Saturday, June 30, 2007

I watched...then Papi and I watched...and so on and so on and so on...

I submitted something to Sugasm. It's due out on Monday. While surfing among the other contributors (we're supposed to find our favourite three) I found this...pearl...this jem...this tender...heartbreakingly hot, hungry, tasty...gift at No Girls Toy.

Just so's we can be clear...
Yours truly believes that heterosexuality is such a giant, played out, laughable, ignorant, stunted cliche.

I really like men with other men. It gives me T in overdrive envy, sideburns envy, hard muscle rubbing against hard muscle envy, blood pumpin' erectile flesh jutting up against blood pumpin' erectile flesh envy.

Salivary glands gone into extreme overload. My inner faggoty voyeur is rising and smiling.

How many times d'you think I'll watch this and share this with Papsi in the next few days and weeks?

Oh, and in terms of the big muscle, youth culture stuff, I have my analysis turned on (pun intended)...do you have yours?







if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Day of Action, take two...

Yesterday I was nominated for a Lefty Blog Award. I felt touched at the nod even though I know I haven't racked up enough strategic popularity points to translate into any blogger award.

Shut UP! No time for self indulgent pity pie today.

The shit (already having hit the fan over the course of the lasr few hundred years) is now beginning to clog the fan and foul the air of a country that's had an undeserved rep as peace keeper and mediating human rights world presence while attempting to make its own shit smell like the sweetest of roses.

I took a moment to check the list of lefty award nominees and the blogosphere in general to see who was saying what about the Day of Action...


Radical Indian (this post and this post)

Shmohawks Shmorg (this post and this post)

Red Jenny (this post and this post)

And holy shit! This is part of what Liberated Yet? (a blog that's "a collection of writings, art, and other little nugets exists for a free uncensored outlet for expression of an Indigenous youth. If your a politician, lawyer, businessman beware. This is not for the likend of the dark system that demhumanizes people and turns them into objects all stemming from the products of colonizations. To the radicals, writers, lovers, warriors, and subverters, here is one young man looking to find supports and an outlet for others to hear from something that which is different from the colonial settler s#@$ we're fed day after day.") posted...

"The Real National Day of Action & Resistance
ANTI-CANADA DAY
July 1st 2007!

While the collaborator chiefs of the Assembly of First Nations plan to
march, acquire corporate donations and access government funds on June
29th (http://www.afn.ca/nda/wcid.htm), other groups are calling on
Indigenous people and their allies to take grassroots ACTION on Canada
day - the day that symbolizes epic state atrocities and oppression
against Indigenous people, including: genocide, land theft and
occupation, brutality, violence and abuse, and mass child apprehension
and deaths." (more here)
Kingston Mohawk Support Network (this post and this post and this post)

infoshop.org

That's a realy brief skim done with squirming Black colonized settler baby in my arms. Watching the Palestinian, Iraqi, Afghani and of course South African revolutionary rebellions against various occupying forces over the years...from an unimplicated distance...I understand that Douglass, ancestor colonized settler was right when he said:
"power never concedes anything without a demand. it never did and it never will. find out just what people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both."
This is not the beginning and I understand that things will have to get much more uncomfortable for all of us settlers living here before any fundamental issues related to Native land rights are addressed in any meaningful way. The powers that be will not be able to white wash this over as they've done unethically in the past. My Black family have benefited from the rape of this land. We're implicated and will definitely be touched up close by what transpires. This is as it should be.

The fire this time.


if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thursday Thirteen...Recent favourite movies...


Thirteen Recent Favourite Movies


I don't go to many movies. There just hasn't been time to take in first run features. But I do watch On Demand movies sometimes. This is a list of thirteen movies I've recently appreciated, been annoyed by, been struck by, been angered by, been stimulated by that have all been made in the last few years.

Don't look for a movie synopsis. I'm mostly just offering what came for me when I saw the movie.

Oh, and for the politicos out there...a strict BYOA (Bring Your Own Analysis) policy is in effect.

Thirteen Recent Favourite Movies
(In no particular order)


One:
Ver Le Sud - Really sad, embarassing, needy white wimmin tourists struggle with each other and themselves for the attention of young haitien teenaged boys and men who eak out a living by seeming to befriend, admire, adore and love these white wimmin who themselves know that they can't get any attention or love in the white dominated countries they come from and that they feel more powerful and attractive when receiving the attention of really savvy, economically poor, disenfranchised, dominated Black teenaged boys and men.

Two:
Children of Men - Last mother, African, illegal alien, once more cast as Eve at the backdrop of the end of the world...no kids being born while mostly white, mostly male activists citizens fuck each other up, stab each other repeatedly in the back and just generally block their side from realizing their own fucking dreams all while fighting tug of war style over darkie mama as they try to realize their opposing agendas on that bridge called her back.

Three:
Shame - This is power, feeling the fear, tasting the lash of oppression and choosing to do the right thing, choosing to think of others when one lone female should be paralyzed and kept in her place...by other wimmin experiencing the same horrors. Mukhtaran puts all privileged western, northern, north amerikkkanized feminist wimmin struggling to hold on to privilege and calling this struggle evidence of our oppression, to shame. Watching this movie it was so clear that so many of our feminist lives are not in the sort of danger this woman has lived under and transcended. Fuck fear, fuck silence, fuck you don't want to loose your fucking cushy academic jobs, government jobs, non-profit jobs if you stand up, if you speak up, speak out, if they know it's you writing that blog post. This woman was going to be killed for speaking the truth of her own life. No one, not her parents, not her brothers, not her village, not the police were going to do a fucking thing to protect her. Knowing this, she did not cringe, she did not balk, she did keep silent, she did not buckle under pressure from other wimmin who had endured the same thing and were constantly reminding her that her case was not so special, she did not look for funding to start an org or plan a demo. Nah...She gathered her strength and she spoke and in so doing resisted her own domination . Much respect offered where respect is due. This is a warrior woman.

Four:
This was gonna be The Descent. But I changed my mind. Now it's a tie between The Dark and Darkness. Okay, getting the obvious out of the way. Filmmakers, especially horror movie makers are way too lazy with language. Just plain old STOOpid, language linked to too much collective fear of darkness as linked to the constructed unknown in the form of Black skins. This is also a problem with non-Black people of colour who also utilize the constructed dark as a source of fear and as an easy target for otherwise unacceptable aggression in a myriad of ways. Also, I think I mentioned I'm the only person in my house who needs to sleep with a night light? Hee, hee, hee! Call it anxiety. Call it post traumatic stress. Call it just needing to know what tha fuck is going on in my general vicinity at all times. Okay...So, The Dark - It didn't get a lot of attention. The lead actor is solid and well known...as supporting actor, which probably explains why the movie wasn't promoted. It may have gone straight to video. Couple looses child. Another child shows up. But she was supposed to have been dead for years. She makes herself at home. Mother searches for lost child, realization dawning that this dead-ish child has replaced the child she knew. Sort of like when a mother's previously nice, meaning biddable and controlled child morphs into an angry little teenaged motherfucker the parents can no longer control or ignore? Hee, hee, hee. Then there's Darkness - In a nutshell: Parents have serious fucking issues most of which predate the birth of their children. And sometimes? When things go wrong? It's not because of the children or because the teenagers won't behave. It's because the parents were already insane when they decided to breed.

Five:
Hostel - Twistedly humourous, unwittingly (?) laughing at traveling amerikkkans who are the bizarre focus of attention...in ways they don't seem to appreciate.

Six:
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster - Alcoholic, codependent metal monster group Metallica hires a therapist to help them work through their issues past and present.

Seven:
My Summer of Love - Twisted, lonely, needy, realistic lesbian love story.

Eight:
Happy Feet - Young Penguin holds out against those who would shape him in their own image, defiantly keeps his unique self and ways of being until those who scoffed and tried to have him ostracized are forced to make space for him as is.

Nine:
Brokeback Mountain - unh...I think I've already said plenty.

Ten:
Stick It - Out of order young gymnast outlaw chick teaches bunch of attention seeking, blindly competitive fellow gymnastics chicks who just want to do as they're told, just want to please the judges that because the sport is really all about them, they hold the power, that they can call all the shots and actually subvert the power of parents, teachers and judges. The workers become conscientized, control the means of production and eventually run the whole show.

Eleven:
Rory O'Shea Was Here - Out of Order, defiant, guy living with life threatening ambulatory disability kicks ass, cusses, refuses to be pitied or helped, drives car (no license, no moving limbs) and generally lives life his way even if it's the fucked way 'til the very end.

Twelve:
Silent Hill - An interesting take on multiple personality, inner child angst. Horribly abused and tormented child corporeally splits off the innocent, tender vulnerable self from the maimed, angry, revenge bent side. Sends the sweet innocent out into the world in search of a (willing, consenting) mother figure who is stronger and more willing to protect and nurture when the going gets tough. Then the innocent brings new mama home to meet weak, crazed, useless mama, crazed, violent, religious fundamental aunty and her congregation. Then the angry, maimed, revenge bent side now more evil essence than anything else kicks some serious ass and makes sure that new mama will always be there to protect and nurture. Of course new mama didn't quite understand the entirety of what she had signed on for until the very last few minutes of the movie.

Thirteen:
When Two Won't Do - Documentary about poly that sort of shows the trials and tribulations of doing poly while not actually speaking to much of the subtext, insecurities and sadness that leads up to a really sad climax. Wimmin still smiling over difficult bumps in the road that needed addressing not avoiding and sexualizing. Poly presented inadvertently as much more complicated than the filmmaker is willing to speak to. Annoyingly well worth the watch.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!





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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Memory, pride, resistance, tears...my covergirl mascara is fucking running...

Well before covergirl, she was as solid a mainstream, media represented Black conscious, womancentric, politicized, role model for dykes as there ever was in hip-hop. I'm not going to bother speculating on her sexuality. I don't know. I'm just remembering that she was hot and hard and powerful and skilled and articulate and hot and hard...

Nowadays, there's an ill-fitting purple dress, long bone straight weaves and covergirl face paint for sale.

I know, I know, she's gotta make a living. But damn! Watching this video gives me chills and activates dykely memories enough to last a life time.




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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Wordless (belated Pride) Wednesday...

I did the black ink on white paper original of this drawing in my twenties...maybe around 25 or 26. I had this idea to do a calendar full of drawings of black dykes so that my friends and I could see ourselves somewhere.

Fast forward over ten years...

Playing on my last computer as I worked on darkdaughta.com I colourized the drawing and ended up with this tasty treat.

For more Wordless Wednesday go here.



if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Two new babies...

A craigslister wrote that they had found caterpillars in their garden feasting on dill and wanted to take them off the plants but didn't want to kill them. I got Papi to pick up two for Stinkapee. She loves observing insects and is really excited about watching these two caterpillars grow and change into butterflies. I googled: "green, caterpillars, dill" and found this photo of a swallowtail caterpillar...that was Saturday.


Yesterday I found a kijiji listing for a free syrian hamster with cage for fifteen dollars. Papi went around, met the hamster and brought it home. Stinkapee named it Sally. Its condo is sitting on top of a file cabinet in our dining room.

Hmmm...what next? We dunno...both Papi and I share really wanting pets as children...my household wouldn't have been able to financially sustain a pet...Papi's household wouldn't have allowed a pet to go unharmed. As adults we both are agreed that we'd like to have some beings other than humans sharing a house with us.

We've been talking about a dog for a few years now. About a month ago we met a dog called a Wheaton. It was cute and Papi, Stinkapee and I all liked it. But we also like Labs...brown or black. We're just really sure we don't want any furry cockroach dogs..you know, those tiny, squeaking, furry things that need to be carried more than they walk?

Anyways...
More to come.



if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Watching Big Love...

So, I decided I'd watch Big Love the new HBO drama about affluent, christian, white, patriarchal, polygamists. The oddest thing. Dialogue between wimmin about group relationships, compartmentalization, the closet, who forgot who's anniversary of relationship to the same man...

I'm having this attraction/repulsion experience.

I enter and dive in...
When I see something that puts me in mind of poly relationships, the challenges, the discomfort with state involvement in our lives, the worry about whether people will do our children wrong...

But then I hear hardcore power worshiping stuff like someone protecting Hilary Clinton's good name, everyday capitalist business man negotiations hinged on a gawd fearing christian family's good name, the lack of sexual energy between the wimmin, hearing the wimmin refer to each other by their location in the wifely hierarchy (first wife, second wife, third wife, sister wife) or...when I just look at the outfits of some of the sister wives all skirts, high button blouses, long hetero woman hair and demure attitudes...

...And I am propelled out the other side...hard and fast.

Maybe it's this tension that's holding me for the time being. Their pale skinned, ultra conservative, even homophobic, trying to distance themselves from gays and lesbians demanding marriage by reminding government officials of their biblical links to Moses, Abraham and Jacob...plural marriage patriarchs, all...it's not poly. It's polygamy, Other, oddity, voyeuristic television peopled by characters and scenarios I understand as radically different...alien.

Maybe calling it vicarious, curious pleasure won't be stretching the truth too much as I consume this show about heterosexual, male patriarch as locus, focus, central spoke between a group of he-centric wimmin bent on building relationship with each other, but with the end goal of maintaining relationship with him, brought together to service him, gathered in marriage on his whim.

That's polygamy.

It's not polyamory.

I get annoyed when ill-educated, not particularly savvy people liken poly to polygamy.

In the past I've tried to perform the role of good will ambassador, having conversation, remembering to smile even when feeling misunderstood or downright wounded by their ignorance projected onto me and my relationships.

I don't play that role anymore. I don't have the resources to be a poly ambassador. The experience of oppression, my experience of sexually conservative oppression has been so intimate, so hateFULL, so annoying, so disappointing, so understimulating...I don't have it in me to explain or educate or enlighten.

I'm a feminist, lefty, anti-authoritarian, queer, class conscious, Black conscious, fatty, mama, married but not even interested in being monogamous or heterosexual or vanilla sexing poly woman.

When I go to bed at night, I pray that Papi will expedite his sexuality exploration, his masculinity critiquing process and bring home a nice, smiling dark man with flashing eyes, radical edge walking intellect (as opposed to the terrified, keeping up with the joneses, wannabe conservative middle-class boring kind), wicked yet not mean sense of humour who he's dating. In the meantime I peruse ads with him and have conversation about him starting to date poly friendly wimmin...we haven't already met...or tried negotiating with either separately or together...at some point in the very near future. He needs to go on a date...a few...a LOT.

And me? I'll take him shopping for clothes, shoes, skin and hair products in preparation. I'll check the condom supply and throw out the expired ones. I might even re-open talks about us finding a third...maybe...not.

Other than that, ornery and opinionated as I am, choosey and careful about who comes in close...well, I just need to get me a new vibe and start a collection of all sci fi, fantasy and horror movies made over the last ten...no...thirty years...waiting up can be such a pain without something to occupy playing on the idiot box.

Now, really...
If a person can't see the difference between me and a demure, christian, patriarchal, patriarchally focussed Mormon woman, then me smiling at them through gritted teeth and pointing out the obvious during hours of conversations in a Tim Hortons...or more trendy cafe somewhere downtown isn't going to do much good, now is it?



if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Sexuality and choice...

A few days ago Stinkapee and I were in Dollarama looking for cheapo gardening supplies. She turned to me in her usual fairly loud conversational tone and said: "Mama, you're a dyke, right?"

One heartbeat. In an equally loud and conversational tone:

"Yes, I am."

"Well, you know that wimmin don't have to have long hair. They can have short hair. Like the wimmin at the Dyke March, right?"

We've been revisiting the intertwined conversations about sexuality...princesses don't have to marry princes. They can marry other princesses...and the conversation about gender...we can be whoever we want and wimmin can have short hair if they want and men can have long hair and wear flowery dresses, too.

We've also talked about some people having severe issues. They get upset at the idea of wimmin having wimmin partners and men having men partners. They even get violent and mean. This is called homophobia.

I've been educating my daughter so that she will not hate who her mother is, who her mother chooses to love or what her mother's relationship constellations look like.

Choice is a key part of this conversation. I embrace my right to choose in a world where lack of choice is one of the ways oppression functions to impinge on the dreams the dominated. I choose even though my attempts at self liberation, my attempts to free myself from the pain of oppression through educating myself, doing counselling and breaking the silence repeatedly, again and again and again, has actually meant more pain, more oppression visited on me at the hands of those who should know better, at the hands of those who understand themselves as the politically conscientized dominated.

Choice, even on a field where all possible options seem like crap and the experience of choosing, itself seems/feels/manifests as an exercise in horrific, heartbreaking, crushing futility, is still key.

Even if I'm blocked by the dominated themselves at every turn, who in turn cry out against being having their collective and individual flows blocked by those with privilege who dominate, I know that the only thing that keeps my heart beating, albeit brokenly inside my chest, is the knowledge that no one can actually stop me from by attempting to come into the full power of mySELF by knowingly choosing.

Yes,
They can harm.
Yes,
They can shun.
Yes,
They can under-employ.
Yes,
They can gossip.
Yes,
They can point and titter like so many ship of fools traveling companions.
Yes,
They can choose to self destruct and take me along with them.

But, nonetheless, while I draw breath...

I can choose.

I found this piece while attempting to deal with grief and loss about the well, thought through, powerfully claimed and spoken to choices I've made. Google searching: queer, grief, sexuality, bisexuality.

Still don't define as bisexual. Sensationalized, awful and simultaneously laughable spectors of the bi-curious babes who flick tongues for the camera, those closeted wives who surreptitiously put ads in newspapers seeking those who define as, who understand themselves hierarchically as "real" dykes/lesbians.

Still simply polydeviantlyqueered while partnered (legally married) to heteromasculinityquestioning man, I scanned this bit of writing really briefly. There are some good sections and questions here. Worth a second read, I think.

Sexuality and Choice

"The following text is taken from an email my partner Alan posted to the listserv for Interweave, the Unitarian/Universalist group for bi, lesbian, gay, and trans people. The point in question was whether we refer to sexuality as an "orientation" (which tends to imply immutability and lack of choice) or a "preference" (which tends to imply the possibility of change). This is often a hot debate topic in LTBG communities. Most people genuinely feel that their sexuality is not a choice but an inborn truth. The idea that sexuality might have an element of choice concerns many of us because it suggests that we could choose otherwise--or that someone might try to force us to do so.

The question is especially interesting to a lot of bi people because we seem to have "choices" that other people don't. Some people feel that (supposed) freedom allows us to make bad choices (such as staying in the closet) and therefore distrust bisexuals. Others may feel envious, which is not helped by those bisexuals who act as if bisexuality is somehow superior.

Like me, Alan tends to see the choice between "it's a choice" and "it's not a choice" as too simple.

From: Alan Hamilton
To: Discussions of interest to Interweave members and friends
Subject: Re: Experience with Human Rights Ordinances

a previous poster wrote:
It has been brought to my attention that I erred in describing the
DeKalb ordinance - it prohibits discrimination based on sexual
*orientation*.

Some ordinances and policies use "sexual preference", some use "sexual orientation", and some use both. Some even broaden "sexual orientation / preference" to "sexual and affectional orientation / preference." These are all terms for basically the same thing, but some people prefer one or another for a variety of reasons.

The company for which I work includes *both* sexual preference and sexual orientation in its "Equal Employment Opportunity & Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment". I particularly like this, because it makes it perfectly clear that whether it is a preference or an orientation does not matter. "The truth is, all of us -- bisexual, lesbian, gay, transgender, heterosexual -- deserve the right to love whom we choose."
Anything That Moves magazine's web site.

Many people use "sexual orientation" exclusively because of one or more of the following:

(1) They don't think/feel that they had any choice or "preference" about whom they are attracted to, and they assume that everyone else conceptualizes their sexuality in basically the same way.

(2) In order to fit in in the queer communities to which they belong, they reinterpreted any positive other-gender experiences as somehow less real or significant than their same-gender experiences.

(3) The Radical Right claims that (a) (homo)sexuality is a choice, and (b) it is clearly the wrong choice because many people feel uncomfortable about it.

(4) Pragmatically, many people in this society are swayed by the argument that if the gender of one's sexual/affectional attractions is not a choice, then it should definitely not be legally restricted or punished.

The outcome of all the above is that:

(A) Many people aren't aware that many other people experience their sexuality, either overall or certain critical parts, as the result of conscious choices that they remember making.

(B) Many people -- including many queerfolk -- believe, deep down, that if it were a choice it would be the wrong choice to make. This is typified by folks who say, "If I had a choice, do you think I would choose to live as a queer person in this queer-oppressive society?"

(C) Because of the success rate of the "sexuality is not a choice" argument in convincing many people to support queer civil rights whom we would otherwise have a more difficult time convincing, some people fear that acknowledging that sexual/romantic attraction may have a component (small or large) of choice seems dangerous to the cause of securing civil rights for queerfolk, because success might be delayed or even lost. This is particularly frightening for people in (B) because they know that if they believed it was a choice, even they would have more difficulty supporting queer civil rights.

(D) Because some people have (sometimes justified) fears that the friends and/or queer communities in their lives will abandon or throw them out, they find it frightening to acknowledge (publicly, and sometimes even to themselves) that choice might be a factor in sexual/romantic attraction to members of the same sex or gender.

(E) Some people who reinterpreted earlier other-gender experiences as unimportant or insignificant when they came out are afraid to re-examine those experiences because of the grief they would feel if they decided that those experiences were real and sexually / romantically fulfilling, and that they had denied them and shut them out of their life for years.

(F) When they come out, some people build their new, queer identity on the "bedrock fact" that "everyone knows" that if you are attracted to members of the same gender, you are (and should be) attracted *only* to members of your gender. Many of these people do not want to endure the discomfort and uncertainty of rebuilding or shoring up their identity if this "bedrock fact" turns out not to be true, fearing that their identity will come out different from what it was, and that they will lose all (or many) of their queer communities and friends.

One result of all this: people who think or feel, for whatever reason, that some or much of sexuality is, at least for them, the result of conscious or unconscious choice, also feel abandoned by a queer liberation movement that does not acknowledge their experience as queers as valid.

In particular, many bisexuals feel that we are ignored, abandoned and invalidated by the queer civil rights movement today, because it emphasizes that queers should be granted civil rights because they have no choice.

Many of us, of all sexual orientations and preferences, are concerned that the case for queer civil rights is based on a politics of disempowerment "we don't have any choice about our sexuality" rather than one of empowerment "all people deserve the right to be themselves and to make their own choices."

I worry that not taking the fastest route to acquiring civil rights legislation will allow the suffering of queerfolk all over the continent. But I am also concerned that we not build a house on sand, from which it may be swept by the tide, rather than on the sturdy rock of truth and respect for all.

Alan

My own feeling, piggybacking on what Alan says, is that paragraph B is the really crucial one. I think he's right about many people's motivation for embracing the "it's not a choice" philosophy. And what that suggests is how big a burden of internalized homophobia many of us still carry around. It's as if, deep down, many of us are still unsure of the difference between wishing we were straight and wishing we didn't face persecution.

While I can't generalize my own experience to the rest of the world, what I feel about the topic is this: I may have had no choice about being attracted to both men (more so) and women (less so), but I had plenty of choice what to do about it. Making the choice to come out as a bisexual man and to join the bi, gay, trans, and lesbian communities was one of the best decisions of my life. Any cost I've paid in feeling anxious about people in the world who wish ill of me--which has been a real cost--has been tremendously overbalanced by the gain in not holding myself down any longer, and in being accepted and loved for who I am by large numbers of people of all sexualities and backgrounds. Even the routine omission of bi people and our concerns from large sectors of the "gay" community, which in some ways hurts worse than homophobia, doesn't change that.

I don't wish I were straight. Being bi is one of the best things about being me. I doubt it's better than being straight is for a healthy and happy straight person, or than being a lesbian is for a healthy and happy lesbian, or than being transgendered is for a trans person. I just think it's right for me. Public misperception of bisexuality (which sucks) and oppression (which sucks big time) are a whole different thing."




if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

If I was gonna come back as a fucked up white chick....

Instead of just riding out this life...where I get to be a fucked up black chick...
I'd consider coming back as Nikki Payne...because she's such a nice girl.





if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Refried/Remix Sunday...

I'd like to come up with something witty to say about this weekend since it's pride and all. Didn't/haven't/won't be doing anything in community...not my community...tired of myths about community...can't even begin to tally the amount of friendly fire I've sustained in community...bullshee-it.

I told Ophelia that I'm continuing to learn how to envision, define, transform my queer self, my ideas, my writing, my beliefs, my values away from people who I don't understand as family/friends/allies.

It's been a schizo few days emotionally. I'm all over the spectrum simultaneously scraping the bottom of the self pity, struggling with impotent rage, feeling hopeful knowing that I've been moving farther and farther away from them toward myself, making my way in this diseased world for what will probably be the rest of my life.

I'm here

(where ever this place or mind space is)

I'm queer

(a switch, deeply deviant, sexually erotically fluid, politically opposed to heterocentrism and sexual conservatism)
now I need to get used it

(to what identifying without association or even a female lover means)

In the meantime...
Here's something I wrote that clearly outlines what I understand about queerness, sexualness and oppression...

Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack of Sexual Conservatism




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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thirteen answers to the question: What is a poltiical blogger?...


Thirteen Answers to the Question: What is a Political Blogger?



Happy summer solstice...

I got an email from another blogger last weekend I think it was. It was a compliment...sort of. Initially, I saw the compliment...but I also saw the slap, most likely unintended.

Now,
I'm sure this woman did not mean to come off as so much the arrogant gatekeeper, arbiter of what is and what isn't political as she did. Her letter said something to the effect of...and this is a major paraphrase...: I really love your blog. I am a political blogger and as a result don't much come out of that segment of the blogosphere. But I found you among the other bloggers I do not define as political and I'm happy about that. As a fellow fat woman who is a creative type, I'm really excited about you dealing so bravely with body issues on your blog. Thanks.

Hmmm...I sort of went: hmmm...for a few days. Let the annoyed and impatient voices, the insecure voices, the downright pissed voices make their connections to actions of others past and present. I didn't respond to her immediately. I just felt my emotions.

And when I felt clearer I thought some more about the email. I thought about all the "political" bloggers I'd encountered since coming to the blogosphere. I thought about how narrowly the political is defined when seen through the lens of a certain crop of bloggers online whether they be liberal, progressive, radical, lefty, or unwittingly conservative defining as one of the ones I just mentioned...hee, hee, hee!

I thought about party politics as the kangaroo court, rackateering charade it is. My frustration with people validating, centralizing party politics as the main conversation about the political, my rage at popularity based hierarchies inside lefty, progressive, liberal blogging circles set up to closely reflect those inside party politics and my disappointment at having my intellectual offerings relegated according to these hierarchies bubbled over and knew no bounds.

breathe, breathe, breathe...

darkdaughta, you cannot control what people see, how they engage with your work/words, how they comprehend your very presence. They filter all this through in ways they can choose to understand or not.

True, very true.

But this didn't stop me from dropping the political blogger I mentioned up above a quick note sending back some food for thought and inviting her to come read this post:

Hi (name taken out here),
Thanks for the compliment. I don't usually go to blogs outside the political lefty blogosphere. So, imagine my surprise when I tracked your blog down and found yet another blog about the exploits of high level, well paid public civil servants many of whom have almost achieved celebrity status.

How many of you are there out in the blogosphere talking/writing that thing you call politics where you mainly write reflections of the mainstream news media and do posts that outline whether you agree with what the news tells you a particular high level, well paid public civil servant said or did or didn't say or do? :)

Naw, I don't come out to play in the "political" blogosphere very much. So, I'd understand why you might not have heard of my blog. :)

In any case, your complimentary email actually gave me a really great idea for a post. It'll be up on my blog tomorrow. Thanks for the stimulation. And again thanks also for the visit. Take care. darkdaughta


...of course...these are the opinion of this blogger...yes, a woman is allowed to have strong opinions...I understand this statement of my opinions as just that -- a statement of what I hold to be true. Not being positioned inside any community orgs, activist orgs, not for profit orgs, academic departments or other such contexts, I don't have organizational power backing up systemic power in order to imbue my opinions with gate-keep-ability.

In other words, I am one not many. I won't be busting down your door to enforce these opinions...so, please don't get all wonky on me and start carrying on about how arrogant I am...arrogance is really only rewarded when it comes inside of the skin of someone with privileges they can access without even breaking a sweat.

This little bit of what others might call arrogance and therefore punishable in all sorts of messed up ways is what I call courage and determination which has gotten a formerly quiet, bent on being well behaved, economically poor, silenced, literally pissing in her pants (too scared to be seen raising her hand in public school to ask to go to the bathroom), immigrant child, grown to an adult very far from where people expected she would end up...so, sue me. :)


Thirteen Answers to the Question: What is a Political Blogger?


One:
A political blogger is someone who understands the exploits of high level, well paid public civil servants many of whom have almost achieved celebrity status as having quite a bit of impact on the lives of everyday people.

Two:
A political blogger is someone who understands that everyday people have almost no impact on the exploits of high level, well paid public civil servants many of whom have almost achieved celebrity status.

Three:
A political blogger incorporates an analysis of power, subjugation and hierarchy when they talk/write about the exploits of high level, well paid public civil servants many of whom have almost achieved celebrity status.

Four:
A political blogger understands that when they write, they write to incorporate the margins, the grey areas, the inconsistencies and contradictions of day to day life. The personal is political which means they implicate themselves in their political blogging.

Five:
A political blogger is accountable and does not avoid critiques by creating fire storms where they cry about being victimized after having the power of their group or carnival or listserv or think tank critiqued.

Six:
A political blogger looks on popularity as a fickle fairweather friend and according to the words of the Steve Biko, writes what she or he likes, ANYways.

Seven:
A political blogger realizes that political blogs and bloggers come in a variety of forms and that anyone critiquing the status quo, questioning what we have been taught by family, church...no strike that...too narrow and christian focussed...by organized religion, by state and systems of domination, to not question, is a political blogger.

Eight:
A political blogger uses a framework that positions all the isms...(please don't make me go through my list...one, it's long and...two...it will forever be incomplete as I add to it on the daily)...as a fine measuring stick that helps they themselves critique how well they execute their blogging and other forms of writing.

Nine:
A political blogger expects to get heat when they utilize the above mentioned framework of isms as a way to define the political and to execute their blogging and other forms of writing.

Ten:
A political blogger likes to do real time coalition work but realizes that coalitions need to be built on solid ground, not on what people feel uncomfortable admitting and therefore will not repeat in front of their allies.

Eleven:
A political blogger incorporates emotional intelligence into their blogging because blogging is emotional as well as political and they will need to be able to recognize the difference between understandable feelings of discomfort and experiences of genuine systemic oppression.

Twelve:
A political blogger does not shy away from leveling insightful, courageous critiques at fellow bloggers that may allow them to one day function as more useful political blogging allies.

Thirteen:
A political blogger is a political blogger when they realize there is no spoon.

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!












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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I found this and wanted to share...

I found this while searching for older writings on my main site darkdaughta.com.

Pretty much says it all from where I'm standing...


hi all!
this is a quick note that i recently sent out to the administrator of a community org about accessing space for free. my acquaintance's name is not at all important, so i haven't included it here, nor have i included the name of her org. what is important is her response to my asking for access to sponsorship [in the form of a space donation] and my response to her refusal. it highlights some stuff about community activism and orgs i tend to sit on. no sitting today. i thought i'd share. :)

-----original message-----
from: tenacious1
sent: wednesday, october 01, 2003 4:24 pm
to: blank'
subject: re: workshop: r/evolution family style -- crafting our own children's stories

hi [blank],
thanks for the information about spaces. i guess my question would be: does the [insert org here] offer spaces to activists who get paid a few thousand dollars per year to do work for funded orgs?

the reason i'm asking is that i'm not funded by an org or by a government body. i do this work on my own. so when i charge for my workshops, i'm basically attempting to make up for the salary i'm not making that paid community organizers have access to when they put on their (not really unpaid, just organizationally bankrolled) events.

this is a conversation i've been having with a lot of the paid activists i know who are in serious denial about the fact that they function inside an elitist community organizational model that is a direct result of community gentrification. activist/community organizational circles no longer validate [unfunded, independent] grassroots work. the idea is, if you're going to get support for your work and be considered a 'real' activist organizer, you're going to have to identify the hierarchical, government/mainstream-style org you're a part of and locate where you sit in the pecking order with a job title and description.

what this means for someone like me who just does what needs to get done is that in order for me and my work to get the kind of support i need [accessible spaces, advertising, sponsorship], i'd have to 'come in from out of the cold', agree to function under the aegis of some funded org and commit to be governed by their rules and regs. keeping in mind of course that we already see that the sort of organizational models often utilized by community orgs with their e.d.'s and their boards and such don't even function adequately for mainstream/government organizations.

in any case i avoid getting a paying job with one of our numerous community orgs because this basically means that all of a sudden my work would not be developed according to what is necessary and politically conscious, but instead according to what will or will not alienate the funders and/or the board of directors by being too 'out there', too extreme, not justifiable as a beneficial activity for the organization. i would be co-opted into a way of doing community work that i believe at this point in our collective histories is bankrupt and more about gaining government/social acceptance than bringing about lasting social change. it reflects a conservative swing in our communities that i'm not sure many people are seeing as a problem.

this is probably because this increased conservatism comes with the accompanying acknowledgment that folks previously thought of as non-entities have now made their presence felt as viable, powerful social groupings to be reckoned with. i speak to these sorts of contradictions often with the paid activists i know. but i also acknowledge the ways they can go into denial when i do or even worse the ways they can close ranks when i [seeing myself as doing equal, but not paid work], expect and ask for access to the same spaces they utilize for free and expect the same sort of recognition [in the activist circles] for my underpaid activist work as they get for doing their activist paid gigs.

all that to say, i can't expect the [insert org here] to change its rules for little old me. but i would suggest that your org examine how its rules and regs actually contribute to the stymieing and marginalization of people/entities doing necessary community work outside the framework of funded community organizational circles.

so, thanks again. the search for a space continues.
darkdaughta

I remember running into the woman I wrote this email to at a wiccan event perhaps months later. Thin lips drawn tight, eyes purposefully averted, she pretended she didn't see me.




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Not quite drugs...



I've tried hash oil, 'shrooms (...almost...well, one of the youth activist superstars I lived with had them and kept inviting me to use them with her...I didn't), pot...unh that's about it. I can't say I like any of them. That feeling of not being in control of my own actions and decisions makes me feel scared not librated, stoopid and blunted, not clear and attempting to understand what goes on for me internally, emotionally.

Having said that...contradictory as I am...I have developed a taste for pink wine...which is really more about it being pink and drinking it out of a fancy glass while lounging, raspberry beer...which is really more about it being pink beer, with a fancy french name and drinking it out of a fancy glass while lounging and corona...which I like because you drink it with limes...I have a hard-on for tart things...being a tart and all.

I like caffeine in the form of one cup of red rose tea in the morning with lots of milk and sugar. The mantra of those colonized by the british: can't start the day without a hot drink called "tea" whether it's cocoa tea, coffee tea or tea tea. :)

And being the child of diabetics hooked on the drug I will refer to here as "the white" I like sugar...usually brown masquerading as something better, but just really white drenched in molasses, I think, hee, hee, hee.

My other favourite drug, not quite top of the list in terms of the frequency I use it (that honour has got to go to horror movie gore fests which give a horrid trauma and adrenaline filled gore based buzz like no other) would have to be the one with the least side effects and health hazards associated with it is mainstream pop (cock rock, dinosaur rock, pop, dance, metal....)

I get the release, the fast beating heart, the feeling of euphoria/ rage/ despair/ memory/forgetfulness/belonging/lust...whatever I'm seeking to experience vicariously without introducing a chemical into my blood stream...all in about two or three minutes depending on the length of the track.

I don't pay much attention to the words as I don't believe that a two to three minute rhythmically poetic sound byte can convey much of anything I need to pay attention to...though (again chock full of contradictions as I am) sometimes choruses can seem useful in the context of my sidebar. :)

I don't worry about liking more obscure bands who supposedly have something to say. I think the value and the strength of musicians lies less in their ability to utilize language to convey a message and more in their amazing ability to utilize sound and rhythm to stimulate brain centers releasing hormones and other chemicals as a way to communicate directly with what we understand as emotions...as evidenced by copious rounds of goose bumps, tingles, sighs, flared nostrils, shallow breathing... However you're feeling it, whether you agree with me most times or not, I think most would agree that music in even its most commercial form is still powerful shit.

Anyhoo,
I take digital vacations at youtube. Sometimes Stinkapee comes along with me. I'm not of the keep her (constructed as) innocent, unaware, inexperienced as where the media culture is concerned. I want her to be savvy and armed with an oppositional, critical gaze. And for this to happen, I'll have to let her look.

We giggle and wiggle as we critique video images. She asks questions and I offer what I understand as the answers that have worked for me...I also ask her questions to see what she comes up with...all while dancing, humming or just making up new, nonsensical words for songs.

We got some new...almost, superduper speakers from craigslist. Wanna listen with me?








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Wordless Wodin's Day...

Wordless Wednesday.

Want more? Go here.











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The Black conscious erotic...read aloud to my partner's mother...

Spent the afternoon talking writing, resistance and the colonized erotic with Papi's mama, Ophelia.

Conversation ranged from Audre Lorde to queer sex radicality to "nice" girls to html coding to period art and back again.

We talked about my writing. I read this and this to her. Then we had more conversation. Hee, hee, hee!




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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Bloody toilet paper, blood cloths and wimmin's houses...

Just finished bleeding for another month.

A few thoughts crossed my mind during this time...well, since the hormones make my mind race, there were many thoughts...but the ones about blood, I'll share...

First, I was washing a pair of underwear in the sink and preparing to leave them there in full sight to soak out their red stain. I thought about having a home defined around my femaleness as opposed to around the discomfort, ignorance or fears of a male partner as so many wimmin do. Hiding away evidence of the blood is common among wimmin who partner with men. I can't remember the last house I entered of a male female coupling where a she's blood things occupied center stage in the bathroom she uses.

The bathroom is not a space dominated by territorial...ooops, accidental sprayings and aroma of urinary splatters by a man who just won't admit that his aim is shit and sit down when he pees.

In the home I've decorated and help to maintain, I don't have to hide blood things away discreetly. Menstruation occupies conversational space and prominent visual space not just when expected or unwanted pregnancies are on the menu.

Two, I wore a toilet paper pad on Saturday. yeah, I ran out. As I wove the extended piece of tissue into a nice big pad, I thought about my teenage hood. Where I often wore toilet paper pads.

Flashes of bright yellow...ultramarine blue...the colours of my junior high's gym uniform...t-shirt and high cut shorts with elasticized leg openings...where enough toilet paper could poke through and hang exposed for the amusement of my classmates.

Only years later did I encounter a poem by a South African woman, poet, writer, professor, psychotherapist about a
"cotton cloth, cloth for blood, cloth of joy", "a toetlappie", a "doeslappie" that fell to the horror and amazment of onlookers who point and stare but are eventually silenced by the pride and resilience of the girl who cradles her cloth and joins in their chant meant to humiliate, to subjugate, to teach her about her place: "My toetlappie fell! Praise God! Hallelujah! My toetlappie FELL!"
I read this in the early 90s...for the dehistoricized who can't seem to remember anything past the beginning of the millenium...this means that along with quite a few other feminists, this poet was writing blood and speaking blood, well before the current wave of woman blood positive writings, poems, radio plays, films and theatrical exTRAvaGANzas.

Whenever it came, her poem soothed that young girl who was still smarting from the humiliation of a bit of exposed, bloodied toilet paper.

It can't take away the absence, though...

I got my period with none save my father in the house. No wimmin to embrace me, congratulate me, stigmatize me or indoctrinate me in the ways of managing the blood and keeping it hidden as befits a woman living under patriarchy.

I hid away the news for two years from 12 to 14 when i let it slip to my mother who I was visiting in New York where she had moved to when she left Barbados. She understood my sharing of this news to mean my period had been late on the scene...which was fine with me.

Anyways...
Back in real time I went out to buy something to gather the blood. Used to wear paper product pads manufactured especially for blood. But, strange thing. Everything is getting smaller. Size ten shoes don't fit my size ten feet anymore, mostly. They fit wimmin who used to be size nines who now proudly explain that I'm not a ten, but probably a eleven. Bras don't fit my B 38s. I get wimmin who have bee stings where breasts should be who say they're true B38s. Now, my BUMbakleet pads are shrinking, too.

I should explain that I like thick pads. I don't want a sleek and loftique, murphy bed, tucked away where no one can see it pad. I want a large, bulky, can count on it to do its job, mattress of a pad.

In our downsizing age, these seem to be disappearing, becoming a rarity on the shelves of the toronto drugstores I frequent.

But, I've found an alternative. It seems that the pads with size haven't disappeared, they've been reincarnated, reintroduced, rebranded as pads for folks with urinary incontinence.

So...
Let me get this right. Only people living in fear of pee, pee leaks have a right to walk secure through the streets without having to surreptitiously check their asses in the mirror? Kewl.



p.s. I found the image up above online but couldn't quite figure out who the artist was. Did some more research and I think this is one of this woman's pieces. feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. The first image is Judy Chicago's red flag. Gotta go do the mama thang.


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Monday, June 18, 2007

Updated muh list of favourite posts, i did...yessuh...

I tried to add to my sidebar list of fave posts last week, but period hormones, usually responsible for me being extra special clear, were not allowing for intricate coding.

Almost done with the flow for this month enough so I could quickly code...while holding and breastfeeding the Shmolian.

Feel free to check my sidebar links to older posts.

I'm off to dollarama to buy fakey, fakey white plastic picket facimiles to update the look of the back garden. Then we're going to get some seeds to plant the ground not covered with veggies and herbs, with low lying thyme as ground cover.






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Sunday, June 17, 2007

How very christian of me...

So, I've decided that I won't do new posts on Sundays. Although I don't work according to the five day business week, so many do. This means that sundays end up being days where we attempt to do things like go fun places that have childrenf whose parents sell their labour during the week, go grocery shopping and/or run errands that involve hooking up with folks who sell their labour during the week.

I'm going to officially dub my Sunday blog attempts Refried/remix Sundays. Herein, any intrepid readers will find older posts that I still like but that don't show up on my sidebar anywhere.

Consider it an invitation to go digging in my archives, if you will.

Today's entry I like to call...now I have to go click over another screen and find something quick...:

"Brokeback Mountain...unh...I got a complicated hard-on"

I'm not a big fan of closeted and tortured. I don't get them. If your soul is raging so bad that you've got to throw up and cry harsh tears simultaneously, maybe you're going against what your spirit tells you is right. Run after that cute stud, climb in his bashed up vehicle and ride (literally and figuratively) off into the sunset together.

I put off seeing this movie for quite a while although originally, I was really excited about the idea of two white cowboys having a go at each other.

I finally went last week and I have to say that my reactions to Brokeback Mountain were jumbled but not confused.

Here's me pulling out the different threads for closer examination.

I felt angry with these two men who refused to show their feelings to each other overtly when they still had a chance. (Stereo)typical male behaviour, that whole "I'll die rather than show anything that looks like a bonafide feeling".

I felt sorry for his lover of twenty years confined to trolling the backalleys looking for cock...unh...I mean love in all the wrong places.

I felt rage that it seemed like such a given that they would be apart.

I felt white hot rage that these two men could only be embraced by their homophobic cowpoke culture if they were married to wimmin, or else they'd be two dead bucking broncos.

I felt erased, again, by the harsh reality that although I've seen quite a few queer romances between 2 white men (most of the boys night out shoot em up films fall into this category without even trying, chuck and buck, ) or 2 white wimmin (bound, my summer of love, desert hearts, aimee and jaguar, madchen in uniform and high art) or between a white man and a man of colour (another Ang Lee film - the wedding banquet) or a white woman and a woman of color (watermelon woman, which i don't need to see and when night is falling, which i've also managed to avoid seeing) between a trans man and a straight bio woman (boys don't cry), and although I won't get into competing with other queer women of color over what content looks like in movies with coloured queer woman content...

I don't recall seeing a steamy hot overt feature release of epic proportions featuring two Black, African dykes. I mean movies where the relationship between the wimmin isn't put way in the backdrop of the larger plot like
Set it off. Or where we have to squint to make out the lesbian relationship like in Colour Purple or Daughters of the Dust which is coincidentally my favourite Black girl movie of all time. But still... what about a bona fide Black queer woman blockbuster? sigh...

but,
I digress...
back to the movie of the moment...
Why did one of them, the one who was trying to live, have to die?
Why couldn't the miserable one, the one who was restrained and dominated, the one who wouldn't say:"I love you and want to be with you", die instead? It would have been so much more satisfying if the one struggle to exist free had scandalised his wife, father-in-law and community by running off with the new bearded guy? Why do queer folk have to die or be miserable or confused in the movies?

I really appreciated the casting and the acting of the two wimmin who played their wives. I knew them. Soft, white, hetero wimmin, so comfortable and willing to be comforted by the roles imposed on them by a heterocentric society. So accepting of the silence imposed on them by heterosexual monogamous patriarchy that they wouldn't couldn't speak and rage to save their own lives...until after one was finally divorced and until the other's husband had died. So sad that the movie so accurately portrayed the harsh reality of so many married wimmin's lives. That basic acquiensence. Just let him do what he wants, I'll figure out another way to get my needs met, to have my thoughts heard, to make my plans a reality. It just won't involve confronting him or anyone directly. Then, there's that basic belief in what heterosexuals are taught about male/female relations and sexuality. It never dawned on either wife to look more closely at their husbands until it's too late for everyone involved. Not that anal sex is just for gay men, yum, yum, but...gee, didn't you think it even a little odd that he never wanted to hug you and kiss you and do missionary, but always wanted to flip you over and head (I'm assuming) for the poot shoot?

But still the realism of these wimmin and their children being caught in the middle of something about men, something their lives were being torn apart by also resonated with the reality of wimmin's historical disempowerment at the hands of the men they live with and love under patriarchy.

Is it my imagination, or did the wealthy wife get her revenge? Did she have a hand in the death of her gay husband? She seemed to know exactly what had happened to him.

I felt distance from any surface cameraderie as I remembered that the white supremacist, bible-thumping, misogynist culture that gave birth to them within which their maimed little love existed is real and poses a real and present danger to me as a Black person, as a woman and as a queer. Homicidal homophobic white supremacist cowboys are as close as Manitoba, Alberta (where the film was made) and Saskatchewan. There are whole sections of "this great land" where I can't walk safe.

There's also a real life tragedy layered right on top of this movie which is that men in Hollywood can't come out if they want to work a lot. I remember reading one of the leading men for this movie saying they had to get drunk to do the sex scene. And I thought: Gee, you had to say that. It wouldn't be cool to say...you sprung a boner or...the two of you continued the scene back in your trailer or...now that the movie is over you're really thinking about your sexuality. My understanding says that these two men and if not these two men, a host of other actors fer sure are living their own double lives everyday out of respect for a heterocentric hollywood marketing tradition that promotes all the actors and actresses straight.

"'. . . quit hammerin and get over here. Bedroll's big enough,' said Jack in an irritable sleep-clogged voice. It was big enough, warm enough, and in a little while they deepened their intimacy considerably. Ennis ran full throttle on all roads whether fence mending or money spending, and he wanted none of it when Jack seized his left hand and brought it to his erect c**k. Ennis jerked his hand away as though he'd touched fire, got to his knees, unbuckled his belt, shoved his pants down, hauled Jack onto all fours, and, with the help of the clear slick and a little spit, entered him, nothing he'd done before but no instruction manual needed. They went at it in silence except for a few sharp intakes of breath and Jack's choked 'Gun's goin off,' then out, down, and asleep." mmm...more

I felt hot as I watched them wrastle and collide as (2 men or 2 butches or 2 transmen will), not wanting to give into their attraction, yet so violently, physically, erupting, ejaculating in bouts of tormentedly passionate tonsil hockey and tangled, clumsy embraces. The urgency and unrestrained intensity of men fucking men can be so refreshing. My inner fag, who has been sleeping for quite a few years while militant mama breastfed and pushed a stroller around, got painfully hard inside my pants. I realized that no one in the theatre save me, realized that the 38 year old, Black, fat, pregnant lady in the third row from the front of the theater was penetrating both characters in her mind repeatedly, forcefully and was actually riding alongside quite blissfully. If your screen is looking a little steamy, that's just me breathing hard.

Another day, I'll tell you about the wicked pregnant lady, dominance and submission, humiliation masturbation fantasies I have every single morning. There's nothing like pregnancy to get the old perverse juices flowing nicely.






if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Shmolian's b-day...

Was on Tuesday. I wrote nothing. I did nothing to mark it. Papi and I watched the date approach and talked about it.

Shmolee's entry into this world was so different than Stinkapee's. By this I mean although I felt betrayed, scrutinized and ostracised by people I had been acquainted with, had known, had allied with, I managed to create a net of support around myself...at least temporarily. And my home, although I didn't have any money (which was one of the things middle-class, capitalist minded politicos sited about why I shouldn't have been having a child), was a cocoon of sorts for me. It felt safe and predictable.

My home life during my pregnancy with Shmolee was scarred. I was stressed, angry, scared of what the wimmin I lived with would do next, physically and emotionally tired of dealing with their replayed childhood dramas, tired of processing, tired of yelling, stressed, worried about how things would turn out just generally.

I wrote through most of it...or tried to. I was also passive-aggressively attacked in the blogosphere by wimmin who did not understand who I was, why a caribbean woman situated and educated in kkkanada would be writing better shit than them...given that amerikkkans (meaning those who live within her bounds whether they complain about immigration and lack of green card alien-ation or not) are obviously the intellectual cream of the world's thinking and writing crop. They manifested as intimidated and scared from where I was standing and blogging.

I tried to critique their moves and things got worse not better...a suiting reflection of what was happening on my home front.

Inside and out, life was a fucking battle zone. As I've mentioned I even had a row with my midwives who wanted to go on vacation around the time of the Shmolian's birth.

From the pictures, it's clear that the Shmolian's birth came off without a hitch...externally.

But life as I had known it was in a profound state of collapse. I would not could not trust the wimmin I had lived with and ended up asking them to move out. I would not could not trust the queer people, black people, feminists, activists, radical lefties I had tried to walk next to in community. More replayed childhood scripts (when I've got my own to deal with) and dramas messing with resistance, undermining resistance, that had become increasingly messy and Melrose Place like up close in my vicinity, yuck.

I knew I was going to have to make a move...impulse power, set a course for out of this world, far, far away.

Shmolee, unlike Stinkapee hasn't been formally introduced to any rag tag band of community members I can still call friends. There are none. With the exception of my way too patriarchal male parent and Papi's working really hard to stay present even though she's on her own amazing path out of galaxies she's known and grown out of, nana Ophelia, there are no people I've wanted to invite close enough to break bread, make a toast and say welcome to my newest child.

Stinkapee had her naming ceremony at six months. It's been a year and Shmolee has not been properly named or welcomed.

I'm disappointed, disgusted, angry, impatient, frustrated, sad, tearful.

I'm building a new life on the ashes of a life I wanted more than this one. I'm raising children in a physical, emotional, social place I never thought I'd have to live.

I remember reading a book that talked about children having different parents...even though they have the same parents. Inherently children of the same families are born into different situations, different time periods.

Stinkapee was born to a street roving, poetry reading and writing, queeer sex party attending/throwing, demo marching, hair coloured or hacked, deodorant passing, acrylic nail wearing, hopeful, sports bra worn as summer top wearing, given to fits of laughter over pink wine, garden party organizing femme queer writer, community worker still fighting tooth and nail to stay and do good political and creative work inside communities of resistance.

Shmolee was born to a home-making, house painting, gardening, internet roving, craigslist socializing, bleach haired bob haircutted, deodorant and bra wearing, chameleon passing as something approaching middle-class blogging and completely disgruntled, broken hearted, saccarin, conservative summer dress wearing being no longer attempting to find creative ways to stay, who crosses fingers and hopes she sees no one she's known when she goes to market.

Shmolee's birthday was this week and it passed without fanfare. I told myself that it was because he wouldn't have understood. We sung him happy birthday in the car as we ran errands. He gurgled and tried to sing along.

So much emotion rushed in. I revisited stops all over my life as journeyed to this moment. I struggled with regrets knowing they were not something I could honestly say I felt, knowing, if I had the choice to do it all again and arrive back at this mess of a life externally, unsatisfyingly but with me ALL me done up according to my specifications and no one else's, struggling to hold ground in a world where those with political consciousness are just as dangerous and treacherous as those without...I would not change a damn thang.

The knowledge of what I stand in the midst of at this point in my life, at this point in my writer's life, at this point in my life as a political being is horrifyingly painful, terrifyingly real, saddenly anti-climactic. But this is the life they gave me...even if I've yet to figure out why.

Life is back in tha makin'. It's radically re-orging itself around me. I have a babysitter, a person I don't know. I haven't explain a fucking thing to her about who we are. She doesn't know who we are. She's from Mexico. Her family sounds wealthy...mother's a doctor, she's light skinned, perfect english, spanish and french...her boyfriend is an actuary...she's honest about that...which is more than I can say about many woc in activist circles who are all about working race and just happen to not incorporate a class analysis that implicates them, repositions them as more privileged than they would like people/allies to know.

We have a sitter and I'm hoping that although she's a stranger this doesn't mean she's going to harm Stinkapee...who we've hired her to spend time with. Of course, as Papi and I well know, a child's parent's don't have to invite a stranger into their home in order for that child to be profoundly harmed in its own home.

Caregiver is all Stinkapee's idea. She asked for a sitter, told us when she was ready.To be clear, Papi and I had talked over the years about hiring someone we just weren't sure she was or we were ready to have a non family member in our vicintity.

We'd even posted an ad on craigs last year when things go really messy in tha fucking intentional community...I got emails from wimmin who recognized what I'd written and just wanted to check to see if it was really me seeking a childcare person...no they weren't available to work with my family...they just liked having the information that it was me who had placed a fucking ad looking for support.

Shmolee, I'll keep with us or send to nana Ophelia's. Although he's experimenting with sounds that might be words or names, he's not having any conversations about boundaries and inappropriate behaviour.

That's Stinkapee's sole domain presently. She has so many words for acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, so many words she can use to describe her feelings, she has telephone numbers, knows how to use the cell phone and the land line, knows the neighbours next door, knows where Nana Ophelia lives, she knows how to head butt, she knows how to kick and struggle, she has a large voice and a piercing scream.

It was Shmolee's birthday on Tuesday and he is happy and gurgling and completely oblivious to the drama playing out for me as I attempt to do a hard shifting of chosen path. I don't know what I'm gonna come of this place sounding like, looking like, being like. I just know that I had to leave the nowhere community place I had been occupying so filled to the brim with nowhere people who could never truly have been friends, lovers or allies.

Oh GAWD! Nobody write saying I should have a naming ceremony at home with the family. It's really all too much right now. And what with having pretty much left my counsellor, I just need to find a way to not add emotional weight to my day-to-day.

Counsellor-less, I'm inventorying, naming and claiming various bits of emotion as best as I can. Maybe we'll have combination b-day and naming ceremony for the Shmolian when I'm feeling better.

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Obviously, I'm massively late...

Papi and I were watching television. Papi stopped the clicking at APTN. He gravitates toward news shows and the news was on. The news announcer was talking about the upcoming days of action. Since I don't watch or listen to the news I didn't have the foggiest idea what she was referring to.

I googled and found this information :

National Chief Fontaine presented the following speaking notes to members of the Canadian Club. The CBC news article that follows his speaking notes highlight the key points of Chief Fontaine's presentation along with comments by INAC Minister Prentice's comments calling these facts "more rhetoric".

"June 21st, the first day of summer, is National Aboriginal Solidarity Day in Canada and following those celebrations we will be holding a National Day of Action on Friday, June 29th to reach out to all Canadians who want to join us in demonstrating that we all want to work towards solutions.

We want this to be a positive experience and an educational one for all Canadians. Events are being planned across Canada and in the National Capital. As a show of support, we invite you to come out and participate in them, either as a group, or as individuals. And bring your families."

From Chief Fontaine's Speaking Notes (see below)

SPEAKING NOTES

ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS
NATIONAL CHIEF PHIL FONTAINE
CANADIAN CLUB, OTTAWA
TUESDAY, MAY 15, 2007

“Negotiation or Confrontation: It’s Canada’s Choice.”

Traditional greeting

First, I’d like to acknowledge the site of our meeting here today. We are gathered on the traditional territory of the Algonquin people and their chief, Kirby Whiteduck of Golden Lake.

I’d also like to thank the Canadian Club for your invitation to speak. We have a lot in common to talk about… goals for ourselves, our families, our country.

Today I’d like to discuss how we can work together to achieve those goals – for each other and for Canada as a whole nation. And yes, there are ways that you can act… as individuals, as members of the Canadian Club, and as employees and officials of your respective companies and organizations.

You see, since the first treaty was signed with us in 1701, our peoples have believed that cooperation must pave the way to progress. We like to believe that all Canadians feel this way.

Our modus operandi to date has been respect…relationship building… negotiation… consensus… agreement.

We prefer to hold our heads high when dealing with the federal government of Canada. It is always our way.

We also believe it is the way of all Canadians.

We also prefer to avoid the negative… disagreement… confrontation… or worse.

And we believe that confrontation pits one side against another in what can only make for negative results.

Consider where that attitude has gotten us.

Obviously, not very far.

First, let’s look at the state of our First Nations Peoples.

We must admit that First Nations People in Canada live in the most disgusting and shameful conditions imaginable in any developed country.

In Pukatawagan, in Northern Manitoba, Chief Shirley Castel tells us that some two-bedroom homes have as many as 28 people living in them. People are forced to sleep in shifts and many parents often go without sleep to ensure their children are able to learn and play.

Overcrowding in Canada generally is 7%, according to Statistics Canada. For our people in rural areas it is 19 per cent.

How many of you would be able to function as parents on a Monday morning without sleep?

Survivors of the Residential Schools policy will soon be receiving a compensation package. It is one step towards healing the loss of culture, language and a number of abuses that were inflicted on First Nations people.

However, the number of First Nations children who have been removed from their families and placed into state care is now three times the number of children who were placed in Residential Schools at the height of their operation.

It is my understanding that this is not usually because of deliberate physical or sexual abuse. It is because of poverty and its terrible consequences.

We have laid a complaint at the Canadian Human Rights Commission regarding this.

Further, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states that child welfare providers should not remove children from their homes due to poverty. Instead, impoverished families must be provided with the means to safely care for their children.

The Convention spells out the rights of children very clearly: the right to survival; to develop to the fullest; to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life.

Remember that Canada is a signatory to this convention.

But aside from this breach of the UN Convention, imagine the effects on our children of removing them from their homes.

Imagine the fear, the loneliness, the loss of language and culture, and family ties – all over again.

And imagine if you returned to your home today to find that your child had been taken away and put into state care. Think of what it would do to them emotionally… and to you.

In November of 1989, all parties in the House of Commons joined to vote unanimously to work to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000. The statistics for 2006 show that one in every six children in Ontario lives in poverty – and for Aboriginal children across Canada that number is one in four.

Unfortunately, while programs do exist to assist First Nations families and children, for the past 11 years there has been a 2% arbitrary funding cap on core Indian Affairs services.

As a result, First Nations child welfare agencies receive 22% less funding per child than provincial agencies. Indian and Northern Affairs has to reallocate funds from other essential services just to meet the 11% annual growth in maintenance costs for these agencies.

This is blatant fiscal discrimination.

It doesn’t keep pace with inflation and is certainly outstripped by our young and growing population.

The UN Human Development Index ranks Canada at about sixth in the world. First Nations on reserves rank somewhere around 63th, according to Indian and Northern Affairs.

And remember Chretien used to rave about Canada being the number one country in the world.

The Department’s own officials have warned the federal government that First Nations’ socio-economic status will continue to worsen and the gap widen -- yet these warnings have not been heeded.

And frankly, we are fearful of the effect this is having on the well-being and public safety in our communities.

So here I am again today… hammering away at yet another group.

Many of our communities have reached the breaking point. The anger and frustration are palpable. People are so tired and fed up with this type of existence – especially when all around them is a better life… and hope.

Living without hope is perhaps the worst aspect of life for so many of Canada’s First Nations peoples.

That lack of hope plays out in many ways. Desperation breeds abuse… suicide… crime… civil disobedience.

And what shame this brings to a country like ours… one of the wealthiest countries in the world. What a black mark it is against Canada internationally.

How can Canada continue to hold itself up as an example for other countries.

By now you’re probably thinking, yes, we’ve heard this. The conditions of First Nations communities have been reported on extensively by the media. They’ve done their part to tell this story and continue to tell it.

And honestly, notoriety due to the state our peoples have been reduced to is not something we wish to continue.

We realize that out of sight is out of mind. And most of our people are conveniently out of sight in rural and isolated communities.

But perhaps this scenario will bring home to you exactly how our people exist.

Consider the situation of Kelly Morrisseau.

This is a woman - a mother of three - who was stabbed more than a dozen times and left to die off Gamelin Boulevard, near Gatineau Park, a few weeks before Christmas.

She was seven months pregnant at the time.

Kelly left the Sagkeeng First Nation community, north of Winnipeg – where I come from -- when she was three. She moved with her family then to Winnipeg and more recently to Ottawa, where her mom, some of her siblings and other relatives lived.

But life in Ottawa was not what she had hoped. There were no opportunities for her here either. No work. Little hope.

Kelly was found in a parking lot by someone walking their dog early in the morning. She was still alive. She made it to the hospital, but died within an hour, along with her unborn child.

This happened right across the river here.

This was a woman like any other woman in Canada. She had hopes for her children, dreams for her unborn child. She could have been any one of us… our sister… our mother.

There, but for the grace of God, as the saying goes.

And so where is the public outcry about the loss of Kelly Morrisseau… especially now with the Robert Pickton trial underway in BC.

It’s estimated that more than 500 First Nations women have disappeared or died violently during the past 30 years.

These are shocking images to think about, I know. They make people feel uncomfortable… It’s unfortunate that I have to speak about these realities. But hopefully you’ll feel uncomfortable enough to do something about it.

So that’s the situation we’re left with.

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Now, consider what we’ve done, as First Nations, to try to eliminate these circumstances.

Think about the number of times and ways - and the number of years - we’ve been working on these and the other issues that get in the way of our making decent lives for ourselves and our families.

We have been involved in discussions and round tables and negotiations and commissions of inquiry for decades now… decades.

Let me give you a few examples.

In the summer of 1990 – a full 17 years ago now -- the Oka Crisis erupted. It led to the establishment of a Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples in 1992 and the Specific Claims Commission. And after four years of study what happened to the report’s 400-plus recommendations.

The language used in the report was so hopeful…

In the Highlights of the report, in a section perhaps appropriately titled Last Words, the commissioners stated:

All of us have a part in securing the new relationship - people and governments, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal organizations, big and small. We have 20 years of building and experimentation to look forward to - using, for the first time in many decades, all the energies of Aboriginal people as they create and live the dream of a Canada that they can share with others and yet be fully at home.

During that time - and beyond it - we can look forward to a Canada that celebrates Aboriginal heritage and draws strength from Aboriginal peoples as full partners in a renewed federation.

So where did the authors of this report go wrong. Why have so many peoples’ ideas and opinions been left to collect dust.

I call for a new relationship… one of mutual respect.

The report also clearly spoke of the consequences of inaction:
History and human decency demand restoration of fair measures of land, resources and power to Aboriginal peoples.

On those foundations, self-respect and self-reliance will grow steadily firmer in Aboriginal communities. In their absence, anger and despair will grow steadily deeper - with conflict the likely result.

The Commission proposed a 20-year agenda for change… 20 years. It would have been completed in just a few years from now.

-------------

Here’s another example of our efforts.

In 2004 we embarked on another plan to try to get things moving – the Canada-Aboriginal Roundtable process. Over 18 months we engaged approximately 1000 people across the country to put forward their best ideas and best solutions to issues we and the government of Canada face.

This was First Nations peoples – individuals like yourselves – coming forward with open hearts, open minds, and in the spirit of good faith.

The solutions that were reached then were agreed to in Kelowna, in a First Ministers’ meeting in 2005 and – as you are all aware – the Kelowna Accord was shelved by the current government. What a missed opportunity…

Is this a government that thinks it can do better than First Nations peoples on issues regarding our own self-determination?

Is it prepared to do better?

Does it have better ideas?

If so, let’s hear them.

The conservatives’ own campaign material states the following:
A Conservative government will:

-- Accept the targets agreed upon at the recent Meeting of First Ministers and National Aboriginal Leaders, and work with first ministers and Aboriginal leaders on achieving these targets and…

-- Replace the Indian Act with a modern legislative framework which provides for the devolution of full legal and democratic responsibility to aboriginal Canadians for their own affairs within the Constitution, including the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Has this happened? No.

Imagine if First Nations people were in the position of making decisions on self-determination for non-Aboriginal Canadians.

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Let’s discuss land claims for a moment.

Currently, there is a backlog of about 1100 specific land claims.
And at the current rate that they’re moving through the system the Senate has estimated it will take about 130 years to resolve them – more than a century… that would take us past the year 2100. It’s hard to imagine what Canada will even look like by then.

The Senate Committee, chaired by Gerry St. Germain, has stated that in every case where land claims have been settled it has meant an immediate improvement in the lives of our people.

The Senate’s report, by the way, is the title of my speech today – Negotiation or Confrontation: It’s Canada’s Choice.

I’m sure many of you are aware how slowly lawyers and courtrooms operate. In some instances it has taken 28 years of legal wrangling just to get a claim moving.

Most recently, on the issue of the latest federal budget, our organization, the AFN, made more than 21 presentations to Parliament on many critical issues. We tabled extensive and detailed plans throughout the pre-budget consultation process.
And almost weekly our people continue taking their plans and proposals to officials at every level.

And what was the result of this process… We were virtually shut out of the budget.

So, as you can see, First Nations people are beginning to question the so-called rational process.

Many people ask why First Nations peoples are so angry… at this point you must realize we have a right to be.

The question for you is, how can we make this right.

And I’m not talking about some sort of stop-gap measure. We’ve had our Royal Commission, our round tables and negotiations for decades now… decades.

Our people won’t be put off any longer… or side-tracked.
Side-issues aimed at deflecting attention away from our core problems will not work.

And whisper campaigns that try to undermine the confidence non-aboriginal Canadians have in our ability to responsibly govern our own affairs are being met with the facts – clear and simple.

Our governments have proven they are accountable and are more than willing and able to take on new challenges. The will of the Canadian public includes action on First Nations issues.
Canadians want this resolved.

The deal that came out of the First Ministers Meeting in Kelowna had widespread support from Canadians because it was viewed as a solid plan.

We have a number of ideas and initiatives that you, your colleagues and the leaders of your organizations and companies, can be involved in.

We’ve reached out with the Make Poverty History campaign to engage all Canadians. Go to our website and sign the petition.
E-mail the link to your children. See how fast they’ll spread it around. Help organize or participate in an event. Be part of a world-wide initiative that is making a difference.

Closer to home, push for land claim settlements. Push for the settlement of the claim right here in your own backyard, at the old Rockcliffe airbase, on Algonquin territory. Land claims settlements are one of the most direct routes to self determination for us. Call or e-mail your Member of Parliament.

It’ll take two minutes of your time.

Hold your officials accountable.

The Conference Board of Canada, as long ago as 1993, stated that unresolved land claims create a major barrier to investment on First Nations lands. This doesn’t have to be.

As we’ve seen in BC recently, First Nations have become so frustrated trying to resolve land claims they’ve begun direct negotiations with the companies involved in resource development on their lands. In effect, they’ve started bypassing the federal government.

Demand that First Nations be given a fair share of resource revenues. Canada’s economy was built on its natural resources and they have made it one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

Non-aboriginal peoples have taken full advantage of this richness. It’s time that we received our fair share.

Get involved in procurement and investment. We believe there are tremendous opportunities in the area of procurement. And large companies can easily encourage their suppliers to work with First Nations. We are open for business.

Start providing employment opportunities. Target our people.
Lately the media has concentrated on stories relating to the aging population and impending shortage of labor. Just to give you an idea of our population figures, we have more than 750,000 status people – that’s equal to the population of Ottawa. And more than half our population is under the age of 23.

We also know companies that are moving employees from other countries to Canada when we have this largely untapped source of labor right here at home.

We’ve established the Corporate Challenge to make our plans for recognition, investment and implementation known and we’re looking for new partners in this initiative. To date Siemens Canada and Bell Canada have signed Memorandums of Understanding…and companies like Adobe, SixTech, Encana and the Royal Bank are all stepping up to this challenge.

Join them.

Sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the AFN. Draft a plan for addressing any or all of our four key areas: procurements, investments, partnerships and employment. These are the areas where many of you excel.

Take a seat at our Corporate Table for Peer Review and Dialogue where we discuss business relationships and ventures to directly reduce the economic gap between our people and other Canadians.

The Corporate Table will publish an Annual Report on the state of the First Nations Economy.

We are also planning an Economic Summit where the results of the National Chief’s Corporate Table will be made public.

And from there the Corporate Table will provide a forum for international dialogue and action on sustainable economic development with indigenous peoples, internationally.

I’m encouraged by the genuine interest of people I’ve talked to about this and together I do believe we can achieve important results.

So in closing I have to repeat that we’ve had the discussions, the talks, the negotiations. The time for that is coming to a close.

As First Nations People we want the same things you want, as written in your Constitution Act in 1867. In fact, it’s what all people want -- peace, order and good government.

There has been a lot of discussion in the media about the possibility of a long, hot summer – about the possibility of blockades like the one we saw recently on the Toronto-Montreal rail corridor.

I am not about to dispel this concern. The frustration people feel is very real. And as I’ve tried to explain today, there are other ways.

June 21st, the first day of summer, is National Aboriginal Solidarity Day in Canada and following those celebrations we will be holding a National Day of Action on Friday, June 29th to reach out to all Canadians who want to join us in demonstrating that we all want to work towards solutions.

We want this to be a positive experience and an educational one for all Canadians. Events are being planned across Canada and in the National Capital. As a show of support, we invite you to come out and participate in them, either as a group, or as individuals. And bring your families.

Thank you. Meegwetch.







if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.