An online space for queer, questioning, lesbian, bi, trans and everything else in between women at Yale

Friday, April 30, 2010

Why Heterosexuals Should Not Serve Openly

As more and more straight servicemen and women are outed, an increasing number of fringe straight activists are arguing that straight men and women should be allowed to serve their country openly. While (of course) I believe in everyone's right to live the lifestyle of their choosing ,and not be denied political rights (excluding, of course, to sacred benefits like marriage and adoption), there are important practical reasons that openly straight people cannot be allowed to serve in the military.
The mechanics of deployment specifically make openly straight people detrimental to morale and unit cohesion, and there is no real reason that they cannot continue to serve secretly. To begin with, high morale is one of the key components in a military operation and one of the most difficult to achieve in wars of insurgent violence, where soldiers may feel like they are in constant danger. Openly heterosexual soldiers are damage this precious morale, because most normal service men and women are especially uncomfortable sharing common areas, living quarters, and even showers with them. Owing to a historical tradition in the military, most soldiers are unused to living intimately with heterosexuals and often feel a moral objection to those that chose this life style. Causing discomfort and tension in the few safe areas our soldiers have is last thing we need to improve slipping morale.
Heterosexuals sexual practices also damage unit cohesion because when inevitable sexual and romantic relationships develop among them, they often lack experience remaining in close contact with past partners. Most normal soldiers are accustomed to communities in which they are frequently forced to remain friends with (or at least civil with) exes because of they often share core friendship groups, play on the same sports teams, sing/act in the same productions, or participate in the same activities. Most soldiers are accustomed to having friends date or hook up with exes and are much more comfortable continuing to be in close contact with, work with, and even live with ex-girlfriends or ex-boyfriends. Straight soldiers lack this experience, because straight culture allows much more commonly for couples to become distant after a break up, returning to distinct friendship groups that rarely overlap because they are gender segregated. Thus straight people in the military would inevitably cause a breakdown in unit cohesion, and current and former partners lack the framework for continuing to be in close contact. Fighting and inability to work together is damaging to the functionality of the unit and ultimately its performance on the street.
In light of these key issues, there is no real need for straight soldiers to be permitted to serve openly. Currently, heterosexuals are still allowed to serve if they keep their orientation secret. This prohibition removes the discomfort regular soldiers might feel knowing a heterosexual was in their midst and reduces the problems that come from heterosexual in-service dating. Realistically, keeping quiet about their sexuality is a small price to ask in return for being able to serve our country along with their more mainstream peers and asks merely that heterosexual soldiers lie to their comrades about their past, attractions, current relationship situation, and an important part of their identity. Overall, the benefits of restricting openly heterosexual service members outweigh the small cost, and is clearly better for our military and our country as a whole. For the good of our men and women in uniform, straight servicepeople must simply be forced to keep quiet about their sexuality.
(nb. If this were not obvious, this is a satire. I do not actually think that heterosexuals should be barred from the military, I'm simply critiquing DADT)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Learning Vulnerability

Today, I spent what seemed like an eternity doing the final viewings for digital video. (It was four hours) I was the last undergrad to go. I realized about half way trough the class that I'd neglected to come up with a title, and settled rather quickly while watching clips of 'the student body' on 'RJM'.
My video was me, and the sides of me that only make appearances on special occasions, like drag ball, or spider ball. Oh the balls! wait...that doesn't sound right. No matter.
I've got no problem dressing up. I love when I get to be Roman and I love when I get to be Jules (which is what I have named by femme alter-ego). Really though, I just like being Me, track suit wearing softee that I am.
But this video was really hard for me to shoot and edit. I knew going in it wasn't going to be a walk in the park, but still. I couldn't figure out how to shoot party or night scenes as Roman or Jules without looking like a complete weirdo, and the lighting was hard.
But really the struggle came when I had to sit down and edit it. Sure, I had made cameos in my other videos but here I was literally staring myself in the face. More specifically, I was staring at myself three times over.
This was my well intentioned but perhaps poorly implemented attempt to tell a part of my own story, my own journey you might say.
When it came time to show our rough cuts (it did not help matters that I was down to the wire for time), I was so nervous I didn't want to watch it with my professor and TA. Maybe I was worried about the fuzzy line between critiquing my video and critiquing me. Mostly, it felt weird to let people so intimately into my head. Here are the things that I think and feel everyone, enjoy. It turns out, it went quite nicely. My TA made a joke that I missed because I was too busy vibrating anxiously. My professor pointed out some of the really well put together moments (ie, the ones I spent the most time on because i too was really excited about them). In short, I survived it, and came back to make some edits. This round of editing was easier. Thank God.
When we showed the final, my professor and TA were the only people who spoke, which I am unsure what to make of. I mean....comment on something really surface, like the sound levels or something. Anything than sit there staring at the screen, because I don't know how to read that.
Anyhow, during my professors comments, she said something along the lines of the 'party' section seems like it was intentionally created in place of something else (yeah...I couldn't figure out how to successfully shoot a party scene) which keeps people at a distance (which I like) but choosing to put real photographs there instead (hooray for facebooking for class) gave it a sense of vulnerability (i added a picture from senior prom for good measure). and i kind of just kept nodding because i was like "yes, ive shown it. i feel it. lets move on".

I was a huge cry-baby as kid. Cryin Ryan. Of all the things you can rhyme with my name, that's what stuck. I reacted very strongly to everything generally. Then, over the course of my development, I learned, got trained, what have you, to fight that impulse. And as I got really good at it, I swung too far to the opposite direction. I was really emotionally detached from things, or I still had those responses but I exerted a lot of energy to contain them, which, as you might expect, was no fun. One result of this has been to keep people at arms length. (This is a successful physical metaphor, because holding someone away from you on straight arms is way easier than doing it with bent arms- at which point they would be closer than arms length, but I digress). It turns out, your friends don't like it when you do that. So, as any good pendulum will, I've tried to swing back to some kind of balance. A place where I can be vulnerable without being frail.

So I realized, my final video, kind of like this blog, was a window that I opened onto myself. Now, people are welcome to see if they feel like it. Maybe even poke around some. I'm not opening any doors yet, and I imagine that's what you save for your nearest and dearest, but it's progress.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Last week of classes!

Oh man. Was it rough for me. I had a test and a draft for a paper due on the same day. Which doesn't sound so bad, but perhaps it would have been more manageable if I didn't get both pinkeye and a sinus infection. Gross, right? I know, I'm living with it. So basically my entire head is infected. I don't even wanna touch myself (erotically or otherwise).

So this week also sums up the closing of my freshman year, which was the first year of me being very, very out.

It was partially by accident. I mean, I'm not the type of person that likes being particularly explicit (even though I think Yale has helped me look incredibly dyke-y recently). If asked I will tell, but who I like to fuck does not often come up in conversation often. Especially in high school. And whenever it did, it was sort of awkward because I was sort of awkward, but not it a "haha" way but in a "I hate this place but I haven't realized it yet" awkward.

But here, I promised myself that I wouldn't lie to anyone. Also, I got drunk a few times. Whatever. So whereas in high school if someone would say to me "Yo that guy over there is ~s0 hAwT~" I would probably make a face like :| and not say anything.

In college, a liquor loosening my tongue, I'd politely say to the person that no, I don't think that guy over there is attractive, nor most other ones. And this was why I considered myself a LESBIAN!

And the other person wouldn't care, like I expected, and then we'd continue on with life. So now I just have to do this for people at home (where everyone would just say that they knew anyway)!

I'm sure I have a lot more 'growing' as a queer woman to do, and I'm ready for it. Coming out is only one part of the journey. Now i just need to survive the rest of my life, or at least finals.

Happy reading week, everyone!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

anyone up for a little field trip?

also, would any of you ladies be up for a trip to VIP in Orange, Ct? It's about ten minutes away. Biggest sexstore in the northeast!

They have everything from sex themed party favors...to vibrators...to handcuffs....

It might be fun to invade the place.

lets have a sappho field trip, shall we?

I might be more of a Top than I thought? I'm ascared.

Beautiful ladies!

I have been so MIA--so sorry for that.

Glad to hear Chip is doing well, TheCuteOne! :)

I won't give too many details about my sex life...but I will say that I have very much enjoyed sex in a way that I didn't know I could. I LOVE TOPPING. No...like...really. And this scarres me a little. I've always identified as more of a bottom...powerbottom to make myself feel a little more in control...but I really love topping my girlfriend. I think a mixed relationship is healthy and I'm coming to accept my inner-dominant side that I haven't really shown to many people. But it's a little scary for me! I feel like I shouldn't be so...dominant. I don't know...but I LOVE it. Eeeee.
Okay maybe that was too much detail. CuteOne, you started it! :)

My exboyfriend texted me today and told me he's going to come out to his parents. I'm so nervous for him. His parents are very homophobic. They will probably blame it on my influence on their son, haha. Just how my parents blamed my "struggles" on his influence on me.
Oh, parents. Oh, that unfortunate and misdirected generation.

When you read this/if you make it to this line--please say a little prayer/hope for the best for my exbf and his parents. It's going to be rough if he goes through with it.

YAY END OF TERM. BOO EXAMS! YAY CHIP (and all additions to the bedroom that will inevitably destress us!)

On straight people

I realized the other day that I have a small bias against straight people. It's not that I don't like them, I just have less in common with them and I don't often make the effort to get to know them, unless we're on the same team or living together. This is particularly true for straight boys, who I hardly ever interact with any more. This is something I've been missing in my life of late, but something I'm pretty sure I can change next year. Meeting a bunch of boys who I know I'll be friends with next year made me realize that boys are just people who happen to look different from the regular people I interact with. Actually sometimes they don't even look that different, they just identify as boys.

Anyway, it was fun for me to realize that even though I'm not really friends with that many boys now, aside from gay boys and my two straight male friends from highschool, that I still like boys, and we can still hang out and have fun.

That's pretty much all I've got for today friends. Sadly I'm pretty run down and my gay flame isn't burning as brightly today as it might otherwise. Maybe next time I'll have something rivetingly gay to tell you all about, like Chip.

Getting it in- I apologize in advance for the lunacy that's coming

Damn. This is one of two days of the week I don't actually have to wake up for anything and still I was awake at 6. Le sigh.

I'm taking a break from outlining moth genitalia to post before I forget and get caught up in my practice-dinner-grey's frivolity. (The moths are for a friend's senior project. I'm not that strange.)

Alas! I fear I have no real substantive thoughts at the moment, just lots of scattered ones. like....remember that post from a while back about things making way more sense in hindsight? yes, well, in hindsight, my first ever crush was on the original Pink Ranger from Power Rangers. didn't know it at the time, but it seems so obvious now. I also have a huge celeb crush on Kelly Clarkson, but that's a different story.

I was reading the Lost Symbol by Dan Brown the other day and almost stopped and angrily left the store twice because 1) he equated the purpose behind tattoos and drug use to transitioning. (maybe equated is a little strong, but it went something like this: tattooing is all about taking control of your carnal form- which is why so many people are getting tattoos or doing drugs or transgendering) WTF? I mean...maybe, on the level that I get tattoos to express things on the outside that I feel on the inside and transpeople change their bodies to match who they are on the inside...you have to read it. It's like, five pages in. I was upset. and tired at the time, so that didn't help.

Then his characters knocked Yale a handful of times (He went to Harvard), which also made me mad. The fact that this guy gives a talk about writing to the freshman at Exeter (where we both went to high school) is laughable. But I've always been a sucker for a little bit of plane-fiction now and then.

Blueberries are delicious. I've been eating them constantly since I gave my Mellon forum and ended up with my weight in left over indian food. So i've been using my lunch swipes for blueberries and pistachios. The ladies at durfee's think I'm crazy.

Are anyone else's allergies kicking into high gear? because I haven't sneezed as much in my whole life as I have today.

This is the song of my past two weeks. It's in my final project for Intro to Digital Video, which I will talk about next week after I hand it in. Figure its better that way. Also a huge sucker for Timbaland.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How Gay is England?

Quick post.

I am quickly getting very sad about graduating. I think I need three more senior years. Finally I have families of friends. Finally I've figured out that grades don't matter. Finally I am doing all the things I should have done long ago. Finally I am happy.

I think a big component of my happiness comes from how content I am having finally figured out that I'm queer. The queer community at Yale is so amazing, and there are so many beautiful queer girls here that I spend most of my time drooling. Truth be told - I don't want to leave.

Not at all.

For the next two years, I'm going to be living in the English countryside. I'm going to be a chemistry/biology teacher at a coed boarding school, and I'm psyched. But I'm also worried.

I want to be out. I want to date fierce ladies that I find playing rugby in the gorgeous countryside. What do any of you know about gay girls in England? What is gay girl culture like? How ok is it to be out? Am I going to find gay girls in the countryside? Will I find them in London?

Help me, Sappho. Tell me your thoughts.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

ask me about being a ... at yale!

[So - rambling, in between bulldog days/papers post.]

Ah. Self-labeling. For a long time I've been cool with everyone knowing that I love women, I even throw the word lesbian around casually though I honestly cringe a little inside sometimes when I say it. (Such an ugly word!) But. The stickers at the mixer tonight were cray cray! They were rainbow, with white letters: "Ask me about being a .. at yale!" With lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, and ally. I'm not sure how I feel about it. (All respect to the Sappho heads! Just thoughts.) I feel like it's always this unspoken thing, how exactly you identify, and while most people know that I'm not bi, I have never had a written admonition to being gay/queer at all, let alone lesbian. I didn't want to take the queer sticker, bc I don't identify as queer (it's like dyke - I get why people like it, I feel bleh); I kinda liked the gay one but I felt like it was for gay men. Like since the lesbian sticker was there it would be wrong to take another. I also kind of want to be proud to be who I am specifically - a lesb. And like I said, I've never flat out had it in writing before. I've never told someone over the computer, I've never put it on facebook. So I took one. Made a statement. Now I have my sticker. yeah. Feel free to ask me about being a lesbian at yale.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Can Esquire be Empowering?

Esquire's May 2010 cover features actress Christina Hendricks as "The Best Looking Woman in America." This cover has attracted attention since, as the picture below makes plain, Christina has curves.

Before people get too excited about progressive ideas about body type, I should point out that Christina was selected by a poll of 10,000 women. There's no telling what kind of woman a similar survey of men would have produced, so it's a little early to be jumping the gun and breathily asking what this means for women as some other magazines have done.

Frankly, if women see Christina's cover as a battle we've won, we've already lost the war.

It's a positive step to have many different women featured as attractive in the mainstream media, but this only the first step to the more important attempt to define attractiveness as a concept that includes, but is not limited to physical attractiveness. As long as we praise media only for their willingness to expand the definition of physical desirability for women, we buy into their idea that this is the only attribute of women worthy of notice.

The Esquire cover is not progress. It is simply a good-looking photo of a good-looking woman.

(h/t to Project Rungay)

Friday, April 16, 2010


So, I'm following the National Organization for Marriage on tumblr.

That's right, NOM has found a niche within the blogging sphere previously limited to, um, anything but conservative gay marriage haters. I must say, it's fun to see their posts about protecting the sanctity of marriage in the midst of my dashboard filled with internet memes and nude women.

However, it does provide a source of news for me in terms of gay rights and marriage equality outside of the United States. For example, did you know that Italy's highest court recently rejected same-sex marriage? Or that the Karl Lagerfeld spoke out against gay parents? He's a fashion designer, by the way. Way to lose half of your fan-base, Karl.

I wonder how many earnest followers NOM has. I mean, I'm sure there are some genuine people who appreciate that tumblr, but hopefully there will always be those like me who reblogs every post with anger and snark.

In case anyone wants to look at the website, it's http://nationformarriage.tumblr.com/

Have fun, kids!


Briefly Political

Yay, queer folk can now visit thier partners in hospital just like married people! Well atleast in hospitals that take medicare/medicaid. As long as they signed the right forms. But that's at least a start. Seriously though, why was this not common sense?
You can read about it here, if you didn't already see it in the paper: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/16/us/politics/16webhosp.html?hp.
Also, a old but heartbreaking article which shows why this is so necessary. Basically let someone be with thier partner of 15+ years at their death bed. Not rocket science, one would think. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/19/health/19well.html?_r=1
And if that depressed you as much as it did me, some satire to make you feel better. I don't know how to embed videos (did I mention I'm awful at technology?) but here's a handy guide to life as a closeted politician. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSGlmYIuATQ.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You

One of my favorite ways to pass the time, especially when I don't have work or don't want to do it, is to hang out in Barnes and Nobles and read short stories. It works out brilliantly on all fronts. I feel less weird reading them in the bookSTORE where people generally pay for books. I can start a book of short stories and not finish them and that's ok, I can go back to it later. They tend to be cheaper if I do decide to buy them. They last about as long as my attention span. Basically, its great.

So today, I made my first trek to the bookstore for this purpose in a while with the intent of reading Amy Bloom's 'Where the God of Love Hangs Out'. Turns out she's got all kind of short stories, so after sitting on the floor and reading all the back covers, I settled on 'a blind man can see how much I love you'. I must say I was not disappointed, and I've only read the first two stories.

The first one was about a mother, Jane, and her ftm child, Jess. The story was beautifully written and was sharp and witty. It helps that Jess and Jane's relationship plays out the way a typical young man would interact with his mother, at least for the most part. I'll admit, I did get a little lost when the mother gained a love interest toward the end of the story, but I guess everyone deserves a happy ending while we're passing them around.

The second was about a woman undergoing cancer treatment with her husband and her lesbian best friend by her side. (I won't lie, I didn't finish this one because I was pressed for time). This story was still good but more of a downer. I found it hard to sympathize with the main character after reading Jane's story. But Bloom is a great writer, so it works all the same.

The last book of short stories I read was called "Both Ways is the Only way I want it" and it was a book full of mostly-downer stories. but it was SO GOOD. mm. I'm enjoying the memory of it.

Now I'm off to try to actually accomplish something.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ian Harvie: Comedy Show

Join us this Friday for an amazing comedy show by Ian Harvie!!

Invite all your friends!

FB event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=113731848651243&ref=ts

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


So I haven't posted in like two weeks and I don't even get to say I've been incredibly busy. Mostly, I've just started to write something and it sounded stupid or I got distracted or whatever. Anyway as I was thinking about what to write this time, my roommate and a gay guy friend of mine were talking in my room. I wasn't really listening until I heard my roomie say "oh you're a downer right?" and my guy friend reply "you mean bottom?", "yeah". Hahaha
I don't know, that amused me and my super immature sense of humor alot and its one of the funnier things straight people have said about queerness around me. I mean, I'm sure (at least if you're more lipstick/not-super-butch) that you've heard "oh wow, you don't look like a lesbian, I thought lesbians didn't shave thier legs/shaved their heads/wore mens clothing etc". And I'm sure someone has asked you, about a date, girlfriend, or hook up "so are you the man or the woman". Clearly we are both women, that's why were not straight.
And I'm sure the bi's have heard "well atleast then you can pick a guy for long term". Umm sorry, last time I checked it didn't work that way. I'm not so much offended by these comments (although sometimes) as amused by the silly things people think...
So whats the wierdest question or comment someones made to you about queer identity/sex/relationships etc?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Anti-anti-Bieber Rant

So I love Lesbians Who Look Like Justin Bieber, the blog. I'm not sure if anyone's posted about it before, but if you haven't heard of it, it's an epic blog that posts pictures of either lesbians who look like Justin Bieber or pictures of Justin Bieber "looking particularly lesbi". (Ha ha ha ha ha!!) It is SO cute! Anyway, someone posted a not-so-nice comment the other day which I really didn't like:


Wow wow wow. I keep hearing this stuff everywhere... in the ally workshop, in readings for one of my WGSS classes, in talking with people in the straight world about their stereotypes. And it sucks! Whatever happened to valuing diversity in our community? Someone needs to smack this girl. Yeah, I feel no urge to cut my hair short, yeah, I'm usually more attracted to feminine girls. That doesn't discount the entire other variety of the women-identified women population, though! Why why why can we not value diversity when all of us are so naturally varying (um the whole loving women thing) ourselves? I mean I know why it is. People are scared, vulnerable, and don't want the world to think badly of them. I know I thought that way in high school. But it's time for us to get over it! People who hard-core hate lesbians are going to hate them no matter what, and someone who can be convinced to accept us can be convinced to accept a spectrum of gender expression, too. Besides, butch girls are incredibly cute. What's better than a woman strong enough to defy society's standards and be who she is? Yay butch girls, yay femmes, yay lipsticks. Let's just be ourselves and be proud of it.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I love Star Trek

Last night I was taking a trip down memory lane. I grew up on Star Trek - my mom and I bonded over Star Trek: Voyager while it was actually running, and my adolescence was sprinkled with beautiful experiences with the syndicated series Star Trek: The Next Generation. Usually when I tell non-science nerds about how great Star Trek is, they just roll their eyes. HOWEVER! Last night as I was searching through the Next Generation episode database, I stumbled over one of the most intriguing episodes that I had ever remembered seeing. It blows my mind that I had forgotten about it until now.

This is one of the most queer-positive science fiction plots I have even encountered. The episode ran for the first time back in 1992. The premise is simply that the crew encounters an alien species that has no gender. In working with this species called the J'nai, Commander Riker discovers that one of them seems to be different. Seems to be mysteriously . . . female.

If you have 45 minutes to spare (and you know you do) you should check this out. I watched it last night and now I'm walking on air about how proud I am to be a Star Trek geek. Who knows, maybe you'll wanna be my friend so we can watch more excellent episodes together :)

Here's the Surf the Channel Link: http://www.surfthechannel.com/video/202/39503.html

Much love and final paper writing :)

Victory is mine!

My senior essay is in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(letting that sink in for a moment)

And its great. That's why I didn't post on Thursday as is usually my jam. I have never spent so long working on footnotes in my entire life. DON'T LEAVE THOSE TO THE LAST MINUTE. it blows. I mean, don't leave the writing to the last minute either.

I'm ambivalent about my senior essay in a lot of ways. It's epic. I barely made it under the max word count of 15,000 (that's about 60 pages). So obviously I did a lot of work. But I'm also pissed because this was a two term essay most of the work for which was done literally in three to four weeks- over spring break and one week in both directions. So what did I do all fall? I did the work required of our seminar, but very little of that made its way into my paper ultimately. Sometimes I guess its just a long and windy road.

Speaking a little to the previous post, I had grand aspirations for this year and for the most part, I haven't been disappointed.
I've taken some awesome out-of-my-box classes, gotten more involved in JE life (well, until the last two weeks.), started doing this...I could keep going.
I guess my strategy was to let the awesome things find me. My perspective is undoubtedly skewed because as a varsity athlete there is a ton that I know I miss out on already, so now that I've got more time, that's the stuff I go to first. But I also know myself at least well enough to realize that even the stuff I'm really passionate about isn't going to get the right kind of energy if I've got to start it from the ground up. And its because my priorities are already set.
1)senior essay
2) classes generally
3) rowing
4) anything I've already promised myself to
5) new stuff I want to do.

see? It's pretty far down. And starting new things, as some teammates of mine discovered the hard way this term, is really hard as a senior unless you've got really enthusiastic and committed underclassmen to help you (or its a small enough project that you don't need that much help). There simply are a lot of other demands on you.

But my plan has worked admirably for me to this point. I got back into IM sports. I've done a better job generally of seeking out people I like but never get to see.
As for getting ready for next year, this AmeriCorp app I'm working on is a real pain in my ass. I'll admit that I was a little bummed when big-deal-consulting-firm-x fell through, but I think in hindsight I would have hated that. (You should totally attend the info sessions because the finger food is quite tasty. and you get free notebooks and pens, which I'm sure excites me more than most people) So I turned my mind towards smaller companies, or doing some non-profit work, which is how I ended up at AmeriCorp (so much more than TFA- check it out). I think whats most important is to just stay relaxed. Stress isn't going to make anything better, it just makes you unhappy. I'm lucky because I know at least that I'm moving in with my heterosexual life partner after graduation. So all I really need to do is find a way to pay my rent. At the very worst I see myself as the only personal trainer with a Yale degree. But let's be honest....I get paid solid money to yell at people and get free gym access. I'm not sure it gets much better either.

I'm letting my mind decompress for a couple more hours before I frantically make up lost time in my digital video class. Joy.

also, before I forget. CREDIT/D CREDIT/D CREDIT/D. You can take 4 classes Cr/d/Fail. USE THEM! It means you can take something you are interested in but terrible at, or something totally random. Or if you're like me, it takes you course load down from 4 to 2. sort of. my point it, take advantage of it.

Midnight Deliberations...Senior Year

Next year I will be a senior.

And I haven't been able to not think about what I want to do with it. It'll be my last year in college. Academically, I am pretty set: although I am a Political Science major by credits, I want to explore classes in Anthropology, in Gender Studies, and in Philosophy. I also plan on submitting a thesis proposal. So I'm comfortable in the academic sphere.

What I'll do after graduation? Well, who knows, maybe grad school, maybe a job, although I'm leaning more toward the latter. A job in what? Who knows, I guess I'll have to do a lot of research over the summer. But that's not what I've been thinking about...

"What kind of impact do I want to have on my campus? And how do I want to go about doing this?"

This inevitably has led me to think about leadership positions, clubs on campus, potential clubs I may want to found. There are a couple of things I'd like to do, but only so much time, so I really have to choose. Another option is to simply enjoy senior year without any extracurricular commitments/with not so many. And that may be what ends up happening, but a big part of me really wants to do something, create, explore, change, and grow in the process.

Seniors out there, what have you guys done with your senior year? Everyone else, what are you planning on doing next year? What do you absolutely want to do?

The way I think about it is this: College is over, it's been maybe two years after I graduated, and I look back to my college experience...

Did I love it? What, if anything, was missing?

With this question I seek to capture that which I want to spend my senior year doing. Of course, there is a lot more than extracurricular commitments, that's just been one of the things I've thought about.

I'd love your feedback, and to hear what you guys have done/want to do?

Much love, always

Friday, April 9, 2010


Hey kids,

I'm sure everyone has already seen this, but I'd like to do a close analysis, if you will.

So the basic story is that on an episode of Family Feud, Ellen DeGeneres was a topic. The first part of the family happily shouts out the obvious things: "She's gay!" "She's funny!" "She likes to dance a lot!" Ding Ding Ding! Applause applause applause. And then, the patriarch of the family, with a strangely matter-of-fact tone, says into the microphone:

"She's doesn't like our country very much."

The father has a smirk of satisfaction. The family claps awkwardly, unsure of what to do. Then the screen goes to the board and apparently, Ellen DeGeneres is not known for hating America.

I have a few questions, but one above the rest: Why the fuck would you ever say this? Ever? Has homophobia gone so far as to be a central country value? Is that how Ellen shows her distaste in the country? I'm sorry, but when our founding fathers were in a cramped room in the middle of July with no twentieth century air-conditioning I doubt that they were thinking at any point:

"Oh yeah, we should hint that munching carpet is unpatriotic. It just goes against the vision, man. And it will really piss of Britain; those bitches are known for being lesbionic."

Maybe he believes that all showbiz types hate America. Yep, not like the people of this country essentially created that concept or anything. Oh, by the way guys, Steven Spielberg and Oprah hate America, too. In fact, any famous person that is either not-white, homosexual, female, and also remotely interesting is probably plotting with the terrorists in Yemen or something to bring out country down.

I sincerely hope this guy is so embarrassed by what he said. And I hope his embarrassment knocks the stupidity out of his head and out of everyone else's who thinks this was a sensible comment.

Additionally, Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi are fifty times hotter than those assholes Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. There, I said it.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"Europe's Leading Lesbian Glossy"

DIVA magazine. Get your subscription.
It's awesome. Leztastic.


Sorry for such a short post...is this week killing everyone else?

All I want to do is go crawl in bed and cuddle with my girlfriend...but instead I have to study for stats. Hmph.

I want my sanity back....

Monday, April 5, 2010

My world is getting gayer. And I love it.

So one of my friends told me today she thinks she's going to try dating girls and I am soo happy for her! It is the cutest thing ever, she was smiling and just seemed so content with her decision to figure out the identity she has been unsure of for awhile. She is just one of many questioning people.. I feel like there is a restlessness around me -- many of the freshmen in my pretty straight (so far) college have either started to come out, are giving more openly gay vibes, or have just started to question more seriously their sexuality. I guess everyone always talks about sophomore surprises, and they seem to be starting off. It's weird because it's bittersweet. Part of me is excited - yay more gay girls, more gay guy friends, more people accepting themselves! Part of me is also a little hesitant to rejoice - worried about all the confusing emotions my friends are going to be going through, having to deal with all this stuff without the burst in the beginning of the year of coming out resources. Although at the same time, they have a bunch of girls who came before them who they know in their own class who they can turn to. I hope people will as time goes on feel safe enough to be open about who they are - it's so much better to be out! So free. aand, it makes my college so much less futile. It's great, almost all of the people I know now are gay/bi/ish/queer-friendly. It's going to make Gotham runs a lot more fun.!

Why NOT to Queer the Census

Today is Census Day at Yale!

You've probably noticed the flyers put up by the small army of Census volunteers, but the added PSAs from Fierce Advocates telling you to 'Queer the Census' may leave you wondering what to do today. Fierce Advocates, in partnership with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, is asking students to paste stickers asking the Census to add a question about sexual orientation to the next iteration of the form.


The Queer the Census campaign is misguided. Although, as a social science nerd, and 538 afficionado, I am always sympathetic to the lust for more statistical data, but the Census is not the right way to collect this information. And, even if the question were added, it is unlikely to result in a PR coup for the gay rights movement.

The Census is the Wrong Instrument
You won't notice many personal questions on the Census (aside from race, which was included from the first census, when it was important to know whether a subject was black or white, since blacks counted as 3/5 for redistricting). We don't rely on the Census to take a complete snapshot of the nation every ten years. The Census is necessarily short, since every additional question increases the odds that it won't be returned. The Census an essentially simple purpose: tallying the number of residents to guide redistricting and disbursement of per capita funds. A queer tally is not relevant to these goals.

This cycle, the government eliminated the long form of the census, preferring to rely on the work done by the American Community Survey, which surveys samples of the country every year. If we want to ask questions about queers, this is the place to do it. In fact, the ACS already tallies the number of gay committed partnerships nationwide.

The Census would Undercount
Even if the census asked about sexual orientation, it would be likely to produce a massive, but official looking, undercount of American queers. Although the Census counts every individual, it is filled out by household, and I have a tough time believing that most high schoolers or other young people living at home are likely to see the Census questionnaire as the appropriate segue into coming out.

In addition, the question as proposed would be likely to undercount younger people who would identify as queer or questioning and might hesitate to commit to a stigmatized category like gay.

The Count Doesn't Count for Much
Mere evidence that gay people are everywhere will not result in the rolling back of discriminatory laws. The American Community Survey has already shown that gay couples exist in 99% of counties nationwide. It is wrong to claim, as a Daily Princetonian op-ed did, that demonstrating that single gays are equally ubiquitous will force bigoted legislators to clean up their act. Progress for the LGBT movement has come not through numbers but through stories. The entire point of "We're Here, We're Queer" was to turn the frightening spectre of 'a gay' into the familiar face of a friend or neighbor.

We Can Do Better
Instead of trying to up the numbers of queers who might be eligible for hypothetical government programs, let's do more to expand those programs. Today, take the time you would have spent on stickers doing something for Lambda Legal (still my fav LGBT activist group).

If you really want to do good work to reform the Census, join the movement to count prisoners in the districts they're from, rather than using them to boost the numbers of the richer neighborhoods where they're imprisoned.

An interesting e-mail

This weekend I received an e-mail from an aunt I hardly talk to. It read something like this:

"I know we hardly talk, but I have been following you on facebook. Are you dating the girl on your profile pic? I am sorry if this question offends you, and you do not have to answer. It's just that someone told me you were, and I preferred to ask you. I do not care about your sexual orientation, as I admire you for the person you are. Hope all is well, kiss, your aunt."

I still don't know what to make of it. I probably won't respond, and that in itself is probably an answer....I know that my family on my Dad's side has been gossiping about my sexuality for a couple of months now....all because of facebook. At some point, my girlfriend and I decided to not care about how obvious our facebook profiles were. When we first started dating, instead of posting "I love you" we would write %*!@#$%^&%!!! to express our frustration. And suddenly that stopped mattering. The immediate consequences were liberating. But it also meant that I was, in a sense, "outing" myself: my teacher from high school e-mailed me, another aunt e-mailed me, and it just kind of became known back home.

I'm fine with certain people back home knowing (friends, classmates, certain teachers), I still don't know how I feel about my teachers from elementary school, for instance, knowing. And it still makes me uncomfortable that my family gossips/knows.

Perhaps it's silly that I give it so much importance. Here I feel so protected, but back home, with certain family members, or with certain people, I still feel very much exposed...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sometimes I just miss my mom...

A couple of years ago, around the same time I started dating women I stopped talking to my mom, a lot.

Before I actually "took the plunge" and actually got the guts to ask girls out, I had tested the waters with my mom, so to speak. I asked her questions about what she thought on the topic and quite frankly I never received a very positive response to say the least...
When I actually went for it, the girl dating part, I didn´t tell my mom, in fact I was very careful to hide it from her. I was afraid of her rejection and her criticism, she can be quite harsh at times.

This went on for a while, eventually she started getting suspicious, and our relationship plummeted at an accelerated rate...

I realized that keeping things about my sexuality not only meant that I couldnt tell her who I was dating, but also I couldnt tell her about the parties I went to, the people I hung out with, I couldn't explain certain political interests I have, heartbreak, joys, worries about questioning girls in my life....

I came out to her a couple of months ago. She didn't take it well. It disgusts her. My girlfriend is banned from my house. I can hardly tell her half the things I do here because half of them have to do with my queerness. I feel attacked by her.

I miss her. I wish we could talk like before. When I was younger, when I was still what she "wanted".

I know she loves me, but she disagrees with so much of who I am.

Sometimes though, I really just want her back. It´s strange to want someone in my life that both hurts me and loves me at the same time. She´s bittersweet to me.

Sometimes i just miss my mom...

Friday, April 2, 2010

More feminist rants

So I'm going to piggy back on what Sugah Bush just said. I agree that those kind of jokes are super irritating and whats even more annoying is that if you try and point out how stupid they sound, you're automatically a humorless feminist (oh no!). grr.
Anyway, what I was originally going to write about is on a kind of similar feminist-but-not-particularly-gay topic: sexual double standard. The other day my friends and I were talking about our hook ups from the weekend and general sex lives. We ended the conversation talking about how well one of the boys does, having a new hookup every weekend. Literally five minutes later, we ran into a girl we all know who someone described (as soon as she was our of earshot) as "a bit crazy, kind of a nympho...I mean she hooks up with a new guy every week". Wait, what?
Apparently, what is successful for a guy makes you a slut if your a girl. again grrr. I feel like this double standard is especially applicable to us bi's. I mean, a lot of people hear bi and instantly think slutty. I'm not necessarily a "slut" - i just happen to like girls and guys also - and if i were that's not a reason to judge. Can we let everyone organize their sex lives themselves, without making a huge deal about the gender or number of their partners or what kind of sex they enjoy?
I don't understand the whole bi=slut thing...especially for straight guys. Look I know that some girls do it for attention, but that doesn't mean that when I'm making out with a girl at a party that you can come up and grind on us. I'm busy, ok?
anyway that's my rant for the day. on a lighter note: go to http://www.fox.com/glee/and watch Sue's corner. haha. and Glee is coming back April 13th, I'm so excited!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

No, I don't want to make you a goddamn sandwich.

Today I want to bring up a subject that, although not directly related to lesbianism, still affects all of us.

That topic is unfunny misogynist jokes.

Listen, I like offending people just as much as the next jerk out there. But there is a way to do it skillfully, subtly raising awareness and then satirizing our views on whatever is at hand. These jokes, however, are just really really really stupid. Even worse, they are repeated ad nauseum , and are unfortunately considered acceptable responses to anything.

For example, there is a facebook group called, "I was shocked when I realized that 'woman' spelled backwards is 'kitchen'." Completely avoiding the fact that this isn't true, there's also the fact that, um, that doesn't have anything to do with anything. I mean "taco cat" spelled backwards is "taco cat", but that's different. "small penis" spelled backwards is "sinep llams", which also isn't particularly relevant, but it can be fun to shout at people.

Want me to stay in the kitchen, followers of the male patriarchal system? Well, there are a lot of things I can do in a kitchen. I can sit around in a kitchen. I can start a Satanic cult in a kitchen. I can eat all the food in the kitchen and then have you come home, starve, and then make love with my fat, bloated ass. Jerk.

There's also the beloved, "Make me a sandwich!" First of all, I'm usually too lazy to make myself a sandwich. Second, if you ever ask me this in the playful mannerism of a fourteen year old boy or a 4chan user (I might have been redundant there), I will not be able to make a come back with my feeble, womanly mind. I will probably just knee you in the balls instead.

So please, even if you hate women (and you're missing out on [a] great sex, people), stop telling these jokes at least in the name of good comedy. It needs to live on past senseless one-liners. And maybe if you're nice for once, I might possibly consider getting two slices of bread for you to make your own sandwich.

Back to my roots

It's April 1st, so I feel like I ought to be funny. Or write a long post that's totally inflammatory and false and then say APRIL FOOLS! at the end. But I've already been tricked once today and i must admit I didn't enjoy it very much. So instead, I'm going to write about what I was planning on writing about while I was walking back to JE from the calhoun cabaret, namely, getting back to my roots.
All this week I've been reminded of my good ole days but because my memory is not fantastic, I will start with yesterday and work back.

Confession: It's been a while since I've actually done any light design.

It took me a while to get my bearings in the cabaret light booth. It didn't help the matter that they haven't really finished setting up their own lighting rig yet, and an electrician, unfortunately, I am not. But anyhow, once I did, it was awesome. I bonded with some source fours, fought with some gels, finally figured out how to turn the house lights off without turning all the lights off. I went on and on about how "in my day light boards didnt come with touch screens".

I kinda miss doing theater tech. But I never really felt like I could break into Dramat. My priority isn't theater, I just think its fun. So I tried doing some prop stuff which was pretty dry until I did Rocky Horror which was awesome.

But Bad Romance has been a whole different story. This has reminded me of why I liked doing theater in the first place: working together with awesome people, being hands on, seeing an artistic idea (or ideas) brought to fruition.

Now if I can run the lights on Sunday without getting caught up in the performances, it will be perfect. In short: Come to the show!

Right now, I am live from the Peter Pan bus I am riding to Ithaca. Woo!

Bad Romance

I figure since I'm posting the day before Bad Romance happens I'd take this opportunity to advertise and explain how awesome it's been to be a part of. Just a heads up, if you still don't have tickets, there a few still available for the saturday 11pm show at yaledramacoalition.org/bad_romance get em while they're hot.

Anyway, what's so special about Bad Romance? It's the fabulous dancing and performing; It's the hilarity; It's the unbelievable sexiness, but mostly it's the wonderful time I've proving every rehearsal that gender is a performance. I think about my gender presentation all the time, how what I wear affects how people see me, how I should do my hair. But nowhere is it more apparent how superficial gender is than when bearded men wear dresses and turn you on and when the only thing making you read someone as a man or a woman is a feather boa or a baseball cap.

I've done some drag before Bad Romance, but I'd never put so much effort into my drag, and I've learned a lot in the process, not just new ways to put on a beard, but also different ways to present and different things to do on stage. I can't wait until this weekend to perform, and I'll miss it when it's over. It's been a great ride Bad Romance, hope I can show you to most of Sappho.