greenie_breizh: (gay)
Coming Out in Middle School
(I don't think this will go into the archives)

“When I first realized I was gay,” Austin interjected, “I just assumed I would hide it and be miserable for the rest of my life. But then I said, ‘O.K., wait, I don’t want to hide this and be miserable my whole life.’ ”

I asked him how old he was when he made that decision.

“Eleven,” he said.


--

I'm a very easy audience for stories about queer youth. Almost anything or everything about them touches me deep inside. I'm not even sure why, because I didn't put one and one together until my late teens myself and so these stories of finding oneself and navigating school as a queer kid are not my own. Well, there's not part of my individual history, anyway, because in so many ways they are mine. Over the years, I have heard them from so many people, I have lived them through friends, I have told them to countless people - these are narratives that I know so well, struggles that I understand so much.

I still remember at the MAG when we weren't sure what to do because the organization had originally been created for youth 16-25 and kids younger than that started to show up. Already we were surprised, and we weren't that much older. We welcomed them, obviously, and we continue to do so. I'm the one who welcomed the first 15-year-old that came in, and I still think of him so fondly today.

We live in such a heteronormative world - heterosexuality is everywhere, in what we say, what we see, what we hear - and to think that these kids at 10, 11, 12, already have enough strength and maturity to say they will not put up with it, they will not let it decide what feels good and what is right for them. I can't begin to explain how much this article makes me want to be more than a reader. I know I already am, in a way, because of the volunteer work I still do with LGBT youth and young adults, but I want to be even more, I miss the involvement I had with the MAG. I miss helping create a space where LGBT youth - where they, where we - could come together and find friends and talk and laugh and be happy. Being part of this community, once you scratch beyond the self-hatred and the prejudice, it's a beautiful thing, and I want to keep celebrating it, I want to keep helping youth find it.

There are things that interrogate me and bother me in the article, almost all of them having to do with different expectations for girls and boys. But regardless, the stories of these kids are heart-warming and heart-wrenching, and I hope I will keep being close to these narratives for a long while. Not just as a reader, not just as a researcher - but as someone who is part of a support system that celebrates kids who are different and wonderful and feisty and funny.
greenie_breizh: (identity)
Pour ceux que ça intéresse, dans Le Monde daté de demain (samedi 28 juin, jour de la Marche des Fiertés), il y a toute une page dédiée à la lutte contre l'homophobie avec en illustration le MAG et ses interventions en milieu scolaire.

Vous pouvez lire l'article en ligne ici.

Je connais le lycée, je connais le discours des lycéens, et je me retrouve beaucoup dans la description des interventions. Et je me rends compte, comme à la lecture d'un compte-rendu d'inter sur le site du MAG il y a quelques jours, que ça me manque vraiment beaucoup, de faire ce boulot, d'être investie dans cette assoc'.


EDIT: Il y a une interview sur Libération en plus. :D
greenie_breizh: (ecology)
Am in the middle of my third paper and it's frustrating me greatly because it's about water privatization and environmental issues are paramount to me - much more fundamentally important than issues of gender and sexuality, no matter how much I love, and how much more versed I am, in these two. But I'm finding it's a hard paper to write and I feel like I'm not going to do the topic justice and that annoys me. Funny thing, academia - last term I ended up finding it easier (and doing a better job) of the paper I wrote on the interplay between social inequalities and the school system than my Buffy paper (a topic I felt more strongly about).

The article about Firefly as anti-femininst that's been floating around has been on my mind, too, and I'm hoping to make a post about that this weekend - but I really need to get more done on this paper first.

I was mostly posting because I read that quote in an article and I can't decide if I agree with it completely or not, but it's at a crux of a lot of what I wonder when it comes to modern politics.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither." - Benjamin Franklin
greenie_breizh: (kiss)
[Keep in mind this isn't a usual research paper, we had to follow a very particular stucture - the core of the exercise is that we had to analyze three articles on a topic of our choice, and establish our critique within the framework of our class. Also, this paper isn't due until Tuesday, so any remark/criticism is more than welcome.]


Critical Research Paper
"Queering Society":
The intersection of sexual practices and sexual identities
amongst trans folks and their partners


Heterosexism, or heterosexual hegemony, is defined by the ideas and practices that posit heterosexuality as the only natural, normal and universal sexual expression (Ross, 2008), and is deeply embedded in our institutions, shaping our everyday assumptions about gender, sexuality, and sexual orientation. Even with homosexuality becoming more visible in today's Western culture, the binary system upon which heterosexism is founded has been little challenged – it could even be argued that gay rights activists, by often taking a essentialist stand on homosexuality in hopes of making it more acceptable to the general public, have reinscribed the very gender system that is at the roots of their oppression (Pascoe, 2005, p. 342). Bisexuality and transgenderism, on the other hand, are two categories that radically challenge these beliefs about sexuality and gender, by breaking from some aspects of the male/female binary gender structure. Because it is so profound, this rupture bothers us, and might explain the extent to which transphobia and biphobia pervade our whole society, and the gay and lesbian community often just as much as the straight world.

However, the nuances are not evident for the uninformed bystander, who has long confused transsexuality with homosexuality...
greenie_breizh: (clothesless)
So I have two ideas that I really want to explore for my term paper in Sociology of Sexualities, but I met with the prof yesterday and like I was afraid, it's probably going to be extremely hard finding any sort of scholarly article or research about either topics. :/

I wanted to look into either:
- the process of reconciliating gender identity, sexuality and sexual orientation in FtM sexuality; a lot of FtM stay "pre-op" in the sense that they don't get bottom surgery, because the surgery is extremely costly and not very satisfying because we basically don't know how to construct a penis; how do you approach sexuality when appearance and genitalia don't match? It blurs the lines of sexual orientation, in particular for the partner - if you're a guy falling in love and having sex with a guy who has a vagina, do you still label yourself as gay? Do you start identifying as bisexual? Do you construct sexuality as detached from sexual orientation?
- women (straight, gay or bi) who watch gay porn and the dynamics/meanings attached to this practice (and are the meanings different depending on self-identification).

I find the two topics fascinating and I really want to read about it, and write about either. I'm going to look around for maybe one article about each, because I could probably find ways to draw these two topics together around the idea of sexuality and sexual desires blurring lines of sexual orientation...

So if anyone around here has ever read a scholarly article (I can't cite an LJ rant!) about either topics, or has an idea of where I could find one or who could help me find one, I would love you forever if you could direct me to it/them!
greenie_breizh: (wtf)
We had a lockdown at university today. Knew almost nothing until I came home at night - we were advised to stay inside the AnSo building and we could hear helicopters hovering over campus, but our building's pretty isolated from the rest of campus so we couldn't see anything that was happening. Apparently the police called SWAT and locked down the bio building for a few hours because of a thread that was made, a person who could harm others.

A little strange. Mostly strange was going up to the door of the building and finding a handwritten sheet of paper that said "Do Not Leave The Building" even though nothing was wrong, as far as we could tell.

Apparently it's a university first, and the police's being that careful because of Virginia Tech.

A few links if anyone's interested in learning more: a blog entry by a student who was inside the Bio Building where everything went down, the RCMP post on their website, and a Vancouver Sun article.

(Uh. I don't really have a tag for this.)

PS. No one worry about me, by the way. I didn't see as much as the shadow of a police officer, like I said, the building I was in is isolated, and by the time I got out of class, at 5:30, it was over, and I didn't go by that part of campus anyway. Which is why it's a little surreal for me to think about it happening at all.
greenie_breizh: (nerds rock)
I have my perfect schedule for next year! Of course, it needs to be validated by Paris III (by three people), and it depends on courses not changing their hours and seats being left. But unless something goes wrong (and rest assured, it will, I'm just hoping it'll be minor), here is what it looks like:

1st term
Canadian Society - Mondays & Wednesdays, 16:00-17:30
Social Inequality - Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9:30-11:00
Gender, Education and Popular Culture - Tuesdays, 14:00-17:00

2nd term
Canadian Society - Mondays & Wednesdays, 16:00-17:30
Sociology of sexualities - Tuesdays & Thursdays, 16:00-17:30
Socialization and education - Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 14:00-15:00

It all fits really well with the idea of researching what's being done to fight homophobia in schools, so not only do I love the prospect of all these classes, they could also be really helpful if I do write my research paper on actions in Canadian schools about homophobia. God, I so want to start going to school! I'm such a nerd! (And that's 4 classes out of 5 in the sociology department, that sets a pretty clear path towards Canadian grad school if that becomes a possibility...)

/nerd mode off
greenie_breizh: (melancholy)
How many more shootings before you guys introduce some fucking serious GUN CONTROL LAWS?

I try and understand. Differen culture, different history, different country. I really do try to understand. But sometimes, you make it really fucking hard.

Fuck the NRA.




In the meanwhile, here, the Kegelin family lost a young daughter in 2004. Now they stand up in a court and say they refuse to wish for the murderer's death, that they're trying to forgive. Every time someone finds that much strength, it should remind us to thrive for the same. They're admirable.

Death is never the answer to death.
greenie_breizh: (radiant)
You might remember the topic for our in-class US Civilization exam was a totally gift for gender-obsessed me.

Well, looks like school's liking me this year, because the in-class exam we just had in UK Civilization was about gender and work and the pay gap. It was fairly straight-forward and easy to write and dude! I wish all of my in-class papers went like that.

And now I'm on SPRING BREAK. And planning on doing nothing exciting, but yay! break! And I get to work on all the exams that are coming up after break. Technically I should really, really work on Spanish, but I have a tiny feeling I won't. La la la! But still, a quick list of what I should try and do during break :
- study
- paint my window
- stick the tiles to the floor in the toilets (don't ask me why the fuck they're not stuck anymore)
- get my bike to the repairshop!! (for brakes, light, oil)
- take pictures for the MAG poster and come up with a final version
- get my passport

...I know, my life's just so.intereting. Actually, in more exciting news, [livejournal.com profile] woodsong_1978 is coming over next week and I can't wait! So basically as usual, I shouldn't have too much time to get bored.

Also, I wish UBC would send me something, anything, that would be a hint that they got my application okay. I find myself highly distrustful of my university when it comes to this exchange program.

Finally, a Neil Gaiman quote I really like, even though I'm a little more optimistic than that on the topic.

"Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life...You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love."
greenie_breizh: (identity)
I ended up never saying a word about the presentation on gender and work I did with [livejournal.com profile] littlegothsin last week for our UK Civilization class. It went really well, and people asked questions afterwards. Made me so happy people actually had things to say - and it was sort of funny because afterwards Tara (one of the girls who'd asked a question) came up to me and was like, I hope it didn't bother you I asked something. Er, how about NO.

What struck me is that the few girls who took part in the discussion after the presentation seemed pretty optimistic about the situation improving in the next twenty years - Tara said something about how our generation of women wouldn't let the guys do no housework at home. It made me realize how pretty pessimistic I am about the issue - when I see how little boys (and little girls) are still raised today? I cannot bring myself to believe things will improve that greatly in a decade or two. I also get a feeling it's getting better for the higher, more educated classes, but in the meanwhile? The situation isn't getting any better for the lower classes. Listening to some kids when I go to schools with the MAG, I have a feeling things might even be getting worse.


While I'm on gender issues and gender perception in a society that's supposedly moving away from patriarchy, here's an interesting article about advertising in the men's magazine GQ.

In the same vein... the other day I was biking back from school when a couple of ads caught my attention. They're ads for one of the latest Suzuki car, the Swift. The first one says "Who said cars were solely a male fantasy?" which I was like, hey! Challenging stereotypes, yay! So it's for a tiny city car and not a Hummer, but it's a start. And then immediately after I discovered another ad for the same car, which this time reads "sensuality, seduction, swift... words are never feminine by chance." (French words always have a gender, unlike in English.) And I was like, *facepalm*.

I find interesting that this is the same ad campaign, which possibly reflects our current society's struggle between trying to challenge stereotypes while still heavily relying on those same stereotypes. Of course, the gender of word doesn't always follow a patriarchal pattern : strength (la force) and intelligence, for example, are both feminine in French. But it's never innocent to associate seduction and sensuality with women - and we can't pretend it is.

For more positive models of masculinity in advertising, see the Jules ad campaign "Il paraît que les hommes sont..." ("they say men are..."), which I really love, especially as a photographer (how much do I wish I'd taken those pictures?). It's too bad because they only have a sample there of all the cards they printed out for the campaign, but already some are pretty telling. (First one says "they say men are obsessed" and the second one, "they say men are abrupt".)


The more I go on, the more I realize this is really what I'm most interested in - gender studies, basically. Too bad that we basically don't what it is in France. Or that it doesn't lead to anywhere very precise. But hey, I guess it's still a step ahead of everyone who doesn't even know what they're really interested in!
greenie_breizh: (heroes)
- Living 'til the End FINALLY arrived. And right now the only thing I can say is that I was already disappointed that they'd filmed in Paris and I wasn't even aware, but Sean filmed a freakin' topless scene in the streets here. How did I miss that? Karma, what did I do to you? /mindless fangirl ramble
A bit more about the movie itself )

- Note to UK Civilization lecturer : please take two seconds of your life to realize how deeply ironic it is for you to tell us about socialization at school, to tell us that it shapes our views of gender, and then move on to talking of family and then only mention mothers? Really. I wonder why we keep associating women with the role of caretakers and men with the figure of authority. *headdesk* The worse part is that I notice that kind of thing (and vent my frustration at poor [livejournal.com profile] littlegothsin) but most people don't. Whether because it's too small to be noticed or because it's so familiar that we've stopped noticing, most people just keep unconsciously integrating it and it kills me. That at university level, we'd talk of parenting and its effect on the kid's socialization and rather than talk of parents, we talk of mothers. Fuck that.

- I have two new series of pictures up at my photo journal (one was posted a while ago but I forgot to mention it here) : skater boys and another walk in the city. Click on the pictures below to access each series :






([livejournal.com profile] littlegothsin : les trois tiers de mon LJ en un post! C'est magnifique! :-p)
greenie_breizh: (firefly)
I forgot to mention something earlier. While the bunch of us were waiting for Mme Ousset Krief to start the meeting, I started talking with people. There was this girl who's in my class and wants to go to Canada next year as well, and at some point she asks me, Do you want to be a Civilization teacher? I pause and laugh and answer that if I end up being a teacher, it won't be in France. And she proceeds to tell me that she thought I should because the presentation I did in Civilization class was really interesting and I explained everything clearly and basically just saying she'd really enjoyed it. It's not much, but it never happens here. And I enjoy making presentations so much (never claimed sanity) that it was just really nice to hear - touched me. I need to tell her it means a lot she told me, actually.

Point is. Funny Firefly stuff! By [livejournal.com profile] arwen_lune :

(It's really not long, but hilarious - all of you, go and check it out!)
We all wish for something (Part 1)
We all wish for something (Part 2)
greenie_breizh: (Default)
Forgot to say that yesterday :

Lakanal : probably the one school in the country where you're more likely to be looked down on for being Breton than for being gay. My friends don't deny it.

:) ;)) :-p ;) ;)


On a much more serious level, yesterday was World AIDS Day. It baffles me how we're unable to fight this disease despite knowing what to do to *prevent* it. Please, please, please, use condoms. Don't ask yourself. Don't be afraid of being ridiculous. You won't be. Yes. Putting on condoms rocks! Let's say it and praise it.
Remember, nowadays heterosexuals are more at risk than gay males to contract the virus. And that means *girls* are contracting the virus more and more often, because apparently we're unlucky there too, and we're more likely to get the virus from a guy than a guy is to get the virus from us. Seriously, girls. If you're not ready to turn gay for your own health, just make the guy put on that condom. It's very helpful I heard. Also can prevent the slight issue of babies. Really, what's to lose?
Finally, let's also try and do our best so that people who have HIV don't feel singled out. They're cool people. They're not stupid, they're not to blame (even if they were, that's no reason). What we want to do is support them, make sure they have people they can turn to. That's what makes humans worthwhile, really.

Napoleon

Oct. 26th, 2004 05:18 am
greenie_breizh: (Default)
Yes, I am going to be posting more in 1 week of vacation than I have in the last six months. Or it looks like it, anyway.

This is actually a serious entry. I'm doing a presentation about NAPOLEON and how his vision helped the creation of a NATION STATE in France (and Europe, potentially). Does anyone know any books on Napoleon's life, on Napoleon, on his vision of a Nation? I'm going to the library this afternoon to search, but any help would be very welcome. Don't bother looking up websites, I wouldn't want you to spend time doing this, and I'm myself losing time doing anyway ;) ;) Unless, of course, you know this awesome wesbite that has everything (I was myself rather impressed by Napoleon [dot] org!) ;)!


On a less serious level, LONGWAVE rocks my socks. Check out their website and listen to Tidal Wave and When It's Gone. Those songs, though they don't awake the same feelings in me at all, are just absolutely fabulous. I'm all grrr that When It's Gone isn't actually out on any of their albums/EPs/singles.

Anyhoot, off to keep looking up Napo!!
greenie_breizh: (melancholy)
Sigh. Feeling a little down, because, note to self :

When getting out of Greek lesson early, do check if she gives homework for the following week, because she might not repeat it in class the next day. That might just prevent you from having to learn a whole page (small font) of vocabulary one day for the next. Gwaah.

Going home this weekend, though I don't know if I'll be able to enjoy it considering the workload. Still don't know what I'm doing for All Saints. Baaah. I so wish I would be thinking of Thanksgiving and going to Florida.

Wanna sleep. Don't wanna do homework. Don't wanna be reading Hemingway and his annoying style. Wanna stop forgetting to take care of stuff. Wanna not think about Christmas vacation. Need to stop promising to do stuff for people. Need to stop biting nails.

Off to learn Greek, read Hemingway, take care of the Conway files, work on article, learn English, eat maybe.
greenie_breizh: (Default)
Not doing good. Just out of 5 hours of in-class essay about the emergence of a national conscience in Europe, and I just want to lie down and sleep in [livejournal.com profile] fan_elune's arms. Urgh. Of course, instead I have to work for next week. Yay weekends.

This morning I was feeling a little cheered up because Cris sent me an email and I loved [livejournal.com profile] irish_fairy's latest post. History essay kinda killed me, but mostly I'm getting very depressed about the flying to Manchester situation. No low-cost company seems to go there anymore, the cheapest flight for All Saints all have a connection so it takes like 4 hours to get there, and it still costs about 200 euros. I feel exhausted, not able to say if I can afford it or not, and it keeps nagging me, I just can't get it out of my mind. Plus, flights later this year (aka for Winter and Spring break) are pretty much the same price, whereas I was hoping to get somewhat cheaper tickets by buying in advance. I was so desperate I called the only person I know that deals with planes all the time, and Santa should be calling me back this afternoon, but I don't know what I'm expecting, it's not like she can make cheap tickets appear or anything. I'm tired of this flying buisness. Each time it's the same freakin' story. This time it's probably worst cuz I'm in Paris and flights are usually more expensive when Paris's on vacation. Tired tired tired. Just want to be in Manchester.

Am hoping to hear from Hailey today to cheer me up. Will be seeing Isa tomorrow, first time I'm meeting her, that should be nice and get my mind off things, too.

Gotta stop thinking about next year, about summer vacation, about working, about travelling, about Andover, about the two girls at my school, about money, about studying abroad. Miss my Buffy fix.

Off to work, obviously. Don't feel like eating, even though I'll probably force myself cuz I hear eating is kinda necessary.


PS : has someone seen the Vizir commercial with the two guys in the bathroom? Is it just me or are they gay?

Will talk about our philosophy chatroom another day, when I feel a little better. Wish I could talk about the silliest things and sex and laugh with the guys from school.
greenie_breizh: (Default)
Tuesday :

read about my ever so fascinating life )

Looking forward to this weekend :)
greenie_breizh: (Default)
Before going into the last two days : Stupid cell phone ringing at 6:30 and stupid brain not being able to go back to sleep afterwards. Meep.

Learned yesterday my great grandma has passed away. *silence*

I'm glad to be back home. More soon I guess.

Read up about my first two days in a French 'prep' school )
greenie_breizh: (trees)
Wheeeee!! It's amazing how great everything's been going for the past 2 weeks. Today was exciting more than sad, even though I supposed it kind of should have been, since it was the last day of classes. I guess it's because I wasn't really seeing anyone for the last time as hopefully I'll see all my teachers at the faculty dinner next week. Dr Moore was so nice to me... awww. Okay, she's on the list of guest to my Perfect Dinner now. She'll get the conversation on philosophical grounds, which is always awesome. I should have that dinner soon, cuz otherwise it'll end up being a banquet.

Got the yearbook today, sooo exciting!! My first and last yearbook ever! I'm pathetic being excited about it! It looks really cool, too, and it's HUGE. Seriously, it's as big as my huge French-English dictionary. But the cover looks awesome and the inside-I-probably-won't-have-time-to-read-till-I'm-back-to-Europe looks really sweet, too. Aww how much I wish I had that with my real "high school" friends, aka the BR crowd. I think even with my actual high school anglomates, it would have been super cool. Oh well. I'm happy about this one, big time! And I have a joey on my shoulder on my picture! Whee!!! I can't wait for everybody in France to see it. I wanna hug everybody.

I was running around a lot today. Got Ellen's book on audio from the library (I love the library, I should have spend more time there. I should have gotten my room in the library.) and it's really cool because I can empty the content of my drawers on my floor and laugh at the same time! Revolutionary!

Then had a really nice time talking to a teacher who's retiring about coming back here to be a teaching fellow. It just sounded so great and awesome and everything and I almost wanted to do it next year. Whiiiiz.

And just now had the best time with Ellen's show. God that woman is so funny and beautiful and amazing. She's definitely great on TV. I mean her books are good, but she's *hilarious* on TV. She has facial nexpression and a way to move around that are just great. I love her. And her talkshow doesn't rely on saying mean things about anyone and the guests seem to be having fun (and I know they're actors but still) and she seems such a nice person (who actually goes and offers her water bottle to someone in the audience who seems to be choking? isn't that awesome?!)... Wheee!!!

And now had the best time re-watching The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love with Hailey. Wheee! And tomorrow, Boston if everything goes well! Cool!!

Who cares about a messy messy room in those circumstances? Clearly not me ;)

Note to self : spend 5 mns on History exam at some point, though last paper seemed to send message that less work is better grade. Also, mount mount pics!
greenie_breizh: (Default)
Done with the LAST history paper!!!! Now only my final exam left :-/ And four years of it if I get into the good college :-/

But for now, YAYYYYYYYYYYY. DONE.

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