Saturday, May 31, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

Beyond Masculinity

What does it mean to be a queer man?

Beyond Masculinity is a groundbreaking collection of 20 smart, insightful essays from a diverse group of writers that all tackle this question. All published online and available anywhere in the world, 24/7, for free. Readers will find a tremendously diverse group of queer men thoughtfully reflecting on their experiences--and using those experiences to build powerful analyses of their social worlds,
  • Qwo-Li Driskill’s “Shaking Our Shells: Cherokee Two-Spirits Rebalancing Our World”: A poetic plea for Native American Two-Spirit peoples to search for their histories and become leaders in their communities
  • Brian Lobel’s “Penis. Vagina. Penetration. The End”: A hilarious and moving recounting of the author’s quest to lose his virginity to a woman before a surgery to remove a cancerous tumor that threatens to leave him unable to ejaculate ever again
  • Rob Day-Walker, “Jesus of San Francisco: Can Jesus be a Resource for Queer Masculinities?: A careful dissection of Biblical scripture, set against his own experiences as a Christian gay man, in search of a Jesus that is feminist and decidedly queer
  • Daniel Solís y Martínez’s “Mestiza/o Gender: Notes Towards a Transformative Masculinity”: A brilliant attempt to understand how to build a queer identity that incorporates both his Latino/a heritage and Western ideas about homosexuality
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. From an 80-year old gay man’s reflections on living life “between” male and female (Autrey’s “Somewhere in Between”), to a transgender man’s plea for bottoms to please (Macey’s “Top to Bottom”), Beyond Masculinity collectively breaks through the typical and boldly describes a resilient, challenging understanding of being a queer man in the 21st century.

Beyond Masculinity isn’t your traditional anthology. Readers become listeners when they subscribe on iTunes and download essays recorded as podcasts. Built using blogging software, anyone can log on anywhere in the world and comment directly on the essays. In short, not only does this project break topical ground, but it also explores the potential power of the Internet to provide new tools for sparking smart dialogue on sexuality and gender.

I was able to identify with many of the essays, as I saw parts of my journey in these life stories and experiences.  I know many of you will discover the same thing.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Gay Marriage in California

As many of you may now know, today the California Supreme Court overturned the ban on same-gender marriage.  That would allow California to be the second state in the United States of America to have legalized marriage for lesbian and gay couples.
To read more about the court's decision click here for an article from the San Francisco Chronicle.

I am very happy about the 4-3 margin decision.  That shows that California is definitely moving in the right direction with equal rights.  However, with the initiative in November, we could easily face some issues if Californians vote that marriage is defined as one man and one woman.  Therefore, our work is still in progress.  But in the meantime, celebrations are still in order.

It makes me wish I was planning to stay in California permanently.  Unfortunately that may not be the case.  Especially since I plan to leave California for graduate school and possibly will make my home elsewhere.  But we'll see.