Sex Ed and Jazz Jennings

That title actually makes sense, just keep with me here.

I’ve just been watching the latest crap floating round this country, the UK, Northern Ireland, and other places and I’ve got to say something.

SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY!

That feels better.

For the more articulate point.

These people are supposedly all about protecting families, especially children.  Yet they are bound and determined to kill … untold hundreds, thousands, millions? of them.  And I wish it were hyperbole, but it’s not.  Literal death by violent attack, by suicide, or figurative death of spirit.

LGBTQIA… I think the Tumblr crowd has it up to 47 letters borrowing from Icelandic and Cyrillic these days, but these kids need to know what’s up.

Pre-school, kindergarden … as early as possible.  I Am Jazz needs to be part of elementary curriculums and in every library across the world.  There needs to be sexuality ones too, frankly.

Kids need to know that a transgender person isn’t this:

4402248-terrycrews-2015

But rather, is this: 

That the little boys don’t have to date/marry the little girls, and vice versa.

Kids are neither blank slates, nor do they exist and grow up in a vacuum, in a bubble, unless you force them into it (citation: look up the history of David Willis sometime … simple version:  Joyce is, basically, him).  They’ll have heard of homosexuality and transsexualism.  And some visions are more hurtful than others.

Imagine, if you will, a child who knows there are “men” who “want to be women” who “get it cut off” … but that’s it.  That’s all she knows of the medical advances of transgender treatment.  Now, when she’s 8 and the fact that she has testes is starting to withdraw her into clinical degrees of shyness and self-consciousness she doesn’t know that, really, yes, she could be the girl she is and isn’t forced to be a boy.  If she doesn’t know this, then she grows up, puberty has it’s horrible way, and … well this story can go one of two ways.  For me, not so badly.  I was blessed to look so feminine that even when I was trying so desperately to be male that I grew a big bloody Grizzly Freaking Adams beard people did double-takes when they’d see me in the men’s room but no one has ever given me a second glance in the ladies’.  Or there are those for whom a mix of financial woes and biological ones … look a bit more like Martin dressed up as Shanaynay (hey, I grew up in the 80s and 90s and haven’t really watched much TV since 2002, what did you expect for a reference?).

Lesbian and gay … life’s getting better.  Not great, no, but better for them.  It’s no longer Hollywood Montrose everywhere you look for gay and lesbians are nowhere to be seen.  Bi … somehow bi confuses some people, but all of the bi people I know seem to have a firm enough grasp on it I honestly don’t know if from their point of view it was bad and isn’t that people, in looking around for something to put down, haven’t started making it bad for them.  I’ll leave this one alone because I can’t make heads nor tails out of what the hell happened with bi, or if it’s just another place where I’ve always lived in remarkably accepting circles.

Seriously, kids need to know this is okay.  Because we’ve been doing the opposite for a long time and these kids suffer for it.  The transkids … let’s just think of those statistics.  Too many Leelah Alcorns.  Kids need to know that, if they’re not feeling anything whatsoever for the opposite sex and are noticing how attractive their own sex is … this is a Thing and it’s not a Bad Thing and that maybe they shouldn’t try to force themselves into a relationship or a life of loneliness over it.

Seriously.  Don’t come around talking about the sanctity of the family, and protecting children and all that other complete and total bullshit that every last one of these psychopathic, sociopathic, deranged assholes start spouting every time this matter comes up when you’re encouraging the kinds of environments that drive these kids to suicide, to madness, to self-hatred, and more.  Don’t talk that kind of idiocy while applauding parents who disown their children.  Don’t stick up for “morally righteous families” like the bloody Duggars.

These kids need to know about the world around them.  The real world around them.  They need protected, not … not whatever you call nearly a dozen US states suing President Obama and the Department of Education over their transgender guidance.  Of states that ban discussion of LGB+ matters even in secondary school.  Well, honestly, most of those states support “abstinence only sex ed” which has its own laundry list of stupidity.

In case it isn’t abundantly clear by this point, this is something I’m a bit passionate about.  It’s a place where I’m looking around at my country, and at the world, being complete twats about something that shouldn’t be any sort of issue or controversy except that some loud mouthed jerks seem to get their flippin’ jollies off by finding someone they can get away with making the lives of miserable, by oppression if preference is offered.

Would I feel this way if I were neither lesbian nor trans?  YES, I’m pretty well positive I would given that I felt this way even when I didn’t understand that I was … I mean when you spend the better part of three decades convinced you’re a straight man you maybe get a broader perspective on your own “what if” scenarios.  I was as impassioned about it then as now, just with less … insight … given my own determined efforts to avoid seeing it on a personal level.  But that too.  How common was, and all too often still is, the story of someone not realising their gender or sexuality until adulthood?  Until failed marriages and a life of serious depression?  Thankfully less and less.  The world is blessedly shifting toward a higher balance of Jazz Jennginses than Caitlyn Jenners.

Yeah, people are possibly going to want to say something harsh about “passing privilege”.  All I’ll say about it is:  yes it’s a matter now thanks to idiotic nonsense like HB2 in North Carolina, but by and large it’s something that just has to be considered moot.  If someone with a full face of beard, wearing jeans and a flannel, can stand in the gents’ and have guys walk in and double check the door to make sure they went into the right one … it’s no use.  Someone is going to mistake Barbie for a man and Thor for a woman because there’s just no telling what criterion people are going to use to decide a person’s gender visually.  There are cis women with beards, and cis men with breasts.  It happens.  Yeah, it definitely makes life easier when people are less inclined to get it wrong, believe me, I understand and know that.  But let’s stop talking about “passing privilege” and maybe focus on understanding and acceptance altogether from BOTH sides.  There are, after all, some gender non-conforming people who bend gender to a breaking point and while that’s fine, let’s try to remember that you’re going to confuse people – give them a break – just as they should at least be civil enough not to start beating the shit out of you and screaming just because there’s a person in the ladies’ with facial hair doing nothing more than washing her hands.

I’m going to be late for work if I don’t force myself to stop venting and get dressed.

Ta

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How disgraceful

It’s really sad just how petty, cruel, and hateful people can be.

“A gay couple is beaten, in broad daylight, on the streets of New York.”  Sounds like the headlines of a news paper in a dystopian novel or of a barbaric and bygone era.  Of course we know that humanity, and Americans are still rather barbaric and that this is common place.

Still, it makes people wake up when it’s New York City!  This is a place that’s been gathering such a hodge-podge of humans that you can believably have the bartender from Keeping the Faith.  People expect this kind of thing in Georgia, Arkansas, Rural Montana (actually – is there a part of Montana that isn’t rural?), Arizona, or Utah.

It doesn’t matter who you are.  Gay, straight, or other.  Male, female, eunuch, trans.  Human, dog, cat, or parrot.  Sooner or later you have to stand up and be heard for your fellow beings.

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

[Reblog] Sometimes sexuality doesn’t have to matter, it just has to exist.

More words of brilliance from the fair Ms McGuire.

Sometimes sexuality doesn’t have to matter, it just has to exist.

A few months ago, I got an email from a reader who had a question she wanted me to answer. I like questions. If they’re not spoilery for things that haven’t been published yet, I’m generally willing to give them a go. This question, however, stumped me for a little while:

“what is the purpose of Dr. Kellis being gay? It neither adds or subtracts to the story line but is distracting.”

Dr. Kellis was gay because Dr. Kellis was gay. I “met” the character in the same scene that everyone else did, when his husband showed up to try and convince him to leave the lab for a little while. He was a man, he had a husband, he was at minimum bisexual, and for the purposes of the story, he was gay. He was a gay scientist. Since he wasn’t working on gay science (I’m not even sure what that phrase means), it mattered purely in the sense that when he talked about going home, it was to a husband, and not a wife. I honestly never thought about changing it. While everyone in the world is at least somewhat defined by their sexuality—it shapes us throughout our lives, both in the exercising of it and in the existence of it—I’ve never felt like it was the be-all and end-all of human experience.

What weirded me out a little, and still does, is that no one has ever asked me “What is the purpose of Character X being straight?” No one has ever called it “distracting” when Velma has naughty thoughts about Tad, or when Toby blushes because Tybalt is commenting on her clothing. Men and women, women and men, it’s totally normal and invisible, like using “said” in dialog instead of some other, more descriptive word. It’s invisible. But gay people are distracting. (Bisexual people are apparently even more distracting. I’ve had several people write to tell me that a piece of text in Blackout can be read to imply that Buffy and Maggie had sex, and some of them have been less than thrilled when I replied that there was no implication intended: Buffy and Maggie had sex. Repeatedly. Lots of sex. Lovely sex. They enjoyed it a lot, but Maggie took it more seriously than Buffy did, and Buffy wanted to keep things casual, so they broke up. But before they broke up? They had so much sex.)

For the most part, I let my characters tell me what their sexuality is, once it starts to have an impact on their characterization. I don’t write Bob as a gay man and Tom as a straight man and Suzie as a lesbian: I write Bob as a zookeeper and Tom as a ballet teacher and Suzie as a ninja, right up until the moment where they have to interact with someone they’d be attracted to. Sometimes, that’s when they tell me what they’re into. Since this is all in first draft, I can go back later and clean things up, clarify things to add any additional detail that needs to be there, but I almost never tell them “Oh, no, you can’t be gay, it would be distracting. It’s not allowed.”

(The one exception is with characters who are here to go—the ones created to be slaughtered in fifteen pages or less. They’re not all straight, but I have to stop and think long and hard about how I would have felt, as a bisexual teenager, if I had finally, finally encountered an awesome bisexual woman in fiction, only to see her die before she got to be amazing. Sometimes this does result in my reexamining their relationships, as it’s also difficult to really form strong character portraits in fifteen pages or less. Anyone who’s sticking around for more than fifteen pages is fair game.)

Gay people don’t walk around saying “I’d like to have an urban fantasy adventure, I’m gay, I like men/women, let’s go fight a dragon” any more than straight people walk around saying “I’d like to go to space, I’m straight, I like men/women, let’s go steal a rocket.” People is the word that matters here. And yes, being anything other than heterosexual and cis in this world means that you’re going to experience different things, and have some different perspectives, but it doesn’t inform one hundred percent of what you do. I eat pizza the same way my straight friends eat pizza. I watch TV the same way my straight friends watch TV. I chase lizards…well, I chase lizards in a uniquely singleminded and slightly disturbing fashion, but as I’m not a lizardsexual, it has nothing to do with who I do or do not choose to form romantic relationships with.

Dr. Kellis is gay because Dr. Kellis is gay.

He doesn’t need any reason beyond that.