Has the Opposite Sex Become Obsolete?

 

Season 3 Episode 34 Still

 

Truthfully, for this woman the answer to that question is yes, the opposite has become obsolete.  In a way.  I can’t wait for my not conceived children to meet their grandpa.  Last I checked you can only have a baby with sperm and I think that having strong men around is great.  I learned a lot from my father and my uncles.  Yet, even as a teenager I was pretty sure that women could rule the world and we would only need to keep around a few really smart, kind considerate males (in containment of course) for the purposes of breeding; both “natural” for those so inclined and the old fashioned turkey baster method. 

I was having a conversation with someone the other day and was so shocked by the questions coming out of their mouth that I decided I needed to post.  This person asked if I always knew that I was gay and wanted to know when I came out.  Answer- I came out at 28 and always knew that I was gay.  They then asked, “well don’t you miss having sex with men?” and my simple answer was No, I don’t miss it.

Interestingly last night I started watching Season 4 of SATC when Samantha starts to date Maria.  She and the girls have just met up at the coffee shop after a long weekend and Samantha starts in giving the ladies a very insightful look into the makings of lesbian sex.  We learn that Samantha has discovered every thing there is to know about the pussy.  She tells them she’s getting an education and not for nothing, a lot of women could do with a bit more learnin’ about their vaginas; gay and straight.  For Samantha, it’s just a new chapter in her sex book.  After two episodes she and Maria break up.  For me, and a lot of women who come out later in life, it’s about rediscovering who you are.

Thing is, I didn’t choose to be gay no more than I chose to be black.  I was born this way.  I did, however, choose to be straight for a very long time.  I made the conscious decision to live my life as a pseudo-straight person because I thought it would be easier for me and for my family.  Living and dating as a straight woman I had sex with men.  I will even put it out there that most of the time I had an okay time.  Other A lot of times I fantasized about having sex with women.

The first two times in the lesbo-sac were a bit rocky.  I didn’t know what I was doing and to call it awkward wouldn’t be a lie.  Then I had amazing sex and, well, let’s just say I’ve never looked back.  It’s not just about the sex, of course, it felt great because I was finally doing something that felt right.  Do I ever look at straight couples and wish I were in a hetero relationship?  Only when the realization of the ease at which they’re given civil rights and then it just makes me angry and want to work towards equal rights for all people.

While I’m not a hetero-phobe I’m definitely pro-other.  Whether that other is based on age, race, sexual orientation or religion the others out there need be recognized as equal in our society.  One of my friends posted on Facebook today that our country was ripe for a revolution and you know what?  I think we are.  We live in 2011 where a black man sits on the seat of the most powerful country in the world and last week thousands of Americans were given pink slips.  Reading in the NY Times today I learned that teachers in Wisconsin are being notified that they will be loosing their jobs, and only a fraction of them will be able to actually get those jobs back in the fall.  Women are continually paid less money and the rights of a woman to, as Representative Moore so eloquently stated, Plan her Parenthood is under attack.

While for me, in terms of sexual satisfaction the opposite sex has become obsolete we all need to stand together to make sure we’re all afforded the same rights.  Gay rights shouldn’t be the concern of LGBTQ individuals and their families only, it should be the concern of all Americans.  The rights of women shouldn’t just be a concern for women but any one who has a mother, sister, or aunt.  The rights of the disabled, the rights of the aging, the rights of unions the rights of every American should be the concern of every American.  Until we can get to that point, and as it seems we’re never going to reach that understanding, we need to rally.

Thank you to the New Yorkers who went downtown today to rally for the rights of others.  I was at work but with you in spirit.

10.08.10, My 31st Birthday and my first Flash Mob

A little after 6PM at New York’s Grand Central Terminal a whistle sounded three times.  After the third cry dozens of bodies slowly collapsed to the ground.

6PM on a Friday night in Grand Central Terminal is sort of a mash up of many things.  It’s a tourist stop and Friday is the day they all come to NYC.  It’s right after the work day when the trains to Westchester County and Fairfield County stop running express and drag on forever on the local schedule.  It’s where business men and women stop for drinks before heading home, it’s where brides and grooms take pictures after their NYC weddings.  On October 8, 2010, it let those busy, bustling people see the effects of homophobia.

property of Erika K. Davis

The fact is that Homophobia Kills.  It kills in a very real sense, the names of people we’ve lost due to homophobia were said aloud for all of those present could hear their names.  Homophobia also kills the soul.  When a gay youth is told that they are worthless, they are sinners, they are ugly, they are inhuman and they have no outlet or resource to give comfort their soul dies.  Just as a child should never be told they are stupid, no gay person should ever discount their worth. 

Property of Erika K. Davis

When people turn a blind eye to hateful words and ugly deeds, Homophobia Kills.  It was to be expected that hurried New Yorkers would walk over the bodies.  We were occupying one of the busiest spaces on the entire island, but the not seeing of the New Yorkers trying to make their trains, the lack of compassion to even stop and ask, the desire to not see the death around them was eye-opening and it’s more than just a metaphor it is reality.  People hear and see acts of violence done to LGBTQ people and instead of lending a hand, they walk away.

Tikkun Olam is Hebrew for repairing the world.  It is our duty, as Jews, to participate in the repair of the world on every level.  We grow up in a Christian society that spouts sayings like, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” but its loaded and rattled with inequalities.  Our society as always put some one, some class, some minority aside or down to lift another up.  We cannot sit idly by and watch this continue to happen.  I urge you, no I implore you to do what you can to repair the world. 

I often wonder what happened to the Civil Rights activists of the 60s and 70s, did they not teach their children to act up?  Why aren’t some of us, folks in our late 20s and 30s, children of these activists more active?  When they saw the world around them filled with injustice and inequality they marched, we hop online.  Personally, I always say but rarely do. 

Yesterday was my birthday and I felt alive watching the dead bodies lie in Grand Central Terminal.  I felt moved in a way I haven’t felt in a long time.  I was inspired and I was angry but the thing that I realized is that I should only be angry with myself for not moving, talking, acting sooner and found inspiration in those who gave their lives, unwillingly, to the cause.

Today Show Disses Same-Sex Couples

http://www.towleroad.com/2010/07/gay-rights-when-where-do-we-want-em-today.html

Have you seen this?  The Today Show’s annual Wedding Contest no longer is allowing same-sex couples to enter siting the lack of legal marriage for same-sex couples in the state of New York, where the “wedding” would take place.  The shitty thing about New York is that they voted down same-sex marriage in the fall, the consolation prize is that the state recognizes out-of-state marriages; even those that are same-sex, because you know, they’re married.

I’m not sure if I’m angry with NBC or livid, I’ve not quite figured it out just yet.  It’s utter bullshit is what it is!  There.  I’m livid.  It’s beyond upsetting.  You’d think that a network like NBC (not FOX, mind you) would be a little but more accepting and open in this arena.  What great publicity for NBC to show the world what a same-sex couple looks like.  We’re not going to steal or convert your children, we don’t have horns, or have orgies.  We pay bills, we argue, we go grocery shopping, we’re just like everybody else.  Talk about exposure!  But no, as second-class citizens we don’t even have the option to see a same-sex couple possibly maybe get “married” on live television. 

NBC Universal Inc.  Shame on You!  This is a HUGE set-back for Equal Rights (because let us not forget that marriage is a Civil Right) but it’s also a huge coup for the right-winged crazy -Christians who get confused about that whole “separation of church and state” thing.  I get that the state of New York doesn’t allow same-sex couples to marry but the Today Show wedding was never really a wedding, it’s a media-crazed, publicity-fused advertisement on speed…that millions of Americans get personally involved in every year.  Denying same-sex couples to participate completely devalues us, and the cause for Equal Rights. 

I call foul and though I don’t own a television, if I did I’d switch to that other morning show effective immediately.  The thing that really burns me, though is that they seem to be completely aloof.  Would they say that an Asian couple, an interracial couple, or that an interfaith couple couldn’t participate?  No!  Why?  Because it’s plain wrong, there’s no simpler way to put it.  Thankfully GLAAD has stepped in and I’ve done my part in signing the petition.  Make sure you do too!  While you’re at it, send NBC a few nasty e-mails.  You have to get through a SURVEY before hand but get those e-mails going.

Love and Marriage

Tonight Mirs and I spent the evening with our favorite couple who are to be wed in August.  We watched the Celtics forget how to rebound and make actual baskets and lose to the Lakers.  While we were watching the disgraceful loss of a phenomenal lead I started thinking about love and marriage and what it all means.  I was engaged once, did you know that?  If you’re a dedicated reader you should!  At 21 I was engaged to marry a man named Barry.  That’s all we’ll say about it, really but I can say with complete certainty that there was no love in the marriage (wedding) I was planning with him.

Seeing these two women tonight, though, it’s clear what love looks like.  It’s not that my life is absent of love because it is not.  I love Mirs with my entire being and I’m confident that she’s the woman I want to spend my life with-we’re not there yet, though.  As much as the little girl who’s been planning her wedding since adolescent wants to come out at 30 I have a greater appreciation for what it is to love.  Real Love.  It’s sometimes quite messy, it can be unpleasant, and seemingly unbearable.  It’s also constant, changing, sincere and deep.  There is something comforting in the love that I share with my girlfriend because it seems even-a wonderful ebb and flow.  Balance.

At 21 the idea of Marriage had nothing to do with marriage at all and everything to do with the wedding.  At 30 I want nothing (well not really) to do with the wedding and want to focus on the marriage.  Studying Judaism has been amazingly eye-opening in terms of marriage and the contract that binds the couple.  When I think of marriage I think of family, structure, laughter, happiness, hardship, strength, and courage.  I think of having children, watching them grow, and growing old with one person.  I always joke to Mirs that when we’re very old that we have to find really hot nurses to care for us.  It’s objectification, for sure, but the beauty of old age is that you can get away with far more than you can when you are young.  Joking aside, I imagine walking around the property I share with Mirs (oh yes, there’s property) hand-in-hand on a cool summer evening.  I think of her teaching our children how to throw a curve ball, shoot a layup and how to plant a garden.

It’s this image of togetherness that I immediately see when I hear the word marriage.  In Jewish wedding vows there is no “for better of for worse” mentioned.  It’s rather about a partnership between two people.  There is still the small girl inside me who wants the dress, the cake, the walk down the aisle.  Now, though the dress is vintage and simple, the cakes are cupcakes with our names in sugar frosting script and our parents walk us down the aisle to a chuppah made of cloth we found at a thrift store on our travels.

NY State Denies Marriage Rights to Gays

I’ve been a twitter all afternoon.  Mirs sent me the link to the NY State Senate LiveStream this afternoon and I’ve been watching it in my bed (I’m sick) for the past two hours.  I was anxiously awaiting, after being so inspired by people like Sen. Parker and Sen. Perkins, to be able to call my mom and dad and announce that if we chose to do so, Mirs and I could marry legally in the state of New York.

Unfortunately bigotry, hate, and ignorance has prevented this from happening today.  I vote of 38-24 denied the rights of gays, lesbians, and transgendered people of New York from the basic civil right that is marriage. 

It’s beyond aggravating and the fact that bigotry and hatred are common law in a country that prides itself on acceptance, liberty, democracy, and equality continues to deny a large majority of its population liberty, democracy, and equality.  Shame on you, 38 mostly white, entirely republican and very scary “christians” hiding behind their bibles.

I don’t know if y’all remember my 29th birthday but I’ll summarize the most disappointing part.  A man on a bike stopped Mirs and I while we were walking, hand-in-hand out of the Museum of Natural History.  He told us we were sinning and that Jesus Christ found what we were doing (walking down the street?) was wrong.  Instead of ignoring him, calling him names, or starting a fist fight (all of which I wanted to do) I dropped Mirs’ hand and asked him a few questions-“Are you god?”  “Are you jesus?”  He answered no but that he was sent by god.  To which I responded that I didn’t know his god nor his son, jesus because the jesus that I know and love taught us to love each other as we love ourself.  That jesus hung out (and may or may not have had a relationship) with a hooker named mary that he made into one of his most trusted apostles.  The jesus I was familiar with was all-loving, nurturing, and most historically did not judge anyone-even while hanging on a cross.

So, I ask you, you 38 senators of the State of New York who just decided what’s best for the people of those 38 districts in New York (that presumably have zero gays or lesbian citizens) What Would Jesus Do?

in case you want to make any phone calls to your favorite bigoted senators…Hiram Monserrate’s district office : (718) 205-3881 and Albany office: (518) 455-2529

happy chrismakkah

Accidental my ass

I’m ranting a bit here, so be warned.  I’m  not sure if I’ve updated everyone on my sister’s second pregnancy or not so if I’m a broken record, it’s just because I’m pissed.  She’s decided, with the help of my father who also thinks that abortions are wrong, to keep this second child.  

A little back story on my sister in one paragraph.  I hate sounding off on her negatives so frequently.  There are many wonderful and good qualities that I really do love about my sister.   She really is an amazing person.  She’s wildly creative and a genius at her art.  She’s shown in various galleries in the North West Ohio area and has an offer to show with her professor in a show this spring.  Her talent is boundless but her attention isn’t always focused where it needs to be.  
(Okay, Two Paragraphs)
She’s an addict.  She’s been an addict for years, about five to seven.  I say five to seven years because it’s still unclear when her addiction started.  She’s not really forth coming in a lot of questions asked about her addiction.  Addicts lie-a  lot.  I don’t think that she’s irresponsible because of her addiction, necessarily.  She’s always been a little irresponsible for as long as I can remember.  The addiction doesn’t help this at all though.  She’s lazy.  Again, her laziness isn’t necessarily the addiction.  She’s always sort of been content with things as they are-not really willing to make any extra effort.  She just breezes by.  Last fact about my sis is that she already has one child, my nephew, my joy, my everything.  My parents are raising this boy.  Since their divorce, my mother is raising him.
So she tells me on Christmas Day that she’s pregnant again and makes comments about weight gain and water retention rather than meaningful comments about where she and this baby will live, how she will support them both, etc.  I urged her to think hard about bringing another life into the world when she isn’t supporting the first life she brought into the world.  I reminded her that she was still in school, only a year to go!  I told reminded her that she didn’t have a residence or a job.  (The things that are usually in place before you get yourself knocked up.)
We ended our conversation with me frustrated and her ideally contemplative.  Nope.  Got a call from my mother telling me that they had a family talk and all decided that they should have this second child.  Family talk, eh?  Last I checked I was part of the family and I wasn’t included in the talk.  Last I check these cell phone things have speaker phone options on them that allow you to talk to multiple people at the same time.  That’s neither here nor there at this point.  It happened.  They decided and now I’m going to be an aunt for the second time.
I talked to my father last night for the first time in months.  There are various reasons that my father and I don’t speak to one another.  The fact that we’re both stubborn and strikingly similar is one of them.  I called to talk to my mother and my father was at her apartment.  Since it’d been months and his voice that decided the fate of this unborn child, I thought we should chat.  I was pissed, really, and told him so.  One of his arguments was that something like 60% of births in the US are out of wedlock.  I’m not sure if this is an actual statistic or not.  I told him this, I also told him that it wasn’t the fact that she wasn’t married to this second baby daddy that bothered me.  It was the fact that she is irresponsible and has never taken real responsibility for anything in her entire life.  This second “accidental” pregnancy is a perfect example.  
The girl has no money, no job, no house and all of a sudden she’s a mother-for the second time.  Even though she’s in her late twenties, she’s a child herself.  Towards the end of our conversation I wanted to throw my phone against the wall.  I wouldn’t do it though because it’s a brand new Blackberry and my father and my idiotic sister aren’t worth it.
In a strange twist of events Mirs’ brother just announced that he, too, is going to be a father-quite out of the blue.  Like my sister, he is still very dependent on his parents and doesn’t have a job.  Over many glasses of wine last night Mirs and I commiserated our frustrations and angers.  It’s hard.  It’s a hard situation to be in when you’re younger sibling’s continued irresponsible actions are seemingly met with no consequence.  
Mirs brought up another layer of frustration.  The fact that in the USA it’s illegal for she and I to get married but it’s okay for drug addicted, unemployed people to give birth.  How fucked is that?
I think that because I stayed closeted for many years the idea of not being able to have a baby with my partner never really crossed my mind.  With all of the technological advances of modern medicine, anything is possible.  I even heard that Mirs and I could have a baby that was genetically “ours” by dividing our eggs and then putting them back together.  It’s more scientific than that, of course, but it can be done.
A lot of my frustrations with unplanned pregnancies and one of the reasons I think gay parents make better parents than some straight parents is because we can never get accidentally pregnant.  When gay parents decide that they want to make their partnership a family it takes planning and work.  It’s something that they both decide on.  One partner can’t really forget to take the pill or poke holes into a diaphragm and get knocked up.  
In the case of lesbians it’s first a discussion of birth over adoption.  Mirs and I both want to carry and are talking about birthing children.  The next question, in our case especially, is the type of sperm.  Originally we talked about my getting pregnant with Jewish sperm and she getting pregnant with black sperm so that our children would look the same.  Then, a dear friend of mine reminded me that it’s not important if the children look the same, if they can’t help one another medically down the line in a case of emergency.  Back to the drawing board we went…and we’re not even married.  Oh, I’m sorry, we can’t get married!  We’re not “even roommates”
It’s shocking to me that our rights as lesbians are threatened day in and day out.  Our fitness as parents gets questioned and we can be denied the right to adopt a child in many states just because of our sexual orientation.  On the other hand, people like my sister can continue to act illogically and find themselves carrying a helpless child.
All I can do is shrug my shoulders.  My father’s last comment to me was that he doesn’t judge.  He doesn’t judge our lives, he said, he just tries to be there for us.  He still has yet to mention Miriam as my girlfriend, but he doesn’t judge.  
Could I be mad at this second baby because he’s chipping away at my inheritance?  Could I be frustrated at my sister because she can just spread her legs and BAM!  She’s pregnant?  Could it be that I feel, as the oldest child, that I should be the one having the baby first?  Could it be that I’m resentful that my parents are elated at the thought of another grand baby no matter how they got it? or Could  it be that deep down, my almost thirty uterus is snickering at me, chiding me, begging me, even, to put a little human being in it too.  

Prop 8

I was having a chat with one of my associates tonight about California and Proposition 8 (again). I hate to keep bringing it up, but it needs to be brought up. If you think about it, it’s our generation’s fight. We weren’t here for Women’s Liberation or through the Civil Rights Movement. Equality for all people, specifically gay people, is our fight.

Most conversations that I’ve had about Proposition 8 has been with my straight friends and they all tend to agree that it’s just their fight to win as it is mine. It’s not about gay or straight, it’s about people. The biggest problem that I have with Proposition 8 or any amendment to the constitution surrounding marriage is that they’re all in direct violation of the separation of church and state.

If marriage is a union in the eyes of god, then churches should decide whether or not they marry a couple, not the government. If marriage is a government institution, then there is no way that you could deny someone those basic human rights based on sexual orientation because that’s discrimination. So where’s the issue?

I always have to take a step back and remember that about a hundred years ago women didn’t have the right to vote, blacks couldn’t vote. It was only a few decades ago that it was illegal for blacks to marry whites, and the idea of separate but equal was written law. Here we are, years later and this issue of separate but equal is back. A civil union is not marriage and marriage is not a civil union. Calling them equal is bullshit.

I’m thrilled that the Governator has scolded his state for their vote on November 3rd and that he’s vowed to not revoke the hundreds of same sex marriages that were performed in California. But what about the hundreds of same sex couples still needing to get married? It’s so incredibly to me that people who have spent their entire lives together, making a home together, living as a married couple have no legal rights under the constitution.

My hope is that in light of this new step the United States is taking in this election season and year that we can continue to take steps in the right direction. I also hope that we as a gay community are up for the fight that’s ahead of us.

A Bitter Sweet Victory

Last night Miriam and I watched with the world as Barack Obama was announced as the 44th President of the United States. We were in a lively and crowded bar in Park Slope, Brooklyn with some friends-one of whom is a fellow Ohio-native. When the polls on the West Coast closed down, the feeling in the room was a lot like New Years. As we watched the countdown an onslaught of all the emotions I’d been feeling for the entire election season were rushed into 30 seconds. Would he win? If he won, would he remain safe? What if he loses? What will become of this country? What will the world think, do? The last ten seconds the entire bar counted down and erupted into cheers of relief, joy, excitement, pride, and most of all hope. I immediately burst into tears, looked at my girlfriend and held her for a long time. It’s not that I didn’t believe that he would win, because I always knew he would. It was the gratitude in the rest of the United States for taking the vital step towards a better and brighter future.

My tears started again when I saw my mother’s phone number flashing on my cell. To say was in tears would be an under statement; she’d been through the civil rights movement, being a girl growing up in North Carolina in the early 50’s. Hearing her voice, strained by the tears in her eyes I couldn’t contain myself. She whispered to me, “Erika, I thought I’d never see the day!”

My tears lasted only a few seconds and I was immediately on my feet, cheering, jumping up and down and chanting “Yes We Can!” with the rest of the bar. The cab ride home was like nothing else I’d seen or experienced, honking horns, people in the streets celebrating, people of all colors and nationalities were laughing, dancing, honking horns, setting of fire works, banging pots and pans, yelling, hollering, and having the times of their lives. My friends and I were among them all. We didn’t pass a single car in Brooklyn that was not celebrating, smiling, or giving the thumbs up to us.

We retired to Miriam’s in time to watch President Obama’s speech in Chicago. I got instant chills listening to him speak as though only he and I were the only two people in the room. The thing that attracted me to Barack in the beginning wasn’t his race, it was the hope that he spoke of. He gave me hope that the world that I lived in wasn’t as bad as everyone thought it was. He gave me hope that positive changes could be made in the United States, he lit the fire of excitement in the dream that is America. He inspired a nation of disbelievers and those who were ready to give up that all was not lost, and that something could be done.

The victory is bitter sweet. This morning on the way to work from Miriam’s my eye stopped on a particular Obama button. It’s the same button I been wearing for weeks. Obama Pride. I caught the gaze of the guy sporting the button and we both smiled at each other faintly. While last night’s victory is truly monumental and truly amazing, last night was not victorious for me; a gay woman. California voted yes on Proposition 8, banning the thousands of gay marriages just performed the previous months. Florida also voted to ban same sex marriage and Arkansas voted to ban gay adoption. A giant leap forward in terms of bringing down racial barriers but the banning basic human rights, not to mention lack of separation of church and state, is not real equality.

So me and this guy on the subway exchange the same knowing glance and weakly smile at each other, knowing we’ve come so far but have a long way to go. The following stop a black woman sat down next to me and says “It’s an amazing day, isn’t it, sista?” All I could do is smile, nod, and agree. Because it is an amazing day. A truly amazing, remarkable day. All day I struggled with my feelings to the point that my co-workers and my roommates all asked me why I wasn’t happy. It’s not that I’m not happy, because I am. That said, you can be overjoyed with happiness that is unimaginable and still be a little disconcerned.

As I said, last night the United States took an amazing step forward with the eyes of the world watching. My thoughts and good “bugga wugga” go out to the new First Family and I’m so excited for the next four years. I just hope that we keep making those steps for true equality that’s not based on skin color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, or religion. Equality that is for all people.