Tag Archives: rant

This, ladies, is why you have no gay friends…

I have a lot of gay, lesbian, and transgender friends.  Among those friends are drag kings and queens, comedians, and various other performers.  Whenever this comes up in conversation, typically because someone is gay bashing or being generally ignorant, some girl always chimes in with “awww, I wish I had a gay friend” which is typically followed by some type of stereotypical bullcrap reason such as “to go shopping with me and help me pick out clothes”.  Ladies, allow me to clear something up for you, this kind of thinking is EXACTLY why you DON’T have gay friends.

  1. First and foremost, wanting gay friends is why you don’t have gay friends.  You want them based on some stereotypical and often self-centered ideal.  Would you be friends with someone who sought you out as a friend based on some preconceived idea about what you could do for them without them ever having met you?  Not likely.
  2. Saying you want a gay friend to shop with is no different that saying you want a black friend to teach you to dance hip hop.  It’s just stereotyping gay people in a way that robs them of their individual identities.  Stop it.
  3. How self-centered are you to assume that if you had a gay friend he would have nothing better to do with his time than hang out at the mall with you?  You probably already have female friends, do THEY want to hang out at the mall with you?  What difference do you think a guy loving wiener is going to make in this scenario?
  4. Gay men are not chicks with penises.  Well, trannies are, but that’s not the point.  Gay men generally don’t want to be your girlfriend.
  5. Homosexuals are people just like everyone else. Homosexuality does not necessarily equate to “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” any more than being female equates to “Sex and the City”.  Sure, we’ve all met people who fit that mold, most of us don’t though.  Nobody likes being stereotyped.
  6. If you’re open to having gay male friends, you also need to be open to having lesbian, bisexual, and transgender friends.  If you select 1 form of “non-threatening” homosexuality to find endearing while feeling threatened, intimidated, or disgusted by others, congratulations, you’re still a bigot.  This also holds true in the reverse.  If you think lesbians are cute but gay men are threatening, intimidating, or gross, you’re a bigot.  Period.
  7. Telling a drag queen “You’re so beautiful!  I wish I could do make-up like that” is a bit ridiculous.  Drag queens / kings are performers.  They wear stage make-up.  Anyone involved in theater can teach you about stage make-up.  Heck you can learn it from youtube.  I don’t say that to diminish the art.  I think it definitely takes talent and skill.  I’m just saying that you’ve had your entire life to learn to do make-up.  If you haven’t figured it out by now, learning the art of covering non-existent 5:00 shadow and creating feminine cheekbones is not likely to help you much.
  8. If you go to a drag show, remember it’s a show.  Those in it are performers and like many other performers, many kings and queens do appreciate your compliments and input.  However, assuming your intrusion into a break is welcome or wanted is rude.  If you feel the need to compliment a performance, do so and then leave these poor people alone unless you are invited to stay.  Better yet, say it with money.  Kings and queens work for tips.  A tip says more about the quality of the performance than a compliment.
  9. When you see drag performers on a break, bear in mind they’re on a break.  Would you want drunken strangers bothering you on your breaks?  I didn’t think so.
  10. This one should actually be higher in the list but, if you go to a gay bar, remember that you are a guest in a gay bar.  No one is there to cater to you.  Like any other bar, a lot of people are there to hook up or to hang out with friends.  Like any other bar, the patrons of gay bars don’t want to be bothered and harassed by those who are there to do none of the above.  You’re a guest and as such, you should behave like one.
  11. If you’re hit on by someone of the same sex, it is no different than being hit on by someone of the opposite sex.  Remember, you’re in a club.  People go to clubs to hook up.  You don’t have to be interested but you don’t have to be a jerk either.  It’s flattering to be hit on and you can reject advances politely.  You asked to be hit on when you walked in the door.  You made that choice.  Don’t be a douche about it.
  12. If you have a LGBT acquaintance or friend, for the love of whatever, don’t constantly try to engage them in conversations about their sexuality.  It’s okay to be curious or ask questions on occasion but be reasonable.  Would you constantly ask a black friend questions about being black or an Asian friend questions about being Asian?  Sure, people are curious about people and cultures different from their own but it is also important to be respectful and to remember that other people are not defined by their race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation any more than you are.
  13. Finally, gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual people are people.  Just treat them like people.

In short, if you can’t separate someone’s sexual orientation from who he or she is as a whole, why would he or she want to be friends with you?  It’s about respect and boundaries as much as it is about accepting someone for who he or she really is and not just some preconceived notion you have about them.  I have gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, polyamorous, Asian, Indian, African, African-American, Middle-Eastern, Christian, Buddhist, Taoist, Muslim, Atheist, Jewish, rich, poor, gamer, vegan, rennie, left handed, short, tall, fat, skinny, redneck, goth, punk, metal-head, etc., etc., etc., friends and to me, they are all just friends.  While I recognize their differences, I don’t feel the need to define them by those differences and I try hard not to stereotype them.

If you want certain kinds of friends based on stereotypes and preconceived notions, that’s why you don’t have those kinds of friends.  It’s that simple.

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Filed under Just a day in my life.

It’s not herpes!

PSA – This is a pimple.

It is a very large and disgusting pimple, but a pimple nonetheless.

Pretty much the only place I ever get pimples is right next to my lip.  I think this is probably because I lick my lips a lot.  I also have the unfortunate nervous habits (or neuroses?) of chewing my lip, chewing on my nails / fingertips, and rolling my lower lip between my thumb and index finger when I’m concentrating.  I try not to do these things, but I don’t always succeed.

Before I continue, I want to say, I mean no disrespect to people who have the herpes virus and unfortunately have to live with herpes mouth sores.  I don’t think it means anything negative about you and understand that most people actually contract it as children through harmless daily interactions.

That said, I hate looking like I have herpes.  It’s awful and makes me more self-conscious than I already am.  Plus just having a lip pimple is bad enough without having people think its herpes.  Lips are very sensitive.  Lip pimples are, in my experience, huge, very puss filled, and cause a lot of swelling.  They also take FOREVER to heal.   Plus, because my lip pimple makes my lip swell, it feels funny so I unconsciously keep touching it, which only prolongs the eternity in which I have to live with it grossing up my lip.

If I had other pimples, it probably wouldn’t be as bad.  But when it’s just one, and it’s on your lip, everyone assumes you have the herps.  I am so neurotically worried about this stupid pimple that I have actually questioned whether it might prevent me from getting  a job and have wondered if people go behind me disinfecting things in the office after I leave.  Yes, I know this is irrational!  Haven’t you figured out yet that I am a highly irrational person?

I have had my current facial monstrosity for about a week and it hasn’t improved in the slightest.  Because I can’t stop touching the stupid thing, today I resorted to drastic measures and covered it with a waterproof band-aid.

Somehow this is better in my mind.  I mean, anything could be under there.  Rather than a pimple, maybe I was punched in the mouth during some domestic violence, or maybe I was in a car accident and a piece of windshield cut my lip, or maybe I have such chronically dry skin that it just cracked open.  None of those things would make people wipe down my keyboard while I’m at lunch, right?

These are seriously things that I worry about.  It’s no wonder I’m socially awkward.  I don’t even know how to function inside my own head!

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Filed under Just a day in my life., Miscellany

If if wears nerdy t-shirts, says nerdy stuff, and collects nerdy things…

Warning: Generalizations ahead.

People often say “I hate to generalize, but…” and I think for the most part we mean it.  No one wants to be generalized or labeled yet generalizing and labeling are how human beings process information and make sense of things.  Humans need to put things into boxes.  We separate, organize, file and store.  It’s how we process paperwork, email, and computer files.  We catalog our surroundings: plant, animal, genus, species.  Unfortunately it’s also how we deal with one another.

The question is, why are some labels more desirable and accepted than others?

I’ll be the first to admit that the labels assigned to me are generally thought of as being negative.

I struggle with my weight so I am labeled as fat and by association, probably lazy and unhealthy.  Neither of which is really true.

I went back to school later in life than most so at school I was old and by association uncool.  In some ways I’ll agree with that statement.  I am at a different point in my life than my classmates so I find different things fun.  On the few occasions I went out and did things with my law school contemporaries, I felt ridiculous.  It just wasn’t me.  I had been there, done that, and moved on.

Another label that could be used to describe me is goth.  I like gothic and industrial music.  On the rare occasion I go out to a club, I prefer that it be a goth club (or a gay bar.  Drag shows are fun).  I love gothic clothing and architecture and identify strongly with the goth community.  In my experience, goths (and here, I really hate to generalize) tend to be intelligent and open-minded people who happen to enjoy a certain aesthetic.  The “scene” is really not as weird and mysterious as people think.  That said, because we are open-minded and extremely accepting, we do tend to collect a wide range of societal misfits, for lack of a better term.  We are also easily identifiable as well as easily misidentifiable.   The goth label is slapped on all sorts of subcultures who coincidentally prefer to wear black and that’s really not our fault.  Because of a few bad seeds though, the entire community has gotten a bad rap.  I assure you, we really aren’t going around sucking people’s blood, holding satanic rituals, or shooting people.  For the most part, we are peace loving people who just want to be left alone.

Nerd, geek, dork.  In my opinion these are different things but that’s a post for a different day.  Whatever you want to call me, I never lost my love of cartoons. I read comic books and graphic novels. I enjoy science fiction. I go to conventions. My favorite past-time is playing lengthy strategic board games.  I pride myself on being intelligent.  I have a graduate degree.  I feel more at home in a game and comic shop than I do in a clothing store.  I like t-shirts with funny sayings on them.  I am of the opinion that pig-tails are cute no matter how old you are.  I like to wear silly socks and underwear. I play with toys. I think it’s perfectly okay for adults to roughhouse and play.  I enjoy building forts inside the house just to get inside them with my dogs and read a book.  I own lightsabers and nerf weapons and I use them on a very regular basis.  I carry a Batman lunch box.  I like to read but prefer fantasy to romance.  I’m an Avatard and a Whovian.  I hate chick flicks and love action movies.  I don’t like dressing up and only occasionally wear make-up.  I see nothing wrong with any of this.  I think this stuff makes me kind of awesome.  I have found though, unless you also like these things, all of the above is very frowned upon.

So I wonder, what is it about geekdom, or whatever you want to call it, that makes it so socially undesirable?

Is it that we take it too far?  Those of the geek persuasion often do have a habit of superliking things to the n-thousanth degree.  My boyfriend Andy is a perfect example.  Every time he starts a new role playing game he becomes obsessed with whatever world it’s set in.  Recently he ran a Deadlands campaign, which is set in the American Old West.  Suddenly he was all about cowboys.  We ate beef jerky like it was going out of style.  We went to the Old West Festival.  He began reading books about the old west, buying old west clothing, old west weapons, and even stared a Deadlands blog and began waxing his mustache.  The cool part for me was that I FINALLY, after years of trying, got him into Steampunk!  (add Steampunk to the above list of stuff I really like)

Before long the guys got tired of Deadlands and decided to move on to Star Wars.  Andy was already a huge Star Wars fan so I wasn’t expecting too much of a change.  Hah!  Silly me.  Andy went Star Wars crazy.  Star Wars RPG every other week plus playing Star Wars: The Old Republic in his free time as well as reading and re-reading all of the RPG books and the Legacy graphic novels.  He also bought a 47″ TV for the basement, which I suspect was strongly motivated by his scroll.

You know that scrolling text at the beginning of every Star Wars movie?  Well, Andy has incorporated that into his bi-weekly gaming session.  Before they play they all sit down and read the story synopsis on a perfectly timed recreation of the opening  scroll, complete with soundtrack.  He also plays the movie soundtracks in the background as they play and remotely changes the selection to match the action.  Seriously, my boy’s a world champion nerd when he puts his mind to it.

A sampling of Andy’s Star Wars related purchases over the past couple of months.

The sad thing is, I’m not really much better.  2 weeks ago I started watching Doctor Who.  8 episodes into the series I discovered I had a mostly full can of blue paint tucked away in my basement.  I had my very own Tardis door before I even finished season 1.

I mean, it wasn’t totally unreasonable.  It’s just the laundry room door and it already had a cat door cut into it anyway.  Besides, I already had the paint and well, our house is the kind of place that needs a Tardis door, in my opinion.

But back to my original point, is it the fact that we take our fandoms too far that make geekdom undesirable?  Is what we do really any different than say, a sports fan who collects team memorabilia and memorizes player stats?  I used to work with a guy who has a Steelers room in his house.  It wasn’t even a useful room, like a Steelers themed guest bedroom or something.  It was literally an entire room full of nothing but miscellaneous Steelers crap.  I mean, we don’t even go that far.  As much as we like Star Wars, we don’t have a Star Wars room.  Even our game room is more of a multi-purpose room, really.

I won’t even get started on religious nerds, because this video does it much better than I could.

http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6583358/why-religious-people-are-nerds

Well, I fail at links. Computers aren’t really my thing.  Copy / paste or Google “College Humor religious people are nerds” It’s hilarious and totally worth watching.

Moving on:

My second theory as to why “geek” or other variations thereon has such a negative connotation  is that some superfans seem incapable of shutting up about what they like, no matter how boring it is to the person they are talking to.  I’m sure I probably do it too but oh boy, I say, “you’re boring me so I am walking away now” a lot.  But here again, I don’t understand how rambling on about the Marvel reboot or your latest gaming campaign is any different than when other people talk about the boring things they enjoy.

I mean, in my opinion, sports fans are just about the most boring people in the world.  Unfortunately though, it is so acceptable to be a sports fan that to not be a sports fan is just as likely to make you a pariah as is anything I’ve talked about thus far.

The same holds true for interest shopping, designer clothes, popular TV shows, and anything else that doesn’t interest me.  Yet when people gather around the water cooler, these are the things they talk about.  So where does that leave me?  What I get from all of this is, it’s not okay to like the things I like and it is also not okay to not like the things I don’t like.  Am I really that weird for enjoying the things that I enjoy while not enjoying others?

Is it really so fundamentally wrong to carry a Batman lunchbox and wear combat boots with kitty cat faces on the toes?  It may sound trivial but after 37+ years of not fitting into mainstream society I’m really baffled by these questions.

Could it simply be that as a whole geeks or nerds or whatever people want to call us are simply less concerned with outward appearances?  Are the mainstream masses truly just sheep who spend all their time trying to fit into some socially acceptable mold?  Or is everyone like me, only able to see the world from my one-dimensional perspective while feeling completely baffled by the thoughts and actions of everyone else?  While I’m sure the need to belong and be surrounded by others of like tastes and interests is why we catalog, generalize, and stereotype in the first place, it doesn’t answer the question of why some labels are good and some bad.  How, when, and why does society decide that sports fan is better than sci-fi fan.  It’s very perplexing to me.  Anyone?  Bueller?

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Filed under Board gamer lamer, Just a day in my life.

The “V” Word

Who has 2 thumbs and does not give a sh*t about Valentine’s Day?

No.  Honey-badger doesn’t have thumbs.  I was referring to this girl,

me.

You may be thinking, “but that doesn’t make sense.  You have both a significant other and a girl parts.  How can you hate Valentine’s Day?  I thought you people made that crap up?”

I’m pretty sure some sadistic douche-bag made it up, actually.  Valentine’s Day is the one day a year designed to make absolutely everyone feel like crap.  Think about it:

Scenario 1:  You have a boyfriend / girlfriend.  Good for you.

A – You buy that person a well thought out gift. In return, he or she gets you some red plastic wrapped crap readily available in every retail establishment in the U.S..  Now you’re disappointed and your significant other feels bad for disappointing you.  Awesome.

B – Reverse the above.  Now you’re the recipient of some well thought out gift but you just grabbed some generic crap at the store.  Now you feel like a tool for not putting enough thought into it when your s.o. was so thoughtful.

C – You both do something really wonderful for one another.  That’s great and you’re both happy until you realize you’ve now set precedent for doing something great on Valentine’s Day.  Now you’re under pressure to perform at least equally well for the duration of your relationship.  Wonderful!  as if there wasn’t enough pressure already.

D -You both just exchange some crappy gift you picked up with little thought.  Big freaking deal.  Why even bother?

E – You do something really wonderful and then make the mistake of telling at least 1 single friend about it.  Congratulations, you’re a jerk.

F – You do something completely meaningless and lame and tell at least 1 single person about it.  You’re still a jerk.

G – You both do something really wonderful for one another and later break up.  Now, not only will you be lonely and feel like a loser on future Valentine’s Days, you’ll have the added bonus of this painful memory of happier times associated with the day too.  Bitter much?

H – You decide to ignore it and hope it goes away. “Surprise!  I’m a jerk who didn’t get you anything.  Thanks for the gift though.”

I – You go out for a nice meal.  So does everyone else in the western hemisphere.  You really would have had a much nicer night out any other day of the year.

Scenario 2 – You’re single

A – No matter what type of A-I Valentine’s Days you’ve had in the past, you feel like the entire world is happier than you. You spend the entire day wallowing in self-pity and decide you’re a loser.

Scenario 3 – It’s February, you’re in a crappy relationship and want to break up.

A – You stay in the relationship until after Valentine’s Day just so you won’t be single.  Now anything you do to celebrate is a lie and you’re  a jerk.

B – You go ahead and break up.  Double whammy!  Now not only are you a jerk for not waiting until after Valentine’s Day, you’ll also be newly single for the self-pity wallow ahead.

You can see where this is going.  It’s a horrible day!  Why do we keep allowing it to exist?  Guilt?  Pressure?

If you need a designated day to tell your significant other how you feel about him / her, your relationship needs more than some flowers or a nice dinner out.  Gestures of love and appreciation mean so much more when they aren’t forced and expected.  Honestly, if Andy comes home with a pack of M&M’s because he was out and thought I would like to have a little something, that means 100x more to me than a whole box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day.  It matters to me that he thought about me, on his own, without coaxing, and did something nice for me just because he wanted to.

If you still think you need a date on the calendar on which to show your love, you already have one.  It’s called your ANNIVERSARY.  And you know what, no one else feels bad about their own relationship status because you had a nice anniversary.  Anniversaries also mean more because you are individually responsible for remembering it, rather than having it thrown in your face every time you turn on a TV or walk into a store.  (Note:  I am absolutely hypocritical for writing this entire paragraph.  I SUCK at remembering our anniversary.  I’m not even sure what the exact date is.  It’s some time in December.)

So friends, this is my appeal to you.  STOP VALENTINE’S DAY.  Lets all put our collective feet down and say, you know what, I’m not going to participate anymore.  I am not going to allow the date February 14th to mean anything to me.  It’s just a day like any other day and I don’t care about it. It’s just a day.  It can’t bully you unless you let it.

In closing, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and I don’t care.  Andy and I are going to watch a movie because that’s what we do on Tuesdays.  I’m thinking I’ll probably make grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner.  I am more than ok with doing absolutely nothing to commemorate the day and in my opinion, that’s how it should be.

As an aside, to anyone thinking “but Andy just gave you a pair of freaking sweet Darth Maul Force FX lightsabers for Valentines Day”, he DID NOT.  They just happened to arrive last week and he just happened to buy them in February because that’s when he got his income tax return which, for a change, wasn’t already spent on home repairs.  The fact that he didn’t wait and give them to me on February 14 actually made them mean more to me.  So there.

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Filed under Miscellany