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View Diary: The Homosexual "Agenda" (227 comments)

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  •  Another in the myriad daily outrages... (4.00)
    School Officials Ban Photo of Lesbian in Tuxedo

    From Raw Story:


    FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. -- The picture of a lesbian student dressed in a tuxedo will not be permitted in her school's yearbook, the Clay County school officials decided.

    Principal Sam Ward of Fleming Island High School made the initial decision to pull Kelli Davis's picture from the yearbook, saying he did so because Davis, who is openly gay, was dressed in boy's clothes.

    The county school board and its superintendent backed the decision, which was debated at a Thursday night School Board meeting attended by about 200 people.

    Fifteen of the 24 people who spoke at the meeting were in favor of Davis and nine supported the principal's decision.

    Kelli's mother, Cindi Davis, asked the board to reverse Ward's decision.

    "This is not to be treated as a gay right's issue," her mother said. "Rather it's a human rights issue."

    Some applauded Ward's decision, including Karen Gordon, who said, "When uniformity is compromised, then authority no longer holds."

    School officials have maintained that sexual preference is not the issue, it is gender. They said since Davis did not follow the rules on dress, she will not be in the yearbook.

    Bruce Bickner, an attorney representing the School Board, said there is no written dress code for senior pictures, but also said the district gives principals the authority to set standards.

    The board took no action to reverse Ward's decision and Superintendent David Owens said the decision will stand.

    Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

    by Maryscott OConnor on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 04:35:13 AM PST

    •  This is chilling... (4.00)
      Some applauded Ward's decision, including Karen Gordon, who said, "When uniformity is compromised, then authority no longer holds."
      So much for individuality and freedom of expression and association. Quaint ideas, really.

      As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields. -Leo Tolstoy

      by timerigger on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 04:48:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Its just cause they love us (4.00)
      "Younger sister Lindsay, a 14-year-old ninth-grader, recently wore a T-shirt to school that displayed the word "hate" with a circle around it and a black line through it."

      "She had to change shirts," her mother said. "The school said it was inflammatory."

      http://youcanthandletthetruth.blogspot.com/2005/02/have-fuckin-blessed-day.html

      •  kids say the darndest things (4.00)
        When my best friend and her partner went to Vermont to tie the knot, I was explaining to my four-year old that E. and N. were now married. My own parental insecurities thought that she might be confused, so I said,
        "Honey, you know that girls can marry girls, right?"
        She nodded.
        "And that boys can marry boys?"
        Again, she nodded. "And you know what else, Mommy?"
        "No, honey. Tell me."
        In that uber-serious four-year old voice: "Boys can marry girls, too."
    •  What about Katherine Hepbern (4.00)
      she always dressed in men's clothing when not making a movie.  She wasn't gay.

      Come to think of it, I wear men's overalls all the time.  Ut oh...

      The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

      by TXsharon on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 05:51:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This hurts my brain (4.00)
      This is just so wrong on so many levels I'm having trouble getting my mind wrapped around it. OK...a couple of deep breaths...easy...here we go.

      First of all, of course it is about sexual orientation. And if the principal says it's not, he's a goddamn liar. Do a quick web search and you will find lots of ladies tuxedos. Tuxedos are widely accepted as formal wear for women. Unless of course your principal is a homophobe.

      Second, it is sexist. The principal has no problem with boys wearing tuxedos in thier pictures. Someone needs to tell him that it's 2005, not 1955. I'll bet if you looked around that schoolboard meeting you would probably even see women wearing, god forbid, pants.

      Third, it is completely arbitrary. They openly admit there is no written policy on a dress code for yearbook pictures. That's because they know if they tried to write up some kind of dress code that had a different standard for boys than girls, it would get shot down in a New York minute.

      Fourth, that weird comment about uniformity and authority is just creepy. Perhaps if we just manufactured mindless automoton children in a factory somewhere it would make these school official's lives easier.

      And lastly, do they even realize that they are talking about a human being here? That maybe, just maybe, she might someday want to page through her old yearbooks and fondly remember her high school days. Fat chance of that now. Her high school memories will likely be of hate, bigotry, and sexism. And for what, being herself?

      This girl and her parents likely paid hundreds of dollars for her yearbook portraits, not to mention tuxedo rental, hair, makeup, etc. Her parents are probably extremely proud of thier daughter graduating school. She was probably looking forward to all the memories that the magic time of "senior year" brings. And now that all gets stomped on by some small-minded goons.

      On a side note: I had the unfortunate experience of graduating during that strange period in the late 1970s when baby-blue tuxedos with ruffled shirts were considered acceptable formal attire. Now that should have been outlawed.

    •  I'm pretty sure I'm straight (4.00)
      okay, I am very sure I'm straight.  But I just don't "do" dresses.  I have not worn one since I was forced to for my high school graduation in 1978.  Not even for my wedding(s).

      This story is chilling, and kind of ironic for me, because I too wanted to wear a tux to my prom.  My date thought it was cool...he was okay with it.  They wouldn't let me.  I was turned away at the door of the swanky hotel and I had to go home and wear some ugly ill-fitting thing of my older sisters.

      In this case, the quashing of her personality and uniqueness, in favor of conformity, is what's wrong with us today.

      THey need conformity, damnit, or we might rise up and beat these fuckers down.

      How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?

      by getmeoutofdixie on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 06:45:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is insane. (4.00)
      And probably deserving of a diary of its own.

      Her folks had to pay $700 to buy an ad in the back of the yearbook where the picture will be printed.

      And the claim of a dress code violation. I wonder, what do you suppose would've happened if the student wore a hijab? Ah, yes, dress code.

      This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.

      by RabidChild on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 07:01:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm a woman, virtually never wear a dress, (4.00)
      hate make-up, and didn't think I was stupid, or a bigot, until....

      I advertised a music class I was running.  A woman called me to enquire about it.  She said she was a singer/song-writer and guitarist.  She sent me some sheet music of her songs.  On the phone, she had a most beautiful speaking voice, low, slightly husky.  Her songs were lovely, and I could imagine how they would sound when she sang them.  She couldn't come for the first couple of classes, but I was looking forward to the week when she would show up.

      Then she showed up.  She was about 6'2", huge jaw, five o' clock shadow, long frizzy ginger hair.  She was wearing a grubby green crimplene miniskirt with an uneven hem, a pink handknitted cardigan, and man's shoes.  I flinched.  She sang beautifully.  Afterwards came over to talk to me.  She stood too close.  Her hair smelt of old cigarette smoke and her fingers were yellow. She said she was homeless, she'd been thrown out of a bed-and-breakfast place that morning.

      I said she could stay with us until she found somewhere.  She stayed a week, during which she followed me round the house, always standing too close.  She wanted advice on clothes and make-up, which she clearly needed.  But I couldn't stand it.  Everything she wanted to know about being "female" was stuff I was trying to shed at the time, as part of what I saw as the oppression of women (it was 1975).  I started to hide, pretend I was out.  I should have taken her shopping, found some pretty things.  But I hated pretty things.

      She was transgendered (of course), but it was uncommon at that time and place, so it took me a while to twig, even though the people at the Arts Centre where I taught snickered about her and called her "he".  She couldn't afford the hormone treatment, and without it couldn't "pass" enough to get an address, let alone a job and enough money for hormones.  I really wanted to help.

      But I failed the test.  I couldn't cope.  I hope she's OK.  

      •  that you care (4.00)
        about her 40 years later says a lot about you.  You handled it the best way your 1975 world experiences would have allowed.

        How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?

        by getmeoutofdixie on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 07:32:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  S'pose so... (4.00)
          but it certainly blew a hole in any complacency I might have had about my capacity for tolerating people with whose sexuality I couldn't identify.  If I'm honest, I found her wish to be female demeaning, a contradiction of what I felt myself to be as a woman.

          I think that what I felt was a shadow (maybe not a shadow) of what homophobic men may feel about gay men - that it is somehow a challenge to their own sense of who they are as men.  So while I don't for one moment justify homophobia, I think it has to be understood as a reaction that is not entirely under rational control, and rooted in a social construct of sexuality that is hard for them to break.  As you point out, my own reaction was rooted in its time and place.

          Maybe there are signs of change.

          •  Time and place (4.00)
            are very important here. The feminism of that time was hugely concerned with examining the social construction of gender roles, and with the breaking down of those roles that felt so confining to so many women. Within that context, many, many people had serious problems dealing with transgender issues, which seemed to simply reinforce those roles. This is still a topic for discussion, though gladly now that discussion tends to include transfolk and others, who I might add are really all over the spectrum in terms of personal views on gender.

            It's not surprising, though, within the context of that time, that you were going to feel threatened. It's also not surprising, within the context of that time, that she wouldn't know how to approach the issue, given that trans issues were so hidden that she probably had no frame of reference for where to even begin on her psychological transition, and how to give you the space you probably would've needed to cope with the idea.

            Point being: don't beat yourself up for it, it was a learning experience. Your analysis is probably pretty right on, IMO, and I think that most heterosexual men in our culture relate to themselves partially through how they relate to women (hence the "I'm a big stud" game), from which it easily follows that many would feel their never-before-questioned definition of manhood threatened by gay men, and especially those who challenge gender in other ways ("girly men", say). That straight women seem to have this problem less often when relating to lesbians (though it certainly still happens, particularly with "butch" lesbians) is something that I tend to think comes from having had to already examine to some degree what it means to be a woman in a modern context, though of course real answers there are none. Just the act of questioning the meaning of gender, though, does something. This is something that I suspect very few straight men in our culture have to do.

            But now I'm just rambling.

            If you're interested in a more modern context for trans issues, there are some decent books out there... though I don't agree with most of the authors' views (as one of those trannies who has very much my own views of gender, which do not match the sort of consensus-trans-view and are the reason I usually pause before applying the "trans" label to myself... but that's another story), they're well worth a read. Also, this current wave of young feminists is approaching the issue from a very different angle than the older waves of feminism, and there are some interesting reads there, too. I'm having a hard time thinking of names off the top of my head (not enough coffee yet, methinks), but can maybe be more specific later if you're interested.  

            •  Thanks for this (none)
              Actually, when I think of it, if I had taken her shopping, we would have looked a bizarre pair - me in my overalls, flashing hairy armpits, she in her miniskirt and stubble.  Probably have been thrown out.

              I think I could cope now (though I still hate dresses).

              Have you done a diary on your experience?

              •  I've thought about it (4.00)
                but I'm cautious in doing so...

                both for personal reasons (dealing with my own sort of transitioning issues, which are a whole lot to handle, and having too much on my plate in general lately)

                and also because I'm always a little cautious on a forum like this, where the vast majority of people have no concept of trans issues or even frequently of broader gender issues. As I said, I'm pretty unusual in my views, and probably not a very good "intro" to the whole thing. I would absolutely hate my experiences being taken as speaking for the larger transgender community by people who are so far outside of it that they don't have any basis for understanding the current discussion, if you catch my drift.

                That being said, at some point I will probably have to write something larger on the subject. I have a lot of sorting out in my own head to do before I can feel very solid talking about it in a forum where we're all essentially reduced to cute handles and typed crap on a screen. Dunno if that's a good excuse, but there you go.

                •  Totally Hear You on this (4.00)
                  I've only done a couple of comments discussing my own status so far, and that took me a couple of months to get to the point that I felt safe doing so.  Still, having made that leap, I feel more comfortable commenting on things now.  

                  As for the issue of representative views, I'm not entirely sure where I would fit on that myself.  I don't really know very many other transfolk(like that word) either online or in RL, so I don't have a large sample to compare to, but even within that small sample there is tremendous variation in how we  think about and deal with gender.  I suspect that this is not only because people are different, but because by not being able to fit into our assigned roles we end up in territory with much smaller set of culteral expectations and rules, which makes it easier to make up our own minds.  

                  "I'm going to dance the dream, and make the dream come true." -Kate Bush

                  by ellisande on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 01:44:37 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Wide variation (none)
                    seems to be pretty much the norm.

                    Still, I've been dismayed lately, partially because I live in an area that does have a decent-sized trans community, at precisely the lack of questioning that I've seen in some of my trans friends here. Now, of course, their path is their own, and I hope that whatever they choose to do, they make themselves happier and more secure people. But I personally am not comfortable with the... let's say concrete... ways in which many of them have been approaching their own gender.

                    But there's a whole lot of room for discussion on this. I'm just not sure this particular forum/community is in any shape for that kind of discussion, when our simple existence as trans seems to be such a massive revelation. This is to be expected, IMO, in such a general forum, and I don't mean anything negative about people who don't have experience here. But discussing myself a whole lot probably requires a bit of that discussion too, which is a hard discussion even for people who already are in it.

                    anyway, rambling complete for the moment. Good to hear from you... I've always wondered how many of us transfolk (and I love the term too) are lurking about around these parts. Maybe it's something that should come up more, I dunno. Anyway, feel free to email anytime with thoughts or whatever.

                    •  I think you should do that diary (none)
                      if you can.  There may be more of you than you think, and having come clean about my own struggle with the issue, I can say that although it took a while, I'm ready for the discussion!  It helped me see gender as a continuum, and not just a one dimensional continuum either.  

                      And while this community seems pretty right-on about stuff like abortion and gay marriage, all those Coulter gags made me cringe.  They are what brought back those memories of 30 years ago in fact.  

                    •  Just emailed you. (none)
                      I'd also have to chime in with Febble, it might well be worth doing that diary (only if you're comfortable with it, of course), I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few more of us around too.  I know of a couple, and that gender poll a few months ago had at least 17 people who chose the more complicated answer so there should be more of us lurking.

                      "I'm going to dance the dream, and make the dream come true." -Kate Bush

                      by ellisande on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 04:42:27 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

          •  can identify (4.00)
            In a time and place when I was rejecting certain gender expectations of me as a woman, aspects that for me had connotations of fragility and weakness, it seemed ironic or misguided or something that the transgender folks were focusing on some cloying, superficial, frilly, uberfeminine characteristics. It seemed to me that they were missing the boat on what it meant to be a woman, that the "woman" they were striving to be was not the essence of womanhood but a very superficial misinterpretation. But given the times and the circumstances, it was understandable.
      •  30 years later... (4.00)
        and there are still hundreds of homeless transgendered people. Not surprisingly, many transgendered people are also alcoholics and drug addicts.

        Hell, I'm an alcoholic and drug addict, and I never had to walk through a room full of people who stared and whispered and pointed and laughed because of who I was.

        They stared and whispered and pointed and laughed because of how I behaved... but that is another story altogether...

        Sorry. Levity is one of my defense mechanisms. This kind of shit makes my heart hurt.

        Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

        by Maryscott OConnor on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 09:54:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What a haunting story. (none)
        The odds are that she didn't fair well at all in life, and I'm hopeful she has found some peace.  Thanks so much for your honesty and sensitivity.  Geez, that's so depressing....aach.  

        On some great & glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last & the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

        by lightiris on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 10:08:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This is a rough one (none)
      While I have all the empathy and sensitivity and understanding in the world for gay and transgendered teens I have a hard time working myself up over this one.  Unless this school has a crazy layout for the class pages in the yearbook we're talking about a bust photo, making me wonder why Kelli thought she'd have to put on a dress at all.  No shirt plus swath of fabric...instant female yearbook picture.  Because we are talking about sex here, not gender.  Ding dong photos will look this way, hoo hah photos will look this other way.  It makes the layout cleaner and because it's been done this way for so long it is among the expectations one who opens any yearbook carries with him, to see the stereotypical yearbook photos.  And I don't see this as neccessarily insidious.  I wore do-rags all through high school (as a male, this was pretty genderlectrified [it was 88-91, cut me some slack]) to tame a mop of dog hair but I had no expectation of being allowed to sport one for my yearbook photo.  Most yearbook editors are friggin Nazis (IME) and I wouldn't have tried to get by with it unless I was spoiling for a fight.  "This'll show 'em."  "Won't THIS piss off the squares!"

      I guess basically I can't understand making a big deal about this from either side.  She wore a tux for the picture?  So what?

      She had to look like a girl for the picture?  So what?

      (Please refrain from piling on with "you don't understand how much this picture means to her," you'll have a hard time selling me on the psychic significance of a yearbook photo.)

      [/borderline over-pragmatic]

      •  Look like a girl? (4.00)
        I think this is the crux of why you're having difficulty understanding why, today, forcing someone to into gender-identifying clothing is problematic.  

        Why doesn't this student have the right to choose between the two "approved" attires for this photo?  What does "look like a girl" mean?  She looks like a girl in a tux to me.  

        You're defending their disrespect for her personal identity and wishes in a one-time-only photograph in her life.    

        On some great & glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last & the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

        by lightiris on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 12:56:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I guess you missed (none)
          the parentheses at the end of the post you replied to.

          Yes, she would "look like a girl."  At least all of the girls in all the surrounding yearbook photos.  And there are many times in life when your personal identity and wishes(!) are going to be disrespected in this life.  And as life progresses I question the crushing importance of a friggin yearbook photo among the other instances later to come.  Perhaps this is another lesson for school to teach, that someday your regional sales supervisor might not think your septum barbell and damien from the omen forehead tattoo are empowering, life affirming and super for your self-esteem.  Point of fact your regional supervisor will likely care exactly fuckall about you being empowered, whether your life is affirmed, whether you have a gram of self esteem, whether or not your personal identity and wishes are being respected.

          Don't pounce.  Your words, personal identity and wishes.  Yearbook photo, fer chrissakes!

          •  If you can't take (none)
            a challenge response to your post, then don't post it.  No one here is "pouncing," I'm merely disagreeing with you.

            That said, you seem to be projecting some sort of life bitterness onto this girl's legitimate wish to wear school-approved attire in her high school yearbook.  Life sucks, get over it lectures are beside the point.  The fact that you don't value the photograph, too, is also irrelevant.  Her request is not tantamount to attire and personal appearance protocols on a daily basis in the workplace.  This is her high school photo; she should be entitled to wear the school approved outfit of her choice and should be supported in her endeavor to do so.  

            On some great & glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last & the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

            by lightiris on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 01:35:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Life sucks, get over it (none)
              was my point exactly.  I have no bitterness.  I instead have the sense to know how to pick my battles (that, in fact, picking my battles is a wise policy.)

              What would she wear to a funeral, in your estimation?  From what department would she purchase her funeral wear?  

              And what on earth gave her the idea that individual expression WOULDN'T be squashed in a secondary education context?

              (I can take it just fine, BTW.  The "don't pounce" was an imperative clause.  Just because I speak plainly or bluntly doesn't mean I'm fired up, angry, indignant, belligerent or...bitter.)

              •  Learning how to pick your battles wisely (none)
                is something you sometimes have to learn from bitter experience.

                Something Kelli's principal doesn't seemed to have learned.

                •  If you say so (none)
                  but one assumes that Kelli's principal, as an enforcer of indoctrination, sees this as every bit as vital an issue as Kelli does.

                  I'm all for loosening the strictures, let the kids wear ICP face paint for their pictures (if they don't mind being "that mouth-breather" to all their classmates, that is) for all I care.  But only if they all get to.

                  Do you think the principal would have allowed it if a few guys wore dresses for their pics?  And if they were straight?  I can't see where her gender-related freedom of sartorial expression is more valuable than any other student's non gender-related freedom.

                  •  Look, I don't know how old you are, (none)
                    and I'm old enough to know better than to fight this battle with you, but....

                    I've played in orchestras for years, and often the official dress is; tux for men, long black dresses for women.  Lots of women don't like to wear a dress, so they go for the tux.   A lot warmer for a start. Nobody gives a damn. It's not a big statement, pants and jacket are perfectly acceptable women's wear.  

                    Kelli had her photo taken in a tux, and assumed it would go into the yearbook.  She looks terrific.   The principal, old enough to know better, seems to have vetoed it.  Who's being petty?  The teenager, who seems to have maturity beyond her years IMO, or the principal?  And do you honestly think the fact that Kelli was an open lesbian had nothing to do with the principal's decision?

                    Get a grip.

                     

                    •  Kelli looks adorable (none)
                      in that tux.  The principal in a school is supposed to be the primary educator, the lead teacher.  This principal is an ass of the worst sort, and I'm glad I don't teach under his petty, homophobic, and disrespectful direction.  Yuck.  

                      On some great & glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last & the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

                      by lightiris on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 03:07:50 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  31 (none)
                      Sorry if that makes it harder to think of me as a wet behind the ears pink ass kid to be disregarded, but there it is.

                      Look, in the cost/benefit analysis I just don't think it behooves Kelli, the cause of individualism or gender liberated dressing to "crash" ceremonial functions (under which category I'd list class photos.)  People aren't there to be taught a lesson, to see how neat you are or to embrace your individual identity's full wonderfulness.  There are myriad opportunities in life for doing just that and by all means get with it.

                      I just want to make a case for not turning every damn thing in life into a political fight (for not turning every damn thing in life into I me mine.)  That makes me a conformist?

                      Remember when replying I LIKE G.G Allin, do ya.  I'm not some prim spinster who is personally horrified.  I'm just a guy who doesn't see the universal primacy of my worldview over every daily experience of my tragically benighted countrymen.

                        •  shitty behavior (none)
                          on the part of the Principal and some students, and if the piercing and tattoos part is true then go Kelli, put in your tuxedo photo.

                          But I'm still a firm believer in choosing both your battles and your moments.  And I'm still pretty sure class photos isn't an appropriate (and perhaps more importantly EFFECTIVE) venue for asserting your special individuality.  

                      •  And in case you miss it (none)
                        this:

                        In September, accompanied by her mom, Kelli showed up at Cady & Cady studios in Mandarin to have her senior picture taken. The choice of outfit (provided by the studio) was either a black drape or a tuxedo top. As she stood watching the process, Kelli began to get an uncomfortable feeling. She watched as a girl with orange spiked hair and ear- and lip-piercings adjusted the drape low between her breasts, barely covering her nipples.

                        "I knew right then I couldn't wear that drape. Even as a kid, I would never expose my chest," Kelli says with a slight smile. "So I choose the tuxedo. Hey, if it's good enough for Sharon Stone and Sigourney Weaver, it was good enough for me."

                        When Kelli's turn came, she donned the tuxedo top and bowtie, and posed for a series of photographs. The resulting shots are cute in a Mary Lou Retton-kind of way, but otherwise unremarkable.

                        Kelli herself forgot about them until October, when she began hearing rumors that her picture wasn't going to appear in the yearbook.

                        Just how the story of the "tuxedo pictures" reached Principal Ward isn't entirely clear. But accounts of his reaction are uniform. He was not happy. And he declared Kelli Davis' picture would never be a part of his yearbook. Like everyone else, Kelli heard the news through the school gossip grapevine. She was shocked by the news, but her mother was furious. Cindi Davis, who calls her daughter "a good and caring person," says Ward's reaction was preposterous. Her fiancé, Jacksonville neurosurgeon Scott Boggs, says Ward impugned "the dignity of one of his greatest students. I felt the tuxedo issue was benign ... a minor matter. He choose to escalate it to a major problem."

                        and this:

                  •  Her freedom of expression (none)
                    isn't any more important than any other student's.  If there are guys who want to wear the drape because of their gender identity, the principal should let them because there are no dress code provisions that prohibit it.  They are entitled to the same "freedom of sartorial expression" that she is.  

                    Pick the drape or pick the tux.  Period.  

                     

                    On some great & glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last & the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

                    by lightiris on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 03:05:09 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  WHy do you keep insisting on equating... (4.00)
                    tattooes and wild piercings... with a female wearing a tuxedo?

                    It's a fucking ITEM OF CLOTHING. If it's acceptable for a GUY to wear, it ought to be acceptable for a CHICK to wear.

                    I cannot BELIEVE we're having this fucking conversation in 2005. If I were this girl or her parent, I woudl sue the motherfucking school district. She's not asking to have a photo placed in the eyarbook displaying an unseemly amount of flesh, or a t-shirt with an obscene slogan on it -- or any writing at all, for that matter. She's not asking to be photographed wearing KABUKI makeup or wearing a bizarre headdress. She wants to wear a tuxedo because she prefers that ensemble to a motherfucking DRESS.

                    It's not the same as your goddamned DO-rag.

                    And yes, I'd be arguing the EXACT same thing if it were a guy who wanted to wear a prom dress in his yearbook photo.

                    THIS IS LUDICROUS.

                    Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

                    by Maryscott OConnor on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 05:02:31 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  off your meds? (none)
                      "It's a fucking ITEM OF CLOTHING. If it's acceptable for a GUY to wear, it ought to be acceptable for a CHICK to wear."

                      then

                      "It's not the same as your goddamned DO-rag."

                      You aren't Lewis Black.  Take a pill.

                      •  Fuck you, buddy. (none)
                        First, the "meds" comment is OLD, and highly insulting to people who actually NEED meds. (I happen to BE one of those people, more's the insult.)

                        Second, fuck you, buddy. I'm not Lewis Black, you're right about that.

                        I'm MARYSCOTT O'CONNOR, BITCH.

                        Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

                        by Maryscott OConnor on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 12:17:18 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

              •  She should wear (none)
                whatever she feels like wearing to a funeral.   She can wear a gorilla suit for all I care.  So what.  It's her choice what clothes she wears, not yours, and she doesn't have to subscribe to your sensibilities.  

                You still insist that she has to learn to tow the line here because that's your experience.  Well, she may ultimately end up learning the same lesson, but it'll be on her terms, not yours.  

                On some great & glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last & the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

                by lightiris on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 02:35:10 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  So a funeral (none)
                  is another appropriate venue for free individual expression?

                  There is no room for considerations of the others attending and participating?  A gorilla suit for all you care?  But what about the surviving family members in attendance.  They don't want to have a memory of a gorilla suit at the funeral that's just tough luck?  Life sucks, get over it?

                  Appropriateness is not an antiquated conservative notion.  And sometimes, even if it kills you a little inside even, you restrain yourself from indulging your every personal-identity driven whim because you give a shit about all the other people going through this thing with you.

                  •  Of course (none)
                    a funeral is a venue for free expression in honor of the dead.  If someone feels it is in the deceased's honor to wear a gorilla suit, I say more power to him.  Who cares?  I know, you do.  

                    You seem very rigid in what you perceive as "appropriate" and in the value of conforming to what others think.  I think you should let others determine for themselves what they believe to be appropriate and suffer their own consequences.   Jesus Christ, it's still a free country.  

                    On some great & glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last & the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

                    by lightiris on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 02:57:15 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Never thought I'd see the day (none)
                      I was singled out as a proponent of conformity.  So this topic has created a memorable moment, I'll say that for it!

                      I really think I'm having a hard time communicating the core of my position because this issue is complicated and my stance itself is less than simple.  Maybe...BULLETS!

                      --Some people are going to be put off by the tux or the gorilla suit, we all know they shouldn't be, but there it is.  Is this an appropriate (or effective) venue for showing them the folly of their ways?  And are their feelings to be totally disrespected because we are so sure they are wrong?

                      --What makes us so special?  Why do we get carte blanche to abandon appropriateness whenever we think it's personally important enough, whenever behaving appropriately makes us feel oogy?

                      --What makes gender-related individual expression so much more important than individual expression in general?  The argument hasn't been pro-across the board expression, you still have her choosing from among the two approved "choices."  Why?

                      --Since when have class photos (or funerals, for that matter) ever been about expression of individual identity?  That's part of what I meant by appropriate.  There are times and places to stand out and I'm all for it.      

                      It's fun to piss off the squares.  At the same time it is commendable to take into consideration the feelings of others because even the foolish and misguided and ignorant among us have them.  And I'm just not ready to entirely disregard the value of their experience because I'm so convinced I'm smarter or better than them.

                      •  internal dialog (none)
                        "Should I wear this?"

                        "What will all the poeple think?"

                        "Fuck 'em."

                        I just think there are some times when "fuck 'em" is actually a pretty shitty and selfish attitude.  Just sometimes, mind you.  
                        But some.

                        •  This is bullshit. (none)
                          I am not responsible for how other people feel.  They are responsible for how they feel.  If something I wear offends them, that is not my responsibility.  They are in charge of their own feelings.  Cognitive behavioralism 101.    

                          I can weigh the pros and cons of wearing an outfit that might offend people, but in the end I am responsible for my own choices and the offended are responsible for theirs.  

                          On some great & glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last & the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

                          by lightiris on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 04:07:55 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  Do you know how many times (none)
                        you've invoked the notion of appropriateness?  You should go back and check your posts.  

                        Okay, I'll bite.  Here are your bullets:

                        * Some people are going to be put off by the tux or the gorilla suit, we all know they shouldn't be, but there it is.  Is this an appropriate (or effective) venue for showing them the folly of their ways?  And are their feelings to be totally disrespected because we are so sure they are wrong?

                        You will recall that my gorilla suit is in the context of a funeral.  The funeral is NOT about the attendees, it's about the deceased.  If an individual believes that arriving at a funeral in a gorilla suit is a respectful gesture towards the deceased, then everyone else be damned.  I imagine that if the people who are attending the funeral know anything about the deceased, they might see the gorilla suit as a fitting homage.  In any event, however, their feelings are irrelevant; the gorilla suit is between the wearer and the deceased.

                        * What makes us so special?  Why do we get carte blanche to abandon appropriateness whenever we think it's personally important enough, whenever behaving appropriately makes us feel oogy?

                        Abandon appropriateness.  Are you the arbiter of what's appropriate?  Is high society?  Madison Avenue?  Your favorite soap opera?  In a gross sense, we all have an idea of the risk we are willing to take in order to fulfill our own need for self-expression.  If someone wishes to walk around nude, they may do that, but the risk is quite high, isn't it?  Certainly a female in a tux doesn't push any of those boundaries if you know anything about the performing arts.  

                        * What makes gender-related individual expression so much more important than individual expression in general?  The argument hasn't been pro-across the board expression, you still have her choosing from among the two approved "choices."  Why?

                        Because choosing from the two approved choices meets the standards the school has determined.  She's following the rules.  There's no reason to deny her the attire the school approved.  They reason they are denying her the tux is because the principal is homophobic and embarrassed by the student's desire to wear a tux.  His sensibilities should not prevent the student from making a choice that falls within school-determined guidelines.  

                        * Since when have class photos (or funerals, for that matter) ever been about expression of individual identity?  That's part of what I meant by appropriate.  There are times and places to stand out and I'm all for it.

                        Where I live, kids wear whatever they want for their yearbook pictures.  I wore whatever I wanted for mine many, many moons ago.  They choose the background, they can wear a sport uniform if they wish, they can wear a cheerleading outfit, a gown, a tux, jeans and sweatshirt, suit & tie, etc. It's up to the student.  Imagine that!

                        On some great & glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last & the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

                        by lightiris on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 04:02:42 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  asdf (none)
                          "The funeral is NOT about the attendees, it's about the deceased."

                          Couldn't disagree more.

                          "Where I live, kids wear whatever they want for their yearbook pictures."

                          That's great.  Ideal.  And that's the policy.  That's what the readers of that yearbook have an expectation of seeing.

                  •  It's called PROPRIETY (none)
                    And while the NOTION of propriety is not antiquated, the TERMS of propriety change with the wind, to say nothing of the seasons and with decades and eras and epochs.

                    I dream, frankly, of a day when propriety is in the eye of the beholder. SINGULAR. As in, you get to look at me in my ludicrous get-up (YOUR assessment) and judge me to your heart's content... while my friends look at me and think proudly, "She looks fabulous." As in, people can wear whatever the fuck they want and damn the consequences.

                    I believe in dress codes for elementary and junior high and high schools -- and if you want to attend the high school and you sign the poiece of paper accepting its rules, you adhere to the dress code. But the code should not include restrictions on gender. If a girl can wear a skirt, a guy can wear a skirt.

                    I believe in dress codes for almost any situation, as long as they're equitable and reasonable and people have choices that don't paint them into corners. For instance: HOOTERS and all those other fucking establishments that force their female employees into tight-fitting sexualized clothing... should be forced to allow the female employees to wear the uniforms the MALE employees wear.

                    Am I getting through to you? Propriety is SUBJECTIVE. But there are lines no one should cross, and to THIS extreme leftists liberal, those lines have nothing to do with propriety and everything to do with equality and respect.

                    I've gone on too long about this, I'm too pissed off to be succinct or articulate.

                    Let me sum up: You're dead wrong.

                    Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

                    by Maryscott OConnor on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 05:10:17 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  It's very easy (4.00)
                when you're all grown up, standing outside of the secondary-educational experience, to say, big fucking deal.

                I wish I'd had the same relative self-confidence then that I have now. I can think of a few high-school rednecks that would be a little less larger-than-life, and at least one that would probably be sorry he was ever born when I got through with his sorry ass.

                But while we're there, we don't have that perspective. Every damned day is the battle we have no choice but fight. That's the point.

                As a fully-grown up and reasonably self-assured adult, I agree, BFD. It's a yearbook photo, whatever. You'll probably misplace the yearbook before you're 25. Play the game when you have to, sometimes it's not worth the fight.

                But expecting a high school kid to get that, and to not be hugely affected by the reaction of classmates, faculty, and administrators that make up the whole world of a high school student, that's asking a bit much, frankly. And sorry, but the hurt that stuff like this causes to real-life kids is just not okay with me. There is life after high school, but that's awfully hard to understand when you're in it, especially as a queer kid with few (if any) real mentors.

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