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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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.

Come out, Come out Where ever You are?

I used to feel this way and in some instances I think that it stands.  Celebrities, for example, should always come out with their homo flags flying.  It’s important that media figures, artists, actors, actresses, musicians, and political figures come out with their gay guns blazing.  It’s important that they show the world that they’re comfortable in their homo skin and it shows America and the world that gay comes in many different forms.  When celebrities come out it allows small town girl in Michigan that there are people out there who are like her, who are different, who are gay.

I feel the same way about showing positive images of women, people of color, and other minorities on television.  It doesn’t help society when all blacks are portrayed as absent minded, drug addict gang bangers.  Showing Asians as smart, good-doer prudes and Latinos as knife swinging, tequilla drinking thugs.  Just as gay men prancing around in glitter and tights don’t do gays any good.  Fact of the matter is that there are limp wristed gay boys, black men and women in gangs, Mexicans swigging tequilla, and an Asian girl getting into Princeton with her perfect SAT scores and GPA.  The vast majority of minorities fall in the middle, though.  Don’t we?

When you have positive images in the media of minority people it allows you to see a projection of yourself or a projection of who you aspire to be.  It is for this reason that I get angry when the media keeps shoveling the same bullshit down our throats.  It’s also why I stood on the side of come out ,be proud.  Until those teenagers took their lives for being who they are.  My tune has shifted a bit because it’s not always safe to come out and be who you are.  I applaud those young boys in glee club who wave their homosexual flag for the world to see.  I love the teen who refused to attend prom if not on the arm of her girlfriend.  On the other hand, there are so many different places and spaces where being gay, or perceived to be gay is like standing in front of a firing squad.

Growing up, I knew that I was gay.  I can remember my first realization when I had my first job at 15 at a local hotdog chain.  My boss and I were closing and she leaned over.  I could see down her shirt and she wasn’t wearing a bra.  Her breasts were small and perfect and the moment my eyes caught sight of her perfectly perky pink nipples there was an immediate warmth and aching in my shorts I never felt when I was in the back seat of a car making out with the pimply faced boyfriend I had.  I knew I was gay and waited 13 years to come out later.  It’s not that Toledo, Ohio was an anti-gay place, I just wasn’t ready to admit who I was. 

After the alarming number of recent suicides I’m feeling a little different.  I love Dan Savage’s It Gets Better Project but on the other hand, I think that keeping kids safe is more important.  Schools need to have better laws, restrictions, and groups that support LGBTQ and questioning students.  Gay and Straight alliances aren’t an option in this day in age, they are required just as the Math Club or Student Council are mainstays of high school life.  There needs to be more safe spaces for LGBTQ youth to go to when they feel like there is no place to turn and parents need to come to the reality that their children may be gay.  Education on so many levels is severely lacking in our country and gay issues is one of the areas.  In the public school system, tolerance doesn’t need to be taught, acceptance needs to be the norm.   Lastly, so many of us, me included, need to do something to make it better for kids instead of waiting for someone to pick up the slack for us.

Food Inc.

So I’m a little behind the times.  I think the documentary, “Food Inc.” came out in 2008 and I just watched it for the first time two nights ago on Netflix at Mirs’ house.  I’ve seen a lot of disturbing and enlightening documentaries in the last few months.  I saw “Crude” about the Chevron oil crisis in El Salvador and was horrified and shocked.  I recently watched “The Business of Being Born” and have a new found love, respect, and am in awe of midwives.  For the record, I cannot wait to have babies with a midwife.  Watching “Food Inc.” I found myself completely in awe and shock by what I learned.  It made going grocery shopping today, at Whole Foods and Trader Joes very difficult. 

When I moved from Connecticut to New York getting into the “green” thing was a lot easier.  That’s not to say that the residence of Greenwich, CT weren’t eco-conscious, they were.  But when you drive to the giant Stop and Shop and are attacked with sensory overload of products down every aisle shopping in the miniscule Organic Foods Section of the store seems incredibly daunting and pricey.  I opted instead for the boxes and brands I’d grown up with. 

Fast forward to moving to Bed Stuy when I didn’t live just one block from the train as I do now.  The only grocery stores I visited were the Whole Foods and Trader Joes in Union Square.  I tried to get as much as I could for the little money I had.  I’d always be amazed when I had two bags of groceries from TJs and not see the total exceed $40.  I’d pat myself on the back and schlep my bags to the Utica Stop on the A Train and walk the 15 blocks to my apartment on Madison Street.

Fast Forward another year and I’m on the Upper West side with stores like Zabar’s and Fairway just a few train stops away.  A few blocks through Morningside Park and I could shop at the West Side market with their tempting displays of fruits and vegetables on Broadway and 110th.  Even though the Upper West Side Grocery options were closer and more accessible I’d find myself at TJs or roaming through the Farmer’s Market in Union Square in an affort to find more organic food options.  I’d notice that the apples, blackberries, or eggs were so much more expensive than even the organic eggs at Whole Foods.  I’d shrug my shoulders and buy the eggs, milk, and some produce in the stores-always reaching for the organic option over the conventional. 

Now, back in Bed Stuy my grocery shopping goes like that-TJs for Soy Milk, Spices, and Sugar-Whole Foods for Pasta, Tofu, Fake butter and sometimes canned tomatoes and to the farmers market for produce.  I still get my eggs at the store, though.  Except for today I handed over $4 to the Farmer for my eggs thanks to Food Inc. 

I also made a pact to myself that it doesn’t matter if the produce or meat is organic if it’s not local.  Therefore, I’m taking on a pseudo vegetarianism-I’ll only consume meat that I get from the Farmer’s Market.  I had a good conversation today with the farmer who sold me my brisket ($14 for 3/4 lb) that I’m making for Hanukkah.  I will admit-buying from the Farmer’s Market seems like it’s more expensive.  $4 eggs, $2lb apples, $4lb brussel sprouts, $5 bread BUUUT when you think about the fact that the $3 eggs I normally buy or the $4 bread has to travel sometimes across the country to make it onto the grocery store shelf-it makes me think.  Why buy Organic Gala Apples from inside Whole Foods Market “grown in Washington” for $1.99 a pound when I can get Gala Apples from a farmer upstate for just about the same price? 

Seasonal Foods are just as important as Local Foods, right?  I saw some amazing looking Strawberries today but they were from South America.  I mean, who cares if they’re organic if they’re getting flown across two continents?

If you haven’t seen the film-you can watch it instantly on Netflix-I’m not going to go into the specifics of the film, one ranting blog from a more educated food consumer will not do it justice.  You should definitely watch it and you’ll find that it’s not only eye-opening but how terribly heart-breaking and completely fucked up our food system is.

More and more, as my rights as a gay black woman, as heath care continues to suffer, as our government lies to us about our food and how to have babies the idea of moving to another country gets more appealing.  I made a joke after prop 8 passed that it was time to brush up on my French and move to Quebec.  It’s a big little city just north of the US-therefore relatively close to my parents.  I’m just sayin’-Watch the Film.

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

Disney can kiss it

About a month ago I went to see the new Harry Potter movie with some friends.  Since I haven’t seen a Harry Potter flick since the second movie I felt a little bored, and at most times lost about what was going on in the film.  This post isn’t about Harry Potter though, it’s about Disney’s latest film about the Princess and the Frog.

I was instantly elated, as the trailer started, to see that Disney had done away with computer animation and gone back to the good ole days of old fashioned pen to paper.  My animation friend, Dez, told me this film was the first to be done this way in a long time.  I about hit the floor when I heard a black woman’s voice and noticed that this princess was a “real” live black girl!  The most black people ever to be associated with a  Disney production is the current cast of The Lion King on Broadway and the voices of Simba and one of those hyena in the original film.  I mean, come on!  Is it really that hard to make a Disney heroine black?  I was excited, I watched with girl-like joy until I noticed that the character turns into a frog for what seems to be duration of the film.

Have you seen the trailer?  The story is about a girl who finds a prince trapped in a frog’s body.  As far as I’ve ever heard the story she kisses the frog and gets her prince.  In this “twist”, though she herself turns into a frog.  I haven’t researched variations of the story of the Princess and the Frog so I can’t confirm or deny that such version exists.  All I know is that this is a huge jib and insult.

Finally FINALLY you have a story set in American in what seems to be current times-it’s not pre-colonial Native American era, Victorian England, early 19th Century France, or under the sea.  This movie is set in New Orleans circa now.  Finally there is a black woman who doesn’t sound like she’s a plantation hand or some Mamie from Gone with the Wind.  She sounds, well, like Oprah.  Finally the time has come for not only black children but black girl children to have a heroine who looks like them and you turn her into a frog?  From the way it looks she’s only really black for the first few minutes of the movie and the last few minutes.  True to Disney story telling she’ll be looking for a Prince.  Then she finds her Prince.  An obstacle will prevent them from being together and the whole movie is based around getting through this obstacle so we can arrive on the other side in a white dress for the Happily Ever After.

It’s bullshit is what it is and a sorry excuse for inclusion.  I suppose the folks and Disney are still racist, fascist, anti-Semites after all.

More Political Talk

“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.
It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen, by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.

It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.

We are, and always will be, the United States of America.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y11XTAh4V5Y
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPt1w1xhsBg

The beginning of the Victory Speech that president elect, Barack Obama spoke to the crowd of thousands at Grant Park in Illinois on Tuesday night. The YouTube link is also there for you to check out as well.

I just got off the phone with my mom. I was telling her that rumor has it that there are bids as high as $300 on Ebay for a copy of the 2 New York Time sitting on my bed. I bought it for her and it’s hers, even though I could totally use that $300! Nonetheless, it is on it’s way to Mama Davis in Toledo, Ohio.

We were talking about the aftermath of the elections and was shocked to hear some of the remarks that people are making there in Ohio. Apparently, they’re “sick of hearing” about the victory and historical landmark that is Barack Obama as the next president of the United States. She had a classmate sit her down and ask her why it was so important to blacks that Barack Obama is the president elect. My mom, dear sweet woman that she is, extremely shocked by the girls lack of historical facts. Instead of calling her a moron and sending her on her way, my mother told her her personal story.

She told the woman that she was born in 1954 in North Carolina. Granted, she moved to New Jersey as a young girl but spent her summers in the south to be with her family. She told her of her favorite Aunt Josie who worked at a diner in town. Aunt Josie was the cook, my mother recollected having to enter the building at the side entrance, rather the main street entrance because she was a black girl. She told her how she remembered seeing water fountains marked “colored” and “white.” She told her that, although she was too young to march, reading about and hearing about the marches on Washington. Lastly, she told her where she was when Martin Luther King died. She told her in what was, I’m sure, a patient tone and the girl was relieved and thanked my mother for her story.

In speaking to my mom, I confessed that the victory is, and never was about race for me. It cannot be about race for me, because I’ve never faced the sort of racial inequality in my life as she had in hers. I know that it’s a difference of how you were raised. I was pretty lucky to live very well and never want for anything for my entire life. My parents rarely said no to the many material requests of my youth. To put it plainly, I was a spoiled brat. And while I was the only black girl in my private, Catholic grade school, and possibly one out of a hundred (give or take) black girls in my private, Catholic, all-girl high school I never felt out of place or different because of the financial freedoms of my family. (Lots more complicated life, and the theme of my memoir) Because of those freedoms it was instilled in my not only by my parents, but by every influential adult in my life that I could do and be what ever it was that I dreamt. I never thought it would be “strange” or “radical” for me, a black girl in Toledo, Ohio to be the president of the United States.

I realize that not all people, people of any color, have had it as good. My ex/last boyfriend/friend, Ty, told me during the primaries that Barack would never win because of the color of his skin. I was appalled, that a black man could say such a thing. It was crazy and insulting for me to listen to him limiting not only Barack, but himself based solely on the color of his skin. I think that’s what’s happening around the world. My mom says that some of the sistas and brothas need to calm it down a bit in the media, but it is cause for celebration. It just shouldn’t be the only cause for celebration.

As I said in my last blog, we clearly have a long way to go in terms of equality in this country. I hope that as we continue to move forward in this historical election that the words spoken in his speech ring through-across racial barriers and into the actual people. While we as a people are often identified by race, creed, sexual orientation, and religion; one fact remains true-we are all people and as people we all deserve the same rights.

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.