Tag Archives: LGBT

Trump Terror

11 Nov

I was actually happy when Trump got the Republican nomination.  I thought Jeb Bush, with his family-backing, and Texas oil money, and far-right support was more of a threat.  I highly doubted anyone would take Donald Trump seriously.  I mean, all he had going for him was money and trash-talk!  I felt voting for him was akin to voting for a Kardashian.  They’re in the same camp–you know their names from the stupid stuff they say and do on television, but you don’look to them for any serious leadership.

And I knew if nobody took Trump seriously (because HOW could they!!!) that whatever democrat was running would be a shoe-in.  I wasn’t sad to see it was Hillary.  I had actually voted for her over Obama in the primary that first time around when she ran.  I knew her face, thought she worked really hard as Secretary of State, and yeah–I wanted a woman in the White House.

But I thought women’s rights were farther ahead than they actually are.  I really think if Hillary were a man, things would have played out differently.  It would have been an EQUAL assessment of two candidates.  Not just a singular attack on one and blind-spot toward the other.  They would have dug into her dirty laundry–sure–that’s part of the political game these days.  And believe me, they ALL have their share of dirty laundry.  The political machine is so caught up in money now, that ALL candidates that make it to a certain lever most certainly made back room deals to get funded.  They all owe somebody.  Every politician has to water down a certain policy they care about, because a special interest group contributed to their campaign.

That makes them all lairs.  They all manipulate.  Every politician is shady.  I expect it.

But they would have used the bad stuff to equal disadvantage, apples-to-apples.  They didn’t.  When people called Hillary a liar, I was like–yeah.  Of course.  But what I didn’t expect was to people to hold that against Hillary in a militant way, when they didn’t hold the male politician to the same standard.  I would challenge that every accusation, every piece of dirty laundry found on Hillary was used against her in a more drastic way then it is used against any man that has run or held office.  People were a LOT harsher on Clinton then they’ve been on most males in politics.

The patriarchal double-standard reared it’s ugly head.

Even so, I didn’t think the country would go for Donald Trump.  How could they?  He is a caricature.  He’s all fluff and propaganda, and realty TV!  He has no political experience, no solid policy ideas, only hateful sound-bites.  His business dealings were murky.  The guy claimed bankruptcy and didn’t pay taxes.  He wavered on issues, and lost all three debates.  His supporters were the trashiest, most backward, belligerents in the country.  He got caught candidly admitting his penchant for sexual abuse.  Americans would not get behind any of that.  We might like to see the train wreck on TV, but we expect more decorum and have higher standards for our president.

The leader of our country–the leader of the world.

I was in absolute shock when we didn’t.

This week was difficult.  I felt suddenly scared and alone.  I knew every person from my small town voted republican.  I felt since Trump is against many of the minority groups I belong to (women-in social standing, impoverished, gays) that my Utah work managers were also.  My hometown was also.  My Facebook friends were also.  My parents were also.  I was suddenly marginalized.  Cowering at the fringes.

And my groups are actually dominant groups OF the marginalized groups.  The illegals, people of color, transsexuals, Muslims–all have it way worse.  If I felt scared and alone, how must THEY feel???

I saw many Trump supporters come across my Facebook feed.  And they shut-down dissent by telling anyone liberal or sorry about the win to “get over it.”  They discounted their opinions, silencing their views.  I try not to make waves on Facebook.  Or at work.  I know I am more progressive then my small-town peers.  I understand I have lived in more states, have more education, watch documentaries and learn about issues.  I’m a moderate, but a progressive one.  That sets me apart from most loud political views.  I get that people that just don’t know, don’t necessarily hate, but they are ignorant.  I can let some things go.  And I am usually quiet.  I scroll past the politics that are opposite to my views, the hate-memes, and ignorance.  Because these people are family.  Or they are my past.  I grew up and went through every year of schooling from kindergarten to senior year with some of these people–it’s just not worth it.

But when people started hassling Cool on her Facebook page, I stopped to think.  She was upset and posted why.  People wrote long diatribes, personally attacking her.  People told her to shut up about it.  People said to “move on.”  And in a society that just accepted what Trump stands for, and voted him in the highest office–I decided we could no longer afford apathy.

A lot of the reason he got voted in was because people didn’t like either candidate so they didn’t vote.  A whole, big section of youth, and moderates, and democrats just didn’t vote.  Which left privileged people to make our decisions.  People whose lives look nothing like mine.  People who don’t have the same problems and worries as me (or other marginalized groups).  It made me think a lot of that Holocaust quote, which I will not directly quote (because I’m too lazy to go search for it, and I already have more tabs open then I like) so I will sum the sentiment up:  They took the criminals, and I was not a criminal so I didn’t say anything.  They took the gypsies, and I was not a gypsy so I didn’t say anything.  They took the Jews and I was not a Jew so I didn’t say anything.  So when they came for me–there was nobody to speak for me.

We always have to remember how the Holocaust started so nothing even remotely similar can repeat itself.  It’s not just about some tyrant stealing power–it’s the apathy and silence from the real majority that allows that to happen.

And Cool and I spent a very large part of the year watching WWII (and everything around the periphery of that) shows, interviews, and documentaries.  I know what apathy can lead to, I know how things got started in Germany back then.  So I felt motivated to stand up where I could in my own life.  I made a new policy that I would not be silenced by the privileged few.  I would not stand down as a woman.  I will not hide as a gay.  I will not let my poverty minimize my power.  And I wouldn’t stand by and say nothing when others were hassled–not anymore.  I will act with integrity and stand for what I believe in.  Even if it causes confrontation.  I will deliberately show my ethics and speak my morals.  I have to counter the negativity and hate that was just sanctioned by a vocal majority by stopping the silence and apathy.  First in my own life, then maybe even on a larger scale.

Here’s what I wrote to Cool (and her frenemies on Facebook):

hypocracy

 

And I wrote to her (and those frenemies of hers):

“Words of wisdom: I will not be shut-down or silenced. I will continue to voice my ethics and let my values guide my actions. Hate has no place here. Don’t let societal pressures make you falter. Speak your mind. Speak your truth.”

Because right now it’s super-important for all those just marginalized by the ignorants and the haters to have a voice.  Remind people we’re here and we’re just as valid.  And we have dreams, hopes, and rights.  We deserve an equal chance.  We deserve respect.  That dissent is not unpatriotic.  To speak out for injustice is as American as you can get.  It’s what this country was built on.

I also got brave and wrote from my heart on my own Facebook page.  Knowing I was outnumbered by right-wingers.  Knowing there was hate for my groups just under the surface.

“I try to keep politics off my page. Nobody really wants to hear it–you’re not changing anyone’s mind. And I don’t identify with either party. I think with all the money, and lobbyists, and Super-PACS all candidates that make it that far have to be corrupt just to be in the game. But I am in shock and dismay.

For me, this 2016 election result is not about red or blue, winning or losing, it’s about standing for my values, and modeling my ethics. I will not be shut-down and I will not falter in defending my morals for fear of antagonism. It’s not about, “move on, get over it.” Trump’s values do not align with mine. And friends/family I hope I know you well enough that Trump’s quotes/feelings are not in your heart either.
This is a country of immigrants, mentally ill, minorities, women, gays, impoverished, of “other.” Big-Money shouldn’t have the largest and last say in all matters. As a proud American I recognize how fortunate I am to be born here and at the status that I hold. But that’s all it was–luck, completely out of my control. I will raise my voice to defend the little people– outsiders like myself–because that’s the kind of person I am.
If you can’t respect that, if you are ignorant to the sentiment of this message–mostly I feel sorry for you. And a little afraid. For myself, for the others like me, for this great country, and for you. God bless, and may the universe be kind to you and yours.”
I was disappointed I only got 3 likes and one comment–none of those from family.  So the fears and isolation are real.  Those people on my Facebook WOULD turn against me.  I have to watch my mouth and watch my back.
But I will not be silenced.  I will not go down without a fight.
I took my new personal-policy of not being silenced to my job yesterday.  Crissy bought us ice cream.  She got 4 different flavors of candy bars.  Derick the Douche loves Reese’s PB cups best, so she specifically got ice cream in that flavor for him.  He claimed it before he saw it.  The rest of us decided which flavors we wanted.  Derick then saw the ice cream, and saw his flavor was smaller then the rest.  He said he wanted oreo instead (it was the biggest).  But an Indian gal had already picked that one out.  White, male, privileged, dominant Derick the Douche wanted it, and pushed for it.  She conceded.  I spoke up–“No Siama already chose that one.”  And I like PB, and didn’t particularly care which ice cream flavor I ate (I love ALL ice cream!) so I told him to take the Twix one I had picked.  He pouted and tried to take hers anyway.  I put my foot down.  Which, I never would have done before.  He’s always that way.  It was none of my business.  But under my new policy, I was not going to stand by and let him bully a minority and take the (perceived) better ice cream away from her.
I used my policy a second time in the same night.  A chronically slow, co-worker, who is always late, always lagging on his buckets, and actually disallowed to do basic tasks because he messes up, ruffled my feathers.  I always do the document imaging at work.  My co-workers don’t like to.  Everyone is supposed to do it.  We even have it assigned to a certain color.  But I do the lions share-no matter what color I am assigned.  Night after night.  Because I am a hard worker.  I’m motivated.  And it needs to be done.  I’ll do the scanning–ALL of the scanning.  Night after night, month after month, year after year-I do the majority of the scanning.  To the point, they don’t even know HOW, some of them, including the boy in this story.
For once, Crissy (who is just a sub and usually doesn’t work) was helping with the scanning.  She got stuck and didn’t know what had gone wrong, and this kid (Josh) was near so went over to help her.  But since he never scans, didn’t know how.  And they all just KNOW that I’m the scanning bitch at work.  In an accusatory tone, he called my name–like ‘YOU fucked this up, now come over and fix your mistake so Crissy can finish our work.’  That’s what his tone and body language said.  And he’s used that tone on me before.  Usually I let it go to keep the peace.  Even though it’s a totally inappropriate tone for work, and completely condescending.  I usually let it go.  Even though it makes me mad and makes me feel ‘less than’ I let it go.
But last night I called him out on it.  I said, “Are you asking for my help or accusing me of something?”  And he still looked agitated and a little hostile toward me so I continued, “You don’t need to use that accusatory tone on anyone at work–especially when you’re asking for their help.”  Turns out, I had not messed anything up.  But even if I had–so what?  And um–scanning is not MY job.  They are supposed to be doing their share and they never do–so don’t come accusing me of anything regarding scanning!  Anyway, Crissy had pressed something wrong, and it was no big deal, I simply showed her how to fix it, and we went on with work.  But my defense had made the kid mad.  He was storming around, slamming his stuff, and had a shitty demeanor for the rest of our shift.
But I wasn’t silenced.
And that felt good.  In a week where shock and horror ruled.  So I will continue on, living ethically, not hiding behind fear or apathy.  I will act with morality, defend those without a voice, and stand up for my beliefs–because they’re just as valid as Trumps, and those who voted for him.

Chely Wright–Another Inspiration

2 Mar

Her documentary really hit home with me.  The internal homophobia, shutting off those feelings, shame, hiding, the fear.  It resonated with me.

The evasive answers to probing questions about the love life. Keeping busy to distract.  Trying to be the best, most ethical person to make up for it.  Rejecting strongly other gay people or masculine women, because feelings of being perceived as guilty by association.  Trying to date men–and not actually feeling anything legit.  Despite trying to.  Detaching and pushing loved ones away, creating distance in relationships, because you have a secret.

Feeling like a coward.  Lying.  To others and myself.  And feeling horrible about it–just ill.

I still fight those feelings.  Which is why this blog isn’t connected to my Facebook.  I want people from my childhood the way they knew me then.  And Chely’s sister is right [she was funny.  I liked her].  Coming out (repeatedly) hurts.  Everyone’s reaction is not going to be what you want.  Which is why I never really formally come out.  I want people to know ME.  And see I’m a good person–not form some perception based on just 1 aspect of who I am.  And you have to be willing to be rejected.  I’m not.  I don’t want to be “forgiven” for something I was born with and can’t fight.  And I don’t want to be hated for it.  I would rather be the sneaky gay who establishes connections under the radar, then after things are cemented–show that the one fact about me–really changes nothing.  I still have fear.  Based from internal homophobia.

rainbow 4 (2)

I’m very thankful for celebrities that come out, because with each one GAY becomes more common, and as such, more accepted.  It’s important for all LGBT (and questioning) youth, especially the ones getting bullied and contemplating suicide.  Sexuality IS everyone’s business for those kids, and all fearful people everywhere who need a role model.

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Fishy Non-Shipment: Big Bang

9 Feb

This last summer, I had some extra house-sitting money, so I went to purchase Big Bang Theory from Amazon.  Every time I house-sit for my boss the show is on her satellite TV–but always the same 4 episodes we’ve already seen.  So I thought it would be a good time to get some context on the funny show.  And I always like to support the gays–Jim Parsons (at least) I still have my suspicions about Roseanne’s David, whatever that actor’s name is.

Anyway, as you can see below, I ordered a 3 season set for $32.99.  This is from my confirmation e-mail:

Shipment Details

The Big Bang Theory: Seasons 1-3
Sold by CraftyDVDStore
Condition: Used – VeryGood
Facebook Twitter Pinterest $32.99

Item Subtotal: $32.99
Shipping & Handling: $3.99
Total Before Tax: $36.98
Shipment Total: $36.98
Paid by Visa: $36.98

The Big Bang Theory: Seasons 1-3

Johnny Galecki (Actor), Jim Parsons (Actor) | Format: DVD

And then–it never arrived.  But I had ordered something else from Amazon in that time frame and IT hadn’t arrived either.  So I thought there was some compromise in my mail route.  Lost at the Post Office?  Neighbor stealing packages?  Anything is possible.

And when the end shipping date finally arrived, and I STILL didn’t have it–I fired off an e-mail to get a replacement or get the first order here.  And the company was just like sorry–refund.  They didn’t send another one, or explain where my shipment went. . .

oreo_dory

So 6 months later I thought I might try ordering it again.  And the lowest price for a 3 season set?  $132.99.  Hmmm, notice anything?  MINE was $32.99, and it never came.  I think someone typed the price in error (missing the 1) on the post and the website sold it to me.  And I think it never arrived because the company didn’t want to lost that $100.

That’s my theory–maybe I should be on Big Bang!  And I’m sad, because I still don’t have even one DVD let alone 3 seasons. . .

 

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Things. . . Snowballed

22 Jan

I’m so funny–did you SEE that pun?!  But Sunday, I wasn’t really laughing.

thumbs up posterCool found an article about an EZ-123 pass in the area.  Four different ski resorts were participating and you could choose the one you wanted.  They offered, 3 lessons, WITH rental of all equipment (board, boots, bindings, goggles, helmet), and 3 lift tickets good for the whole day for just $79!  I thought that was a steal, considering the times I went snowboarding at the Tahoe resorts were in April (post-season, when snow wasn’t optimal) when lift tickets were discounted.  And lessons–forget it!  Unless you were with 4H or something, lessons were impossibly expensive in Tahoe, so I only had 1 ski lesson when I was 9 years old and part of the 4H ski club.  And when the rental places were hungry for ANY business after the season was virtually over, so you paid substantially less.  But still WAY above the deal Cool found.

And we are trying to get involved in a more healthy, active lifestyle.  And planning on moving to snow-sport Telluride ski resort mtncountry, Colorado.  And I’m trying to have a little fun in my life instead of all school-work-prepare drudgery.  So I was for it!  And I had a total meltdown on Saturday after work, which made Cool have a bad day, and that caused US to be completely out of sorts.  So we needed some fun on Sunday, and planned on going to the 10:30 AM lesson.

They want you to be there an hour early, and somehow we were running a little behind.  So we arrived in a sort of rush to make the class (you remember my lateness phobia).  We paid, got our passes, and were told to go to the last door for our rentals.  They fitted our boots and handed us the snowboards, and we hustled to the learning center.  Everyone else had goggles, and some had helmets.  I don’t know where they got those or how we missed them, but oh well–we made it.  And in Tahoe, helmets aren’t really a “thing” I guess because my friends and I never wore them, we didn’t wear them with elementary 4H, and I don’t think I ever Steamboat Resort skisaw ANYone on the slopes wearing one.  So though it seems like a safe thing to do, I wasn’t alarmed that we weren’t wearing helmets. . .

Our lesson had 12-15 people, mostly kids.  And kids learn quickly, have no fear, and jump right back up if they fall.  So it’s not a fair comparison to adults.  And I’ve never had official lessons, or really snowboarded, but I went 2-3 brief times with friends growing up, so I’d at least been on the snow–so I wasn’t a fair comparison either.  Cool struggled.  As you do as a 30-something learning a new physical task.  She needed to go slower, but she didn’t do any worse then expected for her very first time on the snow.  These things require practice, patience, heart–and good humor.

I was caught in between–trying to follow the speedy class, but also wait for struglasaurus-Cool.  The instructors Easter 015kept telling me to do whatever, but I had to hang back and almost disobey because Cool would be waaaay behind and not know what we were supposed to be doing.  So I was pressured to be a fair bit below her on the hill.  And she crab-walked down one time, did some falling and crawling, so it wasn’t alarming to see her crumpled when I looked back at her.  But she might be hurt?  Cool normally has a very low pain threshold, and her anxiety kicks in making her a little bit of a hypochondriac.  So I figured she was just being a baby about a normal fall.  Or tired.  Or slow to get up, or frustrated and giving up or something.  I tried to motion to her with thumbs up vs thumbs down, but she only half-way responded.  And she was too far away to be certain what gesture she returned.  And one of our instructors looked to be talking with her, so I figured she was receiving some coaching.

Then, they were both walking down the mountain in the direction of the first aid center.  Uh oh, so I followed them in to see what was happening.  And I had to un-do my bindings and ditch my board, so I was behind.  When I got inside, 3 women and a man were securing Cool to a backboard.  Fuck!  Of course we should have rainbow 5gone back for the helmets.  Cool has a history of injury.  Her mom had been adamant that if she tried snow-sports she would break an ankle, and had tried to dissuade her.  She didn’t look terrible to me, but I wasn’t certain what happened.  I had obviously missed something. . .  The first aid was serious, I could see these people meant business.  And I frantically signed to her “money?!”  And tried to mouth, “How much does this cost?!”  But there was a lot happening and she was distracted and she said “Free.”  Which I was dubious about.  But who was I to step in and tell these people to give us a moment to discuss things?  The law does not consider me Cool’s legit family, and they could kick me out of the room all-together if they wanted.  So I had to just stand there watching and wondering and worrying.

They strapped her in, loaded her on a hospital bed, and began assessing her status.  Unfortunately, I had reminded Cool to take her 6(?) bipolar/anxiety meds before we went.  So of course, her pupils were dilated.  And her meds ALWAYS make her foggy headed so when they asked her to remember 3 items to evaluate head trauma–of course, she forgot the 3rd.  But that’s her normal.  I was still 90% certain she had just taken a normal fall–not sustained any severe injury.  And Cool is a passive petal.  If pressed strongly enough, Cool will just go with the flow, do what she is told, and think about what SHE wants or the consequences afterward.  That’s Cool’s normal as well.  So she was just being compliant, not really thinking about the finances, or what the backboard meant, or the things I was freaking out about.

Snowboard Emx 2014 018

After about 20 minutes, the 12 people (this was code red stuff) began asking if Cool had any family, or a friend or something) with her.  And right away she told them her mate.  Which, is our term for US because I reject the term “partner” because it sounds too business-like and stiff.  But they apparently, didn’t know what the hell she was talking about (more ammunition for the brain damage theory) and since we are not legally-anything, she had to say “girlfriend.”  Which I HATE.  We have so much more to our relationship then mere dating.  It’s a horrible thing to have to deal with gay stigma in a crises situation.

Snowboard Emx 2014 019

It made me really annoyed when they confirmed with me, “You’re her friend?”  And I was like, “Mate,” all exasperated.  The head doctor guy told me about the pupils and said Cool had complained of neck pain and wrist pain (and stomach tenderness, sore feet, as well as head-constriction discomfort) and they couldn’t rule out brain injury because of her non-responsive demeanor, pupil-size, and forgetting that 3rd word.  I tried to explain that was Cool’s norm.  This was just her personality and meds.  He said an ambulance was on the way, and immediately I said, “No, no, no, under no circumstance could we afford an ambulance ride–I can drive her.”  And he said 1)  She was on a backboard and was not getting off of it–he would absolutely not release her.  2)  He wanted to make ultra-sure she was OK (CYA) 3) tried to downplay the expense because she has health insurance.  To which I was like, what–health insurance doesn’t cover 100% and we were now looking at ambulance + emergency room + any diagnostics, not including any treatments if they were in fact warrented.  He persisted that he would not release her, but I could talk to the ambulance people and sign a liability waiver–which I said I would love to do.  But I knew I had no legal right and SHE would have to be the one to sign it.

Snowboard Emx 2014 017

Then, I finally was able to get within Cool’s vicinity (since the 100 people had dispersed, and people realized I was “legit”) to talk to her for the first time.  Cool was in invalid mode, with an oxygen mask and the whole bit and I leaned in and started telling her she had to speak for herself and deny the ambulance that was on its way.  I think it was the first time she realized where this injury was taking her, and the first time money really entered into her mind.  I felt like all the medical staff surrounding us felt like I was unsympathetic–but I know Cool.  I know her hypochondriac stuff, her finances, and how she doesn’t THINK until later.  And I figured if she was legit-hurt, I could drive us down the mountain and we’d go from there.  But I also felt like I had no legal right to step in.  As Cool’s closest relative–that this incident is going to directly impact–that felt awful.

An hour after the call, the ambulance arrived.  And they loaded Cool onto a gurney and arranged for me to drive her car along behind.  I was helpless.  I guess Cool decided she wanted to go to emergency on the ambulance–and if that’s what she wanted (despite the consequences) I had no right to say otherwise.  Part 2:  Emergency.  That’s tomorrow–stay tuned.

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Would You Choose to be Gay?

3 Aug

A lot of haters hate because they feel being gay is a choice.  It’s not.  I never made a decision to be gay.  I made a decision to be open about who I already was, instead of hiding and being unhappy my whole life.  The gay part wasn’t something I got to decide–it’s who I’ve always been.

butterfly glitter rainbow

Cool and I got in a fight because she said she would not take a pill that would make her straight.  I can’t understand that.  Why wouldn’t I want an easier life?  Why wouldn’t I want to be seen as normal in society?  Get every right that married couple takes for granted?  I would want to be straight for the statistical reasons alone–only 10% of the population is gay.  If I were straight, I would have so many more choices about who to date and marry.  I could have someone hot, and lovely, AND rich.    Also, I would be acceptable in every situation and have all rights and financial assets that stem from a heterosexual relationship.  Why wouldn’t I want that?

Cool says she would stay gay–it’s who she is.  But I don’t want to have a more difficult life.  I have enough trouble in life, without the added stress of being gay.  And sure, I love Cool, but everything would be better if I were in the majority. . .

Scripture is a Distance-Maker

27 Jun

Mostly it makes me sad when Dayton has ignorant, hateful, judgments.

Here is my rambling rant sadness:  And quoting verse only creates more of a divide.  When religious people dehumanize thegod hates fag idiot argument and start quoting verses, it does 2 things:  Quickly renders the more liberal or gay person quiet–as they (usually) cannot, from memory, quote opposing verses.  Squarely places the argument inside a book that does not have an equal value to each side of the argument.  The church person has placed faith into the word of the book as coming straight from God, while the other side, may think the book is inaccurate, pieced together by the most influential people of the day, interpreted in such a way as to accomplish current ends, and not scientifically proven.  No matter what the thoughts about the Bible, each side is now focusing on its contents rather than the current effects on actual human lives and relationships.

What I think church is supposed to do for people:

-Give them a safe, hopeful feeling because life, choices, death, and the after-life are in someone else’s capable hands.

*This requires faith.

-Bring people closer together.  Through common beliefs, values, and goals.

*This means pledging allegiance to the doctrine, attending group services and events, and having a common cause.

-Support those less fortunate and educate them.

*”less fortunate” is subjective, as in the case of Native Americans.  Educate means indoctrinate into the popularly held religious convictions.

rainbow 3 (2)I’m not saying these goals or the requirements to achieve them are right or wrong.  Religion can be a very positive, uplifting thing.  BUT we have to remember religion is an institution with a power structure.  And capital behind it.  So good intentions can be skewed by those at the top in order to make money ultimately.  Churches need more and increasing members to pay their bills.  They need those people to unquestioningly act for their church.  And the goals may get icky depending on the political agenda of the leaders.

So back to Dayton.  A small, conservative town, where the biggest employer is the school district.  This means most education goes as high as a Masters degree.  It also means the incomes stop in the $50,000/year mark.  If that.  And peopleVC cemetary may or may not have experienced travel and diversity.  I suspect most people have taken 1-2 big trips to other cultures and viewpoints if any.  So I’m not judging my town, but there are reasons they may have a more narrow life view.

Instead of judgement, I would like to see compassion.  Instead of heated arguments about verse, I want each side to stand in the shoes of the other party.  Really, I believe arguing with a fool–makes two.  I think the best way to handle such hateful attitudes is to be that person that lives an upstanding life.  A person that those Dayton people didn’t realize was gay.  It would show them the same person they always knew and liked, is still the same despite being gay too.  That is what really makes people change their views–knowing someone personally who doesn’t fall under the stereotypes.  Someone good, and kind, and educated.  I hope by living an upstanding life, and showing people through my actions that their hate and judgement is wrong–not the way I love, that real change can occur.

And I’m proud of my mom for having the courage and inclination to post a gay-positive sentiment on her Facebook, even if it was quickly shot down by well-intentioned, though ignorant people of Dayton.  I hope that doesn’t discourage her from changing her own mind to a more accepting viewpoint.

Suspicions Confirmed

26 Jun

A higher percentage of lesbians smoke and are overweight than straight women.  I think this, because it’s what I’ve rainbow 1encountered personally.  It’s what I’ve seen at the gay bars, at Pride, in LGBT organizations, in my friend and dating life, on the streets, on television, in movies, and per what I read about famous lesbians.  Now, research backs up my theory.

rainbow 4And it makes sense because marginalized populations are more susceptible to vices.  Anyone who faces discrimination must have a bit of self-hate to overcome.  Plus, if you’re already stigmatized for being gay, what’s the difference if you smoke as well?  Also, the gays have a larger disposable income.  And so they are targeted by advertisers.  And they have more time without kids.  And gays generally want to be around like-people (we all do) so where do you hang out?  Well, at gay bars–where smoking is commonplace.

And the weight issue?  Well, as a feminist, I do not prescribe to the strict beauty standard set by the patriarchy.  And I would guess most lesbians don’t either.  And without that constant pressure, we look–well, more portly as a group.  My guess is rainbow 8that lesbians take more stalk in a personality than physical attributes.    Also, I think a little self-esteem and boundary issues play a part.  Maybe lesbians let themselves go a little.  To prove they don’t need to please men?  To protect themselves with a physical layer of insulation?

Anyway, here are the facts from other sources that back up my claims:

-A new study from Community Marketing, Inc. provides insights about how gay men and lesbians spend their money and live their lives.  Gay men (27 percent) and lesbians (23 percent) smoke cigarettes at higher rates than the national averages for adult men (22 percent) and women (17 percent) (3).  Among rainbow 7homosexuals: 37% of women smoke; 33% of men smoke.  Among heterosexuals: 18% of women smoke; 24% of men smoke (4).

-Researchers say that lesbian women are more likely to smoke, drink and to be overweight, putting them at greater risk of health problems than other women, HealthScout reported April 17 (2).

-Roughly 56 percent of lesbians are current or former smokers, compared to 36 percent of straight women, and gay women are slightly more likely than other women to drink alcohol. Furthermore, about 28 percent of lesbians are obese, compared to 19 percent of heterosexual women (2).

-In all, 11,876 women were involved in the study. Eighty-seven percent of the women surveyed were self-defined lesbians, butterfly glitter rainbowwhile 12% considered themselves bisexual. (The researchers used the term “lesbian” to collectively refer to both groups.) (5).

-Nearly three in 10 lesbians surveyed were obese, compared with about one in five women overall; nevertheless, lesbians were less likely than average to consider themselves overweight (44% vs. 56%). Although there was no significant difference in current alcohol use between lesbians and women overall, the same was not true for problem drinking. More than 12% of lesbians reported having a history of problems with alcohol, a rate far higher than the 4% standardized estimate of women nationally who reported having five or more drinks almost every day. Lesbians were also more likely than average to rainbow 2currently use tobacco (21% vs. 16%) or to have used tobacco in the past (34% vs. 20%) (5).

-A comparison of these data with standardized estimates for all U.S. women suggests that lesbians and bisexual women are significantly more likely to be obese, smoke cigarettes and abuse alcohol (all known cancer risk factors). Furthermore, they are significantly less likely than average to have ever used oral contraceptives and to have ever been pregnant or given birth to a live infant (all shown to be protective against ovarian and endometrial cancer). Lesbians and bisexual women are also less likely than American women overall to have health insurance and to undergo cancer screenings (5).

These figures come from researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Published in the August issue of rainbow 9Tobacco Control, they’re based on a review of 42 studies about tobacco use among sexual minorities.

-The massive study was led by Elisabeth P. Gruskin, a public health researcher with Kaiser Permanente, and supported by the California Department of Public Health. Between July, 2003 and March, 2004 it dialed 187,000 telephone numbers in California, screened 31,000 households for eligibility, and completed nearly 3,000 survey interviews with adults, comparing those with the results of rainbow 5existing surveys of all Californians (1).

-Partly due to the tobacco industry’s relentless campaign to target gay men and women through bar promotions, sponsorships, andadvertisements in the queer press, LGBT adults and youth have roughly 40%-70% higher smoking rates than the general population; and bartenders and cocktail servers in LGBT oriented nightclubs are disproportionately exposed to secondhand smoke (7).

-According to the summary of an earlier report from the CDC, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2001:  Estimated smoking rates for lesbians, gays, and bisexuals ranged from 38% to 59% among youth and from 11% to rainbow tiny 150% among adults. National smoking rates during comparable periods ranged from 28% to 35% for adolescents and were approximately 28% for adults (4).

-I’ve just learned from NPR’s All Things Considered that in California, gay men and lesbians are 70 percent more likely to smoke than the general population (4).

-The 898 women participating in the survey divided fairly evenly: lesbian 34.2 percent, bisexual 29.3 percent, and women who have sex with women (WSW) 36.5 percent. The 1052 men showed stark division, with 85.4 percent identifying as gay, 7 percent as bisexual, and 7.6 percent as men who have sex with men (MSM). This gender rainbow fractaldichotomy reflects what seems to be a real difference in the way men and women experience sexual orientation (1).

-gay culture may be more accepting of lifestyle choices. Lesbians may also be less concerned about smoking and drinking because they’re less likely to have children, and more tolerant of weight (2).

-Tobacco companies also advertise heavily in gay magazines. . .  smoking is common in gay bars — often the center of lesbian social life (2).

-Likely explanations include the success of tobacco industry’s targeted marketing to gays and lesbians, as well as time spentlights in smoky social venues and stress from discrimination.” (4).

-As a matter of fact, childless households (whether gay or straight) spend, on average, 56 percent more on cigarettes and alcohol than their childbearing neighbors. (Among households where the parents have some education, the discrepancy is my x-mas 14even larger.) Nor is there anything mysterious about why. First, parents have extra reasons to live long and stay healthy, both so they can be there when their kids need them and so they can enjoy the company of their grandchildren. Second, parents have extra expenses—starting with diapers and continuing through college tuition—that leave less disposable income for cigarettes. Third, a lot of parents don’t like the idea of smoking in front of their children (6).

-Among the general population, 68 percent of women had never smoked, while in the study population those numbers were 43 percent of lesbians, 51.3 percent of bisexual women, and 21.5 percent of WSW.  Gay men were more likely to smoke than the general population (27.3 percent vs. 19.7 percent), while the smoking rates for bisexual and MSM did not differ significantly from the general population (1).sparkle-stripe

-When data from the males and females were combined, the study participants were much more likely to be heavy daily smokers than the general population (G/L 22.2 percent, bisexual 22.6 percent, same-sex partners 29.7 percent) (1).

-People 18 to 24 are more likely to smoke than those who are older (24 percent vs. 20 percent), but they are highly motivated to quit (1).

1.)  http://www.pridesource.com/article.html?article=25854

2.)  http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/drugs/lesbians-more-likely-to-smoke

3.)  http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/08/03/636731/new-survey-provides-unique-insights-into-gay-and-lesbian-consumer-habits/?mobile=nc

4.)  http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2009/07/gays-lesbians-smoking-study-.html

5.)  http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3318301.html

6.)  http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/everyday_economics/2003/08/why_do_gays_smoke_so_much.html

7.)  http://www.no-smoke.org/learnmore.php?id=461