calls out Mayor Ford

Yes.  Sochi.  The embarrassment that was the Sochi Olympics - where athletes and medal winners confronted the oppressive hatred of the Russian government with the courage and integrity of a bowl of mashed potatoes.   Meanwhile, in major cities across Canada and the world, Pride Flags had been flown - a sign of solidarity to the LGBT people of Russia who would be beaten, arrested and possibly killed for doing the same thing.  Naturally, this upset the power-stripped crack-smoking Mayor of Toronto, one Rob Ford.

Naturally my mother, in all her grace and class, put him in his place. Mum, you had betta WERK!


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Bad Neighbours - The Couple That Fights in the Hallway

Oh, to be woken up at the crack of dawn on a designated "Sleep-In Day" because the perpetually at-war couple next to me decided to unleash the latest installment of their saga in the hallway, outside my apartment.  Thanks for the world's most annoying wake up call on a day I didn't need it.  I liked you both better when I could hear you fucking through the walls.  Needless to say, this video was taken on the morning of February 14th.  Methinks they didn't have a happy Valentine's Day....


Monday, 2 September 2013

Mask for Masc

                                                             "Masc"       "Masculine"  

If you've delved into the world of online gay dating or Gay Apps, you've seen these words.  What you likely have not seen is any form of consistency in regard to what they mean.


My point in all of this is that the words don't actually mean anything; at least not anything specific enough for it to be generally-accepted.  "Masc" is an amorphous concept. It means something different to everyone. Culture to culture, person to person.

Here are two more examples..............
This first guy insists that if people can tell that you're gay then you're not masculine.  Which I find odd. I'd argue, rather, that if you're a gay man who doesn't want people to be able to tell that you're gay, you're not masculine at all.  See what I mean?  He thinks masculine means "you can pass for straight, to the eyes of straight people who don't know too much about gay people."  I'd liken that to cowardice, and I'm not one who believes that cowardice is a terribly masculine quality.
Now, that doesn't mean it's a FEMININE (fem) one, either.  I wouldn't say that the opposite of masculinity is femininity.  Masculinity, to me, would be Being A Man.  The opposite would not be a woman, but a boy.  What do boys do? They lie, the evade, they give excuses. Men? Well, I've always thought that men stand up to be counted.

    So...Masculine means that people can't tell you're gay.                                And doesn't mean "ghetto" Got that?     No?    Me neither.














Say "masc" again. I dare you. While you're at it, tell me how much your Mom thinks you're cool.

 

If one were to base their definition of the word "masculine" based on the profiles of those who use it on gay Apps, one might very well come to the conclusion that "masculine" means "I'm scared to show my face on this thing."  Or something.  I've always thought it sad that "masc" and "discreet" get paired up so often in these profiles. Or "discrete", which everyone should know by now isn't the word these "Not Out" guys mean to be using.
Again, I'm puzzled.  You're masculine, on the DL (meaning DownLow, meaning Not Out, meaning you lie, lie, lie, lie lie.  But he's not only real, he's keeping it real.  Just keeping it really real by lying. Because nothing says "I'm real" like living a lie.
See what I'm getting at?
If you're so masculine, why are you lying?  
I'll tell you why - because you think you can't be a masculine man and a gay one, too.  And the reality is that *you* probably can't. But many others can.  You'll know them by their being Openly Gay, and (frankly) by their refusal to spend any time worrying about whether or not people think that they're "masc"

A very good friend gave a quote that I think should make sense to people who have the capacity to think soberly about this issue:
*ahem*
"*Masc* is like *cool* - to be it, one must first stop hoping that people think that you *are* it"
or as another buddy said:
"If you were actually masculine you probably wouldn't have had to tell me. By telling me you're really just telling me that you want people to think that you're masculine.  And that's not very masc, bro"





No BS? Sorry, Blanche. But that's all BS.




We live in an anti-gay culture.  We do.  It's 2013, and it's embarrassing that we're still mired by this nonsense.  Many gay people succumb to the pressures of an anti-gay culture by become anti-gay themselves, in an effort to save their own asses to the people they're afraid of. You've seen them, mostly online.  You know the types.  The ones who put up a distance between themselves and others in the diverse gay communities and then wonder why their lives as gay men are so unsatisfying.

They cling to an idea of "gay stereotypes" that is simply not even real: it's an Ignorant Straight Bigot's Idea of Gay Stereotypes. I saw a posting on facebook recently where some guy, in response to another of my blog posts, went on a patently-stupid ramble about how proud he was to "not care about glitten, drag queens, or have a lisp"
Glitter. Drag Queens. Lisps? Really?  Who taught you about Gay Stereotypes, Jerry Fucking Falwell?

now check this sadness out



This last bit of bat-shit crazy is a perfect example of Insecure Homosexual Straw-man Arguments.  You know how it is, the insecure self-hating homosexual male refuses to check his own learned prejudices and insecurities and instead insists on projecting: it's everyone else's fault for being so gosh-darn liberated, dang it.  The guy who posted this insane rant, for what it's worth, went on to blog for a very short time about his new experiment in hypnotherapy - using hypnosis to make him attracted to females, because he was sick of being associated with "effeminate gays."

That's wonderful and useful.  Hypnosis to make you attracted to women, and no longer gay.  Rather than, let's say, using hypnosis to combat the internalized homophobia you still hold on to. Right? Oh well.  Not my life, thank freakin' God.  But what is he really saying in all of that?  Here's what: that the non-gay men in his life hate "stereotypical gays" - and for him to win their tolerance, he needs to not only not be "one of those stereotypical gays" - he needs to actively hate on them.  Wow.  What a strong empowered man.  I don't know any truly-masculine gay males who take any issue whatsoever with concepts of perceived-effeminacy, or "gay stereotypes".  None.  None whatsoever.  The only gay men who worry about such things are those who are still living each day worrying about what Others Are Thinking.

I recently overheard two young-ish straight guys talking in a coffeeshop, about what I assume is a newly-Out male friend.  They were commenting on how much their friend has changed.  That now that he's gay, he's suddenly "acting all gay" and "always doing gay things" and "isn't the same now that he's hanging out with other gay people".

No shit.  He's no longer having to pretend to be someone and something that he's not anymore.  Let him figure out who he is, after years of pretending to be someone else, and let him come into his own.  He no longer has to avoid doing, liking, or saying things that "might make him seem gay" - so yeah.  Fuck off.

Or this lovely dude who messaged me on both Grindr and Scruff...

It's worth noting that Mr. Confident I Own The Party I Ain't Just Background did not have a photo of his face.  At all. Again, this is not just "masculine good and fem bad" - but an even more clear representation of what I've been talking about; do you think there are straight people out there who say "Just because I'm straight doesn't mean I hang out with straight guys and guys all the time, ok? All my friends are gay.." ?

It seems he, like many others, still considers STRAIGHT to be the Ideal.  Now, hideous grammar rears its head in this post, to the extent that my eyes want to vomit, so maybe we're not dealing with the brightest of bulbs, but it's still a sad indicator of how anti-gay straight male culture can warp a gay male's sense of self and identity and worth.

As for "Challenge Me" - Yeah, I challenge you.  I challenge you to stop and listen to yourself.  I challenge you to interrogate yourself and think about why you put such a premium on "straightness" when you're a gay man.  I challenge you to learn something about the fearlessness and bravery of the "fems" you feel the need to denigrate to make yourself feel like a "real man."
And I challenge you to stop hiding your face.

And on the "now that he's hanging out with more gays he's starting to Talk Gay and be Really Gay" angle - I went on a school trip to Tennessee for a few weeks when I was 16.  Know what happened?  We all took on a Southern Drawl.  Literally.  It was hilarious.  See also: my family and friends balking at my NYC-vernacular during my visits home to Canada.
You hang out with a crew of people, in a new setting or scene and you tend to take on the popular phrases, speech patterns, sayings, and vocal energies of those you're around.  WERK! ;-)

Masc Masc Masc Masc Masc.  Be Masc. Masc U B 2.  And on, and on, and on......

The tricky thing with discussing this subject with other gay males is that the insecure gay males who do indeed still harbor a lot of internalized homophobia will almost always deny it.  Followed, usually, by a straw-man argument wherein they turn it around to say "Why do you hate masculinity? Why are you saying I'm a faker just because I'm masculine?"
1. I don't.
2. I didn't say that and neither did anybody else.

What we, the sober-eyed empowered gay males, are asking of you is to rethink not only what "masc" or "masculine" means, but the weight that you, and society, continue to give it.  It makes no sense for an amorphous concept to hold so much sway in people's minds.  As a great friend, lover and mentor once said to me: "We're men. We're all masculine.  Either we all are or none of us are."

A sexy scruffy bear-ry cubby buddy of mine recently, on the bear-centric app GROWLR was hit on by a guy, whose profile was rife with "be masc, no fems", etc.  My friend called it out. This was the dude's reply.....



Yeah.  He sounds like a totally secure and confident gay man who is no way still trying to appeal to any and all anti-gay males in his own life.  Sure. Right.  Totally.

                                                     *le really big sigh*

"MASC" is as useless a descriptor as "chill", "laid back", "down to earth", "no drama", and "sane".  SANE.  Sane cracks me up. Really? That's the word you're going to use to describe yourself or a prospective partner?  Do you think saying "sane" will weed out the crazies?  No.  Helpful Hint: "sane" is like "not into drama" - those who say it are those who create it.

People complain about their lack of luck in online dating and then go to show how inept they are about using apps or dating servives: here's what to do - BE SPECIFIC.  BE DISCERNING.

When you rattle off a list of those meaningless terms that everybody seems to use you're going to come up short, and disappointed.

It's as stupid as "a guy who likes to have a good time" - what the heck does that even mean? Again, like "masc", absolutely nothing.  Fun isn't something you do.  Fun is something you experience from doing something specific that you like.

* on a side note: considering that many online profiles and Apps don't leave much room for text, WHY would one bother writing "muscular" when, you know, you could simply post a picture that shows your musculature?


Monday, 1 July 2013

Pride 2013

Oh, t'was a lovely celebration!
With a song in our hearts in support for our friends south of the border, as this week saw a much-needed leap in progress (buh-bye DOMA!) there was much to celebrate.

And this year, my Mum was the Grand Marshal of the Toronto Pride Parade.  I can't even deal with that.  I'd always figured it would happen one day, just never thought that one day would be so soon! GLORIOUS!
video
The joy of the parade, as popular as ever, and the absolutely incredible turn out for Friday's Trans March which was so inspiring.  It was a wonderful reminder of just how much strength and love exists in the diverse communities that we LGBT folks and our allies make up.

I'm in wrecked recovery mode today.  And it's Canada Day, to boot, so methinks the plans will involve my couch, Super Nintendo, some take-out and some buddies.   Lovesit.

As usual, marching with PFLAG remains the most incredible thing.  Seeing these wonderful parents and family members, out in support of not just their own blood, but the entire community; such love.  Truly gives me hope that future generations will be welcomed into this world with open minds and open hearts, instead of shut Closet doors.

Seeing pro-Equality teachers from the Ontario Catholic Schoolboard, proudly proclaiming their support of their LGBTQ students: INSPIRED!

Oh, such a day.  Such a wonderful wonderful day.

Here are a few snippets of the radness that was Pride Sunday :D














Little Kiwi Loves Bauhaus

Little Kiwi Loves Bauhaus
Good Dog!