Sunday, May 31, 2009
I don't feel guilty about being gay. Sometimes I'm even very, very happy that I'm gay. I usually don't judge people's feelings, but that statement angers me because it basically says that being gay is caused by sexual abuse and I don't think that that's true. How can you wish for something horrible to have happened in your past? I guess for some people being gay is harder than for others and that saddens me.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
I'm pretty excited about this lawsuit because I think that they have a chance at winning this lawsuit and it would be on a federal level. The way I understand it, if this goes through (which might take years), marriage on a federal level would be so much more of a realistic possibility than it is now. Why does that make a difference to me? Because right now, if I married my girlfriend in one of the 5 states where it is legal, that would not change anything about my immigration status. If I married a man, I could apply for citizenship after 3 years of marriage and in those three years of marriage I could stay and work in the US under what is called a 'K visa'. And that right there is discrimination.
I can't stop laughing!!! These two girls are so awesome, check out their other videos too! Their band is called 'Garfunkel and Oates', Riki Lindhome is Garfunkel and Kate Micucci is Oates, both of them are actresses as well. Via Britisshameless
However, what if there is a significant age difference - I think especially when you're a child a few years make a huge difference - and the younger child does not have the possibility to say no. Or doesn't know how to say no. Or doesn't understand what's going on. Where do you draw the line? Where is the line between 'children just being children and curious' and sexual abuse. I think most people remember 'playing doctor' in their early childhood and it is generally seen as normal curiosity about your own body. According to wikipedia: "Playing doctor is considered by most child psychologists as a normal step in childhood sexual development between the ages of approximately three and six years." So once the older child is significantly older than six, are any sexual acts child-on-child sexual abuse?
All of this has to do with psychiatry and emotions and personal experiences that cannot be depicted in an objective manner. I guess you'd have to look at every single case to figure out what it is. Is it really so important to be able to call it a certain name? It seems really important to me, but in the end what effects it has on a person and how they deal with it are probably way more important. Can you blame a child or an adolescent youth for initiating sexual behavior with a younger child when they might not even know or fully understand what they are doing? This kind of behavior certainly has to originate somewhere, but a curious child who grows up around older siblings will probably come across adult magazines/movies at some point.
I'm not sure if there's an answer to all of this. Obviously, exposing a child to sex in any way, shape or form too early isn't good. I'm not saying that you shouldn't talk to your child about how babies are made or that you should completely shelter your child from absolutely everything sexual, but with some common sense most adults know where to draw the line. A six-year-old certainly does not need a graphic description of how babies are made, much less pictures in adult magazines. A twelve-year-old can probably deal with information about sex, STD's and contraception in a meaningful way.
Anyways, just some things going through my head. Maybe I'll one day be able to write down my experiences and share them with this little blog of mine, but right now, I'm not. C'est la vie.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
I think one of the reasons I fell for my teacher so hard was that she paid attention to me in a way very few people did. She really listened to what I had to say and didn't just treat me like someone unimportant. When I'm talking to someone, the rudest thing that person can do in my mind is not pay attention to what I'm saying. When I'm spending my time with someone, I expect that person to pay attention to me. I am always more than ready to pay attention and I show interest in things that might not be that interesting to me because that other person finds it interesting. When someone wants to tell me something or talk about something, I am more than willing to listen and engage in a conversation. Concurrently, I expect the same from the other person. I've learned that not all people are as interested in movies and tv-shows as I am and I don't talk about it that much anymore, but at the same time I'm not willing to be friends with or spend my time with people who don't have the courtesy to show interest in what I have to say, about anything, really.
When I'm into someone, I can sometimes take it to extremes. I want that person's attention and I want it all the time. I'm in a really weird situation right now due to the fact that my girlfriend lives 4000 miles away from me and when I know that we won't be able to talk/chat, I can deal with it really well. But when I think that we will talk and for some reason we don't I get so disappointed and I will automatically feel like she's not paying enough attention to me, even though that's not true.
I think one big issue I have is that my sister always took up a lot of attention from my parents and growing up I felt like I had to do something to get my mom's attention. The more I care about a person, the more I will want their attention. I think that's not unusual, that's probably pretty universal, but for someone who has always had a problem with getting people's attention it leads to internal issues that become external without the other person understanding what's going on.
I don't really have a point here. I'm not even sure if what I just wrote makes much sense. It's just something that's going through my head right now. (I've written about something similar here.)
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I really liked how they set up the scenes, switching back and forth between Jamal's childhood, the gameshow and the interrogation. I thought that was a great way to tell the story, even though at the very beginning, I couldn't quite make the connection between the questions and the events in his childhood. The acting was really good, especially the children did a great job, considering their age. All in all, 'Slumdog Millionaire' is definitely a movie I can recommend anyone to watch, there are numerous things you can learn about life in India and it's more than just entertainment.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
- I decided to quit university here and applied for college in the US.
- I got to know my girlfriend and started dating her.
- I grew up a lot, taking over responsibility for my life and my happiness.
- I became an aunt!
- I organized a trip to the US with no help from my parents and traveled there on my own (even paid for most of it on my own).
- I started therapy and am facing demons from my past.
What I hope is that a year from now, I will have adjusted well to my hopefully new life and that I will have grown as a person. If not as much as the past year, then at least enough to be a better person, a better girlfriend, a better student and a better person for myself.
Friday, May 22, 2009
So by age 18, I was out to my parents and to my friends and I was starting to meet other LGBT people. I wasn't really out at school, since I didn't want people to talk about me more than they already did and I felt no need to be out to people who didn't like me to begin with. I wasn't in your face out but I was comfortable with my sexuality and with the people in my life knowing. When I first started going to LGBT-events, I lied to my mom and made up excuses to where I was really going, but after three or four of these lies I thought to myself 'She dealt with me being gay, she might as well deal with me knowing gay people'. My parents had told me that they didn't want me to tell anyone that I was gay and they were slightly disappointed/uncomfortable when I told them that my friends all already knew.
So things pretty much stayed the same in that area until I graduated from high school and moved to a different town to study there. I didn't know anyone and had to make new friend and had to come out all over again. People never think that I might be gay because I don't 'look gay', or as I call it, 'I don't look like the stereotype', so it always comes as a surprise to people. The difficulty I encountered, which I think is pretty universal among members of this community, is not knowing how someone might react. There are many people who don't know or think that they don't know anyone queer and they very happily live in their heterocentric world. Most of them don't even have that much of an opinion on gay people, since they pretty much are oblivious to it. They know that homosexuality exists, but it's a very abstract thing that has nothing to do with their lives. So even with nice people you can get weird or bad reactions to your coming out. The point is, you just never know.
I decided that I didn't want it to be a big deal, but I also wasn't going to go back into the closet. So when I started being friends with two girls I am still friends with I told them pretty soon, basically by saying that I wasn't into the kind of girls that were at the bar we were at. Their reaction was basically, 'Oh, okay' and they asked me a few things about how I found out and things that had to do with me being gay. I was positively surprised by their reaction, since one of them is Catholic and I wasn't sure how religious she was. I got the best reaction ever from one girl who is pretty much the obvious outsider that I am too. I told her that I was gay straight out and she said 'Wow, how cool! So do you have a girlfriend?' She went through very similar experiences in highschool (being bullied and picked on) and so she has that compassion and respect for outsiders that I feel one has when they grow up with these experiences. Since those three people were the only ones I was really friends with and how were more than just acquaintances, they were the only ones I told. The other people who knew me and these friends basically found out by hearing me talk about it with my friends.
Until I met my girlfriend, being gay and out was often more of a theoretical concept. Unless I told someone, nobody knew and since I didn't have a girlfriend, it was easy not to talk about it with people who didn't know me well. Of course, all of that changed when I started dating my baby. I'll write about that in Part Four.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
BUT, do I really want to move in with my girlfriend and her mother? What they say is that we would be just like roommates and that my gf and I would have our own area. I'm still not sure if I really want to do this. I mean, yeah, I can always look for my own place and move out if it doesn't work out and that will be easier than looking for a place while I still live here. At the same time I know that me moving out when I've already lived there for a while is going to be really hard on my gf and therefore on me. Anyways, this will be a decision I have to take on my own and I'll have to think about it some more, but what I wanted to write about was the conversation that took place last night.
I was on the phone with my baby, talking about all of this, and she got frustrated with me and gave her mom her phone so that she could talk to me. I basically told her that I wasn't opposed to them moving in together AT ALL (not my place to be anyways) and that I thought it was great that my gf could go to college then, but that I just didn't know how I fit into that. What she said in response to that completely shocked me and left me pretty much speechless.
"You are family." When I was out there, my gf's mom and I didn't talk much, she didn't seem particularly interested in me and I tried staying out of her way. Obviously, it's pretty complicated because of my gf's relationship to her mom and I'm not going to go into detail, but all in all I did not expect her to say that. She then also said that my gf loves me and that I make her happy, which I knew, but hearing that from her mom was completely different. She pretty much acknowledged our relationship the way we see it, as a serious one, and not just some internet fling. And she acknowledged me as something good in my gf's life, as opposed to 'the girl who turned her daughter gay' or something along those lines (For the record, she never said anything like that, I didn't turn anyone gay, but there was some uneasiness about me being a girl at the beginning).
I moved out of my parents reach and supervision less than two years ago and it took me a while to get used to the independence and freedom of living on my own (with roommates). I think moving in with my girlfriend will be a big step, one that I'm very happy to take and fairly certain that it will work out well, based on us not wanting to kill each other after spending 2,5 weeks together non-stop, 24/7. But her mom being there is still going to be different, because I know I can't just view her as a roommate. I can't pretend that she's not who she is.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
I'm home now and talked to my mom and having told her what is stressing me out made me feel better. I feel like she has less power over how I feel about going away now that she knows that I'm not doing that well either. It's not like I want to study abroad because I want to get away from them, but sometimes she makes it seem like that's what I'm doing. I'm not going to let her give me a bad conscience for wanting to do what I think will make me happy.
I certainly have anxiety issues. My therapist says that panic attacks, of which I almost had two, are my psyche's sign that there is something I should adress. I know that I am good at pretending that everything is fine, towards myself and towards others. So if I keep going the way I have in the past I'm heading right to a full-blown panic attack. I hope that there is going to come the day on which I don't have to lie to myself about how I'm doing or how I feel. I'm starting to make progress, eg this morning when my mom asked how the party yesterday was, I truthfully told her that it wasn't that great because most of the people there were couples and that being alone wasn't all that fun. But it's small steps, one at a time and talking to my friends yesterday showed that I'm still nowhere near to where I should be. I still always say that I'm doing well when asked, even though I'm clearly not.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
"The journey is the reward."
It took me a long time to really understand that, as in German, it is 'Der Weg ist das Ziel' which literally means 'The journey is the goal'. To me that makes less sense than 'The journey is the reward.'. But anyways, I love that proverb.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I watched an episode of 'The Tyra Banks Show' today, titled 'Gay is the new Black', a show dealing with the LGBT rights movement. I was, obviously, pretty infuriated by what some of the people said and so I wanted to write down a few things. If, and I say that with a BIG if, I had to ever discuss marriage with a Christian fundamentalist, here's what I would very calmly explain:
- Being gay is not a choice. No one in their right mind would wake up one day and say to themselves 'Today, I want to be discriminated against, treated like a second class citizen, called names and stared at.' If being gay was a choice, then homosexuality wouldn't exist in parts of Africa, Southern Asia, parts of The Middle East and parts of Central Asia because there, being gay is illegal, with penalties ranging from fines to death sentences. Who would want to be executed based on a choice? (Source)
- Marriage has been continuously redefined throughout history. In ancient Europe 'marriage was more or less a business agreement between two families who arranged the marriages of their children' (source). In 1967, the American Supreme Court overturned the ban on interracial marriage. That happened just 42 years ago! (You can find an interesting timeline to the history of civil marriage in the US here.)
- Jesus was friends with the outcasts, he talked about love and humility and turning the other cheek and forgiveness of sin. "Let the person among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." Hate and judgment are not Christian values.
- Maybe the most important point: Marriage equality is not about the church. Equality is about the law. Religious freedom is protected by the law just as gay rights should be. No person in their right mind would try to force your church to marry gay couples. Marriage equality is about the 1,138 statutory provisions (rights, benefits, privileges) that the state allows married couples. This has nothing to do with your church or your religion or your faith. It only has to do with equal protection under the law.
Now that I've written down the most important points I would mention, I feel slightly better because all of that makes perfect sense. But when I think about it I just get frustrated again because I KNOW that it is pretty much impossible to get these points across to a religious fundamentalist. Mainly because they have God on their side and if God is on their side, they are invincible! *Big Sigh* And that is why I try to stay away from overly religious people and not get sucked into discussions like that, because there is just no way I can have a decent conversation about this.
I have to quote Tyra because she said something really true and beautiful: "I do respect everybody for their beliefs, you know, I respect this side and I respect this side, everybody is entitled to their opinion, but one thing that is important to me is realizing pain in a human being and whatever you believe, whether you don't approve, [...] how they live their life. To me, what hurts is the lack of empathy for pain. Not gay, not straight, but pain."
Monday, May 11, 2009
- Portia de Rossi
- Jennifer Beals
- Lena Headey
- Leisha Hailey
- Sarah Shahi
- Rachel Maddow
- Tina Fey
- Sara Ramirez
- Angelina Jolie
- Gro Hammerseng
- Sara Ramirez #8
- Angelina Jolie #9
- Jennifer Beals #2
- Leisha Hailey #4
- Bridget McManus #28
- Kate Winslet #13
- Salma Hayec #85
- Scarlett Johansson #78
- Pink #25
- Catherine Zeta-Jones
Women of Color:
- Sara Ramirez #8
- Jennifer Beals #2
- Taraji P. Henson
- Michelle Obama #97
- Rose Rollins #22
Out Lesbian/Bi Women
- Sarah Warn - AE staffers were deliberatly not put on the list
- Rachel Maddow #6
- Leisha Hailey #4
- Bridget McManus #28
- Clea DuVall
Women Over 40
- Kate Walsh #38
- Jodie Foster #39
- Sela Ward
- Eva La Rue
- Diane Lane # 19 on the Over 40 list
I think it's great that the AE staff goes through all the hard work each year to bring us this list and that's why I'm just really happy that this list even exists!
Overall, I think the list really does fulfill it's main purpose, showing the general taste of lesbians in women. I don't appreciate people saying that the list is stupid or wrong, because basically what they are saying is that 150,000 voters in general disagreed with their personal taste. So to those who critizise the list: Why do you think you KNOW who the hottest women according to women are, when you don't believe a list that was established through voting? There is a reason the list is called 'AfterEllen.com Hot 100', because it is a list created by the readers of AfterEllen.
Friday, May 8, 2009
I mean, seriously, how awesome is this video?
BTW, this is my 200th post! *YAY* Rachel more than deserves to be in that post. Can't believe I've had this much to say in less than a year. Thanks for reading!
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Even though I knew that I was gay by age 15, I didn't know anyone else who was gay. I knew about a girl who went to the same junior high school and about the rumors that she was gay, but that was it. At 16/17, I tried to meet other gay teens through going to a gay bar, but that was one Epic Fail. The gay bars in my hometown were in fact 'gay' bars, as in gay guys. I didn't really know where to go and I wasn't out or bold enough to go to the local LGBT-center. I had looked at its website, but most pictures had either old women or young men on them, so it wasn't that appealing to me. When I was 18, a friend of mine informed me of this LGBT event that was taking place in our city hall and invited me to go. So I went there, with her and another friend of hers, not knowing anyone and slightly scared of what would happen. The event itself was nice and interesting, an award was given for special commitment to the LGBT community and I met a really nice guy who told me about the local youth group.
A few weeks later, I went to the regular local lesbian gathering and again met some really nice people. Most ladies at that event were definitely way older than I was (10-20 years) and knew each other really well, so I knew that I wouldn't fit in well. But, the person who organized this event also co-organized the youth even that I had already been invited to. So that was one of the next events that I went to. Through the youth group and the LGBT-group at our local university I got to meet some really nice queer people who were more within my age range and I made some friends. I finally had a sense of community and belonging that I had been missing all my life.
As far as I remember, I came out to my parents about 9 months before I first went to these events. I still know exactly when I came out to my parents, I just don't quite remember when these events took place. I can remember that I just couldn't handle the lies anymore. I had a great relationship with my mom and I felt like I was keeping this big part of who I was and am from her. So I decided that I would just tell her and see how it went. I talked about it to my best friend but her reaction simply was 'They are your family, they'll always love you.' While in theory this is true, I knew that coming out to my parents wasn't going to be that easy and there was always the chance that they wouldn't love me anymore. So I went and talked to the one person I knew would be able to actually support and help me in this situation - my teacher. In one of the 15 minute breaks we had daily at school I approached her and told her that there was something I wanted to talk to her about. I remember that I was incredibly nervous and that I was shaking a lot and tried like hell to hide the fact that I was shaking. I was so nervous that I just flat out told her that I was going to tell my parents that I was gay. Her reaction was a really positive one, in that she said she would of course talk to me and try to help me in the best way she could but that she didn't really have any experience with the subject. I let go of a big sigh of relieve and took a deep breath to face the challenge still ahead. I think either on the same or on the next day we sat down together after school and talked about it all, how I had realized that I was gay, why I wanted to tell them and what I was expecting/what she thought I had to expect. She told me that she had thought about it in terms of how she would react would her daughter tell her that she was gay. Overall, talking to her was one of the things that really helped me through my coming out and knowing that the woman I had admired for so long didn't think anything bad about me simply because I was gay gave me a lot of strength.
Two or three days later, I was sitting on the kitchen counter, my mom was doing dishes, when I told her that we had to talk. Then I just said 'I'm gay'. I don't actually remember myself saying that, I just remember the moment before and her reaction. She laughed and thought that I was joking, but when she turned around and looked at me she realized I wasn't. She asked how I suddenly came up with that idea and I told her that I'd known for a while. Then she asked when I was going to tell my dad and I said that I wasn't sure yet and that I would rather wait. My mom told me that she loved me, which is something I was and still am really grateful for, but I knew that she was shaken up. When my dad came home later that day, she asked me again when I was going to tell him and when I saw the look on her face that said 'I can't keep this a secret from him', I decided to tell him right away. He too thought that I was joking at first and then he poured himself a glass of alcohol and told me that he still loved me, but that he needed a drink. All in all it went by better than I had expected, as I had prepared myself for the worst case scenario. It took a while for the shock to sink in and a few days later my mom came and talked to me and she actually cried. They didn't want me to have children and my mom wanted me to see a doctor to see if there was a chemical imbalance in my body that had 'caused this'. I played along because I knew that it was important for her and I also knew that that was not the case, so I didn't have anything to fear. Incidentally, the doctor she wanted me to see told her that she should be proud of me for having the strength to tell her and that I was on the right path.
Part Three will follow soon...
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
The amazingly beautiful and eloquent Jennifer Beals, Glaad Media Awards June 11th 2005
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
When I was a little girl, I was always way more drawn to women than to men. I had crushes on the girls on 'Baywatch' and on real women in my life, even though I didn't realize that that was what it was. I can still remember having a huge crush on my parent's co-worker when I was about 13 or 14. At the time I thought that I wanted to be LIKE her, not be WITH her. I also wanted Chris and Cory on 'Pacific Blue' to date when they moved in together, even though their relationship clearly was only a best friends friendship. In junior high school, aged 10-14, I always felt different. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I just knew that I was.
I did have two 'boyfriends', but we were really only best friends. I liked them a lot, but looking back I think it was more about the experience of 'being in love' than actually being in love, if that makes sense. I held hands and cuddled with both of them, but with the first it was clear, at least to me, that that was all that was going to happen. With the second, I felt like I wasn't ready, when in reality, the thought of kissing him made me want to literally throw up. I guess I did really think that that meant that I wasn't ready for kissing, I don't think that I was aware of homosexuality or its existence (Meaning that I might have known about it in abstract terms, but it never crossed my mind).
Things started to make more sense to me when I entered high school and completely fell for a female teacher at 15. I was going through a rough time and didn't have anyone to talk to and she had told us that we could always tell her about our problems so I did. My mother was ill and my friends didn't really understand how I felt and her adult view on things helped me a great deal. The way she treated me was new to me, because she actually listened to what I had to say and she took me seriously. I wasn't used to being treated that way by an adult and so I fell for her, hard. When I came out to my friends later that year, the difficult part wasn't that I was gay but that I was in love with her. It took me a while to tell all of my friends (not that I had that many, but still) and there were times where they did react in a negative way.
I can remember one specific incident that happened in the second or third year of high school. We all went out for Halloween and got drunk. A friend of mine brought a friend that I'd only met once before and I crushed on her. It seems that I flirted with her and played footsies, even though I have no recollection of that because I was drunk and not aware of what I was doing. Two of my friends went back home with me to stay there for the night and one of them freaked out on the bus. She told me that I couldn't just flirt with our friends and that that was different to being in love with a teacher and that she was our friend so she was off-limits. Which I guess was weird because we all only knew her very loosely and had just met her for the second or third time. I guess that that friend of mine wasn't as cool about me being gay than she and I both had thought. After that, we never talked about it again and I wrote it off as her being drunk. She did though, two years later, accuse me of trying to steal her BOYfriend, after she had broken off most contact because of him (We still went to school and dancing lessons together, which is where I apparently flirted with him). Yeah, still not sure if she really understood the concept of me being gay, even though she did think that gay's should have equal rights and shouldn't be treated any different (or so she said).
Throughout the 5 years of high school I always had an unusual relationship with my teacher crush. I adored her and talked to her when I felt I couldn't deal with something on my own. I also followed her around on field trips and was way too much into her for my own good. During my last two years, when I tried really hard to be over her, we were almost friends, as much as teachers and students can be. She told me about a few things in her life which to me meant that she trusted me. When I finally wanted to come out to my parents, I told her first and she helped me a great deal. It was weird talking about being gay and how I had fallen for a women when the women in question was sitting right opposite of me, but I highly doubt that she ever had any clue. She knew that at times, I overstepped certain lines and she firmly reminded me of them. Her 'rejection' hurt a lot, but it also taught me a lot. Having known her had a great impact on me and even though things didn't end the way I wanted them to due to an issue between her and my class, I will always remember her as someone special. Not only was she the first person I was really in love with, but she also taught me a great deal about life and love and forgiveness.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
This weekend, I'm going to my brothers' to see my nephew and my family, since it's been a while that I've seen them. The thought of spending time with all of them has been scary to me to, since this issue with my past has been so present in the last week and given me so much to think and wonder about. The memory of my childhood is hazy, at best. It's hard for me to figure out what really happened and why since I hardly remember anything and am not sure how much I can trust the things that I do remember. While the 'easiest', at the same time really difficult option would be to just ask, that would mean facing something bad and at the same time the person who was involved and I'm not sure if I can handle that. Even though the two people I've talked to about the issue both recommended that option and I can see why it would help me, I'm so afraid because I have no idea what would happen if I did. I also don't know how much I can trust what that person would tell me, since they have motive to lie about it.
I will be spending less than two days with my family, but the prospect of that has been stressful to me like little else. I still haven't packed as I'm writing this and I'm supposed to get on a train in 9 hours and get some sleep too. I have what my girlfriend calls outlets that help me deal with stress. I had to use three of those tonight to deal with my restlessness and even though I got to talk to my baby for a short while I still feel nervous and anxious. I should have studied yesterday and tonight, but was mentally not in a place to. I feel like I am not functioning at all anymore. I'm not as neat as I'd like to be, which increases my anxiety, but I can't do anything about it because I'm anxious. I managed to go meet a friend today and that was good, but I had a hard time not thinking about the issue and I mostly vented to her about other things, which is really something that bothered me. I feel like my mind is constantly alert and tense and it makes me feel like I can't breathe. I'm in a circle that is hard to break because I have stuff to do with university here and college in the US and I can't take a break right now to concentrate on that.
At the same time, I feel like I'm just so ridiculous. I'm making a way bigger deal out of it than it is. Basically, I had a good childhood, I always had everything I needed and in general my parents did a decent job. They supported me and always loved me and their mistakes are very much in the range of 'Parents are only humans too'. So fuck all of this, I will go pack now. It's not like I need that much stuff anyways, for two days.
Friday, May 1, 2009
I really want to read that book because I admire Marlee for what she has achieved and she seems to have grown and become an amazing person through all the difficult times in her life. She is definitely a strong woman to look up to.