Plots and Thoughts

Homophobic Mississippi School District Cancels Prom out of Spite

Posted in Observations by Captain Optimistic on March 11, 2010

Straightforward story.  The little  school district that could discriminate but couldn’t handle queer folk at a school prom decided to just cancel it.  Here is the story.  I found the comments section to be rather fun:

I am sick to death of these “special individuals”, with “special needs” keep ruining it for the rest of us who are healthy minded, law abiding individuals.

Just say “NO” to this negative behavior, what is wrong with the truth?

Check out some of the replies!

omg, i totally agree! these special individuals who insist that everyone be *just like them* with their special need of having everyone be *just like them* keep ruining it for the rest of us who are healthy, law abiding INDIVIDUALs who don’t give a flying fudge who wants to date who.

The truth is, no one has the right to force people to live according to their own religious beliefs. If you don’t agree, then move to Iraq and allow yourself to be forced to live according to Islam. Oh wait, as long as it’s YOUR religion it’s okay. I see how you are: Anti-American.

I’m having a hard time trying to figure out if you’re being ironic or not. America is A REPUBLIC not a Democracy precisely because minority rights tend to get trampled in a a direct democracy. The Senate is built around the idea that “special individuals” (i.e. small states) get special treatment (i.e. a louder voice than they would otherwise.)

What “special need” are you talking about? The girl wanted to take her date to the prom. Just like hundreds of other students. Sorry, but the girl was well within her rights as a citizen of this country. Hope the School Board gets sued back to the middle ages it crawled out of.

Its always amusing watching the ignorant and the bigoted lose an argument.

Sexual Identity and Language With a Purpose

Posted in Strategy by Captain Optimistic on December 2, 2009

Bond takes note of confusion around identification with (and the use of) the word queer:

I just read a comment in which a trans guy explained that he identifies as queer, but only because he’s bi or gay, and that being transsexual in itself is not in any way queer. A bunch of other commenters piped up to agree, explaining that straight transsexuals are not queer, and even that butches are not necessarily queer (because apparently tough rural straight women can classified as butch, because they might read that way to urban eyes — a notion I’d guess would offend such women even more than it offends me). On the other hand, I’ve also heard gay, bi and straight trans people identify strongly as queer by virtue of being trans, and I’ve heard queers of all stripes make painstaking efforts to include queer-identified het transsexuals in our language.

The phrase “in our language” is especially apt.  The way we describe our sexuality encompasses everything from who we are attracted to (if at all) to how we express ourselves sexually, to what we consider acceptable conduct.  A large chunk of our social identity is represented.

Thus those interested in equal rights regardless of sexual identity and orientation might want to consider ways to expand our language to be more inclusive.  What we need is a word to describe anyone who believes that sexual identity and consensual expression never need be labeled or restricted.  True sexual liberty doesn’t need language to tie it down (unless you are into that of course).  But we could really use the power of shared identity to push the gay rights movement forward!  People fight harder and more effectively when their own rights are at stake.  From every possible strategic consideration of the rhetoric of the gay rights movement it is a clear win to find a way to be more inclusive and direct in making this about sexual liberty for all.

And we need that to counter some of the stinging defeats we’ve had (NY and ME), and continue the momentum from the equally ringing victories (WA and DC).

I think the word queer has a lot of lingual baggage, and further I don’t feel right appropriating it when there is such comfort for any group in having a word – a name – to call their own.  We need a completely new word.

Suggestions?

Here’s two off the top of my head to start us off:

The first one that came to mind was FreeSexual.  I love the ring of it!  And a quick trip to google turned up others with the same thought.

EqualSexual This one isn’t already used.  I’d define it as someone who refuses to be labeled, and supports sexual equality.

What do you think?