Tag Archives: Acceptance

How Can we Demand inclusion if we’re exclusive?

With all of the community news, events, and celebrations that come with June being LGBTQIA there’s still the undercurrent that the Cis/Hetero community isn’t necessarily aware of unless they are in some way connected.

Following posts and links and reading articles that all spill forth with Pride month, you get to see more than you may have bargained for. I was so thrilled to find this article about Budweiser and what they are doing to be Pride inclusive. Awesome. I wish more people and companies would follow suit. Thanks Budweiser!

Budweiser launches Pride cups in
EVERY color of the LGBTI rainbow

I came across this article, thanks to the Gay Star News, and was very excited to see the inclusion represented and the steps that they are taking. Unfortunately, that excitement was very short lived once I got to the comments… not from trolls, but from actual members of our community, denying acceptance and in some cases siding on the erasure of our own Rainbow Tribe family members.

” It’s bad enough polluting with more plastic, we’re polluting the lgbt with more of that “asexual” nonsense. ”

“So I am stuck getting a SJW cup.”

” But they’re not, and talking over actual lgbt people to pretend you are doesn’t get you anywhere. “

” asexual isn’t even lgbt. full stop. “

” Agender is a gender? “

” asexuality is not a part of pride, sorry. just because you arent attracted to any sex doesnt mean you are lgbt “

“I think you spelled that wrong. LGBT. Has been and always be that acronym. L – lesbian. G – Gay. B- bisexual. T- transgender. Quit adding your letters to try and feel validated. Sorry buddy. Just because you or someone else isn’t sexually attracted to a gender or a person. Doesn’t mean you are persecuted and name called and raped. No. Pride is for those that have been through that or DIDNT MAKE IT. Stop trying to push your way into this. You or whoever else that is asexual can be an ally.”

Tell me how inclusive the rainbow is when members of the community pick and choose who can and can’t join… it’s a not a 10-year-old’s tree house that says “Private. No girls allowed.”

It’s comments like these that are the exact reason that I am in love with the Progress Pride Flag.

Progress Pride Flag – Portland-based designer, Daniel Quasar, felt that the six-striped LGBT flag should be visually separated from the newer stripes due to their difference in meaning, as well as to “shift focus and emphasis to what is important in our current community climate.”

Anyone who is non-hetero, non-cis, non-hetero romantic and has a combination of reproductive organs of more than one sex is a member of the Rainbow Tribe known as LGBT, LGBTQ, and/or LGBTQIA+. Really. It’s that simple.

We have members of the gay community that are racist, members who are anti-trans, who are binary exclusive (TERFs). And, woohoo, we got a T, a Q, an I, and an A. Great for Wheel of Fortune, not so much for Transgender, queer/questioning, intersex and agender/asexual members of our community.

And let’s not forget the “+” added on as a catchall for other sexualities. You’re on the fringe so you get to be an asterisk and be put in the bargain bin and ignored.

And yet people they still refer to the 1978 rainbow flag as being a gay pride flag and the gay community is just one part of the LGBTQ* community.

I’ll be honest, I personally don’t think that the last 4 letters should have been put with the first three. Sexuality and gender are two different things and I think it adds to confusing the cis-heteros and rather than asking questions they just say we’re all fucked up and shut the door in our faces.  And how can we blame them for being undereducated on the subject when a large part of our own community is as well?

Late in the night of my 3rd birthday, less than 8 short miles from my home, transgender women started the Stonewall Riots and kicked off the beginning of the “gay rights” movement. “Gay rights.” And the only ones who seem know who started the movement are the ones in the trans community.  

Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera c.1969

The night of June 27, 1969 marks a historic turning point, putting the wheels in motion for contemporary LGBTQ+ rights in the US.
A routine police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York City ignited a violent, multi-day rebellion after patrons of the bar resisted the discriminatory conditions they long endured and refused to take anymore abuse, discrimination, and hate. . 

“Gays” can now be in the military, get married, adopt kids, live where you want, work where you want and are covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Trans folks? Nope, get out of our military and stay the fuck out of our bathrooms! I don’t want you to live near me, work with me, or be in school with “our” children.  

We have TERFs who say that non-binary folks – genderqueer, genderfluid, agender, pangender, demi gender, etc. aren’t *really* trans folks. Well we’ve got a choice in gender with only two options, cis or trans. That’s it. So if non-binary doesn’t count… who the fuck are we other than not welcome and invisible?  

We have gay & lesbian folks that say that asexuals aren’t one of “us”. In fact a poster on this very thread said they’re not allowed to be in the club because they haven’t struggled. Says who? Oh wait, and what makes your arrogant ass think that they need your damned permission? Again, two options… gay or straight. Straight, which is the baseline of “normal” or so it used to be called and still thought of by some, is pretty simple and pardon the pun, straight forward. So if you’re not straight, you’re a member of the Rainbow Tribe.  

You think you had it bad as gay or lesbian? At least you were acknowledged as existing. 

And as far as the inclusion of the brown and black stripes… there is too much racial divide in the gay community, and trans women of color are being slaughtered at such a rate that soon they’ll be classed as an endangered species. I hope we can have a telethon to save Laverne Cox at least. 

LGBTQIA+ – I know it’s a mouthful of letters, but we’re (allegedly) grown folks and unlike the guy in the oval who “knows the best words” (but can’t spell them), I think we can manage 5 to 7 letters. Can’t we? Tell me how we can ask and even demand acceptance if we’re not willing to accept members of our own community?   

New York City Monument Will Honor Transgender Activists Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera

The two women were instrumental in the 1969 Stonewall Uprising and spent their lives advocating for marginalized groups

Maggie ॐ 

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To My Earliest Mentor, Thank You

As I signed on to Facebook tonight, I saw posts regarding the death of Mary Grace Canfield.  For those who didn’t know her Mary Grace had a 4-decade career, nothing to sneeze about in Hollywood during any era.  She made the rounds from soaps to sitcoms and was most famous for playing… well, we’ll get to that in a minute.

I was born in the ’60’s, which was a very “interesting” time in our American history.  The Vietnam War, hippies & civil rights all colliding (and clashing) with the cookie cutter males and females of previous generations.  Some fighting to maintain their roles and the security that came with it and others fighting to break out of the mold and throwing off the shackles of conformity knowing they were destined for other things.

The women’s movement was on every page and creating a virtual volcano in most households as the “lava” poured in.

The world I was born into had certain set rules.  And while there were people trying to change that out in the world, that was not necessarily “my world”.   Not yet.  As I described in my previous post (Gender Roles and Pigeon Holes) I was told early on what limited roles I could play in this world… nurse, not doctor, teacher, not principal, stewardess, not pilot.  You get the idea.

I was not comfortable in this world.  I absolutely hated the dresses that I was forced to wear.  At that time, that’s all girls were allowed to wear in school.  I couldn’t wait to get home and get into my jeans (a.k.a. play clothes) and get outside.

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Then came my first communion.  I got all the hype… how I was going to be able to dress up like a bride.  (Every little girls’ dream right?) Big deal at the church, followed by the even bigger deal at my grandparents’ house.  Um, yeah, till I got grounded for going out back to play with the kids in the alley behind the house.  Okay, so it wasn’t the playing that got me in trouble…

One of the kids had gotten a new Pogo stick and we were all taking turns (and yes, I was still wearing that dress).  Unfortunately for me, the Pogo stick was not well put together and by the time it was my turn something zigged when it should have zagged and the next thing I knew was that I was on the ground and the Pogo stick was in pieces.

Worse yet was the owner of the formerly intact Pogo stick now standing over me threatening to beat me up because I broke his Pogo stick!  Now I will say that I wasn’t too worried, because I could have taken him in a fight (yes, still wearing that dress) and I knew that because I had already done it once before.

I did feel bad because I thought I broke it and it was new and I wanted to ride it again.  So, of course, I was happy to help fix it. Unfortunately, the mainspring of the Pogo stick had rolled under a parked car and none of us had arms long enough to reach. No worries!  I’m skinny enough to scoot under the car and get it!  ADD is a wonderful thing.  (And yep, you guessed it – still wearing the dress.)

So finally someone realizes that I’m missing from my own party and the parental units give the quick once over of the house before rolling their eyes and realizing that I was outside and dreading what they’d find.  My mother was THRILLED beyond measure so find me sitting cross-legged in the alley covered in axle grease repairing a Pogo stick… still wearing the dress.

I think you get the picture.  I was a tomboy and I was stuck in the middle of a dress-wearing, ribbons-in-the-hair, can’t get dirty or chip a nail, frilly girl world and I just couldn’t take it.

I was the kid at my dad’s company picnic when they sent us out to find sticks to make a small fire, I brought back a downed tree.  It wasn’t too big around, but it was pretty long and I was so proud that none of the boys and brought back something that cool.

I was the kid at another company picnic when the regional V.P. decided to play touch football with the “little ones”, I tackled him because that’s how you play football.  (I should mention this was our welcome to the office party after moving to Chicago and the first time meeting everyone.  Mom thought she shouldn’t have unpacked and was sure that Pop was getting fired after that one.)

But on TV there was a ray of hope for me and her name was Ralph.

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From 1965 to 1971 (and many, many more years of syndication) ran a TV show called Green Acres.  If you’re unfamiliar, it was a farcical comedy starring Eddie Albert as a New York attorney wanting to ditch the rat race by leaving his job and moving he and his wife from an upscale Manhattan penthouse to the fictitious backwater town known as Hooterville.

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The wife was played by Eva Gabor, who reminded me entirely too much of my Grandmother the Lithuanian beauty queen (literally – She was Miss Lithuania 1932) who was constantly talking about putting my hair in pin curls.  Eva Gabor was always dressed for a cocktail party, couldn’t cook, couldn’t clean,  and was always trying to darn her husband’s socks (back when people still did that) with a stapler because she couldn’t sew.

Hooterville was this beyond rural town with an eclectic cast of characters and farm life as it turned out wasn’t as pleasant as he’d dreamed… but he was an optimist so they didn’t run screaming with their hair on fire.  The house was a rundown shack that needed work from the time they moved in until about 30 years after the series ended.  So he hired none other than the Monroe Brothers to come to his aid and repair his home.

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Ralph and Alf Monroe – The Monroe Brothers

The Monroe brothers, Ralph and Alf were the carpenters/handymen contracted to work on the house.  Ralph was played by Mary Grace Canfield.  As the joke ran, their dad wanted boys.  She was head over heels infatuated over one of the local yokels who saw her as a guy named Ralph and in one episode they tried to make her more “lady-like” giving her the makeover with the big twirly dress, make up and heels.

Knowing the type of humor that was constant in that show (and because the world was a different place back then) the character was never seen as LGBT or as being in “drag”… either in her overalls or that pink dress they stuffed her in.  She was still Ralph.  To me, she was a mentor.  She was finally someone that I could identify with, no matter how corny the humor or how thick the “schtick”.

I know you weren’t meant to be a political statement or to push the proverbial envelope in gender identity, but to me you were a constant for me letting me know that I wasn’t alone.   No one laughed at her, they laughed with her and accepted her as just Ralph.  And I might add she was always the better carpenter.  She’s who I thought of when I helped out with my Uncle’s construction.

So rest in peace Mary Grace Canfield.  May your family accept my deepest sympathies and sincerest thanks.  You succeeded in a great career, brought a smile to millions and helped this little girl know that it was okay to just be me.