Where does the voice come from? Our experiences lead us to a place in life that offer us a unique perspective. On the world and how it seems to shape itself around us. While some of us go with the flow and let ourselves become enveloped in everything there is, others prefer to take a stand against that flow and try to change the current. The platform my be different and the message is most certainly different but what makes people speak out rather than just mesh with the ever changing environment?
It’s the critical mass for all of us, when we decide, now I will speak, it is time for me to share what I have learned.
I could be generalized a very quiet person, the people around me who don’t know me very well but interact with me every day would probably describe me as shy, I tend to fall in line with the typical “blonde” archetype. The people who know me a little better would probably describe me as a bitch, once they realize I’m not being distractedly dumb they interpret me as rudely indifferent. I’m actually not quiet at all but was raised to speak when spoken to. I take it all in and only am outspoken when I know I am “right”.
Today over lunch, I debated with friends the cover article printed in one of Toronto’s weekly newspapers. As a general skeptic, I don’t consider anything “real news” in the media so I find it hard to debate the content of printed articles with out first determining their motive. It was clear though in this case that the young misguided author had somehow found a platform and through self-righteous optimism had written an opinion piece that’s motive was entirely self serving.
Maybe that is why I don’t speak out more? Maybe by waiting until I know that I am “right” I am missing out on the opportunity to make a change in the current. If only it didn’t matter I could find my voice. Unfortunately for me it does.
Just like the scary image of Queen Street during Pride, Toronto’s theatre community would seem odd to say the least if us gays closed up the curtains and then paraded out past the box office for ever… of course you already know that.
I can picture it now, boxes of costumes and the defiant walks accompanied by yells of “fire” and “break this, bitch” no doubt, as one last hurrah.
I feel like I’m already getting carried away in the energy and flamboyance of the gay and lesbian community. When we pool together or stretch our gaze across a busy street and draw the strength we need from a comrade in arms. Whether they’re walking with us or in an opposite direction never even turning back, the result is the same. Can a friendly straight do the same?
Hence, the miracle of cruising, it’s like the sixth sense and an almost untranslatable word. The ability to let go of in a glance a single feeling that we’ve skillfully learned over a lifetime to hold inside. Two shared paths, however different they may have been, connect. Empathy at it’s finest.
Comrade, you ask? What are we fighting for? Sometimes it’s hard to remember. Lost in our own melodramas and the safety net of “Toronto the gay” are we still even fighting? When the war is over how do we go on?
My sister had an American boyfriend and in August of 2001 he left Toronto to join the army. He wanted to be a paramedic and couldn’t stay in Canada. The allure of a free education, some serious bank and experience to work in almost any major American city right out of the gate in exchange for a few years in the army was hard to resist. On September 11th I’m sure no one I knew was more surprised then him. Six years and two unexpected and extended terms in Iraq later he was able to leave the war and now he works in Michigan completely unable to work as a paramedic. Still an amazing guy but in no imaginable way the person he would have been without those horrible years behind him. That person could now, never be.
I wonder if he can see that look in another man or woman’s eye when he’s walking through the mall. Is it always unspoken? Would he ever ask or does he not have to? Maybe one day I’ll ask him.
How would I be without my scarred, fucked up life? Is that what I’m subconsciously thinking whenever I recognize another gay far from the confines of my gay subterfuge. In addition to all the fucked up things that shape everyone, this person shares my biggest most fundamental flaw. Not that I am gay, but that I accept it and without doubt carry the damage as proof of a new life in Michigan for everyone. That raised in this straight world where I could choose to live a lie, I choose to let it be known, I was born this way, gay.
Then, in just a glance of an eye I can get a feeling that I am not alone and that somehow my path has found a crossroad.
Now in Toronto sometimes it’s hard to remember a time when months would go by without that look. When you would feel so alone knowing you were different and not truly understanding why.
I get what cruising is, don’t get me wrong, I witnessed the changing of the guard first hand. Old enough to have seen the pre internet, organized, political hard line gays to the post 2000, homogenized, branded gays rolled into the world of the masses. What cruising once was in now obsolete, except for a generation aging just above the bell curve in technological advancements but just below the poverty line.
As far as the two groups have grown apart and as simply as sex can bridge the gap, it’s not fucking that connects them. Rather, being born a caterpillar.
We are lucky in Toronto that we have the opportunity to venture out into the masses and be ourselves. We shouldn’t forget that we are an example to the world. At a time when gays and lesbians are spreading out through the city from Leslieville to Parkdale, it is more important than ever that we stand together. That we support each other when we’re braving the straight new world even though it seems we’re getting all the support we need elsewhere. It’s are unity that needs to shine so that the strength of our community can be that example. Church street needs to be supported, gay performers need to be supported, gay and lesbian owned businesses need to be supported by gay and lesbian people.
There will always be amazing straight people that stand up for our rights and support us financially and otherwise. However, we do not have equality and in our lifetimes never will. We are the world over, struggling and oppressed. Individually we can thrive in a city like Toronto but individually the majority of us are dying. Keep our community alive.
On March 6th, Sarah Palin was at the BMO centre in Calgary for “An Evening with Sarah Palin”. In the days leading up to her Canadian visit, I saw a few times on the news that around 1200 people would be paying $220 per person for the opportunity to hear her speak. Whatever, I could really have cared less.
Something happened however the next day that totally irked me. I rolled out of bed and made a delicious half hot chocolate have instant coffee super beverage and plunked down in front of my laptop to check my mails and get the day rolling. Well as soon as I opened up my browser, there she was smiling back at me. It could have been worse, right? What got me bothered was the headline that read something like “Sarah Palin Wins Over Canadians”. Now I don’t need my 140 IQ to realize that anyone willing to pay $220 to hear her speak is going to be an ardent supporter of her conservative agenda and politics. So, to imply that those conservative fanatics could be used as a litmus for the Canadian majority was a laugh at best. However, I read the article and was further mired that there was no byline and the comment section had been disabled, hmm.
So I thought, why was she here? Why would she come to Canada? Was it the quarter of a million in ticket sales? Maybe, but she could easily have drummed up that much in any American city. Was it just an international trip as part of the public relations juggernaut focused on improving her image in the extended run up to the 2012 presidential election? Perhaps, it was made very clear she lacked any experience in international relations during the 2008 campaign. Or was it something more vial? She is after all quite the political puppet, it would be naive to believe that this visit had it’s motives rooted firmly in Sarah Palin’s personal agenda.
Well in 2008 as Alaskan State Governor, it was Sarah Palin who awarded Calgary-based TransCanada Corporation the gas pipeline license required to connect Alaska’s natural gas resources to the rest of the continental United States and it was TransCanada’s part in the now 44 billion dollar project and it’s benefits to the North American Energy industry that she was preaching to the crowd on Saturday. A critical addition to Alaska’s economy the pipeline will initially lower energy costs throughout North America and reduce “our” dependence on foreign energy sources controlled by “unfriendly regimes”. Ultimately it is the negative long-term effects on the Canadian natural gas industry that has TransCanada Corporation looking to provide a subjectively pretty face. The Alaskan pipeline will increase natural gas volumes into the United States, which will in turn have a significant and negative impact on the future of drilling here in Canada. It will also be turning Alaska into an effective competitor to the natural gas industries of British Columbia and Calgary. Years away from completion, it is important for TransCanada to keep reminding us all of the short-term economy boosting benefits of the pipeline. Why not as the subtext of a Sarah Palin visit, mired in “real” controversy.
A lot is being said about the following quotation from Sarah Palin’s speech on Saturday.
“Believe it or not — this was in the ‘60s — we used to hustle on over the border for health care that we would receive in Whitehorse. I remember my brother, he burned his ankle in some little kid accident thing and my parents had to put him on a train and rush him over to Whitehorse and I think, isn’t that kind of ironic now. Zooming over the border, getting health care from Canada.”
Let’s face it she doesn’t have a reputation for being a fan on the Canadian health care system. In November 2009 she said to comedienne Mary Walsh, “Canada needs to dismantle its public healthcare system and allow private enterprise to get involved and turn a profit.”
The real scandal there isn’t that she would abuse the system and use our amazing public healthcare system, who wouldn’t really. But rather, why in 2007 there was a report in the Skagway News where Palin said her family travelled south from the town by ferry to Juneau, Alaska, so that her brother could get treatment after burning his foot when jumping through a fire.
A story twisted to serve her agenda, I’m indifferent to which is true.
The word nightmare comes from the word imp or “mara”. A creature that comes at night to fill your mind with stories and lies. The victim lost in fright and confusion not knowing what to believe. The Incubus and Succubi are such creatures, the ultimate seducers, filling dreams with sexual intercourse while draining all the life out of their victims for their own survival.
According to the Malleus Maleficarum, or “Witches’ Hammer”, written by Heinrich Kramer in 1486, a succubus collects semen from the men she sleeps with, which incubi then use to impregnate women, thus explaining how demons could apparently sire children despite the traditional belief that they were incapable of reproduction. Children so begotten were supposed to be those that were born deformed, or more susceptible to supernatural influences.
Like Lisa Ann’s character in Nailin’ Palin, is Sarah Palin just a poorly written character who’s contrived and obvious story-line is unfolding before our very eyes? Or, is she something far more sinister and subversive?
I suppose one could argue that with movies like Nailin’ Palin and this trivial blog that we are the poorly written characters. Entertaining ourselves in the short-term because we don’t care about what’s really going on, hoping for the happy ending that we’ve been led to believe is right around the corner?