Thursday, June 14, 2007

I'm Not Old, I'm Vintage!

Six bits of trivia that uphold the fact that I am definitely turning 40 in five weeks:

1. My friends and I were excited when Pop Rocks appeared on the market in 1975.

2. I stood in line to see the very first Star Wars movie and know without a doubt that it was named Star Wars, not Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. I also owned the Luke Skywalker action figure from The Empire Strikes Back. It came with a Tauntaun that had a slit in it's belly so you could slide Luke inside and keep him from freezing to death on the ice planet Hoth.

3. I bought the single (on 45rpm) of Music Box Dancer after it hit #3 on the charts in 1979. I think it's still a pretty pop instrumental.

4. And later, I wore out my cassette tape of Billy Idol "Rebel Yell".

5. I know that Hong Kong Phooey changed into his crime fighting costume in the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet.

6. The same year I saw Star Wars, I also attended my first R rated movie...with my mother and sister. It was the disco classic Saturday Night Fever. "It's a decision a girl's gotta make early in life, if she's gonna be a nice girl or a cunt." ~Tony Manero.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Gay? Straight? Slightly Crooked.

Define your sexual orientation. For 99% of you, that's a simple thing to do. For me, not so easy. I dated women for a decade. Then I dated men. These days I'm all about personality, rather than gender. So what does that make me? Some friends call me a hasbian, other say I'm gay, some insist on bisexual and a few think I'm straight.

I've never been given to defining my orientation until now. I found out today that I'm not included in my company's GLBTQQ luncheon because I am apparently completely heterosexual. The organizers of the very first of it's kind lunch meeting for our firm passed me over as not being Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer or Questioning. Interesting, given that I've been an active member of the GLBTQQ social scene in Austin since 1989.

My straight friends insist that since I've have romantic relationships with women I cannot be heterosexual. Now I'm hearing that since I have a boyfriend--a very understanding and supportive one--I cannot be homosexual. Labels have never been important to me until now, simply because I've been kicked out of both camps. The Mo's say I'm not their's and the Ro's say I'm not straight. Where do I belong?

I'm used to not fitting in. I've always lived on the fringe, so I guess being excluded from the diversity luncheon shouldn't come as a surprise. Though it has compelled me to examine my orientation more closely than usual. I find both genders attractive although I haven't dated a woman in a long time. I am not a fag hag or fruit fly, the straight women who's closest friend is a gay man. The term fag hag conjures up images of a slightly drunk woman, leaning on her gay while trying not to spill her cosmopolitan and leering at the go go boys dancing on the bar. The woman who will at some point loudly proclaim "He is soooo hot! What a waste!" and one of the boyz around her will throw their hands in the air and twitter out "Haaaay, he's my man, honey! You keep your whore red Mac lipsticked mouth offa him!". Ugh.

I spent years in Austin supporting the fight to repeal Texas Penal Code Statue 21.06 which asserted couples of the same sex involved in mouth to genital contact or penetration of any part of the genitals by an object was illegal criminal behavior, a sexual offense. In fact, a favorite tee shirt at the time had the statute printed out in it and a large red "Repeat Offender" stamped across it. I have a cute photo of me wearing it while leaning against an APD vehicle. That part of the penal code was eventually ruled unconstitutional and I was no longer a criminal. Oddly enough, the same contact between heterosexuals has always been completely legal.

Of course, some may insist that I was merely a good social rights advocate, not that I was looking out for my own self interests in that I did not want to be called a sex offender as defined by the statute which also contains public lewdness, indecency with a child and indecent exposure. I guess you can twist my life to suit anyone's needs.

I've dodged the bisexuality label for years only because it is the vaguest one of the bunch. Gay men will insist that a bisexual man is really gay, he just can't deal with it yet. Gay women will tell you not to date bisexual women because they'll only leave you for a man. Not the sweetest picture, is it?

I'm still not certain which one of the alphabet letters in GLBTQQ is best for me but the cetainty in my mind is that I am not a true heterosexual, and that leaves only one other group. The Mo's have me, even if they don't want me. I'm here, I'm queer, I'm Kay.

Webster's says it all:
Main Entry:
Pronunciation: 'kwir
Function: adjective
Etymology: origin unknown
2 a : differing in some odd way from what is usual or normal b (1) : ECCENTRIC, UNCONVENTIONAL (2) : mildly insane : TOUCHED c : absorbed or interested to an extreme or unreasonable degree : OBSESSED d (1) often disparaging : HOMOSEXUAL (2) sometimes offensive : GAY 4b3 : not quite well - queer·ish /-ish/ adjective - queer·ly adverb - queer·ness

Over the past two decades, an important change has occurred in the use of queer in sense 2d. The older, strongly pejorative use has certainly not vanished, but a use by some gay people and some academics as a neutral or even positive term has established itself. This development is most noticeable in the adjective but is reflected in the corresponding noun as well. The newer use is sometimes taken to be offensive, especially by older gay men who fostered the acceptance of gay in these uses and still have a strong preference for it.