Monthly Archives: July 2010

The Kids Are All Right

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This entry will contain spoilers.

Two weeks ago Wife won free passes to see The Kids Are All Right. Honestly I was a little bit hostile towards the film. When I read that one of the characters Jules, who has been in a lesbian relationship for twenty years, had an affair with a man, I was really angry. I did not want to see the film.

Yet I really enjoyed The Kids Are All Right.

Naturally I am upset that Jules had an affair with a man. We are all tired of the stereotype. We are all tired of explaining that this is not a phase. We are all tired of justifying our relationships. We are all tired of the thinly veiled rape references that run rampant in society (I don’t know how else I am supposed to interpret the people who believe that I just need a good dicking).

Yet Jules having an affair was a plot device that was semi plausible. I perceived that she was simply seeking comfort, rather than questioning her sexual orientation. In fact, in one post coital scene, she even refers to herself as a “middle aged, sad sack lesbian.”

I would be less upset about the plot device if  The Kids Are All Right was aimed at a queer audience rather than a mainstream audience. I don’t like talking about queer issues with straight people because I am always afraid that something that I say will be used against us. We’ve read the opinion pieces by people who believe that their conservative, homophobic views about same sex marriage are justified by their gay friends who do not want to get married (often taking the argument out of its correct context).

There were some really interesting questions about relationships in this film that were unrelated to Jules’ affair with Paul. For example, how do you keep a relationship exciting after twenty years? How do we deal with our family problems in a world that is hostile to our existence? Do our children feel pressured to be perfect because we are trying to prove a point that our families are valid and whole and just as good as yours? Furthermore, The Kids Are All Right could have initiated some interesting discussions about identity. What is a lesbian? If you have an affair with a man once in twenty years, are you a lesbian? Or do you become bisexual? How has the definition of lesbian changed in the past twenty years? Can we start to work on truly dismantling harmful ideas about sexuality in countries like Canada where being gay is not always a life or death issue?

Have you seen The Kids Are All Right? What do you think?

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One Year

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We’ve been married one year.

Do you remember that we had a fight right before going to the church to get married? I had just come home from the job that I hated and was rushing around, having a shower, get into my wedding dress and make my hair presentable. You said that your mother complained that the amount we were planning to donate to our reverend was too much. I screamed that your mother did not have to involve herself with everything, that you did not have to automatically take her side.

We still got married.

In the past 365 days we have laughed, cried, fought, fucked, travelled, saved, spent, ate, drank, been sickly and healthy, screamed, cuddled, opened our hearts and our minds, filed paperwork, welcomed new people into our lives, changed jobs, started new ones.

I can’t imagine how amazing the rest of our life will be.

I love you.

Exhaustion

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I am really tired today. Have been slowly sipping on a comically large energy drink since 11.30 am. A comically large energy drink that tells you not to consume more than one per day or you might never sleep again. It tastes terrible.

I would really like another one.

How do you cope with exhaustion? Or, better yet, can someone please tell me how to defeat the insomnia that has been stalking me for the past several weeks?

Family Friday: we will be awesome parents

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Wife: There’s a chapter in this book on heteronormativity in children’s books.

Me: It sounds like you might read this book. I won’t have to read you the interesting bits.

Wife: There aren’t many children’s books that start with “Mommy and mommy are going to a protest.”

Me: We should write a series of children’s books. They would be the gayest children’s books on the planet.

Wife: I already know how our first book will end. Having to help Mommy escape from a make shift jail on the site of a G20 protest.

Body image

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Before I realised that I would not be able to get an appointment at the U.S consulate, I went to have a photo taken for the visa. When I got home, I compared the new visa photo to the visa photo taken two years ago. It was slightly traumatic.

The old photo was taken when I was at my lowest weight since I was twelve years old. Logically it’s not surprising that I was thin: I was vegan, being treated for depression, in the last semester of my B.A and working really hard, my mum had just been in a horrific car crash Wife (who was then Fiancee) had just returned to Canada and I was alone. My diet consisted of coke during the day and a plate of vegan poutine for dinner. If I was really hungry, I would eat a muffin for breakfast or a veggie burger or fries for lunch. Sometimes I would drink diet coke to try quash any rebellious hunger pangs.

Despite the horrific diet and depression, I was praised for my thinner frame by family members and strangers. When I went to the U.S consulate in Melbourne for my original visa appointment, the security guard who was checking passports looked at my two year old passport photo, compared it to me and exclaimed “Wow! You’ve lost a lot of weight! Good for you!” I was so pleased.

When I moved to Canada, I started eating meat and dairy. I also started to recover from depression and to work on issues related to low self esteem. However, I can only maintain a low weight through a vegan diet. So I’m happier. I’m also a lot heavier.

Some days I am able to cope with my fat body. Other days I cannot. On those days I berate myself for being fat and simultaneously feel like I failed as a lesbian and feminist.

See I know that my life is amazing despite the extra kilograms. I am married to an amazing person: Wife is kind, intelligent, beautiful and always there for me.  I have been to some stunning places: Victoria, Vancouver, Quebec, Montreal, Canmore, Banff, Kananaskis. I have been to chuckwagon races, pow wows, plays, queer film festivals, baptisms, galas, pubs and house parties. I have made awesome friends. And despite the bouts of homesickness and immigration stress, I have never been happier.

So why can’t I shake the feeling that life would be better if I was thinner?

Vancation!

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Last night I had a photo taken for my U.S visa application, completed the DS-160 and paid a deposit for a hostel in Seattle. Then I learned that there are no visa appointments available at the consulate for the next two months.

Sadly we are not going to Seattle.

So we are going to have an amazing trip to Vancouver! With a stop in Kelowna to visit vineyards!

Vacation

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I’m requesting two weeks off work. So excited!

We are hoping to spend a week in Vancouver. We are not sure if we will catch the bus or fly – if we decide to catch the bus, I hope that I can convince Wife that it might be worth breaking the trip up with a stop. Perhaps a stop near a vineyard in the Okanagan Valley? Perhaps a wine tour in Kelowna?

We might go to Seattle. I would love to go on the underground city tour and visit the market. However, it will depend on whether I can obtain a visa for the U.S. It’s a little bit stressful. I have to prove that I don’t want to abscond in the U.S. Without using the words “same sex marriage” or “health care.”

Do you have any vacation plans?