This year has been rather challenging – homesickness, immigration and looming unemployment. So I was surprised that in many ways coping with a broken ankle has been harder than all these things combined. Writing about my experiences has been extremely cathartic. I can see how far I’ve come: from not being able to walk down a hallway to racing from place to place on my crutches, being able to get in and out of cars and how much more bearable the pain has become. Furthermore, my own fears become more manageable when I write them down.
I’ve been busy lately. As I’ve mentioned on Twitter, my work permit expires in January and I am not able to renew it. So I applied for a visitor’s visa. I was really worried that my application would not be processed before my work permit expired and that I would need to leave the country. Fortunately I’m allowed to legally remain in Canada until a decision is made.
Compared to a permanent residence application, applying for a visitor’s visa application was super simple. I just needed to complete a form explaining why I originally came to Canada, why I wanted to stay longer and how I intended to support myself. We also needed to gather supporting documents. So Wife obtained another letter from her employer outlining her position and salary and she also wrote a letter stating that she would support me.
Actually I wrote the letter. She’s far too busy and stressed from working to support our family to have time to write a letter saying that she will support our family. Perhaps I should have put that in the letter.
It was mostly stressful because I needed to persuasively yet succinctly explain why I should be allowed to stay. It’s like a job interview. You need to convince the person reading your application that you should be chosen.
Last month I bought And Baby Makes More: Known Donors, Queer Parents and Our Unexpected Families. I can’t believe that I waited so long to read it!
And Baby Makes More is an amazing and diverse anthology. It includes stories from sperm donors, egg donors, queer offspring, biological mothers and queer families.
I thought that all the stories were interesting. However, I have to highlight the essay “The Spawn, the Spawnlet and the Birth of a Queer Family.” It features the point of view of several members of a queer family that includes a lesbian couple, their sperm donor who eventually becomes a lover to one of the mothers, the sperm donor’s ex girlfriend and her two lovers, the sperm donor’s ex boyfriend and their close friends who became family members. Their family shows that it is truly love, not genetics, that creates a family. They wonderfully demonstrate that our potential to create queer families are only limited by our imagination. I feel energised and inspired to think outside the box in the pursuit of our own family.
I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in creating intentional families. It is definitely not a how to guide. Several stories do not have happy endings. Or the authors are still working through problems. However, I felt truly inspired and energised whilst reading this book and amazed at the diverse forms that our families can take.
Remove brand new pair of black lace thigh high stockings from package. Put them on. Lay seductively on the bed and call for your wife. Wife eventually comes up. (“What if I was calling you because there was a fire in the bathroom?” “I was pretty sure you were just laying around trying to be sexy.” “… And you still took your sweet time?”) Wife goes to remove stockings “Hey! These are covered in cat hair!”
I’m not poorly educated. I finished secondary school. I have a B.A with a major in political science from a very respectable university. However, I still feel that I have enormous gaps in my knowledge. There is simply so much that I don’t know about world history, feminist history, transgendered politics, political ideologies, philosophy, literature, anti racism, science, mathematics, religion and I could go on.
Wife, who is a teacher and also incredibly smart, says that education is a life long journey. That you won’t just wake up one morning and know everything in the world. I do agree that it is a life long journey. However, I’m not quite sure how I should approach this journey.
Sometimes I am a little bit broody that I am no longer a student. I had access to an amazing library. Then I remember that I hated writing eassys in my first, second and then the first semester of third year.
So if you had to recomend three, easily accesible* books that would enrich another person’s understanding of the world, what would they be? What are the books that transformed your life?
*By easily accesible, I mean that they could be purchased on Amazon or in the public library of a conservative city.
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?