Gift Guides Galore: Masculine Fancy

The turkey’s been and gone, leftovers are packed into the fridge, and the dishwasher is rinsing off the last of the Thanksgiving remnants. I’m pleasantly stuffed with homemade mashed potatoes and cheesecake, and it’s finally finally time to start talking about (a few of) my favorite thing(s!): Christmas. Holiday wishlists have been swirling through the Blogosphere for the last few weeks, and I have been clinging stubbornly to the idea that Thanksgiving deserves it’s own special attention before diving headfirst into mistletoe and holly. However, with less than four weeks until Christmas morning (!!!!!!?!), it’s time to push my blogging fingers into overdrive. With a strong focus on underthings (with occasional other pretties thrown in because I said so), I hope to give you lovely readers a series of Holiday Buying Guides for everyone on your “Nice” (or Naughty 😉 ) list.

Lingerie buying guides tend to be swathed in frills, and while I love both as much as the next femme-bot, I think it’s important to recognize that not every woman wants to be wrapped in satin and eyelash lace. Seriously, if I tried to gift my lady an Agent Provocateur, she’d be both incredibly puzzled and overcome by fits of laughter. In layman’s terms, she isn’t one for girly things. Just because a woman isn’t one for glamour and fancy doesn’t mean that there aren’t suitable, sensible lingerie solutions for their tastes. This edition of Gift Guides Galore is inspired by my beautiful girlfriend and her more masculine fancies:

 

1. Galaxy Print Big Knickers by Knickerocker

Knickerocker is a company that I don’t have any personal experience with but who has been raved about over at Braless In Brasil and The Full Figured Chest. (Both of those ladies know their underthings, so I trust their judgement and opinions implicitly!) While browsing through Etsy’s lingerie section for possible features for this post, I stumbled upon the Knickerocker Galaxy Print Big Knickers. I consulted my lovely lady, who’s own style toes the line between masculine/tomboy and hipster/femme. Her reaction: “Those look cool.”

Knickerrocker Galaxy Print Big Knickers, $24.00 Available in sizes S-XL and custom sizes.

Knickerocker Galaxy Print Big Knickers $24.00.
Available in sizes S-XL and custom made-to-measure sizes.

Hell yeah, they do! Based out of California, Knickerocker undies can be custom-made to your own measurements! They also come in a variety of fun, playful patterns and colors. I favor these galaxy print knickers for the more masculine set, because while they aren’t dappled in dots or bows, they are still cut to fit a woman’s body. The galaxy print fabric is quirky, and handled with care during manufacturing. Each piece is made by hand, and prewashed with detergent that’s ph-balanced for a woman’s most sensitive skin. (Because masculine or feminine, vaginas are vaginas and sometimes they need to be handled with care!) My opinion ain’t enough? Knickerocker has nearly 1,500 5-star reviews on Etsy. Do you think getting 1,500 people to agree on something is an easy task!?

 

2. Black and Red Briefs by RodeoH

Maybe your girlfriend prefers purposeful gifts. Maybe she wants less fashion and more function. Like that adorable little girl in that taco shell commercial, I say “Why not both?!”. Enter the black and red briefs by RodeOH:

rodeOHbrief

Black and Red Brief by Rode0H $45.00.
Available in waist sizes 23-24 thru 52-55

(Note: Mom! Stop reading now, or the next dinner we have together is gonna be real awkward.)

I know. You’re looking at me skeptically. “Jessica, you self-serving weasle, you. This is a harness!” However, these brilliant designed knickers are not just a strap-on harness (for you lady-loving-ladies out there!), but a soft and breathable set of briefs. And while Rodeoh actually offers a pair of undies that are just undies, I kind of like the idea of being able to *ahem* “suit up” (so to speak) whenever, wherever. Available in a variety of cuts and colors (never again will you have to answer the “boxers or briefs” conundrum), RodeoH also offers it’s fashionable/functional harnesses in sizes ranging from waist sizes 23-24 to 52-55. All ladies rejoice! No need to worry if it’ll fit–it probably will. For my own lovely lady, I’m favoring this red and black version of the brief. (Though I feel like asking Santa to deliver might make for an awkward time.) Need any more convincing?

RodeoHad

Oh my lawd!
image from @lyralopezphoto for RodeoH

RodeoH’s advertising photos are pretty damn sexy. They love it when their fans model their product! And if Autostraddle’s interview with Jennifer Weaver is any indication, their creator is pretty friggin’ cool, too. (Added bonus!)

 

3. Deco Collection by Freya

It’s no secret that I am a slave to the Freya Deco collection. I nearly fell out of my bed when I found out that I had won the entire Spring/Summer 2013 collection in their Deco365 Competition, and thus I wear a different Deco practically every day of the week. So while it may seem a “funny coincidence” that I’ve included the range in my leaning-masculine gift buying guide, hear me out!  Fact is, some boobs are bigger than others. Butches and the like aren’t excluded from the gift of mammary, and those boobs need proper support just like the rest of them. That’s where Deco comes into play:

Freya Deco Plunge 60.00 32-38B-C, 28-38D-G, 32-36GG

Freya Deco Plunge $60.00
32-38B-C, 28-38D-G, 32-36GG

Clean lines, basic colors, and seam-free, Deco offers both simplicity and support. If the bow in the center gore offends that much, simply snip it off. It is sold in both nude and black, and comes in a strapless, a half cup, a plunge, a wireless plunge, AND a strapless, so there’s a style for every occasion. The Deco size range is impressive, and definitely helpful to those of us on the larger-cup end of the size spectrum. I can speak from experience that Deco is (in my humble opinion!) the perfect go-to bra for everyday wear. Retailing for around $60 on a regular basis,  I usually keep an ear to the ground and do my best to snag a deal from Amazon or Nordstrom.

 

4. The Runyon Racer Tank by Sloan&Tate

I first heard of Sloan and Tate when The Lingerie Lesbian posted her awesome series on Lingerie Androgyny. Her post featured some luxuriously soft-looking sleep shorts, that made me want to slip them on and lounge around until the end of eternity. So, it was natural that I take another look at the Sloan and Tate brand while online shopping researching tirelessly for this feature. When I found the Runyon Racer Tank, I was torn. Lingerie? Not quite. But as sleepwear is an important subcategory in the Great Lingerie Divide, I couldn’t resist:

Runyon Racer Tank by Sloan and Tate $86.00 Sizes S/M/L

Runyon Racer Tank by Sloan&Tate $86.00
Sizes S/M/L

Soft and simple! Now, maybe you’re thinking “It’s just a tank top!”. Oh no, it is much more. Made in the USA from fine Supina cotton, it is milled and manufactured right in Los Angeles by independent designers, Sloan & Tate is a company that believes in luxurious, sustainable fashion. If you’re into comfy sleepwear and eco-conscious designers, check out Sloan&Tate for your honey’s stocking stuffers and more.

 

5. Organic Baby Rib Brief by American Apparel

Maybe your lady really likes basics. Maybe you want to pull a “Jessica’s Mom On Christmas”, and want to stuff your sweetie’s stocking with one of those three-packs of Hanes everyday panties (so practical!), but don’t really want to go down that “Target-basic” road. (C’mon, I can’t be the only one, right!?)  If you’re digging the idea of basic and everyday, but want to up the ante a little bit, I would definitely recommend giving the American Apparel Organic Baby Rib Brief a second glance.

American Apparel Organic Baby Rib Brief $14.00

American Apparel Organic Baby Rib Brief $14.00
Available in unisex sizes XS-XL

Available in what can only be adequately described as a “fuck ton” of colors, these briefs are made of breathable 100% organic cotton. They, like most of American Apparel’s products, are unisex in nature and simple in design. At 14.00, these are as much affordable as they are wearable. I can neither confirm nor deny whether or not my own girlfriend (“Ooooh, I like those!”) will be getting a few pairs from “Santa”,as she’s nosy as all hell,  likes to ruin surprises, and will most likely read this as Christmas grows nearer. Think your lady will fancy a pair or two? Check out American Apparel’s selection online.

 

I don’t claim to be an expert on androgynous lingerie or the like. As far as I’m concerned, the more frills there are on a piece of lingerie, the better. Regardless of that, I had a blast putting together this gift guide for the less girly-girl amongst us! How about it, readers? Like my choices? Have any suggestions of your own? Sound off in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

Redefining Sexy: Not Just For The Boys

Scarlet Johansson. Beyonce. Megan Fox. What do these ladies have in common?

Besides all sharing celebrity status and raking in boatloads of cash each year, I think it can be universally agreed upon that each of these three ladies bear the traits of the conventionally sexy. They are long legged and svelte, with pouty lips and bedroom eyes rimmed in long, fluttering lashes. Nobody is denying that all three of those supercelebs (as well as countless others that share those traits) are sexy. However, in our media-centric culture, it is very rare that any other types of sexy are celebrated. The world is such a beautifully varied place, it is nothing short of tragic that only one type of attractive is put on a pedestal. And while I could literally go on for days about all of this fantastic diversity, I want to devote just a little bit of blogspace to one of my favorite subcultures.

Lesbians.

I think that it can be agreed on that in general, the idea of female “sexiness” is marketed to the male community. However, the boys don’t get to claim sole propriety of female appreciation. There are lots of lady-loving-ladies out there, all with their own very different idea of what “sexy” could mean. Within the lesbian community, the idea of sexiness is not confined to cupid’s bow lips and come-hither eyes. (Though we surely do appreciate them.) Butch ladies in flannel have just as much heart fluttering potential as curvy femmes. For some chicks that dig chicks, sexy is a slim cut blazer and a crisp button up. (Sa-woooooon.) And it is with that in mind that I bring you this series of sexy that is not just for the boys:

20131026-145605.jpg

Mmm, sexy.

20131026-150348.jpgDefinitely sexy.

20131026-151625.jpgOh, hot damn.

20131026-153848.jpgOn the left? My kind of sexy. 😉

Now, nobody is knocking the stereotypically sexy. Give me some Christina Hendricks any day. Scarlet Johannson is a minx. Halle Berry, mmm. Admiring the sex appeal of those not “traditionally sexy” does not (and never will) take away from the beauty of others. Redefining sexy does nothing but broaden horizons, open eyes, and give you a little extra something yummy to ogle. So go ahead, give those photos another gander….I’ll wait. 😉

Salivating yet? Feeling flushed, maybe a little hot under the collar? I certainly hope so. 😉

Can’t get enough? All of the photos above were taken from my favorite weekly dose of delicious. Check out Autostraddle.com’s NSFW Sunday for more!

“The Second Mango” (Interview With The Author)

Today, I’m taking a break from blogging boobs, bras, and body image to discuss another topic that I love: books. And something I love more than just books? Queer, feminist, fantasy books.

So, color me surprised when the lovely Shira Glassman dropped a line in my inbox, informing me that she had written just that. Would I like to feature her book on my blog? Hell yes! Would she, in return, be willing to answer a few “Ask The Author” questions for me? Another resounding “yes!” and this post was born.

Now, you’re probably wondering. A queer, feminist, fantasy book? Does such a thing exist? Enter: The Second Mango.

The Second Mango by Shira Glassman

The Second Mango by Shira Glassman

Queen Shulamit never expected to inherit the throne of the tropical land of Perach so young. At twenty, grief-stricken and fatherless, she’s also coping with being the only lesbian she knows after her sweetheart ran off for an unknown reason. Not to mention, she’s the victim of severe digestive problems that everybody think she’s faking. When she meets Rivka, an athletic and assertive warrior from the north who wears a mask and pretends to be a man, she finds the source of strength she needs so desperately. Unfortunately for her, Rivka is straight, but that’s okay — Shulamit needs a surrogate big sister just as much as she needs a girlfriend. Especially if the warrior’s willing to take her around the kingdom on the back of her dragon in search of other women who might be open to same-sex romance. The real world outside the palace is full of adventure, however, and the search for a royal girlfriend quickly turns into a rescue mission when they discover a temple full of women turned to stone by an evil sorcerer.

Intrigued yet? 

Courtesy of Shira Glassman

Courtesy of Shira Glassman

I had the opportunity to have a virtual sit-down with Ms. Glassman, who happily answered a few questions for me.

1. As a writer myself, I always want to get to know the brains behind the characters! Tell me about yourself! What made you want to start writing and what (this one I find is my most common problem) keeps you at it? 

The simplest answer is that I write when I love something with all my heart and it still leaves me wanting and feeling a little hungry. If I didn’t love it so much, it wouldn’t matter that it doesn’t satisfy all my wishes. I guess that’s the way I felt about fairy tales and fantasy/adventure stories–I love the magic and wonder, I love the dragons and the fancy clothing and fabulous buildings and messages about conquering adversity and finding love–but I don’t love being left out completely. There were no fairy tales with LGBTQ+ characters when I was growing up, and so for years I longed to write a fairy tale with a lesbian princess. I also grew up around a million stories of knights fighting dragons to rescue princesses, and I wanted, instead, for the dragon to be the good guy. In my story the knight and her dragon team up to rescue the “princess” (really a young queen who hasn’t stepped properly into her role yet) from herself.
 
My mind is an overactive storyteller, and that’s what keeps me writing. I’m happiest when I’m making up new things, fussing over details, figuring out what happens next. Writing scenes with characters I already love, such as those I’ve created for The Second Mango, is like getting to hang out with them, or getting to “play with my dolls”. That’s why there’s a sequel, Climbing the Date Palm, due out next July — and a third book that’s only six chapters in. I just really like my characters and didn’t want to leave them be!
 2. Your book is definitely one of a kind! Feminist literature, with varying sexual orientations and a fantasy byline. What inspired you to write this particular tale? 

I think it was a way of playing dress-up with real life–I’m bisexual and Jewish, and my spouse has a gluten problem. All these things are a constant presence in our lives, so I wanted to write my feelings about same-sex romance and culturally Jewish themes and “not having one’s allergies taken seriously”, but I wanted to write them against the background of swordfighting and wizards and magic potions (and, of course, the dragon) that doesn’t usually include people whose problems and hopes and dreams and joys are just like ours. We’re worthy of those adventures, too!
 
As for the feminist angle — that was also very important to me. I believe very firmly in women supporting each other and all standing up for each other. Often, the feminist answer to fairy tales is that the damsel in distress should rescue herself. In my version, I show a woman being rescued by another woman. It’s not unfeminist to need to be rescued from time to time, and rescuing someone else is a very cool sign of empowerment, if you ask me. I also just really wanted to write about relationships between women in general–not just romance, but also friendship, or just any interaction that doesn’t involve fighting over a male character. The sci-fi and fantasy and superhero epics central to our culture have a tendency to feature one amazing female character mixed with a troupe of men. It leaves her unable to have significant on-screen interactions with other women.
 3. From what I can tell, your first book is having some pretty positive successes. Any plans on writing more? (This is the part where I say “Please, please, please do! The world needs more queer feminist reading material!) If so, is there anything you can share about your next project?
The sequel, Climbing the Date Palm, is due out in July 2014, also from Prizm Books. The summary:
Queen Shulamit is eager to help Kaveh, the youngest prince of a neighboring country, when his father throws his engineer boyfriend in jail for leading his workers in protest over underpaid wages. But if she can’t find a peaceful solution that will keep everybody happy, the two countries could wind up at war.
 
Where the first book is very much a friendship story focused on personal growth, the second book is a bit political in that it takes a stand in favor of worker’s rights. My spouse is a labor activist and I’ve been jokingly referring to the second book as “Occupy Fairyland.” I also get more into bisexual visibility in the second book, which has two bisexual characters front and center, including Prince Kaveh.
I love it. I love, love, love it. Feminism? Bisexual visibility?! Be still my beating heart! Ms. Glassman is truly touching on topics that are either glazed over or ignored altogether in the modern literary world. If the storyline sneak-peek doesn’t grab you, the lovely woman that we’ve had the opportunity to get to know should. Shira Glassman is a passionate author, with a keen understanding of her subject matter, and an obvious love for the characters she has created. She is a new voice in writing–a voice that has something to say, and a voice we should take the time to listen to. Still not convinced? Take a look at the first few pages, available on Amazon. There, you can pick up your own copy for Kindle, or grab it directly from the publisher here!  Want to know more about the brains behind the book,? Check out Shira Glassman’s blog!

Dear Douchebag,

Dear Douchebag,

I’m sure that it was pretty evident to you that you made a bad choice.

Of course I’m talking about the choice you made to tell me that I am only a lesbian “because I haven’t met the right man yet”. It may have been my “Oh no he DIDN’T” facial expression. Or, it could have been the fact that my retort was “you just asked a question that would get you punched in the face in some circles”. What you probably didn’t realize–or maybe you did, because I’m not good at hiding my emotions–is that the urge to actually punch you right in your smarmy mouth was hard for me to resist. Resist I did, though, because I’m a motherfuckin’ lady.

I wish that I could say I’m surprised at your ignorant mindset. Alas, no, because not five minutes before you said what you said, you referred to your girlfriend as “a nice pair of tits”. Thank you for that, because I was really hungry for a nice misogyny-and-objectification sandwich. So listen here, pencil-dick, because I’m about to impart on you some much-needed information about things you obviously know nothing about: like tact, manners, and how to NOT be a douchebag.

Lesson One: Just Because You Worship Your Penis, Doesn’t Mean Everyone Does

I think that this is a very important lesson for you to learn. While you may have a hard-on for your own, there are women (lots of us!) that don’t need an XY chromosome in their lives in order to feel complete. Trust me, honeychild, I can lift heavy things all by myself. I don’t need you to kill the spider on the wall for me. I don’t need you to build the dresser I just bought from Ikea. (This edit-out is for you, commenter Mark! 😉 ) Despite what you may have been taught, I don’t need a penis in my life to define who I am as a person. I would also note that it is especially unwise to assume that you know a damn thing about someone that you’ve only known for 45 minutes.

Lesson Two: Rudely Objectifying The Woman You Are Dating Is Not Funny

You sir, are not funny. In fact, I’ve seen more hilarious jokes come out of a gag reel from 1983. I don’t know for sure if you were trying to get laughs when you completely dehumanized the woman you are supposed to love. Maybe that’s just your personality. (NOTE: If so, you have a shitty personality.) I actually don’t know what you were trying to achieve, but I can assure you that all you managed to do was make yourself look like an ass. I have to say, my heart goes out to your girlfriend. Because if that’s honestly how you think of her, she needs to get the hell outta dodge before you try and rope her in for life.

Lesson Three: Think Before You Speak

I know this one is probably asking a lot from you, because this last lesson requires you to actually use your brain. I think that with time though, even YOU can learn how to think before you speak–thus avoiding situations like this in the future. Think about it. Think about how rude it is to assume you know something about a person you never met. Think about how inappropriate to pass judgement on another person’s life, without knowing anything about it. Think about how fucking offensive it is to my girlfriend: the insinuation that I would actually leave the amazing woman that I love just because some meathead with a penis came along and “swept me off my feet”. There’s a hell of a lot more to it, homeslice, then what your peabrain is capable of understanding. And no, just because you cite your sister as a source (“My sister was a lesbian, then she got a boyfriend and she isn’t anymore”) does not count for all lesbians–or her for that matter. She could be bi, or pan, or straight, or gay, or whateverthefuck she wants to be and just like me, DOESN’T NEED YOU DEFINING HER SEXUALITY.

There you have it, man-boy. Three simple steps, and you’re on your way to escaping the debilitating Douchebaggery that must affect your everyday life. I can assure you that if you just listen to me, you will be well on your way to changing your life for the better.

And if you don’t want to listen to me? Well, judgement can be a two-way street. You tell me that I need a man to make me straight,I tell you that your pathetic pubic-hair mustache makes you look like a pedophile. Cheers! xx

20130709-215438.jpg

The “New” Normal

You should have seen her face.

You should have seen her face when I leaned in for that kiss. Panic. Fear. Involuntarily, her whole body shifted as far away from mine as she could get within the confines of the tiny red car that she drives. She didn’t say anything at first, but her actions spoke loud and clear: no no no no no. And then after that? A curt and nervous: “Yeah, ok, bye.”
My heart dropped, and my face flooded with embarrassment. In that moment, I felt like the little boy on the playground, chasing the little girl and seeking out an ill-advised first kiss. Except, in this scenario, I’m not a little boy. I’m another little girl, and that makes things a thousand times worse.

“It’s the PDA. It’s the uniform.”

I tell you. I can actually smell the bullshit from here.

Because if I were her husband, or she mine, and we were living in some hunky-dory heteronormative fantasyland, this would have never been an issue. But I’m not, and we aren’t, and despite living in a newly post-DOMA country, in a marriage equality state, it is still not “ok” for me to kiss my girlfriend of nearly a year goodbye. In front of exactly zero other souls. Apparently it is ok, though, to treat the woman you love as if she’s some sort of leper. Unintentionally or not.

20130708-192415.jpg

While there is a part of me that rages at her, the more sound, logical part of my brain realizes: this is not her fault. After all, she lived a military life long before DADT was repealed, and a hell of a lot longer before the recent DOMA ruling. She lived a life that she had to keep hidden, lest she lose everything she worked so hard to achieve. Old habits, and all that. And even now, in this newly emerging country, I’m willing to bet my entire left leg that there are some dirty scoundrels working in the higher-ranks that would no sooner toss her (and others like her) out for “one reason or another”: just because’s she’s gay. It’d all be a matter of convenience. The military is wrapped so tightly in tradition, I can understand her fear. But I can’t understand how continuing to keep things hush-hush is going to change a damn thing.

Some of you are rolling your eyes at me. “It’s just a kiss” you say. “There are more important things.” Well, sure, asshole, there are more important things, like world peace, and equality, and liberty and justice for all. And while my (lack of a) kiss on a military base can’t even hold a candle to the fights and struggles of other military couples like Ashley Broadway and her wife Heather Mack, it’s what I have to offer right now to our fight for equality. (Seriously, if you just crawled out of your hole and don’t know who she is, read her story. That woman is incredible, and is one of my modern day heroes.) If you still think that this is so simple, the point that you’re missing is that this fear of “just a kiss” has derived from something a hell of a lot more evil. It’s bigger then “just a kiss”, and if you would get your heads out of your asses, you’d realize that.

It’s about showing everyone that this “new normal” is not new at all. We’ve always been here. Now, we can just show it more freely without being (as) afraid of losing our jobs or our lives. It’s about showing the people who are against us that: A) We are just like them, and B)We are not going away.

I refuse to “tone it down” or hide who I am for someone else’s comfort. I’m not streaking in the streets–I’m kissing my fucking girlfriend goodbye before she leaves for a long workday. I’m holding her hand as we walk through a city park. I’m buying groceries, and taking them home, and cooking her dinner–just like everyone else. I have never, ever felt shame about my sexuality. I have never felt fear of showing who I am. Who knows. Maybe it’s just my personality. Maybe I don’t give two fucks. (Scratch that, I definitely don’t give two fucks.) And here’s a newsflash to you, (Far-Righties and religious zealots especially) I NEVER WILL. I know that I’m lucky to even have the option to be as outspoken and aggressive as I am. Many LGBT community members live in places where it is downright dangerous to even resemble “gay”. And because of that, it is even more important that I keep fighting: for myself, and for those who can’t. It’s because of people like Ashley Broadway, and Edie Windsor, and even the little voices like me, that one day, we will be equal. This is the new normal, and it is here to stay.

(You know, I never did get my kiss this morning. I, in my signature hot-headed Italian way, walked off in a fury. But my love gets done work in ten minutes, so we’ll see. I’ll admit: I’m taking a chance publishing this post. It has massive potential to land me right in the doghouse. I could be sleeping on the proverbial couch for a while. Oooor….she could wise up, and I might finally get that kiss. 😉 )

An Open Letter

Unless you’ve just now crawled out from the cave you’ve been hiding in for a few weeks, you’ve probably heard that recently, the United States Supreme Court has ruled both Section 3 of the Defense Of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 as unconstitutional.
As a member of the LGBT community, I am rejoicing in this news. And as such, I’m taking a break from blogging about undergarments to write an open letter to the Supreme Court, as well as to all the gay-marriage “haters” (my god, I hate that term, but it’s so appropriate right now.) out there.
Ahemhemhem….

20130703-125406.jpg
image from TheNewCivilRightsMovement.com

Dear Supreme Court,

I wish there was a way to put this delicately…
It’s about damn time!

Admit it, you probably made up your minds way before last Thursday. DOMA and Prop8 were probably a done deal halfway through the hearings, but you just had to make us sweat it out, didn’t you? I mean, waiting until the very last day to hand down rulings on two of the most landmark cases in history? Pure publicity stunt, for sure. Pure genius, because the internet exploded about 25 seconds after the rulings were announced, but still. A little cruel, guys, a little cruel. I sat on pins and needles for weeks, waiting to hear if I would finally be considered equal under the eyes of the law. And imagine, at 22 years old, I have hardly seen any hardships compared to the discrimination that the older, wiser members of the LGBT community have experienced.

It started at Stonewall, and it will end with you. Because 5 out of 9 of you thought enough to remove your heads from your asses, millions of American citizens can sleep a little more soundly at night, knowing that if anything were to happen to them, they wouldn’t have to worry about their partners being barred from their bedside. I don’t have to worry about being viewed as a second class citizen by the USAF, should my girlfriend and I decide to take the plunge and wed. Our children would be eligible for military benefits, just like any other military children. I would like to extend personal Internet High-Fives to Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan, and Sotomayor for being the ones to say “Up yours” to DOMA. I’ll buy you all drinks, the next round’s on me.

As for Justices Scalia, Roberts, Thomas, and Alito?

Where is my javelin? Because those bastards deserve to be javelinned RIGHT OUT OF THEIR SEATS AND INTO OBLIVION. Perhaps, Justices, someone needs to remind you of your job description. Maybe then you’d stop trying to push your ridiculous, bigoted agenda on the rest of the country. If you four can not see the blatant and disgusting discrimination that was written into that now by-gone law, you need to have the prescription of your bifocals checked.

An extrasuperspecial “Fuck Off!” to Antonin Scalia for his frothy dissent of the court’s decision, wherein he gave special comment to “homosexual sodomy”. Slow down, ol’ boy. You certainly have a lot to say about what happens in homosexual bedrooms. Battling some inner demons, eh?

So that’s it, folks. We’ve won this battle. Though the war is far from over, we can rest easy for a bit knowing that this time: we won.

I Want To See You Be Brave

20130611-130818.jpg

Sara Bareilles just released a new song and video from her upcoming album, entitled “Brave”. It encourages the listener to be brave, speak up for what they believe in, and to not let fear control their lives. (I think this is awesome. Ten thousand brownie points for Sara Bareilles!)

As I was driving to work, I was listening to this song (over, and over, and over again), and it got me to thinking: what does it mean to be brave? For a lot of people, the word “brave” conjures images of superheroes and war veterans. You know, the few and the proud. For others, it brings to mind great, heroic actions: rescuing someone who is drowning, throwing oneself in front of a bullet for another, saving a life. And while all these things are massively brave things to do, I believe that bravery–like people–comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

For someone struggling with addiction or disorder, bravery is finally asking for help.

For someone who is being bullied, bravery is finally standing up and staying “Stop”.

For someone who has body image issues, bravery is saying “Screw you!” to impossible standards of beauty. It is finally loving who they are instead of struggling to become who everyone says they should be.

For someone hiding their sexuality, bravery is standing up and saying “This is who I am! Take it or leave it.” And if people decide to leave it, bravery is telling those folks not to let the door hit them on the way out.

Bravery is standing up for what you believe in, and shouting it off the rooftops. It’s sticking up for those who can’t, and speaking loudly for those with no voice.

For me, bravery was finally saying “Enough.” to a bad relationship, and getting the hell out of dodge. Then, bravery was allowing my heart to be open despite all the hurt I had felt, and falling in love again.

Sure, those veterans and heroes are brave. But “big” isn’t the only measure of bravery. So, if it means putting on a bikini for the first time, coming out to your folks, or finally breaking off that toxic friendship/relationship, go ahead.

I want to see you be brave.

20130611-135521.jpgimage from tumblr

Expanding On “Real”

I recently ranted quite a bit about the concept of “Real Women”. It quickly became one of my most-viewed posts, and after it hit the fan, it got me to thinking.
You see, if you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I’m a lesbian. A member of the LGBT community, if you will. And within that “LGBT” there is still one group that gets judged, excluded, and generally shit on by the rest of them. (I won’t say “us”, because I don’t tolerate that kind of nonsense, so I obviously don’t take part in it.) Despite all the harsh judgement and inequalities that we face from the Far-Righties and Religious Extremists every single day, there are members of the community that think it’s cool to exclude others simply because they are “different”. I’m talking, of course, about the “T” in that LGBT sandwich. The transgendered community is constantly hassled. Backs are regularly turned on them, because they don’t fit some imaginary standard that we have placed upon ourselves. Even civil right’s organizations like the HRC have ousted them, which is about twenty different kinds of fucked up.

While writing my “Real Women” rage, I made sure to include transgendered women, because it’s the damn truth. Women that are born transgendered are just as real as you and I. But you see, some people disagree with me. (Probably the same assholes who think “real women have curves” and “only dogs like bones”.) These people say that transgendered women aren’t “real women” because they aren’t born into the bodies that match up with their gender identity. I actually overheard someone say that “A woman can’t really be a woman if she’s born with a penis.”
To that guy, and all the others like him, I say: fuck you.

Seriously. Fuck you, dude, because you are a bag of douche. No, you are multiple bags of douche. Making judgmental blanket statements about people that you know literally NOTHING about reserves you a special spot in the 7th Circle Of Hell.
So, you’re wondering how I reacted to hearing this? Well, as you can see, first I got mad. (A special thanks to my wonderful Italian temper, and my sassy aunt.)

After I was done spitting fire and blowing smoke out of my ears, I reached out to these women. Because even though they don’t have a damn thing to prove to jerks like that, they deserve a voice. So, I posted a question on Reddit.com, and a few lovely ladies over there were willing to give some answers to my question:

“What body image issues do you struggle with?”

Their answers ranged. Shoe size. Ribcage size. Hair texture. Inability to gain weight/too much weight. Lack of curves. Body dismorphiya. Too fat. Too skinny. Too tall. Too short.

Sound familiar?

That’s right, folks, transgendered women suffer from the same damn body image issues that cisgendered women suffer from. Shock. Awe. No shit. And do you know why that is? Because, despite their obvious struggles to overcome, they are no different then the rest of us. Regardless of the bodies that they were born into, these women still wake up in the morning and pick out what to wear. They still have bad hair days. They still have low-self esteem days, and days that they feel like a million bucks. They are women, just like the rest of us, and they are the group of women who could arguably be hurt the most by all that “Real Women” rubbish.

They already have the queer community telling them they aren’t “real”.
They already have the heterosexual community, which is sometimes drowning in ignorance, telling them they aren’t “real”.
And on top of all that, they have this “real women have curves” catchphrase telling them that they aren’t real, because sometimes, they don’t have curves.

This, ladies and germs, is why it is so important to crush this idea into a million itty bitty pieces. As a collective group, women need to stop the hating, labeling, scrutinizing, and stereotyping, because if we opened our eyes, we’d see exactly how damaging it is. It isn’t a matter of fat versus skinny anymore, because society has evolved past that. There are more than two different kinds of women, and thus there are more than two different kinds of women that can be hurt by the message behind the “real women” movement. (So seriously, cut that shit out.)

I will repeat it until I’m blue in the face: all women are real women.

I won’t admit to being an expert on the transgendered community. I don’t know the etiquette and I don’t know all of the terminology, but the fact of the matter is, I hold women’s issues very dear to my heart. Inclusivity makes the world go ’round, and I’ve had it up to HERE with one group or another being excluded because they don’t exhibit enough of this or that. And if I didn’t work hard to make sure that all women and their issues are included in my fight, then I’d be doing a half-assed job of it, wouldn’t I?

20130509-235200.jpg

photo from GTFOThinspo.com

“I Do!” (Not Tolerate Bigots)

Marriage Equality

For me, the subject of Marriage Equality is a hot-button issue. Maybe I missed the window for this discussion, and it’s not “hip” anymore to change your profile picture to a little red “=” and talk about how all human beings deserve equal rights. Regardless, that was then and this is now, and I think it’s important to keep the discussions going.
If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll notice that there’s usually some in-my-face occurrence that leads me to ramble about any given topic. For this particular topic, it was this little gem:

20130502-131555.jpg

Now, if I keep telling you people about how I delete friends from my Facebook list, you’re going to think that everyone I know is a douchebag. Not true, my friends are amazing and I love them dearly. (Hats off to you, friends!) The person who posted THAT, however, did receive a deletion that was swift and sure. It was a serious “screw you!” kind of removal in which I literally typed up a massive rant on his post, deleted it, gave my computer screen the finger and gave that fucker the proverbial boot into cyberspace.

“But Jessica!” You say. “Everyone is entitled to their beliefs! That post wasn’t outright hateful. Why did you cut that person off like a minivan in traffic?”

Because, beautiful readers, what is written on that post is quite possibly the DUMBEST SHIT I HAVE EVER HEARD.

That statement makes not one single, solitary bit of sense. It says: “I’m your friend. I won’t judge you. But I don’t support homosexuality.”
To me, that actually reads this way:
“I won’t judge you, but I don’t support who you are. So really, I’m actually judging you even though I said I wasn’t going to, which makes me both a liar and a hypocrite.”
To me, that post says nothing but “I consider you to be less than me because of who you are. And because I think this, you do not deserve the same rights as me.”
Why would anyone want a “friend” who believes that? I certainly don’t.

I’m sure this post will ruffle a few feathers. A lot of Christians* use the Bible as a reference point for their bigotry. But listen here. I went to catholic school. I can sling bible versus with the best of them. But to my knowledge, the whole basis of the Good Book is “treat others as you want to be treated” and “judge not lest ye be judged”….
…But we conveniently forget that when we don’t agree with something, don’t we? We paraphrase the book, take what we want, and screw you to the other parts that are inconvenient to us.

“But Jessica!” Some of you might say. “Being gay is a choice. You are choosing to go against the word of God.”

As much as I hate using cliched arguments, riddle me this: when did you decide to be heterosexual? Have you involved yourselves with another man (for the guys), or a hottie lady (for my girls), just to be sure that you are truly heterosexual?

(I could write a series of blog posts on that topic alone. It makes my blood boil. A man once asked my girlfriend if she had ever tried having sex with a man, just to be sure she was gay. Her response was much more polite and ladylike then mine would have been, which is something along the lines of: “Hey buddy, why don’t you take your own advice, start handing BJs out like candy, and let me know how that goes for you, ok?”)

I did not choose to be gay. I AM. And honey, I DID try men. The big “D” is not my cup of tea, thanks, so take that little nugget and go somewhere. I don’t know any homosexual person who chose to have a life more difficult then others. People don’t like to be discriminated against, dummy. I chose to be gay the same way that you chose to be straight. Dig it?

Here’s the thing: there is supposed to be a clear and definite Separation of Church And State in our government. So if someone could please tell me why the whole basis of a lot of anti-gay lawmakers and citizens argument is “because it’s a sin”.

Uh…”Separation of Church and State…”

If that’s your argument, I don’t think you realize what that phrase means…

So let me educate you! It means:

Keep your god-damned**religion OUT of my civil human rights. Keep it out of my government. Keep it out of my constitution. Keep it to yourself.

*not all! My best friend in the world is Roman Catholic, and has never preached to me a day in her life. This post is for the ignorant or extremist Christians. You other guys are cool in my book.)

**pun not completely intentional, but valid nonetheless.

Diary of A Femme-bot

As a lesbian, I tend to frequent gay/lesbian bars. (Shocking. I know.)
Logically speaking, you would think that frequenting these places of business–those geared specifically to my community–I would be free to go about my girly-gay business without the permeating stares that I get on a regular day out and about with my girlfriend. You would think that, right?

WRONG.

You see, because even in gay-centered businesses, bars, restaurants, and entire sections of city (Here’s looking at you, Gayborhood, Philadelphia!), I am still looked at as a spectacle amongst my peers. Why? Because, apparently, one can not be both a lesbian and feminine.

If you’re shocked, join the club. Maybe I missed Lesbian 101, but I was always under the impression that the short-hair-cut/flannel/tattoos/beanie/work boots thing was just a cliched stereotype. I always thought that just because I like lipstick, high heels, dresses, ponies, and the color purple, it was only my fervent enjoyment of the big V-word that qualified me as a lesbian.

I’ll be straight (ha!) with you here. I’m 22 freakin’ years old. I have had two boyfriends, and two girlfriends in my entire life. (And a handful of lesbian make-out-flings-in-dark-clubs, but who’s counting?) I’m sorry that I’m not perfect. I’m sorry that I struggled with my sexuality for a few years before the HomoFairy visited me in my dreams, smacked me roughly around the head, and instructed me to “get with the fucking program, you don’t like boys, you like girls”. I’m no Gold Star Lesbian, but I can say with certainty that while men are wonderful (I even have some of them as friends, shock and awe!), penises are icky, and I don’t ever want to see one again, thanks. I’m a lesbian. I promise. But apparently I’m not, according to my community.

If I had a dollar for every “you’re not gay, you’re straight” comment I’ve gotten from other lesbians, I’d quit my job with the little ones and open my own Cat House. I’ve been told that I’m not a “real” lesbian, because I dated a few (literally, only two) men in my life. I’m not a “real” lesbian because I like to dress up. I had a gay man in a unisex bathroom tell me that I “couldn’t be gay, because you’re too pretty to be gay.” I SHIT YOU NOT. HE SAID THOSE WORDS. Here I was, holding the stall door shut for my girlfriend whom, if I’m not mistaken, I’ve seen naked a few times or so, and BAM. This guy lays that on me.

I’m not a lesbian because I’m girly.
I’m not a lesbian because I’ve had boyfriends.
I’m not a lesbian because I’m “actually bisexual”.
I’m not a lesbian because it’s just a phase.

All of these things I’ve been told not by miscellaneous heterosexuals, family, or friends, but by random members of my own communityDespite all of the hardship, struggle, and judgement we face EVERY DAY by the Far Righties, Extreme Christian Agenda, and douchebags in general, here we are JUDGING OUR OWN PEOPLE. We are such a diverse group of beautiful and individual people. I don’t understand why we still feel the need to box others into what we feel they “should” be.

So, beautiful queer community, I will clear this up for you one last time:

I am girly. I like lipstick. I like lingerie. I like pink and things that sparkle. I like good books, and coffee, and intelligent conversation. And how much of this is relevant to the fact that I am also a huge, flaming lesbian? None of the above.