Thursday, October 18, 2007

Just incredible

Lee just showed me Lisa Bufano's work and it is simply amazing:

Main Page

3 short videos

She is an incredible example of creating beauty and wonder from loss.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Bit o' Advice

Excerpt from an email I wrote to a young questioning (and perhaps a bit self hating) probably queer guy. I'd be interested in hearing what other things people think are important?

A couple of points:

1. you don't have to commit yourself to a label, "Questioning" is perfectly acceptable, especially in a group like a GSA

2. Bars are so NOT the way to go! (ed. note: he was bemoaning that he is still too young to get into bars and he felt that that meant that he can't meet other guys) GLBTQ people pick people up in normal places, like (possibly) through GSA meetings, clubs, bookstores, coffee shops etc. If you are working to have a healthy attitude toward being gay or bi or whatever, anonymous sex with guys you pick up in a bar or who pick you up really won't give it to you. Look up porn on the internet in the meantime, you'll be better off (something I still do regularly and I have a boyfriend).

3. Whatever you do, do it really safely. You are in a prime position to pick something up that you don't want. I have met a lot of people our age who knew all about safe sex, but when the moment struck it all went out of their heads. They thought with their dicks and in some cases paid too high a price. Also, if you are having negative feelings about maybe being queer (and there's nothing wrong with that) don't let yourself do something stupid because deep down you feel like you deserve it or because being queer or having queer sex is icky and dirty anyway or something. This applies to hooking up with guys who treat you like shit. Unsafe sex isn't just about disease.

4 (and last). I know that this may be too personal, but I'm putting it out there anyway. When you decide to hook up with someone. Be clear in advance with yourself and them about what you want to do. If you only feel mentally or physically up for something simple ( i.e. mutual masturbation) there is nothing wrong with that. Anyone who tells you otherwise isn't worth it. DON'T think that just 'cause someone is queer that they are going to immediately (or ever for that matter in some cases) love anal sex or have an easy time with it. I know LOTS of guys who are not fans of anal sex, and a huge number of guys who had bad introductions to it because they went to fast in starting the practice before they were ready or with someone who they were comfortable with or just because they felt pressured even though it didn't interest them.

Quick note on point #4: I don't want people to think that I'm against anal sex. I'm not. At the same time I know a lot of gay guys who aren't that into it, or didn't have a good introduction to it. I think that the points I make there are important because they aren't the kind of things that young and/or inexperienced guys hear.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


I have conflicting feelings about something that happened this evening: South Park ran an episode in which Cartman pretended to have Tourette Syndrome.

I’m afraid that this may make my life and the lives of a lot of other people with TS more difficult for a while. I’ve mentioned this to a few people in the last week since I found out that the episode was coming out, and they’ve been dubious. Here is my reasoning: one of the biggest difficulties that people with Tourette face is the worry and reality of not being believed by other people when they try to explain their tics. In days past I’ve had people (including police officers) tell me that I was faking the TS in order to get away with socially inappropriate behavior. I specifically can remember an officer telling me (this was years ago) “Yeah right kid, I watch LA law. Now shut up!” And LA Law was an adult show, and the character on the show wasn’t faking. South Park’s target audience is the exact age group that would be most likely to pretend to have Tourette because it sounds fun. The fact that Cartman is full of it isn’t going to help that perception one itsy bit.

On the flip side however, I’ll be the first to admit that Tourette (and often South Park) can be funny. The Tourette Syndrome Association put out a preemptive press release which honestly sounded a bit like a dorky kid complaining about being picked on.

The release says among other things “We are actually surprised it took the creators so long to use TS as comedy fodder in this program, since no disability, illness or controversial topic is off limits to them,”

The problem with the way this is said is that the TSA makes it sound like a bad thing. Whether it is Judit Ungar (the TSA president)’s cup of tea as comedy goes or not, this is what South Park does. The argument being made essentially is that this episode is in bad taste. I have not yet seen it for reasons I’ll discuss soon, but I can already tell you that it is indeed in bad taste. How do I know this? We’re talking about South Park. I cannot think of an episode that wasn’t in bad taste. That is the source of their comedy. Tourette Syndrome is hardly being singled out for special treatment. If GLAAD got upset every time South Park mocked gays, they would have to hire someone full time just to write press releases about South Park.

I could wish that if South Park just had to do a TS episode, they could have gotten more creative than having Cartman fake having Tourette so he could say bad words. For the gods’ sake, I had a tic about Flying Penis Man. There has to be more comedy to be found in Tourette than in having an already foul-mouthed six year old be, well foul-mouthed.

So on the one hand, this could make things unpleasant, especially for school kids with TS who’ve already got a good bit on their plate. On the other hand, this is the sort of thing that South Park does, the sort of thing that sometimes makes South Park brilliant. I feel strongly that if I’m going to laugh when Matt and Trey are putting some other segment of the population on the chopping block, I’d better not be too pissed when they put us Touretters there too.