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.

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National Coming Out Day

If you’re a closeted LGBTQ person and you’re ready to come out to the world, today is your day!  If you’re not ready, it’s okay, don’t worry when you’re ready we’ll be here waiting for you.  Unless your Queen Latifah, in which case, give it up already and join the fold publicly.

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.

Black, Gay, and Jewish Part 5

I’m rereading the book “Choosing a Jewish Life” by Anita Diamant.  I started reading it around May of this year and read through it quickly.  I had her other book, “Living a Jewish Life” and various other titles to get through so while I did, indeed, read it, I didn’t grasp very much of it.  It’s still a quick read the second time around by now when I read the Hebrew transliterations I know that I’m pronouncing the words more properly. 

One of the suggestions Anita makes in this book is that you start to make your life, your home, more Jewish by making little changes.  She suggests dietary laws, subscriptions to Jewish magazines or newspapers as well as the “normal” mitzvahs like attending temple, keeping Shabbat, and reading Torah.  Little by little I’ve been making changes to better Jewify my home and life.  My next endeavor? Magazine and Newspaper subscriptions.  I’m looking for resources that I can relate to.  Those of a liberal and inclusive perspective I more closely identify with because I’m a black Jew.  I’m still on the look out for a black Jewish publication so if any of you have suggestions, please let me know.

I’m also looking at those from an Orthodox perspective as well as a Conservative perspective so that I can learn.  I think it would be naive of me to just focus on reform and more liberal Jewish practices because if I ignore others, I’m not really “getting it” or appreciating it.  Google was very helpful in my search and my credit card is going to start to bleed soon if I subscribe to them all so I will not.  I won’t get through them all, any way.  Luckily, there are a few quarterly publications in addition to the weekly newspapers so I think I’ll figure something out.

Best thing I’ve found, though, is the openness for submissions and the writing contests!  I’ve been keeping three separate notebooks; Black, Gay, and Jewish that I write in daily so that I can better shape my memoir.  It’s great to see how the themes of belonging and sometimes feeling like an outsider in this skin of mine is mirrored in all three of my identities.  There are times now when I don’t feel “gay enough” because I don’t fit into the stereotypical mold of what a lesbian is or is not.  My childhood is filled with painful memories of peers or my parents telling me that I wasn’t black enough.  Now, as I enter Judaica stores or flip through pages of Jewish magazines I’m hard-pressed to find a face that looks like mine. 

On the other hand, I love a beautiful woman who I want to spend my entire life with.  When I see her I get happy and I feel lusty at the same time.  This fact, and my love, adoration, and attraction to women, in general, make me a lesbian.  I’m undeniably black.  I cannot change the kinky curly texture of my hair nor can I make my skin, that’s darker in the NYC sun, any lighter than it will be in December.  While I’m not formally a Jew, inside I’m starting to feel Jewish.  I actually said, “we” to Mirs the other day, instead of  “them” when talking about Jewish people.  We spent the night looking up Jewish names for our unborn children as well as for the Hebrew name I will take.  I’m leaning to Charna, which is a Yiddish name of Slavic origin that means “black.” 

These three identities are seemingly different but through the writing of my memoir and my pieces here and on VP, I’m beginning to realize that they’re not all that different because I’m making them three in the same.

PRIDE

It’s June 1st-the start of Pride Month!!  As an adolescent lesbian I still get extremely excited for Pride.  My first Pride I watched hand-in-hand with a girl I was crushing on who turned out to be the love of my life.  Last year for Pride I attended Queens Pride and the Dyke March in addition to the Manhattan Pride Parade.  This year, I’m going to try to hit up all of the Pride Parades I can…with the exception of Staten Island Pride because I’ve never been to Staten Island for longer than 2 minutes to get back on the Ferry to Manhattan.

Here are the Pride Schedules for 2010 in chronological order.

http://chasiny.org/silgbtcenter/Parade%20&%20Festival%202010.htm

 http://www.queenspride.com/

http://www.brooklynpride.org/

http://dykemarchnyc.org/Home.html

http://www.nycpride.org/

Not to mention all of the amazing parties!!  Like the DOB-C Pride Party on June 5th which you all know about and should be attending because, it’s Pride in NYC, ladies!!

this Lesbian’s Lament

I’ve had this gripe before and while sometimes the annoying burn is just a smoldering of ashes the smallest bit of kindle can set the flame ablaze once more into a roaring fire.  What is that smoldering ash, you ask?  Stupid heterosexual men and their cat calls.

Yesterday I was leaving work walking down West Broadway in SoHo and an older man yelled out, “Yeah, baby those are some sexy lips”  to which I responded, “Really, dude?  That’s rude, fuck off”  and then he yells, “Yeah, you’ll get fucked, bitch!”

Hmm.  How to respond?  My immediate reaction was to whip around and march over to him sitting on his milk crate and remind him that he was an utter ass because his remarks were not only sexist, rude, and unwarranted but that they were lost on me because I’m a big ol homo.  Furthermore, any woman walking down the street deserves the respect and courtesy of enjoying her walk down a street without getting harassed by old fuckers like him.

I just don’t read lesbian outside of a lesbian venue.  There’s nothing about me that reads overtly straight either in my opinion.  Outside of the work environment I opt for a relaxed and casual style of dress that is usually not a dress.  If were to run into me on the street I’d be wearing skinny jeans like every other New Yorker, a graphic t-shirt, either Havianas or Jack Purcells, over-sized ear phones listening to Le Tigre, Tegan and Sara, Fiest, Sleater Kinney, Tracey Chapman, or Rent.  I carry a giant white leather purse, wear over-sized sunglasses and usually have a scarf wrapped around my neck-winter or summer.  My natural hair is always a mess on top of my head and you’ll never, ever catch me wearing makeup unless it’s purposefully, like for Pride or some girl dancing when I want to femme it up a bit.  If a gay girl, or girl I perceive to be gay walks my way and she’s hot I’ll make eye contact over my glasses and shoot her a smile.  I’ve often turned to keep eye contact until it becomes inappropriate and continue on my walk.  No one is ever going to scream homophobic slurs at me unless I’m holding my girlfriend’s hand (which has happened)so basically I’m a  homo-undercover.

I had chat with one of my best friends, Dez, last night over $3 Vodka drinks at Fat Max on the LES about this very issue of looking “gay” or “not gay”  Dez screams lesbian, no,  she screams dyke.  She’s got the hair, the tattoos, the swagger, the plaid shirts, low-slung jeans, awesome sneakers and bike messenger bag.  It is no secret that Dez, my former Friend Crush, is amazing and I love her to no end.  She’s a producer for a major animation studio,an animator, biker, (single),and all-around best hugger I’ve ever met.  Walking down the street with her I can feel my gay go up at least 20 notches and I’m comfortable with the world knowing that there are two dykes walking down the street.

Her gripe is quite different from mine, there’s nothing she can do about her blatant gayness, it’s there for the entire world to see.  She sees it as a hurdle to overcome, especially in the work place.  Almost a strike against her.  The likelihood of her getting called “sexy lips” on the street is pretty slim.  Rather, the likelihood of her getting harassed for being gay is higher.  So who wins?  There are things I cannot hide from the world.  I am black and I am a woman.  With these DD’s there’s no binding that’s going to cover my gender and no make up on the planet that’s going to disguise my color.  My sexuality, on the other hand, is covered up in the general public’s understanding or comfort level of what it means to be a lesbian.  To the general public lesbians are butch and those of us who don’t are somehow, not really gay and therefore subject to public harassment. 

If I pass as not gay is it my responsiblity to try to educate all straight men who cat call about women’s rights, equality, and general respect?  If I come off gay is it my responsibility to educate all homophobes about identity, equality, civil rights, and respect?  Those questions can’t be answered because it’s almost always impossible to level with an ignorant person, which is why when the asshole on West Broadway screamed, “Yeah, you’ll get fucked, bitch” I chose to ignore his disgusting and hateful remarks and instead imagined doing him physical harm.

**I just took a break from this post to retrieve my laundry and had an older Rasta man make kissing noises at me as I passed him.  **

Black, Gay, and Jewish Part One

Like the title?  It’s a play on Rebecca Walker’s memoir, Black, White, and Jewish, which is on my long list of books to read about Jewish Identity.  Now before you page back trying to figure out what you’ve missed rest assured you haven’t “missed” any big announcement.  I’m not Jewish, I’m still a_______.  It’s just something that I’m considering.  This considering converting issue has been a little bit of a debate as of late.  I suppose the word debate is completely wrong because no one has really been debating with me.  Folks just seem to have really strong opinions and strong reactions.  Funny thing is, most of those opinions and reactions are coming from all of my non-Jewish friends.  None of them are strongly affiliated to any religion that I am aware of.  Some of them affiliate with family beliefs, others don’t talk about religion and don’t seem particularly observant to me.  Yet, everyone’s got an opinion from a raised eyebrow of suspicion to a pointed “Why?!”  and the latest, “you should do some soul-searching” 

The soul-searching comment came from my sister and the funny thing is, I’ve been wanting to tell her to do that for 10 years!  I’m not getting into that shit because it pisses me off.  I will say this, you’d think that the one person who maybe would save the judgement call would be her.  For all of her faults, my frustrations and anger at her decision making I’ve tried so hard not to pass judgement on her.  Here I am making an adult decision that would virtually only affect me and my future children and she’s judging me as though I’ve announced that I’ve decided to worship Satan. 

Rant about my sister is over.

There is a saying that goes, “Not all who are lost wander.  Not all who wander are lost”  This is the perfect metaphor for me and my life.  It can be and has been said that I am always searching for something.  That something is most definitely, without a doubt, my identity.  I’ve been searching for what and who Erika is for as long as I can remember.  It occurred to me about 5 years ago that I was looking at myself right in the mirror-but I’d chosen to ignore me.  I was talking and I wasn’t listening.  Instead I was really, really good at making myself into the mirror images of everyone around me.  I’m astoundingly good at making myself into what someone wants me to be, a.k.a, what’s comfortable for them.  As a result, I’m still a wicked-good liar.  It was going to happen that way, I’ve spent the majority of my life lying to appease others.

There was something amazingly cathartic about leaving home.  For some it is unmentionable, something you’d never do, never consider, never an option.  For me, it was my only choice.  And it’s not that I’m turning my back on my parents, my home, my history per se moreover I’m allowing myself to better appreciate my parents, my home, my history.  In terms of coming out I made a choice.  I could live the life I wanted to live privately and continue to lie to my parents or I could live the life I wanted to live openly and risk losing them.  Knowing my parents I was quite certain that I wouldn’t lose them but rather my history of molding myself into the image of others would be thrown back into my face. 

My coming out letter (I don’t recommend sending a mass e-mail) catapulted a serious of heated e-mails zipping back and forth through the internet from my father to my cousins to my mother and always back to me with the great and amazing horror that became the “Reply All” button.  In the end those who know that I’m gay either don’t talk about the fact that I’m gay or have forgotten the entire incident.  My mom knows who M is and that we’re together.  She’s even gone as so far as to tell me which US cities are gay-friendly.  Yet, when I told her that I wanted to talk about something with her this weekend in DC she asked if it was about my “condition.”  Okay, I don’t think she actually said condition-she actually said “situation” which is equally appalling, like it’s some sort of under the table, back door, dirty family secret I wasn’t to discuss.  (Am I a dirty family secret?)  Seriously, everybody know’s I’m a homo!

I told her not to worry, M and I weren’t married or engaged yet and she breathed an audible sigh of relief.  So when I told her that I was thinking about converting to Judaism she dismissed it, as she’s done with my sexuality.  I suppose I understand, I have thrown a lot of things her way but the reaction that I got was a bit unexpected.  Maybe it’s because I chose the words, “considering” rather than just saying, “I’m converting”  The reason I did it in that way is because I’m still not sure.  I’m strongly leaning in that direction but I only stepped foot into a synagogue last week and the idea of not doing any type of work on Shabbat is still daunting.  I’m already knee deep in shit at work for the mention of applying for the Peace Corps (did I mention that part, too?) how am I going to explain to my boss that I need to start observing Shabbat?  I’m sticking with my guns on this one. 

Everything.  Literally everything from playing grade school basketball, to running for class president, to attending UD, to pledging a sorority, to my brief stint as a pagan has been to fit in to whatever group I wanted.  This living my own life thing is harder than I imagined and it’s taken until now, 30 years old, for me to feel comfortable with rejection of those closest to me, my family.  So welcome, readers, to this fun new world of self-discovery.  Black, Gay, and Jewish will be weekly observations and I hope you enjoy it.

Are you LeSbIaN enough?

What does that mean, really?  I’m not so sure either and it’s not really my questions.  I was trolling around AE last night.  Something I’m doing less frequently because the more I read comments by subscribers the older and older I feel.  Is there not a Lesbian Website that isn’t completely overrun by high schoolers?  That’s another rant.  So I was trolling around the Forums and Comments section and noticed a Topic/Thread in which the poster complained that she didn’t feel as if she were “gay” enough.  She went on to list reasons why she felt that way; doesn’t like sports, can’t fix things, hates Tegan and Sara, thinks shopping is a religion, etc.  I actually  read through the entire rant straight through to comments and after reading a few logged off and sat back, baffled.

Let’s just keep in mind that I’ve only been out for a two years and there are times when I wish I appeared “gayer” which I can define momentarily.  I don’t, though, feel like there’s any “way” to be a lesbian.  That’s the beauty of being a lesbian, it’s just something you are like black, or big-breasted.  This person’s Lesbian Check List read like a bad episode of the L Word coupled with every stereotype in existence about Lesbians.

Time Out New York Singles Issue and my neighbor’s sexcapade

The February 4-10 red and heart laden cover of Time Out New York promises that if you open up you can meet 104 NYC Singles.  So I flipped to page 14 and was really surprised to find that out of the 114 singles chosen 7  are lesbians, 2 are female bisexual girls, 3 are male bisexuals, and a whopping 13 gays.  In total 25 eligible LGBT folks in NYC to check out. I’m a little concerned that they couldn’t find more lesbians for the issue but almost 25% isn’t a completely tragic percentage of homosexual love from Time Out New York.

 According to the issue you can read all about these single gays at http://newyork.timeout.com/articles/sex-dating/82394/date-these-singles  I gotta say, the ladies are really cute.  One in particular, Joshua, is so amazing.  She’s definitely not my type but I’ve met and chatted with her several times at her store.  She’s the owner of Rags-a-g0-go on 14th and 8th-one of Mirs and I’s favorite vintage haunts in NYC.  It never fails that every time we go in she gives a lot of special attention to my gf.  I think she may have a baby crush.  She’s a really down chick, really funny, super talkative, and knows a lot about music and vintage boots.  I met my gf online (not via a magazine singles issue) but hey, why not give it a shot if you’re lookin’ for love in NYC?

I’m not lookin’ for love, I’m looking for more lesbian friends.  I wonder if it would be weird to send some of the more interesting ones a message to just be friends.  Something like:

Dear You,

I saw your personal (I hope the term “personal”doesn’t offend) in the recent issue of Time Out New York.   While I’m not looking for a girlfriend because I’m happy in love, I am looking for some lesbian friends.  Please note that “friends” does not mean that we’re looking for a third for some kinky threesome it means just friends.  Someone to hang out with, go drink beers with and play pick up basketball at playgrounds in the summer.  Let me know what you think.

From,

Me.

For an experiment thing for writing purposes I think I will.

I have  some wicked audio from night 3 in a row of my upstairs neighbor’s sexual triste with a fellow named Nick.  I slept with Mirs last night at her place so I’m not sure that there was a night 4.  When I was awakened from my blissful and much-needed sleep at 1 AM by her shrieks of orgasmic bliss I stuck my arm and Blackberry out of my window and recorded 52 seconds to share.  Unfortunately, it’s either me or my computer or me, but I can’t get the fucking file to download here so until I figure it out, take my word for it.  I could get paid money by selling this shit to porn companies for looping sex noises.  It’s intense, slightly faked orgasm noises complete with classic lines such as, “OH FUCK!”  and “OH GOD!”