Hello, Straight People;

You don’t exist.

Yeah, yeah, I know. You think you’re straight. You know you’re straight. You can prove you’re straight, just ask anyone in your contact list, or text your current partner, or check out your Instagram account.

Hey, you don’t have to prove anything to me. I don’t care one way or the other and — and neither should you.

Sexuality isn’t one or the other. It’s a complex, complicated, driven by external stimuli and internal interpretation, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink kind of thing.

Who says 100% straight doesn’t exist? That would be Ritch C. Savin-Williams, Director of the Sex and Gender Lab at Cornell University.

In an effort to get at the core of who people really are, as opposed to who they have been socialized to say they are, Savin-Williams conducted a study using pupil dilation to monitor arousal.

You, me, the guy with the laptop hogging the best seat at your local Starbucks; none of us can control our pupil dilation. Can’t be done. Can’t be faked, but it can be measured.

Results? No matter how a person self-identified their eyes dilated when they were shown sexual images of both genders.

A little more dilation here, a little less dilation there, but still a definite physiological response.

Conclusion? Sexuality is not binary, it’s a continuum.

Sorry, you’re only mostly straight 🙂

Aimer at Amazon

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We Were Wrong

This past Tuesday, a crowded gallery in the House of Commons stood witness, as the Prime Minister apologized to the LGBTQ2 community for four decades of state-sponsored, systematic oppression and victimization.

It was all very emotional. Hugs, handshakes, and cheering in the House, but … does it matter? Will this admission of wrongdoing on behalf on the Canadian government change anything?

Does it matter?

Yes. It is a clear statement of where we stand as a nation today and a blueprint for tomorrow.

Will it change anything?

Will Trudeau’s speech stop the neighbours from staring when a same-sex couple kiss each other hello at their own front door? Will it save a transgender woman from being beaten as she steps off the bus on her way home from work? Will it stop all the crude jokes and cruel taunts on the school ground?

I don’t know.

Will it?

Aimer at Amazon

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A Slow March Forward

According to a recent U.N. report, there is a global trend towards decriminalization of same-sex relations. Twenty-five countries in the last twenty years have repealed laws banning consensual gay sex. Five of them in the last five years.

Good news, yes … but …

France legalized homosexuality in 1791. 1791 ! Two hundred and twenty-six years ago. This is not a new idea, people. And yet, here we are in 2017 and there are still seventy-three nations where same-sex relations are illegal. Really?

Are we stubborn or stupid or both?  Yes.

It took the suffrage movement 118 years to work its way across the globe. From New Zealand, the first country to give women the vote in 1893, to Saudi Arabia where women were allowed to vote for the first time in 2011.

Homo Sapiens: We might walk on two feet, but we crawl toward equality — each and every time.

Aimer at Amazon

 

None Of Your Business

We’ve seen it so often we barely notice it, never mind actually think about it. We check M or F and move on, but …

Why does the government, the airlines, the bank, our favourite store need to know what sex we identify as? As long as we pay our taxes and our credit cards aren’t rejected, who cares? Aren’t we all supposed to be equal now?

Granted,  The Handmaid’s Tale has made me paranoid. But, unless we’re going to get up close and personal, how I identify is none of your business.

Canadians now have a third option on our passports. We can check M for Male, F for Female, or X for Gender Neutral.

GN1

No problem. Hopefully, it will make life a little easier for non-binary, intersex, and trans people, but …

Why do we need any gender categorization on our passports?

Because the International Civil Aviation Organisation says we do. At the risk of sounding like my four-year-old grandson… Um, why?

GN3

Maybe we should all choose X on our passports 🙂

Aimer at Amazon

All for One, and One for All

Sitting here in Canada, bombarded daily with news from our neighbours to the south, it’s easy to forget that there is a world outside of Trump’s tweets. But on the other side of the globe, our Commonwealth cousins in Australia are dealing with their own ranting and raving politicians.

The issue is same-sex marriage, and apparently, it’s such a sticky wicket the Australian parliament decided to hand it over to the people, asking for a vote on the issue. All well and good, right? Democracy at it’s best — not so fast.

The plebiscite will be non-binding, meaning parliament doesn’t have to abide by the results of the vote. A lot of Australians, both within and without the LGBT community see this non-binding vote as a waste of time and money.

After a whole ten minutes of research, (three articles on Google and one YouTube video), I don’t have the answer for the intricacies of Australian politics and the best way to get to a YES vote, but … I do have a question.

Why is this still such a big f**king deal? It’s 2017 people, not 1817.

Is it so hard to wrap our minds around concepts like equality and fair play?

Perhaps we, each one of us, should make the Three Musketeers’ motto our own:

All for One, and One for All

equality

Aimer at Amazon

Be You

 

Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”

 

If our fingerprints are to be believed we are, each one of us, unique. It is imprinted on our DNA, our birthright as human beings. Our singularity is something to be cherished and yet, so many of us waste our time trying to blend in with the herd.

Like the world around us, we are none of us static. Each of us is a collection of idiosyncrasies. A collection that time and experience mold and shape so that who we are is more a variable than a constant. Given the fluidity of our psyches, it makes no sense to lock ourselves into the straight jacket of conformity.

It’s hard enough to figure out who we are, never mind pretending to be someone else.

We should embrace our individuality, cultivate it, play with it. Take our weirdness out for a stroll and make life interesting for both ourselves and the people around us.

Why fit in when you can stand out?

 

stand out

 

Aimer at Amazon

 

A Better World

Here in Toronto, we’re smack in the middle of Pride month. As Rodgers and Hammerstein put it eons ago, June Is Bustin’ Out All Over … with rainbow flags and tourists. The annual Pride Parade, this year in its 37th year, has become the official start to our short-lived summer.

In my local suburban mall, Purdys Chocolatier, a Canadian confectionery retail chain, flies the flag with a display of chocolates wrapped in rainbow ribbons and a sign that reads, “Love is the Answer.”  Granted, Purdys is looking to push their product, but the display made me smile anyway … and made me think …

I’m old enough to remember a time before Pride, before words like transgender and homophobia became commonplace. I grew up in a era when the world was presented to the younger generation as a monolith of heterosexuality.

There were no cute books with titles like Sally Has Two Moms. Lexus didn’t run television commercials that featured a man hugging his male partner on his way out the door in the morning. Actually, now that I think about it, Lexus didn’t exist back then and the family car was a station wagon not an SUV.

The complacent fabrication I had unconsciously absorbed, the myth of a solely Adam and Eve world, was obliterated — because of a book. A pink paperback I plucked off a rack in a convenience store.

E. M. Forster’s Maurice broke the world I knew and built a better one. A more interesting, more diverse world. Turns out, I didn’t have to go into outer space with the crew from the star ship Enterprise. There was infinite diversity in infinite combinations to be found right here in my own backyard.

Happy Pride 🙂

Aimer at Amazon