Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are!

ComeOut1Today is the 25th annual National Coming Out Day, a day for every queer person to come out to somebody they care about (assuming they can safely do so).  As I’ve been out of my closet for at least half a decade now, the list of people I care about who don’t know I’m queer as a three dollar bill is fairly short, if not non-existent.  I guide and mentor queer youth for a living, and I’m training to be a counselor specifically for the queer community.  I’m out and loud and proud, baby!

I’m sure that plenty of you are the same in your lives.  Not just out of the closet but you burned the closet on your way out to make sure no one could force you back in.  So what do people like us do on National Coming Out Day?  Assuming we’re already out to the people we care about, I think the next step is to come out to the people who represent us.  I’m talking about our elected officials.  They need to be reminded that they represent all of their constituents, and many of those constituents are queer.  So I’ve included my letter to my elected officials below.  Feel free to copy, paste, and modify it as you see fit.  Below the letter you’ll find the means to finding out who represents you in congress so you can tell them you’re out, proud, and voting.

Dear [Elected Official],

My name is Dorian Mooneyham and I am a resident of [your district, city, state, etc.].  I am writing to your office today to wish you a Happy National Coming Out Day.  As you may know, this is a national holiday in which members of the LGBT community “come out” to people who are important in their lives.  As an elected official who represents me in political matters, you are one of those people important to my way of living.  So I would like to come out  to you now.

I’m Dorian Mooneyham, and I am a bisexual and transgender woman.

What does this mean to you, my elected official?

It means I expect my representative to be supportive of equality, something I expect for all demographics, not just LGBT.  I consider equality one of the lowest possible standards for humanity.  It’s a founding principle of our country, best summed up by the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”  Originally “all men” only applied to white, male, land-owners but we have thankfully expanded that to included men and women of all classes, all races, all creeds, and all religious affiliations.  No doubt each of the times we expanded that definition, there were those who cried that we were granting “special rights”, but the American people have always seen through that smoke screen eventually and wound up on the right side of history.  I’m asking you today to remember that many of your constituents do not have the same rights as others.

I myself am getting married to my fiancé in two years.  But because of my transgender status and the ambiguous nature of marriage equality in our country today, he and I are not even sure if it will be legally binding, despite the fact that we are a opposite sex couple.  Until sex discrimination is eliminated from marriage, we will be forced to take expensive, redundant, legal steps to make sure that we are each other’s medical proxy.  That we are the recipients of insurance and other financial matters if one of us should die.  That both of us will be considered legal guardians when we adopt children.

I also work with LGBT teenagers for a living as part of a large non-profit organization.  And I’m concerned about whether the bullying many of them face on a daily basis will be taken seriously in the legal sphere.  Whether transgender students will be able to use the bathroom that is safest for them.  Whether they will be able to secure a job or housing or education as they get older.  Whether they’ll be protected from harmful and ineffective “conversion therapy” that their parents might attempt to force them into.  Whether they will grow up in a country that accepts them as the productive, proud, outspoken, and passionate citizens they are destined to be, or if they will continue to live in this country as second class citizens.

LGBT citizens are productive and active members of American society.  We deserve the same respect and rights as all straight and cisgender citizens.  We are not asking to be treated any differently than anyone else, we only ask to be treated fairly.  Regardless of what your personal views of LGBT identities may be, the overriding theme of American history has been equality for all.  I only ask you to continue with that theme.

Sincerely,

Dorian Mooneyham

Click here to find out who your elected officials are.  Personally mine are Ted Cruz (Boo) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (Yay!).  Whoever you come out to today, I hope you have a wonderful and productive Coming Out Day.  Just in case you need some inspiration, I’ll let Harvey Milk take over from here:

 

How Do I Ally?

Editor’s Note: Because I’m all hopped up on Dayquil and throat lozenges with a wicked sore throat, Dirty Nerdy and I wrote this article together.   So you could consider it “Justified Ginger & Tranny Rage”, except we’re not really raging.


Step 1. Don’t call yourself an ally.

“Ally” is not a self-identified label; it is a label marginalized groups will give to you if they perceive your behaviors to be allied with their interests.

Step 2. Sit Down!

It’s not your turn to stand up right now.

HowDoIAllyStep 3. Listen!

Maybe their personal experience just might outweigh your second-hand experience.

Step 4. Say,”I support you!” and then ask questions.

Ask questions at this point–questions that are specific, cannot be learned from 10 seconds on Google and that are not accusatory.

Good Question: What can I do to make this environment more inviting and open for [insert demographic here].

Bad Question: Why are all you [insert demographic here] so angry?

We’re angry because of bad questions like that!

Step 5. Listen more!!

You can’t ask questions if you’re not going to listen to the answers.

Step 6. Do your own goddamn research.

If you are interested in supporting a marginalized group, research their history. Learn, on your own, what sorts of privileges you might have over that specific group. Learn common microaggressions so you may try to avoid those same mistakes.

If you somehow still manage to upset a marginalized person with a bad question or other microaggressions, and that person is not willing to educate you in the moment, go do your own research. Look at what other people in that group have said about behaviors similar to your own. Always remember: Sit and listen!

Step 7. Be prepared to admit you’re wrong.

When stepping into the spaces of marginalized groups, you will make mistakes. We all do. Be prepared to accept that you have hurt somebody. Remember the rules for apologizing. Marginalized groups can tell when you’re not offering a sincere apology.

If at any point you find yourself using the phrase “But I have a [insert demographic here] friend,” you’re doing it wrong!

Step 8. DO NOT TALK ABOUT YOUR FEELZ!

Being an ally is not about your feelings. Being an ally is not about your personal interests. Being an ally is about being able to set aside your own personal feelings and interests for a while and caring about other people’s feelings and interests for a change. Do not, under any circumstances, talk about your personal privileged feelings in discussions pertaining to the oppression of marginalized groups!

Example:

In discussions of race, if you are white, do not talk about that time somebody called you a “Cracker” and it made you feel sad.

If you make a mistake, and members of the marginalized group express anger at you, do not try to turn this into a discussion of your feelings. Remember, this isn’t about you.

Step 9. Do not expect cookies, or praise.

Being an ally is about being a decent human being. Nobody deserves cookies or praise for meeting the lowest possible standards of being a decent human being. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve worked for that marginalized group, or how many nice things you’ve done in the past.

Step 10. Speak up among other privileged people.

When you spend time in spaces dominated by privileged people, speak up against hurtful language and behaviors. It means more coming from you because you are part of the privileged group (psst! That’s one of your privileges!).

Step 11. Do not dismiss identities.

If at any point you use the phrases “we’re all just human,” “we all bleed red,” “labels don’t matter” just be quiet. Labels don’t matter to you because you’re part of the privileged group. Your label is automatically seen as “neutral” or “natural.” Members of marginalized groups don’t get to avoid racism/sexism/homophobia/transphobia/ableism/ageism or other discrimination because they cannot stop being a member of the marginalized group.

It’s very easy for a man, or a white person, or a straight person to go through life never “seeing” discrimination and thus thinking that oppression is over. Those of us who are part of marginalized groups don’t have that privilege. We are oppressed on a daily basis. So, no, labels aren’t useless. They are the concepts that allow us to talk about our experiences. Please respect that.

Step 12. Learn the difference between Oppression and A Minor Inconvenience.

Telling somebody to “lock their door” in order to lower their risk of being burgled is not the same thing as telling women to wear certain clothes, not go out after certain times, not walk around outside alone, not be at home alone, etc in order to potentially avoid being raped*. Locking your door is a minor inconvenience, radically changing your daily habits and routines in order to possibly avoid a violent attack on your person is oppression.

Oppression is something that radically alters your life and often comes in the form of a double standard where you cannot win no matter how you alter your behavior. A minor inconvenience is a one-off happenstance that may have slightly annoyed you but otherwise does not significantly affect your life.

Examples of Double Standard: Madonna/WhoreGhetto/OreoDeceiver/Pathetic Stereotypes

Step 13. Repeat Steps 1-12.

You will never fully understand what it is like to live as the marginalized group (even if you are a member of another marginalized group). To act as an ally, you must continue to be willing to sit down, listen, learn, research and speak up when in privileged spaces.

*These things don’t actually prevent rape though, so there’s that.

This post has been brought to you by Dayquil.

This post has been brought to you by Dayquil.

JGR: 24 Signs He’s a Creeper

 

 

My Response to Tuthmosis’ List of Slut Tells

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Dirty Nerdy’s Abridged List of Creeper Tells

1. He’s unnecessarily leering at every girl with tattoos. This is especially the case if they’re visible, multiple, large, and elaborate. If they have sexual themes, he’ll probably explode right there.

2. He’s unnecessarily leering at piercings outside of the traditional earlobe placement. Creepiness increases as he stares at each piercing in turn–simultaneously judging you and trying to determine your fuckability in his mind. See, cuz if a girl has lots of sex, she’s a slut, but if she doesn’t have sex with him, she’s a bitch.

3. Has “creep face.” You either recognize it or you don’t.

[Actually, when a woman encounters a strange man for the first time, it’s usually not possible to tell whether or not he’s a creep by what he looks like…unless he has a neck beard and wears a fedora]

4. Seems to get off on cussing at women a lot, but will judge her to be a slut if she returns the favor. Especially if he yells the words “fuck”, “pussy,” or “cock” at random women on the street.

5. Insists on playing the tickle game with grown women who are obviously not interested, then exclaims that she just must be “Not ticklish”. The Creeper will often try to explain that only sluts “aren’t ticklish” because he doesn’t understand what tickling and being ticklish actually entails.

6. Broaches the topic of illegal drugs (even marijuana) without prompting. The more illegal, the creepier.

7. Leers at women with big tits. He will probably not understand the biology of breasts and will make stupid assumptions such as “They probably came in early” and “big tits equals slut!”

8. Assumes that women show excessive skin in order to get attention from males. Will often try to claim that it’s just not hot enough to justify showing a mid-riff or wearing short-shorts, even though it’s none of his fucking business why a woman chooses to wear any particular article of clothing.

9. Doesn’t understand even the basics of the biology behind sex and gender, and yet tries to lecture women on it.
Will only recognize the existence of two gendered hormones: Testosterone and Estrogen. He will not be able to demonstrate even a basic understanding of what these hormones actually do though.

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We’re not interested.

10. Associates with confirmed creepers. His friends are often one of your best weathervanes. Birds of a feather, as they say.

11. Shows an inordinate amount of interest in bi-sexual girls. Bi-sexuality has quickly become a stand-in for hyper-sexuality by idiots who don’t understand what it means. If he finds out a girl is bi, he will probably grill her about her sexual exploits. If she doesn’t tell him anything (cuz it’s none of his fucking business) then she’s a prude and she’s lying about being bisexual. If she does choose to tell him about her past sexual experience, then he will declare she’s a slut…oh and she’s still lying about her sexuality. He will probably propose a three-some/group sex with any and all bisexual girls he meets.

12. Is currently, or was at some point, in a fraternity*. Fraternities are little more than creeper factories on college campuses.

13. Has traveled alone to what he deems as “fuck-fest” locations (e.g., Jamaica) in order to try to “score” sex with some college-aged women*. This is often a tell-tale sign of a rape-on-vacation-doesn’t-count case, where he will try to coerce women to have sex.  And if he fails, he’ll get on the internet to whine about all the stupid bitches who won’t sleep with him.

14. Was a football player in high school*. Football players have access to, and exploit, the most desirable and privileged station at most schools. See “Stuebenville”

15. Went, or goes, to a known party college (e.g., Arizona State, USC, UC Santa Barbara)*. Men are copycats, and when all of his friends “are doing it” (whatever “it” is), they do too. (See No. 10.)

16. Preys on women who were victimized at a young age (15 and down). He will refuse to acknowledge that teenaged girls cannot consent to adult men. So he will insist that she wasn’t raped she just “lost her virginity” and then regretted it later.

17. Likes getting women, or preying on women who have made the choice, to drink tequila shots or take drugs (e.g. roofies). These are the drugs of choice for the creepers.

18. Is “friends” with DJs, promoters, or other small-time pseudo-celebs. He’s hoping to hook up with the women who are actually friends with these people, because he mistakenly believes that they won’t be able to tell he’s a creeper.

19. Is an artist, or a wannabe “photographer” who has done “photo shoots.”* Some men in the arts tend to have a loose attitude toward consent, especially if their “art” involves “allowing women to express themselves with their bodies” (read: but never men, he doesn’t photograph them).

20. Disrespects small boundaries before the topic of sex is ever broached. This may seem like a no-brainer, but they often do so in subtle ways that can seem plausibly deniable. They never are.

21. Focuses on women whom he believes have “Daddy issues”. This is a classic predictor of a creep who is going to try really hard to make “negging” work.

22. Isn’t able to stand talking to feminists or any women who are able to stand up for themselves. He’ll claim he wants a strong woman (likely because he thinks they “fuck with impunity”), but the moment she contradicts him he’ll start whining and crying that she’s “such a bitch.”

23. Seems to think that any amount of female nudity or semi-nudity must be sexual. Therefore any woman who spends any amount of time being comfortable while nude must be “fair game.”He will make creepy remarks about some women having “perfect” or “even” tans.

24. Judges women for “sluttiness” but at the same time admits to trying to have sex with women on the first date, even if they have stated point blank that they do not want to have sex with him. Is not willing to date any woman who is a prude or a bitch (read: doesn’t have sex with him right away), but is unwilling to then marry “the town bike”. Then he goes on the internet and whines about how he can’t find a nice girl to settle down with.

These cues should be on every woman’s “Creep Radar”.

***I do not believe that every man who played football, joined a fraternity, went to a party school, is a photographer, talks about illegal drugs, or is friends with “pseudo-celebrities” is automatically a creeper. Likewise, I do not believe all men engage in these behaviors. I merely mirrored Tuthmosis’ stupid generalizations in order to show how stupid they are. All others I turned around to show how the behavior of the man who does this is creepy, and what it says about his attitudes toward women, consent and sex.***

Creeper3

For those MRA’s who will inevitably insist that I’m hating ALL MEN