Category Archives: glbtq

Lady Gaga’s Google Interview

Lady Gaga’s Interviews 

I freak out everytime I see an interview of her online for any reason. Admittedly, I am sort of obsessed with how amazing she is, even though she does crazy shit, like show up randomly to drag queen shows of “I Was Born This Way”. Either way though, her interview with Google was great and I am going to talk about it.

Also! Her new album is coming out in May! Who is excited? I am.

In one of her interviews she talks about how her cheeks bones jut out on the album cover and the interviewer asks her about when she got the prosthetic put on her skin and Gaga says that they naturally come out when she has creative energy. That everyone has them. WHAT?! Even though I love her, she’s sort of crazy.

Anyway, to the interview!

Google Interview

The first place where I watched the interview was on autostraddle (http://www.autostraddle.com/lady-gagas-epic-73-minute-interview-with-google-82407/), which is where they also provide a recap, telling what their favorite quotes are and providing pictures. You can also watch the interview on youtube.

In this interview, Lady Gaga is incredibly articulate and I love Google even more for being the one who provided this interview. The interviewer herself is a bit awkward, but whatever, they have Gaga on the screen. In the beginning of the interview, Google presents a video that they put together of how many hits Lady Gaga has gotten through Google’s search engine set to the beat of her songs “Poker Face”, “Just Dance” , “Bad Romance” , and “Paparazzi”. After seeing the video compilation, Gaga comes onstage and begins answering questions from fans via video and her youtube channel.

Her first interaction with the crowd starts off with loud applause and replying to calls of “I love you!” by saying “I love you too!” In the background is a screen lit up with the phrase “Google Goes Gaga”.

One of the audience members is dressed like her from her video “Telephone” and Gaga asks “Did you just get out of jail?” and the audience members says something that we can barely hear and Gaga says “Me too”.

Of course at the beginning of her interview she compliments Google and the interviewer tells her how she has been the most searched person in the world in 2009 and in 2010.

For the interview Gaga has received 54,000 questions via her youtube channel, only some of which could be answered.

In most of the videos, the fans put up the monster hand. The cutest video is the first one, where one fan asks her “How she is” because she is never asked that question during her interviews.

Most of the interview she is very calm, composed, and articulate. She thinks about all of her answers very carefully and connects well with the audience. Despite her worldwide fame, Gaga is very aware and connects very well to individuals, never seeming like she is above anyone. She also remains positive through out the interview, never once criticizing her fellow stars or herself. I really admire her for that.

Some of my favorite moments that she has during the interview are:

Commenting on her Single “Born This Way” :

“What’s so funny when I put that song up is everybody was like oh, the lyrics are so literal, and I’m like, yeah. When you get bullied you kind of try to, its almost like there is this emotional poetry that you go through in highschool. Oh, well someday, and you just kind of try to hide from it and be the bigger person, but “Born This Way” is about saying “This is who I am. This is who the fuck I am.”

On Creativity:

“If God calls you, pick up the damn phone” Pauses “Hello? I’m listening”

What her favorite Youtube video is:

It’s so embarrassing, but I love it so much. I love the boy that when he comes home from the dentist. I can’t…because I always sit, whenever I’m really tired before a show I say ‘Is this real life?’. Because I’ll have been up for 30 hours straight doing interviews and then I’ll hear the duh duh duh brrrr and the show starts and I’ll say ‘Is this real life?’ and everybody goes ‘It is, you have to go on stage’. I love that video, that poor boy”

The greatest piece of advice she has ever received:

“If you don’t have any shadows you aren’t standing in the light.  I say that to myself everyday. Every single day I say that because I am not a squeaky clean person, you know. So, there is nothing about my music, or the Monster Ball, or my fans, we’re not squeaky clean. People always say to me ‘Who is the real you?’ when in reality, I’m pretty much an open book about my life and what you are asking me about is magic. If you’re magical, you always have shadows. If you’re in the light, you must cast a shadow”

The best part though is at the end when she has a bunch of people in the audience step up to podiums to ask her questions and they all have costumes on. A lot of them get hugs from her, which is just adorable. She also talks about faith, which I really like.

She’s so funny and this interview makes me want to be her friend. Also her new GagaVision videos, which she mentions during the interview, make me want to hang out with her. She’s so real, all of her answers to her questions, I have experienced. Even though she does crazy shit, I still feel like she can be a role model and I think this interview does that statement justice.

Conclusion

No matter the criticisms about her, I am still in love with the things she does. I admit, she does crazy things, but she does great things for the queer community and no one can complain about that.

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Filed under glbtq, Music, News, Pop Culture

Suicide and LGBTQ Youth

Introduction

I just started watching the video Dan Savage does with his partner about teenage glbtq suicide and it started out “I went to an all boys catholic highschool…” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IcVyvg2Qlo). It reminds me of my adolescence, not only because I went to a catholic all-girls highschool, but also because I was becoming comfortable with my sexuality, my non-heterosexuality, my bisexuality, my pansexuality, whatever sexuality is, my sexual nature? Either way, my sexual self. What I knew about my sexual self as a sophomore was that I liked girls, I had crushes on girls. I was incredibly lucky because there was someone who was out who I latched on to and told about my sexuality. Either way, being a non-heterosexual person in highschool can be difficult. Highschool can be difficult. Being gay is difficult in America, most of America, unless you have a strong support network and even then, there are your peers, and community members, and others who might not be so supportive.

A very large issue in the glbtq community is the prevalence or wide occurrence of having depression sometime in life. Depression or prolonged sadness is common for many people and possibly because its becoming less of a stigma, depression is being revealed more, but it seems to be really common for gay youth. For this reason, there are many non-profits that combat and try to prevent glbtq youth from committing suicide (which are among the most likely to commit suicide of the youth population). The reasons for glbtq wanting to commit suicide may range from lonliness, societal stigma, secrecy, constant conflict at school or home, emotional or physical isolation, homelessness, and more. Every person’s experience with depression is unique.

What I am going to talk about in this post is something one of my good friends just brought to my attention, Dan Savage’s organization to prevent youth suicide among the glbtq population through his project called “It Gets Better”.

In Dan Savage’s video (which I provided a link for above) is the message “It Gets Better” and it will and it can. So, you can live a better life when you get out of a tough time. During the video the two (Dan and his partner) share their highschool experiences, how they met, how they have supportive family networks, and how they have an amazing family with their son, DJ. Then they share really cute memories, which you should watch the video to hear about. My favorite message is “you will find love and a community”. Truth Dan, Truth.

It Gets Better Project

Dan Savage, author of the sex advice column and podcast Savage Love, started a campaign called “It Gets Better” with his partner Terry after hearing about the death of Billy Lucas, age 15, on the eve of World Suicide Prevention Day (more here: http://www.examiner.com/sex-education-in-national/dan-savage-launches-it-gets-better-project-to-reach-out-to-lgbt-teens).

Savage’s message is that we can spread hope to others, simply through the internet, by being a supportive friend, family member, or community member. After being introduced by another friend of mine to Savage’s podcast “Savage Love” this summer I am extremely supportive of what Savage is trying to do. In his podcast Savage combats heterosexist assumptions about gender roles, relationships, and sex, which is one of the first steps as an individual to combat homophobia.

The Trevor Project

Another project that strives to prevent glbtq youth suicide is the Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is based out of Southern California.

On their website (http://www.thetrevorproject.org/about-trevor/organization) it states their vision:

“The Trevor Project is the national provider of life saving resources to LGBTQ youth and their families. We advocate acceptance and help prevent teen suicide by promoting mental health and positive self-esteem through a premiere on line destination, nationwide 24/7 call centers, and empowering social activities”

The Trevor Project is an amazing resource and on their website they state a strategic plan of how they are going to reach their goals of preventing suicide among glbtq youth.

Conclusion

A very large influence on teen depression is homophobia. Homophobia is not always a direct attack, but also comes in assumptions about desire and experience. Homophobia is oppressive, individually and to the lgbtq community because it makes being attracted to a person of the same-sex a stigma and that should not be the case.

When I was home the year before my senior year in college, three people committed suicide in front of train tracks. The city posted police cars at every stop in my city and they saved two kids lives. Our local glbtq organization spoke at a town hall meeting offering their services. I hope they save more kids lives because every life is valuable.

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Filed under Education, glbtq, News, politics, Sexuality, Youth

Bisexuality

Introduction

Within both the straight world and the gay world and whatever world you are from there are prejudices about bisexuality. Some of the most common ones are: they can’t decide, spread AIDS, they are not subject to homophobia or heterosexism, they will cheat, they’re in a phase (which sometimes may be the case for transitioning people who are gay), they’re unique cases, men can’t be bisexual, and they are promiscuous. There is also the claim that it is a myth.

According to Kinsey, most people exist somewhere on the scale from 1-5 (see earlier Kinsey post), meaning they are a little bisexual or have had a bisexual desire or experience sometime in their life. Bisexuality or bisexual desire is not rare, but seeing it is a different story. Since monogamy is the default or the norm within society people are assumed to be either gay or straight depending on what partner one may have at the time. Bisexuality also implies sexual and/or romantic attraction to men and women. This does not mean that being bisexual equates to having the same level or intensity of attraction to both men and women. It is not always an attraction that is split down the middle or stays constant and sometimes depends on being attracted to specific individuals, not widely men and women.

Recently, bisexuality has gained a bad reputation because of its association with Katy Perry, experimentation,  Lady Gaga, and pop artists adopting it for the sake of marketing to men who have wild imaginations. There have been a lot of misconceptions about what it is and how long it has existed for. Throughout time bisexuality and the expression of it has been represented differently across time. Today actresses and actors are coming out as bisexual, which is definitely a difference from the days of free love and also the Victorian period. Sexuality across time and geographical location varies. This exploration of it while be more general for the time being.

In this entry I will talk about being bisexual and identity. This is just a short introduction the topic, which I will probably expand on extensively later to talk about topics explicitly linked to people who are bisexual.

Origination of the Word

As is not well spread knowledge, the term homosexuality developed before heterosexuality, but over time the definition and associations have began to mean different things. Along with the term homosexuality and heterosexuality, the term bisexuality was coined in the 19th century.

Being Bisexual

Even though many people have bisexual desires, not many people are bisexual or claim bisexual identity. Many people who I have encountered today who have had a history of being romantic or sexual with both men and women have called themselves lesbians, straight, and pansexual. Labeling oneself bisexual has come to mean something negative because it represents the sexual binary and limits a person. Although this criticism is true and the b is included in the lgbtq acronym that no one can ever remember and is always being altered, the representation of people who are bisexual and express desire for both and have had girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers of both genders/sexes is still incredibly rare and stigmatized. Even more so than homosexuality (I argue).

Identity is a complicated thing. Many theorists argue about this saying the basis of sexual orientation is biology, socialization, and sometimes an interaction of both. I will not profess to understand it at all, because I really don’t, but I like wondering about it because its so complicated. So being bisexual for some is about identity, some about behavior and for some its political. Sexuality in general is a subjective topic.

Many researchers, sex researchers and psychologists, have claimed that men can not possibly be bisexual (a study done in 2005), that people are naturally bisexual (Kraftt-Ebing), and that people can not strictly be categorized as straight or gay (Kinsey). Sexuality is not that simple. Sexuality depends on context and individual and comfort level and arousal and many many other things. Studies inform opinions and may say something about sexuality but should not be absorbed as absolute truth, so I am always skeptical whenever reading something about sexuality, but also interested.

Conclusion

Basically, its complicated. Bisexuality is not simple and neither is homosexuality or heterosexuality. Heterosexism and homphobia affects us all and assumptions always make an ass out of you and me. So read up and get back to me.

Links

Wikipedia is always good: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisexuality

Richard Von Krafft-Ebing thought that bisexuality was the natural state of being: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Freiherr_von_Krafft-Ebing

Recent coming-out of an actress in True Blood: http://www.okmagazine.com/2010/06/anna-paquin-on-being-bisexual-it-wasnt-like-it-was-a-big-secret/

The Bisexual Examiner: http://www.examiner.com/x-3366-Bisexuality-Examiner~y2009m7d15-Bisexuality-101-Am-I-bisexual

Ridiculous quiz: http://www.allthetests.com/quiz19/quizpu.php?testid=1155452146&katname=Test-yourself-in-questions-of-love

NY-Times Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/05/health/05sex.html?_r=1

Religious Tolerance: http://www.religioustolerance.org/bisexuality.htm

BiBasics: http://out.ucr.edu/pdf/BiBasics.pdf

Arousal patterns of bisexual men: http://www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/ps/bisexuality.pdf

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Autostraddle

The other day I discovered a blog about “girl-on-girl culture” which made me laugh and also incredibly excited. This blog is definitely one of the most comprehensive lesbian blogs that covers pop culture, politics, contemporary news, and also has video.

Definitely check it out if you haven’t heard of it before: http://www.autostraddle.com/

The writers also include round-tables where they took about up-to-date feminist topics and also about self-identity (current round table is on intersectionality)

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Filed under Education, Feminism, gender, glbtq, politics, Pop Culture, Queer, Sexuality

Curve Magazine

If you don’t know about it, you should. If you are just coming out and scared to check it out I suggest looking at the website online, it has articles, interviews, advice, etc.They even have a section of the website for a forum and a hook up blog! which I didn’t know about until a minute ago. I think since its new, the relationship advice section is sort of limited unless you want to check out their regular monthly advice section (which is sort of witty and sort of helpful and sort of essentialist).

The magazine has a variety of representation and does not have an abundance of ads. During the L Word, they had interviews with most of the cast and the most recent magazine had an interview with a surfer (pretty sweet, huh?).

I suggest taking a look. Something my boss at Sappho (a lesbian bar in Amsterdam) told me rings true right now. She said it in reference to movies, media, etc: “I don’t need them when I’m in a couple because I know I’m a lesbian, I know I like girls. When you’re single you have this need to be near it, to know that they are out there, you know?” After I thought about this I realized how true it is. Since straight people see other straight people all the time they don’t need something to validate their existence, glbtq do and this magazine helps. It helps you feel like you are not alone and in the magazine, there is someone for everyone to relate to.

(http://www.curvemag.com/)

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Vogue (dance)

Introduction

While I was in Philadelphia for the summer, I went to a Ball with my friend. At first, I had no idea what Ballroom was until I heard of the movie Paris is Burning. After I watched Paris is Burning, I wanted to learn more about voguing, which is what they do at a Ball. You might never have heard of Balls or voguing, but now you will know about the history if you haven’t heard of Willi Ninja.

History of Voguing

Since I don’t know that much about voguing, I’m going to refer to my favorite site wikipedia and give you some background information:

Vogue is a form of modern dance characterized by photo model like poses integrated with angular, linear and rigid arm, leg and body movements. The style of dance arose from the Harlem ballrooms back in the early 1930s, which was then called “performance” and evolved into the more intricate and illusory form that is now called “vogue”.

There are two distinct styles of vogue: Old Way (pre-1990) and New Way. Old Way is characterized by formation of lines, symmetry, precision in the execution of such formations and graceful, fluid like action. New Way is characterized by a more rigid, geometric pattern movement coupled with “clicks” (limb contortions at the joints) and “arms control” (sleight of hand and wrist illusions). Vogue also encompasses other forms of dance and movement, namely modern jazz, ballet, gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, martial arts, breakdance, yoga, etc. Some dance historians even point out that breakdance and vogue evolved out of each other, with artists from both sides interacting with each other in New York City’s Central Park, West Side Piers, Harlem and Washington Square Park during the 70s and early 80s.

Voguing has evolved since its beginning and continues to be developed further as an established dance form that is practiced in gay dance clubs in New York, and other big cities throughout the United States–mainly Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Miami and Chicago.

Though voguing usually takes place in gay clubs frequented by African Americans and Latin American males, it is also practiced by a small number of non-gay individuals and outside of the club scene. Formal competitions occur in the form of balls held by houses or collectives of dancers and performers.

Some influential houses include the House of Xtravaganza, the House of Revlon, the House of Ninja, the House of Infiniti, the House of Aviance and the House of Milan” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vogue_(dance)).

Paris is Burning

To learn more about voguing, you should definitely watch the movie Paris is Burning. Its a documentary (I know, boring) and in the end you want to try the dance moves yourself or check out a ball late at night.

Here is a synopsis: “Paris Is Burning is a 1990 documentary film directed by Jennie Livingston. Filmed in the mid-to-late 1980s, it chronicles the ball culture of New York City and the poor, African American and Latino gay and transgendered community involved in it. Many consider Paris Is Burning to be an invaluable documentary of the end of the “Golden Age” of New York City drag balls, as well as a thoughtful exploration of race, class, and gender in America”

Conclusion

While I was in Philadelphia, I went to a glbtq youth center and saw kids practicing for a ball. It made me happy because I knew what it meant. A Ball was created and has survived as an outlet, a dance outlet, for people to survive through homophobia, racism, and poverty. I knew how it felt because dancing is when I can forget, feel like I am above, in ecstacy. Voguing is both a legacy and a party.

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The Agenda

Introduction

I ran into this website and bookmarked it the other day because I found it hilarious.  This site (http://www.traditionalvalues.org/theagenda.php)  was created by the Traditional Values Coalition and as I knew already was rooted deeply in supposed religious connections. They have a book that they are advertising on their website called The Agenda: The Homosexual Plan to Change America which is by Rev. Louis P Sheldon and professes that it will lead you to “truthful answers that you need to know”.

What the book is supposed to give

On the website, there is a description of what Rev Sheldon proposes to tell his audience and what the book is promoting:

“THE AGENDA describes how homosexual activists plan on recruiting your children into the lifestyle; how they’re undermining traditional marriage; and how they will eventually criminalize any public criticism of homosexual conduct. (It’s already happening in Canada where the gay agenda is well advanced.)

Former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts has said of THE AGENDA: “This powerful and hard-hitting book lays bare the reality and risks of the homosexual agenda.”

Author Rev. Louis P. Sheldon has issued a call for all Christians to actively oppose the homosexual agenda: “The homosexual agenda is an attack on everything our Founding Fathers hoped to give us. But I am convinced that we can witness a tremendous victory, and with God’s help, we shall overcome.”

Conclusion

I looked up the book on amazon and it does exist. I thought this book was a joke, but no. Apparently there is an “agenda”.  I have no idea where this guy got the agenda idea from and why Canada’s agenda is so ‘advanced’. All I can say is, I never got news of any agenda and I some how I misplaced mine.

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