10:40am: Now I am in No Homo: Prejudice and Homophobia Within the Gay Community with Brandon B,who used to be an improv actor back in Los Angeles! He does a lot of things bit one thing he does is write the Inqueery, a website that reviews sex toys and things for male-bodied people and sneaks in safer-sex information and sex positive information! He has glitter on his eye, so he’s already cool in my book!
Bullet points are fun, so lets go with that for a bit:
- We’re going to talk about in-fighting, racism, sexism, etc. within the Queer Community. What to get out of this: learning how to be more compassionate and understanding towards each other’s point of views.
- Focus on how the media SUDDENLY started focusing on gay bullying/suicides. Wonderful that great organizations got attention, not cool how these kids were suddenly out on the news/focused on… used as stories until the next thing came up.
- Where are the support groups for these kids? Parents and teachers are not always helpful/okay. Sometimes parents kick their kids out for coming out… that’s why we need shelters for homeless gay youth.
- 60% of Queer kids who experienced harassment/assault, never reported the incident(s) to anyone. Nearly a third of the students who DID report said that the school staff never did anything about it.
- Good point made about how adults can bully too. On discrimination in the adult world: “Its like being back in high school, its somebody trying to keep you from being happy, trying to keep you in the box that they want you in.”
- Drugs in the gay community: not necessarily there because people want to do them, there to help deal. the internet can also be used as an aid in this way – can stunt social skills and make connecting in real life harder.
- How can there be homophobia in the gay community? Internalized prejudice. Men trying to “pass” as straight, be a cool/masculine gay man… sometimes to the point where they begin to hate the feminine/women. Brandon wears glitter and nailpolish specifically because he is told by society not to, as a form of protest. (Plus, he likes them!) he is teased sometimes for embracing and projecting his feminine side.
- “Masculinity is important for gays to protect because it is a form of camouflage.”
- Awesome article he wrote/mentioned: Why Gay Pride is Still Important!
- Consequences of being femme: for one, hate crimes. Between 2008 and 2009 hate crimes in NYC rose by 14% and NYC accounted for 40% of reported hate crimes in 2009.
- Race: a lot of people don’t see themselves as racist when they specify that they do/do not want to have “I don’t know if there is any other community where you can go online and see a website with ads for dates/hookups that explicitly state “no blacks/asians/etc.” and think its okay.” This is not okay: can cause people to make risky decisions because they don’t feel wanted consistently. He viewed 100 Manhunt profiles; 87 had a reference to a racial preference. The flipside is fetishization…
- “The effects of being an outsider in your own community, especially when that community is already a minority, may be the biggest threat to someone’s physical, mental, emotional well being.”
- HIV & Safer Sex: we have to redefine how we educate people because young people are sick of hearing about it… they think they know how to use condoms etc but often they don’t. Documentary: Sex Positive. (Watch it. ) “Issues we face when dealing with the rise of HIV cases is not a matter of promiscuity/lack of information” but rather that we are not dealing with the disconnect created by technology, lack of discussion about AIDS, fatigue about hearing about condoms, etc. The fear is gone and people are growing more apathetic which is not good.
- How do we make a difference? Supporting each other and advocating for others. “If you see something, say something.” Many hate crimes are a lot of people vs one… bystanders can help by calling the cops or interrupting the situation [in a safe way] to even the odds. Education within the queer/gay community about safer sex, intersectionality, etc. Audience ideas as to what we can do: Getting past condoms… lets talk about concepts, lets talk about what it means to be a sexual being because “people who don’t value their lives [or other people’s lives don’t give a shit about condoms.” Its more than just whats between your legs. “I feel like we’re getting so wrapped up in figuring out who we are, we just block everyone else out… I just want a little more inclusion.” Not marginalizing bisexual people. “Queer people start to feel like the receptacles of sex ed, people just keep throwing sex education at you. […] Coming from a place of love can be really radical sometimes, by building community and celebrating queer culture in a positive way which lets you find new ways to do sex education. Middle ground between strong emotions (anger/love) that hit high points and fizzle out = general; respect within the community and learning how to respond effectively to disrespect.
10:30am: Internet, finally! I took notes through the entire Odd Girl Out: Straddling the Fields of Sexual Health and Sexual Pleasure with Megan Andelloux without being able to liveblog because I didn’t have the internet password. I have five minutes before my next workshop to brief you all, so here are the relevant portions of my very disjointed notes…
- Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health – Rhode Island
- Megan started the workshop by encouraging us to participate and telling the crowd that, “I like hearing the word yes, super sexy word!”
- We started talking about How is sex discussed in society? The audience threw out ideas: [pregnancy prevention, heteronormative, disease, making fun of differences, shock value/sensationalism, innuendos, incorrectly, after the fact, need to know basis, dirty and secret, fascinating and secret, angry and fearful, shame…] and then Megan highlighted the two she was going to focus on:
1) Within a clinical or medical context.
2) Religious Aspect
3) Pleasure Aspect
- Middle Ground – Kinsey was one of the first! Sexual behavior in the Human male/female. Researching and reporting =/= endorsing? Once the female book came out all hell broke loose because people think that “if you report this info it automatically means that you endorse it.”No. You’re giving people the ability to make choices.
- We took an anonymous poll to see who planned to do the following in the next 72 hours… get spanked, have an orgasm, talk dirty, watch porn, think about it all … These are all safer sex behaviors but we don’t always talk about them because they are more emotionally based. They are all risk reduction behaviors. “Talking dirty, you cannot get anything from that, you cannot get pregnant from that. Thinking about it all… you have a healthy mind, yay!”
- Qualities of Good Sex Ed: Facts, Truths, Options, Value Free.
- Things to check out: Orgasm Inc., the existence of vulva puppets, Center for Family Life Education Beyond Birth Control Conference, Debbie Herbenick.
1:50am: We’re leaving in about an hour to drive to Momentum and I am so excited! The tweets from the opening Plenary and Sex Rules! Presentation (that I had to skip because I couldn’t miss my classes/work) were riveting… it doesn’t even matter that I only managed to nap for about an hour tonight, the adrenaline is pumping and I am psyched for the sun to come up & this conference to get going! Also, I have 50 or so new self-designed business cards to pass around to any new friends I may make, and they make me really happy. Check it out!
Hopefully one day I’ll have an etsy or something that I can use to design print and web media for people. Let me know if you have a strong interest in commissioning something [email@example.com] because that’d make me much more likely to take the time to set it up! Anyways, now that that moment of shameless self promotion is behind us… time to pack up & hit the road. I’ll be reporting back whenever we get there!