We Are Not Your Afterthought: responding to LGBT Soup


TW for cis gay privilege that could make your eyes bleed. Don’t read this at work unless you have office walls thick enough to withstand obscenities.

There are some phrases that, when you see them in an article, you know aren’t going to lead to anywhere good. “Political correctness gone mad”, for one. “Some of my best friends are…”, for another. “I’m not a ___, but..” is definitely one. One of the phrases that takes the proverbial biscuit (and a lot of other proverbials), though, is this one:

Now, before you run off to compose a face-meltingly indignant email to the editor..

When the writer already knows that they’ve written something to get their readers face-meltingly indignant, things can only go two ways. It could be that they’ve come up with something so new and wonderful that it’ll take the rest of us years to get our heads around. Far more often, though, you’re about to read something that will have you facepalming so hard you end up with permanent dents on your forehead. If you’re unlucky, you might not be able to stop yourself from muttering obscenities at the screen in the middle of your office.

Fortunately for me, I read this at lunchtime.

LGBT Soup, eh?

Continued over at the Tea Cosy’s new home. See you there!

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Elsewhere this week: Julie Bindel and the Trans Health Forum


Over at Gaelick, I wrote a response to Julie Bindel’s latest biphobia:

I’m not sure how bi women’s liberation is in pretending to be lesbians. I’m not sure how we’re supposed to be ‘liberated’ by sublimating many of our desires, re-closeting ourselves and denying ourselves love if it happens to come in her idea of the ‘wrong’ package. Of course, in Bindel’s world being a lesbian or bisexual doesn’t seem to be about love. It’s about patriarchy and politics and tyranny.

TENI held a Trans Health Forum in Dublin this week. I livetweeted (check out my twitter in the sidebar!) and blogged about this over at Feminist Ire:

Trans people don’t just show up from nowhere. We all live in local communities, go to schools and colleges, live in neighbourhoods, go to jobs. Trans kids growing up should know that there are other trans people out there, and so should the cis kids growing up with them. They need to know that they’re not the only one out there. The media have a huge role to play here in providing positive and varied non-stereotyped portrayals of trans people. Trans people are part of our society, and it’s time our society started acting like it.

Also, I’ve been playing around with the look of this place. What do you think?

Enjoy!

Bi Visibility


Bi visibility is always an odd one. We’re constantly on about being erased, and we’re hyper-critical of anyone who is openly bi. We expect perfect behaviour from our role models. Can’t be too stereotypical. Can’t be seen to be sleeping around too much. If they dare be in a monogamous, long-term relationship, they lose either way. Either they’re taking the easy way out from within nice safe het boundaries, or they’re letting the gay side down

Better written late than never, my post for Bi Visibility Day is up on Gaelick. Check it out!

In Defense of Barsexuals and Faux-Mos


Last weekend was Pink Training! Which was wonderful, because I got the chance to give a couple of awesome workshops (Bi Awareness and a bi space) and spend time with some of the fantasticest people in the country. It also meant that I got way too little sleep and DEFINITELY had no peace ‘n’ quiet to do some writing. Am still recovering. May always be still recovering. So here’s a repost, originally published in BoLT Magazine. Enjoy!

I have a confession to make. Despite appearances, and the very title of this article, I am guilty. I’ve done it, you see. I’ve made the snarky comments and given the disparaging looks alongside the rest. The targets of this behaviour? You know, ‘them’. Those expletive deleted straight girls who go around kissing each other to attract guys. Seriously, who do they think they are? They give the rest of us a bad name, right? Aren’t they pretty much the reason why some straight guys seem to think they have a right to elbow in on gay lady couples? Don’t you know how annoying that is? Jeez.

Yeah, I’m sorry.

All this time I’ve been blaming them and you know what? They are not the problem. They’re really, really not. If any of you readers here today are straight (or straightish) women who like to get drunk and kiss girls in bars? And if you think it’s fun that lots of straight/bi guys are into that? Awesome sauce. I wish you much fun and many margaritas.

See, here’s the thing. It’s easy to blame the barsexuals and faux-mos for homophobia and objectification of women. But, seriously? Homophobia and objectification of women are things that have been around a long time.

Read the rest over at the Tea Cosy’s new home!

New? Check. Exciting? Check. Awesome? Check!


Ladies and gentledudes, I am really really happy to be able to let you know that the Awesome New Project I’ve been talking about lately is up and running! Come check out Feminist Ire:

We are feminists.

We are Irish, or Irish-ish, or based in Ireland.

We want to create a space for those on the margins and between the lines. We want to question traditional ideas about identity, about sexuality, about who we are and where we should be going.

We would like a nice cup of tea.

We have some fantastic, opinionated, articulate people writing over there. I’m incredibly excited (in case you hadn’t guessed already) about creating a new space for progressive Irish feminism.

If that wasn’t enough for you? How about checking out my first Feminist Ire post, in which I give Dan Savage a stern talking to about the difference between outreach and research, and why it matters to take bi kids at their word.

Dan, as activists and people who reach out to kids, our purpose isn’t to prove ourselves right. Our purpose isn’t rigorous study design and eliminating false positives. Our purpose is to be heard by the people who need to hear us. It’s to let them know that they’re not alone, and that there are others like them out there.

When one of the major difficulties a group faces is doubt over their very existence, then we need to stand up for that existence.

You know you want to check it out.

When gay women get boyfriends: more lesbian biphobia from AfterEllen.


I don’t want to comment much on this, since I think it speaks for itself. However, if you’ve ever wondered why some queer women disappear from their LG(bt) communities if they enter into different-sex relationships?
This.

There was an article posted on AfterEllen yesterday: Sheryl Swoopes’ comes out as NSGAA (not so gay after all). It appears that Swoopes is an American basketball player who was in an reasonably high-profile relationship with another woman for several years. The article author just found out that Swoopes is now engaged to a man.

Normally, when I find out that a person is engaged to another person, the first word out of my mouth is “congratulations”.

Here’s what the linster, the author of this post, had to say:

..but to find out, you’ll have to come join me in the Tea Cosy’s new home. See you there!

Yes, I take this personally: bi stereotypes in queer spaces.


So, tonight I was going to write a post about food ethics and part-time herbivory, and possibly round it off with a pretty photo of the delicious lentil moussaka that I just made. However, while I was waiting for the moussaka to bake*, I happened upon a post over on AfterEllen that got me all cranky. See, I really don’t like it when people go around telling me how I can and can’t identify. I really don’t like it when people say that my identity isn’t real, that it’s absolutely fine for them to talk about how it’s not real and to talk shit about people like me. And I really, really don’t like it when they also say that it’s not okay for me to be upset by this.
Which is why I did not like the recent post by Ariel Schrag, Comics ‘n Things: Queer identities in comics.
Now, there were two major sections to this article, which was about Erika Moen’s comic DAR. In the second section she criticises Moen’s attitudes towards transmen. While I think the whole issue of gender and attraction is complicated as all hell and that people should be able to express their gendered preferences, I’m also well aware that there can also be a hell of a creepy (not to mention disrespectful) element to the way that people talk about their attraction to trans people, and that is Not Okay. Nope. Not good. But in this, me and Schrag are in agreement.
My problem is with the first 3 pages of the article. Schrag talks disparagingly about Moen’s experiences as a lesbian who finds herself in love with a man, and the complications of navigating this as a queer-identified person with a big personal investment in the gay community. And then she says that, well, it’s absolutely fine for the gay community to be resentful of her, because after all she has all this het privilege now. And that Moen now has no right to claim a queer identity. And no right to have a hard time with all of this, and to talk about having a hard time. And no right to talk about being happy in her relationship.

You know something? No. Just, no.
If Moen says that it was harder to deal with falling for a guy when she ID’d as gay than to deal with coming out as gay in the first place? Then it was harder. I’ve been there, it’s fucking hard. It’s a hell of a lot harder to come out as something where you don’t get to have a nice neat pre-packaged community of people like you who have clearly signposted places to hang out. I was talking about this with a friend of mine** who put it like this:

“oh no my mother is displeased but all of my friends are incredibly supportive!”
“oh look all my friends are kind of tossing vicious slurs at me.”
“…but my mother’s less disappointed, so WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BE WRONG”

Which seems to me like a rather succinct representation of the whole thing.

But yes. Not cool, Schrag. Seriously.

And any other points I would like to make are going to have to wait, because the timer just went off on the oven and it’s Delicious Moussaka O’Clock.

*it smells yummy. Yummy, I tell you!
**who insisted on either remaining anonymous or having an obscene pseudonym. Prudey McPruderson over here has decided that this means anonymity. So there.