Posts Tagged ‘gay’

To the people who think that there really are gay agendas being pushed for the recruitment of, or encouragement of gayness in children by way of products, television shows, music, toys, etc., please grow up and smell your heteronormative privilege.

Of course I mean that figuratively. I realize when addressing sensitive topics such as say, good ole equality 😐 you must speak to everyone in the same way; as if they’re the dumbest person in the room. Why? Because heteronormativity is such a rampant and acceptable belief that many of us, self included at times, don’t understand or even realize the ignorance in everyday speak…until we do. Then, it’s oh so awkward when we do and others don’t. What is this heteronormative speak? Here are a couple of sentences for consideration.

– A woman asked, “Why is there a children’s cartoon in which a character asks, “Why isn’t it ever Romeo and Romeo?” She claimed it was not acceptable for children because they’re too young to learn about sexuality.

– I don’t want my child reading about two mums or two dads. They have plenty of time to learn about that stuff when they’re older.

These are annoying hogwash questions.

No one explains sexuality to children when there is a male and female parent. Or rather, no one except maybe pedophiles. Children do not learn about sexual anythings by seeing well adjusted human beings in families who do the same things hetero families do.

When children grow up believing and seeing no difference between a male/male and female/female relationship, then they are less likely to think it’s unusual or different or wrong when they get older.

The notions that roles and paths in life are determined by gender is incorrect and limiting. We know this because of the many years of living in male dominated societies. The idea that a gender assigned at birth will automatically dictate how you learn, the toys you play with, or your “natural abilities” is narrow and truly insane.

Why would you not want to embrace all people, no matter their gender, chosen paths and options in life, etc., i.e. why not show a little boy that it truly is okay to have two Romeos?

In short, heteronormativoty is assuming that just because you were born with a penis, you are a boy who will like girls, who will want to play with toy guns and  toy cars, will wear certain types of clothes, and who will behave in a particular manner. Why can’t we teach acceptance from an early age? It’s not as if the cartoon illustrated explicitly sexual acts (it wasn’t South Park or on Adult Swim).

However, one part of the problem is that for many narrow minded people, when they learn of, or meet a gay couple, many of them automatically start wondering about the couple’s bedroom habits. Do you do that with hetero couples immediately? If so, does that limit or change your expectations or treatment of said couple? If so, then let me be clear – YOU are the one with a problem.

Honestly, wouldn’t you want to teach love of all humans to your children, even the boys who will love girls, the girls who will love boys, the boys who will love boys, etc.? Oh and if it’s your religion that you’re worried about eroding or disobeying, then I suggest you teach your children your religious beliefs. ALL aspects of your beliefs. Don’t dare pick and choose which aspects of the Bible, or any of the other holy books you’ll teach, and don’t forget to let them know about all of the other religions in the world, not just yours. While you’re at it, you may want to remind that most great leaders and religious teachers were not die-hard religion followers who were loving towards humankind.

Therefore, when healthy gay relationships are observed as just another type of family, and when queer relationships in all forms are considered normative behavior, which it is, acceptance will be taught at an early age, making the world a better and more loving one. Isn’t that a world you want to live in and leave to your children?

Quick and easy to read references for additional information:

Academia.edu: http://www.academia.edu/4139911/A_Defining_Moment_in_Civil_Rights_History_The_Employment_Non-Discrimination_Act_Trans-Inclusion_and_Homonormativity

Gender and Education Association: http://www.genderandeducation.com/issues/what-is-heteronormativity/

Wikipedia: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heteronormativity

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Who I Am is now available for your eargasms dear friends, foes, family and freeking freekers!

Natasha Ramsey: Who I Am - Album single cover art

Natasha Ramsey: Who I Am – Album single cover art

Okay seriously all shenanigans aside, (and I have many, I know), this spoken word piece set to a beat will hopefully inspire you to be brave, stand out from the crowd and above all, just BE YOURSELF.  

How would you find me? Search for “Who I Am” wherever you buy or stream your music and there I’ll be!

If you’re interested in hearing only the voices in your head, check out the e-book that started the madness: Hungover Poet on amazon: http://ow.ly/utR5T

I’m an artist at heart (head, body and soul). Art in many forms inspires and drives me, but for-profit business, technology and the understanding of technology – specifically business analysis, project management and product management pays me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike my job, in fact I enjoy it very much. I love working with and learning about technology, performing detailed business analysis and functional specifications in the creation of products. But, it’s not my passion when I wake up at night with a story in my head, nor is it a driving force 24/7. That passion and driving force belongs to the art of storytelling.

I agree that you can be a lifelong learner and creator of art but for many of us, this happens mostly if you’re a lifelong earner – or at least until your art can afford to match or surpass your current or projected worker bee salary. So how do you get to the point of earning decent or relatively good income from your art? For me, I haven’t reached that point of understanding yet nor but I have read what many self-proclaimed and touted experts have to say on the topic. I also don’t foresee giving up my day job because I really do enjoy it and I’m proud of the career I’ve built over the span of approximately 20 years.

So what does this have to do with my artist’s head and my business professional’s wallet? Well, I think I have to accept two things, understand how my worlds intersect with the acceptance that one feeds the other, and remember to celebrate my small wins .

The two things I have to accept:

1. I’m unique but not really. What I mean by this is that while we would all love to think we are unique, we humans may have some differences but we have way more similarities than we’d care to admit. Let’s face it, it’s the differences that stir up or highlight what we call “unique qualities” but I’m sure if I search not-so-far and not-so-wide, I can find another person very much like me. So I need to find a way to sell my “uniqueness” in that I need to offer the world a valuable and worthwhile item and illustrate why it’s different than anything else they’ll come across at the moment. I also need to ensure that it provides much more than the average cuppa joe, which I used in my marketing as you’ll see a little further along in this post, and that like a tasty cuppa something good, it’s a tasty mind treat. I won’t lie, I dreaded “selling” the premise behind my book and still, sometimes do. But this challenge brought me to my next realization.

2. I have to think of my art as a commercial product. This thought evoked screams of phrases that I never really use like, “EGADS” and “YIKES” as well as worn out phrases I use regularly such as, “Fuckadoodledoo!!! Nooooooo!!! Fucketyfuckaduck”. After all the screaming, I still had to accept the fact that yes, I needed to market a commercial product. Did it make me happy? Hell no. But it was the truth and I couldn’t find a reasonable way to dispute it. Well, I could but then I’d have zero sales.

So how does this intersect with my other life as a business professional? By realizing that my ideas, stories, poems, etc. can be abstract, different, quirky, dark as black on midnight and whatnot but my once I ask for money, it becomes a commercial product that I need to sell and promote like any other computer system I’ve worked hard to build and showcase, and like any other business process and product I’d like a client to pay money for. And as things go with commercial products, there’s a ton of competition out there. So what makes me worth the monetary support? My unique points of view and the way I tell a story. See how I’ve come full circle here? 🙂

So to illustrate this commercial product mindset, I made sure that my book contained more poems than I’d seen in one book for my set price of $7.99 for a relatively unknown author. After all, this was my first release and I was a (still am, in many ways) relatively unknown on the writing circuit outside of the poetry worlds I visited from time to time. I have some regular please where I am recognized and supported like poetry clubs, shows and regular gigs where I did readings and fell into hosting open mic nights, etc. with accompanying jazz bands and other types of music. However, this was limited to two major U.S. cities so I was hardly breaking the bank or towns via this circuit.

Part of my marketing schtick was that my book cost LESS than two large cups of coffee from Starbucks (venti, as it’s known to the Starbuckians) and in some venues, when you purchased my book, you received a bonus audio track, free of charge or some other small freebie I could drum up for that night. And whaddya know, for a first time effort, it worked! However, as with most new things, there was a sales lull a few months later. So, to stir interest, I decided to set up a couple of giveaways. I gave my book away, FREE of charge on designated days to anyone who wanted to download it and on the first free day, there was tons of downloads.

What did that tell me? It told me that while I didn’t become rich because of my writing, I could carry on with being UTTERLY STOKED and SUPER EXCITED because people wanted to read what I wrote! And I needed freebies or something to show customers that I valued and appreciated their business. Yes, I know that a purchase doesn’t guarantee a read, but in my writerly world, it most certainly filled my need of getting the word out about my book and in encouraging those who were still reluctant to part with their cash, to pick up a copy and give it a go. On top of that excitement, I received some wonderful feedback on my poems from people I’d never met and I made some great online friends who were all about discussing ideas and ideals and all that’s in-between and who still provide encouragement from time to time. It was all worth it!

Another “win” in my opinion, was one that I wanted to scream about, but in a different way than when I realized my passion was being $old was that I lost some friends and family. My former friends and family (wish I had a way to denote former family. Sad that you can’t legally get rid of them, just have to ignore their existence) couldn’t find it in their heart to support my writing dreams because they didn’t agree with the content and my “leanings into gay stuff” (<< eloquent quote, ain’t it??). I was also told that my “homo-ness” and “homo love” wasn’t something that their religion and God could accept. These statements, along with many others that are worse, were said to me on many occasions. Nice “Godly” folks, ain’t they? 

Thankfully, my sanity was retained by the people who truly loved, and still, love me. They reminded me that many were scared of their own emotions or of what thoughts would get stirred and most of all, that you don’t want fake support from the wolf in sheep’s clothing. My head told me that I should rise above and even forgive the comments and reactions, but my heart couldn’t. After all, here I was, doing relatively well according to society’s rules – great job and successful career, higher education club member, yadda, yadda, yadda – but  there I was, being shunned for being myself and writing about my life and about people who needed a voice. Mind you, it wasn’t all “gay leanings” that made things bad. I wrote about the death penalty, abuse and things that go bump in the night, but I guess to them, things like that should stay in the closet, under the bed, stuffed in your pants or roaming around in your head.

So what saved me and made me want to keep writing in spite of the shunning? My loved ones – the ones who truly loved me, and honestly, the wonderful and overwhelming feedback from those who purchased my book! Their love, support and acceptance warmed the cockles of my heart and reminded me that without the book, I may have never met some of them. In my opinion, the reward was absolutely worth it. Besides, it gave me the opportunity to do something that I didn’t realize, needed to be done. I had to accept myself and my own musings. I hadn’t fully accepted myself and the things I think about, when I let the voices of others eff with me and make me question myself and my life. In many ways, direct rejection was the proverbial ripping off of the band-aid that I needed to let the fear, scab and hurt of all that I am and write, heal. Interestingly enough, it inspired me to do better, be better and to just write what I felt without fear of rejection. So in a way, I should thank them for being jackholes – but I won’t. Look, I’m not perfect but I’m trying. 

So to all of you  out there struggling to be the real and true you, to artists who are unsure if they’ll keep creating due to fear of rejection or fear of being true to yourself, remember that you must push on, push through and KEEP ON doing what you love! Why? Because when you do whatever makes your heart sing, I guarantee there are people in the world who will appreciate and love what you do. I guarantee there’ll be people who get you and who would want more. Sometimes the world doesn’t know what is needed until they see it, hear it or experience it.

KEEP CREATING! KEEP WRITING! KEEP SKETCHING! KEEP COMPOSING! KEEP SHINING! The world needs artists, creators, composers, writers, etc. just as much as they need business professionals, career individuals, and for-profit organizations.

For all of you who read what I write, who get me, who feel lost but keep on keeping on, I appreciate and admire you. If no one has said it today, let me say it: YOU ROCK! Don’t ever give up on your dreams or stop doing what makes you excited and happy even when jackholes try to stop you.

Huggles and lots of artistic, feel good creation vibes! 😉
Natasha

My work thus far:

  • Website and samples are available here
  • My book, “Hungover Poet” is available here

Drop me a line and let me know if I can support you in any way. I love making friends and checking out new projects, and art in general!