Queer Life and Death in Cartoons and TV Shows

Reblogged from Taylor Ramage.

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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Arthur and Clementine.

Our first reblog! This is a fantastic post about boundary setting and how a healthy relationship is one that doesn’t constantly require it.

Swimming in Deep Water

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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I Am No Longer A Gay Christian

Guest post by Kat.

I have been struggling most of my life trying to reconcile my faith and my sexuality.  Most recently, it’s been Hell on Earth.  When I came out about a year ago, I felt closer to God.  I accepted who He created me to be. Then the humans interceded.

My Christian friends and family have been wonderful, not even batting an eye when I told them.  But as time went by, there were little comments here and there that chipped away at my soul and at my mental well-being.  I was diagnosed with clinical depression at the ripe age of 20, but I know that I’ve been depressed since I was taught what was right and wrong according to God.

The past couple weeks have been the worst for my mental well-being.  My sister and a couple of friends are starting a Bible study in September. My sister warned me that they were going to talk about homosexuality as a sin. At the time, I was ok.  It is what it is. We’d be studying the Bible, and there is no question that there are scriptures about it (even if they aren’t translated correctly). But as time went on, I started my plummet into guilt and shame. Continue reading “I Am No Longer A Gay Christian”

My Dad: Bisexual Ally

Guest post by PhebeAnn.

My dad and I have always been close, but we have especially been so since my mum died in 2001, when I was 17, and my dad became my only parent.

I remember when I was around 12 – this would be the mid 90s – I told my mum that although I sometimes had crushes on boys, I thought I might be gay because I was definitely attracted to girls, and not just in a friendship way. My mum’s response was basically that I was too young to know and that while it was okay to experiment, she really hoped I wasn’t gay because gay people’s lives are difficult.

I don’t remember talking to my dad about my feelings at that time. After my mum’s response, I was hesitant to talk about my sexuality again. But then, when I was 18, I fell in love with my friend S., a straight woman. Falling for S. is another story, but suffice it to say, I have never been so lovesick before or since. This love was so elating and torturous that I couldn’t keep it to myself.

I remember telling my dad “Dad, I am attracted to girls,” to which he replied cheekily, “me too!” His casual answer is memorable because to him the news was just that: casual. It didn’t change anything between him and me. I’m a bit of an oddball, and so is my dad. He is the one person in my life who from the minute I was born has always accepted me for exactly who and what I am and has never asked me to be anything else. My sexuality was no different. When I told him I was in love with S., he was not surprised. He knew her well as my friend, and likes her very much. He grieved my unrequited love with me and provided a shoulder to cry on many times.

Our discussions were mostly focused on my feelings about S. We didn’t talk about labels as far as I recall. I don’t remember ever telling my dad I was a lesbian, which is how I identified at the time.

Continue reading “My Dad: Bisexual Ally”

A Mother Speaks Out

(Originally posted on November 7, 2012 at I Dig Your Girlfriend.)

Guest Post by Sandra (a.k.a. Mo’s mom)

To borrow a well-known phrase from a famous organization, I would like to begin by saying: “HELLO, MY NAME IS SANDRA AND I AM THE MOTHER OF A LESBIAN.”

At 62 years of age, I can honestly say I never expected to be saying this. But, after being introduced to this site by Mo, I wondered if perhaps there might be an audience out there to hear what one mother’s thoughts might be, especially if some lesbians have still not figured out where their own mothers stand. So this is my attempt to share my feelings with you. Continue reading “A Mother Speaks Out”

Inhale and Exhale

Guest post by Devin.

About 40 million adults in the United States are affected by anxiety disorders. I’m one of them. I suffer from depression and anxiety, and personally, I feel my anxiety is more damaging. Anxiety can take many forms, but for me it flares up most when I am over-stimulated or doing something so far outside of my comfort zone that the potential benefits do not outweigh my fear. Usually, my anxiety is triggered the most when I have time to overthink.

If I can dive into something without thinking about it, I am fine. I have a pretty successful auto-pilot and a strong poker face, so I can handle most think-on-your-feet situations. But it drains me. I only have so much battery power. And social interactions and fear-conquering come at a high price for me.

In fact, I am still recharging from a recent battery-draining experience. As I write this, it has been 3 days since I started conquering a new fear. Continue reading “Inhale and Exhale”

#CPR – Where the Buffalo Roam

Guest post by Devin.

Tumble weeds, cowboys, and a two million year old supervolcano that is overdue for an eruption, oh my. This is where I was born; the heart of the cowboy state. Well, almost. I’m directly from Casper, which is just a little East of the middle of the state, but an A for effort right?

I would be lying if I said part of my heart doesn’t still long for Wyoming. Nothing can compare to that wide open sky. The sunsets are phenomenal. But the people, oh man. While the state has, sporadically, done liberal things, it is still considered conservative in most ways. The state’s governor, two senators and the (only) house delegation are all Republican.

I mean let’s get to the elephant in the room: Matthew Shepard. I was living in Wyoming when that happened. I was young and didn’t hear about it at the time; I’m sure due to the graphic nature of the crime. But I was less than 200 miles from him. I know that is still quite a ways away and I didn’t know him, but realizing this fact; realizing that this horrific, brutal crime was committed in the same state that I considered home, was enough to make me sick. Continue reading “#CPR – Where the Buffalo Roam”

Evolution of an Orientation

Guest post by Devin.

Both of my parents are artists. My dad is an illustrator and my mom a photographer, and they were married for the entirety of my childhood. Growing up I visited my fair share of museums. I loved them. They were so quiet and serene. The modern art exhibits were by far my favorites. I loved how different they all were; the styles were easy to differentiate and every one was beautiful. But it was the classical art that fascinated me. How open they were with their bodies, how the naked body was equated with innocence and purity. I had never seen the human form celebrated until I discovered them. Showing skin was at the time, and still is, thought of as sexual and vulgar.

I remember staring up at The Birth of Venus at six or seven years old and noticing how different she was compared to images of beauty of the day. Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez couldn’t hold a candle to Venus in my mind.

They say hindsight is 20/20 right? Maybe someone could have pieced together the clues and realized I was of the queer variety long ago, but probably not. Most of my queer cues happened when I was alone, doing things and not knowing why. Take, for instance, the time when I got new Barbie dolls and immediately stripped them of their clothes. I was entranced by the curves and smoothness of them. Innocent child curiosity. Continue reading “Evolution of an Orientation”

My Differently-Sexed Choice

Guest post by PhebeAnn.

In her post “The Same-Sex Choice,” Kate posted this quotation from Robyn Ochs:

Many lesbians and gay men believe that bisexuals have less commitment to ‘the community’, and that whatever a lesbian or gay man might have to offer to their bisexual partner will not be enough to outweigh the external benefits offered to those who are in heterosexual relationships. […] What gets lost in the fear is the fact that same-sex relationships also offer benefits not available in heterosexual relationships: the absence of scripted gender roles, freedom from unwanted pregnancy, the ease of being with someone with more similar social conditioning, and so on.”

I can relate to Ochs’ and Kate’s appreciation of the benefits offered by a same-gender relationship.

I am a bisexual woman who is primarily attracted to other women. From the age of 17 to the age of 21, I identified as a lesbian. I’ve never been particularly interested in dating men. This lack of interest is less because I’m more physically attracted to women of all gender presentations than because of the things Ochs talks about above, and that Kate talked about in her piece. Women tend to be socialized to be more communicative, empathetic and emotionally open. Women tend to be less easily offended when their femininity is threatened than men do when their masculinity is threatened. Two women by default must negotiate relationship roles apart from how these would arbitrarily be designated by gender.

Because of all these appealing elements of a same-gender relationship, paired with my strong sexual attraction to women, I always thought I’d end up in a monogamous or monogamish relationship with a woman. When my first long term relationship of six years ended – a polyamourous relationship with a woman – I had no plans to date men. When I felt ready to date again, I put up profiles on dating sites where I sought to date only women. But before long I was in a monogamish relationship with my best friend/neighbour Jon, a straight cisgender man. Continue reading “My Differently-Sexed Choice”

#ORD – One Of The Boys

Guest post by Kristi.

Let’s just get this out of the way: my college experience consisted of three different colleges in three different regions of America with several gaps in between. I was basically the poster child for the idea that not everyone should go to college immediately after high school.

One of those three stints happened to be located in Chicago, Illinois; a hot, humid mess of cultures/culture shock that gave me some of the best and worst experiences of my life. Having grown up near a mid-sized city in the San Joaquin Valley of California–think “almond orchards and farmers everywhere, dotted with the occasional Confederate Flag waving off an old flatbed”–I knew nothing about living in an actual city, much less one as complex as Chicago. In some parts of the city, entire streets “belonged” to a culture: Division Street was Polish; Devon Avenue phased between Russian Jewish and Indian in an utterly fascinating way. Despite the prevalence of cultural diversity in the Chicago landscape, however, racial segregation is recognized as being alive and well.

Those of you who read “almond orchards and farmers everywhere” and thought “conservative” are right, which is why living in Chicago was also very much my first immersion in queer culture. Of course, when I was in high school I had a few gay friends (almost exclusively cisgender men), but none was out like the boys of Chicago’s East Lakeview neighborhood–affectionately nicknamed “Boystown.” Continue reading “#ORD – One Of The Boys”