Tag Archive: lesbian


Today was shaping up to be a pretty terrible one, I had a really bad migraine, all my muscles ache from building a bookcase and I knew I was going to have to build another one today.

Then my girlfriend rang me and woke me up, she just kept babbling on about whether or not I’ve seen the news or been on Twitter yet today. Eventually she was coherent enough to tell me the Scottish Government was going to legislate for equal marriage.

My day has been made. No my life has been made.

I don’t think I can put into words how terrible it feels when the country you live in legislates against you, when it refuses to see you as an equal in society and refuses to give you the same rights.

I’ve had the equal marriage debate a hundred different times with so many different people and it is surprising the amount of different views floating around. From the people that despise the pesky gays for trying to force their religion to conduct a ceremony it deems immoral while not understanding that we were campaigning to get the government to open it up to religions that want to take part not force anyone to do it, to the straight people that were possibly more vocal than some of the LGBT people I know on the importance of equality to the reactions of my own parents.

I love my parents very much and I don’t doubt that they love me but I think they both had very different reactions. My mum is incredible, she gets angry at homophobes on the Internet and goes on mini rants about how I’m allowed to love whoever I want, it probably helps that she loves my girlfriend (note to self: keep this one). My dad had a different reaction, while he fully supports civil partnerships having the same benefits as marriage (although they currently don’t) he doesn’t understand the importance of the word marriage to the people who currently can’t have one, he says it is just a word, not knowing the full power of words to the people they are denied. He also said he doesn’t care whether or not it happens because it has no effect on his life. Dad, I love you but how does it not effect you? I’m your daughter and this tiny piece of legislation will make my life and my love equal in the eyes of the law to yours, I think that it pretty damn important. 

I should point out in fairness to my dad that he has never once been unsupportive of me when it comes to my sexuality, he was much more accepting that I ever could have asked for and I am truly grateful for that.

Now back to the legislation, being a sucker for words I have to say I’m not delighted by the words the Scottish Government used when announcing the news. Their Twitter feed says they ‘intend’ to make it into legislation which is rubbish wording on their part. I intend to go on a diet but it doesn’t mean I’m actually going to do it.

I’m also in two minds about the additional protection they want to bring in for religious bodies, one part of me hates this, this is our legislation, the Catholic Church can jog on. However, as it was pointed out on Facebook by a friend of mine that is a law student and who knows her stuff, the majority of legislation isn’t overturned in the Scottish Parliament but in the courts afterwards so giving these religious bodies extra protection will hopefully mean that when they decide to try and overturn the legislation in court they won’t have a leg to stand on.

All of this legislation stuff will mean nothing until it actually goes through in whatever ridiculously long time frame the Scottish Government gives themselves and less still until the day I get to drag my girlfriend down the aisle.

To end on I would like to congratulate all of the campaigners that worker tirelessly on lobbying all of the MSPs on this, and to every single MSP who has stood up in support of equal marriage, let’s be honest this isn’t something we can thank only the SNP for just because they happen to be in power but something we can thank every single supportive MSP for because they stood up for what they believe in (especially Patrick Harvie because I get goosebumps every time I’ve seen him talk at a rally or Pride).

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Anywhere but queer

If being gay was a choice, knowing what you know now, would you choose to be gay?

This was a question put to me by my girlfriend. We had just been talking about how I’m absolutely the biggest lesbian she’s ever met because I bought tickets to see Uh Huh Her and was dragging her along with me (she loved it).

I didn’t even have to think about my answer. No. Hell no. I would never in a million years have chosen this life for myself.

I could have done two things when I realised I was gay, I could have suppressed my feelings and ultimately ended up depressed or suicidal, which is a road too many people go down, or I could be the gayest person on the planet.

I chose the second one. I surrounded myself with lesbian pop culture. I bought all the music and box sets and surrounded myself with things that might make me look normal.

The L Word became my safety blanket, when I felt that I wasn’t normal I would put in one of the DVDs and watch my feelings normalised on screen. Girls would hold hands with each other, and a hell of a lot more on that show, and I would feel like it was ok to be gay.

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My music taste and bookshelf quickly reflected what I was trying to see in the world around me. I had to hear girls singing about girls, I had to devour pages filled with descriptions of my own feelings. I had to feel ok.

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As my girlfriend told me, I’m pretty damn gay owning all that.

I’m happy with the life I have right now. I love my girlfriend, my family are so supportive of who I am. My mum got angry at a homophobic blog! But I still wouldn’t choose this, maybe one day things will get better. I know they are better for me now than they were for the younger me that first picked up that L Word box set but it isn’t good enough yet. I still encounter homophobia on a daily basis, I can’t marry the girl I love, I’m still made to feel like I’m not normal by the world.

I campaign for LGBT rights because I have to see things get better so that maybe one day coming to terms with your sexuality won’t be an issue for teenagers because they will be accepted as normal straight away.

I am a sucker for romance. On Monday night I watched three ‘romantic comedies’ in a row. I love when the girl gets the guy and everyone lives happily ever after. I love the swell in the music, the look of realisation, the declaration. Ok so I am a sucker for bad movie romance as well as everyday romance.

I, like most people, have had my ups and downs when it comes to romance. I’ve had regrets and I’ve done stupid things but I have also learnt from them. I have learnt that you can’t go around breaking people’s hearts because someone nicer comes along but I have also learnt that it isn’t healthy to stay in a relationship just because the other person loves you when you don’t feel the same.

I can hear you all groaning already; ‘Oh here she’s goes, spouting about how she’s grown as a person or lecturing us on love.’ I promise you I’m not doing that. This is me in a state of shock. Today marks one year since I met my girlfriend, Rhianna and the past year has been wonderful.

I have also realised something over the past year. One day, I want to be the girl in the movies. The girl who has her perfect day. A day with a cake and a white dress, well two white dresses. A day with laughter and music and love. Ewww I think I might throw up myself, bet I beat you all to the bathroom!

Ahh now that the being sick is over I might get a little preachy. Under current legislation I’m not allowed that perfect day. So if you are living in Scotland I want you all to do something wonderful for me. Got to the Scottish government’s website and fill in their consultation on same-sex marriage. It isn’t fair that I’m not allowed to get married to the person I love because they happen to have boobs! If you aren’t living in Scotland and you happen across this blog then I urge you, forward to people in Scotland. Or if you are in the rest of the UK then soon they will be launching a consultation, respond to that when it comes out.

The provost for St. Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow said in an interview (to little journoface me): “I want gay members of my congregation to be able to walk safely down the street hand in hand and safely up the aisle hand in hand.” This is an incredibly beautiful thing that more and more religious figures are feeling and one I hope will spread to those who don’t.

Preachy part over, now back to the disgusting fuziness. A year ago today my life was changed, although officially this didn’t happen until about a week and a half later because I got drunk and made out with some random in the Cathouse (eww), and I just wanted to say; Happy Meetiversary Rhianna. Don’t get scared off by the marriage part. I won’t make you put on the white dress until the government change this law…

Imagine packing the contents of your desk into a cardboard box. In goes the picture of you and your wife on holiday followed by the jokey old coffee mug your colleagues gave you and lastly some battered chewed up old pens. Imagine going home and telling your wife you were fired. You weren’t stealing office supplies; you weren’t slacking on the job. No you were fired for loving her. Absurd? Not so absurd for the United States Forces who fired 13,389 of its soldiers, sailors and air crew based on who they fell in love with.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) was introduced in the United States on the 21st of December 1993. This legislation banned military recruiters from asking the sexuality of applicants and anyone in the Armed Forces from trying to find out. It also stated that any member of the Armed Forces would be discharged if they revealed they were homosexual or made any statement indicating a tendency towards homosexuality. President Bill Clinton considered this to be a suitable compromise after the previous legislation which denied anyone identifying as homosexual the ability to serve in the Armed Forces. When DADT was first introduced the government stated that it would promote unit cohesion and military readiness.

Officer Rice is an officer in the US Army, studying medicine while in the forces, she is 24 years old and has been serving for three years. She has noted that there is pressure to act heterosexual to keep her job safe: ‘When I first joined the military I was hardly out to anyone so there were more than a few times when people would ask me about boyfriends and things like that and I’d make something up. It’s always in the back of my mind, just going in one day and finding out that I’m going to be kicked out.” Officer Rice then added that there is a high level of suspicion in regards to senior unmarried female officers. ‘On the enlisted side there are more suspicions and you don’t tell the senior people there.’

DADT has received much criticism over the 17 years since its inception. However it was upheld in four of the federal courts of appeal and also in a Supreme Court case. In 2004 a federal lawsuit was filed by the Log Cabin Republicans – America’s largest gay Republican organization. It was bought to trial in 2010 when the judge ruled that DADT was unconstitutional as it violated both the First and Fifth Amendments.

President Barack Obama had repeatedly expressed his intent to repeal DADT, both in his presidential campaign and since his election. However, it wasn’t until 2010 that he set a timeline to discuss the repeal with Congress and the military.

The repeal was making good progress in America under an amendment to the National Defence Authorisation Act which stated the DADT would be repealed 60 days after a study by the US Department of Defence was completed and the US Defence Secretary, the chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff and the US President had all certified that the repeal would not negatively impact on military readiness. However, this amendment came to a grinding halt when Senator John McCain led a successful filibuster against it. This sudden blow left supporters of the repeal devastated, “I’ve followed DADT for the past several years, and I’ve gotten my hopes up SO many times only to have them crushed (usually by John McCain).”

In December, a stand-alone bill rather than an amendment to an existing Act was bought forward to repeal DADT. On December the 15th the bill passed through the House of Representatives with 250 members voting for and 175 voting against. On December the 18th the bill passed through Senate with 65 senators voting for and 31 voting against. The repeal was signed into law by President Barack Obama
on the 22nd of December who said:

“This law I’m about to sign will strengthen our national security and uphold the ideals that our fighting men and women risk their lives to defend. No longer will our country be denied the service of thousands of patriotic Americans who were forced to leave the military – regardless of their skills, no matter their bravery or their zeal, no matter their years of exemplary performance – because they happen to be gay. No longer will tens of thousands of Americans in uniforms be asked to live a lie, or look over their shoulder, in order to serve the country they love.”

However, DADT has not been immediately repealed. First the President, Secretary of Defence and Chairman of the Joints of Staff must certify that the repeal “is consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces”. Once this has been done there will be a 60 day period until the repeal is official. Rice said: “Since it isn’t certified and completely repealed yet there hasn’t been much of a difference. I’ve heard one or two comments, in the sense of people making gay jokes and saying, “Well Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is repealed, so you can come out now”.

DADT was not only discriminatory legislation that cost thousands of people the jobs that they loved but it also cost America millions of dollars to implement. The Williams Institute if the University of California carried on from research done by the University of California Blue Ribbon Commission in 2006 which had found that since its inception until 2003, DADT had cost $363.8 million to implement. The Williams Institute updated the research and found that from 1993 until 2008, DADT had cost $555.2 million. These costs are made up from various different factors; the cost of travel home for discharged service members, recruiting new service members to replace those lost and training the enlistees. It has been reported that at least 800 of the discharged service men and women had vitally important jobs such as pilots, combat engineers and linguists. The Armed Forces has discharged 59 fluent Arabic speakers, this is a skill that is in short supply and vital to current military operations. It can cost anywhere between $20,000 and $45,000 to replace a single discharged person of the Armed Forces, depending on the job they had and they skill set they possessed.

A study by a historian, Anne Loveland, shows that those who created DADT knew that they could not use their own personal morals as a reason to form law so used the unit cohesion argument instead. She also found that chaplains and evangelical groups wanted to present a case in support of DADT on the basis that gays and lesbians are an abomination but polls of public opinion showed that people did not share this view and they would have more chance if they had a military related argument. Rice said: “ It probably took so long because the military tended to be more conservative on the whole, and it took 10 years of older guys retiring and newer 20-somethings joining in who didn’t care. Kind of like the attitude which is reflected for gay marriage here; the younger generations don’t care as much and it’ll continue to be that way until in about 30 or so years when the most anti-gay folks have died off.”

DADT has ruined people’s lives for 17 years, denying them the jobs they wanted and serving the country they loved. Its repeal was long overdue but finally the estimated 65,000 homosexual people currently serving in the US Armed Forces can live their lives without the daily fear of their sexuality being revealed and used against them. Unfortunately it has come 13,389 people too late.

UPDATE: On July 22 2011 President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen signed and submitted a one-page written certification that the military is ready to repeal DADT fully. On September 20th DADT will end and people will finally be able to serve openly in the US military, a move that is long overdue. However, due to the Defence of the Marriage Act they will unable to get any federal benefits for their partners.