Tag Archives: lgbtiq

Wouldn’t it be nice if…

the ACL, now that Jim Wallace decided that tweeting bigotry was a great idea, vanished up it’s own arse, especially as the outrage on twitter and elsewhere has demonstrated that they do not have the wide support of Australia (Christian or otherwise) that they claim they do.

For those that missed it, Wallace tweeted (on ANZAC day no less) that:

Just hope that as we remember servicemen and women today we remember the Australia they fought for – wasn’t gay marriage and Islamic!

He later retracted his statement saying:

OK you are right my apologies this was the wrong context to raise these issues. ANZACs mean too much to me to demean this day, not intended

Note the lack of apologies to the LBGTIQ and Muslim communities… no instead we get a, “Oops, I shouldn’t have said this today of all days, I’ll come out and say this again at some other time and not feel even remotely guilty for erasing LGBTIQ service men and woman, and Muslim service men and women… oh and I’m totes justified in hating all of them because the bible says so.”

Continue reading Wouldn’t it be nice if…

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Making trouble

I’m a member of the committee of Bisexual Alliance Victoria (Vice President since you asked), and am one of the founding members of that group.  We participated in our first (as Bisexual Alliance Victoria) Pride March in early February 2011, and unsurprisingly (to me at least) we received negative feedback from the crowd, “Make a decision”, “Get off the fence”, “Make up your mind”, “No such thing”, etc.

I expected these comments, which really sucks at a queer event, because every time I’ve marched since 2007 as a bisexual, I’ve heard them.  Some of our members were really upset by the negativity, and so as a committee we decided to write a media release indicating that we were disappointed with the negativity and that we were working with Pride March Victoria to march prominently and be involved in tackling further biphobia.  At the same time, two of our members wrote an article which was published in the Star Observer.  This article has also attracted biphobic comments – neatly proving our point.

So I wrote a comment in response to the biphobic comments, which I’ve captured below in the very unlikely event that it doesn’t get through moderation.  I started with the lyrics from The Whitlam’s song I will not go Quietly (Duffy’s Song), which I think neatly captures the fight that bisexuals go through constantly at the moment (hopefully less so each year.

One final thing before I get to my comment.  The San Francisco Human Rights Commission has put together a paper on biphobia titled, “Bisexual Invisibility: Impacts and Recommendations” which is an eye opening read into the effects of bisexual invisibility and biphobia.

Ok, my comment:

“I will not go quietly
I will not accept your rules
gonna live with myself
before I live with any of you”
(I Will Not Go Quietly (Duffy’s Song) – The Whitlams)

I identify as bisexual and have now for 20 years – I’ve never thought I was straight or gay – always bisexual.  Yet at the Pride Marches I have been in, when marching with the bisexual community (since 2007), I have been booed, told to decide, told to get off the fence, and had my sexual identity derided.

Let me be very clear here – this is a queer event (Pride March) and so is attended by a large number of gay and lesbian Melburnians.  At this queer event, I have had my sexual identity called into question and made fun of.

I’m made of relatively strong stuff, and so laugh at bigots who tell me that I’m being dishonest when identifying as a bisexual, but there are bisexuals who aren’t made of teflon coated kevlar like me – and do you think that it is fair to tell them that they’re wrong with their own identifiers?  Do you think it’s ok for you to identify someone else on their behalf without any consultation?

I wish it wasn’t the case that the way SOME gay and lesbian people treat bisexuals mirrors quite closely the persecution that gay and lesbians fought against for years.  I wish it were actually true that those who don’t believe that bisexuality exists actually spent some time listening to bisexuals about their lived experience and let us decide whether we exist or not.

We’re not a danger to you.  We don’t dilute your movement.  Like any group of individuals in any community, there are always arsehats, but no one should take them as representative – just as broader society is learning not to take gay or lesbian or women arsehats as representative of an entire group.

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A quick response to a bad article

Doctor John Dickson wrote today for The Drum, an article titled “Time for some nuance between the gay and the god-fearing“, which is an attempt to justify continued Christian Homophobia with the old, “hate the sin but love the sinner” approach (the comment section of the article – with the exception of a couple of bigots is really good).

Contemporary minds are fixed to think of only two possible camps on the gay issue. Either you are pro-homosexual and therefore open-minded, kind and respectful, or else you are a mean-spirited, homophobic bigot. You are either for me or against me. No space is given to a third group, much larger than the current discourse allows, made up of people who sincerely want an end to discrimination and who show nothing but care and respect toward gay friends but whose deeply held convictions prevent them from endorsing same-sex practice.

Perhaps in the tradition of ‘an eye for an eye’ the church deserves some purgatorial derision. No one could deny that professed Christians have used very condescending and spiteful language toward gay people (and, shamefully, sometimes even resorted to violence). But tit-for-tat won’t help us in the long run. The biblical perspective on sex – that all sexual intimacy outside heterosexual monogamy is contrary to the Creator’s good intentions – is not going anywhere; and nor are our gay neighbours. This realization alone demands that we work out together how to have a respectful, nuanced public conversation.

In particular, we have to ask whether holding a moral view is in itself hateful. Obviously, strong moral codes, whether religious or secular, can promote hateful speech and behaviour, but are the codes inherently hateful? Specifically, I want to ask David Marr: Do you not believe it is possible to profoundly disagree with someone’s lifestyle and sincerely care for them all the same? I am not offering a defence of Christian teaching on homosexuality (which may, of course, be wrong); I am simply affirming that believers ought to be able to hold their view thoughtfully and respectfully without being considered ‘bigots’ and ‘homophobes’.

But there is a third way, based on a different logic. We ought to be able to love even those with whom we profoundly disagree. It must be possible for Christians to question the moral status of sexual intimacy outside heterosexual monogamy while demonstrating respect and care for neighbours who are neither heterosexual nor monogamous. True open-mindedness is not merely accepting as true and valid someone else’s viewpoint; it is the more difficult and noble commitment to honouring people whose viewpoints you reject.

I dispute that the “third group” as mentioned by Dr Dickson is “much larger” as he suggests.  I also dispute that the “hate the sin but love the sinner” is anything other than homophobic bigotry.  If you show “care and respect” towards your LBTIQG family and friends, but not unconditional love, then you’re not following the commandments of Jesus, that man you claim to be a follower of.

As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34 (NIV)

If you want to have a “respectful, nuanced and public conversation” with the LBGTIQ community, then there are some things you need to do first.  I’d first suggest a public apology, much like the ones the 100 Revs who march in Mardi Gras have given time and time again to the GLBTIQ community.  I’d also suggest you LISTEN to the grievances the GLBTIQ community has with Christianity and actively ensure that the BLQTIG community feels heard.  Then, before any public conversation takes place, you should go away to a quiet place and learn about Jewish and Christian theology (no, I don’t know what your doctorate is in, and nor do I care), and how that has changed as needs arose over the centuries – things like the outlawing of slavery, increase of status (to human no less) of non-white people, the equality of women, the lack of death penalty for disobeying parents, the creation of rape as a crime against the rapist (and not the victim), tattoos becoming socially acceptable, blaming Jews for the death of Jesus, the abolition of limbo, etc.

If Christianity can change all these things, that are in the bible, then it can change its views on BTQGLI too.  Christianity is well known for picking and choosing which bits of the New and Old Testaments remain valid (women are allowed to speak in places of worship now – something that Paul suggested was a really bad idea), so why not shed the homophobia and accept that difference makes the world a far more interesting place to be in, and that what two (or more) people do in their bedroom is actually NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS.

Is holding a moral view hateful?  That depends on the moral view.  If that moral view suggests that a group should be marginalised, stigmatised, and treated negatively for an attribute they possess, then yes, that moral view is hateful.  And what you are suggesting Dr Dickson is the continuation (with sanction) of a hateful moral view because you find the LBGTIQ community threatening to your world view.

Calling being gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, or queer (not so much intersex in this statement) a “lifestyle” is INCREDIBLY INSULTING.  A “lifestyle” is something you choose.  You choose to eat X food, you choose to undertake Y activities, these are “lifestyle” choices.  Being BGLTIQ are not “lifestyle” choices they are innate qualities.  To reduce them to a choice is to deny lived experience of these people and science (something which some Christians are quite happy to deny anyway).

Let me state again if it isn’t already abundantly clear – to consider that someone who is GLBQIT is sinful in anyway is bigoted and homophobic.  To judge someone else goes against what is taught by Jesus, the man you claim to follow:

1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-5)

So stop it.  Stop right now and never ever let me catch you doing it again.  I agree that you can love someone you disagree with, even when you disagree with them strongly.  I disagree with my parents about various things, but still love them, I disagree with friends, partners and others and can still love them.  Disagreeing is completely different to TELLING SOMEONE THAT THEY ARE WRONG.  Let me put that another way:

DISAGREEING WITH SOMEONE IS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TO TELLING SOMEONE THAT THEY ARE ALL WRONG – THAT EVERY LAST BIT OF THEM IS INHERENTLY WRONG.

It is not possible for Christians to be involved in anyone’s sexual practices – that is rude, invasive, immoral and seriously how could you write that sentence and let it be published?

The final statement I copied and pasted into this post is so full of problems that I’m going to unpack it separately.  On the surface it sounds reasonable, but when you begin to think about it, it’s all really wrong.

True open-mindedness is not merely accepting as true and valid someone else’s viewpoint; it is the more difficult and noble commitment to honouring people whose viewpoints you reject.

First Dr Dickson attempts to define “open-mindedness” as “accepting as true and valid someone else’s viewpoint” (which is all good – but something he’s not subscribing to), but then also as “honouring people whose viewpoints you reject”.  He also claims that this is a more difficult and noble commitment… something which I completely reject.  It’s impossible and potentially dangerous.  I reject the views of racist/homophobic/transphobic/biphobic/sexist/etc bigots and there is NO WAY that I am going to honour them for their views, in fact I’m going to condemn them for their views, for those views are harmful to people.

A true Christian, a Christian that follows the teaching of Jesus would love unconditionally, not judge others for any perceived or imagined transgressions, turn the other cheek if someone insults them, and lives in accordance with the commandments stated by Jesus.  I can’t imagine that Jesus would, if he came back today, condemn any LGBQIT person – afterall, if you believe that we are all god’s creatures, then why would god create gay people except for them to be loved, to love, and seek happiness and fulfillment on earth?

And let’s consider another thing, as a Christian Dr Dickson, and everyone who is Christian and agrees with him, are an incredibly privileged group whining about how a less privileged group is pointing out that the privileged group has treated them badly.  He deeply wants to hold onto the power imbalance that currently exists and is attempting to use his religious privilege to do so.  “But my faith told me so” is not a defence.  It’s time to let go and move with the times.

As I read today on Fat Heffalump:

Equality is extremely threatening to people who have always benefited from the lack thereof.

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The complications of bisexuality

[Quick title clarification – I’m referring to female bisexuality versus male sexuality in this article]

For the longest time, I knew I was bisexual and I did nothing about that.  I had lots of relationships with men, and was happy for the most part, but avoided getting close to women because they were scary.  I felt I didn’t understand women, that they were complicated, immune to me bossing them about (like I do with men), capricious, generally untrustworthy, and willing to shame me for transgressions against an idea of femininity that I didn’t understand or match.  Most of this, of course, was borne out by my personal experiences with the women I went to high school with, who on the whole were really horrible towards me, mostly because I didn’t fit in as a geek, tom boy, and someone who wasn’t born in the town (Bendigo is an incredibly insular town).   I think I might have gotten over particular subsets of women being horrible to me if it had been confined solely to school and hadn’t continued on the workplace, with several female coworkers and a few female managers acting in the same way.

I slowly cultivated female friends who didn’t play games, were trustworthy, and built me up, but it took a long time, and a lot of hard work on my behalf.  There were a few women I was interested in, but each time I came to the conclusion that those particular were not safe for me, that they’d attempt to manipulate me, shame me, be capricious, or betray my trust – either through things they’d say or the way they’d act in relation to me or other people.

For the longest time, women were far too scary to be in relationships with.  I developed a method of testing the waters (with everyone, not just women) to see if people were safe.  I stopped having secrets (well mostly – there are some things that I tell very few people), and I started telling everyone everything that they wanted to hear.  You want to know how I manage three relationships at once, sure, you want to know how much I earn, sure, you want to know my sleep arrangements, sure.  I decided that if I didn’t have any secrets then it’d be a lot harder for others to attempt to shame me or manipulate me with information because it was all out in the open.  It then became a case of who judged me or acted poorly towards me (or others).

I say all this because I know that I am not a lone bisexual woman who is or has struggled with all the societal messages that we’re fed about women, and as a result struggle to approach women for fear of back stabbing, shaming or something else.  I’ve met, and am friends with, many bisexual women who are confused about what we’re told about other women, and don’t know where to start in relation to approaching other women.

I cannot actually offer much advice, sadly.  There are many women out there that I am incredibly cautious of.  I’ve slowly gathered a close knit group of female friends (mostly also queer) who have demonstrated their trustworthiness, their awesomeness, and I am incredibly blessed to be their friends.  I would never have met my female partner had it not been for my husband talking me up to her and her up to me (he is lovely too), and us being wonderfully compatible.

Does anyone have any good ideas on how to get this to work apart from patience, courage and good judgement?

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Sexpo reflections – the good and the bad

I thought, now that I’d spent a shift at Sexpo and the organising and grumping about the whole thing is over, that I’d write a list of the good and bad things about Sexpo, because there are some really fantastic things about Sexpo that a lot of people don’t realise under all the sleaze and heteronormality.

The Good

Let’s start with all the positive stuff first.  This will be a little long because there is one really great thing that needs to be pointed out, with a whole lot of background.

  • The ACCSEX Coalition.  With the permission of the activists at Sexpo, I’m going to reproduce their brochure below so everyone knows what Accsex is.  The thing I love about Accsex is that it makes Sexpo a safe (ish) place for disabled people to be, to discuss their needs with vendors of sex toys, and to be sexual beings enjoying what is going on.  The fact that the activists are also people with disabilities really brings the message home to people.

The ACCSEX Coalition

We are a network of people who aim to assist consenting adults with disabilities to access their choice of sex, friendships, sex education, intimate relationships and the adult industry.

We recognise those social attitudes and structures around disability and sexuality interfere with the fulfilment of this aim.

We therefore see changing community attitudes and influencing social institutions as a major priority.

We believe that dominant attitudes need to be challenged, the foremost belief that people with disabilities are asexual, unattractive and unsuitable social and sexual partners.

Issues being looked at now

  • Access
  • Policies
  • Physical and financial access
  • Social connections
  • Research and Sexuality Education
  • Legal and ethical issues & discrimination

How you can be involved

  • Contribute to our information sharing – we want to know about research, education and social support activities
  • Help us to identify key issues that we as a group can help to address through our work

“Sexuality is often the source of our deepest oppression; it is also often the source of our deepest pain” [Finger, 1992: 9]

You may benefit from being a member of Accsex if:

  • You are a person with a disability and you want to meet people and work with other to create change;
  • you are a parent with a disability;
  • you are a partner/parent/carer of a person with a disability;
  • you provide services to people with disabilities;
  • your organisation is interested in service improvement;
  • you are an advocate, or from an advocacy organisation; and/or
  • you are a researcher or educator interested in sexuality and disability.

The social institutions that we wish to influence are:

  • Governments, so that they can fund initiatives and support legislative changes that facilitate the sexual choices of consenting adults with disabilities;
  • The Media, who nearly always represent people with disabilities using two dominant stereotypes.  We are portrayed as either the tragic but brave “Supercrip” who triumphs over adversity, or as the pathetic and passive victim, the object of pity.  We are never seen as consenting adults.
  • Attendant care agencies, so that they can train their staff and shape culture and policies that facilitate the sexual choices of consenting adults with disabilities
  • Providers of commercial sexual services and the adult entertainment and retail industries, so they can make their venues, goods and services accessible, affordable and inclusive of consenting adults with disabilities.

Membership information

If you are interested in becoming a member of the ACCSEX Coalition, come to our meetings and/or link up with our E-group listing.

Share information, news and views

Email: ACCSEX@yahoogroups.com

Web address: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/accsex

I’ve left off the names and personal contact details provided by ACCSEX because I don’t want them to be spammed to death by bots.  If you are interested in finding out more about them, I’d start with the yahoo group listed above.

  • The bodies.  The beauty in seeing people of all sizes attend an event that is mostly about sex.  The fact that there were people of all sizes buying sex toys, lifestyle products, and generally being sexual beings.  This also includes the fact that there are several clothing (corsetry, bustiers, underwear, lingerie, etc) vendors who are selling clothing in what is termed “plus sizes”.
  • The costumes.  There are a huge number of people that dress up to go to Sexpo in all sorts of clothes.  Makes people watching at my stall lots of fun.
  • The event is quite queer friendly.  I organised the Bisexual Alliance stall – the volunteering, decorations, rosters, etc (James did the paperwork with the Sexpo organisers).  Although some people almost cause themselves whiplash when they read our sign and then immediately turn away.  Talking to other vendors, they’re very supportive of our presence and happy to engage.  Those who approach, wherever they are on the LGBTIQ spectrum, they’re happy that we are a queer presence at Sexpo.  Generally I have experienced or witnessed very little homophobia/biphobia or at Sexpo.

The Bad

  • There are bits of overwhelming sleaze.  Some vendors (a very small minority) are very sleazy and make me feel really uncomfortable.  Some of the products being sold are somewhat ick to me.
  • The co-option of queer women’s sexuality for the male gaze
  • How bored the (female) pole dancers are if you actually look at them
  • The fact that the event is quite heteronormative
  • The music is too loud to hold conversations with others at times
  • The airbrushed [and thin and white] women on posters/brochures advertising various products or services

Overall, it is a very positive thing for our community stall to be present.  We’re a queer presence in a straight assuming event, and welcomed by many.  Organising the event is tedious, and spending time there can be boring sometimes, but generally it’s good to be out, proud and active.

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The Australian Christian Lobby is lonely

Clearly the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has not been feeling the love recently, so they decided to come out punching today and publicly declared (covered in The Age at least) that they were against Labour’s plans to fund a “gay rights advisory body”.  Before I delve too deep into the ACL, I want to cover a little bit about who they are and what they want to achieve.  From their website (link not provided deliberately):

The vision of the ACL is to see Christian principles and ethics accepted and influencing the way we are governed, do business and relate to each other as a community.

There is no sense in this vision of our wishing to see Australia a theocracy, but merely wanting to reestablish the rightful influence of those who believe in our Christian heritage.

Wow, I could spend this entire post and the remainder of time before I go to bed for my well deserved night’s sleep deconstructing that “About” page, but I’ll save that for another time (note to self – make sure you do that eventually).

So, the ACL… focused on Christian principles, not surprising, but want them to influence government, business and interpersonal relationships, not as a theocracy… no, no, no… but to “reestablish the rightful influence of those who believe in our Christian heritage” (emphasis mine).  Doesn’t that sound scary.  Those who do not believe in the Christian heritage of Australia (and I think the Aboriginal nations might have something to say about that), should not have influence, so no influence (or less) for Muslims, Buddhists, Atheists, Hindus, the Christians that aren’t affiliated with the ACL, etc.

Anway… back to the article at hand now that I’ve provided a quick background on the ACL, though as things are relevant, I’ll probably dive in and out of their website to find useful factoids.

Sadly, the ACL is an incredibly vocal lobby group with very little transparency.  There is no clear record available (that I could find with a quick search) as to who funds them, how many members they have, which Christian Churches they work with/through.  Their board is a massive sausage fest, but that’s hardly surprising given it’s a Conservative Christian business.  They do come out and state that they are a “political lobby representing individual Christians and is neither denominationally nor politically aligned”, which means that they act on stuff that they are specifically interested in, versus what the Bible recommends, or what Churches want, or potentially even what their probably rather small (“Consistently maintained a growth rate of 50% annually in membership over its first three years as a national organisation” – much easier with smaller numbers) membership desires.  Though as I believe that only Conservative Christians would join this group (an en-masse sign up of everyone else would be funny), they probably are interested in what the ACL pushes.

But again, back to the article:

THE Labor Party’s plan to fund a gay rights advisory body is a disgraceful act and shows that the government is pandering to a small minority, says the Australian Christian Lobby.

Because listening to minority groups and ensuring their full participation in society is such a bad thing (and yes, we suck at racial minority groups, listening to them and helping them fully participate in society for the most part).  I do love how ACL completely ignores societal support for increased rights for the LBGTIQ members of society and family support that many TIQLBG have, who would also want the rights of their family members recognised.

”Most people treat abortion as a done deal [but] for us and for many Christians it is still a very topical issue and where candidates sit on that is very important,” Mr Ward said. [ACL chief executive]

Citation needed Mr Ward.  How many Christians is this an issue for?  Why is it an issue?  Which Churches?  Are the views of your Board (5 white men) actually relevant here?  What about for people who aren’t Christian?  Why does your belief system get to walk all over theirs? (That last statement is going to be a recurring theme here).

He said it was a ”disgraceful act of undemocratic process” by Labor to fund a government advisory committee that would advise cabinet on issues affecting the gay community.

”What Labor has done has identified a small minority, a very vocal minority with one issue, their issue: gay rights, and they have said ‘we will cater to your needs’,” he said.

Yes, because 10% of the population is a “small minority”, much like the ACL which would appear to be even a smaller minority, and the ACL is also “a very vocal minority”.  I’m beginning to see parallels.  So, Mr Ward and the ACL, are you going to stop now and go away like you’d like the BLGTIQ community to?

And stop with conflating all the issues that the QITLBG community has into a broad, brush stroke, pithy phrase.  Because the GLBITQ community has many issues that we’d like addressed and yes, they do relate back to human rights, that is true, that doesn’t make them any less valid than anyone else’s rights though.  I’m actually rather pleased that the Labour Party has committed to having a BLGTIQ advisory body.  It means that the issues that my fellow queer and trans* have may actually be addressed, such as bullying and suicide of queer and trans* teens, appropriate medical access for trans*, recognition of relationships, no discrimination on the basis of gender identity or presentation, hate crime legislation strengthened, and gender mutilation of intersex babies ceasing.  See, these issues are pity and can easily be summed into two words that are meaningless on their own.

”If they have got money to throw around, why don’t they throw it at child protection? Why aren’t they setting up a group too that will defend freedom for religion?”

Because Mr Ward, child protection and freedom of religion are already legislated.  Most of the rights I’ve listed above, and other issues faced by the LBIQTG community are not.  See, that really is very simple.  And since when did YOUR religion need protecting.  Christianity is privileged and has far more status in society than any other religion.

Mr Ward said more than 100,000 people used the Australian Christian Lobby’s site during the 2010 federal election.

And this is the most telling about the small size of the ACL, despite their very loud (and annoying) voice.  There are approximately 13.6 million voters in Australia (in 2007).  Of those 13.6 million voters, at the Federal Election in August ONLY somewhat more than 100,000 people visited ACL’s website.  That’s 0.735% of voters.  That’s sweet-fuck-all.  That last admission by Mr Ward really does show how irrelevant he and his lobby group are.  Though why they continue to get airtime and be seen as a source for “balance” is beyond me.

Now, back to the point of forcing me and anyone else who isn’t the same type of Christian or even Christian to live under your rules.  From ACL’s website:

Do you know?

That 12.7 million, or 64% of Australians declared themselves as Christians in the 2006 ABS Census.
That over 2 million Australians attend a place of worship every Sunday.

So although approximately 64% of of Australians declared themselves as Christians only somewhere over 2 million of them, or 15% of Australian Christians actively participate in their places of worship.  In the 2006 Australian Census, I marked myself down as Catholic, but I do not, and never would have, supported the ACL’s stance on GLBTIQ rights, abortion or euthanasia (well I probably would have when I was younger and not as well educated).  It’s a HUGE reach for the ACL to claim that they represent all Christians, where there are about 10 different grouped denominations who don’t agree on most things.  The ACL doesn’t represent the Catholics or Anglicans who have various Bishop Councils advocating on their behalf.  I have no idea about the Orthodox Churches but I imagine have their own lobby methodologies.  So who, really, does the ACL claim to represent other than conservative Christians?

And given that only 64% of Australia declares themselves Christian and only 15% of those who declare themselves Christian regularly attend Church services, why on earth does the ACL think that it can dictate to me and all the other non-Christians and non-ACL style Christians how we should live?  If they are so threatened by the GLBTIQ community, why don’t they just put their head in the sand and leave the rest of us alone to live our lives to our full potential?  For my sake, the sake of the GLBTIQ community, for the sake of women who should be trusted to make up their own minds about the suitability of an abortion, for the sake of people who want to die with dignity, please STOP giving these people a voice until they are at the very least:

  1. transparent about their membership
  2. transparent about their finances
  3. transparent about their decision making processes

Maybe then, as we’ll all be a bit more educated about their agenda and relevance, they might be allowed a voice, but right now, they’re a harmful distraction to important issues.

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Sometimes it is just about sex

I participated yesterday in the comments section of an article on The Age about infidelity and again whether or not monogamy is the answer to everything (it is, but not for everyone).

The comments, on the whole, were quite positive, very little slut shaming going on and some people opening up about how infidelity has hurt them.  Quite a few members of Australia’s poly community (myself included) spoke about being ethically non-monogamous, how expecting that one person can fill all your needs is unrealistic and that with trust and honesty, insecurity and jealousy can be reduced.

One commenter agreed that one person could not meet all your needs, but that was what friends and family were for and asked why it always had to be about sex.  I suggested, in response, that because sometimes it was.  I gave two examples, of which they responded to only one.  The first (the one that wasn’t responded to) was about non-monogamous bisexuals who wanted/needed the sexual contact of the gender of partner they weren’t seeing right now or felt more balanced when they had partners with different genders.

The second, which was responded to, was about BDSM and what did you do if your partner wasn’t into BDSM and you wanted that outlet.  I was told by the commenter that they were a BDSM practitioner and BDSM is all about freedom and not sex.  And that’s where I stopped playing and went and did something else.  Because, you see, it can be all about sex.

Prescriptive responses like that tend to annoy me.  It leaves no room for someone who wants their sex rough, if we stick with the example above, and for whom BDSM does not cease on penetration (as I’ve read it is “supposed to” in some books).  Clearly there are multiple groups in the BDSM community who practice their flavour of BDSM in different ways.  There is, apart from safe, sane and consensual, no right way to practice BDSM.  There are things that work for some people and things that work for others.  Telling me what BDSM is, as if it applies to EVERYONE else on the planet who is interested, dismisses my beliefs and experience with BDSM as not being correct or right or pure… basically that I did something else that wasn’t BDSM even if I call it that.

There is no one way for most things that people do.  There is no one way to be gay, there is no one way to orgasm, there is no one way to be trans*, there is no one way to be disabled, there is no one way to be white, there is no one way to be a person of colour, etc.  Each of these things are customised by me, my thoughts, experiences and feelings.  The people I tend to associate with get this, thankfully, so I do not have to constantly fight to identify certain ways or to use language that fits me best.  I am privileged in that way and grateful for it.

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