Date: Saturday, August 29, 2009
Time: 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Location: 72-13 Theatreworks, Muhamad Sultan Road.
RSVP on Facebook
LGBTQ – an umbrella term that seemingly unites us, in our diversity. We automatically assume that our non-heterosexuality means we are one community, with common goals and a common space. But are we really? Can men and women really work together in the gay rights movement? Are our differences too great, or are our common goals sufficient to keep us united?
A panel of men and women experienced in working with the community take on this question in a debate format, exploring the questions from different angles and perspectives. Expect a night where we confront the dust bunnies under our carpet, and hopefully emerge with a better understanding of where we can head.
Everyone knows about my love for babies and children. If someone hasn’t heard me go *squee* at a cute baby, they don’t really know me.
So when I heard my friends in New York just had a new baby, my ovaries were positively tingling (to borrow a mysogynistic phrase). K & T are the most loving lesbian couple I know (and will probably exist). They have been through a lot of crap from the beginning that has very little to do with their sexuality, but just the general way life tends to throw you smelly dungbombs. So to have gone through all that, and still be together, and happy, and in love, and have a happy family with two beautiful children… there is nothing in the world that gives my cynical hardened heart more hope than that.
There is also nothing in the world which intensifies my desire to have that family life, more than this happy story either. But of course, the problem being that it is probably not possible to have that life here. I don’t intend to hide my family or live a lie, like the local gay parents do, in fear of their children being taken away, just because they are gay.
What kind of twisted people would break up a happy family just because the parents are gay, in order to uphold their own ideals of what a family should look like? If the child is well-cared for, and lives in a happy loving home, there really is no ground for prohibiting gay parenting, in reliance of woolly unproven pop-psychology ideas of a child needing two parents of a different gender, or fears of the child “turning gay”. There is plenty of research which shows that children in gay families grow up just as well-adjusted as those in straight families.
What the conservatives and anti-gay people do not realise is that it is homophobia which destroys families, not homosexuality. When they beat the drums of intolerance, a parent in a home hears the beat and moves to reject his gay child who just came out to him. Family values are upheld by acceptance and love, not rejection and hate. If people think anti-gay vitriol does not have a negative impact, think again. When you say that gay sex is like sticking a straw up your nose, a teenager who is struggling with his sexuality hears it and hates himself even more. Yes, suicide rates are indeed higher in gay teens, and the reason isn’t too hard to find: rejection from peers and society.
So when you preach you have a right to spout anti-gay stuff and that we are restricing your freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Stop, and think, beyond the political ideas. Think about what you are doing to people. Think about what your words mean to a clueless parent, to a conflicted teenager. Think about the families and relationships you tear apart with your vitriol. Think about the effect of palpable hate surrounding you.
Because this isn’t just politics or ideology. These are lives. These are people.
I cannot believe Mr I-made-up-a-foreign-sounding-name from a country-that-nobody-has-heard-of wants my help! Oh, the honour. Oh the joy in reading emails from the distant cousins of Nigerian millionaires.
I am Abou Lansana Konte, son of the former ( Recently Deceased ) President of Guinea Conakry, General Lansana Konte who passed away due to series of illnes such as diabetes, Leukaemia etc. I and my Sister, Zainab Lansana Konte and our Mother ( Mrs Mariam Lansana Konte) needs your urgent assistance to recover part of my late father’s assets both in the Bank and Security Company that are left behind here in Burkina Faso to be transferred/shipped under your name and into your care before it get discovered by the present military government who seized power through a bloodless military coup d’etat immediately after the death of my father.
I will present you as my father’s friend, his confidant and our foreign beneficiary. I will mail you further details after recieving your affirmative response.
Thanks and God Bless you.
Abou Lansana Konte.
For the Family.
That’s it. There are no other windows.
Because I realised my computer, while being my greatest ally, is also my greatest enemy, being a treasuretrove of distraction: Instant Messaging, Twitter, Facebook, Feed Reader, Online Shopping, Email, Other More Interesting Webpages. Hence as an experiment to make myself be more focused, I created a new working account on my laptop and only allowed myself access to the files I need. I’ve switched to Scrivener from Socialtext recently as my workspace (I just settle for remembering to back up my notes once in a while), so that goes well with my switch to this workspace when I need to – everything I need to look at is in a single window (I shall wax lyrical about Scrivener another time). When I need to, I use using Safari with none of my bookmarks or passwords, so that’s a step of convenience removed.
Hopefully this is going to help me remain focused through the 3-hour seminars that dominate my timetable for this semester. Before you ask, it is Comparative Constitutional Law, Islamic Law, Foundation of IP Law, Public International Law, Beyond Law and Economics: Regulatory Theory.
Lets see how long I can hold out on adding more distractions to this workspace. I might just lock out Adium and put parental locks on my usual haunts. Harsh measures? This is just one step on my slow progress to being a more efficient person, which I absolutely need to be this semester. As it is, I have already quit WoW months ago, before exams. Lack of time meant I didn’t reactivate it during the holidays. Today I made my quitting absolutely final by removing the software from my laptop, which means I can’t just activate my account and start playing if I ever get the urge (which, trust me, I have, so many times but kept resisting). Now if I want to, I have to hijack the home computer or reinstall on my laptop(which takes about… 6 hours).
And hopefully, this will also explain to my befuddled friends why suddenly I cannot be found online half the time, or why I dont reply to emails as fast. So, now, the only devil that can really tempt me now is watching TV shows, which, I can only do at home.
Because I have been the laziest bum in the world when it comes to updating my blog, preferring to twitter my thoughts instead in micro-text forms that do not require thought and detailed arguments, without really checking grammar and syntax, and maintaining bothering to maintain a certain level of quality control. (Yes, you twitterati, you can follow me at twitter.com/pleinelune . Where else?)
Sometimes I forget I have a blog. Of course, its existence got rubbed in my face today when I went to visit my former boss at the law firm I was interning in. As I paused at the door and knocked, I noticed a Duplicity poster on his computer screen. Funny, I thought, he must be reading a Duplicity review. Then to the side of the screen, a familar tag-cloud, with words that really stick out, like “homosexuality” and “LGBTQ”. A green-white layout. The realisation crashes down on me like so many overstacked cartons at a supermarket.
He found this blog.
Now, I have nothing to hide, and I always took the brave risk that people I haven’t communicated my sexuality to, would find it and figure things out. After all, if he really wanted to, all he would have to do was do a google search before he hired me. That’s what being out means, you don’t care who knows. But I had not really made it an issue at my former workplace, since it was all so new, and I am a private person, and I did not know how people were going to react and treat me in a setting where I was the lowest on the food-chain. That applied not just to my sexuality and activism, but almost everything else related to my private life, that I did not talk to people at work about. The secretaries would constantly rib me about going out so often, wondering who I was dating. Nada, I still haven’t admitted that I do date.
(How did he find the blog, you ask? Oh, simple me, I added one of the partners on facebook sometime ago. See what new media does?)
Anyway, this is just to inform those of you who must be complaining about my lack of updates, that twitter might be better. I will still continue blogging, but with 5 modules this semester, on top of 2 research jobs, you understand why I won’t find the time.