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Changing times…even snails can travel miles given enough time.

17 Aug

I’m two years old…those bastard boys I live with only remembered the week after my birthday.  Slightly better than my first birthday when we had a party a month late.  Bitterness aside, my point is I’m only young;  The world hasn’t changed much since I’ve been in it.  Maybe it has, maybe I’ve just not noticed…

I was around at Noo Noo’s new house the other day to admire how far he had progressed with decorating (bravo to him for tackling it himself, we wimped out and got men in).  He had been ripping up some old flooring and underneath was some yellowing, local newspaper from 1958!  We found the front page (amongst sheets filled with ads for hair curlers and push-along vacuum cleaners); the cover story of the day was:

” “COUPLE HAVE BLACK BABY”  When [generic man name] comes up from the pit, his face is black and his hands are black.  After a quick wash he is white again, unlike his new son…”

We were shocked,  how was this ever headline news (or news at all)?  It got me thinking, when did this stop being news?  Was there a cut off point in history when suddenly adopting a child of a different race from yourself didn’t require a picture, full-page article and interviews with your neighbours (Angelina, Madonna, Sandra Bullock-you’re all excused)?  Of course not, like a glacier, cultural and social norms move imperceptibly slowly.  Who knows, in fifty years or so there may even be a black president of the USA!

Being 28, I’ve never really been exposed to this sort of crazy race-carnival-show mentality.  Even growing up in a small, mainly white town with only four families of differing race in the my whole school (the Cronins’ and Nizar Sudani were the black contingent, the Hadads’ covered the Arabic sector and my family were the oriental representatives), the white kid with the bald head and medical crash helmet got the brunt of school-yard teasing (I got the odd “chink” and “ching chong” kids can be so… creative).

My life as a present day gay is generally a pleasant hassle-free life.  Maybe it’s the people I socialise with, the places I go, the place I live…no problems at all.  Had a big, gay wedding (well, civil partnership), shacked up with the hubby (OK, civil partner), all is rosy; It seems not everyone is as lucky.  The Prop 8 issues in America highlights that we are in a time of transition.  It was only 2004 when same-sex civil partnerships were legalised in the UK, we still can’t actually marry.  I remember when I bought my first house my Moogie said to me (after her and the Old Man generously gave me a pile of pennies) “well we won’t have to shell out on a wedding”.

It’s 2010 and the tabloids, blogs, podcasts, TV shows are full of “such a Z-lister is gay!” and “Mr fat-old-politician is fucking rent boys!”.  Gay is news, gay makes the news, gay requires a picture, full-page article and interviews with your neighbours.  What the LGBT is fighting for is to not be news.

*2060*

I was around at Robo-Noo Noo’s new house the other day to admire how far he had progressed with decorating (bravo to him for tackling it himself, we wimped out and got decorating cyborgs in).  He had been ripping up some old flooring and underneath was some yellowing, local newspaper from 2010!  We found the front page (amongst sheets filled with ads for breast augmentation and Roombas); the cover story of the day was:

“MIXED REACTION TO RICKY MARTIN’S GAY REVELATION” Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin’s announcement that he is gay has prompted a host of reactions from fans and pundits, ranging from support to indifference. In a statement posted in English and Spanish on his website, Martin said he was “very blessed” to be “a fortunate homosexual man “. “

It’s 2010, we’re getting there.

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Reinforcing stereotypes and supporting preconceptions.

5 Aug

The classic stereotype of a pretty, Persian cat is a big, lazy, narcissistic lump that sleeps all day…Irritating, but I’m probably the rule rather than the exception.  Stereotypes exist for a reason; Does it bother you?  Do you embrace playing the role people expect of you?

In a similar vein, I’m not a dog fan.  I’m sure there are nice dogs about but, every time I encounter one it acts like a slobbering fool…my experiences have only served to reinforce my preconceived notions…

On my way to work I often pass a Tesco in what is considered an undesirable neighbourhood.  My loathing of Tesco aside, I’ll pop in for some chewing gum or a Coke Zero.  I postulated months ago that the only people who shop here are ne’er-do-wells, dullards and miscreants…

Exhibit A: The Nicotine Bride

Standing in the kiosk queue with my Trident Soft (tropical twist) in hand…a woman in a wedding dress ran in.  “Excuse me love, can I nip in front of you?  I’m in a rush.” I obliged out of shock more than courtesy.  She proceeded to buy 20 “Marley Light” then ran out.  It was like Cinderella but less glass slipper and more smokers cough.  I was desperate to follow her to see if she had pulled up in a ribbon covered wedding car…or if she’d whip a lighter from her garter.

Exhibit B: Mr Observation Obfuscation

Walking into Tesco with my umbrella up as it was most definitely precipitating.  One trolley collector man said to another “I think it might rain”.  I’m generally too lazy to raise a brolly unless absolutely necessary…it was certainly raining.  Carol Kirkwood and Derek Acorah should watch their backs; we all know what happened to Cristal Connors when Nomi got a taste of the big time.

Exhibit C: Mr “Dinglehopper”

I stopped off with the boss for a beverage in Tesco Costa.  There was a man in a business suit that must have been taught table manners by the little mermaid.  After stirring twelve sugars into his cappaccino using his fork (then licking it)…he proceeded to SCRATCH HIS HEAD WITH IT! He then used the same fork to not only eat his lunch, but also pilfer a chip from his colleagues plate!  I’m sure we’ve all slurped the last bit of bisque from the bowl in the privacy of our own homes, but at a business engagement in a public place?  It’s not really the time to act like a chimp with a pointy stick.

I realise I’m judging these people on snapshots of their lives.  They may be wonderful, interesting people (except Dinglehopper he is beyond redemption).  Classic confirmation bias, I do enjoy the smug sense of “I am so right about this place”.

So, I fully admit I am guilty of subscribing to local stereotypes but what about more well known stereotypes? What if I’m the person feeding into them?

I never got into the Glee thing at all and I turned down free tickets to SATC 2 but, like a stereotypical flaming homo I love, love, love the Gaga and Kylie’s Aphrodite album is glued into my car stereo.  I also sport a slightly fay hair do and subscribe to the school of guy-liner.  If anyone saw me driving (badly as my mandatory attendance to my 5th driver awareness course indicates) I’m sure I would be adding weight to the typical homosexual stereotype of a glittery, camp queen.

Here lies my problem, I dislike stereotyping and like everyone, I don’t like the idea of being pigeon holed; but I’ll still judge others if they support my preconceptions.  I have no defence, I’m just a big hypocrite.  But what else can you judge random strangers on?  It’s not like I could crash the nicotine brides big day and ask her what her life goals are.  Is being aware of your own twattery any better that just being a twat?

It is a satisfying feeling to have your personal ideas validated even if you realise you are probably remembering things selectively.  On that note, I’m off to bitch about slobbery canines and groom myself.

Nº1CDA: RHS Tatton-fleurfect day out!

25 Jul

Once again I was abandoned as the boys had booked tickets to the Tatton Flower Show…or what has been dubbed “invasion of the wheelie trolly” due to the hilarious amount of people with those crates on wheels for carting their purchases about…

So, we arrived bright and early at 10am, not bad when you live ten minutes down the road.  I’d been up since 4.30am as for some reason I had “Christmas excitement” and didn’t want to wake up Simon (he did wake up as he thought I’d fallen down the toilet or died in a corner somewhere).

We didn’t really know what to expect as we’d never bothered to go before…It was so enjoyable!

The gardens were mostly amazing!  There was the odd dull display and a few of the LHA and school type gardens were not really worth a look.  Most had a great theme, exquisite planting and beautiful design concepts.  Some of our favourites had “non floral queerness” such as this one featuring a man playing a flute type instrument all day…

I’m not sure when he got time for a natural break…but maybe that’s a little wooden toilet he’s sat on.

Things got decidedly more strange in the Visionary Gardens.  “A Matter of Time” which I have renamed “Alien with her vagina out lying in a giant bowl of lettuce”…

Continuing in the gynaecological vein…check out these carnivorous plants!  I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure this is what a womanly space looks like if you peel the lady off the outside…

Look how moist they look…I feel nauseated.  They were inside the National Plant Society and Floral Marquees…one of the absolute highlights of the day!  The most amazing, amazing specimens of flowers and vegetables we’ve ever seen!  Flowers so big, bright, colourful, beautiful that they didn’t look real.  Vegetables so large, bulbous and succulent you felt a bit naughty looking at them…

The best part of the day was definitely lunch in the Fortnum & Mason brasserie.  It was like a restaurant had just popped up in the middle of a field.  The food was divine as expected and really reasonably priced…we both had a three course lunch, a glass of vintage champers and a glass of wine for £120.

There were shops and stalls and music and entertainment, lot’s to see and do, but we had seen most things by mid afternoon.  We’d recommend  a visit especially if you are in need of anything garden or plant related…we got a nice weather day, it would probably be a lot less fun in the rain.  If you have kids there is a crèche but the loud speaker man kept announcing there was a maximum stay of two hours…don’t know what happened then, I think they threw overdue children in the wood chipper…Whilst we’re on that subject, some parents encouraged their horrid offspring to cross a fence for a picture sat on a lounger in one of the display gardens!  I was shocked and disgusted!  I am penning a letter to the RHS right now! “Rant, rant, rant, yours sincerely, “appalled in Altrincham”.

I guess the boys had a good time, Mykie is now annoying everyone going on about being an apiarist but he’ll be out of my hair for a few hours at least planting his new “Ladybird Poppy” seeds…

“Burka Ban”-the death knell of Disneyland Paris?

22 Jul

So the lower French parliament have approved a ban on Islamic veils.

There have been phrases thrown about such as “Citizenship has to be lived with an uncovered face. There can therefore be absolutely no solution other than a ban in all public places.”and “No one can wear a garment in public which is aimed at hiding their face.”. If the law is changed…how long until Disneyland Paris is considered nothing more than a nest of criminals?

Pluto: FINED!

Mickey & Minnie: CRIMINALS!

I have got this right haven’t I?  Aren’t the “students with summer jobs” inside the giant comedy heads intentionally covering their faces?

But does it stop there?

What about Halloween?

That kid on the right is definitely in trouble and I think witchy-girl second from the left is pushing her luck with that nose.

Oh, have I got it wrong?  Is it a religious/oppression/enforced beliefs thing?  Terribly sorry…Ignore the reductio ad absurdum.

T-Birds and Pink Ladies

12 Jul

My cat brain doesn’t quite get the LGBT aggregate.  I know each have various support groups and other avenues for information but as a gay kitty, whilst I can relate to the issues of other gay kitties, lesbian kitties and bisexual kitties…trans kitties surely have many more issues that are a total mystery to me.  Is trans even totally related to sexuality?

Kids and puppies…both can be a handful and in many areas parents and dog owners have to cope with the same shit…often literally.  Both get brought home and have to get used to a whole new life ahead of them.  Both go for vaccinations, schooling, potty training; both need to be taught right from wrong, both need love and hugs…both can be left in a cage over night with a bowl of food and water…

Some people compare raising children and dog ownership but they aren’t really analogous.  Yes, in the beginning there are similar problems to be faced, getting used to a new environment and becoming comfortable with different situations, both require support and people to keep them happy and healthy.  But then things change.  Puppies become dogs and can generally fend for themselves.  They know what time they will get some meat, they know the best ways to get a belly rub, they know they can get away with sniffing a crotch or two…Kids I think, require a lot more work.  There is the long drawn out years of schooling, learning to fit into social situations, learning which kids will beat you up and which can be trusted.  Then there’s puberty, getting used to body changes and new feelings, getting comfortable with the new you…  By this time, little puppy is probably on it’s last legs and has lead a long happy life being a bouncy doggy…still a lot of growing up for the kid.

The boys get the luxury of being happy, married gays.  No issues or problems, they just get on with there lives…not pointing or abuse (well not much).  Whilst the boys could give advice or a shoulder to cry on to their gay/lesbian/bi friends could they relate or offer advice to a trans person?  What could they say about hormone injections or surgery or living like another person or dealing with ridicule or abuse (apart from travelling on the Metro!).  This is why I don’t understand why LGBT is all put together.  Boys like boys.  Girls like girls.  Boys/Girls like Boys and Girls.  Is who you are attracted to the major issue for T people?

Sticking LGBT together seems as insane to me as combining the RSPCA and NSPCC.  I don’t think LGB people have any sort of idea how to offer support or relate to the issues of Ts.  What I am going to do is tell the boys off for giggling to each other and whispering “tranny-alert” every time they drive past a T not really passing for the opposite sex.  They also need to stop committing the “fake tits fallacy” as I’m sure they pass many without noticing.

My little brain and kitty paws may not have bestowed me with the eloquence to articulate my point with clarity…I hope people take this in the spirit in which it was written.

No Pay for Gay?

8 Jul

Well I’m relaxing at Grandma and Grandpa’s house as I can’t face the thought of living in the mess that is the half decorated house.  The boys went out over the weekend and even though they got a little tipsy they noticed something odd…

Drinky, drinky, dancy, dancy was the order of the day.  After drinks at Mr Moxley’s we wondered out and for better or worse decided to check out New York, New York (due to varying reasons not allowing everyone to get into Thompsons or Tribecca…not good).  The strange thing was you had to pay to get in if you weren’t gay!

How exactly do they enforce this?  Do you have to give a demonstration if they are unsure you are queer?  What if you are bi?  Do you get in half price?  We just sauntered (stumbled) in without a problem…our gayness must be visible from space.

Is this discrimination?  Is this equivalent to a “ladies get in free” evening you see in dirty looking, small town pubs populated by fat, male, double-baggers?   Or is it like letting Black, Asian or Oriental customers in for free?

The most amusing thing was how blatant the bouncers were.  Even Thompsons manages to display a modicum of subtlety with their “no heels” policy.

Bars and Clubs obviously have a certain clientèle they are aiming for.  A BDSM club probably wouldn’t be an enjoyable night out for the women of Warrington WI and I would understand if they were turned away…

How far can an establishment go before they are being illegally discriminatory?

The Loose Papoose: crime or confidence?

4 Jul

It’s summer!  There is sun and everything!  I’ve found a great spot on the sofa that I can stretch out on and relax in the heat.  It’s not all fun in the sun though…

Rubenesque (or to be rather less complimentary…morbidly obese) ladies overexposing large amounts of flesh.

According to Gok (who has fallen totally off my “people I’d like to meet” list and ended up on my “people I would like to erase from history” list) we should all be body confident, we can all look good naked, love yourself yadda yadda yadda… But there have been a number of time this week when a larger framed lady has walked by “shaking her jelly” inspiring audible gasps from either the people I’m with or more amusingly other random people on the street.

The gasp-o-meter appears to indicate that, in general, people aren’t thinking “Go girl, love yourself and be proud of what Jebus and a mountain of cakes gave you!”.  But should we?

I think self-confidence is a wondrous thing that everyone should develop in spades and do their utmost to shovel in other peoples direction…but does self-confidence excuse sartorial inappropriateness?  Where are the friends/relatives to offer a subtle suggestion (or loose fitting top in a light weight fabric that doesn’t expose reams of stretch-mark afflicted stomach)?

I really am torn on this one.  Living with Mykie who can be a bit of a sartorial line-walker, I understand that people should be able to do what they want, wear what they want, roller-skate whilst menstruating…but is there or should there be a limit?