Tag Archives: homophobia

Updates (finally!)

Hey y’all! I say “y’all” because I’m in the South!

For the past two and a half weeks, I’ve been overworked, overwhelmed, and overtired. BUT… Finally, a couple days ago, help arrived in the form of Little Guy’s grandmother! She is amazing and wonderful, and has insisted that I have time off and take time for myself.

So as I write, I am sitting here in a local coffee shop that has yummy iced mochas and free wireless!

On a frustrating note, at brunch this morning with the family I work for, we overheard the family next to us saying some very homophobic things, particularly that their daughter, who is in seventh grade, is being “taught about same-sex marriage” and how disgusting and appalling it is.

Then on top of it, something that should be a happy moment – my favorite singer and idol, Brandi Carlile (thus my username) – announcing on facebook her wedding to her partner Catherine. I was happily reading along all the supportive comments, until I came to this one:

  • Congratulations! BUT, What a waste of two beautiful women for all of us men!!

As much as that bothered me, I tried to ignore it, and read on. Then I came upon the next comment:

  • rug munchers

As I read this, I could feel my heart start to race, and my anger start to rise. Keep in mind, these are comments that people are leaving on HER facebook post about HER beautiful wedding. Then, when I finally came to this comment, I had had enough and I had to stop reading:

  • WTF. XX + XX what a formula for procreation.

Homophobia is alive and well people! For those who think that “things are changing” and that people are becoming more open-minded, I have to say that it’s hard to believe that when you read bigoted, ignorant comments like the ones above. So what was going to be a happy update during my month-long trip away from home turned into a political (and personal) commentary about same-sex marriage.

Deep breaths Brandic…

Okay, well perhaps I should talk about what I’ve been up to. I’ve been mostly taking care of Little Guy morning, noon, and night. Which has been exhausting, and overwhelming at times, but he is so wonderful and amazing which makes it all worth it.

We are in a town that is very near the beach, and also has a river running through the center of it. And… it’s so GREEN here! I’m so used to pavement, pavement, and then more pavement living in a very congested, large city, so the peacefulness and serenity of a small town is so refreshing!

Little Guy 🙂

And… it is a pretty liberal city by Southern standards. More Obama signs on people’s lawns that Romney. And I’ve found the “queerer” part of town where the women have tattoos and short hair and the men have dreadlocks, so I feel right at home. (I don’t have dreadlocks or tattoos, but you know what I mean…)

As far as my mental health goes, I’ve been so busy and sleep deprived that I haven’t had much time to think about much of anything, or for my mind to go to dark places. However, as the time has gone along, I have had more and more anxiety and panic. It got so bad that every time I was with the family, I began to have a panic attack – and then of course I had to try to hide it. I think it was because I wasn’t getting a single break or any time for myself, and I’m also not good at being assertive and asking for things for myself. Thus, my stress was coming out in the form of panic and physical stress. However, the panic seems to have gone down quite a bit since the arrival of the grandmother, who has taken it upon herself to make sure I get breaks and take free time for myself. I am quite grateful for this.

I don’t know the next time I’ll be able to check in with everyone, but for now I’m sending you all a big Southern HELLO! and hope that life is treating you well.

And dearest Elyn, I am worried about you… Please know that I’m thinking about you and hoping you’re okay. Please check in when you get a chance lovely? x

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Homophobia on my mind

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As the title suggests, I’ve had the issue of homophobia on my mind lately. I think this whole Chic-fil-A ordeal has brought discrimination and homophobia against gays and lesbians to the forefront of my mind.

As many of you who read my blog probably know, I am a woman in a long term relationship with another woman. I used to identify with the term “lesbian” but have been tending to lean away from that label the last few years. Now I prefer to think of myself as “gay” or “queer”. But how and why I identify the way I do is for a whole nother conversation!

As someone who has been exclusively with women these last eight years (I really had to do some hard thinking on that one!), and who has no real genuine desire to be with a man again, I take strong offense to people judging me for my choice in who to love.

I have never been a subject of overt homophobia – well, with the one exception of when I had someone scream “fucking dyke!” at me once when I was holding my girlfriend’s hand, but that’s another story. However, I have on a regular basis experienced covert homophobia.

Like the fact that my partner and I cannot legally marry.

Like the fact that I cannot get health insurance through my partner’s plan; if I were her male spouse, I would be able to.

Like the fact that my friend had to move to Canada to be with her partner, who was deported simply because they were a lesbian couple and not protected under the law like straight married couples are.

Like the fact that everyone who meets my partner and I for the first time assumes we are sisters*. Um… No. We are lovers.

Hmm let’s see…

Like the fact that in many instances, when my partner and I kiss or hold hands in public, people stare uncomfortably.

Like the time when my ex-partner and I were apartment hunting, and were discriminated against since we were a lesbian couple. I had called the management of a particular apartment complex one morning and they had cheerfully told me that they had several nice units available and to come in for an appointment. That afternoon I had my partner with me, and we didn’t try to hide the fact that we were a couple. They shuffled us out the door hastily saying, “sorry but all our apartments were suddenly rented.” Yeeah.

And finally? The fact that people are lining up around the block at every Chic-fil-A in our city, showing an outpouring of support for the company’s owners’ stance against gay marriage**. And I’ve heard it’s not just in my city – its in cities all over the country. I’ve also been reading the articles pertaining to this issue, and the comments that people write.

For those who are interested, here are just some of the thoughts that people have shared on online newspaper articles that are covering this controversial issue. As you can see, homophobia is far from over in this country.

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Gay folks need a hero in their lives. Someone whose footsteps they can follow. 

I know, how about that gay Rutgers student!!!“***

***

Gays and their advocates are mean, cruel and the most intolerant people in America!

***

News flash…. most people don’t like gays!

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Gays are pissed because Chick-fil-A refused to drill holes in their bathroom walls!

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I don’t believe in pedophiles either, would it be wrong for me as a business owner to say that? There are a fair number of people in the world who would like to have it legal to have sex with a five year old. I applaud chick fila’ for standing up for what they believe in. Yet they are still respectful of every human being. To “discriminate” from right and wrong is a good thing don’t you think?

***

It’s sad really. That people have so much ignorance and hostility toward people just for being different, and for wanting to love someone of the same gender. For wishing people like me dead.

I wonder… Why is being gay so threatening to some? To the point where they want all gay people to kill themselves. Any input on this idea would be greatly appreciate. I truly just don’t understand…

A heavy-hearted Brandic

*The exception to this, of course, is when we are at lesbian bars, gay pride events, or Indigo Girls concerts.

** My own view on the issue: I don’t agree with the rhetoric of hate that has arisen on either side. It is wrong to verbally attack employees of the company and accuse them of being hateful towards gays (what have the employees done wrong??), which is something seems to be happening all over the country. As far as my patronage is concerned, since the company has expressed openly their stance on the marriage issue – which is basically one of wanting to deny same-sex couples the right to marry, I for one, will not be supporting that restaurant in any way, shape or form.

*** For those who aren’t familiar, there was a student at Rutgers University who took his own life after his roommate secretly videotaped him having sex with another man and broadcast it publicly online.

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The quotes I used are from the following articles:

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/03/chick-fil-a-controversy-shines-light-on-companys-charitable-giving/?hpt=hp_t3

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/popcandy/post/2012/07/breakfast-poll-the-chick-fil-a-controversy/1#.UBxv7GFWqSo

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Jesus hates figs

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Hilarious

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Being gay in a straight world

I know I typically write about the psychological and emotional aspects of things in my life, but this is an issue I would like to address because  it’s been on my mind lately. I think most people think about being in a minority, or specifically about a particular minority, most often if they are part of a minority group themselves. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just human nature. We all have our own problems to think of, why think about someone else’s. And especially why should I think about a group of “someone elses.”

Most days, I don’t think about my “gayness.” I mean, it’s who I am, it’s part of my identity as a human being – as is being a female, being an American, being in my 30s, being dissociative, being the youngest child, being average height, being athletic, etc. All of these things are aspects of myself that help shape and define me. But there are certain aspects of being gay – I prefer the term gay, or queer, than to lesbian – that make me feel like an outside in the world. Let me give you some examples.

For most people, being in love and being in a relationship, and having the freedom to express ones love and affection to another person whenever and wherever they choose, is something that I’m sure they don’t think about. Some people may feel more comfortable with PDA than others, but for the most part, I’m sure that for most of you – when your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse/partner puts his or her arm around your shoulder, or goes to hold your hand when you’re out walking – don’t immediately think: what will other people think.

Being gay (or lesbian or whatever you prefer calling it) and having any sort of romantic relationship with another person has two contradictory elements to it: one is the feeling of being invisible, and the other is that of being scrutinized under a microscope. Let’s talk about the first one. Being invisible.

When my partner and I travel, no one ever thinks we’re a couple. Ever. Unless  we meet another member of the gay and lesbian community, in which case they can tell right away. But most often, people think we are a) friends, b) sisters, or c) [my poor partner] mother and daughter. (We do have a significant age difference.) If I were to travel with a man, relatively close to my age (or even not close to my age), I think most people would assume that we were together.

I actually used to be straight. I take that back, I should put it differently. For most of my life, I’ve been in relationships with guys. The reason for this is… okay don’t get me started on a long tangent about sexuality (if you’re interested, feel free to ask in the comment section lol)… Suffice to say that most of the relationships I’ve had in my life have been with guys. Therefore, now that I’m in a relationship with a woman, I have something to compare it to.

Before, when I had a boyfriend, people would smile happily at us. These people – total strangers – would bask in the love that whatever guy  (fill in the blank) and I had at the time. Whether it be people working behind the counter at a hotel, or waiters at a restaurant, or clerks in a store. People would smile a smile that said, you two look happy and I am smiling because I’m happy for you. Let me tell you something. Being in a same-gendered relationship – you never get that. Ever. You never get smiled at period. Unless if you go to a gay pride parade. I’m actually not kidding.

My mom used to smile and happily hold her hands together whenever I brought my boyfriends over. It was a smile and happiness that I took for granted. She’s never once smiled that way when I’ve brought a girl home who I was in love with. Instead, we get an uncomfortable smile that says she’s trying really hard to be happy for me. At least I appreciate that she’s trying…

So that’s the feeling invisible bit. Now let’s talk about the being under a microscope bit.

Last night I was walking my dog in our neighborhood park. There was a young couple there. And when I say couple, I’m sure most of you think of a girl and a guy. You would be correct. They were laying on the grass, entwined with one other. Arms, legs, everything tangled up into one. I felt two things. A) happiness that they are young and in love and that they don’t give a shit who knows and who sees, and B) the desire to shout “get a room!”, since I really don’t want to see them sucking each others face off. But then I had a third thought. And that was, they are doing it because they can. And then a pang of anger and sadness and resentment rose up within me, because I realized that I could never – and I mean ever – do that with my partner. Not that I would want to, please don’t get me wrong. But even if I wanted to, I couldn’t.

Some of you might wonder, well why not? Of course you could. After all, our society has come so far as far as gay rights are concerned. And anyways, people nowadays don’t care.

Let me tell it to you straight. (No pun intended.) That is a load of crap. Yes, we have come a long way. Yes, attitudes toward gays and lesbians are changing. But trust me – people do care. Me getting down on the grass with my partner, entwining our legs together, and ravenously sucking each others faces off would have the same effect as if I were to strip down naked and run down the the middle of the street. Most people would either stare blankly, stare uncomfortably, or stare with utter judgment and disgust. But the main point I’m trying to make is, people would stare. And not just some people; everyone. And it would be fairly likely that someone would utter some prejudiced remark, like, “fucking dykes,” or something to that effect – which I have had people say to me, by the way, simply for holding my girlfriends hand. People are fine with the idea of people being gay or lesbian, but when people see it up close and personal, the truth is, most people are very uncomfortable with it. And that makes me sad.

So because of this, that puts people like me and my partner, who are in a gay or lesbian relationship, in an awkward position. Every day we have to think about things like, would it be okay to hold hands in this situation? Are we going to be making people uncomfortable? Are we in a private enough place where we can kiss? And even if we do throw caution to the wind, which I have been known to do (and quite often I might add), there’s always the thought going on in the back of my head: what are people thinking.

Did anyone here about that pastor who said the other day that all gay people should be rounded up and put in detention camps until we die? Here’s an article that includes his full quote:

http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/933794/nc_pastor_take_homophobia_to_the_extreme,_says_gay_people_should_be_%22detained_in_camps%22_until_they_die/

Lovely isn’t it?

You know that in most states, it’s illegal to marry you’re same-gendered partner? My partner and I can’t get married, for example. Well, we can. It’s just not recognized by the state. And even those gay and lesbian couples who live in states where it is recognized, they still don’t have any of the federal benefits that straight couples do. Social security benefits, for example, if their spouse dies. Being able to file taxes jointly. Those are just a couple examples.

Well… you get the idea.

At this point I feel like I’m getting preachy, but I really didn’t mean to. It’s just, it frustrates me that my partner and I can’t live and be treated just like everybody else. I hope that in a hundred years, that people will see two women or two men who are expressing love for each other and not even blink an eye. But I have to say, that day hasn’t come. We have come a long ways, yes. But we still do have quite a ways to go.

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