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The Ubyssey Feb 6, 2004

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 \ Bacl< inCo3u;l| l^fe;.§£'|s§S:y;v'ft
Discovering BDSM ca^munMes. Page; 11.
W ip(|:#;0iit#^
Is tfcere queer : space? in the maihstreai#
■'; mjzdm^} Pa|i QTV-r ft .^', <ft; ':fti:vft^ftft
P^i^ §ut|on is the poster boy for t
Cood Sportsmanship
-A queer athl^e organisation pi^jdesft
support. fefe.6^^,ft:W^.%^^i^#f';i? __?$__
weekdays in the SUB basement near die  .
Wellness Centre and Travelcuts.
2004 AGM. A tree community event in
conjuction with Black History iMonth.,
February 6, 7 pm. Vancouver YWG _
733 Bcrny Street. Laura-Atkinson
7, 10PM The Gallery 6 of the best
young comics in Vancouver, with a
couple of UBC amateurs. $2.
FILM FESTIVAL - "The Coi-poration"
with special guest, director Jennifer
Abbott on Friday, February 20 + on 21st
the Canadian Premiere of "Kla ah Men".
Special guests, great documentaries,
features films, receptions, book-signing,
art exhibit. February 19-21 at the
Evergreen Theatre. See website for
complete details, including travel
specials: www.prfihn.ca Phone: (604)
DAD! They will really like this
Kits accommodation for their Vancouver
visit, www.cherubinn.com
Room vacancies are available in selected
UBC single residences for qualified
women applicants. Available for
immediate occupancy in Gage, Fairview,
- Totem~and Rksumeikan residences.
Applicants who take occupancy of a
residence room before Feb.2 2004 are
" eligible "to participate in the residence
lottery for returning students in 2004-
2005 Winter session. Contact UBC
Housing in Brock Hall (1874 East Mall)
for more information. The Housing
Office is open from 8:30am-4:00pm
weekdays, or call (604) 822-2811 during
office hours. 'Availability is limited for
some residences and room types.
Friday, February 6,2004
waxing services + receive 50% off on the
service of lesser value. Call 604-224-
4314 or visit www.lepetitspa.ca
$$ Guaranteed-Great Pay. TESOL
Certified 5 days in-class, online or by
correspondence. Free information
Seminar, every Tuesday @ 6:00pm. #216,
1755 West Broadway &> Burrard). Free
infopack: 1-888-270-2941 or contact
MASSACHUSETTS Positions available
for talented, energetic, and fun loving
students as counselors in all team sports,
including Roller Hockey and Lacrosse,
all individual sports such as Tennis &
Golf, Waterfront and Pool activities and
specialty activities including art, dance,
theatre, gymnastics, newspaper, rocketry
and radio. GREAT SALARIES, room,
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June 17th-August. 13th. Enjoy a great
summer that promises to be
unforgettable. For more information and
to apply: MAH_K£E_NAC
www.campmkn.com: 1-800-753-9118.
Interviewer will be on campus Monday
March Ist-lOam -4:00pm In the Student-
Union Building (SUB)-Room 212.
DEADLINE for applications: Monday
February 16th; 2004 GROUP
LEADERS play a key role in:
-building the international community at
-supporting academic success
-faciliating friendships between new
international students, and returning
-planning fun evenis and promoting
intercullural group activities
CLASS (if paying for term) Beginners
7PM, Intermediates 8PM, Mondays &
Tuesdays. Email Anthony at "
drsofealsa@yahoo.cqm, or.
www.geoci ties.com/drsofsalsa.
waxing services + receive 50% off on the
service of lesser value. Call 604-224-
4314 or visit www.lepetitspa.ca
$$ Guaranteed-Great Pay. TESOL
Certified 5 days in-class, online or by
correspondence. Free information
Seminar, every Tuesday & 6:00pm. #216,
1755 West Broadway (<_ Burrard). Free
infopack: 1-888-270-2941 or contact
MASSACHUSETTS Positions available
for talented, energetic, and fun loving
students as counselors in all team sports
including Roller Hockey and Lacrosse,
all individual sports such as Tennis &
Golf, Waterfront and Pool activities and
specialty activities including art, dance,
theatre, gymnastics, newspaper, rocketry
and radio. GREAT SALARIES, room,
board, travel and US summer work visa.
June 17th-August 13th. Enjoy a great
summer that promises to be
unforgettable. For more information and
to apply: MAH_KEE_NAC
www.campmkn.com: 1-800-753-9118.
Interviewer will be on campus Monday
March Ist-lOam -4:00pm In the Student
Union Building (SUB)-Room 212.
DEADLINE for applications: Monday
February 16th, 2004 GROUP
LEADERS play a key role in:
-building the international community at
-supporting academic success
-faciliating friendships between new
international students and returning
-planning fun events and promoting
intercultural group activities
CLASS (if paying for term) Beginners
7PM, Intermediates 8PM, Mondays &
Tuesdays. Email Anthony at
dr506_sa@yahoo.com, or
www.geoci ties.com/drsofsaIsa.
thunderbird radio news ^\rfi-{-/*
this week: y  f,     ' f*
throne speech -
tuition protest
independent [arts]
campus and        hard rubber orchestra + taiko
community and lots more
news, arts and sports C X TR
live every friday at 5p.m.       ;.     10f .9 fM
We are here to listen.1
AMS Speakeasy provides nori-judgemental peer counseling, information and referrals
to UBC students. Al! dtop-ins and calls are strictly confidential.
Feel free to drop-in or call anytime between 9am and 9pm Monday to Thursday or
between 9am and 7pm on Fridays. -
Ijjfft. 1950 West. Broadw/ayft -:.m
9Kft Vancouver BCft-:''ftfiift?.<:'i:
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• Fast & Easy to use 'Auto Sort, Feed, Staple, doubleside «r esize 25% - 400%
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Personal comparisons
between generations
by Michael Kwag
I woke up dizzy and nauseous, wondering if my memory was just a
dream. It was August of 2003 and I
lay on my white hospital bed, awaking after an overdose of my antidepressants from the early afternoon.
I was trying to kill myself because I
was torn between the identity I
knew that was my destiny and the
identify that my family had chosen
for me.
When I finally received some
help, it became clear to me that my
family's intolerance of my sexuality
was hardly atypical, especially given
my Christian-Korean background.
Besides the obvious understanding
that coming out is never a walk in
the park, it seems most difficult to
reveal ourselves to our families,
especially when family members
are openly homophobic.
Timothy Conklin, Secretary'
of the English Department at UBC,
notices this trend himself. Growing
up in a small- town in Minnesota
during the 1970s, Timothy (who is
now 41) understood that coming
out to his friends or
family was a very
delicate issue.
Waiting until he
attended college,
Timothy came out
when he was 20.
"I was very careful who I talked to. I
chose my friends
wisely,* he said.
If high school is
a challenging place
to be gay in today's
society,  it wasn't
any easier for Tim
who faced many of
the   same   stereotypes (if not more) as young queers.
Tim explains, "I wasn't going to be
labelled a faggot...I was going to be
beat up if I came out*
At home, the situation was no
better. "My parents had a typical
reaction. They thought I had some
kind of mental illness,* she said.
Bearing in mind his Anglican background, Tim was kept in the closet
both by his family and his religion's
conviction that homosexuality was
a sin.
Gordon Handford also attributes
his difficulty in coming out to cultural, religious and familial barriers. "I grew up in a pretty closeted,
homophobic culture,' explains
Gordon, now 58 and a Professor of
Health Sciences at BCIT in Burnaby.
A sign of the times, Gordon's
father was an RCMP officer whose
"first posting was with the vice
squad in prostitution and drugs
until 1930," he explains. "His job
was to detect deviants."
As Gordon remembers, "I unsettled him: I was kind of sensitive and
artistic. He desperately wanted a
real man's boy...I was often a delib-
I was trying to
kill myself
because I was
torn between the
identity I knew
that was my
destiny and the
identity that my
family had chosen for me.
erate disappointment to him.*
Through the years of adolescence and young adulthood, Gordon
struggled with suicide and clinical
depression. Entering a marriage "to
get myself tangled in the world,'
Gordon waited until he was 47 to
come out, after over 20 years of
married life and raising two fully
grown children.
"I had the notion I was going
through a phase. It took me until I
was about 40 to know that it wasn't
going to pass and that I had to honour it and make the best of it In
many ways it was kind of a classic
way of growing up in a homophobic
society where you don't encounter
models that are okay.*
While it is easy to pass judgment
on closeted queers, few could successfully argue that nothing has
been changed to make it easier for
one to be open about their sexuality.
With expanding exposure of gays
and lesbians in public spaces and
the centralisation' of the Davie
Street community, oppressed
queers across Vancouver have been
able to find support
outside    of   their
of  queer
in  public
life have had the
way paved for them
by   political   and
social   shifts.   As
Canada's political
culture has become
increasingly secularised, it has made
it easier for queer
advocates to challenge   the   status
quo  of the traditional family, giving    support    to
queers who find themselves alienated by their family or its structure.
Though far from perfect, UBC as
an institution has made significant
steps to welcome and support queer
culture. The mandate of the Positive
Space Campaign, "to foster a welcoming atmosphere for people of all
sexual orientations and gender
identities," is an indication of how
far we have come in terms of tolerance. For the social queens out
there, Pride UBC is a diverse body
of students, faculty and staff crossing gender, age, sexual and ethnic
barriers to provide a friendly community of speaking out and expressing our sexuality.
While homophobia and xenophobia continue to be pervasive oppressions for queers today, the social
and political changes in our institutions that have given us community
outside our homes have made coming out easier than ever before. Even
though our families may be locked
in archaic perceptions of sexuality,
the movement for a queer space in
public has given some a way out of
suicide and loneliness at home, if QUEERSPACE
Friday, February 6,2004
Jordana Greenblatt
Mariana Payet
Hywel Tuscano
Megan Thomas
Jonathan Woodward
John Hua
Jesse Marchand
Heather Pauls
Michelle Mayne
Paul Carr
Iva Cheung
Sarah Bourdon
Bryan Zandberg
The Ubyssey is the official student newspaper of the University of
British Columbia. It is published every Tuesday and Friday by The
Ubyssey Publications Society.
We are an autonomous, democratically run student organisation,
and all students are encouraged to participate.
Editorials are chosen and written by the Ubyssey staff. They are the
expressed opinion of the staff, anfi do not necessarily reflect the
views of. The Ubyssey Publications Society or the University of
British Columbia.
The Ubyssey is a founding member of Canadian University Press
(CUP) and adheres to CUP'S guiding principles.
All editorial content appearing in The Ubysseyis the property of The
Ubyssey Publications Society. Stories, opinions, photographs and
artwork contained herein cannot be reproduced without the
expressed, written permission of the Ubyssey Publications Society,
letters to the editor must be under 300 words. Piease include your
phone numbeVstudent number and signature {not for publication)
as well as your year and faculty with atl submissions'. ID will be
checked when submissions are dropped off at the editorial office of
The Ubyssey, otherwise verification will be done by phone.
"Perspectives" are- opinion pieces over 300 words but under 750
words and are run according to space.
"Freestyles" are opinion pieces written by Ubyssey staff members.
Priority will be given to letters and perspectives over freestyles
unless the latter is time sensitiva Opinion pieces will not be run
until the identity of the writer has been verified.
It isagreed by all persons placing display or classified advertising
that if the Ubyssey Publications Society fails to publish an advertisement or if an error in the ad occurs the liability of the UPS wit!
not be greater tban the price paid for the ad. The UPS shall not be
responsible for slight changes or typographical errors that do not
lessen the value or the impact of the ad.
Room 24, Student Union Building
613S Student Union Boulevard
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
tel: 604-822-2301
fax: 604-822-9279
web: www.ubyssey.bc.ca
e-mail: feedback@ubyssey.bc.ca
Room 23, Student Union Building
>        advertising: 604-822-1654
business office: 604-822-6681
e-mail: advertising@ubyssey.bc.ca
Fernie Pereira
Dave Gaertner
Shalene Takara
. "HeHo, my name is Jordana Greenblatt and I will he your guide
for today." With, frmt Mariana Payet put the truck in gear and the
. Ubyssey Safari began... „*Bey look, a giraffe* exlaimed Sarah
Pemberton; Joshua Goldberg wasted no time dispatcbing the
" animaL "Waft a sec,' shouted Brian Scarth, 'that's not a giraffe,
lhat's Paul Sutton." Lesley Bqyles and. Michael More took
Joshua's gun away and gave it to someone they could trust
Within seconds of getting the gun, Mike Harris had killd several
zebras. "Can't we have one safari where we don't end up killing
. half of Africa?* asked Kelsey Pattern. At that moment Da\__
Anderson and Charlene Smoke came running to the truck. "You
' remember how we all thought that hippos were friendly, well
one just ate Michael Kwag and Tyler Hopson.* Suddenly Justin'
Cheng spontaneously combusted. Jesse Marchand laughed. "I
t didn't know that could happen," said Hywel Tuscano. As if it
weren't randomn enough. Heather Pauls, paul Carr, and Iva
. Cheung a_ combusted. "Maybe this is nature's way of getting
even," said Jon .Woodward. "Maybe," said Megan Thomas, "but I
see a lion." Sarah Bourdon shot it and sent Bryan Zandberg out
. to skin it Just then John Hua had a heart attack and died. Paul
Evans remarked, "That's funny, I thought he would combust*
Hywel Tuscano
by Jordana Greenblatt
while many of this issue's contributions describe places and situations where
queer space exists and people are comfortable, I can't help but think that
queer space, in Vancouver especially, is not quite as accommodating as we
might like to believe. I'm not necessarily referring to the space we have managed to make for ourselves in a world that is largely straight and gender normative. I'm talking about the kind of room queer people make for other queer
people in what is generally considered to be queer space. This goes beyond
the often-heard complaint that various queer communities—Pride UBC
included—are insular. Insularity can be overcome relatively easily. When I
talk about the space that queers refuse to make for other queers, I am talking
about how queer space in Vancouver is fragmented, and often even
About a year ago I was talking about HTV with a friend of mine who bad
lived in San Francisco in the eighties, and he told me that if he ever found out
be was positive, he would pick up and move back there in a second. Because
the queer community in
Vancouver simply does not
make space for people
affected by HTV. Sure, there
are many great resources
in Vancouver, such as
YouthCo—although it's
worth noting that there are
none on campus and
Pride's information on
HIV is years out of date-
but the attitude of the community as a whole is very
cold and unwelcoming
towards what is, after ali, a
significant proportion of
queers. Queer Vancouver
tends to abide by a kind of
"don't ask, don't tell" policy
when it comes to HIV, in
any situation which doesn't directly involve sex—
and sometimes those that
do—and lhat's something
that's deeply troubling.
But what more can we expect from a city whose two queer neighbourhoods
are twenty minutes apart by transit? We're trained since the time we come out
as queer Vancouverites to be insular, exclusionary and separate from each
other. In Toronto, the Dyke March follows a slightly shorter version of the
Pride Parade route. In Vancouver, it's held in a completely different neighbourhood. Is it the geography of the city itself that teaches us to separate queer
from queer, dyke from fag, positive from negative? Or somewhere in the history of Vancouver's queer culture did something go horribly wrong and make
us stop trusting each other?
When I go home to Toronto and go out with my friends, we travel in a large
mixed group, to a mixed club and watch a drag show amid an enthusiastic
audience of dykes and fags sharing a communal moment In Vancouver, I
would never be able to find the same feeling. I'm an admitted fag hag and
whenever I go out to the club I am always warmly welcomed into the gay male
community. But this kind of individual transgression is not enough Often,
when I go dancing in my chosen space, the queer men single me out to talk
because I am the only queer woman there and tell me how happy they are to
see me, how nice it is that the communities are coming together at last .And
sometimes, the next time, they bring their own lesbian friend. So perhaps the
time has come for us to band together and make togetherness happen. If
Toronto can have a village where dykes and fags can party together, so can we.
If San Francisco can sustain a community where all its members are supported and acknowledged, why can't we? It's time to open up our eyes and
realise that yes, space is good, but we should be sharing it with each other,
instead of setting up fences to keep away anyone who isn't precisely like us
and everyone we know, it
* _w
*   ft «-* *     ■
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- "■> _
WE LIKE PUSSY: Yes we do. Lesley hoyles photo
by Mariana Payet
I remember the first time I walked into the Pride office. I was terrified.
I had passed by numerous times trying to find the guts to take that extra
step. I went in wondering where the Monday night discussion group
meets. I was lucky enough to find Michael (our Male Identified
Discussion Group Coordinator) in the office. Immediately he knew I was
new and gave me directions to the UBC Graduate Students Society (GSS).
That same night I went to discussion and was again lucky enough to find
Michael and meet David, a.k.a. auntie Dave, and Caroline. Those people
and many more influenced my coming out process in a very positive
way. I had found in Pride UBC the "queer space" that I needed. Pride was
a place where I could go and feel comfortable—where I could be myself
and not have to He about my identity.
I still feel that way about our resource group. Through the year I have
met many wonderful people and learned a lot of tilings. But every time,
I must remind myself that just because I had a positive experience with
 Pride UBC, it does not
mean that everyone
else has. Many of us try
to make Pride a comfortable place for people who are just coming
out or who have been
out for a while. We try
to create a space were
everyone can feel comfortable with who they
are. But sometimes this
fails to happen.
Every    student    at
UBC is  a member  of
Pride UBC. We all pay
Alma    Mater    Society
(AMS)  fees   and  with
that   comes   membership to all the resource
groups. Yet, that does
not mean that every single   student   at   UBC
embraces   the   queer
community. Similarly,
it does not mean that every active member of Pride UBC embraces all of
the different communities within our own. We claim to be open to everyone, but many times we aren't Many times we fail to maintain contact
try. As volunteers we cannot spend every second worMng for ;Prlde" UBCT
Nevertheless, perhaps, we should try a bit harder.
I was very happy when the topic chosen for this year's Ubyssey issue
was "queer space." That was exactly what I felt Pride should be—a space
for all queers. We tried to find people that would write on different
aspects of queer space, I hoped that by getting people from outside our
immediate community, as well as from within, we would offer different
perspectives on the issues that affect us as queer people. Twanted^is
year's issue to be one of those "queer spaces" where anyone couldljfes-
ent their perspective and it would be respected. A space where we could
write about the issues that interest us in the style that best accommodates us. No barriers—except for word count since we don't have all the
space in the world—no censorship, no judgement, no harsh criticism,
just space.
I hope it worked out that way. I hope that this "queer space" turned
out like the positive side of Pride and not like some of its weaknesses—
that it mirrors my positive experience with Pride and not someone
else's negative one.
Thanks to all the contributors for writing such wonderful pieces.
Your work shows the diversity in our community—what space there is
and what space is lacking.
Happy Outweek to all... it
■.     -.^
Canada Post SaJes Agreement Number 0732141
By Joshua Mira Goldberg
The dominant culture of Canada is strongly gendered. Social, change movements are challenging
people to recognise and change sexist gender
norms, as well as the intersecting gender, race
and class structures that create systemic oppression (e.g., criminalisation of black and Aboriginal
men, exploitation of Filipina and Caribbean
women as domestic workers).
Underneath the gender norms that are starting to be recognised as repressive are other
norms that are often taken for granted a,s biological, or 'natural.' For example:
Your body determines how you feel about
yourself and how you want others to perceive
you. ' -
There are only two sexes (male/female) and
only two corresponding genders (man/woman).
Your body _arid your gender identity don't
There are some things that are appropriate
for both genders to do, and some that are gender
specific (e.g. wearing a dress).
These gender norms affect all of us, shaping
our personal, family and community decisions
about how to feel about ourselves, how to interact
with each other and how to structure our schools,
public services and institutions. We live in a society where it is extremely important to know if
someone is a man or a woman, and where there
are assumptions about a person's history, experiences and feelings based on what we believe
their gender is.
For many people, these rules feel confining—
having to squish yourself into a label that doesn't
really describe the fullness of who you are, having to operate under somebody else's decisions
about what is good and what is bad and prejudicing our interactions with people based on our
assumptions about their gender. And for people
who are visibly or publicly gender-variant,
there's not only the pain of feeling like you don't
fit in, but also the tremendous burden of other
people's reactions, including curiosity, rejection,
fear, hatred, harassment, discrimination and
The trans' movement is working not only to
create a society where every person can define
and express their gender identity without fear of
discrimination or violence, but to create a world
er diversity and trans space
where gender diversity is embraced and where
there is equably for people of all genders. A small
step in that long process of change is reducing
the barriers trans people and their loved ones
face in trying to access health and social services.
In June 2003, after a year of community advocacy, the Vancouver Coastal Health launched the
Transgender Health Program. The new program,
a partnership between trans community members and service providers, aims to:
—create a network of trans-friendly health and
social service practitioners around BC
—help anyone with a transgender health question find accurate information and resources
—offer peer counseling and outreach
—train health and social service practitioners
—create best practice guidelines for specialty
gender transition and cross dressing services, -k
For more information contact the:
Transgender Health Program
1292 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1W2
Tel/TTY: 604-734-1314 or 1-866-999-1514
Email: __r__.ealth@vch.ca
Web: www.vch.ca/traDshealt_L h RHIE
mm      m
fin ins
; iCuili«f special jBuf
Friday, February 6, 2004
by Sarah Pemberton
As I began to consider the concept of bi space,
I immediately ran into problems. What does
bi mean? Is it even an appropriate label?
Without a formative understanding of bi there
seems little hope to understanding bi space.
Yet, questions still arise over what bi space is
or whether any exists at all and if so, where?
The common definition of bi or bisexual
according to most dictionaries is a "person
who is sexually attracted to both sexes."
However, the relative simplicity of this definition belies the complexity and variation of bi
people's experiences and understandings' of
their sexuality. Bi people are often not equally
attracted to both sexes. For instance, one
might primarily be attracted to people of one
sex and only occasionally to people of the
Moreover, it is important lo note that one's
sexuality is shaped and defined by more than
attraction. It also relates to emotional bonds
or the capacity to form meaningful relationships, to behaviour and to potential. Thus, a
lesbian might not identify as bisexual on the
grounds that although she occasionally experiences attraction to men, she does not feel able
jo form a meaningful relationship with a man.
The distinction between behaviour and
potential 1$ also salient—being bisexual may
not mean that you currently date or have sex
with people of both sexes, or thatyou have previously dated or had sex with people of both
sexes. It may simply mean that you have the
potential to have relationships or sexual experiences with either sex. One may be bisexual
and celibate, self-loving or having sex with oth-
^sV,l_Lthe case, of the latter, one jnight be in a
n&blaogamMs "relatioffshipr Ti "non-monogamous one or no relationship at all.
Bi people understand and define bisexuali-
iy in different ways, and the same person may
understand it differently at different times in
their life. As a result, there are multiple right
answers to what bi means.
AH of this is further complicated by the fact
that sexuality is about more than the biological
"sex" of the individuals concerned. There is an
important distinction between "sex," which
refers to physical characteristics such as one's
organs, and "gender," which refers to" social
characteristics such as one's job and
The fact that our sexual attraction and
behaviour are determined by personalities
as well as bodies suggests that gender is a
highly   significant   factor.   As   a   result,
attraction is related not only to people's  se_ but to their  gender.
Furthermore, neither sex nor
gender  are  strictly binary ic  HO
categories—sex does not aVC^1
divide people neatly into   a^>V>^
male   and  female,  nor      V
does gender divide neatly into men and women.
Instead,   sex   is   better     i'
imagined as a continuum
that includes those who are
neither male or female but
may, for instance, be intersex.
Similarly, multiple genders  are
possible,  including identification  as
transgender or queer.
While I cannot explore the intricacies of
these identities in the course of this article,
information about such topics is available at
sQurces such as the Positive Space campaign
on campus: www.positivespace.ubc.ca.
The sex/gender distinction and presence of
multiple sexes and genders immediately prob-
lematises the conventional definition of bi.
Again, different people resolve this tension in
different ways, but personally I have come to
understand bi as referring to the capability to
have sex and/or relationships with people of
any sex or gender.
It should be clear from the discussion so
far that there is no "typical," "ideal" or "normal" bi person, nor even a particularly coherent group based on similar experiences or
understandings. Since bi people are hugely
diverse, creating a community or "space" is
necessarily a challenging project and the fact
that there is no easily identifiable "bi type"
means that such a bi community or space
might not be easily identified as such by others. Is there any bi space? What does/would it
look like?
While there are identifiable gay or lesbian
geographical   spaces—including
some workplaces, bars, clubs,
/ community centres or even
/>^. areas of a town—I have
<-^ajO>* yet to encounter a bi
C^a/   cb*b, a bi community
^ ■_ centre,  a bi district,
etc. Although it is pos-
# or  Do^.
sible   that   such   bi
<+S_   spaces do exist but are
rare, mis-recognised or
not widely known, I suspect that there is a relative
lack   of   geographical   bi
space. Moreover, I think it is
possible  that this  stems  from  a
certain lack of cultural bi space and bi
The formation of a group or community
(and hence spaces in which that group or
community are numerous or predominant)
depends on awareness of shared characteristics and identity. Here, I believe the lack of a
coherent bi experience, characteristic or identity is closely related to the lack of bi space. The
ejdstence of such a group identity may be a prerequisite for the existence of bi space, even as
the group identity would be strengthened by
the existence of bi space. While other groups
and identities are also necessarily multifaceted,
unstable and full of internal variety, I suspect
"bi" may be a less stable identity than "gay,"
"lesbian" or straight, almost by definition.
Looking again at the ways bi is defined, we
see the potential to be attracted to people in
general or either/any sex or gender. Bi identify is defined by indeterminacy and variety.
Given this,-the short answer to 'is there any bi
space?' is that I don't believe there is, or at
least not very much, but then I'm not sure that
I'd recognise it if I saw it.
What characteristics would bi space have?
I imagine it as a space of and for bi people,
their lovers, family, friends and allies, in their
indescribable diversity. I imagine bi space as
open, supportive, challenging, multifaceted,
sexy and soothing. I imagine it not as straight,
or gay, or lesbian, or queer, or a mixture of all
such categories, but rather of something distinct and unique. I don't know where, how or
when such spaces might appear, nor how
large they might be, but I believe there could
be value in bi spaces, whatever form they take
and even if they are ultimately unsuccessful.
We might find that we have more in common
than we currently realise, or less, or different
things. We might realise that, actually, our
needs are largely met by shifting about within
and between other communities and spaces,
as most bi people currently do.
In any case, while I'm sure these issues
will continue being debated, I currently see
bi as an identity of hopping around the
spaces of lesbian, gay, straight, queer, inbe-
tween and none-of-the-above. Currently, I see
bi space not as a place you can find on a map,
but as a transient collage we make,, for ourselves, shaping it in our words, our minds,
our outstretched arms and those luscious
places and spaces between our legs. What
does yours look like? it
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Friday, February 6,2004
.H ' "       H __l      11 _9
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by Jordana Greenblatt and
Michael More
When last we spoke to the staff of
Little Sister's Books and .Art
Emporium, the December 2000
Supreme Court of Canada decision
on their ongoing battle with Canada
Customs was recent news. Now, over
three years later, there has been time
to observe the concrete effects of this
decision. While the decision recognised that Canada Customs had been
discriminatory in its treatment of
Little Sister's, "the first thing that didn't happen is that they didn't strike
down the [obscenity] legislation. They
said...that [it was] constitutionally
sound," said Mark MacDonald, the
book buyer for the store. .And while
the ruling bought Little Sister's relative peace for a few months, the targeting of other queer bookstores
across Canada rose accordingly.
The space for independent bookstores in Canada is, of course, as
MacDonald put it "restricted and
constricted." Major chain bookstores
and the nation-wide retail slouch'
after 9/11 have combined to make
running any kind of independent
store a challenge, even without
harassment from Customs. In a way,
the very thing that has created the
space for Little Sister's to survive in
such a poor climate has increased the
onslaught faced by the store. Little
Sister's has "always aimed to provide
the central core pf queer space in
Vancouver, in, that when something
goes down in the commu_ity...come
here," said MacDonald.
Their position as a major queer
center in Vancouver has increased
their business, while also increasing t
the censorship and harassment that
they face from Customs. While Little
Sister's provides a space for queer
people, and the queer community
makes space for an independent
bookstore, has Canada provided any
real legislative space for sexual
In terms of physical space alone,
the Little Sister's store has experienced repeated attacks. They have
gotten past the bombings of the 80s,
but "relatively recently," said
MacDonald, "somebody shot our
front windows out...that happened a
couple of weeks ago, and we found
glass way inside the bookstore."
MacDonald is concerned that these
attacks will only increase as gay marriage becomes a high profile issue
throughout North America
Meanwhile, in 2001, Canada
Customs confiscated two special SM
issues of Meatmen comics, and,
according to MacDonald, "at the end
of the day, they've had the books for
over two years. They have not proved
them to be obscene...so nothing
changed." According to the last
.Supreme Court decision, the onus
has been on Customs for the last
three years to prove that a given work
is pbscene, and do it within a month.
So holding material for two years is a
clear    indication    that,     despite
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JUDGING A BOOK BY ITS COVER. Mark MacDonald, book buyer for Little Sister's, is in court over
seized books at the American/Canadian border, nic fensom photo
Customs having been chided by the
courts three years ago, there is still
no space for queer literature at the
Canadian border.
Little Sister's is going back to
court in September to tiy to have the
obscenity legislation struck down, or
at least to have Custom's relieved of
responsibility for enforcing it
MacDonald believes that if it cannot
be struck down, "the obscenity legislation would work a lot better in the
hands of the police," who seize books
only rarely. .And, when police do seize
a book, it can be defended in court
almost immediately without the long
wait that Little Sister's is forced to
endure by Customs. ';; <
Unfortunately, the cost of the
court time alone is estimated at one
million dollars, a cost that Little
Sister's could never hope to defray
through community fundraising. So
the bookstore will be appearing in
court in February to ask for special
funding. The Little Sister's case deals
with the constitution, and has the
potential to affect a large number of
people. The Supreme Court recently
set a precedent that allows for special
funding for constitutional cases of
this magnitude where the plaintiff
clearly cannot afford to go to court
However, even if Little Sister's is successful in acquiring this funding, they
must still rely on community donations to pay for their costs leading up
to the court dates, and likely for part
of the court costs as well
Canadian c^ture/stahds to gain a
lot if Little' Sister's is successful in
changing the constitution—we are
lagging behind many other countries
in our willingness to make space for
sexual minorities and sexually
deviant art For example, according
to MacDonald, many Scandinavian
countries avoid legislation that curtails freedom of expression. And
Japan, of course, has "manga and
hentai..art forms [which are often]
very. Very violent and sexually really
perverse...[but] they've got a very
sophisticated way of dealing with it
and treating it as" an art
form...[which] should be explored
and embraced and enjoyed and
If Little Sister's makes it to court
and   succeeds,   it   could   launch
, Canadians into a new era of sexual
fi-:; Ui'■u.u .jd.''to'..alii lo jRiiO _iU iij ._is
and artistic tolerance more in keep-
ing the attitudes of some of our peers.
And,  as MacDonald puts it,  "that
would be a beautiful thing to have
happen in Canada Right onl' ir
Staying positive
A quick look at the success and impact of
the Positive Space campaign
by David Anderson
As I pondered the theme of this year's Outweek issue of the
Ubyssey, "queer space," initially all that came to mind were
humdrum notions: the usual twihks gyrating at the "O," Pride
UBC's occasional Queer Garden, the gay Mecca of Davie Street
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ANCHORS A-GAY! Anne-Marie Long has been the
anchor of the Positive Space cambaian. gina eom photo
or perhaps the lesbian-Shangri-La of Commercial Drive. Oh
yeah, and the bathhouse) But sadly, that'll have to wait for
another issue.
But, as I began to discuss it with others, I realised that UBC
has its very own, sometimes static, sometimes portable "queer
space," which is proliferating at an amazing rate and now
includes more than 300 resource people. I am talking about
none other than the Positive Space Campaign.
For those of you out there who are out of touch with UBC's
queer agenda, never fear! Auntie Dave is here to sliine light into
your lives with a flash of sequin-speckled chiffon, witty words
and a tip of her feather-festooned hat
The Positive Space Campaign is "an initiative that addresses
patterns of invisibility on campus that lead to the exclusion, discrimination and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer,
transgender, transsexual, two-spirit and intersex (LGBQTTI) students, staff, faculty and issues." In other words, it's a way for
those pf us from the LGBQTTI communities to feel safer in usually forbidding places, see our colours flying and to have our
voice be heard.
The campaign is run through UBC's Equity Office in Brock
Hall, coordinated by the talented and lovely Anne-Marie Long,
with training support from Counselling Services.
It is a campus-wide initiative that predominantly provides
workshops for resource people in LGBQTTI language, issues
and resources, with further optional workshops to address
more complicated and specialized areas for personal
The initial, mandatory workshop provides resource people
with strategies to challenge heterosexism and homophobia, to
best address the needs of those who will approach resource people and ways to promote (and talk about) sexual and gender
diversity and indusivity on campus.
After successfully completing the training, resource people
sign a pledge that states that they will positively and affirmatively support LGBQTTI people and issues on campus. Afterward,
resource people can display their Positive Space poster in their
office nr residence rnnm nr /for those students like mvself who
do not have an office or permanent residence on campus) buttons on their backpacks or clothes.
_With these markers, "students, staff and faculty in need of
assistance [can] look for these posters and buttons on campus as
assurance that their sexual orientation and gender identity will
not be met with hostility or disdain."
The goal of the campaign is to promote visibility of LGBQTTI
issues, create welcoming environments for LGBQTTI students,
staff, faculty, and visitors and to ensure, through training, that
resource people are educated and committed to
the cause.
Having taken the training myself, I can attest that it's been a
incalculably effective program. Even though I'm visually
impaired, I've been able to "see" the positive space posters and
buttons up aU over and to find individuals, often in the least likely places, who have become resource people.
Pride UBC's attendance has rocketed upwards, students are
asking career counselors about coming out at the workplace and
professors are reporting a greatly increased amount of students
who feel comfortable disclosing their sexuality or gender identity to them in or outside of class. People are now more comfortable being honest about who they are to best get the services they
Students, staff faculty and the odd visitor to UBC can see the
bright and shiny Positive Space cards or buttons all over campus, from Financial Services to the doors of professors in
Computer Sciences and that of the Vice-President Students,
Brian Sullivan himself! Students, staff and faculty from across
the campus have 'come out' to support the Campaign. Check the
website to see who: www.positivespace.ubc.ca
Hell, even the Pride UBC executive is expected to take it After
all, just because you're queer it doesn't mean you're sensitive.
Training is on-going, so who else will sign up for workshops
this term? Hey, Martha Piper, there are a few spots left in the
March and April sessions! it      •,'
For more information, visit www.positivespace.ubc.ca
or e-mail Anne-Maiie Long at amlong@equity.ubc.ca or
fin4-H22-4R>W. j-V" *"£FV_r'f'P" ^_""°
London Pack
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1G9-.965W.4ch Ave.
(604) 739.6001
568 DL.nG:r,L"r Sc.
(604) 306.404C
1131 Davie St.
(604) 663.4066
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car e-mail peter.madott@humber.ca   -
The Business School
;;it:„ss../k.ft\ej sv;
'___?]   CAMPUS       &       COMMUNITY       PLANNING
V3IS5/  www.planning.ubc.ca
Date:       Thursday, February 12, 2004
Time:       12 noon - 1:30 p.m.
Location: Student Union Building, Room 224
The UBC Alma Mater
Society submitted a
revised proposal for a
development permit
application for a facility
for science
undergraduates. The site
is located on East Mall
between Hebb Theatre
and the Chemistry-
Physics Building. You are
invited to attend a public
meeting to view and
comment on the proposal.
The applicant and staff will be present.
For directions to the Student Union Building (SUB) go to:
www.maps.ubc.ca/PROD/index.php. Current development applications
are online at: www.plannmg.ubc.ca/corebus/devapps.html.
This event is .wheelchair accessible. .For more information about
assistance for persons with disabilities call (604) 822-6930 or email
f%    Questions or for more information please contact:
•      ■■ Jim Carruthers, Campus & Community Planning,
Email: jim.carruthers@ubc.ca, or
■ Michael Kingsmill, Alma Mater Society, Phone: (9604) 822-5000
I Friday, February 6,2064 ^
by Justin Cheng
I sat down with Steve Schuh, President of Integrity
Vancouver, the group representing gay and lesbian
Anglicans in Vancouver for a tableside chat about the recent
events in our city relating to gay and lesbian Anglicans.
J: Tell me something about your personal life journey. It
doesn't have to be about coming out...
5 My coming out as a gay person is related to my coming
out as a Christian...I grew up in a typical church-going family, Roman Catholic. When I was in high school, I came to an
understanding of the faith that was more conservative or
more traditional than the Catholic faith. For me, that meant
that I was more disciplined in my study of the Bible...[This]
also involved...evangelism, including picketing a high
school, walking back and forth with signs, encouraging students. I don't know if it did encourage anybody but it was a
good experience for us and for me to be public about my
faith as a Christian. It was'almost a kind of a coming out...
J: Was this before the 1980s, when there was a conservative evangelical revolution in the United States?
6 It was just during this time. In the early 80s, in university, I was campaigning for conservative political candidates, was involved in the campaigning against abortion...It
was also at a time when gay and lesbian people were just
beginning to have a voice. And as a conservative Christian,
completely out of touch with his sexuality, I also campaigned
against the gay and lesbian student group at our campus,
prevented them from starting a group in a few years.
J: So, here you are...[working] on conservative campaigns, can you track the evolution fronl here to there?
S: Sure, it wasn't evolution, so much as integration for
me. First, growing up in a conservative background, sexuality was not talked about..My...self-awareness was completely repressed. [I] was probably in Jr. High, when I first heard
the word "homosexual,* and even later when it was discussed, there was something attractive about that idea and
also completely foreign....But in my own understanding of
myself was obvious, because I wasn't gay, because I was a
Christian. That was my understanding of the time.. .1 Went to
graduate school to study theology [and culture] at Regent
icans with
College in Vancouver...It was on account of my study that I
was first able to reflect on my own sexuality. I [had] a few
relationships with women. It was obvious that I couldn't
; return what they [wanted] in a relationship with a man. I left
the college and started thinking more about my sexuality
and also I began reading more. I read novels that had gay
characters,...that was [when I] first started asking the question of whether I was gay.. .And for a while I lived with a dissonance between two separate identities. It was very difficult...But eventually I found a way to resolve those things
and integrate those identities and build a healthier and sta
He existence...
J: At any point, would you have considered leaving
Christianity altogether?
S: It never occurred to me to leave my faith. In fact, it was
my faith that gave me the strength to embrace my sexuality...! believe that God loved me, I never doubted that
J: How does this all relate to some of the issues that you
are active in., right now? There are some...gay Christians
that do not rock the boat
& It was never a matter of me being a gay activist It was
only natural for me to recognise the injustice and ignorance
that was obvious to me, in the church. It was a matter of
expressing my faith...! attend a conservative parish where
there is some anti-gay rhetoric. I'm able to stay there
because I don't look to them for acceptance. First I have my
friends in Integrity, I have Christian friends that encourage
me that provide me that sense of family...It is not about
being an activist, [but] about me encouraging this church to
1) stop...being hostile to gay and lesbian people but also to
'speak the truth, offering pastoral care to gay and lesbian
people, whether it is in their coming-out process, or offering
support to gay and lesbian relationships.
J: How do you reconcile being gay with being Christian...
& The church, no doubt in the past has persecuted gay
and lesbian people. In many corners of the world, the loudest voices in the church have remained very much opposed
hot just to same-sex unions, hut really they overtly discriminate and persecute...! think the church has something to
answer for. [Which] is not to say that there has [not] also
been significant examples when the church has stood up for
equal rights, for gay and lesbian people. It is not just liberal
churches ' either, it is even some conservative
Christians...The tradition has been against gay and lesbian
people. ...People are finding that their prejudices no longer
fit the facts. We have a new understanding of sexuality, we
have more and more gay and lesbian people to stand
up...This is forcing a lot of conservative Christians to reexamine their traditionally-held beliefs. I admit that what
we are asking of the church is untraditional. But I have to
point out that the tradition includes persecution and discrimination so I am not ashamed of asking the church to
change its tradition.
J: Has the gay community in general been receptive to
religion and spirituality?
S: Given the tradition of the church, against gay and lesbian people, there is some residual pain. So it is understandable that many gay and lesbian people be bitter about
their experience. I think some gay people have not been
very fair to the church- Our own Anglican bishop apologised
for the treatment to gay and lesbian people at the national
meeting of the church in 2001...It is good for gay people to
examine our own stereotypes.
J: Let's discuss what is happening in the Anglican
Diocese of New Westminister. Can you describe whatis happening? What is a same-sex blessing?
S: In 1998, amajorify of delegates to the Diocesan Synod
decided it would be appropriate to allow local parishes to
offer blessing services to gay and lesbian people...
J: Is the actual service different from the marriage service?
Sr Yes, we are not using the marriage service. You are
not doing marriage or any sort of civil partnership thing.
This is not a legal arrangement, this is a strictly religious
arrangement..We are not forcing anybody to do anything
they don't want to do. If there is an Anglican priest or parish
that is opposed to this, they don't have to be involved, they
don't have to dp it What we are asking them to do is to
respect the fact that other people have a different point of
J: How many parishes?
& Just 6 out of 80 parishes in the Lower Mainland.
J: What is the response to your critics in the Anglican
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church who have traditional views about marriage and
S: I can respect that some people have traditional views
on this. As long as their views don't a_scriminate against my
rights in the civil sphere. I attend a conservative parish and
there are people who disagree with me and we get along,
very well... it
Integrity Vancouver worship together every month at St
Paul's Church, in the West End of Vancouver [1130Jervis
Street, Vancouver BC V6E2C7—at the corner ofPendreE and
Jervis streets, (604) 685 6832]. Steve is also active in
Evangehcals Concerned, a group of gay and lesbian evangelical Christians. Contact Information: Integrity Vancouver,
P.O. 2797, Vancouver, BC, V6B 3X2, (604) 432-1230
Queer space in music
by Lesley Hoyles
It might seem illogical to speak of "space' for queer
musicians. But music can be read as geographical, as
a landscape that is constantly negotiated by its inhabi- _   .
tants. How, then, do queer folk fit into that landscape     •
ft x~*
I first started considering this question wheir j^^   x„
friend asked me if I thought that the music Ia write''Sho¥4
political I answered that no, it's not usually 1
political because I generally write about relatioi
and not "issues," and, in writing about relatiaasl
usually refer to the subject of the song as "you'
of in the third person. My fi-iend then asked
to write that way. No, I said, it just
it, really?
As a performing sonmtfnter, what I;
songs is how my audience percejsres me.
writer makes decision^\abpt^ho'\they
audience to resporiiftqraei:
queer songwriters,,this mat
yourself in your jffesjc ofti
tangible implications for queer musicians. This same
divide also illustrates how certain genres are seemingly more accessible to queer musicians. I wouldn't
exactly argue that folk music is a bastion of free queer
love, but I certainly feel more comfortable talking
,\ac|}ut my girlfriend at a folk show than I might on, say,
is, then, an interesting interplay between
a musician, want an audience to perceive me,
how %*M>out achieving that, whether, it is possible at
all and\tnfen how that affects how I market myself. I
suppo|ej>ou could say that I fall into the "sensitive-les-
bianjblk-singer* category. Sure, I've played my fair
shaf t^f^women's music festivals and Pride celebra-
ly written my fair share of bro-
lost-and-gone-forever love
dentiff as a woman and as a lesbian.
fepTaiiV particular affinity towards
Wste "Howeverf I
socially, p\
punity Sid locate myself, at least
famongs! e<
imia_il|jjnongsl gay men and the occasional undiffeteritiigfedqueeif How does that affect my
music? In TOncou^p~ati_^ji|]jas a profound impact
on opport__d_es* to perform^S^iB becomes a very
thejr   "tlie lesbian!ci
can be critical. 6
t^£<uis being pigeonholed as a queer musician, Aessffi^fhereafteiffconly
to other queer people^^^cc^sMWMat'audience,    real; taiigibleNphenomenon in t___.respect and one
alone. Being out is a poT^tiaiN^ecfers^ seM^fe^e_a_q§J» people like me,
ity. It means makingypilr music poEticaL whether you' whose music mighy fi___jp one category, but whose
want it to be or not nSt q&gei songwritefsthe musical ^-pefsonal aqd socialjjifk fits into an entirely different
landscape shifts ansl_(_i^ige»base^Snhow yg%nte*;" "category. BeiMj^musMan^dds a whole other dimension tqjhe'dln^^gotiation _>f space and identity that
$X££^*s ^\ft**** v°>^. jr%
p we experience as
-*__ ""jK^Sgj1^011^ aboNit your life and then performing
it inffript of ai audience.? a confessional act Whether
_ ^r^
fenresro music
and play our music.   £.
Of course, not a_g
comes to supporting queer inns:
often sharp dividelvbetween mis
marketed towards, queer jwomgnr!
duced for, or marketedHosvards, queer	
stereotypes abound here (thatlfe many stg!reo
are exaggerated, but not necessarwfendrely
ed), with queer women listening to feminjs^folk ;
riot grrl punk, and qugg_ "men listening taps;
pop idols: Madonna^and l^lie,"for tef^nce: I wpuld
argue that some of these real dj|K_nces stem from
the historically different roots of the two queer movements. Of course, the perceived difference serves to
create a false binary. However, as this binary is often
reflected in the perception of music marketers, it has
it is#fi. explicit feKfecel^he boy you slept with last
nMily gn'e3^e_aal^-S_DUMtoention of a recognized
queer phrase, of ai£appealMfeminist politics, queer
seff-represenfaMon in rmisic jjf never a simple matter
tji    of sitting do^fi and writing a'nice little love song. It is
'eafciL^a^ggjrpfb&ing in the worjd-, a position that you occupy,
L-1J     Eff one that other'people decide that you occupy. It is
also, however, an exciting landscape to look out upon,
one which I believe is becoming more and more queer
by the day, and one which has challenged me to start
using those pesky third-person pronouns in my unrequited love songs, it
Spacing Oh! in front of the tube
Queers in the Mainstream Media
by Jordana Greenblatt
There is a constant struggle for any
minority community to be represented in
the mainstream media. And once any of
us do finally make an appearance on standard cable in prime time, it marks an
increase in visibility for our cornmunities,
but it is often not the precise visibility we
were looking for—often times, it isn't even
really us.
As queers, we have our own shows, of
course, like Queer As Folk, that are aired
only on more risque channels such as
Showcase. When we make the mainstream stations and programs, however,
the pull between visibility and misrepresentation becomes a constant topic of conversation within our community. While
MB and Grace, for example, has been on
the air for a long time, the past year has
emerged as a turning point in terms of
queer presence on mainstream networks.
Boy Meets Boy joined the multitude of
reality dating and mating shows, and
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy has
become a fixture in many of the most het-
ero households.
I must admit, when Queer Eye first
appeared, I rejoiced, in my own geeky
academic way, and applied feminist theory with relisk I contemplated, and chattered to anyone who would listen about
how the show attempted to sensitise
straight men to the female gaze by mediating it through the gaze of other men.
Traditionally, of course, it is the male gaze
that dominates visual media. Men look,
and women are looked at Women can
look; at each other, but nobody looks at
men. And, as such, women were, and still
are for the most part, supposed to beautify themselves to receive this gaze, while
men are not expected to submit to any
gaze at all Thus, the plremise of Queer Eye
seems devilishly clever. Instead of asking
straight men to submit to the female gaze,
something virtually unheard of in our
visual culture, they are asked to submit to
a different kind of male gaze. Thus, the
men are made palatable to the female
gaze without forcing an unmanageable
paradigm shift. In short, it is a kind of
guerrilla feminism.
However, the queer community is a
community defined by our sexuality.
Thus, the constant desexualisation of
queers in mainstream television is perhaps indicative that we have not actually
become more visible. It is an indicator
that the straight community is not quite
ready to really look at us. We have, of
course, complained about Will and Grace,
and Will's complete lack of a sex life for
years: This discourse has gotten to the
point where complaining about Will's lack
of sexual or romantic involvement has
become the new "are you a friend of
Dorothy" for the cryptically inclined. But it
is when we see the desexualisation of
queers in overtly more sexual shows that
the true reluctance of the straight community to view us as we really are,
unmediated by heterosexual sexuality,
becomes apparent
Boy Meets Boy, for example, would
seem like the ultimate in sexuahsed gay
programming for the heterosexual audience. However, the twist to this show is
that half of the "boys* competing for the
"gay bachelor' are actually straight, unbeknownst to him. Thus, the queer sexuality
expressed in the show is subsumed into
the knowledge that half the boys are just
acting—and if they are, the actual queer-
ness of the show lacks a certain reality as
well. The genuine boy on boy attraction of
the show is inherently mediated through
the program's heterosexual focus.
Similarly, while I continue to have
fond feelings for Queer Eye, the show
stands as a prime example of how queer
sexuality is appropriated and assimilated
back into straight culture without ever
really expressing itself. While the "queer
eyes* of the show are held up as sexual
and cultural gurus who can teach the
most unstylish of straight men to be sexy
so he can get the job and the girl, they
themselves are desexualised. Rather,
their sexuality and sexual know-how is
appropriated in order to increase the success of heterosexual mating rituals. They
are constantly preparing the "guy" for his
girl, but their homo-sexuality is constantly
downplayed and appropriated. Even the
show's name attests to the primacy of its
heterosexual focus. The straight
makeover subject is a *guy,* but the
queers are only, and can only ever be
So have we really become more visible
in the mainstream this year, or are we
still trudging along as the non-threatening, asexual best friend? In order for us to
become truly visible in mainstream
media, the audiences and television producers are going to have to go one step
further, and recognise that queers are not
only here, but sexual and sexy as well it
An awkward
space in sports
by Tyler Hopson
"The sporting arena is the last place where people are coining to accept
gays and lesbians," says Mark, an 18-year-old athlete. "The jock-type guys
in the weight room...use 'faggot' Like, if you can't lift weights, you're gay.
And that's an insult They still use that as an insult"
Mark, who prefers not to have his last name published, is not alone in
his thoughts. Many gay and lesbian athletes feel like outsiders in the
world of sports. A new, Canadian-based organisation understands their
concerns completely. Founded in October 2002, the aim of the Gay &
Lesbian Professional Athletes Association (GLPAA) is to target homophobia in sports and to provide a resource for queer athletes.
Mark is a competitive swimmer who has competed at the national
level. He's been swimming since the age of seven and has traveled all
over the world to attend swim meets. But for years he thought he was the
only gay swimmer.
"I used to walk around and be like, 'It's so weird, no one else is gay.'
I think it has gotten better...Now I can pick out people...It's good that they
don't have to hide anymore."
The homophobia in sports has been difficult for Mark to handle. "The
people on the sports team were the last people I came out to. Most of the
girls were OK with it The guys definitely had problems with it*
Mark recalls a particularly embarrassing moment at one swim meet
As usual, the team was eating dinner together in a hotel room. But one
male teammate took the teasing too far. "One guy took one of the salad
tongs and started [pretending to] shove it up my ass. You know, in front
of everyone,, .It was quite embarrassing."
According to spokesman Tyler Hoflinan, GLPAA is the only association of its kind worldwide. As a result GLPAA programs such as a Gay
and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame and annual awards for noteworthy individuals and organisations are still in the planning phases. The association is also available to give seminars for schools and sports teams.
Randall Reid, co-founder of GLPAA, agrees that homophobia is still a
big problem in sport "We're still where things were [2 5 years ago],* he
says. "You wouldn't think it would still be an issue in 2003, but it is."
Reid says homophobia affects Ihe gay or lesbian athlete's day-to-day
operations. Everything from being in the locker room, to dealing with
coaches, to personal income is affected.
The problems don't stop there.
Steve Gelhorn is a high school basketball coach in the Greater
Vancouver area. He's also gay. But because he coaches at a conservative
high school, he and the "other coEtQh.es decided the studentsjdidn't ne&l
to know.
"There's still a lot of homophobia in the schools. A lot I've heard the
[slurs] so often it just kind of goes over my head," he says.
Being in the locker room is a unique challenge for the gay coach. "The
only time I go into the locker room is to do a pre-game briefing and the
guys are all dressed. I really watch what I do and keep focused."
Gelhorn says he doesn't want other coaches or students—if they find
out he's gay—to question his motives for Being in the locker robiii. If a
student someday questions his sexuality "they'll get a straight-up
answer," he says.
Heidi Deagle, a nursing student at the University of British Columbia,
used to play rugby on the UBC women's team. She says she didn't "get
any gay vibes off anyone on the team*
At one point, Deagle went on exchange to New Zealand and played on
a rugby team there. "Half of the women were out some of them were
even dating each other," she says of the New Zealand team. "It was really awesome. It's such an excellent way to make new, gay friends*
However, when she returned to UBC she once again felt like the only
lesbian on the team. She says the transition was 'really stifling
"It totally sucked. I had the whole double-identity thing going on.*
Deagle says if no one is out of the closet on a sports team it makes it
more difficult to be the first Nonetheless, she still sees team sports as a
community-building activity, for gays and straights.
Alexis, a 20-year-old arts student at UBC, says "it gets really complicated when you're not out and you like other girls on the team." Alexis
plays on a community soccer team in the Lower Mainland.
"We're really friendly and everyone is hugging [after a game].
Sometimes I'm thinking, 'Is this appropriate for me?"
Alexis says because she isn't close friends with any of the other team
members she doesn't feel the need to come out to them. "Some of them
are uptight about [homosexuality] and I don't want to cause a rift.*
As testimony to the homophobia that these queer athletes and GLPAA
see in sport is the air of secrecy that surrounds the GLPAA membership
list The association does not keep a database of member information,
nor does it charge membership fees. As a result it's difficult for Hoffman
to e stimate exactly how many members it has.
"We are probably the only association that doesn't want to keep track
of its members."
A new addition to GLPAA is a toll-free number that is available
throughout North America. The association hopes that the number will
make it easier for professional gay athletes to access counselling and
But Reid stresses that anyone with a concern can phOne. "Everyone
can use the line. Not just pro athletes. Parents with concerns, high school
and university students."
Reid is satisfied with the job GLPAA has done so far. "I was in Dallas
for Gay Pride [this year] and I had a young guy come up to me and say he
wished we were around a long time ago." it I
The number for the GLPAA's toll-tee line is 1-866-409-4522 or visit
www.glpaa.org. ^0
■ $ jif i«f l^eciil isiif
ueer Your
Friday, February 6,2004
In just a month, UBC will be descended on by hundreds of
queers, as we serve as hosts for an interdisciplinary queer conference. Resolutions and Ruptures: Sexual and Gender
Diversity and the Spaces In-Between. The conference will offer
a dynamic and diverse mix of performances, presentations,
workshops and panels, in addition to several exciting keynotes.
Sue Ellen Case, professor and chair, critical studies, from the
Department of Theatre, Film and Television at UCLA, a past
editor of Theatre Journal and well known scholar who has published in the fields of performance studies, new media, queer
theory, feminism and theatre and lesbian critical theory, will
be speaking. Also speaking at the conference will be local community activist, Xtra! West Community Hero, and reigning
Miss Gay Vancouver, Jamie-Lee Hamilton, whose profile
includes being a nightclub performer, mental health worker,
business operator, sex trade worker, political candidate,
founder of a safe house for street-involved sex workefs and
much, much more. The conference's final keynote is Kevin
Kumashiro, a community activist, researcher. Director of the
Centre for Anti-Oppression Education and developer of new
approaches to addressing issues of social justice in schools, as
well as having authored numerous groundbreaking articles
and books. The conference will address and highlight issues of
activism and social justice, law and politics, bodies and health,
access, climate and services, research, theories and practices,
intersections of oppressions and lived experiences, perform
ance, art and social change, communities, families and youth,
technologies and desire. It represents a major opportunity for
queer learning discourse, networking and interaction for our
university, it
—David Anderson
To learn more about the conference, to volunteer, or to
register, please visit
www poMtivespace. ubr t •a/qconference
or call 604-822-4859.
Q ROGERS' IpffltJ.
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Phones shown may not be ayaiiable at sil locations. *Phone price subject to[activation or> new 24-month service agreement.+System Access and initiation fees, 911 Emergency Access Fees, pay-per-use Text Messaging, long distance, 'reaming charges
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(250) 382-4196 : % afeff if f IpeciiiJsl^p
ill 11
Friday, February 6,2004
by Brian Scarth
We're at Our Place
Sitting more or less on each other
Crammed into a booth
Flanked tightly by good friends|
Jen and Andrea's hands he qh Jhgj
Their fingers wound together
Tapping to the beat
Some faggalron remix of Kylie plays over his voice
It keeps the bottoms bouncing
He's telling me he found my lost shirt
We finish our beer and slip out of the booth
At the bar a gorgeous woman named Frank smiles
We have another drink and dance
His hands rock my waist
His eyes trace me as I pretend to know the words
We laugh and grind for the hell of it
The crowd thins out around 2 am
He gets our coats and brings them to me
We say goodbye to friends
Kissed cheeks and firm hugs
He puts his arm around me to lead me out
We step outside and make for the way home
Stepping onto the main strip we've got another
3 blocks to go
His arm falls from my waist to his side
We look away from each other and put our hands in
our pockets
I've" gone for his hand on the street before
It's worse than cheating
It's not done
The streets are full of you
Leaving bars like Jim Bob's
Girls in tight shirts and guys with gold chains
The streets are yours
We'll be home in five minutes
Until then we're broken up
Friends or strangers, nothing more
We put space between us to make it clear
At home he'll melt my heart with soft kisses and fingers
through my hair
First we walk the Gauntlet
We do this every time we leave the house
We break up, forget who we are, become invisible
We do this for you
So your sky won't fall
You're welcome
by Paul Sutton
there is a comfort, I'd call it
a safety in knowing
that you're in a place
where you'll never read this
and even if these words
pass before your eyes
they surely won't stir
what I'd want you to feel
but I can't help but notice
the blahkness in your eyes:
they don't light up
when you see me anymore
and maybe I finally turned off
the power that you had
even though I've not done anything
of late, not now.
and so has the past gone retroactive?
or are pur cards finally laid down for us to see?
do know I won't know happiness
until we're swimming down
and tied together
and sinking into other worlds
bound by what we say
only in screams
at midnight-thirty
in this mid-point
and acting mid-life
and feeling what it's like
to have you at my side '
and so I wake up
after having sex with pirates
after being kidnapped by the play pretend mafia
after swivel seats with Laura and Deanna
and I still cry out for you:
'don't leave me.     '
don't leave me.*
On spaces
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by Mike Harris _
They would holler 'Time!"
To stop the game.
We check each other for
Grass knees
and breath clouds. »
A loose crowd of boys, hands on hips, ragged
From a game of war.
Yes. Good. We had pushed.
A bucket full of quartered oranges. Slips of happy citrus
would crawl out
like jokes from the corners of our mouths. It was a game
once to lick the
juice from each other's face.
Ten minutes of courage-making sport talk, then
Once more
To the exhausted ocean green field.
When you and I walked along Granville Street
And hurried by the homeless
And hurried by the sales
And talked in irritated tones
And broke up
And didn't tell why
And almost bawled
I wanted to kiss you madly then
But saw an angry group of boys coming up the walk.
I wanted to run into the traffic
Hollering 'Time.'
Gretel and Hansel: d counter tale
by Kelsey Patton
He opened the closet doors with the rusted
keys: another day of menial labour. She
opened the coveted letter with high hopes:
request declined. They opened their tattered books with despair: pictures of pretty -
girls with blond hair and ribbons.
Once upon a cold, grey morning a poor
single father lived with his two children at
the edge of a clear-cut forest
Once upon a clear-cut forest, two outcasts were denied a child.
Once upon a childhood, Gretel and
Hansel were adults.
He couldn't afford childcare, so they
were alone and together. He was a botanist,
a product of years of schooling in his homeland, and he loved the dirt and he loved his
children. But his degree didn't count in this
place and there was no room for dirt. So he
cleaned and tolerated. People lowered their
opinions, their expectations: no one asks a
janitor about biological diversity, so he just
They decided to move out of town when
their windows were broken again. At least it
solved the graffiti problem: she was getting
tired of scrubbing "God hates dykes" off the
window anyway. The cottage in the woods
was better. They had their garden and each
other. And the hypothetical children. If only
the Ministry of Adoption would stop with
those damn red stamps of decline.
Gretel was tired of responsibility. She
was cold to the cold world before her. She
finished her homework early, but waited to
go to bed. Her father would wake her up
anyways when he stumbled in, drunk, and
he would need help as always. She helped
Hansel with his homework; he had trouble
reading and was sensitive to the teacher's
criticism. Their father came home: his
apologies were slurred, but his love and
shame barefaced. They felt the burden of
Gretel could remember the over-flowing
garden their father had grown back home,
but there was no yard or money for seeds
here. She remembered their mother and
the fire in her eyes when she hit them. She
remembered the mould on her bread, and
ihe laughter of the schoolyard. Hansel started to cry. Gretel wrapped her arms around
him and they shook together, though
Gretel's eyes were dry.
It was in this moment of communal,
exhaustive depression that Gretel decided:
they had to leave. They were the cycle their
father was caught in: he worked too hard for
them, drank too hard because of them. And
so they walked. It wasn't clear where or
why, but Gretel led the way. She walked in
passion first and through the fiery night
they trudged; in the morning she walked in
depression, unable to say why. Panic rose
and fell as she tried to push it into a box.
The key was lost in the undergrowth somewhere.       ,
They were drawn in by the garden; the
whole house seemed to be living. Hunger
worn at them so deeply, they just grabbed
some carrots under the window and
chewed. They didn't see the woman
She was angry, yelling something. Gretel
couldn't hear, her world was muffled in
conflict She was numb for some time.
Her next memory was of eating wonderful vegetable soup. The woman wasn't
yelling. Time had passed, as had events, but
Gretel was behind. She introduced her partner, a woman with frizzy-grey hair and a
long cotton shirt The woman wore an
apron., It said "Best Wife EVER." It was pink
and white. "My partner gave it to me as a
joke," she said. And Gretel smiled.
Her father swept and tolerated. Alone.
The woman was worried about Gretel:
she kept herself in a cage. The witch knew
about the box. inside her, she knew about
the pain.-
Gretel stayed contained for weeks, and
the queer lady went on with her business of
preparing GreteL She was preparing for a
time when Gretel would need to talk, need
support Every morning she would ask
Gretel how she was, and Gretel would give
the barebones answer: "Fine."
Hansel was reading in the corner, snuggled between the two women. Gretel ached,
and something inside her quivered. She
walked over and asked to join them and a
rusty key creaked in the lock inside her. She
started to laugh more. They discussed
school and books, art and culture, poverty
and class, feelings and hard times.
She crumpled so many letters, and sent
only one. She hoped hef directions were
okay. She told him of the treasures they'd
found in this witch of the woods: community, acceptance, love. She wanted them to be
rich and happy. And so she sent for him, for
her father.
He came upon the tangle of garden and
ran his fingers through the dirt Such
■ treasure.
They worked very hard those first few
months, building a home. Gretel's father
worked on the produce; his mind danced as
he applied his knowledge, his passion.
Gretel helped both women with marketing
and developing labels, flyers and ads.
Hansel worked at writing down and creating recipes for pies and such that they could
They were building an organic farm; a
communal home for those in need. It was
hard. The market was small, but the closest
big city was eager for health. Their house
Once upon an organic farm, a father
worked his passion.
Once upon a passionate house, two
women raised their children. «
Once upon a childhood, Gretel and*
Hansel thrived.
And they all lived happily ever after, it Wmmmmm^mmi
R*^__Ri*-:M^_____!_ __fc.iiha£4tfl Friday, rc_r__ry 6, 20C _
__* I..".-. ■        t 1 ' " a.' "     *        ' -      " N  • I a    l
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f ridciy, februdry- 2/tlt, 2004
AMS Council Chambers (SOB 206)
12:00 noon -1:00 pm
Agenda:    -.''■.
receiving the 2002/2003 Financial Statements and the Auditor's report
appointing the Auditors of the Society for 2003/2004
receiving the report of the President and the General Manager
light refreshmenttwiil be provided
For more information contact the VP Academic at
C604) 322-3092 or ypaeatietnie@atH$.ifbc.ea
'%$¥%$?* '*P*YExi
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SEEN THIS FACE BEFORE? He's the poster boy for casual sex. You
might have seen it Gay.com. Lesley hoyles photo
Casual sex for dummies
by Paul Sutton
How does one write about casual
sex? Well, considering this is my
third attempt, here's what I'ye
learned: one certainly does not write
too profoundly—it makes the sex
seem solemn and philosophical.
Granted, being queer is an intrinsically political act To be queer is to
engage in queer sexual acts, so it follows that having queer sex is intrinsically political. However, when I
have casual sex I do not regard it as
a militant act, nor do I ponder
agency—I have casual sex because I
like it
So, when I seek casual sex, I usually do it via Gay.com. For those of
you who don't know, Gay.com is a
chat room with space for online
cruising available to people worldwide, which is used widely by queer
men in Vancouver.
To be entirely truthful, I mostly go
on Gay.com when I'm bored, which I
justify to myself as an attempt to
see what—and who—is available.
However, boredom is usually followed by a hard-on and the hard-on
is sometimes—but not always—followed by the need to pick up a guy.
Luckily, Gay.com not only provides a space online for dialogue, but
also provides space for users to post
a profile and a picture. When I decide
to pick up a guy, his profile is one of
the tools I use to ascertain if he is a
decent lay. His picture is by no
means the deciding factor. I will
always become uninterested in the
most beautiful blonde surfer boy if he
has nothing stimulating to say at alL
But, what do we define as
There are bonus points awarded
if the guy in question can pique my
intellect but it is sufficient if he
appears to be vivacious and talks like
he actually knows what he's doing in
bed. Because there's nothing worse
than leaving your house, getting on
the bus and travelling for any
amount of time if the sex is just going
to be bad. If he's good, he knows he's
good and he'll tell you just that
After I've typed the words, "Let's
meet up," I don't usually like to go
over to his house straight away. I also
hate entertaining at my house, since
there is nothing worse than a guy
who wants to stick around and won't
leave your space once everything is
over. As such the generic Davie St
coffee shop proves itself a very convenient meeting place. I suggest
bringing a book—philosophy or political theory is best—for a number of
reasons. First, you'll have lots of time
to kill and can catch up on your
homework, especially if you get stood
up. Second, you can use it to be pretentious,  and you won't have to
explain a philosophy or political theory text (as opposed to a novel),
because he'll probably be bored by
the time you say "Jua_t_L Butler's
Gender Trouble." Finally, if you hap-
, pened to pick up a guy with the personality of curdled milk, you can say,
"I really need to get home and do my
reading. Thanks. See you around."
And of course, if your introduction
works out well and you still want to
have sex with the guy, you've loaded
yourself with coffee—hopefully you
made him pay—and you'll have
enough energy for the ensuing all-
night romp.
Once you arrive at his house, it is
important to remember all the good
social graces your mother taught you.
Don't enter a room before he invites
you. Sit quietly, be polite and thank
him if he offers you drugs or wine.
After you've fucked your brains out
and your chest is soaked with cum,
don't ask to have a shower if he only
offers you a towel. And, as I suggested before, never stay overnight
unless you have been specifically
invited. Even if the buses have
stopped running, it is better to consider the taxi ride the price of your
orgasm than to spend an uncomfortable and mostly sleepless night at the
side of your trick. It is best to get out.
light a cigarette and be content with
your conquest
This is my honest depiction of a
trick which discounts any thoughts
and feelings beyond the physical As
I started writing it a friend told me
he started having casual sex because
he believed that no one could want
him in any way other than physical
He also said that he thinks a lot of
people engage in casual sex because
of trauma. I recognise the existence
of these problems because I feel it
would be inauthentic not to—people
in this world do engage in sex for
reasons other than pure pleasure.
Perhaps, then, this is where it is
worth considering the question of
agency. If you feel dirty or unimportant or like it was a mistake after
engaging in casual sex, I believe it is
necessary to examine why such a
feeling has occurred. In my personal
experience, it is the people who cannot engage in inconsequential physical pleasure who are more likely to
object to this article—generally the
people who feel dirty compensate by
maligning those who are able to be
open, honest and can provide an
experiential play-by-play to their
Like all discourse, hopefully this
article will inspire self-examination,
and help to build a space to house
our very real physical pleasures. I
hate to quote the Bard as it is far too
cliche to quote the Bard, but "to thine
own self be true." And play safe, it QUEERSPACE
Friday, February 6,2004
Brian Scarth
Amber Louie/
Mistress of Kink
by Brian Scarth
Brian: What would you define as
Amber: For me, it comes down to
power dynamics and often that
involves the use of props. A good
synonym for kink is the acronym
BDSM. BDSM are four letters that
stand for six things: first, B/D stands
for bondage and discipline, D/s
stands for domination and submission, s/m stands for sadism and
masochism. About the capitalisation, that's more in following with
language conventions that have
emerged in the scene.
So, bondage for me generally
involves some sort of physical
restraint or immobilisation.
Whether that is with rope or saran
wrap or dental floss...or toilet paper
even. D/s is about playing with psychological control and s/m is about
playing with physical sensation, not
necessarily "ouch* pain. So somebody's Kink could involve one or
more of any of the above elements
that I've mentioned.
B: Who could have a place in the
Kink community?
A: There are different places that
might be geared towards certain
people. There's what a space claims
to be about and then there is what a
person would feel in that space. So
there are some people that make the
effort to establish a space for themselves in the community, get to know
people and they become accepted in
that way, or they just don't let things
get to them. There are other people
that might be uncertain as to
whether they are truly welcome as
opposed to just tolerated and they
might be reluctant to come out at all.
;l:|t|fil^.ift€€||sl: psiii
You know, based on the impression
that they have based on whatever
limited knowledge they have about
the space. So for example: an event
or group may advertise or promote
themselves on their website, in their
mission statement or in their event
promotional material as welcoming
"all women." But for a trans-woman,
it might not be clear to her what "all
women" means and she might be
reluctant to come out if it doesn't
clearly state something like, "women
identified," or trans or something
more specific. Other people will
make the effort to go and find out for
themselves and many people have
established a place in the Kink community in that way.
B: Like blazing their own trail?
A Yeah, but in many cases for
me I think it comes down to the initiative of the individual. In my opinion, I would like it to take less effort
because it is a hard enough thing to
come out to the kink community in
the first place.
B: So on a scale of one to ten for
the average person how hard would
it be to come out as kinky in
Vancouver, say from coming as
straight or from queer?
A Again, it really comes down to
the personality of the individual and
the kind of space you are trying to
enter. It's not often the case that
somebody is going to be turned
away at the door. That would be
most likely to happen if you didn't
meet the dress code, or you were a
biological man trying to get into a
women-only event, etc.
I can only speak as a bi-femme
B: And what is that?
A: I'm bisexual, for lack of a bet
ter word, I identify as femme on my
own terms—check out the Femme
Affinity Group's (FAG) Rock for
Choice Workshop—and "switch" in
that I like to play as both an s/m top
and bottom.
B: Top and bottom meaning?
A: Top being the active role and
bottom being the receptive role. So
it's the top that is wielding the
implement or providing the sensation but not necessarily being the
one who is dictating what is going
on, they might have physical control
of the implement but they could in
theory be following the commands
of the person asking for the kinds of
sensations they want And so this is
18, 19 and/or 20
In partnership wiltt
where the distinction between s/m
and D/s comes in.
B: Alright, so back to the scene in
Vancouver, could you identify any
. places that would be considered
kink positive and are permanent
"and accessible?
A: Well there is my personal
favorite, the Pumpjackpub
B: Love that place.
A: It's Vancouver's only leather
establishment and although it's a
gay bar, I don't go there to pick up, I
just really enjoy the atmosphere; But
that's just me.
B: You and me both. So what
about the less permanent kink positive places, such as play parties and
organised events that rotate venues,
what is that like for people in Van?
A: There is a tonne of shit going
on. Most of the organisations in
Vancouver have become members of
Western Canada Leather Pride
(WCLP), which serves as an umbrella
organisation. BIO (By Invitation
Only) is the only pan-sexual group to
join the WCLP, other than that they
are all queer organisations to my
knowledge. BIO is a good starting
place for people looking for information and education. They put on
monthly play parties and workshops.
B: So if you're gay, lesbian, bi,
trans or straight you can find a
place in this city?
A Absolutely.
B: Could you give a fist of
resources that people could use if
they want to learn more or get
involved in this?
A- In terms of education, there is
a great pair of experienced leather
dykes at A New Perspective that put
on workshops and seminars. They
can be reached via www. Workshop
Playshop.com. There is also
Vancouver Leather at www.vancou-
verleather. Coin," Vancouver "women"
in leather has an events calendar,
that one is www.vwleatber.com. BIO
has a newsletter on their site which
is www.vancouverdungeon.com,
which is funny because sometimes
it kind  of reads  like   a  church
newsletter, recognising volunteers
of the month and stuff, local charities and things—I really enjoy reading it It's very warm and fuzzy.
There is also VASM, a men's group
which has actually been around for
over two decades now and it now
seems to be in the process of renewing itself. You can find them and
other groups through the links on
the given sites. Rascals monthly play
parties are at a nice venue and they
seem to attract a more het crowd,
there are also fetish nights each
month called Sin City and Body
Perve, these events have STRICT
dress codes. These are more about
dressing up and going dancing and
some of the more "serious" players
have refered to them as "stand and
model* fashion shows, but you don't
know what people do when they go
home [deviouslyl and it's a club
environment where you can wear
whatever you want, except for regular street clothes [sco£t\ it's cool
there. The Pumpjack also puts on
uniform nights and rubber nights,
Swelt and—of course—Leather
nights on some Saturdays. Many of
the organisations like Ihe bears...
B: Which are?
A Generally gay men who are
hairy or bearded and in my opinion
cuddly. Anyway, they have, like
other groups, regular pub nights
that are more casual get-togethers.
Now, for people who might find the
party of club scene a little intimidatv
ing or they're just not into it but whq
want to meet people, there are alscj
what we refer to as "munches."
B:What's that?
A These are social gatherings
usually at a restaurant like Boston
Pizza [laughs] where people are
asked to arrive in "civilian clothing*
so as not to scare the villagers or any|
firing?-" *? «ff f?£ f J
B: How do you get to a "munch"?
A AH of the things that I've mentioned you can find online at the
sites I've given. If you're not online
a lot of the groups have ads in the
back of the Xtral West it
Screenings @ Norm Theatre in SUB
Admission: $3 and Membership: $20
Rim Society Hotline: (604) 822-3697
Fri. Feb 6 ~ Sun. Feb 8
7:00PM - Looney Tunes
9:30PM - Elf
Thurs. Feb 12 (One Day Only!)
7:00PM - Le Fits (The Son)
9:30PM - Divine Intervention
Fri. Feb 13 -Sun. Feb 15
6:45PM - Love Actually
9:45PM - Matrix Revolutions
IY1 list jp^t; t<V $ (forts]/'/
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Friday, February 6,1004
oncept of f^y^pljltei'
by Cliarlene Smoke
Within the history of some First Nations people, there has been, and still is, a unique discourse surrounding gender,, roles. A common
assumption is that the term 'Two-Spirited' (T-S)
is new. According to a story in the last issue of
Spirit Magazine, T-S was coined by Little
Thunder, a Navajo woman forced to walk away
from her nations ceremonies because she is a
lesbian. She created the term to denote herself
and other queer Native Americans. Since then,
there has been significant research into the
historical role of T-S people and the findings
have many Native people from across North
America coming together. It is now acknowledged that not identifying with or following
heteronormative gender roles is and was
accepted in many Native communities and
now in urban areas as well.
Traditionally, the concept of Two-
Spiritedness affirms the reality of community
members living with both male and female
spirit, with specific and unique roles to fill.
Due to the extreme loss of Indigenous languages, the original names for these roles
have been lost and, for the most part, fprgot-
ten. Educating our communities about the traditional roles of T-S people has helped to open
hearts and doors and provide insight into
what it is to be a T-S native person in contemporary society. It has provided stability and
pride in the T-S communiiy for the role they
have been given by the creator. The term has
provided the T-S Native communiiy with a
sense of autonomy—it is unique to First
Nations people.
Through this sense of autonomy, programs
and self-awareness are being created. For
example, the Urban Native Youth Association
has a T-S Program for Native youth, where
they can learn about concepts of sexuality and
safe sex in a holistic environment
For thousands of years, Native societies
knew that to survive, everyone must have a
place and a role. This also included T-S people,
who were not judged for transcending the
expected role pf sex and gender. Rather, the
traditional concepts of gender and sexuality
among Native people were and still are
very fluid.
Historically, Native communities have
thought of Two-Spiritedness as a gift. It was
not necessary to define or impose roles on
members of the communiiy. Rather than
imposing strictly binary gender roles, it was
more important that everyone perform their
specific role in relation to the overall survival
of the communiiy. This social philosophy led
to a respect for T-S people, which allowed
them to have unrestricted relationships—a
respect which was spoiled by colonization. As
Sue-Ellen Jacobs, a professor at the Universiiy
of Washington, explains:
"North Americans fit into their own varying categories of sexual identity until the strict
social and gender structure of the colonies
imposed a gender hierarchy rather than a
Unfortunately, negative treatment of T-S
people still occurs both inside and outside
of Native communities. Whether Two-
Spiritedness is a genetic or a psychological
state of being is still a topic of debate. This
thinking arises from the Western social values
and disr.riminarim. that have been normalized through the North American colonization
and assimilation of First Nations People.
Eurocentric values tend to be black and
white—a person is assigned one of two gen:
ders at birth, determined by their physiology.
In doing so, the predetermined identify of
female or male is expected to become reality.
However, in Native communities that have
maintained their unique philosophies on gender, these rigid concerns are not important.
The role of T-S people in Native communities
was at one time respected but, upon colonization, this respect was largely destroyed.
Eurocentric, individualistic Christian
philosophies have affected people of many cultures, races and classes. In First Nations communities there is a constant struggle to re-
learn old ways and philosophies in many
areas, let alone re-learning old concepts of
gender and sex. Through colonization, the ideologies of the First Nations of North America
and the Indigenous people of other countries
concerning sexuality were changed. This
destruction of traditional, fluid concepts of
gender has led to many of the problems faced
today by the gay, lesbian, transgender...and
the T-S community, it
Charlene Smoke
Anishnabe and Mohawk
First Nations Studies Program, UBC
For more events and information,
visit us online: .
y    Feb 9th to 13th at the University of British Columbia
tuesday Wednesday
12. M
■ Workshop
5 Snvt-s :n
t U. ion 3u Idiig
6PM - Discussion Group
Defense Room, GSS
Coffee House
Lounge, GSS
I Thesis
# Thea's
j 12PM - Bondage Workshop
J SUB Council Chambers
I Register at Outweek.ca
17:30PM - Film Screening -
j "Blood Sisters"
-1 Norm Theatre, SUB
- i $3-5 Donation
12PM - Male-Identified _.
Discussion Groups
3 - 7PM - Wine and Cheese
The Penthouse, GSS
12PM - Kiss-in
Bring a friend and spread a
little love.
SUB Concourse
7PM - The Wet Spots and
Drag Show
Thea's Lounge, GSS
$2-5 Donation to Enter
j 12PM-Workshop
I Dr. Lorraine Weir on
I Pornography and Censorship
| Student Union Building
J See ad below.
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