One Kwe

Not up on your Ojibwe? Neither am I 🙂

One Kwe, or One Woman, is the name of Kathryn Corbiere’s metal shop in M’Chigeeng, Manitoulin Island.

One Woman…

It resonates, doesn’t it? One woman against the world, brave, and strong, and … well, you get the idea.

It’s a great name, both aesthetically pleasing and accurate, in that Kathryn is a one woman show. She runs her own business, creating and selling modern furniture and art.

One of Kathryn’s art pieces, created in consultation with Pride Manitoulin’s youth group, now hangs in the Objibwe Cultural Foundation. A modern take on the traditional dream catcher, and incorporating LGBT symbolism in its triangular shape and the pride colours worked into the hanging metal feathers, the piece includes three Objibwe words worked into its base—

Respect Love Courage

Like many of us, Kathryn ended up on this particular path because the one she originally started out on turned into a dead end. Unable to find work as a welder, she took her training, and her artistic talent, and tried something else.

Kathryn’s secret to success, “You have to be willing to try.”

Oh, you mean, get off the couch and turn off Netflix?

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Proposal

“I’ve been thinking,” Martin said, spreading low-fat margarine over his toasted bagel. “We should get married.”

Charlie lowered his newspaper, looked at Martin over the top of his reading glasses. “What?”

“You heard me.”

“No.” Charlie went back to reading his paper.

“No, you didn’t hear me or no, you don’t want to get married?” Martin asked, grimacing as he bit into his bagel. It wasn’t the same without cream cheese and jam.

Charlie’s head popped over the paper again. “What’s the matter with you?”

“Nothing, I want to get married.” Martin said, setting his bagel down and picking up his coffee.

Charlie flapped the newspaper pages, but he didn’t look up. “No, you don’t.”

Martin snorted. “You mean you don’t.”

“Don’t tell me what I mean, you know I hate that.”

“Why? You tell me what I think.” Martin popped the last piece of bagel into his mouth and dusted toast crumbs off his fingers.

Charlie folded his newspaper, pushed away from the table. Thirty years with Martin had taught him when to retreat. “I’m off to the gym.”

“I don’t know why you bother going. It’s not like you actually work out,” Martin said, getting up to slot his breakfast plate into the dishwasher.

“Should have thought that was obvious,” Charlie said, rounding the kitchen table, and pinning Martin to the counter. “I go to get away from you.”

Laughter spilling into Martin’s face, he slipped Charlie’s reading glasses off, and set them on the counter. “Get out of here, moron.”

At the kitchen door, Charlie turned back, raised an eyebrow at Martin. “You bought rings, didn’t you?”

“Thought you were leaving?” Martin asked, pouring himself a second cup of coffee.

“Ah, shit.” 

Martin sipped his coffee, heard the hangers clang in the hall closet as Charlie got his jacket. 

“No reception,” Charlie called down the hallway to the kitchen, closing the front door behind him.

Ever the romantic, his Charlie.

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Boys in the Band

Way back when I was in high school, the movie Boys in the Band sparked by an Off Broadway play, was one of my first introductions into what life in the LGBT community was like. Not that we used or even knew the term LGBT etc. etc. back then.

To the fifteen-year-old I was at the time, the movie seemed dark and depressing, the characters miserable.

Fast forward almost fifty years and we have Boys in the Band on Broadway. The characters are still deeply troubled men but — I’m not fifteen anymore.

I know no one is happy with themselves 24/7, that we all deal with voices from our past that make us cringe, and that this snapshot of gay life isn’t the only picture possible.

This isn’t 1970 and things have changed — which I think is the point of this revival.

Plus, and this is what made me pull out my credit card, have you seen the cast?

Jim Parsons would be enough to get me in a seat at the Booth Theatre on his own, but he’s not on his own. Sharing the stage we have, the new and improved Mr. Spock, Zachary Quinto, the original Elder Price from the Book of Mormon, Andrew Rannells, and my personal favourite since he played a not-so-recovered thief in White Collar, Matt Bomer. The only reason there isn’t a string of exclamation marks behind Matt’s name is because I’m restraining myself 🙂

Boys

If you’re anywhere near New York in the near future, plunk yourself down in the Booth Theatre. Each and every one of these actors gives a stellar performance and there are a lot more laughs than I remembered 🙂

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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

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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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 🙂

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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

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