A throw-back to 2014, when Kate had unrealistically high hopes for her Christmas schedule.
We all have a story like this.
When I was 24, I worked at a research company downtown. It wasn’t the most fulfilling of jobs (still waiting for that!) but it paid the bills. Prior to taking this job, I had spent a year working at Scotia Place, a shiny, impressive-looking building that had its own LRT station. This little transit perk had made commuting a treat for my directionally-challenged self.
I had been at my new job for about a week, and as such, I didn’t yet have a feel for my coworkers. Since I wasn’t comfortable spending my lunch break with strangers, I had made a habit of going out. So far, I had spent the week’s noon hours wandering aimlessly around the city, keeping an eye on my watch.
On one particular day, I had made plans to meet my old work crew for lunch. Scotia Place was several blocks away from my new job, so I decided to take the LRT. The ride would be short (only a couple of stations) and direct. Minimal room for error.
I descended the concrete steps and made my way to the middle of the platform. There were lots of people around (though not quite as many as I’d seen during morning and afternoon rush hours). I determined which side of the platform my train would be on, and I turned to face that direction. The schedule indicated that I only had a few minutes to wait, so I didn’t bother sitting down.
A minute or two later, a man came up to me. He appeared to be in his thirties; not much taller than I was, nor much bigger. He was standing a bit too close for comfort; a fact I was just starting to register when he began speaking.
“Hello,” he said. Continue reading “The Travel Companion”
Reblogged from Taylor Ramage.
The Internet has been abuzz lately regarding the “Bury Your Gays” trope, escalated by several popular TV shows killing off queer characters, particularly women, and adding to this larger idea that relationships between queer women are unstable at best and tragic at worst.
A lot of people are currently criticizing The 100 and Orphan Black for killing off major queer characters and making their partners suffer. I know nothing about The 100 except for what I’ve read about that one character’s death and how it’s angered many viewers. However, I will say that I was previously a bit interested in watching the show. Now, I probably won’t because I’m quite tired of queer female relationships–when they’re shown at all–being tragic, petty, or unstable. I’m not keen on getting into a show already knowing that that’s what’ll happen. I’m sure The 100 is phenomenal in many other ways, but this turn…
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Shout-out to all the beautiful bisexuals out there! We love you, and we see you. Continue reading “Happy Bi Visibility Day!”
I come from a family of good sleepers. Mom and Dad are both in bed by 9:00 each night and, as I understand it, they’re asleep minutes after their heads hit the pillows. My brother is the same way. He doesn’t even need a bed; a couch or a comfy chair works nicely for him when he’s ready to doze. He doesn’t go to bed as early as the folks do, but he seems blessed with their uncanny ability to nod off at the drop of a hat.
I’m not so lucky. I’m prone to bouts of sleeplessness, usually due to stress or excitement, and it’s been in high gear for the past couple of weeks.
The last time I had extended insomnia was over three years ago, in the summer. I was working full-time during the day and doing some pretty intense socialization on most evenings and weekends. I was about as far outside my comfort zone as I’d ever let myself go, and although there were definite benefits to that experience, it also created an ongoing sensory overload that made sleeping all but impossible.
Those days are behind me. Lately, I socialize very little. So what’s keeping me up at night?
Our first reblog! This is a fantastic post about boundary setting and how a healthy relationship is one that doesn’t constantly require it.
One of my oldest possessions is a book titled “Arturo e Clementina” (“Arthur and Clementine” in English). It was published in the 70s as part of a series called, in Italy, “editions on the side of little girls.” (In English the series is called “non-sexist children literature,” which I think may be a misnomer. “Non-misogynistic” might have been more accurate.) The book is out of print now, and often wretchedly expensive, but a summary, lacking some of the subtlety, can be found here.
The book is the tale of two tortoises, Arthur and Clementine, who marry after a whirlwind romance. Clementine is looking forward to a life of activities and adventures with Arthur. Arthur does not disabuse her of her notions, but he has other plans.
Every time Clementine tells him that she would like to do something or go somewhere, he poo-poos her ideas. He explains to her that she’s just not…
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Football coach Shannon Beiste was first introduced to Glee fans at the beginning of the second season. She was a force to be reckoned with; an intimidating presence with a hefty build and a loud, booming voice. She came with a bit of a chip on her shoulder, having been bullied throughout most of her life for her perceived lack of femininity.
In general, Coach Beiste was not considered sexually attractive. In one unfortunate storyline, several of the glee club boys (and one girl) chose to visualize her in overtly sexual outfits as a way to avoid “overheating” during make out sessions. Clothing choices included lingerie, a cheer uniform, and a ballet leotard. The juxtaposition created by this “mannish” woman attempting to be feminine and sexy was, apparently, a pretty effective boner killer.
When word of this unkind strategy made its way to Beiste, she was visibly hurt. She insisted that she wasn’t gay (a fact that she would repeat more than once as the series went on) and expressed her exasperation with situations like these:
“I know I can be a little intimidating sometimes, but deep down inside, where no one can see, I’m just a girl. Am I nuts that I just wanna be reminded of that sometimes?”
Continue reading “Man or Beiste?”
Willow Rosenberg wasn’t always into chicks.
Throughout season one of Buffy, our lovable hacker pined for her best friend, Xander. Her feelings weren’t reciprocated (Xander was too busy mooning over Buffy), but even so, she carried a torch for him well into season two.
That’s when she met Oz, an adorable guitarist who made no secret of his interest in her. The two began a tentative flirtation, rendering Willow appropriately smitten. Eventually, she managed to ask him out on a date. So began the cutest romance ever.
Xander, upon being rejected by Buffy, eventually struck up a dalliance with a cheerleader named Cordelia. After a bit of a rocky start, they settled into being boyfriend and girlfriend.
Things were going great for everyone until a few days before Homecoming. Willow and Xander decided to try on clothes for the dance together. Nothing was amiss until Willow emerged from behind the privacy screen and they saw each other, fully and fancily dressed.
They stared, awestruck. Xander told Willow she was gorgeous. Awkward breathing and shifty gazes inevitably gave way to kissing. When they (finally) parted, both felt guilty but still drawn to each other.
The two struggled with their palpable attraction over the next few episodes, playing secret footsies in the science lab, giving ill-advised temple massages in the library, fighting a losing battle. Oblivious to their hormone-fueled angst, villain Spike chose precisely then to kidnap them and lock them in an abandoned factory. Continue reading “Kinda Gay: Bi Erasure on Buffy The Vampire Slayer”
(Feature Photo from CBS.com)
Big Brother (the U.S. version) is nearing the end of its eighteenth season. As someone who has been watching since the very beginning, I can tell you it’s not a terribly prestigious show to be a fan of. Most people my age are surprised to discover that it’s still on the air, since they can’t name a single person they know who actually watches it. But every July, without fail, it returns to the CBS lineup. Year after year, Big Brother is kept alive by a mostly silent but intensely loyal fan base. (It’s sort of like the Nickelback of television in that regard.)
Why do I watch? Because it’s fascinating. It’s a three-month long social experiment that I get to observe while sitting on my comfy couch and eating popcorn. It’s a microcosm of the western world; a (not quite random) sampling of America. It’s a popularity contest with a $500,000 prize, and sometimes, when they get the mix of people just right, the underdog wins.
So who’s the underdog? Well, just like in life, Big Brother‘s underdogs are any contestants who are not straight white males. We can blame the casting process for this, to a point. People of colour are vastly underrepresented on the show, and it’s a rare season that includes more than one sexual minority. Alliances usually form between like-minded individuals. Straight white dudes are typically in the majority, and they frequently decide to work together.
On paper, women get a fair shake at the outset. The cast is always split 50/50 by gender. On Day 1, there are just as many women are there are men, so why are the ladies only pulling out 29% of the wins?
In 2007, I was involved in a very minor car accident. I still got whiplash, though. WAD-1, it’s called: Whiplash Associated Disorder, level 1. The doctor who examined me told me to ice my neck, and gave me a short prescription for a muscle relaxant. Cyclobenzaprine. The pain got to be pretty intense, and the drugs made me woozy enough to pass out, so it was a rough few weeks after that.
I was hardcore into Taekwon-do at the time, and had taken a break to recover from my injury. As soon as I started to feel better, I started training again. In the middle of class one night, a move I’d done hundreds of times before went wrong. Something in my back hurt. A lot. I was frozen in pain as the class continued around me, until a friend noticed and helped me off the training floor.
That sharp pain in 2007 formed a muscle knot in my lower back to the left of my spine – a lump which remains in my back to this day. It varies in size, and on good days is pretty hard to find. On bad days, it’s the size of an egg and super painful.
And so began my struggle with myofascial pain syndrome, a chronic pain condition involving the muscles (myo) and muscular connective tissue (fascia). The basis of the pain comes from trigger points – basically “knots” in the muscle – that can spasm painfully, and can even create pain in other areas of the body, known as referred pain.
It started in my back, but it spread. You might have experienced something similar; you’ve got soreness in one part of your body, so you compensate – maybe you limp, or you use your non-dominant hand – which creates a stress on the compensating portion of your body. Or your shoulders hurt, and then your neck gets sore, and then you get a headache. My pain moved. Trigger points spasming in my lower back made my midback develop trigger points, and then my shoulders and neck (already primed by the previous whiplash injury).
Cyclobenzaprine stopped working. I was in a lot of pain, almost all the time. It put my stress levels through the roof. What I didn’t realize at the time was how heavily my stress levels would impact my condition. Continue reading “Why Sexist Comments Sometimes Make Me Smile”
(Originally posted on January 12, 2013 at I Dig Your Girlfriend.)
I am not out at work.
A handful of my co-workers are also friends with me on Facebook, and they’re bombarded with my truth on pretty much a daily basis. My super gay life is all I talk about on the Internet these days. But most of the people I work with don’t know I’m gay. Some of them may suspect, I suppose, but they haven’t received any sort of confirmation from me.
My non-work friends are surprised when I tell them this. Some of them can’t fathom the idea of a person knowing me and not knowing that I’m a big lez. To them, my gayness is a blinding rainbow beacon, unwavering and undeniable. “Have they not seen you walk?” they ask.
It’s a fair question.
Until recently, I wasn’t prone to oversharing. I took a passive approach to conversations, not volunteering any information I wasn’t directly asked for. This was a defense mechanism; a way to avoid being judged. And it carried over to small, stupid things, like not mentioning a TV show or band that I liked, for fear of being disagreed with or thought less of. One of the biggest driving forces in my life has always been my need to be liked. And a great way to do that is to sit back, observe, and mirror what people want to hear.
I’ve never liked being conspicuous. I’ve spent most of my life feeling completely different from everyone around me. And this feeling of alienation – of unbelonging – has often driven me to focus all of my energy on being unnoticed. On blending in.
I’m friends with a lesbian who, like me, isn’t out at work. I was surprised when she told me this, because she has a long-term girlfriend. But on reflection, I can believe it. She’s not someone who would have pinged my gaydar; at least not right away. She can certainly pass for straight. And since a lot of ordinary people consider “straight” to be the unquestioned default setting for everyone they meet, it’s possible that she doesn’t have to work very hard to keep this information to herself.
I’ve been out at other workplaces, but never right away, and certainly not with any big declarations. I’ve come out to co-workers gradually, one-on-one, and usually after having formed friendships first. I tell people I’m gay when they ask, and then I assure them that it’s not a secret.
It’s not, really. It’s just not something I lead with. I prefer for people to get to know me first. That way, “lesbian” is a label they’re applying to a person they already know. Once they know me, they like me. Once they like me, it’s less easy for them to dislike all lesbians on principle.
Right? Continue reading “In / Out”