Tag Archives: LGBT

10 Reasons Why You Need to Watch Orange is the New Black

23 Aug

Without giving away too much of the major plot points, here is why you’re missing out if you haven’t checked out the first season of the newest Netflix production:

1. LAURA PREPON

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In the literal first scene of the show, you’re immediately brought into Eric Foreman’s wet dream. Laura Prepon plays a tall, brunette queer chick who runs drugs. If that doesn’t get you hooked, you’re beyond hope. Also, Netflix is extremely lenient with censorship, which makes it a fantastic platform for this.

 

2. FOR REAL QUEER REPRESENTATION

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Are you sick of queer characters on TV constantly being made into the same tired stereotypes? Piper and Alex’s relationship is just as intricate and complicated as any straight one in any other show. Piper brings up the Kinsey scale, which, while I’m not the biggest fan of that as a determination of sexuality, indicates that the show’s writers at least don’t view straight and gay as black and white. All the lesbian activity in prison may be dramatized, but at least it feels real.

 

3. FOR REAL REPRESENTATION OF EVERYONE

orange is the new black

Seriously, they cover all of the bases. Intersectionality, yo. It’s great to see a female cast of characters that you can tell apart.

 

4. TRANS PEOPLE ON TV

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I don’t wanna spoil too much, but actor Laverne Cox and her character Sophia are fucking fantastic. It’s super rare that a trans* character has such depth and humanity on a TV show and hopefully this will set a precedent.

 

5. OPEN DIALOGUE ABOUT PRISON

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If you live in the United States especially, you’ve probably heard loads about the prison-industrial complex, mandatory minimum sentences, nonviolent drug offenders, people rotting in jail on the taxpayer’s dime, and it can all sound distant and abstract if you’ve never been to prison. While obviously a lot of aspects of this show are dramatized, the fact that many people in prison are decent ones who have made mistakes that the state determines worthy of taking away their humanity remains true. Creating sympathetic characters who have been incarcerated is a nice reminder that prisoners are people too.

 

6. WHITE PEOPLE BE LIKE

 

7. YOU GET TO FIND OUT THE CONTEXT FOR THIS

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In all fairness, Taystee doesn’t provide much context either. But it does make for a good story.

 

8. DAYA WILL MAKE YOU CRY

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Trust me on this. I really just wanna give her a hug.

 

9. OPEN DIALOGUE ABOUT SEXUAL ABUSE

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All the bureaucratic bullshit that goes on in prisons means that a prison employee’s word is usually taken over a prisoner. You’ll want to barf at how icky Pornstache is, but hopefully it’ll make you think about how sexual abuse is treated in the mainstream.

 

10. JUST WATCH IT OKAY?

Seriously, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll be extra careful about which drug-running lesbians you get involved with.

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Clearing up Asinine Misconceptions of Bisexuality

2 Jul

Many bisexual bloggers have posted about their gripes, so I decided to make a masterpost of sorts about all the ridiculous things people have said to me upon finding out that I was bisexual before I discovered the college party scene.

“You’re so lucky! You have twice the options!”

First of all, I like to tell people that being bisexual is twice the disappointment, because people of all genders have the potential to find you unattractive. Plus, we all have standards. I have no more options than anyone else. Also you’re taking genderqueer people out of the equation, who have the same potential for attractiveness as anyone else. I could write a whole page about transphobia and bisexuality but I digress.

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This will be on my tombstone.

“You’re dating a man, I guess you’re straight now.”

I mean, I can see where this logic comes from. I’ll give you the fact that walking down the street with my large, masculine boyfriend gives me “straight privilege” or what have you. My relationship means that the part of my brain that’s attracted to women has been completely shut off. Right.

“You’ve never dated a girl, how do you know you’re bisexual?”

Because I can look at both girls and boys and say “gee whiz, I’d like to take them out for pop and a cheeseburger”. Come on, this is first grade stuff.

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Are you seducing me?

“You can’t call yourself queer because you dig the opposite gender”

First of all, don’t tell me what to identify as, because I’ll get an entire queer army to come to your house and toss sharpened unicorn horns at you. Second of all, I’m not even totally comfortable with the term “bisexual” because I feel like for me it excludes trans* people. So queer is a better catch all.

“The pride parade isn’t for bisexuals”

This was said to me during an LGBT workshop. I deserve a medal for not throwing a table at this kid. The LGBT community’s unwillingness to accept bisexual people because they aren’t gay enough is just as bad as everyone else disapproving of us because we aren’t straight enough.

That being said, I usually prefer to fly the rainbow flag to the bisexual one. Because, you know, I’m for everyone’s equality.

bisexual flag

Rainbows are more fun anyway.

“You’re just experimenting because you’re in college”

I’ve known I was bisexual since I was thirteen years old and saw Kat Von D on whichever tattoo show she was doing at the time. I didn’t come out to my friends until my junior year of high school and didn’t come out to my parents until I turned eighteen because I didn’t want to risk being cut off from them as a minor. That didn’t happen, but it’s sort of a given that coming out is hard. Anyway, experimenting is perfectly fine for some people, it’s just not what I’m doing.

On another note, I’ve encountered two girls who pretended to be bisexual for attention. That shit isn’t cool and it makes us all look bad, not to mention the women they had hooked up with felt incredibly blindsided and had an understandably biased opinion of bisexuals. Don’t do that.

“You must be pretty confused.”

Attraction isn’t a very confusing thing. It’s basic biology. I don’t know if there’s a gay gene or anything, but being attracted to someone is hardly confusing.

“Did you cut your hair off to look dykier?”

This shit bothers me a lot. Lesbians are just as varied as bisexual women are just as varied as straight women. I happen to present as feminine because wearing pretty dresses and loading up makeup on my face makes me feel good about myself. I cut my hair because I was sick of dealing with my poofy 80s looking mop and wanted a change. Also, gender presentation and sexuality are two different things. Please go back to Queer 101.

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Imagine trying to mow a cornfield. That’s what brushing this was like.

You don’t need me to tell you to be confident in yourself and your sexuality. Not everyone is as open about their issues as I am, and obviously not everyone who is bisexual feels the same way I do about certain things, but bear in mind that one reason it’s difficult to come out as LGBT is general misunderstanding of how this stuff works.

The LGBT community could take a lesson from Bill and Ted: “be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!”

Why I’m Not at NYC Pride

30 Jun

As an aggressively queer chick from the greater NYC area, you may be wondering why I’m shut in at Starbucks today instead of partying at one of the biggest pride festivals in the world.

Now I don’t have an issue with pride in and of itself. I “get” it, I have a rainbow bumper sticker, and I recently bought a rainbow flag to hang in the house I’ll be moving into. I understand the need to have pride in your sexuality, but I don’t feel any sort of obligation to the “queer community” as a whole. Maybe because people who claim to be so open love to pick on me for being bisexual and dating men, maybe because I’m a grumpy asshole. I don’t know. Pride events make me feel sort of weird, like I’m betraying my sour journalistic instincts. Plus, the straight women who go to gawk at gay men in tight shorts sort of make my stomach churn.

Being the grumpy cat that I am, I prefer to discuss hard-hitting queer issues without the rainbow veneer. Plus, NYC traffic and trains are a nightmare to begin with, so the last thing I need to do is day-drink and be stuck in a rainbow commuter hodgepodge.

It’s currently raining, and for the sake of all of you at the parade, I hope it lets up.

Happy pride though! This is probably the best time to be gay in America, and y’all have every right to celebrate. But I’ll be here, blogging.

Slash Shipping and Mad Men (spoilers)

25 Jun

Before I run the risk of sounding like a twelve year old girl on Tumblr, let me just say that I usually have a certain disdain for girls who have an obsession with slash shipping. I’ve encountered some of the more rabid Supernatural fans in my Tumblr days, and believe me, it’s pretty cringeworthy. However after watching season 6 of Mad Men, I’ve been finding that my OTP has shifted from Roger and Joan to Pete and Bob.

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I tend to not buy the theories flying around Reddit about Bob Benson being the nega-Don, or a secret FBI agent. But part of Mad Men’s appeal is that they deal with social issues of the 1960s, and while Bob probably isn’t on the run from the law, a bunch of things about both him and Pete lead me to believe that we’re gonna see some steamy dude on dude action in season 7:

  • We really don’t know about Bob’s past. Maybe he had the identity shift and abrupt move to New York because his relationship with another man was found out?
  • Pete’s sexual relationship with Trudy is never really discussed. It’s a pretty solid guess that it became nonexistent or extremely unpleasant considering their separation.
  • It’s fairly well-known that closeted queer people can sometimes be overtly homophobic to cover up insecurities about their sexuality. Pete completely flipped his shit when Bob touched his knee. His knee. 
  • The only other time we’ve seen anything remotely having to do with gay issues was Joan’s lesbian roommate (who, much to my dismay, never came back). Let’s face it though, who wouldn’t have a crush on Joan? Oh right, Bob supposedly doesn’t. If this were real life, I’d roll my eyes at the “gay best friend” trope, but this is TV, and it makes sense. Also, the thing with Sal, who I’m pretty disappointed never came back.
  • Keeping up with Mad Men’s ability to weave historical events in with the characters’ stories, the Stonewall Riots took place in 1969, which marked the beginning of the mainstream queer movement. Season 7 will also take place in 1969. While it’s too much to ask to see Pete and/or Bob throwing bricks at cops, Greenwich Village is a relatively short subway ride from SC&P…
  • Whenever Pete and Bob fight, I just want smush their faces together and say NOW KISS.

Maybe this is some wishful thinking on my part, being that I’d love to see more non-stereotypical queer characters in TV, but as my hopes for a Roger/Joan reunion fade, I’m hoping my new OTP becomes canon.

Link

Finally, progress that doesn’t make me grumpy.

21 Jun

Finally, progress that doesn’t make me grumpy.

As an angry, bisexual college student, you can probably guess I’m very much into queer politics, almost to a fault. I tend to turn my nose up at marriage equality bills, and cry statism at queer advocacy groups who push for policy change instead of a change in mindset and the way we educate the public on queer issues. The disconnect between a gay man being shot in a bias attack in Manhattan’s famous Greenwich Village, a supposedly “gay friendly” neighborhood, while the left cries for marriage equality, highlights the failures of this social movement.

But recently, the “ex-gay” group Exodus International has closed its doors for good. Not only that, but it’s president, Alan Chambers admitted to being attracted to dudes. Finally, we have a fundamentalist group reversing it’s attitude towards us queers, and bringing to light the phenomenon of closeted gay people acting overtly homophobic. Changing the attitude of the average moderate on the street is easy, it’s easy enough to show pictures of Neil Patrick Harris and his (admittedly, adorable) family to normalize the visibility of queer families, but for a Christian group, and one that’s been so adamantly against same-sex attraction, to come out and say they were wrong the entire time? That’s the hard stuff. That’s what signifies progress. We may still have a collectivist movement that appeals to the state too much, but this is a win, and one that will make all of our lives easier in the long run by striking a blow to Christian fundamentalist movements that have some of the most outspoken anti-queer views in the United States.

We have a long way to go until queer individuals enjoy full equality, but I can sleep a little easier knowing that one of the meanest heads of the anti-queer movement has been severed.