A Spontaneous Action

My name is Melissa Perez… I’m Catholic. I’m Latina. And I’m a lesbian. It was 4:30AM, 2012, just before Valentines Day. Sleep was as unattainable as the romantic love I yearned for that year. A looming misery kept me from breathing normally and I knew there was only one person who could help me feel okay. My mother.

In the dim stairway of my complex, I called her. No answer. I left a frantic message. My eyes filled with tears. I felt hopeless. I called again. No answer. What could I do?

Within seconds my brother Alex, a diagnosed schizophrenic, called me back. “What’s wrong?” he interrogated.

“I need to talk to Mom,” I cried, hoping that he would understand me through my sobs. “Okay I’ll wake her up.” Moments later he screamed obscenities into the darkness of his room. My mom picked up begging to know what was wrong. “Mama, I’m just really sad. I drank too much and I’m not sure if the alcohol made the chemicals in my brain unbalanced but I feel like I’m dead or dying. I called because I feel like you’re the only one who could help me.”

Possessed by Akheron, the river god of pain, I told her the truth. “Momma, I feel like I could never love a man— ever. I feel like I can’t tell you anything because of it. I don’t want you to judge me or hate me.”
She responded calmly, “Only God can judge you, I would never judge you.” She wasn’t shocked. She didn’t cry. Like a mathematician, she calculated that with prayer and counseling I would no longer feel that way. “I love you and I’ll pray for you. Let’s look at life from the lovely side.” She felt worse to know that I was suffering with this for a long time than with the fact that it was true. Her faith so devout, she was confident that I would change.

Coming out for me was more like a spontaneous action with no thought involved. I was so uncontrollably ready. I knew if I went on one more day without saying it, I would go insane. On Sunday mornings I prayed, and at night I exhausted empty encounters with potential lovers in the dark. The futile kisses with strange boys and adventures with women brought feelings of self-loathing. After many wild drunken nights, I realized this: It’s okay to be young, it’s okay to be a wild kid. It’s NOT okay to be someone you are not. It is conflicting. My impulsive actions were solely to fill a void, an emptiness built from hating myself.

The next day I called my mom to see how she was and she said one thing that I remember, “Not being able to communicate with your parents is like being an orphan. I don’t want that. You have to tell me everything that’s bothering you.” Through the misfortune of clashing identities, since that day I’ve never felt more like an orphan.

An orphan is much like a displaced transient always looking for home. For me, home is sacred. It’s a place of comfort, a place to be yourself, a place to display your flaws without feeling judged.

Gradually, silence replaced my euphoria. How do you learn to love yourself when the person you love the most says everything you feel and do is wrong? I could feel my mother’s core tremble the day she decided to ask if I’ve healed. Asking if I’ve stopped hanging out with those girls or those disgusting people. But Mom, I’m those disgusting people. I’m that girl you don’t want me hanging out with. I’m that girl who corrupted your daughter. It’s me. Mom? Mom, are you listening? It’s me. Mom? Mommy? What about your boyfriend? He was a nice guy. He was Christian and he loved you. What happened after that? Someone did this to you. Someone taught you this. Mom, no one taught me this. This is who I am. Mija, pray. Let’s pray. What about loving God? Don’t you love God? You know if you want to go to heaven you have to change. Maybe that’s my story, maybe at the end I burn in hell, Mom. Maybe I wrote that story when I was with God before I came to earth. Do you think God would make that my destiny Mom? My mom’s desperation exploded, I know that you aren’t like that because I saw you grow up. I think something happened to you. You weren’t like this before. Remember? (Laughter and a smile) Remember you wanted to marry Mickey Mouse when you were five years old? Remember that? (Her voice chilled) It wasn’t Minnie Mouse you know. You said Mickey. You were five. Remember that? Yes, Mom. I was five. Hija, don’t tell anyone, okay? You have a reputation. No one should know about this. …Okay, Mom, I’ll keep it to myself.

I feel sorry for her. I feel bad that she believes this. She believes it wholeheartedly. I told my girlfriend that I’m going to put up my white flag, surrender, and tell my mom that I’m straight. It’s a joke. I’m laughing, but the truth is I have friends who have done this. They went back into the closet because their parents’ treatment of them was unbearable. It’s like there is a death in the family but no one knows to seek grievance counseling.

My mom is not a bad person. She’s far from it. She’s just a devout Catholic whose identity is as immutable as my own. She suffers too. All parents do.

In all bouts of pain I have learned valuable lessons. One of the most valuable was the knowledge that pain is inevitable while suffering is optional. I have realized what options we have as two people with very different beliefs. I think we choose to end the suffering when we choose to accept each other. I accept her for who she is and she accepts me for who I am. I think every day I get closer to understanding this.

If I had one last breathe left in me to say something to the world, I’d say: “Learn to love yourself and share that love with others.” If it’s a perpetual war to find that love, keep on fighting because no one is more deserving of your love than you. I will share my story the only way I know how. I will make a film, based on these feelings and thoughts. Along the way, I will share it with you, the rest of the world and finally, my mom.

Feel free to follow me along my journey on my blog and on Twitter @melissayvperez.  

"While in gay and lesbian politics the gender of one’s object of desire is highly politicized, the race of one’s object of desire is immediately and crudely depoliticized as socially insignificant—for whiteness."

Greg Thomas, from “Neo-Colonial Canons of Gender and Sexuality, after COINTELPRO” in The Sexual Demon of Colonial Power

261 notes

"Whiteness in the gay community is everywhere, from what we see, what we experience, and more importantly, what we desire. The power of whiteness, of course, derives from appearing to be nothing in particular (Lipsitz, 1998). That is, whiteness is powerful precisely because it is everywhere but nowhere in particular. When we see whiteness, we process it as if it doesn’t exist or that its existence is simply natural. We don’t see it precisely because we see it constantly. It blends into the background and then becomes erased from scrutiny. And this whiteness is imposed from both outside and inside of the gay community."

“They Don’t Want To Cruise Your Type:
Gay Men of Color and the Racial
Politics of Exclusion”  by Chong-suk Han (via uncensoredsupplement)

(Source: criticalqueer)

callin all queer folk

extranjero:

spookyamishkid:

hey guys! as you may or may not know, I am now in ~university and as exciting as that is, that means a lot of papers are being written.

I’m currently helping a friend write an essay on how the queer community uses the internet as a tool of empowerment and how this helps develop one’s sense of self and we would really really love it if you guys could provide some insight.

I identify as queer myself, but obviously, I cannot speak for the entire queer community!! because of this, I have put together a lovely little survey RIGHT HERE and i would love it if you could fill it out. we will not be sharing this information with anyone other than his professor and we will not be using last names. hell, you don’t even have to put your real name! we just want to get a general sense of how the queer community is using the internet.

his essay is due at the end of the month so unfortunately if you fill it out after then we cannot use your response. if you would like to help, please respond swiftly! 

if you can fill it out, that’s great! but if you don’t feel comfortable, I completely understand. at the very least, we would appreciate you sendin this out to your queer friends and askin them to fill it out as well. 

thank you guys so much! 

signal boost!

(Source: lapjeskat, via sailordoooom)

95 notes

freececemcdonald:

Kicking off a ride out to visit Cece Mcdonald in St. Cloud. When we got to the prison, we were met with SWAT teams at every entrance. Imagine that, prison officials are terrified of solidarity. Wonder why?  Check out freecece.wordpress.com for more info.

freececemcdonald:

Kicking off a ride out to visit Cece Mcdonald in St. Cloud. When we got to the prison, we were met with SWAT teams at every entrance. Imagine that, prison officials are terrified of solidarity. Wonder why?

Check out freecece.wordpress.com for more info.

(via fatpeoplecatpeople)

knowhomo:

LGBTQ* Typography, Art and Posters You May Have Missed
Art posted during Gay Pride Weekend, Portland, Maine in late(r)-2000s
(Source: Down Is Not Up)

knowhomo:

LGBTQ* Typography, Art and Posters You May Have Missed

Art posted during Gay Pride Weekend, Portland, Maine in late(r)-2000s

(Source: Down Is Not Up)

bulletinaweave:

The District of Columbia government Thursday will launching a campaign that advocates say is a first of its kind: A series of ads “promoting respect for the District’s transgender and gender-non-conforming communities.” One of the ads features Kisha, a trans woman who lives in D.C. The ad quotes Kisha, saying, “I love wandering through Smithsonian museums, eating on H Street with friends, and going to shows at Howard Theatre.” Then, the aim of the campaign: “I’m a transgender woman and I’m part of DC. Please treat me the way any woman would want to be treated: with courtesy and respect.” The posters — which the D.C. Office of Human Rights has been sparking interest about on Facebook — then note that discrimination based on gender identity and expression is illegal in the District of Columbia and provide a website and phone number for more information. (via DC Launches First-In-The-Nation Trans Respect Ad Campaign)

bulletinaweave:

The District of Columbia government Thursday will launching a campaign that advocates say is a first of its kind: A series of ads “promoting respect for the District’s transgender and gender-non-conforming communities.” One of the ads features Kisha, a trans woman who lives in D.C. The ad quotes Kisha, saying, “I love wandering through Smithsonian museums, eating on H Street with friends, and going to shows at Howard Theatre.” Then, the aim of the campaign: “I’m a transgender woman and I’m part of DC. Please treat me the way any woman would want to be treated: with courtesy and respect.” The posters — which the D.C. Office of Human Rights has been sparking interest about on Facebook — then note that discrimination based on gender identity and expression is illegal in the District of Columbia and provide a website and phone number for more information. (via DC Launches First-In-The-Nation Trans Respect Ad Campaign)

(via cantbereallife)

kararikue:

Alex Anwandter - Cómo puedes vivir contigo mismo

6 notes

Apparent Hate Crime Nearly Kills Oklahoma City Man

sinidentidades:

A man in Oklahoma City was nearly killed when his car blew up in front of him last night in what appears to be a hate crime. According to Jon Ferguson, he was woken up in the middle of the night by his car alarm, and when he went outside it was being vandalized by several people. Upon approaching them, the vandals threw something into the car, making it explode. Ferguson was rushed to the hospital with first and second degree burns.

The remains of the car suggest that the attack was a hate crime — the vandals spray-painted the homophobic slur “fag” on the hood. Ferguson, who is openly gay, spoke about how the threat of violence has made him doubt whether coming out was a good idea:

FERGUSON:It’s almost not worth being proud of who you are and trying to show you’re gay because stuff like this really does happen. I’ve always seen it on the news that kids are dying and stuff because they’re being bullied, and you’re 25 years old and something like this happens to you. It’s almost not worth it, and you understand why kids don’t come out of the closet.

The case is currently being investigated as an act of arson, not a hate crime. News 9 reported that the Oklahoma City Fire and Police Department will continue investigations if they think a hate crime was committed.

TW for hate crime

loobypls:

Today my hometown was struck by a disgusting hardship.

A woman this afternoon was found by a neighbor, bleeding and naked. She was attacked in her home because she was gay. Two or more men broke into her home through the basement and proceeded to tag her basement. They found the homeowner, who is an open lesbian, and stabbed, assaulted, and carved “dyke” into her chest. They attempted to burn her house to the ground, but the gas only sparked. Somehow, this woman (who remains anonymous until she decides to come out on her own time) was able to escape. She was found naked, bound with zip ties, and bloody. She is still alive and in the hospital. A candle light vigil was held in her name tonight, where more than 500 people from Lincoln and surrounding cities and states joined to talk about the hate and to pay homage to the victim.

A recovery fund has been set up to help her cover medical bills and anything she may need. That link can be found here, along with a link from the original news story.

http://starcitypride.org/victim-recovery-fund/

http://journalstar.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/hundreds-attend-vigil-after-reported-hate-crime/article_d0892b58-9ec9-566c-8b66-bb0a032b8e03.html

Notes: Article taken directly from the Lincoln Journal Star website

Pictures are courtesy of Lincoln Journal Star and Steve Andel Photography. I do not own any rights to anything posted.

(Source: madlibs4793, via sinidentidades)

28,406 notes

"When the gay liberal assimilationists say to middle-class straight folks, “we are just like you,” and the queer separatists on the other say “hell no we are nothing like you” and form their own blocs, we should be the force that says to every day folks who struggle that “we are just like you, and you are actually just like us”–because queer folks have always been part of the working-class and we are not fundementally different from one another. Our oppression as queers is not a fixed pathology. It is a product of the heteronormative, homophobic society, and it does not have to stay that way forever. In fact, the essence of queer liberation lies within the ability for everyone to celebrate and experiment their sexuality, gender, and desire. It is not enough to only carve out another limited category of acceptable sexuality for a certain group of people. This kind of change is not liberation–it is a very limited imagination of freedom. We need to start off with this fundamental vision of uniting the working-class and queer struggles and ensure that not any part of ourselves will be forced to compromise in the movement."

Lou (via dogwatch)

(Source: gatheringforces.org, via dogwatch)

61 notes

Michael Swift: “Gay Revolutionary”

This essay is an outré, madness, a tragic, cruel fantasy, an eruption of inner rage, on how the oppressed desperately dream of being the oppressor.

We shall sodomize your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms, in your sports arenas, in your seminaries, in your youth groups, in your movie theater bathrooms, in your army bunkhouses, in your truck stops, in your all male clubs, in your houses of Congress, wherever men are with men together. Your sons shall become our minions and do our bidding. They will be recast in our image. They will come to crave and adore us.

Women, you cry for freedom. You say you are no longer satisfied with men; they make you unhappy. We, connoisseurs of the masculine face, the masculine physique, shall take your men from you then. We will amuse them; we will instruct them; we will embrace them when they weep. Women, you say you wish to live with each other instead of with men. Then go and be with each other. We shall give your men pleasures they have never known because we are foremost men too, and only one man knows how to truly please another man; only one man can understand the depth and feeling, the mind and body of another man.

All laws banning homosexual activity will be revoked. Instead, legislation shall be passed which engenders love between men.

All homosexuals must stand together as brothers; we must be united artistically, philosophically, socially, politically and financially. We will triumph only when we present a common face to the vicious heterosexual enemy.

If you dare to cry faggot, fairy, queer, at us, we will stab you in your cowardly hearts and defile your dead, puny bodies.

We shall write poems of the love between men; we shall stage plays in which man openly caresses man; we shall make films about the love between heroic men which will replace the cheap, superficial, sentimental, insipid, juvenile, heterosexual infatuations presently dominating your cinema screens. We shall sculpt statues of beautiful young men, of bold athletes which will be placed in your parks, your squares, your plazas. The museums of the world will be filled only with paintings of graceful, naked lads.

Our writers and artists will make love between men fashionable and de rigueur, and we will succeed because we are adept at setting styles. We will eliminate heterosexual liaisons through usage of the devices of wit and ridicule, devices which we are skilled in employing.

We will unmask the powerful homosexuals who masquerade as heterosexuals. You will be shocked and frightened when you find that your presidents and their sons, your industrialists, your senators,your mayors, your generals, your athletes, your film stars, your television personalities, your civic leaders, your priests are not the safe, familiar, bourgeois, heterosexual figures you assumed them to be. We are everywhere; we have infiltrated your ranks. Be careful when you speak of homosexuals because we are always among you; we may be sitting across the desk from you; we may be sleeping in the same bed with you.

There will be no compromises. We are not middle-class weaklings. Highly intelligent, we are the natural aristocrats of the human race, and steely-minded aristocrats never settle for less. Those who oppose us will be exiled.

We shall raise vast private armies, as Mishima did, to defeat you. We shall conquer the world because warriors inspired by and banded together by homosexual love and honor are invincible as were the ancient Greek soldiers.

The family unit-spawning ground of lies, betrayals, mediocrity, hypocrisy and violence—will be abolished. The family unit, which only dampens imagination and curbs free will, must be eliminated. Perfect boys will be conceived and grown in the genetic laboratory. They will be bonded together in communal setting, under the control and instruction of homosexual savants.

All churches who condemn us will be closed. Our only gods are handsome young men. We adhere to a cult of beauty, moral and esthetic. All that is ugly and vulgar and banal will be annihilated. Since we are alienated from middle-class heterosexual conventions, we are free to live our lives according to the dictates of the pure imagination. For us too much is not enough.

The exquisite society to emerge will be governed by an elite comprised of gay poets. One of the major requirements for a position of power in the new society of homoeroticism will be indulgence in the Greek passion. Any man contaminated with heterosexual lust will be automatically barred from a position of influence. All males who insist on remaining stupidly heterosexual will be tried in homosexual courts of justice and will become invisible men.

"We shall rewrite history, history filled and debased with your heterosexual lies and distortions. We shall portray the homosexuality of the great leaders and thinkers who have shaped the world. We will demonstrate that homosexuality and intelligence and imagination are inextricably linked, and that homosexuality is a requirement for true nobility, true beauty in a man.

"We shall be victorious because we are fueled with the ferocious bitterness of the oppressed who have been forced to play seemingly bit parts in your dumb, heterosexual shows throughout the ages. We too are capable of firing guns and manning the barricades of the ultimate revolution.

Tremble, hetero swine, when we appear before you without our masks.

(Source: fordham.edu)

zac-slams:

Painted my room white. Shot video. Leather jacket, pink briefs, denim vest.

(via slamslamslammed-deactivated2013)

19 notes

sinidentidades:

DOJ accepts ruling that transgender bias is illegal

The Department of Justice (DOJ) accepted Monday a ruling from Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that claims gender identity discrimination is a type of sex discrimination that is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

According to Metro Weekly, the April 20th ruling from the EEOC was based from a complaint brought by the Transgender Law Center (TLC) on behalf of Mia Macy, a transgender woman living in California who felt the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) denied her employment with the agency after learning of her transition.

The ATF, which is a part of the DOJ, sent a letter to Macy last Friday that will investigate her claims of discrimination. National Center for Transgender Equality executive director Mara Keisling told The Raw Story how much of a turning point decision the ruling was.

“It’s really great,” Keisling. “It’s an amazing tool, it’s common sense and we’ve already seen a lot of employers are taking [it to] the heart, doing what they have to do to be in compliance.”

Keisling also indicated that it was “absolutely” too early to gauge how many employers are abiding by the DOJ’s ruling instead of challenging it.  

(via eschaton-disaster)

94 notes