Category Archives: queering the binary

.out of the darkness and into the workforce.

Yup: I am, once again, joining the ranks of the full-time employed!  As those of you who have followed my sad little unemployment saga know, this is a HEE-YUGE relief.  March brings us to Month Seven of my unemployment, and it was beginning to feel like I would never get a job… I was okay at fending off discouragement most days, but I’m not sure how much deeper that well of optimism ran.  Suffice to say, this is awesome timing.

I’ll be working for the federal government, which will be an interesting turn for the girl who has only ever done legal services work.  It being the Fed, I probably won’t give too many details about my job, but I think it’ll be interesting work that keeps me challenged and interested.  (Now if we could just get Congress to overturn DOMA so that when Finn and I get married she could be on my health insurance, that’d be greaaaat.  Obama’s executive order stopped just short of that, and I am not happy.  You hear me, Mr. President?  Not.  Happy. At. All.)

But today is not the day to let discrimination rain on my parade.  I am employed, it is a job I think I’ll enjoy, and I no longer have to live in a state of constant fear that I’m not going to be able to pay my bills.  It’s a good day.

Before I go, I’d like to give a slow-clap shoutout to everyone who helped keep me emotionally afloat the last 6 months.  (In particular, I’m looking at you Finn / Rev – particularly with your well-timed reminder of J.K. Rowling’s discussion of the benefits of failure / Cali / Rala… I don’t know what I would have done without you.)

Yay!

Leave a comment

Filed under anticipation, Cali, Finn, if you call it "funemployment" i will smack you, manythanks, new leaf, Obama, ohmygod i'm a lawyer, queering the binary, Rala, Rev, righteous rage

.breaking.

I received the following email in my inbox this morning:

“Hi [Pomegranate]…

Just wanted to tell you that “I know” and all is right with the world…. I will love you forever…Grandma”
Thaaaaaaat’s right.  Apparently my grandma and my mom had a conversation last night which went something like this, according to my mother’s reenactment:
Grandma: Um.  I think I know something.
Mom: What do you mean?  What do you think you know?
Grandma: What do you think I think I know?
[Continue this Who’s on First for a few minutes, until…]
Grandma: …I think [Pom] is a lesbian.
Mom: Oh.  Well… you’re right.  She is.
So there you have it.  The moment of loving, tolerant, progressive understanding that I’d been hoping for.  Hurrah!

1 Comment

Filed under love, manythanks, new leaf, queering the binary, The Fam

.amazon fail.

I’m not sure how many of you are on twitter, but if you are you’ve probably noticed that #amazonfail is hovering around the #1 most used phrase of the moment.  Looks like Amazon.com has taken it upon itself to protect its delicate customers from being forced to stumble across “adult” material when said customers perform a search from its homepage.  That, in and of itself, is a pretty ridiculous notion, but what’s worse is how they’ve decided to define the category “adult”: anything having to do, in any way shape or form, with the gay.

The way Amazon has decided to accomplish this (admittedly bold) feat is by pulling the sales rank numbers from books they categorize as “adult.” This doesn’t mean that the book is no longer sold on Amazon, but that the books are no longer listed on the bestselling book ranks, nor listed under the subject headings for their subject/genre.  In other words, unless you search the exact author or title of a book, you won’t find it once Amazon has decided it’s too “adult” for you.  Gee, thanks Amazon!  I feel so relieved to have you watching out for lil ‘ol me.  Oh, and also, go fuck yourself.

Meta Writer is keeping a running list of the books that have been de-ranked so far.  Some of the highlights (shield your eyes!!!):

  • Ellen Degeneres: A Biography
  • Homosexuality: A History
  • Brokeback Mountain
  • Tipping the Velvet
  • Rubyfruit Jungle
  • Maurice (E.M. Forester)
  • Heather Has Two Mommies
  • History of Sexuality v. 1 (yea, that would be Foucault)
  • The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students
  • My Gender Workbook (Kate Borenstein)
  • The Secret Life Of Oscar Wilde (critically acclaimed biography)

Pulling my hair out…

And yet, you can still search for anal plugs, vibrators, and Playboy, none of which have been de-ranked.  Which is not to say they should be (!) but if Amazon is genuinely trying to purge “adult” materials from its general search function, one would imagine these would have been included, no?  And maybe Ellen DeGeneres’s biography might have been left off the list?  I can’t say I’ve read it, but something tells me it’s probably not the erotic lesbian fantasy we all kind of secretly wish it would be.

Not that this is the first time Amazon has shown its true colors; after all, we’re talking about the same business that, up until a few months ago, stocked a rape simulation video game.

Seriously, between this and the census, I’m starting to feel like I’m in a Twilight Zone episode where I’ve disappeared…

And finally, Smart Bitches Trashy Books is (successfully) working to GoogleBomb Amazon, so… just doing my part!

Amazon Rank

3 Comments

Filed under politicking, queering the binary, righteous rage

.and another thing.

I’ve been thinking a lot today, as Iowa of all places just showed itself to be more progressive than I ever would have given it credit for, about how to come out to my paternal grandmother.  (Maternal grandma, with whom I am somewhat closer, knows all about the gay and has pretty much always been uber-supportive).   It’s been nearly 10 years, and I’m thinking it mayyyyy be time to let other grandma in on the secret.  And as I was pondering worst-case-scenarios (despite the post-Iowa glow) this thought occurred to me:

So, I know that in not telling her, I am neglecting to give her the chance to know my whole self.  But is it possible, too, that in keeping this information from her I am failing to give her the chance to know her whole self?  What if I – in my hesitation to tell her the truth, out of my own sense of worry and fear – am withholding a moment for her to be loving, tolerant, progressive, understanding?  What if I am neglecting to give her room to be better than I expect?  Better, maybe, than she expects?

Does that sound too… I don’t know, pretentious?  I don’t mean it to be… I just hadn’t thought of coming out that way: as a gift, almost. An opportunity for people to show themselves to be what you’d hoped they would be.  I’m one of those who rarely gives up on people, even when I maybe should, because I always want to leave the door open for them to redeem themselves, to be better than they were.  I can never shut that door.

the day the sun came out

.the day the sun came out.

I’ve come out so many times – still do, so often – that it’s almost rote at this point.  For the most part, I no longer care how people take it, because I know where (almost) all the most important people in my life stand.  But I like the idea of coming out as not just something I have to do for myself, so that I can walk through the world with integrity, but as a moment that can others to do that as well.  What do you think?

On a much less serious note, how fabulous is it that one of the top google searches for people to find my blog is “animals in pajamas”?  Clearly, I am on my way to greatness.

Finn and I have started a contest, for no other reason than we like contests, to see which one of us can read the most pages.  We were inspired by her brother and his wife, who are having a competition to see who can read the most books, but we decided that wasn’t entirely fair since some books are so much longer than others.  (Despite our seeming need for this competition to be entirely on the up and up, we neglected to put a time limit on the thing – no, don’t think about it too much).  Since I’m a faster reader, she gets to count pages from things like the Twilight novels, while I apparently don’t get to count anything not written for grown ups.  Not that I’m sure I even want to venture to read the rest of the Twilight books… I read the first to see what all the hype was about, and I thought I was going to kill myself.  (From a letter I wrote to a friend as I was muddling my way through: “I’m going to try and make it through the first one, but if this whole page-upon-page of desperate fawning and soulful, heavy-lidded glances punctuated by inane teenybopper conversation and thinly veiled shoutouts to the abstinence-only crowd thing doesn’t end soon, I may have to stop.”)  Also, I’m apparently the only person who thinks Edward is a condescending asshole and not dreamy in the least.  That said, I do kind of feel I should give the second book a chance.  (What did I say about my inability to close doors???)

Anyway, I’m currently well into Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys, which I think I may have read at some point during high school because the story sounds strangely familiar in parts, and which I’m quite enjoying either way.  (I have a bad habit of forgetting which books I read during high school, as I devoured books at a rate that probably wasn’t entirely healthy.  There was also a summer in college when I worked at the library and wasn’t taking classes or anything, so I ended up reading upwards of 50 books at a pace that has rendered them all one fantastical wispy blur).  I also just finished Stand the Storm by Breena Clarke, which was a pretty wonderful novel about a newly-freed slave family struggling through the pre-and-post Civil-War era.  And next I’m planning on getting into Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation in order to continue to feed my obsession with the Revolutionary War (and John Adams in particular – I may have been him in a past life, actually).  Though I might get sidetracked by World Without End by Ken Follet, because I really enjoyed his Pillars of the Earth and because it’s going to be due back to the library soon.

Okay, this post might have just taken kind of a nerdy turn.  In closing, then, something slightly snarky to up my hipster factor:  I give you Autostraddle’s The L Word WTF?! Video, Part 1.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “L Word Video I WTF?! Moments I Lesbia…“, posted with vodpod

…it’s funny because it’s true.

1 Comment

Filed under crazy cat lady: ur doin it rite, Finn, nerdiness, politicking, queering the binary, The Fam, vidjas

.malaise.

It has been a while since I’ve last posted… mostly because nothing of any real note has been happening lately.  There are some weeks where I feel like all I do is get up, go to work, come home, eat, go to bed.  It’s the same litany my father uses when I talk with him on the weekends.  “How was your week?”  “You know.  Got up, went to work, came home, ate, went to bed.”  I never realized, until now, how suffocating that sentence is.

[On a sidenote, I feel the need to clarify something.  As I mentioned in my last post, I am a Cancer: ruled by the moon, a bundle of contradictions, emotional, &etc.  Which is to say that I am aware that sometimes I write about how I adore my job and I’m lucky to be there, and sometimes I write about how I can’t believe I work a 9 to 5 and have to wear a suit.  There are days when I couldn’t be more satisfied, and days when I am ready to quit.  This is probably true of most people in most jobs, but it is particularly true of me and mine.  Do I contradict myself?  Very well, then, I contradict myself.  I am large, I contain multitudes.  Thank you Mr. Whitman.]

In any case, to move on to happier things… Finn and Cali and another friend and I went out dancing last weekend.  For some reason there is no longer a “ladies night” around here on Saturdays, so we ended up going to this little club in the middle of nowhere which drew quite the colorful clientele.  There were the hipsters, who clearly found the place to be just ironic enough to make it worth being seen there; the older lesbians, who made us all grin ear to ear with their unabashed just-wanna-have-fun dancing; and, oddly, one shirtless gay man who was hired to walk around offering us all test tube shots.  I was exhausted and had been hesitant to go, but Finn never agrees to go out dancing so I couldn’t possibly pass up the opportunity.  (Finn broke her foot when we were walking to my apartment one day, very early in our relationship, and – despite the pain, not knowing it was broken – continued to walk around on it for another 3 months before she got an X-ray.  It didn’t heal properly, and it still hurts her sometimes… so that was the end of dancing for her.  OR WAS IT????  Word on the street is, she might have gotten her mojo back last weekend.  To be confirmed.)

So anyway, dancing was good.  Then came this week of boredom and lethargy, broken only by my attendance at Holiday Handjobs, a queer craft fair.

And so here I am.  Taking a mental health day (because of the boredom, and because it will give me a four day weekend, and because we get so many vacation days that it’s a wonder anyone is ever there at all.)   Plans for the weekend include helping our friend Gem pack and move, brunch with Cali, sleep, and writing.

Oh, and last but not least, shoutout to Rev who just started what promises to be a pretty kickass blog about her adventures and misadventures trying to get ordained as a big ‘ol queer in the Presbyterian church.  Should be lots of good reflection about the intersection between religion and spirituality, so if you’re interested in reading or being a part of that dialogue, you should head that way.

3 Comments

Filed under Cali, Finn, Gem, ohmygod i'm a lawyer, queering the binary, Rev

.today.

Some things that happened to me today:

  • I went to a hearing before a judge who gave me an incredibly hard time, grilled me for an hour (“Well counselor?  Where does it say X?  Why are you looking through your notes?  Do you or don’t you know the record of your own client?” –  bearing in mind, please, that in a disability hearing the record generally consists of hundreds, if not thousands, of pages of detailed medical evidence) and nearly made my client cry.  He then ended the hearing by telling me that I did a great job and was welcome in his courtroom any time.  It was my first hearing with him… I’m pretty sure that was some kind of bizarre initiation rite.
  • I received my BBO number, which was the last thing standing between me and “official” lawyerhood.  So I’m official.  And I can officially be given the proverbial smackdown if I screw up.  I’m really going to miss the “Oh, don’t listen to me, I’m just an intern” days… ha.
  • Got tagged by my ex-boyfriend (circa high school) in a facebook note, and realized as I went through his profile that I actually miss him quite a bit.  Not in a romatic way, obviously, but he was a lot of fun to be around and I miss his energy in my life.
  • Ate way too many peppermint patties.
  • Got a CVS card after holding out for several years for some unknown reason.
  • Came home and put on a ridiculously mismatched pair of PJs, which I am thinking I might need to change out of if I ever want to get laid again.  At least they’re not my footie pajamas… (yes, I own footie pajamas, they were a Christmas gift from Finn and they are insanely comfortable, but let’s just say that foreplay is not a realistic expectation when I put ’em on).
  • Read this article in the Times about lesbian separatist communities and felt strangely eeked out by the idea.  For instance, take this quote:

BEHIND the gate at Alapine, about five miles from the nearest town in the southern Appalachian mountains near Georgia, the women live in simple houses or double-wide trailers on roads they have named after goddesses, like Diana Drive. They meet for potluck dinners, movie and game nights and “community full moon circles” during which they sing, read poems and share thoughts on topics like “Mercury in retrograde — how is it affecting our communication?”

To me, these women sound like 2nd wave cartoon characters.  They describe themselves as “radical feminist separatist lesbians.”  I can’t help it – I read that and cringe.  And yet… I feel bad about my reaction, because I get where they’re coming from.  I’ve read all the books, I know all the theory.  Hell, I ran a very second-wave-esque feminist organization in college, for god’s sake.  With some distance and time to think, though, it just seems so unworkable.  (And is, actually – the article is about how these communities are dying out because of lack of interest from young lezzies like me.)  Perhaps it makes me ungrateful, perhaps I have been spoiled by my own movement, but I have a visceral reaction to spelling womyn with a y.  And to the ghettoization of queers.  So there you have it.

  • Read this article in the Sun and wondered how many other things the Victorians weren’t telling us… rowr.

1 Comment

Filed under Finn, lightning and a lightning bug, memories, nerdiness, ohmygod i'm a lawyer, queering the binary, quotables

.temerarious.

you make me want to do
what i shouldn’t,
which is to give

in.  to stay up all night
for the company of your warm and breathing body,
to keep my eyes open in case

you should want to meet my gaze.
you make me want:
to succumb.  to surrender, hands above my head.

(reckless abandon,
they call it,
i think.)  you

force me to my knees and
you
make me feel every second
in my body –
we are connected –

every atom suddenly becoming
something of us
the sharp focus of my eyes
and your breath filling my lungs
my own blood pounding
faster with each place you touch and
my hips leaning slowly

in —

these are the things you do to me
from across rooms and rivers
(you make me want to do
what i shouldn’t
and you make me want to whisper

please.)

[In response to Sinclair’s call for submissions to the Carnival…]

6 Comments

Filed under lightning and a lightning bug, queering the binary