Category Archives: LGBTQ

Today could be historic! C’mon Merikah, don’t be a Merkin!

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Today could be historic! C’mon Merikah, don’t be a Merkin!

Today there are old, frightened, white, straight men as the majority of our Supreme Court making decisions for the rest of us….I hope they make them in the best interest of all….toward equality and what is right and just….not maintaining status quo for political bullshit.

Don’t make hate your precedent. Don’t rule for inequality.

Do what Batman would do SCOTUS. Do what Bruce would do. The right thing.

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Little Art/Big Cause Pieces

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Little Art/Big Cause Pieces

This year I am participating in Scandals annual Little Wood/Big Cause

According to Munro Rost, “A portion of the money raised for all 8 x 8 pieces of art sold, help to benefit our featured Non – profit organization for the “PRIDE” season. Scandals has raised enough to help keep HIV/AIDS testing free to the public through Cascade AIDS Project, for the past six years! We were only able to that with the help of YOU, and our community, through events such as (LA/BC), and our three day “PRIDE” Block Party!”
As you may or may not know about me, the LGBTQ community and raising HIV/AIDS awareness, knowledge and education is one of the most near and dear causes to my heart. I am so excited for my first Portland Pride participation! So for a little shameless self promotion and to get you some of you edumacated on what you could possible be missing in Portland’s beautiful pink triangle….I offer my 5 pieces for preview 🙂
Now mind you, there will be hopefully hundreds of pieces to choose from, my meager five will probably be lost in the mix….BUT if you happen to find all five, they make one smashing statement together and a smaller one individually 🙂

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I would like to add, there are things here you cannot see in the light….My paintings have a lot of texture and 3 separate layers of phosphorescent deliciousness…. For example… The white you see now will be nearly clear when totally dry and that glows in the dark as well….
Hazaah!

Equalism? Machism? Feminism? Ismism?

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Equalism? Machism? Feminism? Ismism?

I was trying to process what I was feeling recently, in regard to the fact that I am somewhat dependent on my husband right now and I really f**king don’t like this feeling. BUT, even though he may not admit it, I think he likes being in the position to “take care of” me and my kids, at least for the moment. So I started to explore that and my feelings about it, from an angle of perceived control and feminist leanings.

After wading through my anti-Disney views, I realized a few things about boys and the similar messaging they receive through childhood movies, namely Disney. While so much focus is on girls and the messaging that they receive from the media, on their bodies, their sexuality, their gender defined roles and expectations…BOYS do too.

Take Beauty and the Beast for example. He is a hairy, mean, aloof asshole really. Sure he is well read and intelligent, but he is an asshole. But despite any sort of Patty Hearstesque issues in Belle, we still get to the end of the story and Belle fell in love with him despite all his shortcomings.

The message to girls: You can turn a monster into a beautiful clean-shaven prince if you love him enough.

The message to boys: If you are rich and have a castle and isolate a girl, she will love you despite how you treat her. And plus, at the end, you get to look like an Abercrombie model.

How about Aladdin?

The message to girls: You can be a spoiled little brat if you are beautiful and don’t dress conservatively but you have no real power unless you are married to a man, regardless of how evil he is. Ahem, enter Jafar.

The message to boys: If you are a street rat and steal the right thing, it can lead to riches and glory with which you can obtain the affection of a rich and beautiful girl who never would have looked at you otherwise…You just gotta get that money, even if you have to steal it. *White boy rich, right?* Additionally, it helps to have a Genie, a monkey and ride into the girl’s line of sight in the most badass form of transportation possible…elephants for Aladdin..Jasmine don’t want no scrub.

What about Snow White and Sleeping Beauty?

The message to girls: above and beyond the obvious “only a prince will save me, I can’t save myself from the powerful woman we perceive as a witch,” what about the “if a boy kisses me while I am passed the eff out, its ok, he was trying to save me.”

The message to boys: If you have money and power and want a girl, go ahead and have your way with her if she is passed the eff out. She will let you do anything because she needs someone to save her cause she can’t do it herself.

How about my own personal favorite childhood movie (seriously, I just realized how eff’d up this is….) Peter Pan:

The message to girls: Don’t worry about the guy climbing through your window, he was in love with your mom and your grandma and has watched your whole family grow up, he looks and acts like a boy but he is really like freaking 60 and refused to grow up. Go ahead and take the “fairy dust” he offers you to make you fly.

The message to boys: Eh, you could take this from the Peter Pan Pedophile view or the brother’s view, either way, if you take the girl you have to take the brothers as well, either to keep people off your trail or to protect your sister, who isn’t smart enough to go alone and she takes care of you, like a mother, anyway.

Boys receive the same messaging girls do. Only they receive it from the opposite side. Boys have to be big enough and strong enough and rich enough and good-looking enough to get one of these girls they need. Because you aren’t successful unless you have a family to take care of and support independently.

And dear sweet ancient baby alien space monkey jebus forbid, you are not heterosexual. Then you are just screwed. Who is the bread-winner? What if you can’t get married? What if you can’t adopt because you are gay? What if you don’t want any effing kids anyway? What if you don’t want to be traditional? Then what?

Look at George Clooney for example:

He is what the media likes to deem a “lifelong bachelor.” He is rich and good-looking, etc., but people ALWAYS assume one of these days he will meet a girl who will knock him off his feet and tie him down. Um, he is dating a WWE girl and she hasn’t done it. I don’t think it will be done. And why is this not ok? Maybe he doesn’t want a fairytale BS path. Maybe he doesn’t want any damn kids. Maybe he just borrows some of Brad and Angie’s when he feels the biological pull….*eyeroll* OR MAYBE THE BIOLOGICAL CLOCK IS A MANMADE (OR AT LEAST PERPETUATED) FEELING CREATED BY PREDETERMINED ROLES!!!!

Here comes the role strain.

Here comes the anomie.

Yeehaw!  Boys, be who you want to be. Love who you want. Marry who you want to marry, if you want to marry. Have kids if you want. Be your most authentic self, regardless of what Hollywood and Disney and the GOP tells you that you need to be. Watch the documentary, “Happy.” Money DOES NOT equate to love or happiness. I promise.

As far as my own feelings, they are still be processed. But at least you get some insight into the feelings an independent woman might feel. We don’t want to be dependent either. So that should remove some stress 🙂

What the hell is wrong with people today? Really? DV is not ok.

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What the hell is wrong with people today? Really? DV is not ok.

Last night I thoroughly enjoyed 70% of the Grammys. I did however comment throughout the night on twitter and Facebook about the fact that I find it somewhat odd that Chris Brown seems to have redeemed himself in the eyes of the world, even though we all saw pictures of what he did. Mel Gibson is still a PR disaster and Hollywood pariah, even though we only heard his crazy rants and he is alleged to have hit his baby mama. Chris Brown was allowed to perform two times last night and even won a Grammy. Are you kidding?

Now, I admit I am perhaps a little hypocritical in that I enjoy Mel Gibson movies and use a lot of Charlie Sheenisms; he after all locked a hooker in a closet, participated in drug fueled mutual combat with his baby mama and shot Kelly Preston once upon a time. But I don’t encourage my children to emulate them.

So what pisses me off more about Chris Brown? What filled my Twitter feed last night? What was I shared with on Facebook?

This:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/horrible-reactions-to-chris-brown-at-the-grammys

So am I to believe we forgive violent actions faster and easier than hateful words? I do not get it. Both are terrible. Both are disgusting. Both contribute to cycles that I believe we have been trying desperately to end. This isn’t just a female issue either. Females aren’t the only victims of Domestic Violence and men aren’t the only perpetrators.  But what are we showing kids? That if you are a good dancer you can do this:

and get a Grammy?

I think the Grammy Foundation really screwed up. But what do I know.

I do know that:

  1. One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
  2. An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
  3. 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
  4. Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew.
  5. Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.
  6. Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.
  7. Almost one-third of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner.
  8. In 70-80% of intimate partner homicides, no matter which partner was killed, the man physically abused the woman before the murder.
  9. Less than one-fifth of victims reporting an injury from intimate partner violence sought medical treatment following the injury.
  10. Intimate partner violence results in more than 18.5 million mental health care visits each year.
  11. Domestic violence is one of the most chronically under-reported crimes.

So if it is underreported, how many really happen? how many are female vs. man, female vs. female, or male vs male? This is an issue that cuts across all ages, cultures, genders, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic statuses. This is not something we should be celebrating. If Chris Brown has gone to classes and “recovered,” great. Good for him. But out of respect for Rihanna, out of respect for kids looking for role models, please go away.

I digressed from my original intent. Oops.

Not totally removed from the girls I previously spoke of that picked the Patriots because of how the QB looked, we now have girls saying that because someone is a good dancer and because he is good-looking, they would let him “beat them.” I guess we forgive actions faster than words, especially if you are young and hot.

Are you fucking kidding me?

Had any of you girls ever had a man hit you, saw your mom get hit, had to deal with the aftermath, physical or emotional of an abusive relationship or had a lick of sense in you, you would never say such asinine things. Get a clue. FUCK

http://www.ncadv.org/files/DomesticViolenceFactSheet(National).pdf

Oh, the places you will go!~Dr. Seuss

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Oh, the places you will go!~Dr. Seuss

So I went to the placement fair to try and figure out some of the potential places for my clinical practicum…I narrowed it down to 6 places and they all make my heart glow:

Check them out:

Mission: To prevent HIV infections, support and empower people affected and infected by HIV/AIDS, and eliminate HIV/AIDS-related stigma.

http://cascadeaids.org/

Mission:

Our mission is to help homeless youth and other marginalized people move towards improved health and self-sufficiency. We are…

  • Service providers and advocates.
  • Experts in understanding adolescents.
  • A Federally Qualified Health Center.
  • A licensed Mental Health Agency.
  • Leaders in serving GLBTQ youth.

We believe…

  • In dignity, hope, and resiliency.
  • In innovation.
  • Our clients can get through current challenges.
  • Young people need trusting adults to thrive.
  • In meeting people where they are.
  • In a strengths-based approach.

http://www.outsidein.org/

Mission: The Bradley Angle mission is to offer survivors of domestic and sexual violence options for safety, empowerment, healing and hope, while collaborating with our communities to create social change.

As we work to bring an end to domestic violence, Bradley Angle embraces the following values:

  • We empower individuals and communities to take action and eliminate domestic violence from their lives.
  • We are committed to demystifying domestic violence and to giving voice to those touched by it.
  • We offer a safe, non-judgmental and welcoming environment for all domestic violence survivors, offering individualized services that meet a wide range of cultural and personal needs.
  • We believe all people, regardless of race, age, gender identity, background, sexual orientation or religion, deserve to live in a world where physical, emotional, and sexual abuse are not tolerated.

http://bradleyangle.org/

Mission: The mission of NARA, NW is to provide education, physical and mental health services and substance abuse treatment that is culturally appropriate to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other vulnerable populations.

http://www.naranorthwest.org/

Mission: In partnership with the communities we serve, the Health Department assures, promotes and protects the health of the people of Multnomah County.

  • We believe that health is a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” (World Health Organization, 1978)
  • We honor the diversity of the individuals and communities we serve and value their differing approaches to health and well-being.
  • We believe in partnerships to improve the health of our communities.
  • We believe the department’s actions should assist our communities in addressing underlying factors that affect good health.
  • We value effective leadership as a fundamental tool to improve the health of our communities.
  • We believe in being responsible stewards of the public trust and resources.
  • We value a diverse staff and believe our staff should be selected with care, treated with respect, held accountable for their performance and encouraged in their personal growth.
  • We believe in continuously improving the quality of our work.
  • We believe in balancing scientific knowledge and practical experience with the wisdom and beliefs of those we serve to improve the health of our communities.
  • We emphasize prevention, health promotion and early intervention.

http://web.multco.us/health

Mission: Honor America’s veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being.

http://www.portland.va.gov/vancouver.asp

I love that some places are beginning to transition and recognize different populations than they have traditionally, i.e. domestic violence shelters are beginning to recognize, anticipate and serve men and LGBTQ2S populations.

I am so excited to be able to do this part of my education out of Idaho.

No news yet on whether the VA will have any LGBTQ2S services but eventually they have to. I hope 🙂

HOLY CRAP I’M SO BUSY.

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HOLY CRAP I’M SO BUSY.

So I am really not ignoring my magical blog or blog followers but work is transitioning, grad school work load actually is catching up with my slacking arse, kiddos are requiring attention because they are kiddos and in dumb ol’public school and in social relationships and all that jazz, hubby is working and schooling, stupid dog needs walked, gay marriage ban has just been ruled unconstitutional in California and washington is working on being #8 officially to allow it, its only a year or two out before its federally accepted, I am sure of it, I’m getting hooked up with a new tattoo for my birthday, Facebook has sucked me back in so I am inundated with news and causes that I feel compelled to act on and read up on, Mt. Hood is trying to explode, my coffee cup is empty and I am just attempting to breathe. Oh add to that the headache I blame on my contacts/glasses, my friends who are convinced it is something more sinister, which leads me to wonder if it is…..AND my hubby got invited into the Masons. No fair. I want a penis. I thought if you wanted to be one, ask one? No one said they can ask you. How come he got recruited? I wanna be recruited. Stupid anatomy.

I digress? Maybe? WTF was I talking about again?

 

Oy. The dog needs attention NOW. Bless me precious sweet ancient baby alien space monkey Jebus.

An open letter to the appearingly 45 year old man on the Max with his pants LITERALLY sagged to his knees:

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Dear Apparently 45ish year old Sagger on the Max:

I really wanted to ask you why you wear your pants this way. It seems to me that it would be very hard to walk that way. I watched you for about 20 minutes, pacing up and down the train and I have to say, you are doing it wrong. You didn’t even hitch as I believe is the custom while you walked. That takes pure talent. I can only assume you practice at home walking back and forth with a hula hoop spinning round your knees.

My husband told me that the fad of sagging began as a way to signal to others in prison that men were interested in engaging in homosexual sex. I had never heard this so I investigated it. It is indeed a rumor, probably started as a way hurt some population, be it “on the down low black males” or LGBTQ populations in general, but it’s not true. My point in bringing up this terrible lie is to tell you that it would appear this is an accepted fallacy in the US, did you know? Do you know that some people probably think this when they see you?

The fad itself did actually begin in prison it seems, because of the ill-fitting garments provided as clothing. So there is that I suppose. Perhaps you have been in prison?

Another common misconception is that it is not a fashion statement at all or even part of a culture, that it simply allows the wearer to conceal weapons. Now, I have no idea where you could possibly hide a weapon other than your sock, since I can see everything else but just FYI. This is what people may think. Is that your intention?

Or to make people scared?

To make people wonder about your sexual orientation?

To make people assume you have been in prison?

Is it simply the way you emulate your idols from the early days of hip hop?

I don’t know.

I don’t know how it could be seen as attractive, but we all are attracted to different things I suppose. I happen to think baggy pants look good on some men. But what you were wearing is not baggy. In fact, I believe your pants belonged on some much shorter person because they were barely gathered at the bottom. I doubt if you pulled them up to your waist they would have even fit your legs. They would have been high waters, as we hicks call them. Heh.

I also imagined that you have children. A whole bunch of little saggers. That made me chuckle out loud and you looked at me. That made me nervous.

I really don’t get it. Perhaps I am just really out of touch with fashion. I have been accused of worse.

Speaking of which, I should note for the record and to some of my readers who may assume that I am speaking about a black man; I am not. You my friend, appeared quite white. But that has no bearing on my questioning of your fashion choice. I just wonder about the reasons for the choice vs the practicality of the choice.

Have a nice day and please don’t trip. (I honestly had horrible and intruding worries for you after you got off the Max, that you would trip in front of the train.)

Curious in Vancouver,

Jani

What makes me bawl in the mornings?

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Both of these. For similar reasons yet different emotions.

Makes my heart happy:

http://raisingmyrainbow.com/2012/01/15/my-son-the-dancer/

Makes my heart impassioned:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u62OtM_vt5k&feature=youtu.be

That is all today.

Love who you are and who others are.

Thanks Bailey ❤

the “debate”

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So since I have people NOT being bitchy but bitching about me not having written a new post I should be thankful that people want to read what I am writing and be assuaged to ignore my carpal tunnel 😛 Ahem.

I’ve often joked that I am going to run for president. I have also stated that my main platform would be mandatory sterilization at birth until you can prove yourself worthy of parenting. Naysayers have said that this is no different than Eugenics and that I should essentially be tarred and feathered for saying so. My plan says nothing of race, intelligence, ethnicity, religion or anything else. Its across the board equally sterilizing ALLLLLL PEOPLE. However, I do not believe that these people realize the amount of money and time and care and sorrow and blah blah blah goes into the equation. I have worked with so many parents who should never have been allowed to breed. They are terrible people who do the most horrendous things to children.

I digress.

I could write a whole HUGE blog on that, I may come back and do that later; but my initial prompt for this was the lighthearted yet enormous debate debacle that I watched last night from Iowa…my point being that I don’t think that my platform would be too terrible given (according to last night’s “debate”) Bachmann showed me all I have to do is chant” Win Win Win” to do it.

I (sad to admit these days) am a registered republican. I vote pretty independent and the longer I live, the more I lean toward conservative democrat, but upon registering at 18, I chose the big red R.  So, that makes me qualified to make predictions based upon the debate. Here they are:

Ron Paul is the smartest and most valid R candidate; but he is a weird guy. No matter how many times I vote for him he simply will not ever be president. This saddens me, but it is what it is.

Rick Perry is good ol’Dubya’s replacement. I hope only once. Really. He frightens me almost as much as Palin did. I predict he has some crazy drunken scandal, like giving an important speech walking on his lips which makes him have to withdraw like Cain (thank sweet ancient baby alien Space Monkey Jebus for that). Oh wait…didn’t he already? Hmm….Damn.

Rick Santorum I believe is secretly going to roman style bathhouses accompanied by a couple incredibly famous family men who belong to the L. Ron Hubbard fan club. He will be exposed by paparazzi, blame meth and the devil, apologize and disappear. (PHEW another bullet dodged.)

Mitt Romney will experience a PR disaster in which his wife, trying to make him more attractive gives him too dark of a “Just for Men” shampoo which causes his wise man grey temples to go black; ridding him of all plausibility and breaking the spell his magnificent gray temples had casted which glamoured people into believing his seeming pastoral leadership qualities…. despite his George Hamilton fake tan.

Michele Bachmann. Oy. Oy. Oy. Part of me wants to like her. She must be somewhat intelligent, having gone to law school and passed the bar. And she is a fruit fly, just like me. But that’s where the similarities end for me. Her gay husband has apparently cured himself, being a counselor who cures “the gays.” And they take in foster kids! In addition to all their own! These people are Christian saints!

Except for her whole “You have a teacher talking about his gayness. (The elementary school student) goes home then and says “Mom! What’s gayness? We had a teacher talking about this today.” The mother says “Well, that’s when a man likes other men, and they don’t like girls.” The boy’s eight. He’s thinking, “Hmm. I don’t like girls. I like boys. Maybe I’m gay.” And you think, “Oh, that’s, that’s way out there. The kid isn’t gonna think that.” Are you kidding? That happens all the time. You don’t think that this is intentional, the message that’s being given to these kids? That’s child abuse.”

“If you’re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement.”

“Don’t misunderstand. I am not here bashing people who are homosexuals, who are lesbians, who are bisexual, who are transgender. We need to have profound compassion for people who are dealing with the very real issue of sexual dysfunction in their life and sexual identity disorders.”

But I suppose, if differences in sexuality were accepted, her husband would be out of a job….oops. Guess she better sway policy her direction. I predict once her husband is caught in Aspen with Larry Craig, she will become a proponent for real equal rights.

Newt Gingrich. FML. He knows the lingo and the names to drop and the times to drop them. But he thinks that ALL poor children come from poor neighborhoods broken homes and lazy people. He wants them to be able to work as soon as they are able. He thinks child labor laws are stupid. Other than perhaps on his back and his ass, I don’t see a lot of work ethic from him. Seems he’s teaching his children (or his wive’s? mistress’s? children?) how to collect large sums for practically no work and how man-up, divorce your wife and marry the other woman. He avoided Vietnam. I bet this made his adopted father really happy, given he was a career military guy. Plus, Newt pisses foreign leaders off. He speaks out of turn. Rude.

But he’s up in the polls. People seem to trust him. President Gingrich hopefully won’t pick Santorum as his VP. Obama couldn’t fix the fucked up crap Bush left him in the amount of time people who don’t get it wanted him to so they will vote away from him. It’s sad. Another term might have gotten us somewhere with Obama.

Sigh, maybe I should run Charlie Sheen could be my VP. Then we could say “WINNING, WINNING, WINNING!”

Vote Jani Belcoe, 2027.

George Michael, AIDS and World AIDS Day…

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I am coming up on a year of being actively involved in LGBTQ, AIDS, HIV, DADT, and related advocacy topics; oddly enough it coincides with World AIDS Day, this Thursday. As I read the news and reflect upon my year I have come to the conclusion that there is NO WAY I am done. Article after article that I read is about George Michael and his current bout with Community Acquired Pneumonia and his PR team SCREAMING “It’s not AIDS!”

George Michael was the first man I ever wanted to marry (besides Michael Jackson, but that’s a whole other article….) I remember singing in the bathroom, curling my hair with my Aunt Susie singing, “Wake me up before you go go” and “Careless Whisper.” I remember GUSHING over the cover of Faith. I bought that single 3 times and the album twice. When he finally came out, I thought “Of course he is! That’s why I love him!” It all made so much sense. I have shared him and his wonderful Greek cheeks with my own daughter age 11, via “Last Christmas” and youtube. I hadn’t really thought about how I had let my happy place, my “volunteerism” fall to the wayside as I adjust to a new town and school, culture and routine. I have gotten lazy about what makes me purr, what makes me happiest. That little voice inside of me that SCREAMS make it right for everyone, COMBAT ignorance!

I digress 😉

Given George Michael’s past, his lover’s deaths at the hands of AIDS, and his refusal to be tested, I say irresponsible. Maybe it is AIDS. Maybe it isn’t. Regardless, it brings to my attention the fact that there is still so much stereotype, misinformation, and stigma attached to having AIDS or HIV that I can’t stop now. More must be done. The media can’t win. Ignorance and fear can’t win! No one should be scared to know their status because of what may be thought of them, because AIDS is not a death sentence, unless you ignore it.

So, it is perfectly circular and fantastic in its own tragic way that George, his current illness and World AIDS Day should come about and reinvigorate my spirit and need to educate and advocate.

Thanks George, I just needed to have faith. Get well soon. ❤