Archive for the ‘creative loafing blog.’ Category

Black people love Ken Apperson: How a skinny white boy gets down

July 1, 2010

If I know anything as an honorary black person, I know that black people don’t fake feeling music. There’s no such thing as a polite head-bob; something has to seep inside of them [us] and make them [us] move. And the crowd at Green Iguana in Ybor last Thursday … they [we] were feelin’ it.

Ken Apperson. Local musician. Skinny white boy. Within five minutes of watching his set, you can tell that he’s not just playing music, but that he is music. It’s rare that you find someone who has a voice that is just as much of an instrument as the guitar strapped to his chest. He slips seamlessly between a velvety tenor and a falsetto that will subtly strip your clothes off. Speaking of, the way his fingers work his guitar suggests that he may or may not be a ferocious lover. It’s really not up to me to say. Cigarette, anyone?

Ken plays some covers. Anyone can play covers, right? Not the way he does. Ken plays some hip-hop. On guitar. It’s fascinating to watch, really. It takes a special kind of talent to take a hard-hitting song that is notorious for being overproduced and synthetic, and translate it into a Maroon 5-ish type track that is something else entirely. You should see what he does with “Lollipop.” Weezy F would choke on his AutoTune plugin. More so than covers, however, Ken’s heart lies within his original tracks like “Keep Dreaming.”

Ken is a true artist. Starting at the age of 16, on his mom’s “piece of shit, no-name acoustic,” Ken taught himself the basics. With the help of the Internet, he played that guitar until his fingers bled. His mom got him lessons for his next birthday, and within a year, he was the one doing the teaching. Hailing from St. Louis, music was the thing that brought Ken to Tampa when he was 21.

And now Tampa’s lucky to have him. Here’s his upcoming local schedule for the month of July:

7/2 Gilligan’s Bar & Grill, Tampa 4:30-8:30 p.m.

7/2 JJ’s Cafe and Bar, Ybor 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m.

7/9 Green Iguana, Ybor 5-8 p.m.

7/9 JJ’s Cafe and Bar, Ybor 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m.

7/10 Green Iguana, Ybor 1-5 p.m.

7/13 Channelside Courtyard 4-8 p.m.

7/15 Centro Cantina, Ybor 9 p.m.-1 a.m.

7/16 Palm Pavilion, Clearwater 1-5 p.m.

7/16 JJ’s Cafe And Bar, Ybor 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m.

7/22 Green Iguana, Ybor 9 p.m.-1 a.m.

7/23 JJ’s Cafe And Bar, Ybor 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m.

7/24 Jannus Landing Rock for Research

7/30 Havana Room, St. Pete 10 p.m.-2 a.m.

If you can’t make it to one of those shows, you can find Ken every Sunday at TinaTapas in Channelside from 6 to 10 p.m..

Don’t let the contagious smile and the boyish charm fool you, Ken Apperson gets down to business. Call him, and he can make it juicy for ya. Yeah, I’ll take that cigarette now.

[To read at Creative Loafing, click here.]


A late-night encounter with TBPD: The ballad of the white lines

May 28, 2010

I was returning home to Ybor City when my drunk friend in the passenger seat, whom I was designated-driving, decided that she wanted pizza. Being a Saturday at 2 A.M. in Ybor, parking on the street was scarce. I had already looped around the block once, and was on my second go-round. Suddenly, I see a police officer following in my rear-view mirror. Being the cautious driver that I am, I already had my seat belt fastened and was obeying the speed limit. I tell my friend of the officer behind us. “Do you think he’s gonna pull us over?!” she asks frantically. “No. I’m not doing anything wrong,” I calmly reply.

I pull up to a red light where I need to make a right turn. Turn signal already on, I come to a complete stop where I remain for roughly four seconds for good measure. I know that the cops are looking for any reason to write tickets, and rolling through a red light was not going to be my demise. After my lengthy and pronounced stop, I make the right turn. One second later, there are red and blue flashing lights behind me.

What the fuck?!” rings in my head as I pull to the shoulder of the road. The police officer comes up, flashlight ablaze, and sticks his cop-face in the window. “License, registration and proof of insurance.” Seeing as how I was driving my friend’s car, I let her take care of the last two while I handed over my license. While she was rummaging through her glove compartment, Cop-Face starts shining his flashlight all in the car – mostly in the backseat. “What the fuck?!” is still on repeat as he takes the needed-information back to his car.

Seeing as how he never told me why he pulled me over, my mind is going a thousand miles an hour. We wait. And wait. And wait some more. Close to an hour passes before he returns. “Would you consent to a search?” he asks. My mind: “WTF?!” My mouth: “Uhhhh, sure. I mean, okay.” I didn’t understand this request, but I had nothing to hide, so of course I complied. “Step out of the car, ma’am,” Cop-Face instructs.

I get out. “Ms. Bishop, the reason why I pulled you over is because someone came up to me in the street and reported to me that you girls were doing cocaine at stoplights.”

My jaw drops.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”

“No, ma’am. And when something as serious as that is reported, we have to take all cautionary measures.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”

I’ve never done cocaine in my life, never even tried it, so the fact that this was happening was absolutely absurd. And even if I did do it, bumping lines down Seventh Avenue wouldn’t exactly be my setting-of-choice. Cop-Face instructs me to walk over to the sidewalk where a female officer was waiting to give me a frisking. I tell her how ridiculous this situation is, and she laughs as she gets to Second Base with me. She finds nothing on us. Cop-Face and his buddy find nothing in the car. Female Officer tells us not to worry, and that as soon as they tie up some loose ends in the Cop-Mobile, we’ll be free to go.

I thank the Universe and decide that this will be a funny story to tell the next day.

I get back in the driver’s seat and wait for Cop-Face to return with my ID. Thirty minutes pass before he shows back up.

“Alright, Ms. Bishop, I’m issuing you a traffic citation for stopping in front of the white line at the stoplight. Those lines are there for a reason, and you need to stop completely behind them.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”

“Please sign at the bottom. You’re not admitting fault, you’re just saying that you received this citation. You can either pay the ticket or try to fight it in court. But I assure you, Ms. Bishop, if you try to fight it, I will be there and you will lose.”

“Well, how much is the ticket?”

“Two-hundred and sixteen dollars.”

Ahhhh, the post-nasal drip of Justice.

[to read at Creative Loafing, click here.]

Do mood-stabilizing drugs take away the very feelings that make us human? Or; The most scari-citing-est feeling in the world

December 19, 2009

Knowledge is power. When you know something, you have control over it. Not knowing, however, produces quite a different reaction.

The feeling of not knowing is, perhaps, the scariest feeling we as human beings can feel. The feeling that gives us anxiety and keeps us up at night. The feeling we go to the doctor for. The feeling that we fill prescriptions for. Zoloft. Xanax. Those just look like robot names. “I am Zoloft, and this is my battery-life-partner Xanax, welcome to our docking station. Please enjoy this dinner application that we downloaded for you. Oop. You spilled chips in your lap. Ha-ha. Do you understand the joke I just made, human? Because I was referring to the dinner application, I implied the contrast of microchips* , which are components of technology, and potato chips, which are organic components. Such an odd comparison should warrant amusement from you based on the juxtaposition of the items at hand. I believe humans commonly refer to this notion as ‘irony.’”

You’re sad. Or you fear. Or you feel out of place in social situations. Or you have a feeling of impending doom. That’s some serious-ass shit. Impending doom?! Wow. No wonder people have to take this medicine. Can you imagine what feeling doomed feels like? I mean, they make computer games about how destructive this feeling can be.

Robots have really come a long way. We’re all fucking robots. We’re all brainwashed into thinking that feeling, really feeling, anything is a sign of weakness. Sure, if you’re feeling impending doom, by all means, it’s time for a refill; but if you’re feeling sad or awkward or out of place – congratulations, you’re still human. The only reason you’re feeling sad or awkward or out of place is because someone, somewhere told you that those feelings were wrong. Take this pill, human. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-medication. But I also think that it should be up to the individual to decide whether or not she or he wants to take anything that describes itself as a “mood-stabilizer.” Like who died and made you tha mutha fuckin’ Queen of tha Mood? Maybe I want to be in this god damned mood.

I just don’t think “society” should have any control over deciding what is “acceptable.” Or what mood we should be in. Or why we should or shouldn’t be in this mood. Sure, if I’m out raping babies or murdering household pets, medicate me. Lock me up. Send me to an island, whatever. Don’t drug me for asking internal questions and being less-than-thrilled with the outcome. It’s life. I’d rather live it than just go through the motions.

Perhaps not knowing is the most exciting feeling human beings can feel. The feeling that gives us anxiety and keeps us up at night. The feeling we go to the doctor for. The feeling that we fill prescriptions for. Ritalin. Adderall. Those sound like those pesky neighbor kids that always walk through your yard, and normally it wouldn’t bother you, but you specifically asked them not to today because you just re-sodded your lawn. Their mom is always yelling at them, “Ridda-liiiiiiiinnn…Adder-aaaaaawwwwlllll…y’all get y’all’s aysses bayck in heeeeeeere…Tom, Leeeyn-da. I aym so sowwwry. I’ll make the keeeyds help you. Keeeyds, tell the McAdows your sowwwry and you’ll help theym re-sod their lawwwn tomorrow.” “Sorry, Mrs. and Mr. McAdow…”

They really don’t have malicious intent – they’re just forgetful and spontaneous and more of a nuisance than anything. They have good intentions, but sometimes you just want to strangle them. So you install an electric fence around your newly-sodded lawn to keep unwanted trespassers out – I mean, come on, it’s a Kentucky Blue/perennial rye hybrid grass…you had it imported. Little Adderall chased a stray football pass into your yard one day and got caught in the fence. Now he’s paralyzed from the neck down. But your yard – wow. Kudos. By any means necessary, right? You’re definitely gonna get that quarter-page mention in Better Homes & Gardens now.

How dare you think about something other than what I’m asking you to think about. How dare you not consider what I want here. How dare you explore your own brain. You will think what I want you to think, and you will like it. Hello? Ritalin? Are you listening to me? Focus. Jesus, can you stop with the pencil-tapping for two seconds? What are you even looking at? It’s your brother’s fault that he’s here. I asked him – you both – specifically to not walk on my grass. And what did you do? You walked on my grass. There are consequences for your actions. There are punishments for the crimes you commit. I’m sorry, but little Addie just had to learn the hard way. I’d take it as a lesson. And stop tapping that god damn pencil.

If an individual finds this impulsivity to be harmful, or if the disorganization of thoughts is controlling one’s life – again – refill. I’m not promoting the idea that all prescription medications are the devil, and I would definitely encourage anyone who is plagued by any certain feeling to take an active part in balancing oneself out, but again, who’s the boss? (Well, Tony Danza is…but that’s beside the point.) Take this other pill, human. And the humans rejoiced with the introduction of the magic candy. I say think how you want to think – in the fashion or style that works best for you. If it becomes a legitimate problem for you, or for the others around you, then we’ll talk about it.

Perhaps both are wrong and right at the same time. Perhaps not knowing is the most scari-citing-est feeling human beings can feel. Because it’s the same fucking thing. There’s a thin line. Maybe that’s why we’re all medicated in the first place…because we have no idea what the fuck we feel. Maybe we should start allowing ourselves to find out.

*Please note the phrase “Also the butt crack” at the bottom of the Wikipedia link.

[For an added bonus, take Zoloft’s italicized monologue and plug it in here. Hilarious.]

December 18, 2009

[To see the blog at Creative Loafing, click here.]

Think Ybor sucks? No, you suck, a-hole

December 19, 2009

“Ybor’s dangerous. Ybor’s dirty.” Well guess what, fuckface, I think you’re dirty. And when you’re texting on your iPhone while driving your Beamer around Hyde Park, you’re pretty dangerous yourself. I’m not gonna lie: I was out at Gbar one night many months ago, and my best friend – who is a heterosexual male, by the way – was leaving the club. Instead of being a good friend and walking him back to his car, I let him walk by himself. I mean, no big deal right? He walked down an alley to take a piss and was jumped…dick in hand. The punks didn’t steal anything – they just beat him down and left him. So, yeah, Ybor can be a bit dangerous, so here’s a lesson: walk in groups at night, and don’t pee in the street. Done.

Ybor is also fucking fascinating. Walking down the street on any given night is like watching a movie with hundreds of characters. And when I say characters, I mean characters. I always tell people that I can feel my ethnicity change depending on what part of Seventh Avenue I’m walking down. I fucking love that about Ybor. You can hear T-Pain and Taylor Swift within ten steps of each other. Then there are the hole-in-the-wall bars that are more fun than any establishment with a strict dress code: ladies – tits out, short skirts, tall shoes. If you’re wearing a perfume that is made by a celebrity (excluding Sarah Jessica Parker and Elizabeth Taylor…I just don’t see it being their market) then you get extra points. Guys – your shirts must have some sort of bedazzling, embroidery, or embellishment. Your hair must be spiky or cut low with clean edges. Again, celebrity fragrances are a plus, and sunglasses inside are pretty much a home run. Really, I’m not that much of a hater — I need to shake my ass as much as anyone else — but I prefer the places that I can go meet people and have conversations.

I just moved to Ybor not too long ago, and I’m still discovering its awesomeness. Walking the street in the daytime feels like you’re walking through a movie set: the look and feel of the buildings, the little boutiques, tattoo shops, bars, record stores, people with pets eating pizza al fresco – it just feels alive. The other day I decided that I’d walk the unbeaten path and went down every back alleyway I could find. The results surprised me.

Graffiti is prevalent in any city; especially a busy, cultural city. I’m not going to say that the street art I found in the back alleys was particularly pleasing to the eye, but it was attractive in another way. If I had to estimate, I’d say that 82 percent of the art I saw had a positive message attached to it. You call it defacing government property, I call it inspiration. And it didn’t end with the spray can. Ybor is home to many creative types: artists, musicians, and people that just want to say something. There are these stickers I found around the city that are obviously done by the same person. They’re all hand-written or stenciled images on white postal labels. The first one I ever saw said “Polar bears are highly irresponsible animals.” It was so random and hilarious. Then I started seeing these stickers all over the place.

So, yes, maybe there is some crime. And, yes, there are some homeless people — one in particular that I see all the time wearing the same dirty business coat, with four years of mat clumped on his head, that I feel may secretly be Jesus — but what city doesn’t have those things? Maybe we should just listen to the hoodlums a bit more and start doing something about it rather than shitting on the city for thriving. Or you can just Google “how to avoid a bum” on your Windows-capable cell phone.

December 10, 2009

[To see the blog at Creative Loafing, click here.]

An open letter to my next ex-girlfriend

December 19, 2009

Hey there.

It was really nice meeting you the other night at [name of club, bar, or mutual friend’s house]. I really liked the ensemble you were wearing. I’m not one to boast, but I can spot a well-made garment when I see one. Your shoes were really cute too. I’m really sorry I spilled Miller Lite all over them mid-pop ‘n’ lock. But I think I should tell you right now, I’m a sucker for red lips and high-heels…so I really feel like you nailed that one. Bravo. But enough about my inner drag queen and killer dance moves.

I want you to know that I’m a good girlfriend. I can be a lot to handle at times – I’m borderline obnoxious for the better part of the week – but really it’s all part of my charm. I mean, that’s why you eyeball-raped me in the first place, right? And even though I’m somewhat ridiculous, I promise that if you make it really hard for me to tell if you like me as much as I like you, you’ll keep me. I encourage you to use me to feed your own ego, and I welcome daily bouts of your pointing out my inadequacies. I’m not good enough, so don’t ever let me forget that. And while you’re at it, please use the little that you know about my past to methodically break me down. Here are some points of interest:

1. my mother’s death;

2. my father’s nonacceptance of my “lifestyle,” and my general being;

3. global warming.

The first two hit closer to home, but the whole situation with the polar bears is really starting to get to me. Please, and I mean this with all sincerity, don’t ever compliment me. Don’t take interest in my friends, or my talents or abilities, and never – I repeat – never put me above anything else in your life. Also, I think you should know about some of the annoying things that I do right off the bat so we don’t have to wait around to find out that they annoy you. I’m a compulsive nose-blower. Not only do I blow my nose a lot, but when I’m finished blowing, I twist the end of the tissue into a little point and swirl it around my nostril to make sure that there aren’t any BIV (boogers-in-view) left lingering. So you’ll find a lot of my little TP creations in the waste basket. Speaking of TP, I use an ungodly amount of it. Get used to it. I also have a very regimented routine when getting ready for my day. If you get in the way of that or rush me, I’ll probably throw some sort of hissy fit. I like sex, and I like it a lot. If you don’t feel like putting out when I want it, I’ll probably keep pushing you until you: a. give up and give it to me; b. become completely annoyed and turned off by my reaction to your rejection; or c. all of the above. In the case of “a.” – as long as you pretend that you’re into it, everything will probably be just fine. In cases “b.” or “c.” – I’ll probably guilt you into thinking that you’re a bad person.

All my annoying habits aside, I’m not all that terrible. But I don’t want you to think that. I’m smart, but you’ll probably think that I think that I’m smart and then think that I’m a cocky asshole. I’m attractive, but you’ll probably think that I think that I’m attractive and then, again, think that I’m a cocky asshole. This is okay with me. I’ll carry that load of mutual admiration for the both of us. I’ll wake up in the morning before you do and go buy groceries to make you the breakfast that you like, and then once you’re awake – all hungover with eyeliner smeared to your chin – I’ll tell you you’re beautiful. I’ll defend you to my friends when they tell me that you treat me poorly, and then illustrate your good points – like that one time you remembered my dad’s name.

You and I will probably have a very heated and passionate courtship for, at most, six months. We will probably fall head-over-heals in love with each other during this time. You loving me for loving you; and me loving you to try to get you to love me. We’ll have a lot of fun together, but then this letter will be forwarded to someone else. You’ll pretend you don’t care and cut me off. I’ll try to win you back for a while, and then hit a breaking point.

But, like I said, it was really nice meeting you the other night. We still on for coffee on Thursday?

November 11, 2009

[To see the blog at Creative Loafing, click here.]

Tolerance is a crock. What we need is equality.

December 18, 2009

The Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival has been in town these past two weeks, and it’s a time of celebration. We should not only be celebrating the films themselves, but celebrating the love that goes into the making of them. These are real people with real lives. This is someone, somewhere’s story.

There was also the National Equality March in Washington D.C. last weekend. Tens of thousands of gay and straight people from around the nation came together in unity to stand up for something important: basic human rights. Lady Gaga made a speech about the nature of equality, pointing out that “it’s not equality if it’s sometimes.” Cleve Jones, co-chairman of the march said “there’s no such thing as a fraction of equality.” It made me think about how far we’ve all come without really going anywhere.

Most people, at this point, understand what is meant by “tolerance.” As I’ve said before, this word is a crock of shit to me. So what? Joe Republican from Midwest, USA with his 2.3 children – that’s his son Timmy, his daughter Sally, and his limbless torso of a child Bob – doesn’t openly call the effeminate Starbucks barista “faggot” to his face? Is that tolerance? Or maybe it’s bigger than that. A woman can dedicate her life to her country by fighting in the military and that’s praiseworthy, but if she kisses her girlfriend when she comes home from overseas she will lose her job. Is that tolerance? I say fuck tolerance. Tolerance isn’t good enough. What we need is equality.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” This idea is supposed to be the foundation of our nation. Instead, it should read, “…all men are created equal – if you’re rich, white, and heterosexual.” I love those people that oppose gay marriage because “it ruins the sanctity of the union.” Right. Because Britney’s two-day marriage to her high school boyfriend is really the epitome of traditional family values. I don’t care about you and your husband having your bi-monthly missionary sex, that’s your business. Frankly,truestory. I’m just happy you’re gettin’ some. Why can’t you be happy for me too?

In the end, it should be about love. It should be about compassion. It should be about the collective effort to promote a greater good. “God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” First of all, everyone knows Steve was hooking up with Moses when he and Jesus had their falling out. And secondly, the foundation of all Christian sects is supposed to be about one thing: agape. That’s UNconditional love.

October 16, 2009

[To see the blog at Creative Loafing, click here.]

Lesbian sex: A guide for douchebags

December 18, 2009

“So, what is ’sex’ for lesbians, anyway? I mean, neither of you have a dick, so it’s not like you can really fuck. You just haven’t been fucked by the right dick yet.”

You know, you’re right, guy who still high-fives and wears Ed Hardy shirts. Obviously we dykes can’t have “real” sex. “Real” sex requires use of your giant cock. You describe “sex” as the act of penetration. And even though I can penetrate a woman using other methods, and probably find her G-spot more quickly and efficiently than you can, I’m not having real sex with her. It’s ‘cause I can’t cum in her butt crack, isn’t it? Don’t be shy…you know that’s your jizz-catching area of choice…usually ‘cause you’re fucking her doggy-style…or you just have it in her asshole…I’m not insinuating you’re a closet homo or anything. Your protein shake is ready.

As stated by Jenny Schecter, in Showtime’s The L Word, “The primary sex act for women involves giving one’s partner the best and most mind-blowing orgasm.” With that said, “sex” could be anything from watching your partner fly solo with her vibrator, to fucking her with a strap-on. Penetration is usually encouraged, but not necessary. Some of us, however, get our rocks off simply by “topping” our lovers. We don’t necessarily want anything in return; we just want to make our ladies cum. Hard. And often.

So to answer your question, Broseph, pleasuring a woman with my mouth isn’t just “oral,” it’s sex. And penetrating her with my hand isn’t just “fingering” her, it’s sex. And using a dildo or strap-on with her isn’t “pretending to have a dick,” it’s sex. We’re not fucking each other because we haven’t met you yet, we’re fucking each other because we like to fuck women. It’s okay, honey…I’d be jealous of my black 9-inch too.

August 31, 2009

[To see the blog at Creative Loafing, click here.]

Jesus. Gay. I’m not kidding.

December 18, 2009

I find it utterly ridonkulous that “pro-gay” is even an issue.

That’s like saying “pro-black,” “pro-homo-sapien” or “pro-wipe-then-look-at-it.” It’s just inevitable. Like chicken pox. It’s not a fucking choice, people. Hi. Hello. Welcome to the 21st century. Nice to see you here. Try the punch. Take a name tag, and write on it with a Sharpie: “I’m a big-headed, hairy-ear’d, ignorant, giant-pored, greasy-nosed, country-club-going, Polo-shirt-wearing, horrible-for-the-environment-vehicle-driving, I-cheat-on-my-wife-at-the-Gentlemen’s-club-every-chance-I-get, fat-head-of-an-individual.” You’ll feel right at home. And while you’re at it, hit on the underage girl serving the Taquitos. And for everyone else, you should just know better. We minorities have to stick together.

Yeah, I chose to be gay. I chose to have my parents not understand me. And not really want to be around me. And not want to tell their friends about me and my “roommate,” or “best friend,” in fear of, holy shit, having to defend gay rights. Gay rights. That, in itself, is a cacophony to me. Yeah, I chose to have my grandmother consider my male cousin the only one capable of carrying on the “Bishop” name. I chose to be the black sheep not only by birth, but sexual orientation. Fuck all that noise. Because that’s what it is. Fucking noise. Like the band Nickelback. There’s no substance, it’s just mindless crap that the white Republican majority pushes on us, masquerading as quality, when really, it’s dog poo. There’s no purpose. It’s just space-filler. I mean, do you really care, rich housewife whose husband paid for your fake tits by defending a man in court who broke into someone’s house, tripped over a Playstation cord, smashed his face into the television set and had to have his jaw re-wired and then won a settlement against the person whose house he broke into in the first place? No. I didn’t think so. Because you know your friends are mostly fabulous homosexual men, you ignorant bitch. You would be in the dark without those Mo’s.

Everyone is so busy talking about this shit, that when real shit is going down, say, I don’t know, a war that has no rational meaning or purpose whatsoever, where thousands of soldiers, “model Americans” (”model Americans” that aren’t allowed to be gay, mind you. That masturbate in the shower, open-mouthed about their fellow Private’s privates, mind you), are being killed by the day, and tortured, and innocent people are being raped, pillaged and slaughtered. Yeah, having same-sex sex is definitely the biggest of our worries. It should be remedied immediately. I mean, what’s next? Animals?!

That’s where people always go. Straight. Gay. Bestiality. I wasn’t aware that the sexual orientation chain progressed like that. Maybe I’m just naive. I mean, I love animals, but there’s a line one must draw. A friend of mine came up with her rules of sex: “No animals, no children, no dead people.” I think it’s brilliant.

So. “Tolerant.” That’s another funny one to me. According to Webster’s dictionary, the word “tolerant” means: “marked by forbearance or endurance.” How, exactly, does one endure a people? It’s estimated that 1 in 5 are gay, mind you. (Geez, I’m minding you a lot today. I try to make you feel important when I can. I’m a giver.) It’s just weird, ya know? To use that word. I mean, you tolerate a cold. You tolerate when someone is doing 45 in the left lane. You tolerate when you get your period in the middle of the day and you don’t have a tampon, so you have to wad up some toilet paper and stuff it in your junk. You don’t tolerate a group of people.

Let’s just think about this for a second…who are the minorities around here? Well, there are the Blacks, Latinos y Latinas, Asians, Jews, Indians, Native Americans (who are native to America, mind you…there I go again…), Bi-racial Americans, Pacific-Islanders, the LGBT crowd, women…everyone except white males. At this point, I think transgendered and transsexual people are just too much to fathom. It’s sad, but true. I mean, homos are barely getting by. I really do think that there are lesbian-identified men out there; I just don’t think the world is ready for them. Sure, we have a new President, but white Republicans (who are predominantly Christian) rule the world.

I mean, I believe in Jesus. I really do. I believe that he was a Jew that knew more than most and tried to teach people the way to enlightenment. I just think there are people like that sometimes: Siddhartha Gautama, Gandhi, George Michael. I think that the fact that people worship him would make even him laugh. He happened to die for some people’s sins and prove himself as an exemplary individual. He proved himself as more than a man, but I believe many people, somehow, stumble upon the path of righteousness and are capable enough to recognize its power. Jesus may have seeked reverence, but he definitely didn’t seek submission. Not if he were the Jesus that I’m thinking of. People who “get it” wish for others to “get it”; not for people to idolize them for “getting it.”

Publicity is always nice, though. Who is Jesus for being any different? He soaked that shit up. He was like, “Oh yeah? Watch me resurrect, motherfuckers.” Jesus was always a bit of an attention whore.

So Jesus. I bet Jesus could give a mean BJ. I know I’m probably going to hell for saying that, if I believed in such a place, but if Jesus is the Jesus I’m thinking of, he has a sense of humor. Side note: That makes me think how I always want to spell things like Europeans do, such as “flavour” or “colour.” It just makes it seem more intelligent. Trés chic, if you will. Jesus as my witness. I mean my Homeboy. He’s a Superstar! I mean, What Would Jesus Do?

I believe Jesus was, in fact, gay. First of all, hello, rope sandals? Secondly, water into wine? What? Like a vintage Pinot Noir? Fag. What about some Natty Ice? No? I didn’t think so. Third, did you see that babyface? That’s like every 43-year-old weenie-smoker’s dream. And Jesus was born in like 5 BCE, so that’s some phenomenal age preservation. Yeah, that’s not gay. Whatsoever.

August 10, 2009

[To see the blog at Creative Loafing, click here.]

Boys’ team vs. Girls’ team: A lesson in dyke-otomy

December 18, 2009

Flannel-wearing, wrench-wielding, mullet-rocking dykes. This is what we’re not. Well, not all of us…

I surround myself with a group of fabulous, interesting, women-loving women. To others — and by others, I mean heterosexuals, namely of the right-wing persuasion — lesbian women are all the same. Gay people, in general, are all the same. The women are tough and probably play a sport of some sort, and the men walk on their tiptoes and most likely have glitter somewhere in their medicine cabinets. Sure, there’s truth in all stereotypes. In this case, we’re all women who have sex with women. This is what we have in common.

In our little group, we divide ourselves into “girls’ team” (GT) and “boys’ team” (BT). There are certain rules and gender roles that accompany our team-status. For instance, two GT girls can make out with each other (because it’s sexy), and may potentially even date one another, but are usually attracted to BT girls as romantic partners. BT girls, on the other hand, are in no way, shape or form encouraged to date or have any type of romantic involvement with one another. We are more like brothers, and are expected to act as such.

First, there’s my girlfriend, Zane*. Zane is definite GT. She’s high-femme, but has a tomboy personality beneath the sparkly exterior. Zane is the girl that most men drool over. She’s smart, sexy, and usually wears more make-up than a drag queen. She’s the girl that the majority of confident heterosexual men think they may actually have a chance with. These men may get a flirty interlude with her. These men may even end up getting a kiss from her. These men will also end up alone with their hands at 3:30 in the morning. Zane likes attention, as most of us do, and she will let you think that you actually matter to her — until you get too serious. Once there are genitals or the potential of genitals being involved, the game is over to her. Well, if you’re male it is. Zane will not, under any circumstances, become sexually involved with a man. She is attracted to other GT girls, and isn’t opposed to having sex with them, but she only dates BT girls. Zane has a hint of a mullet, but it’s only because she’s growing her hair out.

Next is Ziggy*. Ziggy is Zane’s first love and current roommate. One will come to find out that boundaries in the lesbian world are usually blurred. Ziggy is BT. She dresses in a masculine fashion, has short, funky hair, and never wears a stitch of make-up. In high school, Ziggy was more of the buzz-cut, polo shirt, softball kind of dyke, but now has evolved into more of a different breed. Gay men are usually drawn to Ziggy, and she has been known to make out with a ‘Mo or two. Ziggy has been sexually involved with men before, and isn’t completely closed off to the idea of doing it again. She loves women, though — all kinds of them — and women love her. Her exterior exudes that of a “top,” but behind closed doors, she’ll take it on her back.

“The Good Doctor,” I’ll call her Doc*. Doc is GT, and is Ziggy’s current girlfriend. Doc is also my former lover. The blurring continues. Doc is the kind of woman, like Zane, that men get stiff for. She is a few years older than the rest of the group in the age department, but a few years younger in the lesbian department — she wasn’t exactly sure of what she wanted until very recently. Outwardly, Doc appears incredibly straight — a significant point of interest for the BT. She likes her women BT with borderline Trans-potential. She has said, “Most of the women I date are often confused for men.” And although both Ziggy and I have had this happen to us, we’re probably the most “feminine” women she’s ever dated.

Then, there’s Zoe*. Zoe is Zane and Ziggy’s other roommate, and she is GT all the way. She has been dating her girlfriend, DJ*, for over 2 years. DJ is in the military and doesn’t get to see Zoe but once every few months. Although Zoe finds other GT girls attractive, especially those with “pretty brown skin,” as she says, she likes her “girls to be girls, and her boys to be boys.” And by “boys,” she means BT. DJ is often mistaken for a guy. She has very short hair, would never consider wearing make-up, wears boys clothes and 3 sports bras to flatten her chest. She does not, however, want to “be” a man. This is a fact often misunderstood by those outside the lesbian world. Zoe finds masculinity attractive, and is always approached by men, but she would never consider being sexually involved with a man. She finds this to be repulsive.

Next we have Mia*. Mia dances to her own beat. She is GT, but does not discriminate when it comes to dating. Mia will date other GT, BT, and even boys. For a while, Mia was involved with a woman with a BT interior and a GT exterior. Again, blurred lines. Once that relationship fizzled out, when Mia became bored and not interested in sex with her girlfriend anymore, Mia turned to men. Mia doesn’t appear to be a sexual creature — she is completely content with her cats and her showtunes — but when she wants something, she wants it. Mia is very independent and, at times, treats sex as a game. She lives alone and prefers it this way.

Ah, Joy. If Mia dances to her own beat, Joy dances to her own genre of music. Joy is an intellectual. She doesn’t necessarily belong to any “team.” She says, “I don’t need to ascribe to any one label.” I like to refer to Joy as The Unitard — she is of her own being. Joy has always been interested in women, but was engaged to a man a few months ago. That is, until a special woman caught her attention and reminded Joy that it would be unfair to her fiancé for her to go through with the wedding if she still had such strong feelings for the same sex. Joy likes everyone — GT, BT, no teams, all teams — she finds attraction in peoples’ insides. Joy is a poet and a romantic. If she is truly interested in someone, she will write a song for them and serenade them with guitar accompaniment. She has an unfaltering confidence about her that is often mistaken for misplaced insecurity. She will tell you how hot she is, and how great she is, but she will also tell others the same. Joy wears dresses, but also wears jeans and baseball caps, and doesn’t wear much, if any, make-up. She is the only one out of all of us who knows how to change a spare tire.

Then there’s Scout*. Scout is BT. She has long hair, which she always pulls back, and never goes hat-less unless she’s sleeping. She dresses in men’s clothing and only dates GT girls, if she’s dating at all at the given time. Scout is very internal, and very independent, but she’s also very sensitive. She’s incredibly smart, and a whiz on her Mac (which she has named Barack). It has been thought that if any of us were to actually go through with a transition (sex change), it would be Scout, although she has never actually expressed any interest in this. She doesn’t want to be a man, but she is less comfortable than the other BT members with allowing girls to be intimate with her body. She will, however, give it all night long. She likes it this way. Scout is fiercely loyal and incredibly protective of her “girls.” She is opposed to change and likes to keep a routine. Although she is the most outwardly masculine of all of us, she is also highly emotional. Blur.

Me. I’m BT. I only date GT girls. I like to wear make-up, but enjoy it more for the art aspect. I like to say that it’s my inner gay man coming out, rather than an expression of femininity. When I’m with a woman, in the biblical sense, I get more enjoyment out of pleasuring her than reaching my own climax. That is not to say, however, that I don’t enjoy that too. I never really liked penetration until I was with Zane, but it’s still not my orgasm-reaching touch of choice. I fantasize about having a penis, and become aroused when my girlfriend refers to my “cock,” but in no way do I want to be a man. I do like to play the masculine role, though. I like to open my girl’s door for her, pay for dinner, and do things that require physical strength. I am also an emotional being. I have a soft center once the walls around it are broken down. I played sports my whole life, but do not consider myself a “sporty dyke.” I’m more of an artsy-fartsy sort. I have been intimate with a man in the past, but only did it so others can’t say to me, “Well, have you tried it?” I find men attractive, because I find people attractive, but have no interest in sex with men. I am not necessarily opposed to kissing a man, but treat it more like a straight girl treats kissing another straight girl. It’s a random, fun thing to do. Usually when drunk.

Our little group, in general, is very attractive. We’re all so different, but we complement each other well. When we’re all out together, we generate attention. There’s something for everyone with us. We’re smart, or athletic, or masculine, or feminine, or outgoing, or shy, or funny, or any number of things at a given moment. We’re fluid and we change, but we stay the same in our cores. Standing in the crowd at a concert we attended one weekend, Ziggy and I were discussing the nature of our group. We came to the conclusion that to be single in our little circle would be a double-edged sword. On one hand, like I said, we get noticed. But on the other hand, especially for the BT, it would be intimidating for girls to approach us because our GT members are so hot. Seriously. They’re so hot. But being hot, and loving women, are perhaps the only things that we all share as a unit.

I like to tell people, “You’re your own rainbow.” In this case, it’s a pretty accurate (and ironic) description. We gays are usually talked about with the word “diversity” thrown in somewhere; then lumped together as a whole. It doesn’t work like this, Moral Majority. In the case of my friends, we all love women — but we all love different kinds of women, in different ways, using different methods. So next time you see two women walking down the street holding hands, try to restrain yourself from making an Indigo Girls reference. At least go with Ellen or Rosie or someone from this decade.

*We’ll call them “stage names.”

August 1, 2009

[To see the blog at Creative Loafing, click here.]