Recently Read for October 11, 2001

Happy National Coming Out Day! I’ve been out 24 years, as of this date. I’ve been a very lucky woman – able to be open about my romantic life with everyone, happily married to a really wonderful woman. I’ve faced approximately my fair share of homophobia, but not for many many years. For those still coming to terms with their sexual orientation, GLSEN has a wonderful guide on how to prepare and plan for your own coming out.

A couple of things I’ve seen around the interwebs the last few days:

A parody site of the Anthropologie clothing store. You will laugh your ass off; I guarantee. And I especially like that I get an Anthropologie ad on my site from this link.

Husbands: The Series
A very cute online series about two gay men who get drunk in Vegas and get married, and then decided they need to make their marriage work — written and produced by Jane Espenson.

File under: “Companies I’m no longer buying from” is this little gem:
Dr Pepper Ten: ‘No women allowed’

“To appeal to men, Dr Pepper made its Ten drink 180 degrees different than Diet Dr Pepper. It has calories and sugar unlike its diet counterpart. Instead of the dainty tan bubbles on the diet can, Ten will be wrapped in gunmetal grey packaging with silver bullets. And while Diet Dr Pepper’s marketing is women-friendly, the ad campaign for Ten goes out of its way to eschew women.”

Lovely. I hope you get at least one new client from this ad campaign to make up for losing me as a regular Diet Dr. Pepper drinker.

Speaking of Stupid Male Tricks, here’s another:

Wonder Woman’s Origin Story Re-written

In DC COMICS-THE NEW 52, Wonder Woman will have a new origin, in which she is the daughter of Hippolyta … and Zeus! In recent interviews, writer Brian Azzarello and artist Cliff Chiang have teased that readers should expect the unexpected in this edgier, horror take on the superhero genre ­and the king of the gods will ensure that nothing goes as planned for his defiant daughter.

Why is this a big deal? Imagine if Superman were not raised by the Kents, or if Batman hadn’t seen his parents killed as a young boy. What if the iconic defining characteristic of your favorite superhero were re-written completely? Wonder Woman is one of the Big Three in DC – Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman. Nobody is messing with the origin of the other two. And on top of that – Wonder Woman is a feminist icon: a child shaped of clay (lots of early Greek mythology precedent for that, as well as Hindu mythology) and infused with a soul by the female Greek goddesses, she was born of parthenogenesis and raised in an idyllic society of women – all specifically with the goal that she have the characteristics to stop violence directed at women and children as well as to bring humankind peace and justice. Now all of the sudden, she has a sperm donor? What happened to the “tool born of women to save women?” This sucks, DC Comics. I’m still going to read the book, but there better be some really compelling reason for doing this.

Some Personal Highlights From Geek Girl Con
A summary of a cool convention I didn’t previously know existed from Gail Simone, the current author of Batgirl, and former writer of Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman and a whole bunch of other DC comic books. Girl Geek Con isn’t specifically a comic book convention – it’s for girl nerds of all types and sounds like a blast, from every account I’ve read online. I seriously need to go next year.

Continue ReadingRecently Read for October 11, 2001

We’re here for you

It’s National Coming Out Day. 23 years ago today, I was on a trip with some friends to DC for the National March on Washington for LGBT Rights, and just about this time of morning, we rode the escalators up from the Metro at Dupont Circle, where there were massive crowds of people gathered – my people. Before that, I knew exactly 7 gay people other than me, three of whom were with me on the trip. It was like Dorothy opening the door to Oz – amazing and cathartic to know that I wasn’t alone; that I had multitudes. It changed my world, and I was no longer afraid. 23 years later, although we’ve made great strides, kids still need that catharsis to make it through, and we need to be those multitudes for them.

Continue ReadingWe’re here for you

Happy 20th Annual National Coming Out Day

Last year, I recounted the story of what I was doing on the original National Coming Out Day 20 years ago… so I’ve already blown that anecdote. You’ll have to go read it; it was good. October 11th, 1987 was a great day for me.

So officially, I quit lying about my sexual orientation over 20 years ago, and I’ve been an “out” proud, happy, gay person for more of my life than I was “in the closet.”

So happy National Coming Out Day! (Hurry up and get out of the closet, all you self-loathing, lying bastards!).

Oh, sorry. Ahem. Welcome, newly openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people!

National Coming Out Day
Continue ReadingHappy 20th Annual National Coming Out Day

National Coming Out Day

Okay, I’ve been officially called out by one of my gay friends for being flip about National Coming Out Day, so I’ll ‘straighten’ my act out and give the day the attention it deserves.

Nineteen years ago on October 11, 1987, I was a student at Ball State University. I had been out of the closet since the previous year, but I didn’t have a huge amount of exposure to the gay community. The on-campus gay group was rather small, and I couldn’t get into bars yet, and I knew very little about gay culture.

The Thursday night before this day, I had been hanging out drinking with the small handful of gay people I did know: Gary Rice, Scott McClintic, Kally Love, and Kathy _____ (who’s last name I don’t quite remember.) It was about 1 in the morning, and someone brought up this “March on Washington” happening this weekend. And we all looked at each other, and someone said “We should go!” and the idea caught fire. Kathy called up some friends she knew in Maryland (in the middle of the night, of course), and asked if we could crash, and they said, “of course!”

So we went home, slept a couple of hours, threw some clothes in bags, and piled into Scott’s red Camaro. (Yeah, that’s five people in a Camaro, if you’re counting. I sat in the middle of the backseat, on the hump. I was really skinny back then.) After about twelve hours of singing, drinking and flashing pro-gay hand-drawn signs at other people on the road also driving to the March, we arrived in Maryland at Kathy’s friends apartment to sleep.

The next morning, Saturday, we drove to a metro parking lot, parked the Camaro, and took the Metro line to Dupont Circle (which is a very gay-friendly, progressive area of town with lots of gay businesses, like boystown in Chicago, or Greenwich Village in NY) to “find the gay people”. We were all from midwestern small-towns, and as we started to realize how many people riding the Metro with us were gay, we started getting more excited. I’m not sure I can adequately describe the feeling of being empowered/alive you feel as a minority when you find yourself in a group where there are more of “us” than there are of “them” — especially when you’re gay, because you typically don’t grow up with other gay people around you to temper the hostility directed at you, and you often feel very alone.
And then we got to the Dupont Circle Metro station. As we rode the escalator steps up from the dark station into the daylight, with the sounds of lots and lots of people overhead — the lyrics to a Wizard of Oz song popped into my mind:

You’re out of the woods, You’re out of the dark, You’re out of the night.
Step into the sun, Step into the light.
Keep straight ahead for the most glorious place
On the Face of the Earth or the sky.
Hold onto your breath, Hold onto your heart, Hold onto your hope.
March up to the gate and bid it open

There were people hanging out at the top of the stairs with signs — “Welcome Gay People!” and the circle was absolutely packed with people, and rainbows, rainbows, everywhere. And then there was a low rumbling sound, that got louder, as hundreds of motorcycles roared past — the Dykes on Bikes were driving through. I, of course, had never heard of the group, so I had no idea what to expect, or what to think of hundreds of butch women in leather on motorcycles, with femme blonde women in leather bikinis riding on the back of their bikes. I was thunderstruck.

That’s when I first realized how very different my life was going to be.

National Coming Out Day
Continue ReadingNational Coming Out Day

Tomorrow is Take Your Teddy Bear to Work Day

National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work/School Day is observed annually on the second Wednesday in October. This is a day to spend with your cuddly friend.

Of course, it’s also National Coming Out Day – but I’ve been honest about my sexual orientation since 1986, so that’s sort of a moot point for me.

So, don’t forget to “come out” — and bring your Teddy Bear with you.

Continue ReadingTomorrow is Take Your Teddy Bear to Work Day