fj: (Default)
Did... did the Republican establishment actually allow itself to be confronted with the fakeness of the Iraq war? It took 15 years, but did they actually have to engage with the reality-based community? In a debate no less.

Even if it did come from the crazy court jester they can't avoid...

I am with Coquette: it'll be Kaisch. The GOP is not stupid.
fj: (talking)
The One Way You Know You're Having Feminist Sex

As some of you know, people tell me stuff. Which is why I want you to read this.
If you are in a hurry, Ctrl+F to the parts about communication, and especially non-verbal communication. I can not tell you all how many people I have listened to that would have had 70% of their anxiety about sex disappear if they learned to do this. It *is* a leap to communicate about sex; you feel so judged, or open to it. But that is just your shame talking, and good partners WANT you to feel good.

  • Men are trainable. They are. They want to make you happy. Let them know how.

  • Women are sexual too. They are. They totally want it too. But they can't read your mind about what you need.

Seriously, all it takes is usually moving a hand, or a whispered / growled hint.
The other take-away that totally resonates with me: you never have ANY idea what people are really into until they tell you. OMG do we hide our sexual selves well. It's why I like talking about sex: people are so amazing and unexpected when they confide. It's like unwrapping little surprises.
fj: (Default)
"Yeah, It Was A Good Night",
24720339055_722a6cafa4_b.jpg

fj: (Default)
"But Can I Leave This?",
24720493295_9bc95cdbe1_b.jpg

fj: (Default)
"Last Time Of My Favorite View",
24306877940_805004b078_b.jpg

The Light

Nov. 1st, 2015 10:16 pm
fj: (Default)
"The Light",
22687067355_e05c8e5c1d_b.jpg

fj: (Default)
"All The Light, All The Water",
21193977174_e75b673cf3_b.jpg

fj: (Default)
"I Am Still Here",
21542726756_3f7162d5d2_b.jpg

I Am Here

Sep. 18th, 2015 04:45 pm
fj: (Default)
"I Am Here",
20893722903_b675627fa8_b.jpg

I Am Here

Sep. 18th, 2015 04:45 pm
fj: (Default)
"I Am Here",
21327008038_e076fc3659_b.jpg

I Am Here

Sep. 18th, 2015 04:45 pm
fj: (Default)
"I Am Here",
20892057224_fc783c212e_b.jpg

fj: (UK)
So in a desperate attempt to justify feeling self-inflicted like crap at 1:30 PM on a Saturday afternoon, and turn my online-life properly into a highlight reel instead of the blooper takes it usually is, I give you a dispatch of going out last night to two fashionable hot-spots in Kingsland and Dalston or whatever.

As always when I am out with F, my Pakistani travel and party-wife, nobody knows what to make of us together, especially at some ultra-cool East End hot spot (The Glory) that looks like your local pub was invaded by the sophomore class of Central St Martin's fashion college and their hangers on, all semi-androgynous and shellacked and pan-sexual wanna-be. So little idea that the German hipster-bearded boy in the loose tank top who had started pawing my biceps actually felt he had to ask me, um, with much sudden consideration half-way, if I was gay--a move that explains how far we have come in 40 years because he would have been decked had I not been for touching me how he was were it 1975. Then on a tiny silver-clad cube stage in the corner, a dancer in head-to-toe silver, including the face mask and sun-glasses, danced the robot very well with some strobe lights but no Jenniffer Beals under a bucket of water as a finale.

As I told F, it was like being in some bizarre tribute night to my teenage years that got everything slightly wrong, but it was nice to be more popular than I was then. Of course, because I was attending it straight from work, I ended up standing next to a ravishing skinhead woman in a rubber catsuit while I was in navy Brooks Brothers and a plain dark-green T-shirt. I rolled up my sleeves and hoped my body would do the talking. Berlin boy's continued insistence to hug me every time he passed says it did, and F told me his eyes shot daggers at her from his group whenever I would talk to her, which is all night, because we just had to marvel at people like the woman in a sharp black bob and all black, including hunter's cape, I ended up calling the The Creative Director of Vogue, East Germany, and where the hell was the DJ we all knew?

I was a hanger-on to F's group that happens to include the charming statuesque owner and organizer of the largest regular fetish party on the scene, his model designer singer knock-out girlfriend, a techno producer about to launch his latest video EP, and a cult menswear designer whose husband was the techno DJ at the next place we went to, taking a bus and being unable to make up our mind how to pay and laughing at ourselves at the names and labels we kept dropping during conversation. I marveled at how good everyone looked under the harsh bus lights. I was with the survivors of the club nights, man, veterans who know how to turn out on a phone call and 30 minutes in their closets and foundation, by always already being ready. Those eyebrows were flawless ready-to-go 24/7.

Being a hanger-on has its privileges, I got to skip the eye-brow raising 1 AM line at Dalston Superstore, a place that by day should be serving chocolate milk-shakes and fried onion rings--and maybe does--but by night is again filled with kids luminous with the intrinsic beauty of being young, a beauty you don't even notice having at that age, and instead try to fill with bravado and make-up and style, much of it not your own. Oh they were pretty to look at as everyone sipped cheap cider or espresso martinis depending on the distance to pay-day for whatever shit job we all have, dancing to chill club music. I found myself having a conversation about being peripheral to the MIT Media Lab two decades ago and when best to visit Boston. So downstairs we go to see the DJ, to the basement of this converted diner, where we end up in this bleepy-bloopy minimal techno high-school disco. I look around in the dark while we all bop ironically, and my decades of traversing in hardcore gay leather basements and men-mostly shirtless sweat-soaked commercial mega-parties give me the tools to notice that no, very few people here actually are off their face, that with one or two obnoxious exceptions, all these boys and girls are just pleasantly buzzed, that the guy in the black robe and full face paint, and the girl in a bikini top and denim cut-offs, will both be OK tonight. I don't need to check the floor periodically for anyone incapacitated, my semi-pleasant smile guard does not need to be up to deal with someone's sexual heat or rage.

But of course, I am not pleasantly buzzed on anything but the friendliness, and I am 45, and like all those kids later also will, I said good-bye to our group, and dodged the rowdy drunk street people wanting to talk to me by calling me Rambo, and used Citymapper to find the quickest set of night buses to take me home while catching up with my social media, and stumble up the stairs and wash the city off my face and crawl into bed.
fj: (Default)
"This Light May Be The Only Greatness To Ever Touch You",
20211903236_974cfc4c77_b.jpg

fj: (Default)
"I Love You.",
20167909292_693dba8e65_b.jpg

fj: (Default)
"I have always loved you.",
19987950838_d9d217f69b_b.jpg

fj: (bqw)
So these days the words "Oh I/we always knew" as a response to a coming out pisses me off. They always felt off to me--ever since the first time someone said it to me--but over the last few years I figured out why it felt so awkward, and that has now turned into very irritated anger.

You see the sentence always in the conversation, usually at the end, of a very frightened young person coming out. Coming out to your parents, your siblings, your friends, is often very hard, yo. For some it is easy, a matter of fact, but the overwhelming majority of kids and young adults report a terrifying fear, something they put off, something they wish they actually did not have to do. How will everyone react? What will they say? Will it be bad? Will I lose this support? By the time this person has come out, chances are astronomical that this young person has had literally years, if not a decade, of anxiety, fear, turmoil, and often clinical depression.

Oh, so you always knew? Really? You are a parent or sibling or friend, and you always knew?

First of all, half the time I don't actually believe you when I hear it, especially from acquaintances. Maybe this person was not normative in their gender performance, but that doesn't make them TBLG, just camp or a tomboy. But when they come out, your bias is confirmed, and you get to seem the smart one instead of the person totally out of the loop, by just claiming you always knew.

If you always knew, what did you about it? What did you do about your child being wracked by fear and alienation? If you always knew, did you not notice your sibling withdrawing, being teased, unable to make sense of themselves? If you are a friend who always knew, was that the only thing you knew, or did you not know about the insane covering up behavior, the cutting, the bad thoughts?

What did you do about it?

Did you do something about it? The people in my life "who always knew" didn't. I had to go through that fear of rejection. And I had to bring it up. Or confirm after a very probing question that was not accepting and loving at all. Nothing had been done before to make me feel safe about this. And those same people who are now guessing about the new batch of young people in their life having an alternate sexuality are still not doing anything about it.

People "who always knew" (sure) will counter that they either did not know what to do, or could not broach the topic because the young person in question was so closed off that the subject was un-broachable. They are waiting "for them to bring it up." Yeah. Great. Which means you are leaving your son or daughter or grand child or niece or nephew or friend to the wolves of fear, while you comfortably wait. For that mythical moment when they are "ready".

You know what being "ready" to come out means? It very often doesn't mean you are secure and comfortable in your person-hood, but that you have built up unrealistic fears in your own mind, created a security plan, an exit strategy, thought of alternative places to stay in case it goes wrong, spent night crying, are easily blackmailed, and have your back, in your mind, to some kind of wall and just need to come out. Often just from a total total fatigue of holding up appearances. Yeah. So you person "who always knew" is now watching your progeny, sibling, friend go through hell, and you knew why, and you did nothing.

You, who "always knew", did you let this child know you would still love them even if they were TBLG? Like, explicitly, in words: "I would love every one of my children just as much if they were trans, including you, and you need to know that. And you can come to me any time about that." Knowing that you have a child figuring their identity out, did you bring a lot of people of different sexualities into your home so they can see that you are accepting and caring, and they'd have some role models? "Always knowing" your child is some form of TBLG, did you study up on the Internet or library or crisis line so you were prepared and ready and could now guide this child, even during their closeted phase, like you would have studied any other developmental issue? Knowing that someone in your home is going through this fresh hell, did you try to alleviate this hell by being very vigilant about their safety at school and after-school from bullies and people who might otherwise exploit them? Did you have your friend's back, countering verbal or physical gaybashing even when they couldn't because they feared the spotlight would be on them?

If you "always knew", what did you do to bring peace and sanity into this child's life?

And way too often for you always-knowers, the answer is, you did nothing. And you are doing nothing. You had someone close to you in your life in a bad way, of which you "always knew" the reason for, and you just passively waited.

Please, don't say you always knew. It quite often makes you look worse than you think.

Flowers

Jul. 4th, 2015 10:50 pm
fj: (Default)
"Flowers",
19390300826_0120ab49f3_b.jpg

fj: (Default)
"Controlled Zone M",
18793757524_e4045957ba_b.jpg

fj: (bqw)



Yeah, I stood with the god squad again this Pride. Pride is when I always feel most disconnected from the community, contributing only visibility and sometimes to other people's projects, like I do. I feel like I have no role. So like two years ago when I accidentally ended up next to the religious protesters to the Pride march and intimidated them, and the year after when I stood across from them cheering loudly, I looked them up again, with [livejournal.com profile] stokycub73 indulging me by standing with me. They were in a pen of metal gates, 20 feet away from the barricades on the street whether the Parade would march past. They weren't even close to it. And the space between them and the parade filled up with other queers fast.


There were fewer of them than ever, and they looked old. They had no shade, and it was sunny, if cool, day, leving them looking exposed, pathetic. They are dwindling.

I may have yelled some when their preaching got too pathetic, like when they yelled it wasn't easy for them to be there. Or raised my fist and declared "Satan!" every time they mentioned his name.




Seriously, I have never seen so much action. One dude had to be stopped by the police from taking the preacher's mic away. People starting choirs yelling Shame, Shame, Shame. The younger queer kids were not having it, engaging them in discussion one on one, and other people too, continually. During the parade they could barely preach as there were so many people engaging them, telling them they were wrong.

Meanwhile, the real controversy was whether anti-immigration anti-EU, likely racist, and certainly replete with homophobic statements party UKIP would march with their GLBT contingent. The Pride committee, citing safety issues in a damned-if-you-do damned-if-you don't decision, said no, they can not march as UKIP. This decision was of course greatly derided for its exclusionary stance, but oddly enough I could never find any of the POC GLBT platforms doing so--only white intellectuals. Well, "white"; when I challenged an opinion leader on Twitter on whether he knew what the POC minority platforms, the people actually affetced by UKIP, said, he immediately identified as being BAME, lord knows on what grounds. Still just a single guy, not a minority platform, though.

But they did march. They injected themselves in front of a minority POC group no less. Supposedly at the start they were disbanded by stewards, but guess what, we were at the near end of the March, Pall Mall before a stretch to Trafalgar, and that's where Derek snapped this:




With no steward stopping them. Except to make them pause for a crossing. At which point Derek, who is a far better activist than I, started loudly booing them, by himself. I joined in, catching the attention of one white male marcher who pointed at himself: booing me? Yes you. He comes over to talk to us, and then displays the most astonishing sense of privilege I have ever seen: he's a straight guy, he says, who doesn't believe in UKIP but marches with them because he believes they have the right to march.

Seriously, on GAY PRIDE I am being straightsplained by a breeder, in between making a point about what a benighted outsider he is on every front here, how GLBTs should act from their own parade. I kinda seriously just started yelling at him. Oh a steward did step in--to usher him forward with his contingent.

Other highlight for me was when Facebook marched past. I may have been a lone voice, but I did yell at them to




I yell better than I spell, btw. Most of the Facebookers looked staunchly away, one cheered me on, and one engaged me, who identified to me as trans. We had a dialog in which we understood both the damage of the policy and how little people inside Facebook can do, but I implored her that I stood behind her if she raised her voice, that every queer inside Facebook challenging the damaging effects of the current formulation and application of this policy was not alone.

The anti-Putin float was the best of the bunch, find a YouTube of them doing a choreography to Ra Ra Rasputin. Magic Mike XXL was kind of tragic in that they tried to rouse cheers, but,




And then finally, the float in my opinion most tweeted:




Nothing cheeky about it, btw.

London

Jun. 15th, 2015 11:01 pm
fj: (UK)
I live in London. This is still amazing to me. The city is vast, mostly cold and often kind, and often wondrous if you have found the places that stop you. Like the houseboat on the Thames friends of mine live in, and if there lives on the boat were a sitcom, I'd be the crazy gay bachelor friend who drops in for dinner and leaves baking and statements. I love that boat for its peace it brings me; I am far from everything, watching sunsets and chatting. They bring me food and I eat it all.

Lately I have been looking fr moments of normalcy that mimic my idealized TV childhood I never had. Two friends who moved to Balham, South London, so they could move in with a third friend in a flat with a garden and a big kitchen and good rooms. It stretches them because everything is ridiculous here, even living in neighborhoods that in every other city in the UK are so far from the center they'd be considered a suburb. We ordered delivery pizza and opened the garden door to let a breeze in and we just gossiped and chatted. No standing in line, no background music to talk over, no alcohol copiously flowing, just three guys on a Saturday summer night talking. It was so nice. Hadn't had pizza in ages either.

Friday, the night before, my friend S had returned from two months in Shanghai and some time on Bali and Jakarta, the last two for a wedding. I had planned to go to the gym, but I love making last moment social calls, so I left work at a normal time, worked my ass off on the weights, and took the Tube up to Angel, one of the more active spots in the center of this city, not overtly bar nightlife, more restaurants and cafes. We ended up in an American Diner facsimile having hot dogs and shakes, again talking the night away, having a friend join us who had come in with his work team (and who spent so much time with us his team sent the waitress to take his order at our table). It was a little rainy outside, and we were glowing red from the Americana neon sign in the window, and I felt like I was catching up on being 17 in California. A well-adjusted 17.

London remains, after all this time, still a stony-faced city. The real estate is so insanely priced the secondary neighborhoods are gentrifying fast, taking landmark businesses with them, all turning into towers. I live near Vauxhall, a second gay nucleus in the city. It will not be so by next year: the strip where all gay venues are is being bought out address by address. My Very Gay Gym is closing, the bathhouse will become an M&S Food, more GLBT venues are already packing up, and a landmark GLBT pub will probably fall within years to the ROI of luxury condo towers where I am expected to go into well over half a million dollars in debt for 400 square feet with maybe a balcony, built in 1970 as social housing. You can tell how much a seller's market it is by the amount of mold you can see in the pictures of the bathrooms--there's such a demand nobody feels the need to stage.

I am feel secure in my friendships, in my work, but my housing I remain stuck in the place I moved into "just for 6 months", since 2008, with its fraying carpet and miniscule bathroom. I would have rejoiced at this at 28, now at 45 I feel it lacks a little. Still, in this city, I am lucky. Many have far less.

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