misslynx: (Aidan & me - w/ dandelion)
Had a mostly good time at Pride this weekend with [livejournal.com profile] lgbtech and, on Sunday, the Lynxcub.

Good: for possibly the first time ever, I did not get sunburned at Pride. At all. SPF 50 sunscreen, frequently reapplied, plus a parasol, apparently does the trick. [livejournal.com profile] lgbtech, sadly, was not quite so lucky.

Not so good: crowds, heat, not having too much luck connecting with friends. We did meet up with [livejournal.com profile] berecyntia Sunday night, though, so the weekend was not entirely without socializing.

Saturday, after some indecision, we went on the common, garden-variety Dyke March instead of the special alternate extra-cool Dyke March, despite knowing that most people we/I knew would be at the latter. We just agreed, after discussing it a fair bit, that neither of us really liked the divisiveness that the latter seemed to embody, and didn't want to encourage it. It had all started to feel a bit like some kind of high-school cliquishness... So we stuck with the original march, joining in between the Latin American contingent (because they had drummers), a local women's shelter, and a small group of bellydancers. Seemed like a reasonably auspicious place to be.

Took the Lynxcub down to Pride on Sunday. We had thought of trying to go out to the Hanlan's Point outing that some of our friends were doing, but were worried we would not be able to get the Cub back home on time if we did that. He was a bit freaked out by the crowds near the parade, so we got away from there and went to the Family Pride area, which was better. There was a water play area there, which he seemed to want to play in at the same time as not getting wet, which is not a very practical combination. What it seemed to translate into in practice was him staying well clear of the water spray and sending us in to retrieve buckets of water for him, which he would then slowly pour onto random spots on the ground, with a look of great concentration. I really wish I could see inside his mind sometimes. It must be a fascinating place.

There were also play areas set up by the Ontario Science Centre, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toy Space (a local toy store that focuses on creativity-encouraging toys) and a few others. The Cub seemed to especially enjoy the Science Centre's area, which had a big long winding track you could roll balls down, with hills and loop-the-loops and what not. I think he could happily have rolled balls down that all day and never gone anywhere else...

I was a bit worried at one point when I asked him, on the way home, if he had had a good time, and he said no, in a small, plaintive voice. But when I asked him what hadn't been good about it, he said emphatically "I want to go back!"

"Ah - so you were having a good time when you were there, and it's just that having to leave to go home wasn't good?"

"Yes!" he replied, with that special isn't-that-just-what-I-said?-you-grownups-are-dim-sometimes look.

Next time, I guess we just need to go earlier so that he can be there longer.

. . .

And now [livejournal.com profile] lgbtech is on her way back to Albany, and I am somewhat envying her the air-conditioned enviroment of the Megabus, because it is horrifically hot here today. I could hardly sleep at all last night due to the heat,

Strange fact: the little "ForecastFox" weather display in my browser says that it's 32°C right now, but if I click through from it to the AccuWeather site that it come from, the site claims that it is in fact only 25° with a "RealFeel®" of 28°. Uh, NO. The Environment Canada weather site shows the temperature as 33°, humidex 43° (humidex = what it feels like including the humidity, similar to the RealFeel thing on the AccuWeather site). That seems much more in line with what it feels like: too hot to move, think, or wear clothes, and so humid the air feels like soup. My little window fan is not helping much, and I do not currently have the funds to get a ceiling fan like I keep meaning to, much less an actual air conditioner.

Apparently, there may be a thunderstorm tonight, but even with that, the forecast for the next few days has the heat hitting 34° for the next three days running before finally cooling off on Sunday. The City of Toronto has issued an Extreme Heat Alert accordingly.

(BTW, for Americans and anyone else who uses Fahrenheit: 33°C = 91.4°F, and 43°C = 109.4°F. No, it is NOT always cold in Canada.)

Did I mention that I really, really, REALLY hate hot, humid, weather? Really. A lot. I can't think clearly, gave absolutely zero energy, and currently I've also felt a bit queasy all day -- not quite full-on nausea, but not good. Not sure if that's just the heat and lack of sleep, or if I'm actually coming down with something.
misslynx: (Quote - wrong questions)
So, I had been kind of undecided as to what to do about Pride this year, in that (for non-locals, and anyone local who somehow hasn't heard) it had become a huge political mess, due to controversy over a pro-Palestinian group called Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) which some people perceive as being anti-semitic (despite the fact that, one would think, criticizing the policies of a country's government is very different from attacking the people of that country).

More background, including today's developments )
. . .
What to do for Pride, including a mini-rant which may annoy people )
. . .
And a mega-rant which will almost certainly annoy virtually everyone )
misslynx: (Default)
  1. After a whole lot of uncertainty, looks like Torchwood is coming back! Yay!

  2. Via [livejournal.com profile] sabotabby: the Toronto Star is soliciting suggestions for names for the ridiculously expensive fake lake the government is having built for the G20 summit. Click on the comments tab to read the suggestions (which are up 20 pages or something now). My favourites from among those suggested: The Excesspool, Lake Flaccid, Lake Inferior, and (bonus points for bilingual punning) Lac Integrity.

  3. Via [livejournal.com profile] pagandelight: an entertaining "remix" of some comments by a homophobic preacher in Uganda. For some reason, this especially made me think of [livejournal.com profile] tamago23, but I think anyone else with a warped sense of humour will also enjoy it. Not even remotely safe for work, life, or anything, really )
misslynx: (Default)
Sonoma County CA separates elderly gay couple and sells all of their worldly possessions

Particularly noteworthy is the fact that apparently this couple had done everything right, legally speaking - they had each other names in their wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives, etc. - and the county was still able to overrule it all, preventing from seeing each other, and treating the older partner as though he had no kin and the men were just "roommates".

Now, as some of the comments on that story note, it is somewhat short on details and leaves a fair number of unanswered questions. Some of what's reported there sounds like it shouldn't have been legally possible, so it would be really useful to have some kind of investigation into it. If what is reported in that story is even close to what happened, it's horrifying and needs wider reporting to raise awareness - and if by any chance the story is not accurate, it would be good to know that as well.

There's a petition afoot to get a local newspaper in that area to do a story on it, and this comment on the story also has a lot of contact numbers and e-mail addresses for relevant politicians and media.
misslynx: (brain dead)
I've been in a huge work crunch lately and have just done two consecutive all-nighters, at least if all-nighter is defined as staying up until the hours when most people are getting up, and then trying to squeeze in a few hours of sleep in the morning, as opposed to not sleeping at all.

As a result, I am not exactly brimming with energy. However... I am very definitely going to Funkasia tonight! It's been the highlight of Pride weekend for me ever since I discovered it, and more so now that I had a chance to get well and truly hooked during its brief duration as a monthly night last fall, and have been in withdrawal ever since.

More info at the web site I built for them: http://www.funkasia.ca
And on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/event.php?eid=96431205739
misslynx: (Clucking Bell)

So, unless you've been cut of from the Internet for the whole long weekend, you've probably already heard about the AmazonRank shitstorm (and yes, that link was a Googlebomb -- feel free to pass it on!).

If you HAVE been cut off from the Internet or in some other way missed it, the quick summary is: over the weekend, Amazon removed the sales rankings of pretty nearly all queer-themed books in their catalog except for those written from a fundamentalist Christian anti-gay perspective. Removing the sales rankings mean that not only do those books not show a sales rank on the book page (which would be pretty trivial), but they also don't show up on bestsellers lists and, most importantly, don't show up in search results. So once this was done, searching for a keyword like "homosexuality" brought up nothing but How-Jesus-can-help-you-not-be-gay type books.

Initially the autoresponse they sent to people complaining said that they'd deranked books with "adult" content, "in consideration of our entire customer base" - i.e. to keep from offending absolutely anyone, supposedly. But they did not derank heterosexual books that were far more graphically sexual than most of the ones that got it, and they did derank a lot of queer books that were completely non-sexual, like travel guides, biographies, historical books and even children's books!

Now, they're claiming it was a software glitch and is being fixed. This really doesn't sound terribly convincing to me. I do think it was likely a technical screw-up in some sense, but not just a random glitch that happened out of the blue. And whatever happened, they owe the public a lot better explanation than that.

My e-mail to Amazon )

My initial comment on this, which I posted in one of the communities I first saw the issue raised in, was a little more heated and less well thought-out. After sleeping on it, I think it's worth remembering that Amazon doesn't have any sort of history of being anti-gay or otherwise right-wing -- as I mentioned in my e-mail, they've always had the reputation of being a fairly liberal company. So I don't really think they've randomly become right-wing homophobes overnight. However, they've certainly screwed up in some kind of substantive way here, and I think they owe people a real explanation and apology.

. . .

One of the aggravating things about the whole saga for me, as well as previous calls to boycott them over other issues, is that in Canada, Amazon.ca is the only major online bookseller that carries titles from independent publishers, so boycotting them means there's a lot of books I just can't buy at all. Americans can go to Powell's (who I heard is having a sale on LGBT titles in response to all this), Borders, etc., but none of those companies, last I checked, operated in Canada. And yes, it's possible to order books internationally, but it's really bloody expensive. By the time you factor in the exchange rate, international shipping, duty, etc. a $15 book ends up costing you $35-40 a lot of the time. Meanwhile, we do have Chapters-Indigo here, who are Canadian -- but they only stock books from large mainstream publishers, which means that a lot of the books I tend to order online can't be found there.

So honestly, I'm really hoping Amazon get their shit together and come out with some kind of coherent response to all this. Because while I can't in good conscience buy anything from them until it's resolved, that boycott is going to be a major pain in the ass to sustain for any length of time.

. . .

I was going to include a list of links to all the various sites dealing with this, but honestly, the info is absolutely bloody everywhere at this point, so I'm sure you can all find it on your own, and I'm overdue to go edit my dad's textbook manuscript, plus have one more post I really need to make before I leave.
misslynx: (Default)
From Saturday Night Live's spoof of the American VP debate:

Queen Latifah as moderator Gwen Ifill: Gov. Palin, would you extend same-sex rights to the entire country?

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin: You know, I would be afraid of where that would lead. I believe marriage is meant to be a sacred institution between two unwilling teenagers. But don't think I don't tolerate gay people. Because I do. I tolerate them with all my heart. And I know quite a few too. Not personally. But I know of them. I've seen Ellen.

The "sacred institution between two unwilling teenagers" bit in particular made me just about snort tea out my nose...

More here. And the headline they put on the article is sort of unintentionally humourous in its own right.
misslynx: (With Kiska (on couch))
Just came across these incredibly funny graphics by [livejournal.com profile] alostrael, poking fun at the inconsistencies of certain Republican politicians in the US when it comes to sexual issues.

Just what I needed at the end of a week of much work and stress and little sleep: a hysterical laughing fit. I feel so much better now.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] thewronghands for the link. I recommend you not be drinking any liquids when you click on it.
misslynx: (Deliria)
Due to a mega work crunch, I will not be going to as much Pride stuff as I'd hoped to, but two things I will be going to are Funkasia tonight and the Dyke March tomorrow.

The Funkasia event tonight - which is free, and happening from 7-11pm, at the south stage of the Pride Festival area - has been really under-publicized and for some reason doesn't even appear on the Pride Toronto web site. And Funkasia itself, and its host/organizer DJ Zahra, doesn't have a web site of its own any more, since it's been on hiatus for the past couple of years. But back when it was a regular event, it was amazing. Awesome Indian dance music - Bollywood songs, bhangra, etc. - and just a huge amount of fun.

Anyone else going tonight?
misslynx: (With Kiska (on couch))
Couldn't resist passing this little gem on... :-)

Four friends -- who hadn't seen each other in 30 years–reunited at a party. After several drinks, one of the men had to use the rest room. Those who remained talked about their kids.

The first guy said, "My son is my pride and joy. He started working at a successful company at the bottom of the barrel. He studied Economics and Business Administration and soon began to climb the corporate ladder and now he's the president of the company. He became so rich that he gave his best friend a top of the line Mercedes for his birthday."

The second guy said, "Darn, that's terrific! My son is also my pride and joy. He started working for a big airline then went to flight school to become a pilot. Eventually he became a partner in the company, and now he owns the majority of its assets. He's so rich that he gave his best friend a private jet for his birthday."

The third man said: "Well, that's great! My son studied in the best universities and became an engineer. Then he started his own construction company and is now a multimillionaire. He gave his best friend a 30,000 square foot mansion for his birthday."

The three friends congratulated each other just as the fourth returned from the restroom and asked: "What are all the congratulations for?"

One of the three said: "We were talking about the pride we feel for the successes of our sons... What about your son?"

The fourth man replied: "My son is a stripper at a gay nightclub."

The three friends said: "What a shame... what a disappointment!"

The fourth man replied: "What are you talking about? He's my son and I love him! Besides, he hasn't done too badly for himself... For his birthday last week, he got a top of the line Mercedes, a private jet, and a 30,000 square foot mansion from his three boyfriends."
misslynx: (Default)


(That second one - by Rick Mercer - is from before the law was passed, but it's still funny. Though technically Denmark only has civil unions.)

Woo Hoo!

Jun. 29th, 2005 02:40 am
misslynx: (with Ladyjane)

Full text for those who don't want to register on the Star site )

Once the Senate approves this, which is pretty much guaranteed, Canada will be the third country in the world to officially recognize same-sex marriage, after the Netherlands and Belgium (as it happens, two parts of my ancestry).

And Stephen Harper can kiss my ass and my wife's.
misslynx: (Default)
Well, the Tories did not succeed in stopping gay marriage in Canada. Yet. However, the article says they may use this to force a spring election, and given current poll standings, they'll probably win and then it's the end for any kind of civil rights for the likes of us.

And you know, maybe I'm just weird and/or cynical, but I really don't give a damn about the sponsorship scandal. Yes, the Liberals apparently had some shady financial dealings. (Note to non-Canadians: something to do with funnelling money from some kind of government sponsorship program into their own party's election funds. Not really clear on the details.) Whoop-de-do. Does anyone not expect politicans to do that sort of thing? I highly doubt that Conservatives hands are exactly clean either; they've just been lucky enough not to get caught. (Another note to non-Canadians: "Tories" is a nickname for hte Conservative Party. No, I don't know why.) Like I said, maybe I'm just overly cynical, but I've always assumed they probably all did stuff like that. I don't support or oppose parties on the basis of whether I think they're rock solid ethical in their financial dealings, because I highly doubt any of them are.

I make my decisions on the basis of where they stand on actual issues. And the same-sex marriage issue is pretty high priority for me. Even if the Tories could prove they have Mother Teresa's discarnate spirit doing their bookkeeping and that not a single cent ever went where it wasn't supposed to unless it was to feed hungry widows and orphans, I still wouldn't vote for them, because their policies suck and they want to negate my marriage and treat me like a second-class citizen.

But most people don't seem to see it that way. The media are in a feeding frenzy, the Liberals' support is dropping like a rock in the polls, and while the Conservatives got soundly trounced in the last election, which wasn't all that long ago, now they're suddenly rising stars just because they're not the Liberals. And even though most Canadians that I have ever met have no problem with queer couples getting married, they're all up in arms about the stupid sponsorship scandal and likely to vote Conservative just to spite the Liberals, and then we'll be stuck with a government right-wing enough to put the US to shame.

So we may have gotten a temporary reprieve today, but there's no telling how long it will last...
misslynx: (Good Day)
I'm having an I-hate-the-human-race day.
  • Two people I know and like appear to have just had a massive falling-out with two other people I know and like. I've had that happen so often it's like deja vu every time. Inevitably I get caught in the middle, and it's never pretty.
  • The other night I had to drop everything I was doing, late at night, to go and talk to a friend who seemed to be very depressed. But when I got there, all she seemed to want to do was chat and watch TV, which I attributed to her roommate being around. But when said roommate finally went to bed, and I thought we could finally get started talking about what was troubling her, she still didn't want to, and said that she'd really just wanted someone to hang out with because she doesn't get enough human contact.
    This from someone who has systematically turned her back on every person she's ever been close to because they all seem to have pissed her off or disappointed her in some way. She can come up with convincing-sounding reasons in each individual case, but the ultimate result is that she hates virtually everyone she's ever met. I keep wondering when my turn's coming.
  • Tonight I went to the launch party for the new issue of Inq Magazine, a vaguely new-age-ish magazine I write for which has a mostly gay and lesbian staff. At one point I found myself at a table with two other women and one man, where the conversation turned to destructive relationship patterns. One woman said that she used to have a pattern of dating bisexuals, but that she was "working on her issues" now and it wouldn't happen again. As I was trying to figure out why she'd said this in the tone most people would reserve for talking about dating axe-murderers, the others nodded in sympathy and the guy said with a shudder "Oh, I know, I used to do the same thing."
    I was left in really uncomfortable position as I tried to decide whether or not to tell them I wasn't strictly lesbian. Eventually I did, and got about a minute and a half of defensive explanations before they all scattered with assorted excuses and left me at the table by myself. I stayed there for little while wondering if anyone else might come over and talk to me but it quickly became evident that wasn't going to happen and that I'd just become a social pariah.
    So much for enlightened progressive spiritual types. Not sure why I even bother.

Postscript: after posting the above, I think I ought to mention that at least one person at Inq, who I may be dragging out to Savage tomorrow, is quite nice and bi-positive. Just so you don't all meet him and think "Hmm, are you one of the ones that hates bisexuals?"...

Pride Day

Jun. 25th, 2001 01:26 pm
misslynx: (Default)
Well, we managed to pull together our little pagan contingent, although "little" is definitely the operative word here! There were only eight of us. But we still had fun.

The biggest surprise was that Richard, the high priest of the Wiccan Church of Canada, showed up -- in lime-green-and-black cycling shorts and a flowered T-shirt at that, I'm not sure I could have envisioned him wearing that particular combination of clothing if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes! :-) He's not gay, but he seemed to have a great time. We were right behind the float of HOLA, the gay Latino group, so they were blasting really loud Latin dance music, and Richard was dancing all over the place. I'm not sure I've ever even seen him dance before, and I've known him for 20 years!

So definitely, a good time was had by all, although one of my friends who'd wanted to be in our contingent got there late and couldn't get through the crowds to get to us, so we didn't hook up with her until after the parade.

Afterwards we wandered around to all the community groups' booths -- my favourite was the Bisexual Women of Toronto/Toronto Bisexual Network booth, where a woman was selling cat-shaped shortbread cookies by calling out "Cheap pussy! Only a dollar! If you've never tried pussy before, now's the time!" :-) I also got a "Bi Pride" fake tattoo put on me there, which, as I told my friend Darl who was working there selling stickers and T-shirts, was a historic moment because I'd been kind of resistant to letting myself be labelled as bi before, and now I was quite literally getting labelled! Unfortunately it got all messed up when I reapplied my sunscreen...

And speaking of sunscreen! As much as a I generally like my pale complexion (goth points and all that), it's a real bitch on occasions like this. I made sure before I left the house that I slathered myself everywhere with SPF 45 sunblock and also wore a hat that shaded my face, chest and shoulders a bit. And after the parade when we were up checking out the booths, the gay and lesbian doctors association had free sunscreen (SPF 30), so I put on more there, much to the amusement of my friends, who think I'm ridiculously paranoid about sunlight. I put the second coat of sunscreen on everywhere except my face and chest (I was wearing a fairly low-cut bustier), because I figured the hat shaded them enough.

Wrong! My face didn't get burned, probably because I was wearing makeup as well as the hat, but when I got home last night and got undressed, my entire cleavage area as exposed by the bustier was a lovely shade of fuschia. It's faded a little now, but is still quite noticeably pink. Which is especially silly-looking given there's still a lot of silver glitter all over it too... So now I know: hat or no hat, SPF 45 is not enough for cave fish like me! I knew I could burn through SPF 30, but apparently that's not all. Next year I bring an extra bottle with me, and reapply every couple of hours.

Oh well. It was still a good day.


misslynx: (Default)

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