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5 08 2009

Pride FM

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Mom, dad… I’m left-handed

11 01 2009

Original text here.

Dear Mom, 

This letter will doubtless find you in a good mood, at least I hope for it. It is a painful secret which I carried for years. I was not able, so far, to share it. And to say it face-to-face is for me too difficult. That is why this small letter will bring you the truth, my truth, the truth about me.

Here is: I am left-handed. I know that it is not easy to admit, but it is so. You are not responsible for that. It is the way it is. You certainly noticed that I often spoke about left-handed persons. Of course, I laughed at them, showing you how much I was proud to be right-handed. I event voted for somebody who defended the right-handed people against the left-handed persons in the society, somebody who opposed to the union of two left-handed persons; however, this person was not a right-extremist. It took me a long time to accept myself as left-handed, although I was that way since I was young. I had to bury it in me, to hide it to myself and to others. I built a fortress around me, so that the others would think I am a good right-hander. But I liked my left-hand better and could go anything about it.

I was right-handed with the right-handers, continuing to laugh at left-handed persons… We often saw our left-handed neighbour receiving other left-handed persons. One day, you said that you preferred that to a drunkard. Feel reassured, I am not a drunkard. Just a left-handed person. It took me time before I talk to you about it because being right-handed is considered as the standard in our society. Nevertheless, how would it without left-handed persons? Léonard de Vinci was left-handed, and nevertheless, his hand did not prevent him from being a genius. I see you asking you ” but why is my son left-handed? “.

It’s not your fault. Since I know how to use my hands, I feel more comfortable with my left hand. My right hand”s purpose is only to make me look a certain way. My left hand’s purpose is to unable me to be myself. I decided to apply Rochefoucauld’s quote: ” we would more win to be allowed to see ourselves such as we are, rather than to try to look what we are not “. (You see, the left-handed persons are cultivated all the same).

If you still have questions on “this”, I could answer you, or you can talk to associations that help left-handed persons’ families to accept the left-hander as he is.

Kisses,

 Mattew





Gay high school and marginalised minorities

19 12 2008

180px-harvey_milk_high_school_entrance_by_david_shankboneA newly expanded gay-themed high school began the school year Monday with about 100 students attending classes, about 200 supporters rallying outside and a small band of protesters demonstrating against it. Since 1985, Harvey Milk High School has served students who are gay or believed to be gay, but its recent… (read more)

In Toronto they have one, too. As well as a school for Black students. Here in Montreal, we have a school for Italian Kids and for Jewish kids. I’m not sure this is such a good idea, though. I understand that the point of schools like those is to create an environment safe for its student (in the case of homosexuality), or to create a sense of belonging and pride, or to prevent student to drop out of school, or to preserve a cultural heritage that tends to get lost in the larger Canadian society. But could you imagine if everyone starts to go to schools like this? There would be not unity, no understanding of the “others”. Quebeckers have experienced a lot situations like this I guess I could say. Not going into the details, but to be a minority in your own country contributed to the climate of “Us” and “Them”. At a large scale level, it is exactly why I am against the separation of Quebec. I think it is ridiculous. Why not focusing on zero tolerance for discrimination, fighting ignorance, and promoting curiosity of different cultures instead ?

In the last few years, a new program was installed in Quebec (at least in the French system, I’m not sure about the english system) called “Éthique et Culture Religieuse” which means Ethics and religious culture. It’s basically a program that focuses on discovering and learning more about different religions. In high school, a little bit of philosophy is added to it. I took this course for the two last years of high school and I absolutely liked it. Partly because of the teachers, they were so funny and so good. Anyway, my point is : this should be the solution. To stop sticking to the traditional way of education, you know ? Add new things as society evolves, courses about cultural diversity, for example.

In the past, people fought so that Blacks and Whites could go to school together. Why separating them again ? To me, it is the same thing as saying “Oh, well, on second thought, that was a bad idea. Let’s segregate again.” It’s a shame.

460595XSo far, I’ve always went to private schools. My parents wanted the best for me so I went in one of the best high school in Montreal. It’s just now that I’m in CEGEP that I stopped wearing a uniform to go to school (can you believe this ? 11 years of light-colored shirts and dark skirts!). I decided to go in the public system for college. I had enough of snobish rich people and I am happier now, I think. What I like the most about public schools is the diversity. There is always something happening, so much different clubs (Black Unions, Muslim Associations, Gay-Straight alliances and so on)… This is how school should be. In my snob, rich, perfectionist high school, most people were white, nothing happened, everybody was dressed the same way to create this illusion of equality. It was just boring.  

I don’t think I would enjoy going in a gay high school. I like diversity too much. We should celebrate this diversity instead of marginalising it. Don’t you think ?





Sexuality, identity and God

11 12 2008

 So, this picture right here is an Italian pro-homosexuality campaign that promote the idea that homosexuality is genetic. The poster caption says “Sexual orientation is not a choice”. I think it is a little bit over the top. Some people try so hard to make homosexuality overly accepted that to them, pretty much everything is good to support their cause. Even if it is not true. If it fits with there thesis, that’s ok. I’m not saying that it is false that homosexuality is genetic. But this theory has never been proved. Same thing with the brain activity and size of gays and lesbians. If you want to support a cause, just do it right. This add doesn’t upset me, it just makes me feel disappointed and a little sad. After, if ever someone finds a good and reliable proof that homosexuality is not genetic, then homophobic people are going to use that against us. Of course. It just makes the whole situation more complicated.

 Since society assumes that everyone is straight from birth unless told otherwise, it is a real struggle to define yourself as gay or lesbian. It is a process that straight people know nothing about, since they never have to make that journey. But I wonder if being born gay or not really changes something. You’re gay, you’re gay. That’s it. It’s like: who cares if you were born with blue eyes ? Now your eyes are brown and they are pretty much going to stay that color so why bother about the blue eyes ? You know ?

I mean, do we really chooseto be shy or out-going ? Do we chose to love chocolate and not vegetables ? Have we decided to be touched and affected by discrimination and not by political issues ? I think love is pretty irrational. We don’t know why we love our lover. We just love herhim. We might say: ‘Oh, she’s cute, she’s funny, she cares about me’. But there is more than one lover who is like this, isn’t it ? And we don’t necessarily fall in love with everyone who falls into that description. We don’t know either why we are afraid of spiders or heights or water. We just are. Isn’t the same thing with homophobia ? So far, I met many homophobic people and none of them manage to clearly say why they hated homosexuals.

Aren’t we, as a society, trying to rational the irrational ? I mean: love. Yes, being gay or lesbian or bisexual is about love, I believe. Certainly not about hate, for sure. Some Christians that refuse to see themselves as gay argue that it is not about being homosexual, it is about being a Christian. They say they smoother their sexual orientation and choose to live as a Christian with these attractions which they don’t act upon. They say it is a distinction that more gays and lesbians should see. Okay. Not so bad. The problem is: Are they really going to live all their life with those attractions at the back of their head, not going to satisfy them at all ? If you are happy with the heterosexual live, good for you. But you might want to ask yourself if your are doing that for you or for someone else ? Usual answer: ‘This is what God wants for me’. Or something of that effect. Doesn’t God want you to love yourself the way you are ? …  No ? Yes ? -_-‘

I don’t want to start the religion/homosexuality talk. But man, some times I just wish everything was just nice and easy.





GMHC Campaigns

27 08 2008

Not too long ago, GMHC lauched a campaign targeting the fathers of Black Gay men. I think that’s pretty cool, especially when those kind of posters are in public places. It’s not only good for the visibility of the LGBTA community, but also (and maybe more importantly), it’s a step in the good direction to make people understand that family is really important especially for young gay and lesbian people.

Another campaign that they did is the I love my boo campaign, that’s pretty cool too, I think. We (LGBT community) may not like thinking about STD, but it’s an issue that we have to talk about. Silence doesn’t solves anything. That’s why I like this campaign too.  “Families are critically important to young men of color and this campaign builds on the strength and resiliency of those bonds,” stated Dr. Marjorie Hill, Chief Executive Officer of GMHC. “We recognize the complexities in the lives of young men of color who have sex with men. Thus, HIV prevention efforts should speak to the realities faced by these young men on a daily basis. We cannot simply deliver a message of “use condoms” or “be tested for HIV. It is imperative to address the myriad of underlying factors which contribute to the transmission of HIV, including homophobia, racism, poverty, isolation, stigma, poor body image, and inadequate access to health care.”

 





Transgenders in Oprah’s show

24 08 2008

Who whatched the Oprah show on
transgender families and gender identity ? 

Julia

Julia

Dear readers, meet Jake. I mean, Julia. A little girl who likes trucks, climbing on tree and pretend to be the dad of the family when she plays. Now, meet Jake. 16 years-old who once though she was lesbian but finally understood that she wanted to be a male role model, a husband and a father. Julia started her transformation to become Jake at a very young age when at 13, a friend of hers told her he was a transgender. That was exactly what she wanted to be! Now, Jake is happy, and I believe that this is what is really important. I mean, I have been really depressed as a teenager and now that I’m all good, I can easily say that depression is one of the worst thing ever. I wish that to nobody.

Jake

Jake

In that other episode, Oprah invited two adult transgenders. It was so sad. Not the fact that they are transgenders, but the fact that they lived all those years (20, 30, 40 years) being stuck in the wrong body. That should be awful. Of course, I can’t really understand everything about being a transgender or about feeling like one since I feel ok in my female body. But being trapt in yourself… wow, it’s scary. One of the transgenders (who became a women) had a little girl who said that she loved her parents, but did not want to be different. The fact that her father became a women was bothering her because of people’s looks. I thought that was sad. Sad and unfair.

Personnally, having a transgender in my family wouldn’t bother me. That girl was just a child and dealing with people’s looks could be a lot more difficult for her than for me. While watching The Oprah Show, I was just wondering how I would react to this. I mean having a transgender in my family. Like I said, the transition does not bother me. I want people to be happy. 🙂 But… It still partly a sad thing because of the “death“ of the person. If ever my brother become a transgender, that would be totally okay but I have to admit that I would feel like my brother is dead. Of course, I would now have a sister, and it the same person, just in a different package, but still. My brother is now 22 and we share so much memories together. The boy and men in my souvenirs would not be there anymore. Physically. It’s a bit like a lost. A deep lost.

But in a sense, it’s also a gain. I think it’s horrible to live trapted in your own body… I mean, can you imagine it ? Trapted in your own body ! :s How scary.





Pride parade

18 08 2008

Hi everyone ! 🙂

Guess what, end of the summer = beginning of pride parades ! 😀 Since 1979, Montreal is celebrating on Sainte-Catherine Street. It’s always a huge event. So I decided to introduce you to the Montreal Gay Village (apparently the North American biggest gay village in terms of scope of the complete area with 2 kilometers). Remember the first world Outgames in 2006 ? 111 countries and lots of fun ? That was right there. 🙂 Check out the 2009 Outgames in Denmark !