Little Kiwi and Bauhaus

Little Kiwi and Bauhaus
A Boy and His Dog

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














Tuesday, 28 May 2013

On the L

Oh, the L.  How I love you and loathe you and love you again.  Taking my queer ass in and outta Brooklyn, and always in style.  And occasionally with a show.  Well, more than occasionally.  This happens a lot.  Although this impromptu subway performance had a higher dose of Contortions than usual.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Doggy Drums

video

Doggy Drums!
Because sometimes it's just too darn hot to do anything other than play the drums on a pitbull.  In your underpants.  While watching "Fame" on DVD.  They sing the body electric, I play the body acoustic. On a dog.  Just because.

She loves it.  It cracks me up.


Bigger Link -

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Happy Birthday, Harvey Milk


Well, today is Harvey Milk's birthday.  And as I sit here having my coffee and looking over at my bookshelf where I see my collection of Milk-related reading and viewing materials, I can't help but think about some conversations I've had with some younger people over the last few years, who were just making their first toe-dips into a post-Closeted life.

Mainly, a question a few of them asked me which was "Are you proud to be gay?"

Some follow it with "Why? You didn't do anything to earn it.  It's like being proud to be straight."

Except it's completely, totally, utterly not.

What is Pride?  Well, I'm proud to be Out, for one.  Proud to be openly-gay in a world culture that is still predominantly anti-gay.   Proud to be a member of a large community that continues to push against bigotry and prejudice and glass ceilings.  Proud to stand alongside my brothers and sisters of the LGBT communities, who continue to humble me and inspire me with their grace, resilience, strength and courage.  Proud that despite having spent the first half of my life not wanting to be gay, and  convincing myself that I could never let myself be gay - I am now as Out as they get, and pretty darn happy about it.  Proud that I have inspired others, as others have inspired me, to become a visible and active face for positive change.

I think of the National Equality March in 2009, when (to my greatest of joys) a number of my straight friends got on buses and joined us in Washington DC to march and protest and celebrate LGBT Equality and diversity.  It was one of those astounding moments that I, as a young kid, would never have thought would happen.   Me, with my straight friends, who out of the goodness of their hearts and reflecting their strength of character, took it upon themselves to travel to another city and State (District?) to show their support as Allies to my community.

I'm proud to know them.

Which brings it back to Harvey - I first saw The Times of Harvey Milk when I was a teen, working in a videostore.  Having that job meant I was able to take home movies to watch, without anyone knowing I'd rented them; movies I was, at the time, worried about being seen with.  Because, you know, it might clue people into the fact that I was indeed gay.  It was a fear that affected my literature tastes, too.  I wasn't confident enough to take a "gay" book out of the library or bookshop - instead, I'd read Jane Austen, Toni Morrison, Alex Haley, Amy Tam, - I was desperate for stories of triumph over social prejudice and injustice.  I'd read about Malcolm X, the Suffragette movement -  I was desperate for inspiration, I was in need of Hope.  Seeing the documentary on Harvey Milk got the gears in my head turning.  For the first time I thought "You know what...I could do this, at some point. I could actually do this."

It's one of those funny things - the folks who dismiss queer literature, queer cinema, or any form of reading on queer/Gay icons and/or historical figures are almost always the ones who need to get those messages the most.  Because if you want a reason to be proud to be a member of the LGBT Communities, all you need do is learn our collective history, read the stories of our brothers and sisters who came before us.  Inspiration guaranteed.

So here I am, all these years later, enjoying a life and embracing myself in a way my childhood self would never have thought possible.  There are many to thank for my being able to love my life today.  Many nameless, faceless LGBT people who never became internationally, or even locally, known icons and advocates, but who nevertheless helped change the world and open the doors for gay people like me  -  simply by being OUT.



More than occasionally, due to the nature of my blogging and my online presence and my demeanor which is apparently a cross between a docile pitbull and a rabid Jack Russell Terrier, I've been called an attention-whore, and variations on that theme (that theme being - "Likes attention and is also a slut", or something).
But here's my take on it - I do it because I can.  I come from a place of privilege that makes me feel that I truly have a responsibility and/or obligation to be Visible.  I can do it, so I should do it.  So I do.


Those years ago in DC I had the incredible opportunity to, completely by chance, meet a good friend of Harvey Milk's from back in the battleground days in San Francisco - a chance meeting on the street, a conversation, a dinner followed by more conversation.  Dan Nicoletta - I recognized him immediately.  I stopped him on the street, thanked him for his years of work for us all, and showed him the tattoo I'd had in tribute to Harvey and his "gang" of game-changers.  Dan invited my friends and I to join him for a meal (we paid for him, of course. how could we not?!?!).  He regaled us with stories about his times with Harvey, and the times after.  My heart broke and sang and broke and sang - opera, yo.
He said to me, "Harvey would have loved you."

I can only hope.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

#HippieProblems

That moment when you drop a bottle of Sandalwood Oil and it breaks and spills everywhere and no matter how dedicated you were to cleaning up your bathroom still smells like an army of Flower Children.

Oh well.  Must be Tuesday.


Monday, 6 May 2013

SunnyDaze

Oh, my little canine Natalie Wood - enjoying herself some Splendor in the Grass.

What can I say? The girl loves herself some grass.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Passing Time - Canadian-Style

When the weather is balmy-beautiful and you've got some time to kill there's nothing more fun and peaceful than picking up flat rocks and tossing them into a lake.


Saturday, 20 April 2013

No, Racism is Not Dead

There's something very interesting about this time in history.  We're in the digital age - all is recorded.  There are no doubt a lot of families in North America, amongst other places, that are very very lucky that their own family's sordid histories of bigotry and prejudice are not documented and accessible via digital technology.  Families of anti-Integrationists that can sleep at night because their family's history of bigotry was at its zenith in a time when documentation simply wasn't possible.

And then we have folks who don't seem to realize that things like Twitter are, well, worldwide.  And permanent.  You can delete the tweet, but you can't stop others from saving and re-tweeting and exposing you for the bigot you are.  Politicians who make bigoted speeches before congress and before their flocks of followers at conventions.  Average everyday citizens who go out to march for some cause they think they care about...holding signs of hatred and ignorance.  The bigots of decades past are , for the most part, safe and hidden away - no cameras documenting their every move and word.  But the times, they've a'changed.





We've all heard a lot of "racism is over because the President of the United States of America is black" nonsense.  Anyone who maintains even a mild level of social consciousness can tell you that after Obama's election in 2008, the crazies came out of the woodwork.  And again in 2012 - tweet after tweet, post after post, comment after comment - pure, unbridled, inexcusable racism.

And then, this happening this week.....
link here:
http://publicshaming.tumblr.com/post/48020892347/jamie-foxx-attended-the-mtv-movie-awards-on-sunday



















What century is it, again?  Who are these people?  What failures of culture and humanity raised them?  Oh, well - like I said - it's the digital age.  Congrats, folks - you expose yourselves to be the scum of society.
There are folks who seem adamant about ruining their family name for future generations.  I've often been stunned at the way people like Jesse Helms are still canonized by some people - then I see tweets like these and I have to remember that bigotry is alive and well.  And the saddest thing?  It's learned.  It's not innate.  You need to be carefully instructed on how to hate.

At this point it doesn't even matter what brand of hatred you subscribe to.  You put it out there, it's for all to see.  Years from now, the grandchildren of Rick Santorum will have to live down their family name.  Look at history and see how the world works.  See how you will be remembered, and realize the harm you will inflict on "your own" by continuing to cling, for no intelligent reason, to baseless, archaic and deeply ugly bigotry.

And don't even get me started on that "Accidental Racist" country/rap song, which has to be the stupidest thing I've yet heard.

So think about it, grown adults - what legacy do you want to pass on to your children and grandchildren?  It you cling to your bigotry, remember that it's a stain that will mark your family line for a very very very VERRRYYYYYYY long time.



Little Kiwi, Out.


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Gays VS Guns

Well the good news is it's still easy to get assault rifles 
         and still all-but-impossible to get married if you're gay.

so americans can all rest easy knowing that no children will die this week from drive-by lesbian weddings.
or from gays entering a crowded movie theatre armed with their husbands.








Seriously, America.  Wake up.  Last week Uruguay voted and passed Marriage Equality.  Gay couples can now legally marry in Uruguay.  On that exact same day in the USA, 34 Republicans in Montana voted to keep sexual conduct between two consenting adults of the same-sex (ie, GAYS) a criminal offense.   A felony.  Punishable with up to 10 years in prison, and a hefty fine.


Apparently Newtown wasn't enough.  Neither was Columbine, clearly.  It seems Conservative Americans don't care about their children being killed.  But they sure do care about gay couples getting married. 


#CultureFail

Monday, 15 April 2013

PFLAG Ally Award 2013

Sharon Gless, how I love you.  Before I ever saw the first season of Queer as Folk (US version), my only knowledge of "PFLAG" was from a throwaway line from the movie Reality Bites wherein the joke is simply that they pronounce PFLAG phonetically. Pffflaaag.  I laughed.  I was 13.

Queer as Folk started airing when I was beginning my senior year of high school.  My mum watched it, as did a bunch of her friends.  Tea-time conversations were about the show (tea-time conversations are a terribly Scottish thing, you see. Topics over the years have oft included The Royal Family, Princess Diana, Coronation Street, Princess Diana, 'how the kids are doing', Princess Diana, and yes, Queer as Folk).  So, it was in my senior year that I first saw what a "PFLAG Mom" looked like, as played by the inimitable and astoundingly talented Sharon Gless.

Within that year I would not only Come Out to everyone, I would know firsthand what it was like to have a PFLAG Mom, myself.  Sure, my Mum didn't actually join PFLAG until years and years later, as she (in her retirement years) wanted a new hobby and social advocacy and helping other families was right up her alley, but from the moment I told my family I was falling in love with another guy, my entire family became the picture of a PFLAG Family, and when people would talk about my Mum (and trust me, once you meet her you'll understand why so many people talk about her) they'd always say, "Oh! She's like Debbie! She's totally Debbie from QAF!"

And she is.  Thank you, Sharon Gless, for showing our parents what love looks like, and for introducing millions of people to PFLAG through your portrayal of Debbie Novotny.  A mother who loved her son so much, and cared so much about making life better for not only him, but for the countless other LGBT people in our world culture.  The show's scenes in which Debbie helps ease young blonde twink Justin's mother into her new understanding about having a gay son remain incredibly moving to this day.  For a lot of us, it was the first time we saw "Families Actually Dealing With Gay Family Members" in any form of entertainment.

On QAF, the character of Debbie Novotny was a local gaybourhood icon - everyone knew Debbie, and Debbie knew everyone.  She was everyone's mom.  I feel that, in my own life.  My mum is a local gay icon.  My mum is everyone's mum.  We're everyone's family.  That's what PFLAG is.

Rosie O'Donnell flew up to present the award to Sharon Gless, who accepted it with touching grace and humility and love.  Tears of joy creaked out these weary cynical eyes.  A lot of love in the air.

Thank you, Sharon Gless.

Attached is a portion of the introduction Rosie O'Donnell gave for Sharon.  Below that is the complete speech that Sharon Gave. Take a few minutes, soak up the love.

:-)









Also honoured last night were three members of Canadian parliament responsible for helping to pass

Bill 33, Toby's Act (Right to be Free from Discrimination and Harassment Because of Gender Identity or Gender Expression)


Yes.  Three MPP's from three different parties, (NDP's Cheri DiNovo, Liberal Party's, Yasir Naqvi, PC's Christine Elliot) who worked across aisles to do what politicians are SUPPOSED TO DO - which is not just, you know, their jobs, but to not treat human rights issues as bipartisan ones.  It was DiNovo's fourth attempt to secure Human Rights Code protections for gender identity and gender expression.  In 2012 it passed.  Groundbreaking. Life-changing.  Utterly Canadian.  I'm thrilled that my country and home province are breaking ground with their inclusive support and solidarity with our transgendered and transitioning brothers and sisters.


Monday, 25 March 2013

Dear America....

                                                             I wish you the best of luck.




                                           May the Supreme Court do the right thing.


Friday, 15 March 2013

Stairs. Shadows. Skin.

One of those lazy mornings when the sun comes through the window, and you realize you have an hour to kill, so you think to yourself, "Maybe I should drop trou and take some arsty semi-nudes on those amazing stairs with those amazing shadows in the remaining minutes that the sun is shining in this direction?"

And then you do it, and you realize that it truly was the best way to kill an hour, while you wait for your advil to take your hangover away.




Little Kiwi Loves Bauhaus

Little Kiwi Loves Bauhaus
Good Dog!