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The Ubyssey Feb 8, 2008

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Array "PhaaU
y*uub
BYSSEY
UBC'S OFFICIAL STUDENT PUBLICATION
Vol. LXXXIXNo. 38   www.ubyssey.ca   February 8th, 2008   since 1918 A NOTE FROM
THE PRIDE
COORDINATOR:
by Cam Lavender
Fiction writers are allowed to
hide behind the voices they
create.
They put crude words onto
paper, but the reader reprehends the character—not the
author—for being insensitive.
Imagine an author's smugness
at that point, having dropped
the marionette strings and
reclaimed independence from
what he or she has written.
As a fiction writer, I am
terrified of expressing myself
directly.
For example, I used words
like gay and straight liberally
until I realized the duality they
create—a black-and-white divide
between people—and removed
them from my vocabulary. I
tried queer for a while but its
alternate meaning—iffy—fogged
up sentences I intended to be
focused.
In the same way, the Ubyssey Pride Issue has a specific
purpose that I'm afraid to
muddle into words. It gives a
voice to somebody who needs
one—but who? There was a
time when it was strictly the
gays who  spoke their minds
on these pages. As our queer
vocabulary expanded, so did
our contributors—the lesbians
started submitting articles, as
did the transgendereds and the
queers. There was an acronym
full of them. We called up the
straights, asked them to say
their piece.
There were so many voices
chattering away inside the
Ubyssey Pride Issue that somebody must have stopped and
asked—loudly, over everyone
else—whose voice wasn't welcome anymore. That caused a
moment of thoughtful silence,
I'm sure, before the noise started up again.
Tied Up isn't a theme that
applies to one group of people.
It suggests commitment,
restraint, telephone lines,
extension cords and oppression—these are human things.
Tied Up, like pride, applies to
everyone.
The Tied Up edition
Tied Up is a two-worded
metaphor. Tied, the necessary
first half, is something we've
experienced concretely—we've
worn it around our necks and
snapped  it onto   our  ankles.
Without it, English speakers
would struggle with synonyms:
the flimsy attached; the too-
bold bound. We would never
vote tied out of the dictionary.
We need that word.
But how do we associate
ourselves with up, the abstract
direction? When it's coupled
with one of our favourite words,
speakers may feel obliged to accept it as meaningful, the same
way we might tolerate a best
friend's unsavory significant
other. What does up have to say
that tied didn't already?
If up is simply a crutch
for tied to lean on, at least we
can acknowledge its supportive value. Tied is lonely on its
own. I want our readership to
consider this word's alternate
companions; I did.
I considered down, into,
and together in naming this issue, plunking each one next to
tied to keep it from falling over.
But they sat there like bricks,
stubborn and obvious.
Now consider up. Say it in
your head. It isn't oppressive
like down, and it's kinder than
'into' and 'together', those
words that bully our imaginations down overused paths. Up
GOH IROMOTO PHOTO / THE UBYSSEY
is like an outstretched hand. It
nurtures tied like its own child,
opens it up into the world. Tied
is static without it.
Like the co-dependent relationships between words, the
ties knotted into our own lives
are inevitable. I expected submissions that would lash out
against ties of all kinds until
their authors floated in individual non-worlds of their own
minds, but I received nothing of
the sort. Contributors to this issue observe their ties to people,
places and things with utmost
acceptance, if not always appreciation, and deal with them
accordingly.
Some of them have crafted
written pieces using just the
right language: words they like;
words that slip out accidentally;
words that fill their mouths and
get trapped in there. Others
made pictures, committed ink
to paper.
Did they realize their work
would be sandwiched between
the pages of a newspaper?
Shoved into backpacks? Filed
away for future reference? They
must have.
We are tied up, they realized,
and did something about it. g*
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th£Ij
BYSSEY
February 8th, 2008
Vol. LXXXIX N°38
Editorial Board
pride issue editor
Cam Lavender
coordinating editor
Champagne Choquer
COORDrNATrNG@UBYSSEY.BC.CA
news editors brandon adams &
Boris Korby
NEWS@UBYSSEY.BC.CA
CULTURE EDITOR PAUL BUCCI
CULTURE@UBYSSEY. BC. CA
SPORTS EDITOR/Oi2iwCffl7TLEy
SPORTS@UBYSSEY.BC.CA
features/national editor
Matthew Jewkes
FEATURES@UBYSSEY. BC.CA
PHOTO EDITOR OKER CHEN
PHOTOS@UBYSSEY.BC.CA
production manager
Kellan Higgins
PRODUCTION@UBYSSEY.BC.CA
copy/letters/research
Levi Barnett
FEEDBACK@UBYSSEY.BC.CA
volunteer coordinator
Stephanie Findlay
VOLUNTEERS@UBYSSEY.BC.CA
WEBMASTER JOE RAYMENT
WEBMASTER@UBYSSEY.BC.CA
cally run student organisation, and all students are encouraged to
EDITORIAL OFFICE
Room 24, Student Union Building
6138 Student Union Boulevard
Vancouver, BCV6T lZl
tel: 604-822-2301
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Press Kevin Bacon and Facebook
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The perils oi dating in a linked world
by Jake Tobin Garrett
I have grown to hate Kevin Bacon and his
six degrees of separation.
There was a time, long since passed,
when I disbelieved his theory that every
person is linked to any other random
person by a maximum of six social ties. I
thought to myself, with a world this huge,
how could that be possible? With this
many pairs of feet hitting the ground outside, can the number really be as small
as six?
But then I entered the queer community in Vancouver, and concluded that the
six degrees of separation is, in our case,
massively flawed. In fact, it is quite a lot
less than six degrees in the queer community. It seems to me that everyone is
tied to each other by someone they have
slept with, thought of sleeping with, tried
to sleep with, dated, broken up with, hurt,
slapped, or gotten drunk with and woken
up next to.
At the end of August I became single
again after almost three years in a committed relationship. I began to pay more
attention to the cute boys all around me,
only to find out, to my dismay, that we
all knew each other already. Every time I
thought I had nabbed a virgin, untainted
by social connections, I would discover-
usually through the 'linked friends' list
on Facebook, that wonderful and horrible
website—that he was actually a social tie
whore. 14 linked friends?! I would think,
taking another massive slurp of whiskey,
how is that possible?!
Wherefore art thou, boy who knows
not a soul that I do? Is there such a
fine creature that exists on these rainy
streets, or am I doomed to relive all my
past social encounters every time I meet
someone new?
I long for a date after which we can't
simply go home and call up four of our
friends to find out all the dirt about the
other person. Being sexually and romantically active in the queer community in
Vancouver is like leaving a trail of very
large breadcrumbs behind you. A trail
easily picked up and followed by prospective partners. There are no secrets in this
tight community, so watch what you say
and do—chances are that person (the one
you are saying it and doing it to) knows at
least three people who you either know
already, or will know in the future, and to
whom you may want to say or do other,
things.
Sound confusing? It is.
Case in point: a date I had. One of
those dates that, halfway through, you
realize will not warrant a second date.
Afterwards, weeks later, coffee with a
friend. A cute boy is introduced at this
coffee gathering. Cute boy also happens
to be longtime friend of bad date boy.
Through more conversation it is revealed
that cute boy also knows a boy I briefly
dated in my late teens, and another boy I shared a handful of
encounters with in my first year
of university. And I'm not even
the most promiscuous boy on the
block.
I feel here that I should clear
something up. I am not railing
against these social ties because
I wish to sleep with people, disappear into the early morning fog and
then never be seen again. I simply
wish to find someone new, some
undiscovered territory. Perhaps
I'm like an explorer who sets out
in search of new hospitable land,
only to find over and over again
that someone I know has already
been there before. What are these
strange tracks in the soil, if not the
feet of past explorers? What waves
in the distance, if not the planted
flag of a shared friend?
So there you have it. Go home
to your computer and look me up
on Facebook—enter my name and
watch as all our ties are laid bare. I
bet I've winked at you from across
the bar, bought you a drink, or
perhaps shyly reached across an
armrest to grab your hand in the
darkness of a movie theatre.
Small fishing pond thy
name is Vancouver. W
Labels: A Messianic Neo-Pagan's struggle for identity
by Emily Hindalong
I hear a whole lot of noise these days
about shaking off labels, striving toward
nonconformity, and breaking out of the
pigeonholing paradigm.
This may be appropriate considering
the gradual shift in the way the scientific
community and our society in general
views personality. The classic Western
concept of a discreet, well-defined self is
being influenced by various perspectives
from around the globe, many of which
hold that personalities are fluid and
situationally dependent, and thus often
unpredictable.
As adolescents, we try to figure out
who we are. Because the notion of absolute personality still prevails in our cul
ture, young people feel compelled to define themselves. Many may wonder, "Am
I an extrovert or introvert? Right-brained
or left-brained?" But they inevitably find
that there is no clear-cut answer. Perhaps, in wanting to be either one or the
other for simplicity's sake, some people
will modify their behavior in order to be
consistent. Others, for the sake of being
unpredictable, will do just the opposite.
As a teenager, I found myself doing
both of these things. Many of my peers
were trying to avoid labels as much as possible. I, on the other hand, felt extremely
uncomfortable without them. By nature, I
desire order and definition. Disorder and
ambiguity, especially when my own identity is concerned, are really unsettling to
me. At the same time, I enjoyed being in
consistent in choosing label-worthy traits
for shock value.
So, what I ended up doing was adopting clear-cut labels for specific aspects of
my personality and beliefs that, together,
didn't fit any one social stereotype. All at
once, I was bisexual, a Messianic Neo-
Pagan, libertarian (I went so far as to
found the Teenage Republicans Chapter
at my high school), a science geek, and
an artist/poet. I also took a liking to
gothic fashion and music. Indeed, people
were surprised when I tried out for the
cheerleading squad. This way, I satisfied
my desires for both clear definition and
incongruity.
Since then I've become less concerned
with my image, like most of us do as we
grow up. I no longer feel like I must tailor
myself to fit into this or that box, nor do
I feel the need to shock people. I am not
bothered by the fact that my beliefs don't
conform to those of any single political
party or religion, nor am I bothered by
the fact that I have mellowed to a liberal
(just what people would expect from me).
At the same time, I don't shudder at the
idea of wearing labels. They are just
words, and like all other words they can
be harmful or helpful given the context.
Some philosophers would even argue
that, by naming an object, you strip it of
its deepest meaning. If that's the case, so
be it. Nothing will be free of names and
categories so long as people are there to
assign them. Words, including labels, are
the building blocks of language—something we humans can't do without, g* 'PhaaU Tbbu*
ureculture@ubyssey.bc.cawritefo
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UBC AMS Elections
ams     VP Administration
student society
The UBC Alma Mater Society is hosting a special
election for the position of Vice-President
Administration. The successful candidate will be
responsible for the management of campus clubs
while playing an important role in organizing many
campus events and activities.
The candidates are working hard for your vote, so
look for them around campus.
There will be a debate in the Vanier cafeteria this
Monday, February 11th from 5 to 6 PM.
Remember, vote online February 11th through 14th,
at www.ams.ubc.ca/elections.
Any questions or concerns should be addressed to
elections@ams.ubc.ca
Pride UBC Presents
OUTWEEK 2008
The Quickie:
MONDAY Feb 11
- Flag Raising Ceremony: 11.45am - 12.15pm, FREE
- Presenting the Bob LobLaw Comedy Troupe: 7pm
- 9pm, SUB Rm214/216, Admission by Donation
TUESDAY Feb 12
- Outlaws: LGBT Rights from Here, 12.30pm - 2pm,
Curtis Building, Rml57, FREE
- OUTLoud Reading Series, 7pm - 9pm , UBC Robson
Square Theatre, Admission by Donation
WEDNESDAY Feb 13
- Positive Space Workshop, 9am - 12pm, FREE, SUB
Rm211 (registration required positivespace.ubc.ca)
- Film Screening: She's a Boy I Knew, 7pm - 9pm,
SUB Norm Theatre, $1
THURSDAY Feb 14
- Mini Movie Night, 7pm - 9pm, Place Vanier, Shrum
Lounge - Screening Shortbus, FREE
FRIDAY Feb 15
- Religion and Sexuality Discussion, 2pm-4pm,
Vancouver School of Theology Rm309, FREE
- The Bash, 7.30pm - 11.30pm - GSS Ballroom, $5
For all the details visit:
WWW.OUTWEEKUBC.COM
Or you can get a program of all the events at the Pride
UBC Office - SUB Room 245C (resource suite)
Interested in journalism?
The Ubyssey wants your input in your University
publication. Come by Tuesday at lunch to get some free
food and check out the official student publication for
the University of British Columbia.
Holii
XXX
thUj
BYSSEY
ing my
own nana
Why I choose not to define my
sexuality by having a partner
by Katie Burns
"But don't you wishyou were dating someone?"
The question has been asked
of me dozens of times. It's as if
people can't believe that anyone would actually enjoy being
single. As if they think I'm trying
to hide something by not actively participating in the dating
scene.
So why is it that my lack of
participation has come under
such scrutiny? I imagine there
are several possible answers to
this question, but one in particular possibility jumps out at me:
is our obsession dating related
to sexual identity labels?
By choosing not to date I am
also choosing to withhold the visual evidence that makes it easy
for other people to assign labels
to my sexual identity. Without
that other person standing next
to me, holding my hand, how are
people to know whether I'm gay,
straight, or otherwise? How can
they identify my sexuality in order to fit me into the categorized
world of labels?
To counter this, I ask what
is valuable about a label? What
does it mean to be "gay"? Or
"straight"? Or any other popular
label? Aren't the definitions of
these words slightly different
based on each individual's experience? On the use ofthe word itself? Aren't there people who fit
the stereotypical definitions of
these words who choose to identify otherwise? Or who choose
not to identify at all? What is
the point of labelling someone if
there are so many ands, ifs and
buts surrounding these labels?
And why should I find myself
a date when my sexual identity
has nothing to do with the labels
assigned to me based on my
choice of mate? After all, in the
words of author Jennifer Baum-
gardner, "Sexuality is not who
you sleep with, it's who you are.
It doesn't change according to
who is standing next to you."
I'm not trying to hide anything by not dating—I just don't
need a partner to know who I am
in terms of my sexual identity.
In the end, the most important
thing is not the label people
choose for you, but the identity
you choose for yourself. Jr
Without that other person standing next to me, holding^
my hand, how are people to know whether I'm gay,
straight, or otherwise? How can they identify my sexuality in order to fit me into the categorized world of labels?
?o? /WewcA A?pRop?lAT£D ThUj
BYSSEY
#W
*PhJL<U Tbbu*
An excerpt irom "Passing? Between"
t
^here is a rider with a flaming
head sitting on a black horse.
There is a wall of grey sky
that leans over the whole
scene. And there is me, half buried in
the ground beneath a willow tree. My
feet are standing on buried stones. I
can feel them, the soil against my thighs
too, entering my openings. And the only
thing I can think of is: this is what it is
like to cross between sexes. This is a way
in which people commit a nourishing
suicide. This is a version of death that
thrives and renews. And the rider is the
keeper, the guide of this land between
worlds."
When I say this out loud, the therapist scribbles something down in her
notepad—I hate the one-sidedness of this
exchange. I am asked to bear my soul
and she is allowed to keep an ongoing
secret journal.
I think it is uncommon for a man
to see a female therapist, despite my
circumstances, but there seems to be
a social norm being distorted here—a
betrayal ofthe Zeitgeist, or maybe my
discomfort is convincing me that this
is abnormal. Abnormality is defined
against normality, which is a dying
business.
"When I am a woman, I will wear
scarves and paint my nails to match
them. When I am a woman, I will be
adorned in all colors."
She doesn't see into the future as
I do even though therapy is really all
about directing paths toward something
different, toward a novel dreamscape
dappled with iridescent light and the
songs of morning birds. It is about
gathering the dirt and garbage and filth
around you and rolling it out like a red
carpet to walk upon. And when you
come to the end, when you step off the
path that had to be travelled, you should
find yourself in the future you aimed for.
What body I am in will be the question.
"When I am a woman my happiness
will shine without medication or alcohol
or love. It will be a dressing for all to
see, for all to aspire to and be encouraged by. Times may be tough, they'll say
when they see me walk by, but if that
single woman can be that full of joy,
things must still be alright. All around
me faces will return to goodness."
At one time things were conventional, decent even. But that was so very
long ago and my therapist doesn't give
me time to dwell on happiness too long.
Instead we dive right into the quagmire
of my time as a man with a failed career,
divorced, dependent, needy, and looking
up at rock bottom like itwas a ceiling.
At one time
r
)
Death is like a sex change; suddenly
you're being fucked by what you used to
fuck. That's living, isn't it? Fucking death.
things were
respectable,
but they're
not anymore
and this cunt
across from
me tells me
it is the product of "self abuse" and a
"deep seated loathing for my father."
"When I was a boy, my legs were like
two inverted candles. They were dotted
with bruises like ornaments from my
father, but my feet were always on fire.
I was faster than any boy my age and I
loved to just run and run and run until
the sun pulled a blanket of darkness
over its sleeping body. And don't say
that I never stopped running because
that is not true. I settled down, had family Christmas. I stopped. Thanksgiving at
the cabin. I lived in the here and now. It
just didn't work. A woman knows these
things."
Death is like a sex change; suddenly
you're being fucked by what you used
to fuck. That's living, isn't it? Fucking
death. Spreading your legs and holding
it tight up against you, beneath you, until you can't catch your breath anymore
and you switch positions, alter who is
on top. She can't see this from behind
her analytical gaze and power suit. She
just looks at me like I'm the one lying
motionless next to death, a freeze, when
in reality I bet she hasn't been touched
in years. Can she not say something
encouraging? Why do I return to her
judgment?
When she asks me why I think this
rider's head is aflame, I swear she does
so thinking I don't have an answer.
"The keeper of keys has no face. It
consumes exteriors. It only presents
possibility."
She follows up with a juvenile query
,»        about why
I  there would
be a willow
tree and
right then
and there
I know
she has no
poetry to her. Her mind is a mechanism
of outer walls and frankness. How can
I relate to someone who has no more
appreciation of a tree other than that
it increases property value? She may
as well say she doesn't like music. "No,
music just doesn't interest me." Well
then neither does your soul, you whore
to men.
"The willow tree represents
mourning."
It's like every new word I add to our
exchange is now being questioned. This
is kindergarten without structure. How
is she supposed to help me find my way
to a bright future?
"Mourning means remembrance.
If people changed themselves without
remembering what they once were, it
would not be a change but a substitution. What difference does the location
of your feet mean if you can't recall
anywhere else. Then the here and now is
everything. Then you may as well be an
android with a bus pass."
This last comment makes her uncross and cross her legs. She's confused
again. All those diplomas and certificates don't seem to tally up to genuine
intelligence, do they? She adds some
more writing to her top-secret notebook
as if she's uncovered something of
significance. Likely she wrote a note to
herself to look up "android."
Her next question, though, is one
that actually sounds legit. Or maybe it's
just the therapeutic lexicon that makes it
seem valid.
"When my mother finally died after
two years of suffering from cervical
cancer, I felt like I finally drowned. I felt
cliche. Dead inside. Burnt out. How do
you think I felt? A whirlpool of pain and
suffering can only lead one direction.
You cannot hold the hand ofthe woman
who gave you life and watch her rot
from the inside out and not be pulled
into the darkness with her. Human beings are incapable of putting up walls to
this kind of situation."
My mother spent six months in the
hospital; I visited her four times a week
and it seemed like it wasn't enough,
that my father's genes inside me were
stirring, changing me into him, his
chromosomes gathering strength. I felt
as if there was another man within me,
something I no longer recognized; there
was his blood surging in my testicles
and I wanted them gone—I wanted it all
gone.
That was the first time I realized it
could become a reality. W
by Nick VanderWoud
• first nations performance*
presents
}
FESTIVAL
Roundhouse events  Vancouver 2010
co-presented by cultural olympiad
CELEBRATING ABORIGINAL
PERFORMANCE AND ART
FEATURING ABORIGINAL CABARET, UVE MUSIC,
DANCE, THEATRE AND MORE
February 12-17,2008
Vancouver, BC
TICKETS: 604.631.2872
or book online at: www.ticketstoiiight.ca
infoime: 604.683.8993 or www.fullcircle.ca
Venues: Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre, The Dance Centre, Ironworks Studio.
Railway Club. Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Cenire. Britannia Community Centre and The fate
«M«lf m   **. <3 a* & »
Vancouver Pride Society proudly sponsors
Outweek 2008 at UBC *pHJid* Tbbu*
The Ubyssey
*PhaaU Tux**
7
"[Humans] do not represent two discrete
populations, heterosexual and homosexual
The world is not to be divided into sheep
and goats. It is a fundamental of taxonomy
that nature rarely deals with discrete categories... The living world is a continuum in
each and every one of its aspects"
-Alfred Kinsey
e an
omosexua
by Will Blunderfield w
The popular assumption
about sexual identity is
that you're either gay
or straight. What about
bisexuals, you ask? Well,
many say they're just confused.
Or to put it bluntly, in the recent
words of an acquaintance of mine,
"Bisexuals are greedy fence-sitters
who don't know what they want,
don't use condoms, and will fuck
anything that walks." Ouch! Little
support exists for bisexuality and
the ambiguity it signifies, despite
its widespread, albeit undercover,
occurrence. In our era of "you're-
either-gay-or-straight" sexual
ity, a critical observation must be
broached: the rigidity ofthe homo/
hetero binary tends not to match
up with the many dimensions and
diversities of human sexual desire,
behavior, and attraction.
With gay men falling for
women, lesbians dating men, and
straight men having sexual liaisons with other men, one is left
to wonder: is anyone 100 per cent
anything anymore? Could it be
that homosexuality, in the words
of Kate Millet, was invented by
a straight world dealing with its
own bisexuality? Perhaps Bjork,
Billie Joe Armstrong, and Sig-
mund Freud are correct in thinking that we're all innately bisexual
and capable, to varying degrees, of
being attracted to a person regardless of gender. Moreover, haven't
enough people suffered as a result
of being shoehorned into repressive and stigmatizing
sexual categories?
* I so vehemently ques
tion the necessity (and validity) of sexual identity
labels because they are
used far too often to execute acts of hatred, division, and oppression.
Author Chou Wah-Shan
observes that, through
labelling,    a   visible
group   of   "deviants"
has   been   created   so
that   "non-deviants"    can
project their own insecurities
and  homoerotic  anxieties  onto
the stigmatized minority. This inequitable social structure invokes
hostility and falsehood from both
parties. Observe, for instance, the
parallels between the hypocrisy
and elitism of gay establishments
that shun heterosexuals and that
of anti-gay religious and political
leaders who wind up in homosexual sex scandals (think evangelical
leader Ted Haggard, Idaho senator
Larry Craig, or the myriad cases in
the Catholic Church.)
pomosexual. (poh-/T?o/?-SEK-shoo-i//)
n. A person who shuns labels such as heterosexual and homosexual that define
individuals by their sexual preferences. Also: PoMoSexual. adj. pomosexuality n.
To complicate things further,
think ofthe absurd rules and regulations that dictate how we are to
behave in order to retain membership on a particular sexual
"team". To save space, I'll focus
on constructions of male sexuality
in this article. Take the archetypal
'Hetero Male Club', for instance.
In order to gain membership,
Avyou'd better "man up" and proclaim your infatuation with the
opposite gender vigorously and
often. Say it on Facebook (under
"interests" type "girls, girls, and
more GIRLS!"), and while you're
at it, comment on at least one
other male friend's picture, letting him know how F@#$% gay he
looks. As for the proverbial 'Gay
Boy Club', it seems that adopting
an effeminate lisp and having a
penchant for women's fashion
are musts if you want to keep that
pink card (or, if you insist, you can
go the Brokeback route). In addition, you've got to idolize at least
one diva, preferably Xtina or Cher.
Straight men are not allowed to
covet Cher (at least not publicly),
nor are they permitted to hug a
male friend without at least three
firm slaps to his back.
In all seriousness though,
we've got to ask if it's necessary to
continue to divide the human race
based on something so trivial as
private part preference, especially
in a culture that claims to value
individuality. Branding ourselves
"gay" or "straight" (and trying
to live up to the ideals of what it
means to be gay or straight) is
fundamentally oppositional to the
principles of individualism; donning pre-made labels leads us to
view each other as caricatures, negating the individual differences
that make each of us unique.
Yes, same-sex attracted people
have found solace, community,
empowerment, and validity, and
have gained many rights and
freedoms by flying their rainbow-
festooned "I'm Gay!" flags down
parade routes. Of course we must
be proud of who we are, showing
gratitude and support for the courageous individuals who fought
and continue to fight for equal
rights. It seems, however, that as
our society approaches sexual and
gender equality (thanks largely to
radical gay and lesbian activism),
people are experiencing even
greater emancipation by throwing
the proverbial flag out the window
and opting for more off-the-beat-
en-path approaches to identity,
attraction, and relationships. The
homo/hetero divide is dissolving.
Human Pride is outmoding Gay
Pride.
After all, it has proven rather
difficult to try and slot over six
billion unique persons into just
two sexual orientations. Like our
fingerprints or DNA, sexuality is
completely unique from one individual to the next, one relationship
to the next, and even one moment
to the next. Sexuality exists along a
fluid continuum, beyond gay and
straight. It's tricky, amorphous,
and indefinable. Some will argue
that we need identity labels to
feel like we belong and are part
of something bigger, or simply for
ease of communicating our preferences to others. If that's the case,
how can we satisfy these needs
and, at the same time, avoid the
dark side of labelling?
Jaimee Michell promotes Pomosexuality through her site, Pomoworld,and
intends to change the way people
think about sexuality and gender.
Enter the pomosexual. This
word combines porno, shorthand
for postmodern, with the suffix
sexual. Pomosexuals shun essen-
tialist 'homo/hetero' notions of
sexual orientation, instead choosing to embrace the aforementioned
plurality of human sexuality. As
someone with great disdain for
pigeonholing (and being pigeonholed), I've become an ardent fan
of porno and all it embodies.
Larry D. Lyons, a Princeton
doctoral candidate and blogger,
best explains pomosexuality's
objection to categorization: "Sex-
centric labels function to designate
one's sexual preference as his or
her primary identificatory determinant. What one does in bed literally defines him or her. I could
say something trite like 'I am more
than who I fuck,' but I think that
kinda thing goes without saying,
and it's high time that our language
caught up. Color me pomosexual."
(larrylyons2.blogspot.com) Lyons
makes the important point that
pomosexuality is not so much a
description of a person's sexuality
as it is of their personhood. It signifies a refusal to define oneself and
others by sexual preference.
"Pomosexuality doesn't necessarily imply bisexuality," he adds.
"It was not intended to merely
replace the term bisexual, but
to highlight its inability to encompass or represent the broad
spectrum of sexualities carelessly
bundled under the inept umbrella
of hetero, homo, and bi."
According to Jaimee Michell,
creator of social networking site
PomoWorld (www.pomoworld.
com), it is crucial to know and understand that the ways of thinking
associated with postmodern sexuality are far more important than
the label itself (the label, of course,
is completely ironic). Despite the
cliches often associated with postmodernism, the word merely acts
as a platform to foster community
and welcome individualistic views
on sexuality. It is a starting point
to transform and evolve the beliefs of those who think of sexuality only in binary terms. Michell is
optimistic about the porno movement, spurred on by the growing
popularity of her website.
"The great thing about pomosexuality," she says, "is that it
literally means anything you want
it to mean. It means anything
goes, provided no harm done.
And it represents an end to all the
confusion, oppression, fear, and
restraint that comes with trying to
identify with a restrictive label."
We pomos have come to realize that there's no such thing as
a heterosexual or homosexual
person. These categories are no
more than social constructs and
have only been around since the
19th century, as observed by Michel Foucault, Gore Vidal, David F.
Greenberg, and other social critics. In reality, there are only homo
and hetero impulses and acts.
Most people, according to Kinsey's
famous 1950s study on the sexual
behavior of 18,000 Americans,
are a mixture of homo and hetero
impulses, if not practices. In other
words, much of the population is
capable of responding erotically
to both "genders" even though
we've seen that gender is a social
construct as well, since gender
presentation and ideals change
over time and culture. Certain cul
tures embrace up to four genders,
for instance.
Pomosexuality may well be
onto something, since Kinsey's
findings support the notion that,
for many people, sexuality really
isn't cut and dry: nearly half of
his male sample admitted to having erotic responses to members
of both sexes during their adult
lives, with a whopping 3 7 per cent
admitting to having sexual experiences with other males that lead
to orgasm—and these are only the
folks who admitted it. Some academics and conservative groups
argue that Kinsey's data are
skewed because his sample was
comprised of only those who were
willing to discuss taboo topics.
Despite this criticism, it is hard
to dispute that the findings reveal
sexuality as something far more
fluid and porous than previously
imagined. Cross-cultural comparisons also lay stake to this claim.
Cultures around the world,
both Eastern and Western, have
embraced homo- and bi-sexual
relations. A small sampling of cultures with some form of socially
entrenched bisexuality include
classical Greece, the Sambia of
New Guinea, numerous North
American First Nations societies (before Western infiltration),
pre-Meiji Japan, and late imperial China (see Homosexuality and
Civilization by Louis Crompton).
Bisexuality, interestingly, is the
norm for bonobos and chimpanzees, who happen to be our closest
primate relatives (sharing 99.4
per cent of our genetic makeup)
and is also common throughout
the animal kingdom. In his book
Biological Exuberance: Animal
Homosexuality & Natural Diversity, Bruce Bagemihl outlines 450 of
over 1500 species that have been
observed engaging in homosexual
and bisexual behavior.
The world is dynamic, complex, and in constant flux. Human
beings are, too. Thus, it's time
we abandon the overly simplistic
and inherently mischaracterizing
gay/straight dichotomy so we can
look at sexuality, in all its fluidity
and unpredictability, as an aspect
of a person rather than the defining element of one's identity. That
way we'll be less apt to stigmatize
and stereotype, and start to see
people, including ourselves, as
we really are. W
Discuss pomosexuality further at Label-free Fridays in SUB
Room 215 at 12pm and at Pomoworld. com (because labels are for
clothing,not people). *PhaAa, Ii*t*^
XXX
ThSSLs
BYSSEY
[hejlbyssey,
Sfiamde** GIVEAWAY
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SEMINARS
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Directed by Patrick Gauthier
Theatre at UBC
FREDERIC WOOD THEATRE
February 7-16, 2008
Tickets: $20/$14/S10
Phone: 604.822.2678
www.theatre.ubc.ca
EAR
ThjSJJbyssey
Every Tuesday is super Tuesday.
Not in the American sense, but |
rather you should come in an meet
everyone and get involved.
JLitelallij tied
up:
I     tin Qi
by Sam Sivertz
ROBERT MACKIE PHOTO
Rope is fun to play with. We all
know that. Most of us played
with rope as kids—tying up our
friends and our dolls so we
could play Barbie hostage crisis.
I know I did. A lot of us still like
to play with rope. When we were
little, tie-up games were called
pirate abduction or unicorn
rodeo—mine were, at least—and
now that we're adults it's
called bondage. The rules have
changed a bit, though in some
cases the game is still called
pirate abduction.
What is bondage?
Bondage has been around for a
long time, but up until recently
it has been seen as an abnormal
sexual practice. Thanks to the
work of authors and artists such
as Midori, Two Knotty Boys and
Madonna, bondage is gaining acceptance and popularity among
the masses. I saw evidence of
this at Vancouver's own Taboo
Sex Show, where I found fuzzy
handcuffs, restraints and purple
overpriced nylon rope for sale
alongside the endless shelves of
novelty dildos.
These items (aside from
the dildos) are mostly aimed at
couples who want to incorporate bondage into their sex lives.
With very little experience you
can bind your partner's hands
together or tie them to a bed.
Bondage can be used in foreplay
or during sex. It is a relatively
simple way to add some extra
excitement and a hint of danger
to your sexual fun.
Bondage is an important aspect of BDSM, which rolls bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, and sadism/masochism all into one acronym. Those
who are into BDSM tend to be
serious about bondage. Some
become experts in it and may
own metres and metres of rope,
restraints, straitjackets, and
other equipment. These experienced bondage specialists may
use full-body rope harnesses,
or undertake hog-tying, mummification (wrapping the body
in rope or fabric), or suspension (hanging a person in midair using rope and suspension
frames). BDSM doesn't necessarily involve sex, but it is often
sexual in nature. It is up to the
participants to decide whether
sex is involved in a particular
session or "scene".
Why is bondage
enjoyable?
There are many reasons. Some
people enjoy the feeling of being
tied up and the sensation of the
rope against their skin. Others
enjoy the lack of responsibility. If your partner ties you up,
they are now in charge of the
situation and are responsible
for making you feel good. You
don't have to do a thing. You
couldn't even if you wanted to.
Many people enjoy the feeling
of helplessness even though
they are still in control of the
situation. When you are tied
up, your partner has your safety
and enjoyment in mind, so your
preferences and desires dictate
what happens next. There is
also the make-believe aspect.
You can play abduction and
rescue games, and act out sexy
scenarios with props like rope, a
chair, and even a few costumes.
Does this stuff sound like it
might be fun to try? If so, there
are a few basics that you need to
know in order to proceed.
What are the
rules?
The first thing you need to consider is safety. When you tie
someone up, you are responsible
for their safety and enjoyment.
If you're not careful, bondage
can be dangerous and lead to
injury. You could give your partner rope burns, tie the knots too
tight and cut off circulation to a
limb, or tie limbs into positions
that strain and pull muscles.
You should communicate with
your partner as much as possible, making sure that they
are comfortable enough. They
may want to stretch first if they
plan to get tied into a strenuous
position.
Never leave a tied-up person alone! If you leave and an
emergency happens (like a fire
or an earthquake), if they fall
over, or if they get sick, they will
be helpless. Remember that you
are responsible for their safety.
Make sure you have everything
you need in the room with you
before you start tying, and if you
absolutely must leave the room
while your partner is bound, at
least stay within earshot. It is a
good idea to either use safety
knots or have a pair of scissors
handy, in case of emergencies
that require you both to leave the
room quickly. You might want to
invest in a pair of paramedic's
scissors, which are designed to
cut clothing off a person without
cutting their skin.
Always have consent first
and never tie up someone who
is unconscious. Do not drink
or use drugs before or during
bondage play.
The next thing you need is
rope.  You  can  also  invest in
see "Bondage" | page 09 ThUj
BYSSEY
#W
*PhJL<U Tbbu*
An instruction manual for human bondage
ROBERT MACKIE PHOTO
For More Info
from "Bondage" | page 08
restraints or bondage cuffs,
but rope is cheaper and more
versatile. According to Midori
in her book, The Seductive Art of
Japanese Bondage, many types
of rope are good for bondage.
These include cotton rope, nylon rope, hemp rope, and even
climbing rope. You can buy rope
in hardware stores, boating supply stores, tack shops, magician
shops, or sex/kink shops. The
rope you find in sex shops may
be more expensive than rope
from a hardware store, but it
will be designed specifically for
use on people, as opposed to on
lumber or tarps. In most cases,
the cheaper rope is fine. Have
your rope cut to an appropriate
length: shorter pieces are fine if
you want to tie someone's hands
together but longer pieces are
required to make a chest or full-
body harness.
Don't use pantyhose, strips
of silk, or duct tape for bondage.
These materials tend to constrict as you struggle and cut off
circulation, and they can only be
removed with scissors.
Who can I play
with?
Now that you know about safety
issues and you have enough
rope, you need to find someone
to tie up. There are several places
where this person can be found.
Let's start in the bedroom.
Introducing the idea of
bondage to a partner can be
a delicate matter. If you have
just started dating someone, or
have only had sex a few times,
you might want to wait a while
before suggesting it, unless
you know that your partner has
kinky inclinations and has tried
Here are some useful books and links:
The Wikipedia article "Bondage (BDSM)" gives a decent basic summary of different types of bondage, and has links to a few good
websites.
Bondage/BDSM FAQ: http://www.unrealities.com/adult/ssbb/faq.htm
Metro Vancouver Kink: www.vancouverdungeon.com
The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage by Midori
The Topping Book (and The Bottoming Book) by Dossie Easton and
Catherine A. Liszt
bondage before. It takes a lot of
trust to place your safety in another person's hands.
Not everyone is comfortable
with the idea of bondage. It still
has negative connotations in
many people's minds. If your
partner seems uneasy, you can
try talking about it together,
buying them a how-to book by
Midori or Two Knotty Boys (or
Madonna's sex book), or letting
them tie you up first so that they
can be in control. If they still
aren't interested, don't push it.
Bondage is not for everyone.
If your partner is interested,
it's best to start simple. I recommend getting an instruction
book with some basic ties. Some
sex shops may offer instructional seminars in beginner bondage for those of you who are
hands-on learners. You can start
by tying the hands together, tying the legs apart, and working
up to tying your partner to a bed
or chair. It is fun to take turns
tying each other up. When you
are a beginner, you may finish
tying someone up and then have
no idea what to do next. Don't
worry, this happens to everyone.
Ask your partner what they'd
like you to do next.
If you and your partner become particularly interested in
bondage, and you both want to
expand your skills and the scope
of your play, you may want to
join the BDSM community. Alternatively, if your partner isn't
interested in bondage at all, this
is a way for you to explore your
interest on your own.
An important thing to realize is that, despite BDSM's often
negative reputation, its practitioners are some of the nicest,
friendliest, and most safety-conscious people that I have ever
encountered. You need not fear
meeting them or asking for their
advice and guidance as you explore the world of bondage.
What is a play
party? Are queer
people allowed?
BDSM sessions or "scenes" can
take place in private or among
groups of people at play parties.
A bondage scene involves at
least two people: the bottom (the
person who gets tied up) and the
top (the person who does the tying). The people playing together might be romantic partners,
or they might be kink partners
who play together often. They
could also be friends, friendly
acquaintances, or they might
have met for the first time at
that particular party. In the last
case it is a good idea to play at a
party where you are surrounded
by a group of people who can
keep you safe.
Play parties are a good place
to learn and observe experienced tops at work. They may
be willing to teach you some
more complicated bondage
techniques.
As far as I know, there is no
separation between queer and
straight BDSM communities.
There is no need for it. People
who are into BDSM tend to be
very accepting and tolerant of
other people's sexual preferences. At a play party, you will
encounter a wide spectrum of
sexual orientations and gender identities. Whether you
are heterosexual, homosexual,
bisexual, pansexual, asexual,
transsexual, intersexed, two-
spirited, gender queer, married,
dating, single, polyamorous, or
monogamous, you are welcome
in the world of BDSM. This is
one ofthe few groups of people
that have instantly accepted my
sexual orientation without any
awkwardness. I've found it quite
refreshing.
In BDSM scenes that involve
bondage, the bottom can be
tied up in any number of ways.
In some cases, bondage is the
main focus. In others, bondage
is used to restrain the bottom
during further activities. These
could include sensation play,
where different materials and
tools are used to create interesting and arousing sensations
on the bottom's skin, or impact
play, which involves striking the
bottom with floggers, whips, and
canes. The top and bottom negotiate the scene ahead of time, deciding what will and won't take
place. Not all bottoms enjoy the
moderate pain of impact play.
It is a common misconception
that people who do enjoy certain levels of pain were abused
or traumatized at some point in
their lives, or have psychological problems. This is not true.
It is hard to explain why some
people enjoy pain and others
don't. It is probably a combination of enjoying the challenge of
enduring pain, having different
reactions to different levels of
sensation, and the fact that your
pain tolerance tends to go up
when you are sexually aroused.
A lot of kink and BDSM doesn't
involve impact play or pain, so
you don't have to incorporate
that into your activities if you
don't want to.
Most play parties have
rules against genital-to-genital
contact, so no sex is allowed.
Many BDSM scenes have sexual
aspects, however, and it can
take a little while before you are
comfortable playing in a group
setting. If you're interested in
pursuing bondage, either as a
freelance top or with your partner, I recommend going to a
few play parties. They are a lot
of fun.
There is a fairly large kink
and BDSM community in Vancouver. A group called Metro
Vancouver Kink hosts dungeon
parties and bimonthly munches, where community members
meet for dinner to discuss kinky
stuff. This is a good place to
meet people with similar interests, and maybe find someone to
teach you more about bondage.
As I mentioned, this is just
a taste of the bondage opportunities out there. Explore, have
fun, and play safe. While you're
still learning, you might want to
buy an Aloe Vera plant for rope
burns. Just in case, g* 'PhaaU Tbbu*
XXX
ThSSLs
BYSSEY
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Being in the spotlight
by Travis Shaw
I'm not your typical drag
queen, and 1 have a story
that proves it.
I was raised to either do
something to the best of my ability or not do it at all. So, when I
was 16 and a friend asked me if I
wanted to enter a talent contest,
I chose to give it my all. The
winner would have their picture
published in the paper, after all,
and I can't imagine anyone that
age passing up a chance at local
fame. On top of all that, the contest was easy to enter—all I had
to do was put on a dress!
I stand around 6'4" and
I'm built like a horse. Combine
that with the fashion sense of a
supermodel and I already had a
unique look. When I first started
out, I had a lot of encouragement—not just from my friends
but everyone who saw me. They
told me I was wonderful and
amazing. Once you hear those
words directed toward you often
enough, it's easy to believe them
yourself.
Now I have over two hundred
shows under my belt and a plethora of famous friends supporting
me. Among them is RuPaul, who
helped me pick my name. I had
always been Foxy, but he insisted
I choose a last name that suits it.
Soon after that, I met a famous
stripper with a knack for making
nicknames, and I didn't have to
dance with her long before she
thought of the perfect one: De-
Rossi. I accepted, and from then
on I was Foxy De-Rossi.
Despite my growing list of
celebrity contacts, I don't let my
so-called fame get to my head.
Sure, it's fun to go shopping with
'V TV/movie stars, but I have just
as much fun hanging out in my
hometown, working a "normal"
job and leading a relatively quiet
life. (My friends say I need that
time to recuperate from moonlighting as Foxy De-Rossi.) If
you've only seen me after I've
spent a typical three hours getting ready, plus thousands of dollars on the style and image of a
drag diva, you can't possibly spot
me as a boy the next day.
I'm proud of my accomplishments as an entertainer. I've
done shows all over BC, had my
face on the cover of BC newspapers, and been interviewed on
TV and over the radio. I say entertainer because I don't look or act
like any other drag queens, and
I don't want to restrict myself to
that label. Similarly, I don't like
to call myself homosexual because ofthe word's negative connotations. I wasn't homosexual
when I was growing up—I was
simply myself, and I'm still just
as much myself as I was then.
And to answer the question
you must be asking: yes, I did win
that contest and got my picture in
the paper for the very first time.
That was the beginning of Foxy
De-Rossi and her end is nowhere
in sight. W THfUj
BYSSEY
#**.
*PhJL<U Tbbu*
Bound up
by Marie-HElEne Westgate J-
Dykes don't look at each other.
The girl in the cocked camo hat glances across the room, toward
the basketball jersey and skate shoes, grinding her way to the skinny
jeans and hankie around the neck, dancing against the stage between
speakers and two drunk blondes; one long hair in tube top and booty
shorts and one short platinum in singlet and cargo pants. The long
hair peers over the short hair's shoulder to the double denim classic
stomping into her Mountain Equipment Co-op partner. The delicate
braids flowing from a beret holds the hip hop Japanese boi around the
waist, from behind, obscuring double denim's steely gaze—it connects
across the dance floor, in the eyes ofthe lipstick lesbian in red pumps
and dress leaning against the bar next to the cocked hat.
Dykes don't say lipstick lesbian.
The eighties were a different time. It's over now. These days we
have The L Word and...well...yeah. We have The L Word. And I guess
the cast does mostly consist of lipstick lesbians, but we don't call them
that. Instead we search for cues. We imagine who might gravitate to
whom. We read haircuts and jean cuts and shoes. We steal sideways
glances from across the field, the bar, the office, the school. We look for
the vegetarian, the left-handed folk singer, the feminist, the rower. We
check fingernails. We scan backpacks and ankles for black triangles.
We search everyone at the latest Jodie Foster picture.
Dykes don't register on the gauge of popular culture.
They look for nuance in everything else.!
A sonnet tor my boyiriends
by Cam Lavender
It is convenient to have one in
each city. Toronto visits bursting
with fits of quick sex, then vague romance, gin-
hazy and mostly forgotten. The thing—
the relationship I mean—lasts a week
then I'm back in Vancouver and I miss
him for a day maybe two; I'm too weak
to mourn much longer than that. So I kiss
some other guy at the Odyssey then
it's breakfast nude in my living room. He
fills my house and my days, his cock again
on my couch tomorrow. Each boy can see
his own futility and they condemn
me for that. Like outgrown toys, I ditch them. W
Standard
Standard
by Aron Rosenberg
Beside him
Their legs
He shivered
He didn't
He moved closer
He left
She went
ROBERT MACKIE PHOTO
The hug
Undone
He grabbed
Her ass
She giggled
And smiled
No attraction
If only 'gay' was 'in style'.
your CamAuj Tdovit >Store!f
www.dvdzoiteunhrersity.com
Offering you the choicest
selection off J
Independent Films
foreign Jyilm*
t
d
New Hot Releases
Reservation: 607-221-9355
Location:
2138 Western Parkway
Vancouver B.C. V6T 1V(
Comments? Feedback@ubyssey.bc.ca
i were FA5r,
I
o
!
i
5
§
o
\r
Sharpen your pencils, roll up your sleeves and write like crazy on
Saturday, February 9 at the William Black Memorial Prize Essay
Competition. You could win $1475, $1675 or $1800!
When: Saturday February 9,10:00 am -12:00 noon
Where: Leonard S Klink Building (LSK) Room 201 6356
Agricultural Road
How it works: You will be presented with a topic related to
Canadian citizenship. You will have two hours to
complete your essay.
Who is eligible: Full-time undergraduate UBC students in a
degree-granting program.
What to bring: Your valid UBC student card Pens, pencils, erasers
Prizes: The authors of the top three essays will be awarded
$1475, $1675 and $1800.
Details:  Space is limited. Doors close promptly at 10:00 am.
Looking for more information? Contact Student Financial
Assistance & Awards on the main floor of Brock Hall or visit
www.students.ubc.ca/finance 'PhaaU Tbbu*
Future drag
by Marie-HElEne Westgate ^   -J
XXX
THfUj
BYSSEY
Camo, cop gear and faux moustaches
Dressed in camo, cop gear,
and faux moustaches, alter
egos like Buster Cherry,
Crema and Daxx perform the kind
of hyper masculinity that characterizes the drag king scene.
Enter Amelia Pitt-Brooke, better known among Vancouver's
bustling community as the nerdir-
rific Edward Malaprop, a kind of
Dennis-the-Menace-meets-Doctor-
Frankenstein.
"There's a strong current that
says if you're a drag king, it's probably because you're butch or trans,"
she explains. Amelia identifies as
neither, pioneering a homo-erotic
masculinity that smears ambiguity
all over drag's fetish for gangsters,
cowboys and crooners. A student
of English literature at SFU, Amelia constructs performances that
move beyond traditional submission/domination narratives. Her
pre-show preparation focuses less
on the classical slicking back of the
hair or twirling of the moustache,
and more on reading Chaucer and
watching SpongeBob SquarePants.
In high waisted pants, suspenders, sweater vest and beanie cap-
complete with propeller—Edward's
bookish aesthetic at once betrays
and supports the explicit stage antics Amelia defines as "sweet but
crass." She lists dancing, cuddling
and making lanterns as her personal favorite pastimes, positing
that audiences welcome Ed's jubilant nerdiness precisely because it
is something different.
Edward Malaprop enacts juvenile masculinity, playing the
little boy to the top femme. Amelia
describes Edward's sexual identity
as the sissy bottom butch—as liking to be in control of not being in
control. "Sissy bottom butch means
the femmes in control look good,"
Amelia explains. "It's about vulnerable, open, sexualized masculinity. It's the dirtiest thing I've ever
done."
Fatal     femmes     Shivaughna
Dooyou, Lil' Miss VinDicktive,
Kristy Kreme and Lulu LeMoan,
along with Edward Malaprop,
comprise Vancouver's Stilettos and
Strap-Ons burlesque troupe.
The ensemble recently performed at Whistler's Gay Ski Weekend, to an audience of The L Word
cast and crew, where the femme
performers dominated the limelight and had their way with the
sissy bottom butch.
Stilettos and Strap-Ons also
perform Edward's dirtiest-ever
piece. It opens with a recording of
queer iconoclast Peaches daring
the crowd to, "give it some of that
hard core female aggression shit!"
Once the lyrics beat into the stereo,
two scantily-clad housewives lip-
synch to Peaches' tune, Casanova,
pushing little Edward all over the
stage in his hiked up shorts and
beanie cap.
"Lets get the plan set/Be here in
half and hour/I'll have him showered scoured deflowered/What
kind of game is on/Am I brink of
the brawn/Just come on strong/I
don't take long/He's so well on/I
got the strap on and gin/And if he
calls us lesbian/Just slip it in."
"And so there were these two
housewife femmes who were, uh...
it involved a dream sequence,"
Amelia explains, grinning as she
rifles through her knapsack. Two
housewife femmes come in and
manhandle Ed. He ends up performing fellatio on a strap-on on
one of the femmes while the other
femme pretends to do him up the
bum. The number ends with Ed
making out with a blow up doll as
Peaches sings her refrain, "Thelma
and Louise/You want to see the
crazy bitches go wild/Casanova
pass him over to me."
Amelia recalls audience members not knowing what to think
after the show.
"It was really messing around
with people's expectations," she
said, meaning both audience members and fellow drag kings. "People
were like, 1 don't know whether to
be turned on or weirded out.'"
Edward's lusty, whimpering
performances render scenes like
three way anal-cum-fellatio easy to
swallow, presenting a feeble little
guy in a sweater vest smiling his
way through a twosome of silicone-
clad housewives.
Amelia retrieves the Book of
Embraces, a literary favorite of
hers, from the knapsack. "Eduardo
Galeano wrote this story about how
two friends meet... They have coffee, or beer or something, and walk
each other home. One walks the
other home, and then they're having such a good time that the other
walks the other home, and they
keep switching, going back and
forth until morning. Essentially it's
a story about different ways of saying I love you without saying it."
Amelia's latest achievement
wrapped up this fall with the close
of the 9th International Drag King
Extravaganza (IDKE). IDKE originated in Columbus, Ohio, and has
since set up camp in Winnipeg,
Austin and Chicago. This year's
Genderation theme drew drag
kings from all over the world, interpreting a diversity of genders
in showcases, film screenings and
academic conventions. Amelia sat
on the host city board and performed with the Vancouver troupe
U
It's about vulnerable, open, sexualized masculinity.
It's the dirtiest thing I've ever done.
Amelia Pit-Brooke
DKUnited.
Her latest routine, Future Drag,
performed with her partner Mister
Sissy, premiered at a fundraiser
for this year's IDKE. Amelia cites it
as Ed's best character piece.
In Future Drag, Edward enters
left stage as a slightly gayer looking
Doctor Frankenstein, notebook in
mouth. Beneath protective goggles
and a spirit gum chin strap, the
doctor squirms eagerly. He lifts a
white blanket to reveal a woman
in a strapless metallic dress and
matching belt.
He smoothes his hands down
his lab coat and retrieves the notebook, then walks circles around
the woman, arranging her limbs
into various positions of embrace.
When he steps back and turns her
head to face him, they smile at one
another, at which point the doctor
removes his goggles, drops his pen
and tosses the notebook into mid
air. He reaches for the silver button
in the centre of the woman's belt
and turns her on.
All of a sudden, Edward is
writhing nervously as his object of
desire unexpectedly pursues him.
She reaches for Edward, grabs on
to him from behind, kisses him despite his struggles. When Ed finally
manages to escape her, he feigns a
kiss before swooping in to turn her
off again. He picks up his notebook
and writes feverishly, relieved to
have returned to the familiarity of
his own desires.
Edward Malaprop and his object of desire reflect the multiple
scenarios playing out in Amelia's
psyche. Her character's geekiness
offers an unself conscious platform
for candid gender play, inviting audiences to enjoy dynamic displays
of unabashed sexuality from the
safety of their local gay bar.
Recalling the time a fellow drag
king pointed out that Edward was
wearing women's panties, she explains, "I hadn't thought anything
amiss until that moment." §r

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