Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Gay Lifestyle?

If I had a dollar for every time I hear gay lifestyle, I would be wealthy dyke! (As long as I didn't spend it all!)

HOWEVER, what is even more upsetting, oh did I mention this upsets me, anyway; it really upsets me when people say "lifestyle choice". Excuse me, like I would choose this?! Really, I am comfortable with who I am, but who really would choose to be considered not equal by society and be beaten and murdered for choosing to be gay? Please people, it is plain and simple: we are born this way, the only choice is if we live a lie.

"Lifestyle: This term is used to describe the way individuals lead their lives. For example, some people like living in the country; others like the city life. The word lifestyle is sometimes used incorrectly to describe a person’s sexual orientation: “She is living a gay lifestyle.” This usage is misleading because gay people live many different lifestyles. Being homosexual or bisexual, in and of itself, does not define the style of one’s life any more than being heterosexual does." (http://www.helpingout.ca/educators/definitions.html#Lifestyleducators/definitions.html#Lifestylegout.ca/educators/definitions.html#Lifestyleducators/definitions.html#Lifestyle)

Now if you want to talk about "gay lifestyle" it may be appropriate to use this term when discussing the Olivia lesbian housing development. Here is a new housing development that is going to be an exclusive lesbian community. Talk about gay lifestyle!

Island Dyke

What do straight people know?

I was driving around thinking about how many straight people, who are not homophobic, know that gay people still do not have the same rights as themselves. It was popping around in my head as I was remembering a conversation with some colleagues at work when one of them said, "I thought you could get married, gay people can't get married?" To her surprise she learned that, yes, still in the day-and-age that gay people can not get married!

So yesterday I was in at Moylan's signing up for government life insurance. I needed to ask the lady a question about why they needed to know marital status and how was I to answer that. I then proceeded to tell her, and all the other people in the room (about 7) that I was in a same-sex relationship and although we have had a ceremony to signify our union, that we are not legally married because we can not get married. Ears popped open and people waited curiously to see what the lady would say.....some even gave glances of hey that's not right. We then moved onto the option to buy extra insurance to which she is explaining that if my spouse dies then I get $10,000. I questioned her as she had just told me I do not have a spouse as I can not legally marry her. Everyone nodded in agreement and some piped in saying, "yes miss you just said that"...and "that's not fair". I could however, add my children if I wanted, to which I replied that 10 grand wouldn't even begin to make up for their loss. Again a unanimous nodding of heads in agreement! God, I love this island! Even though gay marriage is not legal at this point and time, people here seem to think it is not right! I then apologized if I made anyone uncomfortable by talking so open to which, again, I got "no, it was OK miss", followed by "thanks for coming in today, and have a good day".

Thank you Saipan for the memories.

Island Dyke

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Brad's helping fight for gay marriage in California

Just in from the Associated Press.....Brad Pitt donated $100,000 to fight against the people fighting to overturn California's state Supreme Courts decision that legalized same-sex marriage in June this year.


If Rosie O'Donnell can have a crush on Tom Cruise, then I can have a crush on Brad Pitt! What a hunk, huh guys?

Island Dyke

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

School is in session

Well our 4 y/o daughter is back to school. At this time in her life she struggles with with wanting me to be the daddy. All of her friends are from homes with straight parents. All of her videos she watches are straight characters too! It is a blessing to have the two books we have that tell a story for young children that offer GLBT characters for parents. There needs to be greater support though for the community!

To all the teachers in the CNMI I would like to say it is a new year with new challenges and I would like to share information with you on how to make your classroom a GLBT friendly site. I found a web-site called Colage which addresses issues for children who may have GLBT parents. Well there are not too many of us GLBT parents here is Saipan, however I found the same principles to hold true when welcoming GLBT students into the classroom as well. Read on....

"1. Always intervene whenever you hear or see anti-gay language or actions. At the beginning of the year, set classroom rules that include making it clear that racist, homophobic, sexist, etc. comments are not welcome in your classroom. Send a clear message that homophobia will never be tolerated. In addition, try to link homophobia to other types of oppression-teach students that hate in all of its forms is wrong.

2. Do not make assumptions about any student's background. Create a classroom where each student is able to share freely about their identity and families.

3. Visually show your support. On your walls include a poster about diverse families (perhaps the COLAGE poster) or other images that show you are an ally to LGBTQ people and issues.

4. Challenge heterosexism in your assignments. Some examples: In language classes asking youth to describe their families, often youth with LGBTQ parents have been reprimanded for using the wrong gender pronouns. However, often the fact that they are using he and he to describe two dads is correct. If you assign family origin or family tree projects, allow youth from alternative families to make their own decisions about how they portray their families, whether it is two parents of the same gender, or multiple parents who co-parent them, etc.

5. Include Topics about Diversity in your curriculum. Study different kinds of families and famous LGBTQ people (and when someone you are studying anyway is a LGBTQ person, mention that), have speakers, and use videos and books to show students that diversity is something to be celebrated. Perhaps use events such as National Coming Out Day, Pride Day, or a Unity Week as reasons to incorporate LGBTQ issues positively into your classroom.

6. Never out a student with LGBTQ parents. The only person who should make the decision to share about their family is the student when they feel safe and ready to do so.

7. Do not make assumptions about youth with LGBTQ parents. Youth from alternative families report that people often assume certain traits will apply to all youth with LGBTQ parents. For example, do not expect that a student who has LGBTQ parents will also be gay. Research shows that there is no higher incidence of homosexuality among people raised by LGBTQ parents.

8. Make your classroom accessible. Do not rely on forms that ask for signatures from mother and father. Instead use the terms Parent/Guardian. On Back to School night, or during parent teacher conferences, expect and welcome LGBTQ parents.

9. Work with your administration to make sure your school is safe for students with LGBTQ families. Suggest that the faculty at your school does an LGBTQ sensitivity training, or an in-service about LGBTQ and diverse families. Discuss protocols for dealing with anti-gay or anti-gay family harassment on school-wide or department levels so that all teachers are equipped to address homophobia.

10. Educate yourself. Learn more about LGBTQ families and issues. Not only will this allow you to be informed when students raise questions or need resources, but it will help you be better equipped to address incidents of homophobia in your school and to include LGBTQ content in your curriculum. As a starting point, use the resources at the back of this guide for suggestions of books, movies, websites and more.

11. Be involved. If your school has a Gay Straight Alliance or other type of club, attend meetings when possible to show your support. You can also offer to be the faculty advisor for such a club if students are trying to start one in your school. If you are involved in your school's GSA, Rainbow Club, or other diversity club, ensure that LGBTQ family issues are included and that youth from LGBTQ families are welcomed as participants. " (Colage, 2003)

Island Dyke


Youth Leadership and Action Program of COLAGE (2003) Tips For Making Classrooms Safer. Retrieved on September 10, 2008, from http://www.colage.org/resources/safe_classrooms.htm