Thursday, June 29, 2006

Word Play

I have been giving a bit of thought lately to the concept of Gay Pride. To me, there has always been a dichotomy to the idea of Pride that I have a hard time reconciling. I understand that when Pride first began, the world for us gay people was a vastly different one. To assert being proud of a quality that many people considered (and let’s face it, still consider) to be a degenerate flaw was a politically motivated statement. Being proud of being gay was a method of accepting it in yourself and demonstrating to the outside world that it was nothing to be ashamed of.

But the problem with expressing it in terms of pride reinforces the “otherness” quality of it. It states that there is something special, something different about it, that makes it worthy of that emotion. And that is where my difficulties arise. If I believe, as I do, that being gay is a natural and normal thing, why should I have pride in a natural thing. Should I be proud to be tall, a brunette, etc.?

And there is always the strange concept of pride as being one of the seven deadly sins. To be proud is considered to be a character flaw. Pride cometh before the fall and all of that.

But perhaps this is all just a semantic game. And to be honest, there is very little about modern-day Gay Pride that resembles the early days. Pride has been taken over by the corporation, like almost everything else. It is a bottled and manufactured profit-making enterprise. Sure, it is still a celebration where homosexual people can come together and cheer the fact that they all share a similar trait, but it has become a large advertisement for beer, a party, a protein bar and even our dear deluded Macy’s.

But this is just a fact of the modern world at the moment and one that we just have to accept I guess. Not much that I can personally do to change to corporation-culture that is North America.

And this year we have the Outgames in Montreal at the same time as Pride. The thing that I have always wondered is if either the Outgames or Pride makes a profit, exactly where does this profit go? Who benefits financially in our community over the success of these events. For example, with the Outgames, there is a lot of work being undertaken to have people in Montreal promote this event to others. Of course, we will all have a great time, I’m just curious who will be getting the big cash gift at the end of it.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Out and About

I have been a terrible blogger as of late. I have been very busy at work and have barely had a moment to compose myself let alone a post. But the other day Bud said something to me that has been bothering me ever since.

Bud is on a bit of a bridge playing kick of late (and no he is not a seventy-year old man – but he is, as he puts it, the pretty player), and his bridge partner mentioned that he never likes to go out to clubs with this boyfriend, he prefers to do that with friends. And Bud, quite matter of factly as if it were a given, agreed with him.

I have been pretty depressed over this since. And part of this has to do with the fact that we don’t really go out clubbing any longer. For me, I just haven’t had a big desire to do it anymore, but now I know for Bud, part of it is that he doesn’t have a desire to do it with me. And I must admit that I am a bit hurt over this.

We used to go out and have a great time, but what I am taking from his comment is that it wouldn’t be a great time any longer. He mentioned that he prefers to stay in, go to dinner, movies and stuff like that with me - its just the clubbing aspect that he agreed with his friend. And I appreciate that part of the “bar thing” is the single life. But I nonetheless can’t help but feel slighted in this regard.

Its so easy for the slightest little comment no matter how apparantly innocuous to one person can be painful for the other.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Nursing a Bitch Session

We got some shitty news today regarding bud and his ability to work as a nurse here in Canada. Bud immigrated over a year ago and is a registered nurse in Australia. In order to work as a nurse here in Quebec, the nurses’ union has made it as difficult as humanly possibly even though there is a drastic shortage in this province. He had to submit his transcripts and work experience to the nursing board who would then assess whether an Australian degree was sufficient to work here or whether he would need to take extra training. Regardless he would still have to write a nursing exam and pass a French exam.

It was over one year ago that Bud submitted his application to the board. One year of them telling us each and every month that they would be deciding soon and that hopefully he wouldn’t have to take anything more.

Well, we finally got our response. The union has decided that Australian qualifications are not good enough. One point was understandable. In Australia, midwives deal with deliveries so Bud did not take any course on prenatal care. So they need him to take a course then because, of course, what he didn’t study, he may have to deal with. Heaven forbid, that they just restrict his practice so that he cannot work in those areas.

But they are also requiring that he take a integration program. The integration program can either be done through a work experience of 30 days or through a six month full-time classroom course with a further clinical setting afterwards. And of course, they are requiring him to take the classroom one. And to add insult to injury, there is only one English version of that course about one hour from downtown Montreal. So Bud will take it in French (which will be great for his French but will undoubtedly be very difficult).

But for Christ’s sake, with the waiting until he can take the course and the length of the course, it will be a year until he can actually start. And I am not surprised whatsoever. While taking French courses Bud was always meeting doctors who could not work here without a further SEVEN years of study (I shit you not) so I guess I shouldn’t bitch about one more year. But come on, if a nurse from Australia isn’t good enough to work here, who the hell is? Its not like he has a degree from the University of (insert your own country here – don’t feel like pissing off a nation myself)! I am just incredibly frustrated by this turn of events and I know that there is nothing I can do.

I mean the poor guy studied like hell to become a nurse and as anyone who has ever finished school the last thing you want to do is go back. And for purely selfish reasons, I would love it if I were not the only one working.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


When I was younger there were a number of celebrity who I was pretty confident were of the homosexual persuasion. And lo-and-behold, most of them have come out of the closet as the years have gone by or my opinion has not changed.

However, the one main oddity (pardon the pun) is David Bowie. I think everyone on the planet thought that he was gay when he first arrived on the scene (catch the great Quebec movie C.R.A.Z.Y. if you can for an amazing Bowie moment). But now more than every, I seriously doubt that he is gay. As one very effeminante straight male friend of mine once told me, being stereotypically gay and wanting to sleep with women is no easy destiny - woman never take you seriously and everyone always thinks you are just unable to come to terms with yourself.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Shave and a Haircut, Two Bits

It has been awhile since I talked about India. I had originally planned on writing about my time there with more frequency, but the workdays have been busy.

On my second day there, I partook in one of life’s truly great pleasures. A shave from a barber. I got a shave almost every day from a barber in India and it was an utter pleasure. It began with having a warm towel wrapped around the face to moisten up the beard. After a few minutes of relaxing, the towel is removed, a hot lather of shaving cream is generously applied all over the face.

After a few minutes to soak it in, the barber takes out his straight razor and proceeds to manipulate all the skin on my face, stretching it this way and that, to give a very close shave.

After all the hairs are gone, an after shave lotion is applied and then my face is rubbed with a type of stone that seems to stop all razor burn.

And then the good stuff starts, the head massage. Always amazing and always ending with the strangest element – the popping of the ears. The barber leans into my body, applies pressure to the side of my head and then pulls out my ears until they crack. Totally bizarre but definitely pleasant.

And all this for about 10 cents.

Gotta love it. Of course, one of the true pleasures about living in India was my ability to completely remove myself from certain shallow aspects of my character. My public appearance did not matter to me as much and I let my hair grow. Both sun and sea bleached, I ended up with a big curly (gets curly when long I discovered) mop of hair on the top of my head. And everytime I would go for a shave, the barber would always ask if I wanted a haircut. When I replied with a no, they would always respond with, “Oh, you NEED a haircut!”

Thursday, June 08, 2006

No More Macys

I wish to thank Joey Destino for alerting me to the Macy's situation in Boston - story here

I encourage you to write to them as well. I have with the following letter:

"It was with a profound sense of disappointment and anger that I heard today about a deplorable incident occurring at Boston Macy's concerning a window display regarding Boston Pride. Apparently after complaints about this window display, a portion of that display was removed. Upon finding both the before and after pictures posted on the internet, I became even more disappointed with Macy's. Two male mannequins, standing apart from one another, were removed from the display.

I personally find this to be an incredibly distasteful action. The fact that you would lend credence to the belief that two men standing beside one another is in anyway obscene is not even the worst of it. What is truly horrendous about your actions is that you would stoop so low as to take away the "gay people" out of your display, but continue to leave the remainder of the Pride display in place. Hide the homosexuals, but try to exploit Gay Pride. The hypocrisy is flagrantly evident.

I cannot believe the gall that you have in continuing to use Gay Pride display, acting as if you had anything to do with any of the reasons behind such an event, after shoving the mannequins back into their closets.

I, like many other gay people, have enjoyed shopping at both Macy's and other fine Federated FDS stores – in the past. I, like your mannequins, will choose to remove myself from your stores and provide my hard earned money to somewhere else.

In the meantime, I hope that you will remove the display in its entirety. Your version of Pride is one thing I definitely find offensive."

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Soloman Square

I was reading the other day about a kid who had been expelled from school for bringing in nail clippers. Apparently the school has a “zero-tolerance” policy regarding certain items and as these clippers had a two inch blade, they qualified. What has always struck me as fundamentally wrong about zero-tolerance policies is that they are incredibly childish.

Now I don’t mean childish as in silly, but as in formed from a child-like perspective where the world actually exists in a black-and-white reality. When you are a child, you believe that if you don’t do the right thing, you won’t go to heaven. And right versus wrong is a brightline. You believe in Santa Claus. And for me I believed in God.

But at some point, I began to question my belief in God – or to be more accurate, I began to question my belief in a religion’s view of God and the ultimate. I hit that devastating point of realization that not all I was told was necessarily true. I think it may have started when I saw the movie Gremilins as a kid. It was in that film that I found out that Santa Claus wasn’t real. And, it hurt. But the true hurt came from the understanding that I tale I had been told was not real. I had been lead to believe that it was, but it was not. And everyone was in on the secret except for me.

And I began to wonder about the other “true” tales that I had been told. And one question lead to another. And the answers I found erased a part of my world for me.

But I have always been a little jealous of the true believers. Their lives seem to be so much easier to deal with at time. Fundamentalists (of any variety) have no need to question their motives or to question the purpose behind a specific viewpoint, it is just that way. There is no grey area. There is no trying to understand the other side. There is no relativity. There is only zero-tolerance.

And that is why zero-tolerance policies are so distasteful to me. They are a way of avoiding having to make any determination, any evaluation, any investigation. A set of events fits into a specific laid out pattern of facts – guilty. And it is this child-like view of “if the show fits” that disturbs me the most. When did the idea of the wise old Solomon suddenly become such a foreign concept?

A nair clipper may have a blade but it is not a knife. Just as a square is a rectangle but a rentangle is not always a square. But if you bring down an edict that you can't even consider the other, suddenly everything with four sides is a square and we lose that all too valuable human qualities of consideration, deliberation and evaluation.
Hit Counter
Online Degrees