Jun 282013
 
Bert and Ernie are seen from the back, snuggling, while watching an antique TV showing the Supreme Court Justices.  This is a cover from The New Yorker's early July issue.

Bert and Ernie are seen from the back, snuggling, while watching an antique TV showing the Supreme Court Justices. This is a cover from The New Yorker’s early July issue. Click the cover for more info.

I saw this picture today and suddenly there were tears on my face.  Bert and Ernie were an important part of my childhood and I want to do right by them (and by Mr. Rogers).  This image fills me with pride at our slow, spotty progress… as well as the need to apologize for taking so long with this on-going struggle.

Sometimes during conversations about coming out we’ll all start talking about when and how we realized that being straight was ok and being queer was socially unwelcome. I usually say that I was a late bloomer with figuring this out. When I was a kid I thought that people just lived with people they loved, whether it was platonic love or otherwise. I had no idea that gender was a big part of it for many folks. I had an aunt who lived with her mother and cared for her. My neighbors were a het couple that weren’t married and had no kids. Bert and Ernie were obviously a great pair, whatever their relationship. Same for Snuffy and Big Bird, who I assumed were at least having sleep over parties together. My parents and I all loved each other and lived together.  I reasoned that when you share sleeping space it means you trust the other person, maybe like to share jokes and giggle when you’re supposed to be asleep, and don’t care if the other person sees what you look like first thing in the morning.

My point in sharing all this is that sometimes I hear parents (more so in the US than Canada) share their fears of having to explain same sex-relationships to their kids, and that it will somehow ruin their innocence. And yet I look back on that part of my childhood as one of the most magical, wonderful examples of innocence. I was innocent of the societal judgement over who gets to love who, whatever form that love may take. What is there to explain? Lots of different people love each other, and sometimes they also live together. We should be happy when others are happy.

Although the process of breaking that blissful ignorance involved a series of publicly humiliating events (like asking for a definition of “homosexual” in 8th grade science class -who knew there were such categories?!), I am glad I hung onto the belief that everybody loved love in all its forms. I’m especially grateful that I can still remember believing that.  It gives me a vision of a world I want to help create, even if we don’t get all the way there during my lifetime.

Aug 142008
 

Catalina of CatalinaLoves.com is a hot writer, great mind, and amazing sexuality advocate. Toss her $10 and win a ticket for an amazing sex drawing!

Catalina of CatalinaLoves.com is a hot writer, great mind, and amazing sexuality advocate. Toss her $10 for a ticket for an amazing sex drawing!

After spending a bit of time slacking off from work in the sex-positive region of the blogosphere, it can be easy to forget the conservative nature of day-to-day life for most of us. Blogging and other forms of outreach and activism about sexuality are still very much a revolutionary act, one which can bear heavy consequences. I’m far from the only one to make a dramatic career shift due to conflicts with the boss over such things. Even though I’m trained to work with couples on issues that include sexuality, I knew the old career path couldn’t last the day I was banned from making condoms available. Now, one of our own has had to leave her established career over sexual-political implications. As if that weren’t bad enough, she must also defend her daughter from being brought into the fray by her former employer!

Her answer? A highly affordable auction of amazingly sexy goods and services donated by new and old friends!

More after the jump: Continue reading »

Jul 242008
 
Thomas Beatie & Little Susan Jullette

Thomas Beatie & Little Susan Jullette

Thomas Beatie, the no longer pregnant “Pregnant Man,” is in People Magazine with his 3 week old baby daughter, Susan Jullette. What a cute father-daughter picture! According to People, Susan took 40 hours of labor and was born the old fashioned way. It cracks me up to write that about a man giving birth. Anyway, all are well and happy and Nancy is doing the breast feeding after inducing lactation with hormones and a breast pump.

How a man had a baby – here

Pregnant Man, the movie – here

All posts on Thomas, Nancy and Susan Jullette - here

People’s article – here

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Jul 172008
 
Behind this sly smile is a might brain.

Behind this sly smile is a mighty brain.

Jamie LaRue is a prime example of librarians serving as our champions of freedom. In a well written and inspiring post, Mr. LaRue shares with us his response to a letter of complaint regarding the children’s book Uncle Bobby’s Wedding. This library patron is concerned that the book’s content is not fit for her child, and offers several suggestions on restricting the book. Jamie’s response is incredible, blending respect with a solid grounding in awareness of history and philosophy. I’m particularly moved by his clear appreciation for the parent who wrote to him. It is long-ish for today’s time-strapped blog reader, but really well worth your time. He chose to share it in order to assist other librarians likely to face similar letters during the upcoming year.

LaRue’s letter – here

LaRue’s website – here

Thanks to Geekle for submitting this find!

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Jul 172008
 
The Big Talk Can Be Scary for Some LolCats

The Big Talk can be scary for some LolCats

I’m seriously impressed! KVIA.com recently reported on a research project in which parents were offered weekly lunch-hour workshops during which they learned how to talk to their youth about sexuality. Adults received information and utilized role playing in order to increase their awareness, skills, and comfort in this area. Both comprehensive and abstinence-based approaches were included, allowing parents the opportunity to handle the topic as they see fit. What a fantastic idea! While I certainly use a comprehensive approach in this blog, I recognize the supreme importance of meeting folks where they are and offering them diverse resources to fit their own needs and ethics. Anywho, parents loved it and reported using the content with success. Yes, they even smiled about it. Companies found the idea peachy, as it helped promote a family-friendly work environment and offered the opportunity to increase productivity by helping parents deal with this troublesome topic at home. Parents also received training on techniques for listening to their kids without lecturing, and other general communication skills. I think I hear my post-graduation job calling me…

The study came out in the July 11 copy of the British Medical Journal, by the way.

Source Article – here

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Jul 152008
 
Mike Males, author of Scapegoat Generation, encourages us to cease using the term teen pregnancies

Mike Males, author of Scapegoat Generation, encourages us to cease using the term "teen pregnancies"

The LA Times published a sound, well-written and very thought-provoking opinion piece by Mike Males (of YouthFacts) on July 13th. In his letter, which is well worth reading for yourself, he makes several key points regarding myths that are commonly perpetuated by the media on the topic of “teen pregnancy.” To sum them up:

1) Remember that pregnancy pact thing in Gloucester, Mass.? It didn’t happen. That’s right, it wasn’t true at all. While the pregnancy rate when up a little from the year before, it wasn’t abnormally high overall. There was also no pact, no celebrations, no coordinated pregnancies. The principal who started the story refused to name sources and it fell flat under investigations. Hmm. My thoughts: even if a few kids high-fived each other, what would you expect them to do? “Gosh, Jane. You’re stupid.” No. Friends support each other, of course. And, it isn’t rare at all for some high schoolers to want babies, after all.

2) The very term “teen pregnancy” relies on sexist, old-fashioned ideas of careless teen boys hooking up with their young girlfriends. Oftentimes it is late teens with older men who are no longer teens at all. Should we not focus on these men, poverty, or other related issues? Why is it all about these young women?

3) And who says that these pregnancies are always bad? After all, some research (cited in the original article) clearly has found that women living in poverty did better if they became parents in their teens than if they waited. Their long-term incomes, tax payments, and so on were all improved. There is also a higher likelihood of intergenerational support from parents, it turns out.

4) Males wraps it up with a call for major sex ed and abstinence ed groups to stop ignoring large portions of the research that don’t meet their needs. He also calls to the public to be more careful about the pregnancy rumors they consume and repeat.

Good work, Mike Males. You’ve caught my attention and given me quite a bit to chew on.

Mike Male’s original opinion piece – here

Mike Male’s home page – here

Summary from National Partnership for Women & Families – here

YouthFacts.org, working to confront cultural myths about our kids – here

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