greenie_breizh: (gay)
Deux adoptions à l'étranger par des couples homosexuels reconnues en France. (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] semisweetsoul for the info!)

Great news for these couples, and nother small step forward for the possible future recognition of LGBT/queer families, but it actually has fairly little impact for French same-sex couples who currently live and raise their family in France. The situation is growing increasingly ludicrous, as is the case for marriage, where LGB French citizens are actually at a disadvantage when compared to people in transnational situation. Ugh. Here is to more hoping that we finally start treating our LGBT/queer citizens the same as straight citizens and straight couples...
greenie_breizh: (annoyed)
I am really fucking tired of people who express "concerns" over whether or not kids raised by same-sex parents will have their "psychic development" affected. Have we had enough time to figure it out, they say, blah blah BLAH.

1) Look it up, for fuck's sake. We've been studying this for DECADES, so if you're going to have an opinion about this and get offended when someone points out the very question comes from a heterosexist place: look it up. It's not that hard.

2) I hate, hate the normalization that comes with pseudo-psychoanalyst discourses. What the fuck is a normal psychic development, and why would kids with two moms or two dads be less likely to enjoy that? I really wish we would stop cajoling people who ask BS questions by telling them their questions is "legitimate" yet never challenging where the question even comes from. The way we cling to gender differentiation (and the fact that the "two sexes" are complementary) like it's more important than any other aspect of life makes me want to bang my head against the wall.

3) These kids would probably do a LOT BETTER without well-meaning douches to ask them (directly or indirectly, by making it an issue) if they're OK with their parents, if they don't think their family is weird, etc.

That was your mini rant for the day, there might be more (I'm listening to a radio show on homosexuality in France). Ugh, heterosexist attitudes. I'm really losing my patience over here, especially with "well-meaning people" (we all are - who the fuck claims they're proud homophobes anymore). Sorry for the anger, but sometimes, I really feel like I'm done being nice about this kind of shit.
greenie_breizh: (gay)
So I was hoping to find a children's book in French featuring two dads or a gay couple, but apparently that's... nearly impossible? The few children's book on the topic tend to feature two moms, and I have problems with most of them anyway. I just wanted a children's book with two dads about something that's not discrimination. :/ Like King & King is actually pretty awesome, but it doesn't exist in French? Le sigh.

For those of you on twitter who were asking for references should I find something, so far the best list I've found is on the APGL website.

On a cute note, the other night we were playing the Werewolf game with my cousins and we were playing with the Cupid character, who chooses two players who will be "in love" for the rest of the game. My brother (I think) reminded everyone the couple doesn't have to be a boy and a girl and my 13-year-old cousin agreed and said, yeah, it can be two girls or two boys. I'm not certain he really made the link with actual gay couples but I liked how matter-of-fact he was about it. :)
greenie_breizh: (random1)
I'm a little grumpy for no good reason. I am so tired of GRE prep that I wish I was taking the test tomorrow and not Thursday, so I can get it over with. I badly want distractions but I also have a million little things to do. Which is why I'm updating my LJ. Obviously.

A few happy gay things:
- Sharon just called.
- Lesbians given equal birth rights in the UK. Birth certificates of babies born through artificial insemination can now list two moms, which is awesome but makes me wonder how it works in the case of adoption? I would hope this applies there, too.
- Ben & Jerry's renames one of their ice creams Hubby Hubby in celebration of Vermont beginning same-sex marriages this month.
- The Kid by Dan Savage. I said fuck it and read a book for myself. It was a fast, easy read and I loved it. It's touching, funny, realistic, honest, and I don't always agree with what Dan says but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It felt so good to read something so fast and easy, too.

I also want to quickly review the movies I've been seeing this month but I am too lazy to do that tonight so instead I shall rec fic: Mario Kart Skills Are Outrageous by [livejournal.com profile] oxymoronassoc. It's Zac/Vanessa smut so omg het + omg rpf + omg NC-17 so I don't think many of you will want to give it a go but if you're willing to you will see it's SO GOOD. It's hilarious and dorky and right on spot with voices and hot and I just. Really love it. And I would love to hear what you guys think.
(There's one little thing that keeps bothering me in the Zanessa fics I've been reading but I'm too lazy to rant about that, too.)

That's it for tonight.
greenie_breizh: (hug)
La justice refuse d'établir un lien de parenté entre Antoine, né sous X, et ses grands-parents biologiques.

Summary of the article - French law allows women to give birth anonymously, meaning their name does not appear on any legal document or certificate, including the child's birth certificate. Filiation is thus not established.
This is what happened to the little boy in the story, who was then adopted by a family. Except his biological grandparents, after his biological mother's suicide, found out about him, and wanted to claim him as their grandchild. They proceeded to try and stop the couple from finalizing the adoption of the boy ('adoption plénière', which means the law creates filiation with the adoptive parents and official papers no longer make mention of anyone else).
But the judge ruled that by giving birth anonymously, the mother has severed ties between the child and his biological family, and thus the adoptive couple was in the right. The grandparents cannot claim the child as their own.

I think it's good thing that we would privilege social bonds over biological bonds, or at least not privilege biological bonds over all others. I also think the grandparents were somewhat overstepping boundaries by disregarding their daughter's choice... but I can understand that they would want to have some kind of ties with the child. Sad thing is, having gone to court and through that presumably painful experience, I think it's going to make it tough for the grandparents and the adoptive family to maintain ties - so the possibility that the kid could grow up having an extra set of grandparents, and being loved by his parents and his biological grandparents, is probably unlikely now. But it is still probably the best possible outcome for this boy.
greenie_breizh: (funny)
My grandma's first email response to me:

"mamie bisous heureuse de communiquer avec toi coucou bisous"
(grannie kisses happy to communicate with you hi kisses)

I think she's still working to figure out the difference between email and a wire. XD
greenie_breizh: (silence)
There are few issues where the sexism inherent to homophobia is more visible than on the question of same-sex parenting. I'm watching an episode of 30 Days where a woman (mom) who opposes gay couple raising kids is sent to a same-sex parented family for a month.

Three minutes into the episode and she declares, "if you're raised in a gay and lesbian environment, you're just not going to get both sides of the story. you're going to get two mom points of view, you're going to get two dad points of view and it's just not the best possible environment to raise a child." Of course, the question then becomes... what on earth is a "mom point of view" or a "dad point of view"? That's a rhetorical question, obviously, we all know what the stereotypical mom and dad are like. But boy, that's a very limited view of gender roles...

And actually, a minute later, great answer to this by one of the gay dads: "when someone tells me every child needs a mom, I say if you mean that every child needs someone who's warm and loving and nurturing and supportive of their kids... we do that." It would have been nice to point out there's no reason this role has to be fulfilled by a woman, but that's a good start. :)

Interestingly enough, the woman (I need to get her name so I stop calling her that) speaks of putting the gay family "to the test". I say interesting because families are not usually put to the test unless they've been proven unfit through social services for example. Gay families are in the very interesting position that, solely because the child is going to be raised by a gay couple, we find it appropriate to scrutinize. This does not happen with single-parent households, a necessary parrallel to draw whenever you're talking same-sex parented households; I wonder if it's because we unconsciously think the simple possibility of an opposite-sex parent (in the case of straight single parents) entering the child's life as some point had any sort of consequence?

First day of school for the kids - one of the dads (I'm going to learn their names, too, promise) has this little speech to their kids about how they can decided whether or not to tell their friends and their teacher knows and it's going to be okay and all that. Katie (the woman!) recognizes that this is a lot of weight to put on a 6-year-old's shoulders, but she seems stuck on the idea that kids shouldn't know about gay couples this early on and that's the problem. When really, the only reason the decision to tell other kids or not rises from the fact that other kids might be unwelcoming of such information and thus other kids might make that 6-year-old's life difficult, not his two dads. Where does the fault lie? It's at the crux of everything, and I'm curious to see if Katie will come to see differently by the end of this month.

"For me to hear that the children are learning at a very young age that it's okay to be like that, it's a little bit scary like that." That's, really, what it comes down to and I really like that Katie's being upfront about it. I'm a little annoyed by the COLAGE people who misunderstood her and started going on about how the kids are not learning to be gay. Katie's right - the kids are absolutely learning that it's okay to be gay. Just like kids raised by parents of two different races would integrate very early on that biracial love is all right. Suddenly the problem has shifted from kids needing a mom and a dad to kids learning that gay is okay. Why isn't gay okay? That's what the women from COLAGE should have discussed with Katie.

A teenager having been raised by her mom and her female partner (plus her dad and his female partner) explains that she's happy her mom decided to be true to herself and live out her homosexuality because the teen believes it would have been a pretty bad upbringing if her mom had been unhappy. "Happy homes raise good kids. Unhappy homes don't."

Now a young woman who was raised by a gay dad who'd talk about bathhouse sex at the kitchen table and would talk her to sex shops when she was very young. Um, anyone want to point out the problem might be with that specific individual and his conception of parenthood rather than with his being gay? Katie also just said there is an icky factor for her with the thought of two men sleeping together with kids down the hall. How is that different from a mom and a dad having sex down the hall? I hope this is going to be raised again. Sexuality is super important in the sense that we make it central when it's not. At least it's not central to homosexuality more than it is to heterosexuality.

"But when gay couples try to have children, human anatomy wins out every time." (Morgan's narrator voice) Two problems with that: first and foremost, gay couples are not infertile, they just can't produce offspring together. This goes much further than we can right now but we really need to question this obsession we have with biological filiation. Second thing, that's got little incidence on the whole issue since nobody's suggesting we stop infertile couples from having kids via adoption or alternative methods.

Dude. In San Francisco at least, you could make $8,000 a year if you donate sperm twice a week for a year. That's impressive. Bothers me a little since that's only an option available for men but I suspect that's me being picky and annoying.

I really have a problem with the way that Katie is making this a battle for laws - "we'll see who wins". First of all because I think it's very unhealthy to present it as a war, it's likely to leave much deeper wounds like this. At the same time it's a reality that people feel they're both defending the "right" side. But truly my problem is that this isn't happening on equal ground, and there's a real problem with the majority deciding what rights a minority can or cannot have - based on a random common characteristic of a minority group (here, sexual orientation) rather than on an element that's been proven to be hurtful to children in itself.

Katie - like a lot of people out there who are opposed to same-sex parenting - are ultimately uncomfortable with homosexual behavior, meaning really, sexual behavior, which is amazing to me, because that really, really doesn't touch how people raise their families. Moreover she's making assumptions about how Tom and Denis have (or don't have, who knows) sex. I wish she'd get to discuss that with someone.

Fascinating - Denis and Tom have invited over one of their adopted son's biological family, including an aunt and uncle who took care of him for a while, and they're the ones who are being most hostile to Katie's moral judgement which is based on something she's decided on rather randomly (and because of what her church told her) rather than based on facts and knowledge of the situation. Anyway, so the aunt is being really angry that Katie doesn't want gay and lesbian families to raise kids because the aunt says why does it matter, and woah, that should mean a lot coming from a straight woman who's had to deal with a foster situation. (Why does it matter - because of the openness of homosexuality and lesbianism, says Katie... what openness? Sexual openness or open-mindedness to homosexuality? These are too radically different things and I'm surprised she hasn't said anything about that considering we've yet to see Denis and Tom peck.)

"Our fear is that having her beliefs challenged is not opening her mind but rather cementing her opposition." (Tom? I think.) That's the real difficulty when dealing with those situations - you have to challenge but not attack. People are going to be very uncomfortable and they need a space where they can learn to ride out this discomfort. P-FLAG (and in France, Contact) are usually a good space for that but in the context of the show, Katie is not getting that and I think that's not helping.

"I know it in my heart that I am right." Hm. See, that's a big problem I have with a lot of religious people. Now, there's nothing wrong about feeling right, we all do; but there is a point where belief needs to be supplemented with facts. And if facts don't match belief, there is nothing wrong with reevaluating beliefs. There's nothing belittling about that, but it always feels like we're losing, and it shouldn't. We would really be better off teaching kids that it's okay to learn and adapt what we think based on what we know.

For Katie there is also a very, very strong religious component that makes her unwavering in what she believes. I wish we would talk to an open-minded priest for example. I think that could really help to see how some people (straight, gay or religious authorities) manage to reconcile the reality that same-sex parented families can (can, not necessarily are) be good homes with her god's words.

At the end, Tom pretty much tells Katie he doesn't think he can be friends with someone who's so fundamentally opposed to what has brought wonders to his life and Katie leaves upset. I understand why she would be, but isn't it amazing? That we could be expected to be rejected and take it; even be friends with the people who reject us. Turn the other cheek - isn't that what Christians are supposed to do? Yet if we do that, it still doesn't make us any less sinful because ultimately, homosexuality trumps everything else that we are and do as humans.

"Everybody is allowed to have their feelings." Katie is remarkable for at least admitting that. But like Tom says at some point, the problem is when someone takes their feelings and tries to turn it into laws by banning gay couples from adopting. That doesn't allow everyone to have their feelings - that forces everyone to act according to one group's beliefs.

Anyway - so after the episode around animal rights where we really saw progress in the guy's attitude, this one was vaguely disappointing. Because of the outcome but also because there is so much more I would have liked to see, as someone who knows a lot of this issue. The outcome wasn't unexpected, though, especially because of the religious aspect that ties the issue to a greater value system and makes it feel like changing opinion on this one thing threatens the whole value system. Plus people are often very slow to change opinion on gay issues, because it's engrained so deep inside us... and we have this amazing capacity to say "I like you as a person and think you make a great parent but I disagree with the idea of homosexuality thus I feel entitled to forbid you from having kids". The contradiction would be funny if it didn't affect thousands of lives - of parents and kids alike.

I'm not so naive as to think it's all going to be all right, but this kind of thing reminds me just how difficult it will be to be able to reach that point where gay and lesbian are treated just like everyone else and not judged on who they love alone.
greenie_breizh: (horse)
I read Sharon Creech's Love That Dog yesterday and while I recommend the whole of it (it's really short) to anyone who can get their hands on that book, I wanted to copy two extracts. It reveals one key point of the story, so I'm going to put it behind a cut.

--
JANUARY 24 )

MAY 14 - MY SKY )

Punch

Sep. 4th, 2004 07:53 am
greenie_breizh: (melancholy)
Went to see my great grandma today, with my family, since I can't attend the funeral on Monday, what with being in Paris and all. She was lying on her bed at her old people's house. Turns out she died in an operation because it was the second one in 24 hours she was getting. Probably was best for her, she was 94 and even though she still had perfect use of her brain, it was just getting hard. You can't help your body from becoming exhausted. She was - just very still. Toying with the thought she just wasn't going to open her eyes was strange.

My mom said that when my grandma died, when I was 6 and a half, I was the one who insisted going to the funeral. I also put drawings I did for her in her coffin. I used to draw for her room in the hospital. I just wanted to write it down somewhere. I kinda wish I go back in time and see how Little Me dealt with it. I remember parcels of it, but it's blurry and I wonder if parts of it I didn't just make up. But somehow, it makes me feel good. To think that I thought about giving my grandma something when she died.

I wonder why I can still cry thinking of her. How much memory and imagination are part of it.
greenie_breizh: (trees)
Me happy, though me dirty. Just went and spent the afternoon at my riding club, Le Placis Vert. Gaëlle was there for her week-long session (I'm not sure hwo to explain that - during the summer, you can come and ride for a whole week - we call that a "stage" but it doesn't translate well in English) and she was trying to get her "4th Gallop" (a Gallop is a riding level in Europe - there are 9 of them) and I'm pretty sure she did. So Glacier was ridden by a young girl trying for the 4th Gallop too, but I just got to cuddle him and take care of him, so it made me happy.

On the whole, I just felt so good being over there with the horses and people riding and kids on small ponies, in the sun and surrounded by woods... I wish it was easier to go, and also that I had more time. I just loved it. Saw Mireille and Cécile, the two owners, and talked with them. I'm going back next week, on Monday and Tuesday morning, and then Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, to help out and ride Glacier. I'm so so excited and happy about it. I can't wait to be on a horse again. Can't wait to ride Glacier. I hope we'll go in the woods.


On a totally different level, my parents are apparently getting very serious about buying a small house on the seaside near Vannes. And I learned that my grandpa had another investment acccount in my name, with money I could use whenever (but that I'm going to keep invested). I'm so grateful for my grandpa. I mean, he's such a nice and amazing person, and he does so much for us. I'll feel really bad if he has to move to an old-person house.

Finally, talked to Andrew again, and he keeps talking about coming to visit. I would so adore to. Now I'm in crazy mode and thinking maybe we could make it so he visits and then we go see [livejournal.com profile] fan_elune together in England. Seriously now, even just his coming would be so amazing. I want to see him again. I want to cuddle. I miss Americans' easiness with cuddling, touching, physical comforting.

Okay, really need to get around studying now. Off to take a shower though, taking care of with horses did not get any cleaner in the past year...! But who cares, Glacier's best and I love him completely and stupidly.

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November 2011

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