Category Archives: Sexuality

Uninvited

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When we were kids the ultimate trump card was the birthday party. My birthday was, and still is, in December. If any of my friends or classmates in primary school wronged me in the months leading up to my birthday party, the simple threat of “You’re not invited to my party anymore” soon corrected the situation.

Deprivation of access to something that was going to be good. Refusal of entry, and power to make the decision that would deem someone invited, or not invited.

I am not invited.

In 2017, the common and socially acceptable (and expected) thing is to create a Facebook event for any gathering. We don’t tend to bother with sending invitations, and we certainly don’t stand in the playground with a circle of friends around us as we shuffle through a pile of envelopes, calling out the names of ones chosen to attend said social event.

The reason for this? Well, Australia Post has lost the ability to deliver postal items in a timely manner. Just last week we sent a parcel via Express Post, which has still not arrived at the destination it was sent to. Express Post is, as the name suggests, express. Essentially, the approach I (and many others I know) tend to take is, if it’s important, email it or message it via social media, or courier it. If it’s kind of not really important, or there’s no other option? Then post it.

This morning, our Senate rejected a plebiscite regarding same sex marriage, or as some call it, marriage equality. Or, as I call it? Marriage.

This means that a postal vote will occur. It was cost an estimated $122 million. It is not compulsory to vote, and the result may not be binding.

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I could make a list here of things in Australia that could benefit from a $122 million injection of funds. Health, aged care, education. But the thing is, I don’t know enough about politics to actually talk about those things in an educated way.

But what I do know about is what it feels like to be not invited to something. And to rely on the postal service when it comes to important deliveries.

As a gay woman in 2017, I feel a bit like the government has a pile of invitations at the moment, that they are shuffling while they clear their collective throats before calling out the names of people who are invited to partake in marriage. And I know my name is not on one of those invitations.

You see, the very moment I uttered the words that confirmed my sexuality, I lost my right to marry the person I would eventually fall in love with. In Australia, marriage is deemed to be between one man and one woman. Not two men. Not two women. One man. One woman.

So when you don’t have one woman in your relationship, or when you don’t have one man in your relationship, you are not allowed to be legally married in Australia.

 

We’re about to enter into what is already a pretty nasty period of parliamentary debate. Already, the Australian Christian Lobby has referred to the children of same sex couples as “the stolen generation”. There are going to be words flung around and opinions shrieked. Name calling and finger pointing. And outside of parliament, I anticipate that things will be worse.

The people I see at Tafe will be able to vote on my right to marry. And they won’t all be thinking that I should have that right. The people I see at work will have a vote. The people I stand in line with at the checkout, the people who have just moved in next door. Strangers and friends and acquaintances. They’re all going to have a say on whether or not I should be allowed to be legally married.

And to be honest, it scares me. And I’m out, I’m OK with who I am. Imagine if you were not OK? Imagine if you were still in the closet, waiting to find out if you were safe or not to come out?

My gut reaction, I’m ashamed to say, has been to act out of fear. To try to look less obviously gay. To think twice before holding hands in public.

But then I remembered the ones who are struggling with who they are. Who are still keeping quiet about their truth.

And I remember that at the heart of this, is, quite simply, wanting my love to be recognised as equal.

And so, the answer is not to hide it away.

The answer is to keep loving.

With the postal vote, yes or no, I don’t know what’s going to happen. And I don’t know how vehement people will be in voicing and acting out their disapproval. Am I going to be yelled at? Called names? Physically hurt? Because of who I love?

can’t know. But I have the assurance that I am loved. And that’s what I will rely upon.

And hopefully, as those invitations are shuffled and reshuffled, and voices cleared and names read out, I will one day hear my name on the Invited list.

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Picture This

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As far as I can see, the one thing that will absolutely be given to you with wild abandon and on a sparkly silver platter is a photo of a penis. The dick pic. Personally, I am not too sure what the fuss is about. In fact, I don’t know any person who has ever been delighted and overwhelmed with feelings of love and joy after receiving a dick pic.

In years gone by, we relied upon personality and witty repertoire to attract potential suitors. In some circles this has been simplified to one duck face in exchange for one naked mole rat, and badda-boom badda-bing, we’re away.

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Naked Mole Rat. It could be worse.

But again, I am yet to meet someone who has rushed out the door to meet someone after they have been in receipt of an image of a fellow’s naked mole rat. So obviously, I am generalising.

The thing is, I’ve recently been part of some discussions regarding this phenomenon. And to be completely honest with you, the chatter and comments are not about berating the owner of the photographed penis – they tend to revolve around total mystification about what on earth prompts this kind of thing.

I’ve done the online dating thing in the lesbian world. Number of unsolicited pictures of boobs or lady gardens: ZERO. None. Nil. Not a single one. Or pair, in the case of boobs. There are two possible reasons for this, as far as I can see:

  1. I was not worthy of receiving such pictures.
  2. Women… we just don’t do that shit.

I can honestly say to you at 38 years of age, I have never once been tempted to stick a camera between my legs and send the result to people I have never met. Or anyone, actually. Maybe I’m just not living on the edge. But the idea has never entered my head.

I guess the female equivalent to the dick pic might be the selfie? Social media is awash with these suckers, and there are NO RESTRAINTS with the selfie. Young, old, male, female – add a few filters and you’re looking fine and dandy. Which actually makes me think that maybe we’re like peacocks gone wrong. The male peacock fluffs out his feathers in an attempt to attract female feathers, while the female… um, I don’t know what the female peacock does. Actually is she even called a peacock? Is she a peavag? The big questions.

I wanted to research dick pics, to see if there was some kind of social liberation movement regarding it. I typed “dick pics” into Google and waited for the results. This was my face:

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And the results came up. Link after link.

And I’m sorry, but I just could not bring myself to click on a single one of them.

Here’s my summary:

If you have an appendage worthy of a dick pic, you stand tall and proud. But keep that pecker to yourself. If you’re a selfie type, you stand tall and proud… but this one is getting closer to where I reckon we need to be. Selfies tell a story, capture a moment – and while the dick pic might do the same, I want to see your eyes when you’re proud of something.

Because there are things way more attractive than the naked mole rat, and any other appearance of beauty.

Confidence. Humour. Time. The ability to maintain a conversation. Self respect. Respect for others. The ability to care for others.

And at the end of the day, those things are worth more than anything else.

Five

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I just did a very small amount of research to learn what milestones the average five year old child should be closing in on. Now, we all know there is no average child, and that these things should be fluid to allow for individual quirks and development, and so on and so forth. But hang in there with me. This is the site I went off, if you’re keen.

The milestones are in four categories: social, communication, cognition and physical. At five years old, kids should be:

  • wanting to please their friends, and be like their friends
  • showing concern and sympathy for others
  • speaking clearly and telling stories
  • counting to ten
  • copying shapes
  • using the toilet independently
  • balancing on one foot

… as well as several other key things.

Now look. I don’t know how much I agree with this list. I’ve met adults who struggle with some of them, and childhood seems to be such a small window, doesn’t it.

If I had to write a list for what I’d want five year olds to be able to do, it would look kind of like this:

  • know who you are, and what you like and what you don’t like – but be open to trying new things
  • know that even though some things might seem scary, with people you trust helping you they might not be so scary after a while
  • be able to be as independent as you need to be in given situations
  • be able to play on your own happily
  • be able to play in a group happily
  • treat people, and yourself, nicely
  • be excitable and silly and roll on the grass at every opportunity

Beloved and I are celebrating five years together today.

When she left for work this morning, I told her our jobs today were to come up with a list of five highlights. Here are mine.

1. Beloved is able to grow her love for other people. She never seems to have an empty love bucket, and she shares that stuff widely. When we meet new people, she welcomes them openly. When we make new friends, they are friends for life. She’s like the Magic Pudding, but with love.

2. When she laughs she laughs loudly and it cannot be contained. It’s frigging awesome. The people around her start laughing and then she laughs more and it carries on and on. It’s just the best.

3. When I broke my leg on the cruise she tried to not get off at the different ports, because she didn’t want to leave me. I made her get off, but to think she’d prefer to shove me around in a wheelchair instead of seeing some beautiful islands blew me away. And she didn’t bitch about it, didn’t complain – the broken leg didn’t bother her one iota. Not because she didn’t care, but because for her, it was more about the being – not about the doing.

4. I have a collection of photos of my beloved bending over. She might be looking for a DVD, or weeding a garden, or putting shoes on – any time her bum is up in the air, I take a photo. And every single time, she looks at me with the same expression on her face. Shock, and a kind of bewildered “Again?” look. I tell her I am going to make a Beloved Bum Calendar but I haven’t (yet). But this is the thing. She seems to enjoy my quirks, my humour, my strange little heart. And she’s made me see that maybe, just maybe, I’m not as bad as I used to think I was. So I will continue to photograph her arse. Because it makes me laugh, but not as much as the expression on her face when she hears the camera snap.

5. Finally. Beloved has been through so much with me. Surgeries. The Aspergers diagnosis. My stubbornness. My lack of flexibility when it comes to achieving something. My over-parenting of the fur babies. My frustration with her technology skills. But she keeps on loving and she keeps on adapting and she keeps on telling me it’s OK. And with her next to me, it usually is.

My list of milestones for a five year old are pretty much a summation of our relationship.

And I wouldn’t change a thing.

They came to dance

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13428361_1084188311627816_6294657720373394192_n Like the rest of the world I’ve been totally horrified and dismayed by the tragic shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

Beloved and I both are reeling from this act of senseless violence. It’s been constantly on our minds and we’ve talked about it many times.

We’re in Australia, so geographically not close to Orlando. But the people who died, the people who had their life ripped from them: they’re members of our community. And as gay women, the sense of grief is strong.

Imagine.

Sexual orientation is such a deeply personal thing. People spend years in closets and unshared spaces, coming to terms with who they are. Some people never ever come out of those places, the sense of shame or guilt driving them to a life of pretence and half living. And then you find out about a place you can go to. A place where you won’t be stared at. Judged. Laughed at. Brutally beaten. Cruelly taunted. A safe place. A safe place for people just like you.

And so, you go. You meet people. You might dance with someone of the same sex for the first time ever. You might finally say those words – “Yes, I’m gay”. You feel the exhilaration of freedom; the weight lifting from your shoulders as you gaze around and see people who are like you but happy and open and themselves. And in that moment a life outside of the closet no longer seems so scary. You have a community. You have a people. You are part of something bigger and you are totally, utterly safe. And like everyone else there, you dance.

Then it changes.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6 7 8 9.

10.

11. 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22.

23.

24. 25. 26.

27 28.

293031323334353637383940. 41. 42.

43.

44.

45.

46.

47.

48. 49.

50.

The dance floor slowly empties.

Joy turns to chaos.

Life turns to death.

Freedom turns to oppression.

The closet becomes the only safe place once again.

You hear tears. Worse than that, you hear phones ringing and going unanswered. Worse still, you hear sobs desperately trying to be stifled.

And worse still, you hear silence where there should be no silence, silence where silence is the devastating reality of no further noise.

This is not about religion. This is not about creed or colour. This is not about gun laws or lack thereof.

This is about people. About a community attacked. About the right to be yourself, being snatched away and scrunched up like some used piece of cling film and flung carelessly into the bin.

They came to dance. To dance.

But now, the steps have changed.

I don’t know what to do from here. From Australia the reality is that I don’t know a single person who was at Pulse, and it’s really unlikely that I will ever go there. But I’ve been to gay venues. There’s a pride festival coming up later this year that beloved and I are going to. But the question dangles.

Will we be safe?

We can’t live, constantly scared that our love might flick the switch for someone who has a problem with it. But maybe we’ve had a reminder that we also can’t assume that what is normal for us, for our loved ones, for our community – we can’t assume that everyone is as welcoming or inclusive as we are. Because ours is a community that was primarily forged through exclusion.

For someone to enter that community, to go to a place that is safe for that community, and to singe handedly destroy exactly what it stands for: maybe that is what’s at the heart of the way beloved and I are feeling. That the physical safeness of our safe spaces are so utterly vulnerable.

But our hearts are strong.

And as a community, we love fiercely.

Yes, we will be targeted. Yes, we will be discriminated against. We will be judged. Denied freedoms. Experience shame. We will forge connections and explore life and get to know that person we kept in the closet, and when we come out you can be sure that the Mardi Gras Parade will be storming proudly through our hearts and our heads as each footstep shows that we are not alone and we are not less than anyone else.

We still can’t get married.

But we can love.

And from what I can see, that’s the true safe space.

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In a flap

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That six week mark seems to be so significant in terms of body stuff, doesn’t it. It’s generally how long a fracture takes to heal; it’s the check up point after surgeries; it’s too long to go without a shower. Today was actually seven weeks for me, post endometriosis removal, but it was check up day.

There is seating for seven in my gyno’s waiting room, which I feel is sufficient. I mean, I’d assume that a trip to this particular specialist would be something you’d maybe do with your partner, or just solo. I walked in and two seats were taken (man and a lady, who I assumed were together given his suggested lack of labia). As I waited to see the receptionist I heard a circus outside the door. I looked up in horror as the door opened.

Now, before I explain what entered the door, I would like to expand up the kind of “waiting room person” I am. If I wanted to hang out with friends, I’d probably be more likely to go to a cafe or something. Further, being a waiting room at a medical place, there are potentially going to be some stressy or unhappy people in that waiting room. So not somewhere I would choose to celebrate somebody’s birthday, for example. Because there are other people likely to be there. People aside from myself. I like to sit quietly. I bring a book or my phone or some crocheting. I only eavesdrop if it sounds interesting. Aside from that, the business of a waiting room is simply to wait. 

The door opened.

And in walked three women, one man, and a male toddler.

Now, by my calculations, only one of the three vaginas that just entered the room would have an appointment. I mean sure, they could have booked a group appointment to compare something or other. They might have booked consecutive appointments, so they could go one after the other. Kind of like a fallopian conga line. But it was obvious that all five of them were there for one vagina.

As they settled into all the remaining seats, the two that were there before me were called through to the Doctor’s room. The door opened and another woman entered. It seemed the group of people knew this lady. She sat opposite them and the conversations were loud, and revolved around weeks. Oh you’re 34 weeks? That’s six weeks of nesting! How many weeks of maternity leave do you have? Weeks weeks weeks. Nobody asked me how many weeks along from surgery was. As you know the answer is seven. Very rude.

Anyway anyway, I had my appointment with the gyno which was a triumph of uterine recovery. Then, knowing I had to get back on the road relatively quickly in order to get to another appointment by ten, my head got a little distracted. That’s the only way I can rationalise what happened next.

Receptionist: OK Kel, do you need any follow up appointments?

Me: Nope, all good!

Receptionist: Oh good! So you’re free to leave!

Me: Yes, I can take my vagina and go! (Immediate internal reaction: OH FUCK WHAT DID I JUST SAY?)

Receptionist: <blinks then giggles> Yes well make sure you take it with you!

A cute new design

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So earlier this year, I had an operation to help my Achilles tendon move around easier. It worked but my Achilles remained screwed. Tomorrow morning I am going for a platelet injection into my Achilles (yes I am squealing like a stuck pig even thinking about this). The aim is to create inflammation so that the Achilles can start rebuilding itself.

I thought I better go and visit the nail ladies and have a pedicure, given my left foot is about to be shoved into a boot for a fortnight. Take the old polish off, bit of a buff and tickle, and off we go again.

I’ve been doing the pedi thing every month since Mrs Cuppy gave me a voucher for one for my birthday last year. Not being an overly ladylike beast, it was given a bit tongue-in-cheek. I bit back by getting hot pink nail varnish. But the thing is, since that first pedi, I realised I actually like not having to bite cut my own toenails. And I like the massage chair. And I like the spa. So now I do it every month.

Last month, I went for a very fungal green, and in a moment of strangeness, I elected to have a panda painted onto my big toenails. It’s winter, I reasoned. Nobody would notice. I kinda liked them. Yes, when I was barefoot, it did look like I had kicked a pile of birdshit. But they were pandas. On my toes.

I guess it was the nail art that gave today’s nail lady the idea that I had a “thing” for pictures on my big toes.

Because I sat down, and she had a look, and told me she had a really cute new design for me.

I told her I wanted to just keep them plain this time, but she assured me it was very nice and I would love it. So I yielded. Told her to go for it.

At first, it looked like the Mardi Gras symbol:

And I thought to myself, wow, she must be able to tell that I’m gay! Was it the jeans? The Pink Floyd shirt? Gaydar? I mean, I am pretty obviously not a girly girl.

WHICH IS WHY, WHEN SHE CARRIED ON WITH HER DESIGN, I WAS SO FREAKING SHOCKED.

I mean seriously.

She carried on, filling in the two sideways hearts with red. Then outlined them with black. Maybe a butterfly? God, I don’t know. I kept watching.

And then physically recoiled when I realised what she was doing.

You know when you can’t laugh, but you want to? And the laughing gets bigger and bigger because it cannot be released? And your body starts doing involuntary shakes and squeaks?

That was me.

Because THIS IS WHAT SHE DID!!!!!

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

Bows.

Big red bows with white polka dots.

I look like I’ve kicked Minnie Mouse in the head.

Nobody looks at me and assumes there are going to be frigging bows!

And I had to sit there and let them dry and lots of people walked past and did double takes when they saw my double bows. One person even suggested I could change them to butterflies if I wanted to. Because the idea of me in bows is totally bloody ridiculous!!! 

This might be a cute new design. But it is most definitely on the wrong feet.

And now I have to find a way to remove them before tomorrow. Because I cannot spend two weeks with a bow peeking out from my big black post-Achilles-injection boot!!!

Or can I?

What do you think?

The Granite Block

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This post is the result of much thought. And I know this could be a risky post. Not because of the content, but because I know I am writing to some people who might read it and decide I am having a go at them. I assure you, I am not. I’m really not.

I also want to say that I have friends who are Christians, whom I love. The very vast majority of them have continued to treat me exactly the same way as they did before I came out. And even though there are disagreements regarding marriage equality, we are adult enough to accept that people have different viewpoints. We remember in our hearts that we are human and that our history and the value we see in each other is reason enough to continue our friendship, regardless of differences.

And it’s because I know that you love me, that I want to bring this up:

Those posts you share, full of “buts” – they are doing a huge amount of damage.

I imagine that we all have this big block of granite, which represents our faith – in ourselves, in the god of our understanding, in people, in faith itself. When I was gathering up the courage to come out, I looked at my block of granite. I considered the people who I knew could be offended by what I had been puzzling about for years. I considered my understanding of the Bible, of the god I believed in. And in confidence in these things, I spoke those words: “I think I might be a little bit gay”.

For the most part, there was unending support. And when the US announced marriage equality this week, I loved the surprise of seeing Christian allies with their rainbow-tinted profile pictures. I was so proud of them, knowing all too well what they were risking in doing so.

Image by The Naughty Corner, and by that app thing that put a rainbow over your profile picture.

Image by The Naughty Corner, and by that app thing that put a rainbow over your profile picture.

But this announcement from the USA also saw an increase in those “but” posts.

Posts that share content that compares marriage equality to paedophilia, followed with a “but I am not judging you”. Posts that are prefaced with a “This is what I believe but I love everyone”.

That word.

But.

Now, back to that block of granite. I want you to consider what it is like, from this side of things. Having questioned your sexuality for most of your life. Knowing that being true to yourself risked rejection. Violence. Threats. Hatred. Having to consider and double consider what you say and where you say it and who you say it to. Usually, mental health issues, including anxiety, suicidal ideation, depression, self harm and so on. I’m not saying these are unique to the gay community – in fact, most Christians I know experience exactly the same thing with their faith.

This if nothing else should unite us.

When I first came out, trusting in my granite block, that first rejection was like a chisel rested on the granite and was hit by a mallet. And just like that, a chip was knocked away. I’ve been out for almost 5 years now. And that block of granite has changed shape significantly. In this last week, it has taken some almighty blows. But, but, but. Chip, chip, chip.

I could talk to the people who have shared this stuff individually. But I know that I can’t be the only one experiencing this. And also, perhaps stupidly, I don’t want to hurt them.

I could try to glue those chips back onto my granite block, and not let their well meaning daggers stab me too deeply. But I bet you’d still see the cracks on my granite block, wouldn’t you.

Source: freedomtomarry.org

Source: freedomtomarry.org

I expect that what is left is to either give up on my granite block, or write something that tries to explain what it is like, in the hopes that these words offer comfort to other people going through the same thing.

So here goes:

I love the Christian authors who publish articles, but I don’t love that you are flat out mean. I love the Christian artists that create pictures depicting their beliefs, but I don’t love that you are ignorant and cruel in your captions and assumptions. I love the Christian bloggers who are safe to share their faith without fear of persecution, but I really dislike being persecuted.

I love my Christian friends who share their “but” posts, but I wish you could understand the hurt it creates. Just like, I am sure, my rainbow picture hurts you. Just like my orientation hurts your faith. I get it. I really do. But please, before you hit “share”, consider the impact those words are going to have on all people.

Because really, what we are disagreeing on, is love.

And in the world we have in 2015, to disagree on love is a tragedy.

Colour Me Rainbow

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Like the rest of Australia I awoke to the beautiful news that the United States Supreme Court has ruled in favour of marriage equality throughout all of America. And I’ve opened up WordPress on my computer to blog about this, and there’s a rainbow banner. And I’ve had rainbow profile pictures beaming out at me all day on Facebook, and post after post on Instagram celebrating and tears and smiles and laughter and beaming and finally finally being able to say I do and 54 years of waiting, for these two:

Congratulations, Jack and George. Source: time.com

Congratulations, Jack and George. Source: time.com

And I’ve watched as one by one, my friends have tinted their profile pictures with rainbows. I’ve grinned stupidly at the joy and the tears on faces captured by media.

I’m celebrating the joy that my friends, regardless of orientation, have at this ruling. I’m thankful for each of their little rainbow faces. I’m building hope that one day, this will happen in Australia, too. I’m imagining the parties and the text messages and the hugs that are lasting a little longer, and the tingling of anticipation between couples as they wait to see if a proposal is around the corner for them, now it’s legal.

And this is all just about love. It’s just love.

And we’re celebrating it.

And it’s the best thing in the world.

I love this, by Mary Lambert. You might get a bit of dust in your eye or something.

“I can’t change, even if I try, even if I wanted to… My love, my love, my love… She keeps me warm.”

Peculiar

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It can be quite a difficult thing, equality.

Because it suggests that things are, well… equal.

One thing that always challenged equality when I was a kid was sharing. I was (and remain) good at sharing, however I’d often forget to include myself in the equation. I remember, or read about, the solution to this being that one sibling cuts up the item to be shared and then the other siblings can select their sections of the thing to be shared first. This works well with things like cake or chocolate; less effective when it comes to pets or clothing.

It’s Tuesday and I think it’s Monday, or Wednesday. For some reason my brain won’t accept that it is Tuesday. Maybe I had something I was meant to do today, which I have forgotten about. Very likely. We’ve got one of those trashy magazine shows that try to present as news on in the background, and I’ve just realised the story is about farmers wanting wives. The same television channel is also screening a series at the moment that takes two strangers, applies a heap of psychology and crossed fingers, and marries up two strangers.

Now, this blog post isn’t going to be another one of those “let me and my beloved get married”. I’m not questioning the sanctity of the marriage that is being protected. I’m not challenging the validity of these weddings, nor am I asserting the validity of long term, committed relationships between people of the same sex.

What I am writing about is that feeling. That feeling you get when someone says or shares or posts something on social media that applies to you, and your gut just drops and your heart speeds up and you feel a little bit targeted. And you want to rant and point and yell UNJUST or explain that you’re not a criminal and you’re not the same as a paedophile or a bigamist, and you just want to marry the woman you love, even though you’re a woman too. You want to arc up, and say that letting people of the same sex get married is IN NO WAY the same same as allowing an adult who is sexually attracted to a child to marry.

One is a crime. The other is not.

And I’m fed up of being made to feel like I am committing a crime, simply by loving.

Here’s a quote from a particular post that was shared. In this section, the writer is answering the question “What is the point of marriage?”. Strap yourself in:

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Did you get that? Marriage is to breed, care for kids, be faithful, and protect women and kids from men, who like to have sex without consequences. Gay people can’t make babies or commit to each other, therefore shouldn’t be allowed to marry.

The person who wrote this is male. Apparently, women and children need to be protected from him. This creates in me some concern, especially given he lives local to me, and has regular access to women and kids via his church, his daughters and their children. The original post was shared many times, and I found myself reading it one morning last week while I was on my nebuliser. Shared by one of my friends.

So we come to point of this particular post. 

I’m all for having different opinions and views and ideas and beliefs.

But I’m also in favour of sharing them respectfully.

I know that people tend to have extreme views when it comes to marriage equality. You’re either for it or against it. You either think it’s no big deal, or that it will result in an increase in paedophilia or beastiality.

But I can say that I have never shared or written a post that has targeted people who think differently to me regarding the issue. I have never likened them to sex offenders. I have never questioned their ability to be faithful, or to parent, or to love. I’ve treated them with respect.

Because we are in a world that needs more respect.

Over the weekend, a mate of mine was bashed by eight males. My friend was targeted because he is gay. Again, local.

So, I choose to act in ways, including on social media, that doesn’t stir up hatred or discrimination or dissension. That could be because I’m a decent person.

Give it a go. It’s not hard. It revolves around thinking about someone other than yourself for five minutes. And you just might find that presenting your opinion in a respectful way actually adds credit to your opinion. Makes people want to consider the content you are trying to present.

But if that does prove to be too hard? I’m still going to feel hurt. And I have a hunch others will, too. So try this method:

Source: themetapicture.com

Source: themetapicture.com

To share a meal

Standard

I’ve just thrown dinner in the oven. For some reason when I did the groceries this week I was hit by an urge to recreate a meal that I used to have with a couple of friends when I was at uni. It was generally on a Wednesday night that we’d meet up and have dinner. This was when I was doing my Masters, and I was working at a school casually, teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). It was a good job that I was petrified at, but managed to floss my way through because of the friends I had at the school.

We became good friends. I was at their weddings. One was at my mum’s funeral. We celebrated birthdays and hirings and firings and moving houses and adopting and accidents and near misses and life and grief and hope and disappointment and joy. And constantly through that time were these Wednesday night dinners. Usually fortnightly, unless we could do weekly.

The dinner that is in the oven? My memory tells me that it is great. But I am having a wondering, a moment of panic, thinking that it might have been what that time in my life represented that made it good. Because I loved those girls, loved hanging out with them and learning with them and growing with them.

And I can write this knowing that they won’t be reading it. They most likely have no idea this blog even exists. In fact, part of me wonders if they remember that even I exist, because I haven’t spoken to them in several years now.

Since I came out. Since who I am suddenly became completely unpalatable. Since I no longer fell in line with who they thought I was.

I’d really like to text them or ring them and let them know I’m cooking that meal. The one we giggled over. Shared thoughts over. Played games around. Talked about god and work and school and relationships.

I never thought it would end out this way. And there is gap in my life that they’ve left.

But the dinner still smells good.

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

Chicken & Asparagus Bake

Put 2 cups of cooked spiral noodles in a casserole dish. Throw some chunks of (raw) chicken breast on top, with some asparagus and some broccoli (or whatever veges are in the fridge). In a bowl, combine a tin of Cream of Asparagus soup, a cup of water, 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, 1 tsp mixed herbs and some salt and pepper. Pour it over the chicken. Top with breadcrumbs and grated cheese. Cook at 190 degrees for 45 minutes.