athenaltena: (Gil)
Today on my lunch break I went over to get a new skirt, since my old black skirt was from when I weighed about 10 pounds more and consequently doesn’t sit at my waist anymore (more like just around my hips, which means that it moves around and I have to constantly be straightening it) and I heard one of two of the employees, a guy and a girl, talking to each other. The guy was flamingly gay and describing how he surprised his boyfriend at work on his birthday by showing up with a boombox playing Lady Gaga and took him to Machine (a well known gay nightclub) when this exchange occurred:

Girl: Wow, I didn’t think you could get any gayer, but you somehow did.
Guy: Honey, this is Fagachusetts, no one even raised an eyebrow when I did it!

And despite myself I burst out laughing. I'd heard people refer to Mass that way derisively, but it seems that at least this guy is reclaiming it and using it as a point of pride.


Jun. 11th, 2011 07:18 pm
athenaltena: (Gay Rights)
So Pride was good, and like last year a little rain didn't stop anyone, though I did regret not bringing a jacket (though I was smart enough to bring the kasana) but was very glad I decided to wear pants instead of shorts.

I was with the UUs after the Pride Service (which included a Lady Gaga song being sung by the entire church) and I actually wound up holding the banner for most of the parade route. Unfortunately the pole holding up the banner kept coming apart, so we kept struggling with it as we walked. I think my wrist is going to sound like a cement mixer tomorrow because of how long I was holding that thing up. I also probably got my picture taken by about 500 people while carrying it, so if I was even trying to hide the fact that I'm gay I'd being doing a piss poor job of it.

Our group was right in front of a bunch of Brazilian guys who were dancing on the back of a truck, and they were very nice to us. They even let a couple of us sit on the truck when we got tired. It was also really nice to see a whole group of people from different churches, not just UUs, and I counted at least a dozen different ones that were represented there.

I think I also walked something like a total of three miles, since I went from the Church to the staging around then along the parade route. My legs are shot. I'm also glad I opted to wear my Michael Kors rainboots, since my feet were the only part of me that stayed dry! Appropriately enough, Michael Kors himself is gay.

I unfortunately didn't get any pictures because I was too busy holding the banner and didn't want to drop my cell phone in a puddle (again) so I'll be lazy and let the Globe photographers do it for me.

So now I'm gonna lie down and give my legs a rest. *droops*
athenaltena: (relaxed)
Right now we're reading Paradise Lost in my English class, and I am again reminded of how many problems I have with the Adam and Eve story.

Even when I was a little kid (and admittedly a little smartass) certain parts of that story always just bothered me. For one thing, the "God made Eve out of Adam's rib" thing made no sense to me since women are the ones who create life and give birth, and when I mentioned that to my professor he said that it could be read as men being jealous of women for being able to do that when they can't, so for this story they appropriated it.

Also the whole bit with the woman being the one responsible for the Fall didn't make sense to me either. No offense to men, but considering that over 90% of Darwin Award winners are men and that a man is far more likely to die in an accident caused by a lapse of judgment I think you can make a pretty good case that men tend to be more impulsive. Not to mention how the entire story, especially Milton's version, is extremely misogynistic and basically has the message that women should never be left alone to make any decisions without a man nearby (hah), and a couple passages actually have early feminist ideas coming out of Eve's mouth with the express intent of mocking those thinkers. I should also add that being raised Unitarian means that the whole idea of Original Sin is something that I've never accepted either (if you want to use D&D terms I think that everyone starts as True Neutral and has the potential to go either way on the alignment scale).

I also have a bias against Adam and Eve because when I first came out multiple kids in my grade would cleverly (or so they thought) point out that it was "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" as part of their homophobic douchebaggery. I wish I had read enough at that point to counter that Adam and Eve didn't do such a great job since in the story they get humanity thrown out of heaven! Or there's always the retort I've unfortunately never had occasion to actually use, which is "If God had wanted us to be naked we would have been born that way."

But mostly the problem I have with this story is how it's been used to keep half ot he population down and justify treating them like crap. There are some other creation stories from different parts of the world that have a similar theme about the first two humans, but most of those don't make women out to be the villains as much as this one does.
athenaltena: (Rider)
Also, on the train I started watching Sasemeki Koto, an anime I heard about that has gay elements but is more realistic. And just from the first episode I can see that.

I pretty much immediately identified with the main character, who is a girl in love with her best female friend, who likes girls too but only "cute" ones, while this girl is tall, athletic and tough, and reminded me a lot of me when I was in high school (minus the glasses, which I only got at the end of high school). Also the narrative voice of the characters felt pretty genuine, and while I don't tend to like high school shows I realized watching this show why a lot of them put me off, mainly that the characters don't sound like real high school girls, they sound how people (by which I mean mostly men) think they do. I found out that both the author and the director of this show are men, but I give them props for getting the voice of the girls right. They got the pettiness and jealousy that real girls that age have without going over the top, and I actually got emotionally invested in the characters. I also like how the acting a lot more subtle than what I'm used to seeing, and while there were a few chibi moments it didn't dominate the show.

It's also nice that the yuri clearly isn't being done just for fanservice, and one thing I heard about this show is that it looks at what it's like to actually grow up in Japan and be gay without. For one thing it's set in a coed high school rather than in an all girls' school like most are, and personally I think setting yuri shows in all girls schools is often just because of lazy writing, so it was nice to see a change on that front. Plus it gives them the opportunity to address the awkward situation of being in love with a straight girl, which I think most lesbians know all too well.

So yeah, I'll keep watching this, but so far I like it.
athenaltena: (lgbt)
I took the recording and fixed some minor issues (the songs dropping out at some point due to internet lag, a couple of my pauses and "uhs" while talking, the click of the microphone turning on, and my wrap up because it got horribly distorted in the recording, so it just goes straight to the last song) and now it's ready for public consumption.

I'm very proud of this, and I'm glad to I decided to do it.

So here's the download link, using a new system, and hopefully it'll work:


I also mention in the recording that I intentionally tried to pick happy and or/hopeful sounding songs, because I figured the last thing I wanted to do was pick a whole bunch of "oh woe is me!" songs by queer artists. There is one exception, but that's because that group doesn't really write any positive songs!
athenaltena: (lgbt)
I decided that my show this week is going to be all queer artists, and I mean all of the LGBT spectrum. I'm also recording it.

Tune in Here
athenaltena: (writing)
One thing I've decided to do in my NaNo novel is avert some of the stereotypes I don't like, especially when it comes to fantasy and the lack of diversity in a lot of novels. Tamora Pierce, one of my favorite authors, works pretty hard to avert them, and I'm sort of taking a page from her in that sense.

One thing I think are severely lacking in fantasy novels is an LGBT presence, and though Pierce has done a lot to fix this by having openly gay and trans characters it's lacking in many other books. I think a lot of authors fall into the trap of forgetting that it's a fantasy they can create pretty much from whole cloth, and include the biases right along with it. I, on the other hand, decided that it's my world, my rules, so being LGBT is not a big deal and never really has been. I currently have a married lesbian couple, one of whom is one of the country's leaders, two gay guys who eventually get together, and I decided that I'd have a transwoman and a woman who is genderqueer (though whether or not I'll get to mention that the other woman is genderqueer is another question, but at least in my head she is).

I just wrote the first scene with the transwoman, and I really, really like her. Many of my characters sort of pop into my head fully formed, and I only discover things about them as I write them. She's kind and very concerned about others but she's also snarky, and her boss is fairly uptight and stoic so they have great interaction and banter. I wound up basing parts of her on several people I know. One problem I had was that I wanted to introduce her and make it clear who she was but not have it come off as forced. I decided that she talks to another character who just arrived at this place and isn't sure if she'll be accepted, and tells her about how she was able to start her life over and live as herself, which is when the other character understands. I knew I wanted to avert dropping a Bridget since it's cheap, exploitative and lazy writing, not to mention not being true to this character's personality. Now it's possible that it wound up being too subtle, but I'd rather it go over some people's heads than come off as cheap.

And I believe this character will end up in a fairly important role later on, so I'm really excited to see what happens! (Note how I phrased that, since it seems to develop independently much of the time without input from me)


Nov. 11th, 2010 05:42 pm
athenaltena: (lethargic)
So in my Japanese class there's a group of boys who sit in the back and constantly chat with each other, make stupid jokes and generally act immature enough to the point that I forget I'm not in high school anymore. They've prompted our mild mannered teacher to tell them to "urusai" in Japanese, which is basically the equivalent of "shut the fuck up", multiple times. I've nicknamed them The Rabble.

The other day we were talking about Valentine's Day, when the women give men chocolate, and White Day, which is a month later and the guys return the chocolate. The Rabble, naturally, started making jokes, including one who wondered what would happen if two guys gave each other chocolate, followed by a "that's messed up!"

I proceeded to direct a death glare in that kid's direction, and during the break he asked why. I replied that he'd made a gay joke, and a few seconds later it clicked. But then he said "But why do you care, I was talking about gay guys!"


I'm just gonna assume that everyone reading this knows why that's stupid and move on.

I proceeded to give him a look that I hope conveyed that I didn't think he was worth destroying and went back to what I was doing.
athenaltena: (happy)
George Takei is awesome. This is why.

My comments under here )
athenaltena: (adjust glases)
If the fact that I left my keys in my apartment for the second day in a row didn't clue you in (luckily Ang and Steph were here to let me in), I am an idiot lately. Furthermore, I walked all the way up to campus for the Drag Show rehearsal... only to find out it's on Tuesday. Damn.

So now I have a six foot tall drag queen who's annoyed with me and is gonna kick my ass the next time he sees me. Great. (I'm just kidding, he's a nice guy, but I'm never gonna hear the end of this)

I also wore purple today, and was encouraged to see quite a few people doing the same thing. Basically every person I saw was another person who I know won't give me shit or give shit to other LGBT people, so just symbolically it's nice to see.

I also did something unusual and actually took a nap today, to make up for when I got woken up this morning by someone's alarm going off continuously at 7 in the morning. It was probably going off for half an hour before someone turned it off. Now granted I once did the same thing, but I had the sense to call the landlord and ask someone to turn it off before I annoyed everybody.

Spirit Day

Oct. 3rd, 2010 05:16 pm
athenaltena: (lgbt)
(Reblogged from my Mom, who reblogged it from many other people)

Originally posted by [ profile] neo_prodigy at Spirit Day

It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes at at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.

RIP Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh (top)
RIP Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase (middle)
RIP Asher Brown and Billy Lucas. (bottom)

REBLOG to spread a message of love, unity and peace.

athenaltena: (oh please)

Michigan Pol. on Antigay Harassment: "It's Nothing Personal."

In April, using the moniker "Concerned Michigan Alumnus," Shirvell started the blog “Chris Armstrong Watch,” describing Armstrong as a "Nazi-like" recruiter for "the cult that is homosexuality."

Shirvell told [Anderson] Cooper it’s “nothing personal.”

“What do you mean it’s nothing personal?,” Cooper responds. “You’re outside his house, you’re shouting him down at public events… you’re attacking his parents, his friends parents — you can’t say it’s not personal."

There are so many things wrong with that first sentence there, but it's the second that gets me.

Hey asshole, guess what? YOU MADE IT PERSONAL. What you're saying is like throwing a rock at someone's window because they're black and then saying it's "nothing personal" when you get charged with vandalism. YOU'RE STILL GUILTY. You've invaded his space, harassed him and disrupted his life because of some stupid vendetta and because you disagree with his identity. Seriously, even if it really wasn't personal you're still a jackass hiding behind "free speech" to make someone you don't like's life a living hell. It doesn't matter if it's personal, you're an asshole.


Sep. 28th, 2010 06:28 pm
athenaltena: (WHUT)
I knew the people at NOM (whose acronym I cannot read without a snicker because I think of this) were manipulative idiots, but this...?

NOM has deep connections to the Catholic Church hierarchy, to the Mormon Church, to evangelical right-wing pastors and churches and to those who have a long history of anti-gay rhetoric and activity. These are individuals and organizations which not only oppose same-sex marriage, but oppose domestic partnerships, civil unions, hate crimes protections and even fertility treatments for women because some of those women could be lesbians.

What. I kind of see the logic, but it's still incredibly stupid. "Pro-family" my ass, not that we didn't already know that.


Sep. 27th, 2010 07:01 pm
athenaltena: (Celty)
This guy hits the nail on the head:

So on behalf of queer folks everywhere, I am willing to negotiate. I promise to stop wearing my orientation on my sleeve and pushing my homosexual agenda on you and yours if you cease wearing your sexuality on your sleeves and stop pushing your heterosexual agenda on me and mine. Fair is fair. I think we can all agree that equality is awesome, Y/Y?

This entails but certainly not limited to:

Read more... )

I've often thought to myself, especially when I see heterosexual couples on the train in the middle of a PDA, that if we're talking about "flaunting" sexuality being annoying people doing that is pretty much the textbook definition.

I'd be for getting rid of romantic comedies, though.
athenaltena: (dance)
Hey, people who poured millions of dollars into supporting Proposition 8? I have three words for you:

Now if you excuse me I'll be dancing to this.


Aug. 1st, 2010 10:27 pm
athenaltena: (sleep)
There's lots of stuff slipping my mind at the moment, but here's the abridged version of the last week.

Back from vacation and in one piece, though unfortunately I seem to be unable to go down there and not get burned. Case in point: both shoulders, the back of my neck and my left thigh are the shade of a cooked lobster. And for those of you not familiar with lobster, that means RED. I basically seem to be unable to tan to any real extent except get burned and get more freckles. And I was thorough with the sunscreen this time but it still happened! Such it is to be a white person.

Mom and I stayed an extra day down there because we got to go to GLAD's annual party! The short version of why is that Mom did some work for them a while back, and then when the DOMA case that they won was in the news a few weeks back she sent an email to her contact there, and it turns out that they were having their annual party up in P-Town when we'd be there, so we were invited as guests! My jaw was basically on the ground when I found that out. We also know one of the plaintiffs in that case from a few years ago before said case was even filed, since he owns a shop in the town we vacation in and we got to talking, and in fact while we were down there this time we checked in on him again and he's doing much better. It's a long story, but basically we wound up connected to these folks through serendipity. The party itself was very fun and I met some interesting people, and I shamelessly admit that I was trying to do some networking there.

We stayed at a motel up in Orleans for one night, and then when I got dropped back in Boston today also we managed to get the futon in Mom's car since I won't be needing it in the North End and I'm probably going to need it again someday, plus it's a nice piece of furniture and it was given to us by some dear friends who don't want it back. I'm very glad that my admittedly hair-brained idea worked since I knew it would be a little tight any way we did it, but everything fit and got back in one piece (well, pieces) and it's one less thing to worry about with the move. Me and Mom high fived after we finally got it all put in.

Oh, and I have a new sword. This is another long story, but on the way to the GLAD party I spotted a shop out of the corner of my eye and wondered about it, so today after we checked out of the hotel we went up there before we headed to Boston. I'll get some pictures of it later once I dig my camera out of my bag, but it's a (blunt) katana that I am itching to learn the history of, since after I inspected it I could tell that it is not a cheap knock off and it may even be pre WWII. The guy selling it initially said $65, but then said $55 and I could not pass it up. I think this also counts as the craziest thing I've ever bought to date, previously it was the giant horse painting now hanging over where the futon used to be.

Also, Tuesday is shaping up to be Queer Women DnD due to something that happened at the MSPCA last Saturday that I alluded to on Twitter. I'll have more on that later too since I think my brain is about to give out.
athenaltena: (Rider)
A while ago I got a phone call at around 8pm after a pretty long day, and it was a company affiliated with Bank of America trying to sell me a type of emergency room insurance or somesuch thing that I don't need (I did actually look at the information thoroughly but can't be bothered to remember now since this happened weeks ago).

Because I was tired and they used a disarmingly nice woman with a Southern accent I didn't really feel like fighting back and wound up agreeing, knowing that I could and would cancel it within the little window they offered before I was charged.

When I did I got the normal amount of runaround when I said I wanted to cancel it, but all things considered they gave up pretty quickly, and I was firm and polite to the guy on the other end. I did however have to stop myself from laughing during his explanation of what I'd be losing by canceling it he mentioned that if needed this coverage could be given to my husband.

Uh... What? I know he was speaking hypothetically and the company where this is based is in New York where they don't have same-sex marriage and he's speaking from within a hetero-normative culture yadda yadda yadda more sociology talk (another reason to cancel it, in my opinion, but that's beside the point), but that threw me for a second. I didn't bother being offended since he had no way of knowing and didn't have any malicious intent, just kind of amused and thinking "oh honey you have no idea", and almost immediately after that he gave up and let me cancel it, so I wasn't on the phone with him for more than about 5 minutes and in the end it wasn't nearly as painful as I was expecting.

Still, that was a short but somewhat amusing episode that raised some eyebrows on my end. It's still ranks lower on the WTF scale than the one time in a thrift shop on Cape Cod I got asked by a lady there if I had kids. I was 18 at the time (link to the post recounting that in detail). Yeah, I still haven't forgotten that one, but I think I got my short little purple jacket from that place, so it was worth the WTF.
athenaltena: (LoL internets)
So I was thinking that now I have this LJ, a Twitter and now a Tumblr and about how I'm going to set the three up in terms of how they interact. Without really meaning to I think I've got a pretty good setup.

The Tumblr is for the most part random images or links I come across, most of which are pretty irreverent, which then get sent to the Twitter, which is for the most part short little thoughts about stuff happening in the present. The Twitter then ships to the LJ, which is where I go more in depth and talk more about my opinions and day to day life. I don't think I'll ever go into detail on politics on my Tumblr or my Twitter, but I often do that here.

So essentially it's a hierarchy of how much thought I've put into stuff, and also how personal I get with each thing I put up, and they all at some point end up back here, the homebase, so to speak, since this is more or less my website and I've been here since 2004 (which is kind of shocking when I really think about it since it's over a quarter of my life).

For the record I've completely cut my Facebook out of this process, since I don't really like Facebook in general and I don't really want them to overlap, though there are a few people who follow me on both. And yes, part of it is that Facebook has my real name on it, so it's much more my public face.

I also noticed that these days nearly everything I have online that gives information about me doesn't bother to hide the fact that I'm a lesbian if not outright stating it. If I don't say it on a particular thing it's more because there's not an easy way to do it more than me wanting to hide it. If I was even trying to pass as straight these days I'd be doing a pretty shitty job, and maybe as a result the amount of crap I get about it these days is close to 0, most being some form of "Oh, you're gay? Cool."

I sort of want to chart all this now, since it does seem very interesting sociologically when it comes to label negotiation.


Jul. 9th, 2010 08:57 am
athenaltena: (facepalm)
So this DOMA ruling isn't even 24 hours old and people are already whining that if it gets appealed to a higher court gay people have been "thrown under the bus" by the Obama administration.

I disagree wholeheartedly with both that notion and the idea that we have been thrown under the bus in general. When you're caught up in two wars, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and you have to drag Congress kicking and screaming to the table to get anything done the amount that he has done for us is pretty extraordinary and tops all the stuff done by any president ever (really, look it up!). And since Congress isn't cooperating using executive orders like he has is actually extremely crafty and doing a lot of good, not, as one person commented, "table scraps."

And as for appealing DOMA, there's something in law called due process, and though it usually applies only to individual rights it also applies to state and federal entities. That means that he has to defend the Federal Government and its existing statutes even if he thinks they're a pile of horseshit, which he does on this particular issue and has said repeatedly.

And here's the thing, if this were a law in our favor that was being appealed he'd have to stick up for that too, and people would whine if he didn't. With very few exceptions you can't selectively decide which bits of the law you do and don't want to defend, otherwise the entire system is compromised. He, through Holder, has a certain amount of discretion about whether or not this will go to appeal, but appealing it does not constitute "throwing under the bus." It's just making sure that it's sound legally, which is what we want if we want it to stick.

In other words, haters, pick up a law book or shut up.
athenaltena: (Defensive. determined)
Deploring the [DOMA] ruling Thursday was Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition, who told the Associated Press that Tauro was a "rogue judge" practicing "judicial activism." She added, "We can't allow the lowest common denominator states, like Massachusetts, to set standards for the country."

You did not just call us that.

Lady, I don't know who you are or what sort of backwards-thinking stuck-in-the-19th-century organization you represent, but no one gets to call Massachusetts the "lowest common denominator" on my watch and get away with it.

We have our share of problems, I admit, but you do not get off calling us that just because we give a shit about treating people fairly and are willing to do something about it. I'm proud to work for an organization that serves Massachusetts and the people in it!

So fuck off, lady, and God bless the Commonwealth of Massachusetts! Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem!


athenaltena: (Default)

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