It is so very easy to get caught up in our own concerns, to be exhausted with suffering “the slings and arrows” as the bard put it, that we are ready to lash out at the first person that moves wrong in our presence. Anything can be taken out of context and if we don’t take a minute to wonder how a statement was intended we can easily take it as a slight. Such is the case with the brouhaha over a post by Dannielle Owens-Reid, most famous now for Everyone is Gay, on Tumblr. Continue reading
It is easy to look at the Rick Santorums of the world and think of how far we have to go. Marriage equality is not realized in most states. DOMA keeps those legally married in the US from fully enjoying the rights of married couples. Politicians even try to introduce legislation making it illegal to even mention us in school. Continue reading
I try to avoid writing too much about romance. I tend to drift into whining, because I really suck at it. Romance itself, not writing about it. It’s not entirely my fault. Being trans and dating is kind of like running a marathon with your legs chained. Continue reading
You know what? I like using mosaics as metaphors. They are useful in almost every aspect of the human experience right on up to the very idea of the human experience itself. Spectra are nice but linear and grids are only marginally more useful. Binaries are completely frickin’ useless. Mosaics though, they really help describe what a complex issue is like.
Right now I am pondering a mosaic that humanity really struggles with, intimacy and sexuality. Continue reading
If I haven’t mentioned this before, though I am pretty sure I have, being trans is not for the faint of heart. We face being ostracized by our families, harassment at work, confusion in public spaces and even violence. We are often marginalized even by those that fight for the disenfranchised. In particular we often experience some rather brutal rhetoric from the radical feminist community. Continue reading
For a very long time I thought I was weird. I mean, I am weird in so many fun and delightful ways, but I thought there was something seriously wrong with me. In the past I have been able to fall in love at the drop of a hat. Someone would say just the right thing, smile just the right way and I would melt pretty much instantly. I would find it impossible, sometimes for a real long time, to think of anything but this person. I thought this made me some kind of obsessive freak.
Turns out this isn’t so much the case, at least not with the thinking about the object of my affection so much. Helen Fisher, my new favorite anthropologist (what you don’t have one) gave a talk on the Brain in Love at the annual TED conference. Apparently everyone who falls in love finds it hard to think of anything except the person they have fallen in love with. I also have a tendency to stay in love with everyone I have ever fallen in love with, to some degree, unless they have been needlessly cruel. I have been reassured by a dear friend that this too is relatively normal. The jury is still out on the falling so easily thing.
This all gets me thinking, though, about the nature of love, and why we find the need to pigeon-hole it and the relationships in which it exists. We limit ourselves to romantic or fraternal love denying ourselves so much pleasure in each others’ company. Oh sure men will say “I love you man” but with a nudge and a wink that lets the other know they don’t mean “like that.” Women find it easier to admit love for each other but even then, in our strange, current condition where sapphic love is more accepted yet there still exists an undercurrent of homophobia even they feel the need to hedge more (though still not as much as the boys.)
We frown on relationships we don’t understand. There is a shrinking but still significant minority who are not merely intolerant of homosexuality, but hold gay men and women in absolute contempt. We view people who do not want to commit to one relationship as flighty. Polyamory is, perhaps, even less approved of than being gay, bi or pan. I don’t understand this. Isn’t more love a good thing? Why do we treat love like some sort of Malthusian resource? Why can’t two people of the same sex be committed to each other in the bonds of love with out getting sex and romance mixed up in it? (I rather like Jay’s description of Bob as his “hetero life mate.”)
I look at all the pain in the world and, maybe it’s the hippy in me, I can’t help but think it would fade into a dull ache if we just learned to open our hearts to love, all love, more. With this in mind, I want you all to know, no matter how disappointed or angry I get with you, or how embarrassed and awkward I get about my behavior: I love you, all of you, and I hope you learn to love me, and each other, in turn.