alphabet soup

All posts in the alphabet soup category

NY 4 Marriage Equality

Published June 25, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

Today, NY Senate passes Marriage Equity Act 33 -29, which enables long overdue recognition of same-sex civil marriages in New York State. I congratulate the many advocates for their commitment in prosecuting this hard fought battle for marriage equality and applaud these politicians for showing some leadership on this matter. On this day, New York leads America in taking another step forward towards full recognition of LGBTIQ Civil and Human rights. However, while buoyed by the Albany outcome the Rainbow Nation may want to take a moment to reflect on the journey from Stonewall to the present success.

Some 42 years ago, a rag tag army of the most marginalised members of the Rainbow Nation stood up to authorities and said through their action enough is enough. These heroes drag queens, transgender community, effeminate young men, hustlers, and homeless youth gave life to the battle for change. This event occurred at a time when the Nation sort change through the Gay Liberation Movement however it seems over time in seeking social respectability, the middle-class have sanitized our fight for change. Today, these marginal groups face the same discrimination from within the nation and wider community It is unclear how things have really changed.

As tomorrow and in 30 days, people will wake and the biases underpinning this discrimination will not have changed while challenged bigotry remains strong.  I do not believe marriage equality is the panacea for the discrimination experienced by people who identify it is but more window dressing in the campaign for social respectability. Admittedly, many would disagree with this view however, as a queer I feel strongly that contemporary activists while well meaning have missed the reason so many have spilt blood in this battle for change and not tolerance.

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Masculinities

Published May 30, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

Boy stands in front of mirror and asks what man am I

Mirror mists over and a voice responds

You are son, brother, father, uncle and grandfather

You are student, sometimes & teacher other times

You are friend, worker, professional, colleague, & team member

You are Black, Brown, White

You are bi, gay, straight, same sex attracted, pan & asexual

You are trans

You are leader sometimes & follower other times

You are athlete sometimes & spectator other times

You are Wise sometimes & foolish other times

You are brave sometimes & cowardly other times

You are caring sometimes & insensitive other times

You are giving sometimes & mean other times

You are committed sometimes & apathetic other times

You are joyous sometimes & sad other times

You are well sometimes & unwell other times

You are innocent sometimes & guilty

You are a dreamer sometimes & realist other times

You are friendly sometimes & violent other times

You are tolerant sometimes & narrow-minded other times

You are spontaneous sometimes & serious other times

Your creative sometimes & destructive other times

You are spiritual sometimes & secular other times

You are strong sometimes & weak other times

You are curious sometimes & indifferent other times

You are industrious sometimes & indolent other times

You are everyman & every human

You are you a man shaped through your life experiences

IDAHO

Published May 17, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

Today is IDAHO  Day or the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, to highlight “that in reality it is homophobia that is shameful and must be deconstructed in its social logic and fought against openly”. We need to be mindful that while our communities experience homophobia it is not our issue alone, it is that of a society which labours under the weight of heteronormativity, a political lie. Heteronormativity, a “concept that reveals the expectations, demands, and constraints produced when heterosexuality is taken as normative within a society”. Therefore, by default labelling all non-conforming representations  to the ideal  sex, sexuality, gender identity, and gender roles i.e. LGBTI as deviant and legitimate targets for social sanction.  The principal example of a social sanctions here Homophobia, a penalty to ensure compliance by all not just our communities to the norm.

While the Rainbow Nation champion’s action against homophobia, two barriers remain for us to overcome this root of all discrimination and persecution.

  • How can we argue against homophobia when we may discriminate against for example effeminate men, people who identify as transgender and/or bisexual?
  • We do not tend to embrace the full diversity of the Rainbow Nation rather we tend to engage in similar normative themed arguments as our detractors.

Whether I was born this way or not

Accept me

AS I AM

Social Inclustion: A Queer Australian Issue

Published August 23, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

After reading a blog entry by the Rainbow Reporter where he gives some commentary on LGBT issues, and the Rudd Government’s Social Inclusion Agenda especially on his disappointment concerning this matter. Before proceeding this Government is a classic 3rd way Labor centralist regime in the Australian Liberal Democratic tradition with a work is welfare mentality.  Their Social Inclusion Agenda reflects that position, it is heavy on rhetoric funnelled towards maintaining the workforce. Further to this, it seems there is some consideration of issues affecting indigenous peoples and people from non-English speaking background.  However based on the record of accomplishment of previous administrations although overall it is about economic disadvantage and how Government and its’ collaborates can better address related issues i.e. poverty, housing, health and education/training.

How does this relate to the LGBTI issues specifically Government seems silent? The author does highlight three points that really need further consideration in his commentary.

  • Apparent limited availability of Australian social research on Qmunity issues
  • A need for better Qmunity consultation and increased representation
  • There is a need for greater consideration of Issues faced by Qmunity youth

I do not agree with the casual racial analysis of the taskforces membership by the author however I do agree that there are significant issues still to be addressed.

Coming out

Published August 20, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Coming out
August 10, 4:01AM Atlanta Lesbian Relationship Examiner Leslie Davis

I agree with Leslie and many others who view coming out as a process, although, I would like to make the following points.

I believe that

Coming out is not mandatory, it is your choice

Each of us makes decisions in life, some good, and some poorly timed.

The guiding question here is “what is best for me at this time?”

The only recommendation is to come out to you first, always be honest with yourself.

Gay, Lesbian or bisexual are labels referring to a person’s sexual identity

Some people use these labels however, it is your right to accept, reject or adapt these in labelling yourself.

At no time does anybody else have the right to label you or out you.

Only ever, use labels that you feel comfortable with and that fit.

Sometimes it maybe better not to use any labels, which is also ok.

Never get same-sex attraction mixed up with being Gay, Lesbian or bisexual

Same-sex attraction refers to have feelings of sexual attraction towards another member of the same gender identity.

Teenagers often get themselves egg bound over this one people find others attractive for many different reasons.

It does not mean you are gay people have many different kinds of relationships, which fulfil personal needs.

However, the guiding principles here

Be respectful of yourself

Be honest with your partner.

Practice safe sex

Act safe

Positive support from family and friends is always important

Otherwise reach out for help you’re not alone

A Liberal’s Hit List: Poverty in the LGBT Community

Published July 11, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

A Liberal’s Hit List: Poverty in the LGBT Community

The article gives some limited commentary on a recent report by The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law titled

“Poverty in the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Community”.

It highlights a number of findings that question the myth of ‘the power of the pink dollar’, in that households in Our Community are at least as likely—and at times more likely—to be poor than married heterosexual couples. The rigour of this claim may need further consideration however the point here is to be mindful that our people come from a diverse socio-economic background.