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The Ubyssey Feb 8, 2010

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Array 2010.02.08
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Paul Bucci: coordinating@ubyssey.ca
Samantha Jung: news@ubyssey.ca
Sarah Chung: schung@ubyssey. ca
Kate Barbaria : culture@ubyssey.ca
Jonny Wakefield: jwakejield@ubyssey.ca
Justin McElroy : sports@ubyssey.ca
Trevor Record: ideas@ubyssey.ca
GeraldDeo :photos@ubyssey.ca
Anthony Goertz: graphics@ubyssey.ca
Virginie Menard: production @ubyssey. ca
Katarina Grgic: copy@ubyssey.ca
Tara Martellaro : 7nultimedia@ubyssey.ca
Ashley Whillans : awhillans@ubyssey.ca
Room 24, Student Union Building
6138 Student Union Boulevard
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tel: 604.822.2301
fax: 604.822.9279
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e-mail: feedback @ubyssey. ca
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advertising: 604.822.1654
business office: 604.822.6681
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e-mail: advertising@ubyssey ca
AD TRAFFIC : Sabrina Marchand
AD DESIGN : Chibwe Mweene
The Ubyssey is the official student newspaper of
the University of British Columbia. It is published
every Monday and Thursday by The Ubyssey
Publications Society. We are an autonomous,
democratically run student organization, and al
students are encouraged to participate.
Editorials are chosen and written by the
Ubyssey staff. They are the expressed opinion of
the staff, and do not necessarily reflect the views
of The Ubyssey Publications Society or the University of British Columbia. All editorial content
appearing in The Ubyssey is 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
The Ubyssey is a founding member of Canadian University Press (CUP) and adheres to CUP's
guiding principles.
Letters to the editor must be under 300 words
Please include your phone number, student
number and signature (not for publication) as
well as your year and faculty with all 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 sensitive. Opinion pieces wil
not be run until the identity of the writer has
been verified. The Ubyssey reserves the right to
edit submissions for length and clarity. All letters
must be received by 12 noon the day before
ntended publication. Letters received after this
point will be published in the following issue
unless there is an urgent time restriction or other
matter deemed relevant by the Ubyssey staff
It is agreed 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 will not be greater than 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
We have a long list of contributors today. So
to fit all of them in this little space, Kathy Yan
Li is going to be lazy and put everyone in a list
So here they are: Samantha Jung, Sarah Chung,
Mairead Mackinnon, Cameron Paul, Ashley
Whillans, Amelia Bajala, Maghan McHead,
Justin McElroy, Ian Turner, Sean Murrow, Geoff
Lister, Anthony Goertz, Michael Thibault, Ka
Green, Phillip Storey, Kate Barbaria, Jonny
Wakefield, Trevor Becord, Mari Kari, Wanyee
Li, Jenny Tsundu, Arshy Mann, Larisa Karr, Judy
Yuen, Joanna Chiu, Austin Holm, Kasha Chang,
Virginie Menard, Jen Chaelers, Angie Weddell,
Beaner Mitchell, Ester de Monteflores, Anna
W., John K., JudeJube, Tom Lamb, Al I ie Slemon,
Jeremy Wood, Cole Brown, B. Sully, Guilioana,
Paul Bucci, Katarina Grgic, Thea Morgan, Clare
McNamee-Annett, Anna Doyle, Tatiana Pirogov-
skaia, A.C.K.C, Helene Frohard-Dourlent, Carven
Li, Elizabeth Buchanan and Tara Martellaro
Thaty's it. Thanks for making our paper awe-
V      Canada Post Sales
Number 0040878022
Canadian    printed on^100s%
University     'reeydedpaper
Press \__]Q
Price Reduced. 2005 Acura
TL fully loaded, 56,000 klm. 4
doors, standard, white exterior, leather interior in good condition, $21,000. Contact calvin.
help us create this baby!
Learn about layout and editing. Expect to be fed. • Every
Sunday and Wednesday, 2pm.
KOERNER'S NIGHT • Join us for
open mic night every Monday.
Listen to the different flavours
of music, all while enjoying a
nice cold beer or a competitive
game of pool. • Every Monday,
8:30pm onwards. Koerner's Pub.
V-Day is proud to present their
2010 benefit productions of
The Vagina Monologues and
A Memory, A Monologue, A
Rant and A Prayer. • Feb. 9-13,
7:30pm-11:30pm, Freddy Wood
Theatre, $15 for either show, or
$25 for both productions, tickets
selling until Monday Feb. 8 outside the SUB main entrance.
NOON "FUN" RUN • Run for fun!
Walk for fun! Get healthy and
come run or walk the UBC
REC Noon "Fun" Run, hosted by the UBC REC Health
Promotions Department which
takes participants throughout
many of UBC's most scenic areas on a course ranging from
3 to 5km. • Every Thursday,
12:30pm, meeting outside
the doors of the Student Rec
& MEAL • Like to play music?
Just want to listen? Looking
for a sense of community? This is for all members
of the UBC community who
want to have a good meal and
great conversation. All meals
are home-cooked and are
vegetarian-friendly. • Every
Monday, 6:30pm-8:30pm,
Chapel of the Epiphany (6030
Chancellor Blvd), more info
Regent College Lookout Gallery
presents Tantramar Gothic,
a collection of work by Dan
Steeves. • Mon.-Fri. 8:30am-
5pm, Sat. 12pm-4pm, Regent
College, 5800 University Blvd.,
runs until Monday, Mar. 1.
PROJECT • The Human Orrey
Project involves 40 students
placing sticky notes on the floor
of the Irving K. Barber Learning
Centre to trace the orbits of
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars,
Jupiter and Saturn. Students
then take turns acting as the planets in orbit, while another team
maps out other planets along
with the Voyager spacecraft, the
most distant man-made object.
• 11am-12pm, IKBLC.
hosted by Green College is
open to the university community and general public without
charge. Those interested in attending dinner at Green College
before the talk are asked to purchase a dinner ticket at least by
noon the business day before.
• 8pm-9pm, Coach House,
Green College, 6201 Cecil
Green Park Road, UBC, more
info at gc.events@ubc.ca and
greencollege.ubc.ca, or call
RESUMES 1 ON 1 • Looking for
work? Career Services can
provide you with personalized
strategies and styles to make
your applications stand out
in the stack. Small groups of
students will meet with a resume expert and get ten minutes of personal feedback
as well as the opportunity to
learn from their peers-picking
up tips, tricks, and techniques
along the way. Don't forget to
bring a copy of your resume! •
2pm-3pm, ANGUS 295.
DARWIN • Greg Bole is a Biology
Instructor at UBC and also
has an interest in acting. He
has been portraying a young
Charles Darwin for the past
four years to classes and conferences in a wide variety of locations. Come watch as he tells
the story of the man behind the
idea. • 7pm-8:30pm, AERL
something nice and sweet for that
special someone! Shop the SUB
for the latest jewellery, clothes,
gifts, linens and more! • Feb. 10-
12, 10am-5:30pm, SUB Main
Concourse, more info at con-
of Theatre and Film proudly presents Robert Lepage in
Conversation. Lepage is one of
the world's true theatrical genius and a very articulate commentator on his own processes. Don't miss this unique opportunity to see Lepage up
close and talk to him about his
work. • 2pm-3pm, Frederic
Wood Theatre, free admission,
please reserve your seat at
The AGM is a great opportunity
for you to get a glimpse of your
student union's direction for the
year to come as well as meet
and connect with other students, UBC and AMS staff, and
elected student representatives
over free hors d'oeuvres and
drinks. • 3pm-4pm, SUB 207,
the More Than Gold Westside
Events, this is the first in a series of activities being hosted
during the Olympics ice hockey games. Watch the opening
ceremony on the big screen for
free! All are welcome. • 6pm-
9:30pm, University Chapel,
5375 University Boulevard.
the More Than Gold Westside
Events, Regent College is
hosting a number of activities for the Olympic ice hockey games, including a welcome center with an internet
cafe, pin trading, photo station, prayer room and chapel
series. • 10am-4pm, Regent
College, 5800 University Blvd.
SERIES • The Spartacus Youth
Club Class presents Class 2:
Independence for Quebec!
Marxism and the National
Question. • 6:30pm, SUB Room
A CONCERT FOR HAITI • Come enjoy an evening of live music
performed by unique local artists in the beautiful setting of
Green College. Proceeds from
this event will go towards supporting the ongoing medical
relief efforts by MSF (Doctors
Without Borders) in Haiti. •
6pm piano-side reception, 7:30
pm concert, Graham House,
Green College, tickets $20.
Teach English
UNA Community Gardens + Nobel Park
Join us for a look at possible sites for additional garden plots and proposed
revisions to Nobel Park.
UNA residents have participated in a pilot community garden since 2008. Campus +
Community Planning, UBC Properties Trust and the UNA have been working to add
a second garden (see Sites(T)and(2)below). We are asking for your input on these
possible sites. We would also like your comments on proposed revisions to the
location of the community garden approved for Nobel Park (see Site(3) below).
Date Wednesday, February 10, 2010       Time 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Location The Old Barn Community Centre, 6308 Thunderbird Blvd.
Questions? Contact Sharon McCarthy
Manager, Community + Strategic Initiatives, sharon.mccarthy@ubc.ca
t @ubc_candcp
Campus +
Community Planning
UBC Properties Trust
University Neighbourhoods
TESOL/TESL Teacher Training
Certification Courses
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* Classroom Management Techniques
• Detailed Lesson Planning
• ESL Skills Development
* Comprehensive Teaching Materials
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* Internationally Recognized Certificate
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• Thousands of Satisfied Students
Exploring the Quaker Way.
An LGBTQ Welcoming
Every Tuesday, 7:00-8:00 pm, 1090
West 70th Ave, Vancouver.
Information: Inessa, 604-435-3112
tljzlp us mak£ this
pap^r look so beautiful
that it eould win a.
beauty pageant.
production@ubyssey.ca. <3) 4/UBYSSEY.CA/NEWS/2 0 10.02.08
Its all about protecting the sponsors
With less than a week until the
2010 Olympics officially open
on February 12, VANOC is displaying Canadian pride all
over the streets of Vancouver.
But for some, the flood of
Olympic ads is "a restriction to
the freedom of expression."
Billboards, banners, posters and advertisements on
TransLink buses all have been
bought by VANOC, who has enforced strict rules and regulations to ensure that the sponsors of thisyear's Olympics are
getting their money's worth.
Most contracts will terminate
on March 31,2010.
There are some, however,
who feel that these strict regulations are ridiculous.
"International Olympic
Committees [IOC]...are so zealous about guarding their [commercial] rights that they forget
that there are civil liberties involved," said Dr Chris Shaw, an
anti-Olympic activist and a UBC
professor of Ophthalmology
and Visual Sciences.
The current 2010 Olympic
bylaw includes restricting
handing out any flyers or leaflets near any Olympic arena. It
also includes the recent amendments to Bill 13, which bans unauthorized "commercial" signs.
Consequences may result in police officers entering businesses and private homes to remove them or dole out fines
up to $10,000. Bih 13 does not
apply to UBC campus, however, as UBC operates mostly autonomously from the city of
Shaw and his other complainant, UBC Law student Alissa
Westergard-Thorpe, filed a lawsuit in October 2009 accusing
the city of passing a bylaw that
was in violation of the Charter
of Rights and Freedoms. Shaw
dropped his charges two weeks
ago due to the amendments re-
cendy made to the bylaw and financial restrictions. He said he
was only "partially satisfied" by
the changes.
"We got most of what we
wanted in terms of some guarantees about civil liberty and
This would not be an appropriate sign during the Olympics. GERALD DEO PHOTO ILLUSTRATION/THE UBYSSEY
free speech, but we didn't get
everything regarding the voice
application and certainly not
with regards to commercial
aspects," said Shaw. "If I had
more time and money, I would
have fought it further."
Vision Vancouver Councilor
Geoff Meggs said that with the
amendment, there isn't anything new in the bylaw that
wasn't already illegal. Rather,
the bylaw merely permits the
city to have a quicker response
to illegal activities such as graffiti and ambush marketing, a
marketing technique where
advertisers do not pay a sponsorship fee and latch onto an
Already, at least two companies—Lululemon and
Scotiabank—have been suspected of ambush marketing.
Shaw is concerned about
how the laws will be enforced.
"Unfortunately, [the bylaw]
rests in the hands of a lot of enforcement people, who may not
be particularly convergent in
law and Charter, and may not
understand the bylaw themselves," he said.
"I think there is a potential
for some mayhem to exist because people are trying to enforce things that are still not
clearly defined." Shaw claims
that the term "commercial" is
too vague.
I think there is a
potential for some
mayhem to exist
because people are
trying to enforce
things that are still
not clearly defined.
UBC Olympic Studies
Researcher and Professor Arun
Mohan explains why VANOC
has to have strict rules on ads.
"The contract between IOC and
VANOC promises that [VANOC]
will diligently be using all its legal powers and ensure that no
one else uses the protected trademark and that only the official
sponsors are promoted," he said.
"If the IOC says you are not doing
it properly then they can remove
the Games from you.
"VANOC has to use all legal
measures because that's what
IOC mandates. It's still the
IOC's games but VANOC is just
hosting them."
According to Mohan, to
be in "association with the
Olympics" can hold enough
value for a company to sponsor even with an expected
Indeed, Whisder Blackcomb
has asked for $90 million of
funding from the government
to cover its expected financial
loss for hosting the Games,
and official Olympic broadcaster NBC is expected to have a
shortfall of a whopping $200
"Sponsors will stop funding
for Olympics if they aren't being recognized as the official
sponsors...and sponsors are
a huge part of the revenue,"
Mohan explained. VANOC's financial statement reveals that
$1 billion of their $1.75 billion operating budget comes
from domestic and international sponsorship.
Still, Shaw is not convinced.
"When did we decide that we
were going to commercialize
public space? And the answer is
that we didn't," he said.
"You cannot justify the
Charter based on commercial
agreements." tl
antees about civil liberty and       iorce things that are still not      measures because that s what       agreements,   u
Academics against prorogation
Open letter sent condemning Harper's latest move
CAMERON PAUL at UBC, describes this as "a po-       Canadians wl
Contributor .5..»,1°JF„n«nLiS,«.7 litical, not legal crisis." will now sit fo:
AftAIMCT PDHDnnATinM   ,   °,    .
Academics from across Canada
have signed an open letter
questioning Prime Minister
Stephen Harper's decision to
prorogue Parliament. Out of
the more than 100 academics
to sign the letter, 11 are UBC
Prorogation occurs when
the Prime Minister suspends
the activities of the House of
Commons. After prorogation
ends, a new throne speech is
given to Parliament which both
addresses the House, which in
turn reopens a brand new parliamentary session.
The speech will allow Harper
to readdress his parliamentary
priorities, restart debate within the House, and will have dissolved pre-existing bills which
had not yet passed.
The professors who signed
the letter come from the departments of Philosophy and
Political Science as well as the
Faculty of Law.
The letter addresses public
and academic concerns about
Barbara Arneil (PoliSci)
Joel Bakan (Law)
Susan Boyd (Law)
Christine Boyle (Law)
Cristie Ford (Law)
Darlene Johnston (Law)
Mary Liston (Law)
Philip Resnick (PoliSci)
Paul Russell (Philosophy)
Mark Warren (PoliSci)
Margot Young (Law)
prorogation, including how it
has allowed Harper to avoid
"the Afghan detainees question
and evade Parliament's request
that the government turn over
documents pertaining to that
The signatories stress the necessity to require "our governments to face Parliament and
justify their actions in the face
of vigorous questioning."
Margot Young, a signatory
and Associate Professor of Law
at UBC, describes this as "a political, not legal crisis."
When asked about the intended effect of the letter, signatory
Dr Phillip Resnick, Professor of
Political Science, said, "I think
the letter...has helped to alert
public opinion to the implications of the government's actions. It would be nice to see
some limits placed on the PM's
power to prorogue, [for example,] the need to first secure
majority approval for this in the
House of Commons."
Michael Bliss, a respected
historian who holds an honou-
rary degree from UBC, recently criticized the letter in The
Globe and Mail. Referring to,
amongst others, the "strange
gaggle of academics who signed
the long, sanctimonious letter against prorogation," Bliss
maintains that "a few days after
prorogation ends on March 3,
Canadians will mosdy have forgotten all the words written and
spoken about it. They'll be rehashing the Olympics instead."
"The House of Commons,
which is not very well-respected
by either ordinary or informed
Canadians when it is sitting,
will now sit for three weeks less
than it would have otherwise....
The Afghan hearings...will be
delayed for a few more weeks.
And that's about it," he told the
Christine Boyle, a signatory
and UBC Law professor, said of
Bliss's statement, "[It is] slightly odd for an academic, rather
than respond to the arguments,
to just try and dismiss them."
Instead, Boyle said that "[she]
would like to think of the university as a place of discussion,
not just dismissal of ideas."
"I think the fact the letter elicited his comment shows the letter's importance, and that it
has fostered healthy, democratic debate," Young said.
So is this just politics as usual or a case of unusual politics?
In the words of Margot Young,
"Part of our jobs [as academics]
is to think about issues of importance to our nation."
Boyle contends that
Parliament should be in session. "We're at war, our soldiers
are in Afghanistan, we have major economic problems." va
Are profs
After years of studying some
of the most mysterious
minds in academia, Dr Neil
Gross, Associate Professor of
Sociology at UBC, has become
an expert on professors and
their political preferences.
Inspired by a conference in
Boston, Gross and his colleague
Ethan Fosse, a doctorial candidate at Harvard University,
have studied over 300 professors to determine the reason
behind their liberal political
In a paper entided "Why
are Professors Liberal?" Gross
and Fosse found that between
1996 and 2008, 42.9 per cent
of American professors identified themselves as liberal while
only 9.3 per cent identified as
Professors' political preferences vary a lot from the other American workers studied,
who identified as liberal only
14.2 percent of the time, he
Despite the fact that many researchers have attributed professors' liberal politics to their
high IQs, Gross's research refutes this claim. He found that
professors aren't necessarily smarter than people in other professions, but rather, as a
whole, score higher on factors
typically associated with liberalism, such as advanced education, and religious scepticism
and tolerance.
Gross's research also addressed the chicken-and-egg debate of who was liberal first—
the person or the profession. It
isn't so much a question of why
professors are liberal, but why
liberals become professors, he
So why do professors lean
to the left? Or, why do liberals
lean towards becoming a professor? As Gross explained, it
all comes down to "typing."
"Our key idea is that the professoriate is a 'politically typed'
occupation," said Gross. "By
that we mean that, for a variety of reasons, it has acquired a
reputation over the decades as
an occupation suitable and appropriate for those broadly on
the left."
In academia this "typing" (or
association of professors with
liberal politics) exists in part
because of the energy conservatives have spent complaining
about how "liberal" professors
are, said Gross.
"This [complaining] is something that's gone on since at
least the 1950s, and the irony
is that it's helped contribute to
the stereotype of professors as
liberal, which in fact reproduces professorial liberalism," he
Conservative complaining
aside, due to the influx of political liberalism in universities and other centres for higher learning, according to Gross,
this phenomenon is likely to
persist. Although the liberal majority does not affect students direcdy, Gross argues it
will most likely have an effect
on the future of academia.
"We think that because of
its reputation, academically-inclined liberal students are far
more likely than their conservative counterparts to aspire to
enter academia, which will continue to reproduce faculty liberalism," he said, vl 2010.02.08/UBYSSEY.CA/CULTURE/5
EDITOR KATE BARBARIA»culture@ubyssey.c;
Watch Charlotte make
pizza at ubyssey.ca/culture.
Charlotte's philosophy of
pizza-making is, "Anything
goes. If it tastes good together, it tastes good on a
pizza." Things that naturally grow in the same season almost always complement each other, so an
easy way to compose your
pizza is by shopping seasonally and locally.
Pacific Cod
Crab/Dungeness Crab
Clams, mussels, oysters
Meat, egg and dairy products are generally always
available, so don't sweat it
if all you want is a steak.
The quest for seasonal
produce & perfect pizza
Om nom nom. Pizza is the traditonal winter food of undergrads. BRENDAN ALBANO PHOTOS/THE UBYSSEY
It's the middle of winter. It's dark outside, windy
and very cold. You've got three midterms this
week, because your professors are afraid you'll
forget everything you learned after the two-week
bender that is the Winter Games.
Yes, February, with its attendant commercialized romance holidays and academic stresses, is
a month that calls for stamina. But if you feel your
strength flagging, it's probably because your body
has decided that it's tired of this bullshit.
One of the best ways to preserve your trusty
booze vessel's imbibing powers—and its ability
to survive the double whammy of seasonal affective disorder and professorial incompetence—is
by loading up on all the good stuff. That's right:
fresh, local foodstuffs will save your life.
We met up with Charlotte Mellstrom, a third-
year Forestry student known for her prodigious
pizza making skills.
Our goal was to make a four-person pizza using products exclusively from BC. The Farmers'
Market was closed, so we went to the Granville
Island Public Market, but it took almost an hour
to collect the short list of ingredients we needed, pardy because we were gawking at all the
off-duty Olympians.
The end product: two portobello mushrooms
($9.16 per lb), two Ambrosia apples ($2.99 per
lb), two packages of Canadian mozzarella ($4.50
each), two large shallots and one bunch of sage
(99 cents).
We delivered our goods to Charlotte, who
glanced at the spread and decided to make a
"Shroombrosia" pizza: a sage pesto base with honey caramelized shallots, topped with portobel-
los and apples. Truly a feast fit for the gods, if we
could make the dough following the mystical instructions passed down through the family.
Charlotte learned how to make pizza from her father, who learned it from her mother, who learned it
from an "angry Italian man" in the pizza shop where
she worked. The pizza-making process, as she demonstrated it, is largely based on handfuls, pinches
and positive vibrations. A lack of specific measurements not withstanding, an hour and a half later we
were presented with an almost 100 per cent local
dish (flour, yeast and an extra red pepper hanging
out in Charlotte's fridge weren't vetted for location).
We washed the winter-tastic pizza down with a
homebrew, and felt that we had justified our fossil-fuelled lives for at least one lazy Saturday afternoon, tu
Watch Charlotte make pizza at ubyssey.ca/culture. She takesyou through each step, with actual
measurements, temperatures and times.
Farmers' Markets can be
found on practically every gentrified corner in
Metro Vancouver during
the (relatively) sunny summer months. But come
November, the farmers all
return home to wait out the
winter, coming out only every other Saturday at the
Wise Hall, 1882 Adanac
Street, just off Commercial
The Wise Hall winter market has everything that will make you
feel like the mean, green,
Pacific Northwest fighting
machine that you always
wanted to be.
If you're hungover on
Saturdays, then you're almost out of luck because
the market is only open for
the hours of 10am-2pm,
when you're probably still
trying to open your eyes all
The other alternative
is the Granville Island
Public Market, but even
though they stay open
until 7pm every day and
have "over 50 passionate vendors" (ahem), the
selection is much harder
to wade through. Less
items are BC-grown, and
those that are generally
take some work to find.
Go to Granville Island for
the Pacific seafood and
to flirt with BC grown
fishmongers. You'll have
just as much luck at
your local produce stand
when it comes to fruits
and veggies, with significantly reduced costs.
How Can Sport Contribute to Positive Social Change?
Join a dynamic mix of influential speakers - February 12,2010
Photo: Keystone
Stephen Lewis, Chair of the Board
ofthe Stephen Lewis Foundation and
Fomner UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS
Photo: MchWIebe
Wilfried Lemke, Special Adviser
to the UN Secretary-General on
Sport for Development and Peace
Benjamin Nzobonankira,
Former Child Refugee and
Right To Play Trainer
i place of mind
^^^F ^_f *«»>»i»,»^
Special Guest appearances will be made by high-profile Olympians including Silken Laumann,
Adam Kreek, Anna Rice, Ben Rutledge, and Nikki Stone
Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, UBC, 11:00 - 2:00 PM
For more information, please visit www.ticketmaster.ca or call (604) 280-3311. Tickets will be available at the door. 6/UBYSSEY.CA/CULTURE/2010.02.08
William Yang came to campus this week to perform his
autobiographical work China
for the PuSh International
Performing Arts Festival. In
spite of the sparse set, the
story Yang embarks on is lush
and evocative, like sitting
down with your favorite cousin (and 300 audience members) to watch the best vacation slide show you've ever
seen. Yang, in his measured
Australian accent, uses a precise but unscripted storytelling style to bring the audience along with him through
subtle revelations, cultural
observations and spiritual
UBYSSEY Tell me a bit about
yourself. Where are you coming from whenyou create an autobiographical performance?
YANG I am a third generation
Australian-born Chinese. I
was brought up in the Western
way, partly because my mother wanted to position me in
the mainstream where there
was more opportunity. She
had bad experiences being
Chinese and she was trying
to protect me from racist attitudes. It wasn't all my mother's fault that my Chinese
side was denied and unacknowledged. When I grew up
in the 50s, the prevailing cultural attitude was for everyone to assimilate.
When I was in my late 30s I
embraced my Chinese heritage.
Going back to China in 1989
was the culmination of that process. It was all a journey of self-
discovery which I experienced
first and then turned into a narrative performance. I made the
first trip in 1989 and had already
done a slide show....It did well,
pardy because ofthe timing.
Tianenman Square was in
the news, and there was a curiosity about China. But I have
been back several times since
then and I always document my
travels. I have some kind of end
product in mind when I take the
photos. I have certain sequences
in mind.
U What is your goal when you
write your performances?
Y Actually I used to write
them, but now I talk to them
straight off. It's different from
writing them, it's more direct.
Always I want to produce an entertaining piece. When I set out
to make a piece I start off looking at the photos and see if a story emerges. A story is important
to hold the work together, although I have done pieces with
very loose structures. China was
easy in a sense because it was all
about the one place, so at least it
had unity of location.
U Can you tell me about the
form of China's performance?
Y I stand in front of two big
screens on stage and talk—actually, I prefer to say I tell a
story. On the screens are digital projections of my photos,
and at times in this production there is video. My musician Nicholas Ng, who is also
gorgeous, sits with me on
stage and he plays erhu (two
stringed Chinese violin) and
pipa (Chinese lute), although
not all the time. I use a quiet tone of voice, and with the
slides coming up, people have
told me the effect is hypnotic.
U How do you think that slides
and storytelling constitute
contemporary theatre? What
do you think this achieves that
a plot-based narrative with
multiple performers would
Y In contemporary theatre
as in most contemporary
forms, anything goes. Image
projection has been used in
more than half of the productions I've seen so it's very
common now. Storytelling
is a very old form....My form
has pardy evolved out of economics. It's a lean form,
there's only me, a musician
and a production manager
on the whole team—no director, dramaturgy, or lighting
designer. So it achieves what
it achieves economically. I
don't think it achieves more
than "a plot-based narrative
with multiple performers."
It's a different form in its
own right. To use a musical
analogy, I do see it as a trio
for spoken word, image and
music, as opposed to larger
forms like a symphony.
U Your sexual identity seems
to be one ofthe focuses of your
photographic works. How, if at
all, does this play into China,
and your situatedness within
the "outsider" narrative?
Y I am gay, so I am the gay narrator in my stories. That's partly political as I want to be visible, although I wouldn't say it
was the focus of my entire pieces, only the sexual aspect. In
fact "China" is not a very sexual place, that is, in general the
Chinese are discreet about sexuality. The gay content is small
in this piece.
U China was first performed
in 2007. How has the show
changed between then and
now, February 2010?
Y Usually my shows change
and evolve over time. Some
of them change quite a lot,
but China has not. There are
always slight changes as the
piece becomes more honed.
My attitude has not changed
much. I have been back to
China twice since 2007 and
I was tempted to put some of
my experiences from these
trips into the piece but decided against it. I'll put them in
another piece.
U What do you think has captivated audiences most in your
performance or performance
Y My pieces are very accessible and direct. They are
about things and issues, and
most importantly feelings
and emotions...People have
liked to come along on my
journey, and in the case of
China, the journey is through
a fascinating and a very different culture from Western/
European culture. People
have described my pieces
as "touching," "elegant" and
U PuSh is partially funded
by the Cultural Olympiad.
What do you think about
the Olympics coming to
Vancouver mere days after
your performance?
Y Glad to be part ofthe circus, tl
The Olympic Torch Relay is coming to UBC
Get enLIGHTened
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Pacific Spirit Place in the SUB, Totem Park and Vanier Dining Rooms and
the Old Barn Community Centre.
Limited quantities. $2
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a place of mind
UBC   2010   OLYMPIC    &
culture@ubyssey.ca 2010.02.08/UBYSSEY.CA/PRIDE/7
ry Colour of the Rainbow
Diversity Within the Queer Community
Beauty accepts beast exactly as he is
Christian and Jewish prejudices debunked
Pull-out events calendar for Outweek
Swing dancing & conservative mothers
Poly & Bi, Oh My
Can't a guy enjoy Lady Gaga in however he wants?
In her book, Full Exposure, Susie Bright writes "'Coming out' applies to all of us. This very personal sword of truth slices through
the knotted vines that have choked off our erotic development.
The hardest part is knowing yourself well enough to make the first
cut." Me, I've come out at least three distinct times: first as bisexual, then as a lesbian, and most recently as a bisexual again. I've
also had to "come out" as femme, but I'm still trying to figure out
a lot about exactly what I desire and how to get it. And we're all in
the same boat: gay, straight, asexual—we're always learning new
things about ourselves that challenge our established identities
and other people's expectations of how we should act.
Sexuality, gender and degree of sexual desire are all continuums,
and they also tend to change over the course of our lives. And our
interpretation of the language used to describe these things varies
from person to person. A person who identifies as a straight, romantic asexual may in fact have the same desire for sex with the
same genders as another person who identifies as just a bisexual.
And herein lies one of the difficulties of being an open and affirming community in the face of such diversity: we must respect people's labels, even if our perception is that their actions don't match
our personal interpretation of that label.
Additionally we need to find a place in the queer community for
those of us who don't quite fit into one of our established queer identities. Where does the straight, opposite-sex partner of a bisexual or
a transgender person go for support? The straight children of gay
parents? Asexuals, crossdressers, even seemingly "normal" straight
people all wrestie with issues of sexuality and gender, and all deserve a place in Pride.
We're all in a perpetual state of coming out, to ourselves and
to others. As gay, as bi, as Jewish and pagan, as Marxists and
Libertarians, as porn-watchers and porn-readers, as vanilla in bed
or kinky, as submissive or dominant. We all need a place to share
our stories, a place where we can be who we are without fear of accusing questions. I've found that place with Pride, but I've also had
eyebrows raised when I talk about my attraction to men, felt isolated
as the only girl in heels. I've given up trying to explain exacdy who I
am because like all of us, I can't be defined by one word, and like all
of us, who I am changes every day.
In this year's Pride issue of The Ubyssey issue, I want to celebrate
the diversity that makes up our community. I want to be proud, not
ashamed, of what sets me apart from others in the queer community and I want others to have a chance to see what an open community we can be. I want this to be a litde step torward a future where the
queer community can truly encompass every colour, every shade,
every slight variation, of the rainbow.
"Every Colour of the Rainbow—Diversity Within the Queer
Community" is meant to showcase all of the different aspects of
life that can affect love (and vice-versa) and the many different
types of love that people on this campus experience. The word
queer encompasses so much; from pan to asexual, homo, bi and
much more: people have so many different experiences, yet because we all break away from heteronormativity we find community. I hope that this issue of The Ubyssey encourages people to
celebrate love and friendship, whomever it is between and embrace the fact that everybody's perception and experience of love
is different.
The term gay was used until
well into the mid-20th century to refer to feelings of being carefree and happy. The
term later began to be to refer to homosexuality.  It is
commonly used when referring to homosexuality in
two ways: men who have
intimate and sexual relations with other men, and
as an umbrella term to refer
to all people with same-sex
Lesbian is a term used to
describe sexual and romantic desire between females.
The word may be used as
a noun, to refer to women
who identify themselves as
having the primary attribute
of female homosexuality, or
as an adjective, to describe
characteristics of an object
or activity related to female
same-sex desire.
Bisexuality is a sexual orientation involving physical
attraction to both males and
Queer is an umbrella term
which often pertains to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), intersex and
non-normative heterosexual
people. Its usage is considered controversial due to the
fact that queer also means
strange or odd and was
originally used as a pejorative slur. Some LGBT people are re-claiming the term
as a means of self-empowerment but the term is still
considered by others to be
offensive and derisive.
An asexual is someone who
does not experience sexual attraction. Unlike celibacy,
which people choose, asexuality is an intrinsic part of
a person. There is considerable diversity among the
asexual community; each
asexual person experiences
things like relationships, attraction, and arousal somewhat differently.
LGBTA? Why this is my community too
I can't really remember a time
I didn't associate myself with
the queer community. When I
was in high school, my lack of
interest in sex with men led me
to think I was a lesbian. When
sex with women turned out to
be even less desirable, I settled
on the idea that I was bisexual and merely equally disinterested in sex with men and
women. While the label wasn't
perfect, it helped me articulate the one thing I was certain
about: I wasn't straight.
After coming across asexuality in my first year of university, I felt faced with a choice. On
one hand, the LGBT community
had no letter for me anymore.
There was no recognition of
my existence in the literature
for queer youth, no sentence in
any brochure I ever picked up
saying that not desiring sex was
fine too. The community I was
so accustomed to being included in now felt unwelcoming
and unfamiliar to me. On the
other hand, I had gained a word
that best described my identity
and I wasn't about to give it up
in order to fit in.
There was no recognition
of my existence in the
literature for queer
youth, no sentence in any
brochure I ever picked up
saying that not desiring
sex was fine too.
I remember exacdy how nervous I was when I came out to
Pride UBC. I remember how I
wrung my hands and fought
so hard to keep a steady voice.
The possibility of being rejected by the community I was involved in was terrifying to me.
I remember a silence, and for
one long moment, I was sure
that someone would tell me to
I also remember a promise
I made to myself. I swore that,
in the future, no one who identified as asexual would have to
fear a community as accepting
as Pride UBC. I made this promise not only to raise awareness
of asexuality on campus, but
to prove to Vancouver's LGBT
community that my orientation belonged in their community, too. I swore I'd make those
changes so no one would have
to feel as afraid as I had.
From my coming out to today, I have remained active in
Pride UBC. I have served on
the executive team for the last
two years, putting in countiess
hours toward equity on the UBC
campus. I've worked awareness fairs promoting education
around LGBT issues, I've protested Prop 8, I've marched in
Pride parades. I've educated
myself on all the key issues of
the LGBT community and become a resource person for the
LGBT community among my
straight classmates, friends,
and co-workers. I sidelined actively promoting visibility for
my own orientation for the betterment of the queer community as a whole, and in return, the
queer community is beginning
to take notice of me.
Within Pride UBC, my passive presence has made a difference. This year, asexuality
was added to our constitution,
mandating our executive to
keep the doors of the resource
group open to asexual students.
While this is a huge step toward
my goal, it is not something I
ever demanded of Pride UBC.
I never lobbied for asexuality
to be included, never pushed
for it, never even suggested it.
I merely hoped that, if I worked
hard enough for Pride UBC,
they'd deem me and my orientation worthy of a place in their
At some point along this journey, I realized that all the work
I've been doing hasn't been for
someone else. Over the years,
the division between the LGBT
community and the asexual
community has all but disappeared from my mind. I have
proven to myself that I, an asexual individual, can be as much
a member of the LGBT community as any other queer-identified individual can be because
these issues are my issues. This
community has become one
and the same to me. This is my
community, too.
While I have consistentiy
proven that I belong here, others remain unconvinced. It's
time for me to stop being so
passive, so complacent with
others excluding me and my
orientation from the only community I can possibly belong in.
From sex columnist Dan
Savage to the QMUNITY centre here in Vancouver, asexuality has been denounced, ridiculed, and excluded from the
largely inclusive queer community. Why is this? Why is it
that, when the queer community is so familiar with being
denounced, ridiculed, and excluded from the privileges of
the straight community, it is so
quick to do to an ally what has
been (wrongly) done to it?
QMUNITY believes that,
while asexuality exists, it has
no place in the queer community. I take that as a personal
challenge. My experiences, my
beliefs, and my very sense of
self are so rooted in the queer
community that I refuse to accept such a statement. I pose
to QMUNITY: are the struggles
faced by those who identify as
asexual really so different than
the struggles faced by the rest
of the queer community? Who
else understands what it's like
to struggle with identity? Who
else knows what the fear of
coming out feels like? Who else
has been told that their feelings are invalid, that their attractions (or lack thereof) are
wrong? Who else knows what
it's like to be called broken, to
be teased and judged and bar-
raged with tests on everything
from physical function to mental stability? With whom else
could we possibly fit?
The answers are clear. This
community, this LGBTA community, isn't based on our differences, but on the acknowledgement of what we share.
To all those holding on to divisions: let's work together and
make a world where no one
has to grow up afraid of being
themselves. It's my goal; I invite you to join me and my community in the fight. &
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J3F/KDEP LAW1- I was once a lesbian
I cut my hair short. I wore button-up shirts andBirkenstocks.
I was involved in Pride, but
cautious outside that circle
telling people about my girlfriend. I sang in a queer choir.
I had mostly queer friends. I
had all these things because
that's what it meant to me to
be a lesbian. Being a lesbian,
I thought, was a culture, a lifestyle, a set of guidelines that I
had to follow. My gay card was
stamped, and I was always
ready to show it at the door.
So many people in the queer
community struggle with self-expression in the face of our still
conservative society—where is
it safe to wear queer-looking
clothes? If I get this haircut, will
people know I'm a lesbian? Can
I dress in drag outside a gay bar?
If I look "too butch" will I get
looks in women's washrooms?
Me and My Moustache, page 17,
Femme(ininiiy), page 14, and
Untitled, at right, all discuss these
issues—how can you feel safe and
accepted outside the queer community when your look reveals
you as queer?
Yet my struggle for self-expression has not been against
heteronormative expectations
of how a woman should dress,
it has been a struggle to dress
within these expectations,
while retaining the choice to do
so. On a regular day, you'll see
me wearing skinny jeans and
boots, a scarf and earrings. My
hair is long. In the past year, I
have constandy worried about
looking "too fashionable," as
if there were a cap for lesbians and I was approaching
the limit. I found myself thinking that my straight female
friends could pull off a look that
I couldn't or shouldn't—I needed to maintain some queerness
in my look to remain true to my
And this community does fight
back and does ask you to remain
true. Many people in the queer
community now assume I'm
"mosdy straight" or "at least bisexual"—why would I dress the
way I do if I was a lesbian? And
it's not just clothing. Our society
too often teaches us that to live a
"queer lifestyle" is to live differ-
entiy. I recentiy had the experience of liking a boy and found
that my entire conceptualization of my future changed. No,
I wouldn't get a cat, I would get
a dog! Why live in a cozy house
with a charming, overrun garden, when I could live in a loft
with marble countertops? I was
surprisingly subject to society's
expectation of a queer lifestyle
versus a straight lifestyle. But is
it only from the heteronormative
straight world that we get these
stereotypes? The queer community purports to provide freedom
from these expectations, but
does it not also teach us that to
be queer is to be fundamentally
different and that we must demonstrate that difference?
This is of course not to say
that we don't need queer advocacy groups, queer social
spaces and queer communities. But I find that despite the
acceptance of diversity within
the queer community, demonstrated so clearly in this Pride
edition of The Ubyssey, when
that diversity reaches beyond
what is undeniably queer,
there is resistance. Bisexuals
often fear rejection if they begin dating someone of the opposite sex. Asexuals struggle to find acceptance in the
queer community because,
while they represent an alternative sexuality, they are often misconstrued as closeted
or repressed. And "straight-
looking" people face losing the
power of self-identification.
So, I was once a lesbian.
And while I like to think that I
can have it all, a cat and a dog,
when I gave up the lesbian
look, the label went with it. My
biggest hope for the future is
that society, as a whole, learns
to embrace the queer community. But I also hope that the
queer community extends its
arms to embrace what is outside of it. Maybe then it will be
easier to be a lesbian again. I?
Sexual monogamy refers
to two people who remain
sexually exclusive with
each other and have no
outside sex partners.
Polyamory (from the
Greek poly, many or several, and Latin amor, love) is
the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more
than one intimate relationship at a time with the
knowledge and consent of
everyone involved.
Pansexuality, or omnisexu-
ality, is a sexual orientation
characterized by the potential for aesthetic attraction,
romantic love, or sexual desire towards people, regardless of their gender identity or biological sex. Some
pansexuals suggest that
they are gender-blind, that
gender and sex are insignificant or irrelevant in determining whether they will
be sexually attracted to others. For others, an individual's sex, gender expression,
or gender identity can be a
key factor of attraction, despite the pansexual individual's wide range of sex and
gender attractions.
An ally is a person who actively supports the struggles of oppressed groups
(such as people in the
LGBT Community), but is
not a member themself.
The term "two-spirit" usually implies a masculine
spirit and a feminine spirit living in the same body
and was coined in 1990 by
contemporary gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Native Americans to
describe themselves and
the traditional roles they
are reclaiming.
There is a pair of high heels—two-inch—that sits
on the top shelf of my closet. I take them down
for special occasions; when I'm performing, or
whenever I feel my mother needs a little confirmation that yes, I indeed want a vagina. But
these events are few, and so my heels, along with
the ill-bought dresses and cardigans, remain in
the conveniently shadowed corner of my abode.
I was never the sports kind of guy. Terrible
at catching, I trip more often than I jump, but I
do treasure the tough moments; arm-wrestiing,
push-up competitions, off-colour remarks, that
sort of thing. And the women, oh god, the women.
I could watch them all day—sometimes I do.
This is probably why fem-dressing wasn't so
common with me in the early days. Granted, there
were many girlicious occasions I was obliged to
attend—the mandatory bi-monthly girls' night
to which I was perpetually invited (out of pity, I
think) being an example. Most times, though,
I held my ground nobly, allowing only a blot of
mascara and perhaps the slightest tint on my naked lips.
On one particular January night, however,
the eve of my best friend's six-month voyage to
France, I made an (ill-conceived) promise to not
only come to girls' night, but to do it as per proper gender. And so, on this fateful night, I grudgingly rummaged through the recesses of my closet and threw some ofthe more feminine items, including those damned heels, into my backpack—
the girls would dress me properly. I also threw a
collared shirt and some sneakers (my saviours) in
my bag, in quiet hopes they would give up on me.
Luck was an ironic beast that night, as I somehow managed to be made up as the femmest of
the lot. Everything but my forehead was sparkling, giving my body the tambour of a multifacet-
ed disco-ball. A belt was cinched around my waist
and my ass was thrust up by the cursed pumps I
now wished I'd burned on purchase. And people
stared at me. So I got drunk enough to ignore it.
The morning after had the heavy pounding
character of a neglected child with a drum set, so I
didn't even bother to wash the makeup off. A pair
of jeans and collared shirt were all I could manage. I somehow kept myself away from the mirror save for the mandatory morning glance, so the
full extent of my appearance was not yet apparent
to me, but the hangover gave me an indifferent
confidence that allowed me to head straight to my
rehearsal without heading home first.
"You look... Beautiful." These were the words I
was greeted with.
Beautiful. I'd never been called that before.
Beautiful. I ran to the bathroom and stared at
Beautiful. Woman. My chest looked amazing.
My hair was softer than my skin. My hands were
delicate. Delicate. And the women that I'd been
staring at all these years finally came to life inside
me. They were hiding for so long. All they needed
was that one word.
This is the story of how I became a woman. In
one word. 3*
in the beginning
there are finger-kisses
on the floor
before the long
sometimes her own
in the cave of her curled
feels frightening
its head that tips up to
meet touch
as fragile and alive
as the soft, pulsing scalp
of her first child
his heart-spot
its powerful throbbing,
how easily hurt
in this gyroscopic center
she feels all the crackling veins
of her own heart
hears her synapses sing
can she contain such a
can she swell it
let it swell
keep it between her legs
can this be her body
stretched wet before the
the ordinary mirror,
with its chipped edge
birthing this bloody,
bursting, arterial
slick as her son when he
slid from her
her own thing
from the unknowable
can this be her
this black-pelted female
crawling the dark
this touchable heart
I tried to trace the outline of her
Forever etched into my mind
So deep inside
But I know it's there
I can almost feel her curls
Trailing down my body
With my finger drawing her profile
Pale lips, half open, sighing
Broken memories hanging on a string
Like photographs, composing my past
Any time they can fall
Reveal what felt so right
Her sitting, so composed, so in control,
Her neck, her back
I breathe to warm her skin
To draw a smile
The photographs in black and white
The photographs in red or blue
For every moment captured in one light
Touching her breasts
Trailing further
The warmth of water
Covering her with petals
Silky, smooth and wet
The film has taken its last
Revealing what was to come
What came
And now I have the string of photographs
Etched deeply into my past
"Hi, do you need help?"
If I had been feeling witty, I
might have smiled and smoothly replied 'Oh, probably.' Instead,
I do my best to sound casual and
make eye contact with the saleswoman as I say "Urn, I have some
questions about sizing..."
If I sound nervous, it has a
lot to do with my surroundings.
It's Saturday afternoon and I'm
in the middle of a cozy lingerie
store. I'm shopping on my own.
I'm a man.
Well, I think I'm a man. It's
been a bit more complicated
since Halloween lastyear, when
friends convinced me to go to
a Rocky Horror screening in
drag. I might have been able to
handle the heels and the dress,
but a pair of fishnet pantyhose
sealed the deal. It was like slipping my legs into skintight taboo. I loved it. How many other unsuspecting young men, I
wonder, have had their quiet,
stable gender identities so thoroughly ravaged by that evil, seductive article of clothing?
The young saleswoman
doesn't seem surprised or uncomfortable. She helps me
pick out two pairs of ruched
leggings, and then she drops
the question: "So, who are you
shopping for today?"
Again, I have a fantasy world
where I come up with clever,
confident responses to questions
like that. In real life I responded
by blushing and smiling sheepishly: "They're for me."
She barely misses a beat,
and I have to wonder how often she's been through this situation. Apparendy the novelty hasn't worn off completely -
as I collect my items, she's having a hushed conversation with
another sales rep, who stifles a
bout of giggles.
My ordeal isn't over yet, though.
I make my way to the sales counter and the (devastatingly cute) employee recognizes me from a previous visit. "Do you have a girlfriend
who likes this store?"
Fear has reduced me to
monosyllabic speech, but I
come clean again, garnering
another bemused smile. "That's
what I thought," she replies.
She bags my purchases and
I beat a hasty retreat as both
sales reps wish me good day.
Emerging outside with my
glaringly feminine bag, I'm hit
by a powerful rush of contradictory feelings—embarassment,
glee, shame, arousal—that (for
me) encapsulate life as a cross-
dresser. Yes, I could have done
my shopping online and avoided all that stress. But then who
would be there to laugh at me?
Besides, I needed help with
the sizing. $ 10/UBYSSEY.CA/PRIDE/2010.02.08
My parents used to alter the
names of storybook characters to suit their own devices. Mama and Papa Bear became Mommy and Mama
Bear, and Little Timmy wanted to be a pastry chef, not a
firefighter, and his Stonewall
rioter, pride-marching grandmother thought that was awesome. Picture books that didn't
need to be reworded were voraciously collected and Heather
Has Two Mommies was displayed as published proof.
They cheered for the lesbian doctor on ER and recorded
Lifetime movies, documentaries and interviews about girls
and women who were just like
them. Families that were just
like us. They signed me up for
playgroups with names that
contained rainbow and lavender and triangle.
The Berkeley
community was
up in arms for a
variety of politically
incorrect offenses
and travesties
by the much-
loved animated
But there was one thing they
couldn't fix. My mothers were
not alone in their distaste for
Disney. The Berkeley community was up in arms for a variety of politically incorrect offenses and travesties committed by the much-loved animated characters. These grievances
ranged from racial prejudice to
violence, from misogyny to animal cruelty, from Bambi's dead
mother to Snow White's dead
mother, from helpless girls pining away in towers to the handsome boys who rescued them.
Worst of all, you couldn't rewrite a movie—Ariel's father
could not be substituted with
Ariel's bisexual aunt. The characters were set in stone, imprinted upon boxy VHS tapes
and snuggly tucked into shiny
plastic cases. So while other litde girls watched The Lion
King, I watched Lions: Big Cats
of the Sahara on the Discovery
I have no idea how the Beauty
and The Beast board game made
it into my home. It must have
snuck in late at night, because
my mothers would never have
let it through the front door.
Possibly it was left by a friend, or
forced upon us by a well-meaning relative. Of course I was desperate to play it.
It was a simple enough
game, with brightiy-coloured
cardboard and little plastic
pieces. Players made their
way around the board and
there were dice involved.
Much to my parents' chagrin
the objective was to transform
the hideous Beast into the
Aryan prince so that he and
Belle could live happily ever
after. The game culminated
in the winner turning over the
small cardboard likeness of
the Beast to reveal an image of
the prince in the centre of the
This game was an affront
to the family values that my
parents had been cultivating.
Something had to be done.
They dutifully played with
me but at the end of the game
the Beast was not altered, he
remained a beast and Belle
loved him for who he was, caring not for his appearance but
for his inner qualities; his loyalty and his undying love for
her, which in turn had nothing to do with her physical
beauty but rather with the tenacity, independence and intelligence with which she had
faced and conquered the obstacles between them. Belle
and the Beast loved each other no matter what and neither
sought to change the other.
They accepted their differences and presumably this mixed
race couple was embraced by
the small village community,
who were so comfortable with
diversity that they would never presume to bring up the issue, even in the best light. It
was in fact a non-issue, as was
the massive socio-economic gap between Belle and the
Beast and the farmers and
peasants of the village.
In hindsight, my mothers
probably would have changed
the Beast into a girl if they had
thought I wouldn't notice.^
...Dove sono i bei momenti di dolcezza e di piacer...?
I often wonder.
...Where are the beautiful moments of sweetness and of
where have they gone?
why have the gone?
when did it slip away from our reach?
did you see it on the way out?
if they have truly left,
why do the bright smiles
the countless sweet memories
the uplifting ringing sounds of laughter
still haunt me?
they seem to be jumping out of photographs
always sneaking into passing moment of reminiscence
making trivial observations not so trivial anymore
Such blissful sweetness.
Such simple pleasures.
...Dove sono, where are they...?
—A.C.K.C (a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage)
^ * why didn't I chase that van down the driveway
wild and senseless as I was J J
we grow up drinking
beer and lemonade on yellow trailer park lawns
same slim chance for survival as our mothers
before us
we expect to marry loggers and
live here forever, slowly suicidal
in aprons we sew from
threadbare bedroom comforters
from discarded dreams of love-making on
summer afternoons
the slow, sexual freedom of skin
early, in the seventh grade
the loneliness of slow hot suburbia has begun
to age me
but the Baptist billboard on
highway 97 assures me that
Jesus has a plan, and that fall
I think I see my saviour descend
into the back row of grade school desks
however shy and small
a transfer student, Liesl
with a strange skin condition
all of us afraid to touch her at first
because ofthe irregular patches of pure white
hollows in her pigment, pale and paler still
like the colours of topography
after two weeks we are Best Friends Forever
do everything together
we buy posters of John Lennon and
lie on our backs making sad songs better
Liesl lies to her puritanical mother
for the first times ever
and I discover beauty
in the map of her back
following my fingers over the
secret patchwork of her shoulder,
stomach, hip
the slow, sexual freedom of skin
at night, when the door is closed on our
Liesl creeps from her mattress on my floor
to the curve of my arm
and we sleep like satiated sisters
gorge on dreams filled with fat goblin fruit
and freedom
that summer, Liesl moves away
a screech of tires down the driveway
her mother watches me receding in her rear-
view mirror
with relief
a little wiser than we thought
the way the villain always is
for two years I don't
touch that record player
John Lennon no longer my working class hero
my soothsayer
nothin's gonna change my world
suddenly seems less like a blessing than a curse
I write a thousand unanswered letters
no, worse
she answers them
to tell me about her conquests, her kisses
the cutest boys
on the Christian Youth Group basketball team
and all I can think is
why didn't I chase that van down the driveway
wild and senseless as I was
at twelve
why didn't I seize that bumper and hold on
my wise hands pulling her back to me
in a superhuman feat of selfish strength
my saviour
years later,
our letters, our meetings are rare
I comport myself well, unless
you count the time I get drunk
and ask if I can touch her hair
the beautiful Liesl
who no longer listens to the Beatles, or believes
in goblin dreams
flinches from these fingers
and all I can think is
I have the same, slim chance for survival as my
mother before me
I expect to marry a logger
and live here forever, slowly suicidal
in an apron I sew from
discarded dreams of love-making on
summer afternoons
the slow, sexual freedom
of her skin
Tree planting
Not the hippie commune I hoped for
I spent last spring in Northern
Ontario, planting trees in the
beautiful Canadian Shield. I
had heard all sorts of stories
about how it was going to be
the toughest job I'd ever have
since you have to plant in every kind of weather and the
hours are so long. I took this to
heart and wasn't surprised by
the amount of work that I needed to put in once I got there.
What I wasn't prepared for
was the time spent in between
planting hours. Though there
was beautiful folk music being played almost every night
which I gladly participated in,
there was an extreme tension
in the camp. The vast majority of the people I was planting
I was stuck in
the middle ofthe
woods, surrounded
by people who
hate one ofthe
things that makes
up the very core of
you, and who also
happen to be fit and
in possession of
with hated, to some degree,
"the gays." I couldn't go an hour
in camp without someone making an extremely homophobic
comment, the worst of which
came from the bosses and the
owner of the company.
I had gone through a long
and hard coming out process
over the prior year and a half,
and before I got to Elliot Lake I
felt quite comfortable with who
I was and thought I didn't care
what other people thought. This
feeling started to change when
I was stuck in the middle of the
woods, hundreds of kilometres
away from a town, surrounded
by people who hate one of the
things that makes up the very
core of you, and who also happen to be fit and in possession
of weapons. Suffice to say, I did
not come out to these people.
There were a few other queer
people in camp. Most of us
would not speak about it to each
other, but we knew who the others were. Unfortunately more
than half of these people left in
the first couple of weeks leaving
the rest of us feeling even more
isolated than before.
A month into the planting
season, right at the half-way
point, things started to turn
around. A new planter joined
the crew. She had spent the last
few years living on Commercial
Drive here in Vancouver, and
didn't care who knew about
her sexual orientation no matter how dangerous that could
be  for  her.  To  my  surprise,
people didn't really care she
was queer, but they still continued to use incredibly offensive and violent language about
queer people.
This girl had a friend in the
crew whom she knew from before. He was straight but was
an extremely supportive ally.
He would often call people out
on their misuse of queer language. For example, one of the
other guys on the crew was having issues with his water botde
leaking, saying "This water botde is fucked up. It's so gay." The
ally stepped in and made a joke
about how the other guy's water botde was a boy water botde that liked to sleep with other
boy water botties.
One night nearing the end
of the season, while everyone else was asleep, someone
snuck into the school buses,
whose ceilings had previously been completely vandalized
with racist and homophobic
comments, and covered up all
the bad things that had been
I can't help but think that it
was this amazing boy and girl
who teamed up and made over
the school buses. Whether it
was them or not I'll never really
know. Either way, they made so
much progress in such a short
time. Through their willingness to correct peoples' misuse
of language and stand up for
respect and equal rights they
made a world of difference in
the tree planting camp. I? 2010.02.08/UBYSSEY.CA/PRIDE/ll
and pride
On August 1 2009, a gunman
entered the "Aguda" building
in Tel Aviv where an Israeli Gay
Youth event was being held
and opened fire on the crowd,
killing two LGBT activists, one
of them just 17 years old. The
gunman has been suspected
to be ultra orthodox; regardless the ultra orthodox press in
Israel was quick to blame the
victim, calling them depraved
and stating that any blame for
the murders lay solely with the
owners of the club who put minors in danger of incurring
the wrath of G-d.
The attack put a new spotlight
on attitudes amongst the orthodox community towards queer
sexuality and LGBT Jewry.
These rabbis are just as quick
to condemn marriage equality
or gay ordination as any fundamentalist Christian televange-
list, and just as eager to "cure"
gays. Homosexuality is a desire,
they argue, to be overcome in
the same way as eating cheeseburgers on Yom Kippur. None
of these Rabbis would compare
sexual intimacy with their wife
to a good kosher steak. The implication is clear: heterosexual sex is proper, holy and natural, while homosexual sex is
promiscuous depravity: fun but
wrong. This argument is not
difficult to tear apart. All sexu-
alities are natural, they can be
practiced with consent and respect and intimacy or they can
be practiced with the selfishness the homophobes assume.
We see this justification for
bigotry to be ludicrous. Why
then, do we as Jews or generally
children of a culture born out of
the Bible, allow these people to
monopolize these texts? We assume that the homophobic interpretations are right. We assume that to reject the interpretation requires that we reject
the text.
However, my tradition teaches that every word of the Bible,
the Tanakh, has value and I believe this—so if you'll allow me
I'd rather deconstruct than reject. I don't have the Christian
privilege to simply say "and
then Jesus came and it was all
better." Judaism teaches that
we need to weed through the
garbage, including homophobic manipulations of scripture
and pull out the light for there
is light in everything. Here's an
example: Leviticus 18:22 reads
"Do not lie with a man as one
lies with a woman; that is detestable." Religious Jews and
Christians have been convinced
by bigots that this simply refers
to sex between men (the Bible
never references sex between
women, silencing female sexuality but not forbidding its
queer expression) as a crime.
But if we read it carefully, there
is more going on here. What
does "as one lies with a woman"
mean? In a heteronormative society that placed a high priority
on fertility the central act of heterosexual sex, the way in which
one "lay with a woman" was
vaginal penetration, taken here
to extend to anal penetration.
To the biblical writer penetration was a show of dominance.
In the patriarchal context of the
bible, vaginal penetration is a
show of men's dominance over
women. To penetrate a man is
to dominate him, just as the
people of Sodom threatened to
penetrate the guests of Lot.
Penetration only becomes
domination in a context that
conceives of sex as a field of
power relations. If we recognize that no sex act is inherently dominant or submissive then
we are forced to read the line
from Leviticus as referring not
to the sexual act so much as to a
context of domination. The official position of my own denomination, Conservative Judaism,
does not make this inference.
It supports marriage equality
elsewhere, gay ordination elsewhere but insists that this verse
must be taken to forbid one
act, that of anal penetration between men. Yet the Bible states
that "a man shall cleave unto
his wife and become one flesh
[through penetrative contact]."
My tradition recognizes that
penetration is not simply an act
of pleasure and is not an act inherently of dominance but rather one that strives to unite two
bodies into one. I refuse to deny
such union to same sex couples.
To forbid a man to dominate a man as they would a
woman still relies of course on
a deeply misogynist assumption that women are to be sexually subservient, below men.
If we come to the verse rather with an understanding that
women and men are entitled
to the same sexual respect, we
can understand it to command
that you shall not have sex with
anyone (men, women or intersex persons) with an intent to
There are easier texts to
navigate. The Book of Samuel
tells the story of David and
Jonathan's relationship in language that is at the very least
homoerotic. In the Talmud,
the great Rabbi Ben Zoma rejects his friends' pleas that he
marry a woman, saying there
are others that will do so but
he has no desire to do so. His
friends assent to his argument
because they understand het-
erosexuality and the heteronormative life plan is not for everyone, that queer sexuality cannot be "cured"; that gay people
cannot suck it up and live as
straight people. These texts are
of course empowering but as
long as we let the homophobes
monopolize other passages like
the line in Leviticus we will be
saying to queer Jews that they
cannot have this line. They will
have to bite their tongue and
leave it alone. We will be inferring that in their community
they will have to stay in the closet or leave the community.
Fortunately there are strong
voices across Judaism, including orthodoxy, that have said
otherwise. Rabbis like Steven
Greenberg (read his Wrestling
with G-d and Men) and organizations like Orthodykes have
said that it is incumbent upon
Jewish communities, queer,
ally and otherwise to reform
the way they treat sexual and
gender diversity. It is incumbent upon all Jews that we
make new space for queer
people, their partners and the
families they form rather than
compelling them to inhabit
tired closets. At its truest heart
Judaism teaches that humanity is made to love, including
in bed, in whatever way G-d
has led them to see fit and that
such love, straight or queer
and the families that such love
creates are the most important foundation of Jewish peo-
plehood. $
Intersex people are those
who are born with or develop
primary and secondary sex
characteristics that do not
fit neatly into society's definitions of male and female.
Because of this, infants are
often subjected to sex reassignment surgery without
their consent.
Sex reassignment surgery
(also known as genital reconstruction surgery, sex affirmation surgery, or a sex-
change operation) is a term
for the surgical procedures by
which a person's physical sex
is altered. Genitals and other sex identifying characteristics (such as the chest) may
be altered; SRS is usually accompanied by hormone therapy.  It is part of a treatment
for gender identity disorder/
gender dysphoria in transsexual and transgender people.
SRS can also be performed
on intersex people to make
their genitalia conform to one
the sexes and is usually performed at infancy in these
Transmen identify as men
though their bodies may or
may not align with that gender identity based on whether or not they have had
The promised land
is queer-inclusive
Those who know me know that
I am a Bible-thumping, evangelical, born-again Christian.
You know those people who are
always talking about Jesus?
Yeah, I'm one of them.
Most people, religious and
non-religious alike, seem to
think that the Bible condemns
homosexuality. So it may surprise you to know that I, the
Bible-thumping manic, am also
a passionate believer in the
rights of our queer brothers
and sisters.
There are three passages
that make up the classical biblical argument against homosexuality. The first is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah
(Genesis 18-19). God hears that
the men of Sodom are "exceedingly evil" and decides to send
some Angels to check things
out. On their way, they run into
Abraham, whose cousin, Lot, is
living in the city and who convinces God to spare Sodom if
there is one righteous person
living there. When the Angels finally arrive in Sodom, they stay
at Lot's house, but are interrupted by the men of the town who
want to rape them. Lot offers
up his daughters to be raped instead, but the Angels stop him,
striking all the men of the town
with blindness. They then tell
Lot to get out of dodge before
God destroys the place.
God didn't like Sodom because they wanted to have sex
with men, right? Only if you're
okay with rape and think that
God is too.
The second passage is
Leviticus 20:13, "If a man lies
with a man as one lies with a
woman, both of them have done
what is detestable. They must
be put to death; their blood
will be on their own heads."
Many Christians are quick to
whip out this passage to argue
against Queer-inclusiveness.
But those same Christians completely ignore just about every other commandment in
the Old Testament. They don't
obey Jewish dietary laws. They
don't circumcise all male children eight days after they are
born. They don't make sure
not to mix the fabrics in their
clothes. God forbid that they
should stone adulterous women or rebellious sons or make
menstruating women live outside their town for the period of
their "uncleanliness." If they're
capable of rejecting these commandments because they think
that Jesus changed everything
when he died on the cross
(something I fervently believe),
then why keep on bringing up
the Levitical condemnation of
Jesus himself rejects plenty of
the commandments in the Old
Testament, breaking the Sabbath
at the drop of a hat and refusing
to condemn an adulterous woman to be stoned (John 7:53-8:11).
Later on, Jesus commands apostle-in-chief Peter in a dream to
eat un-clean food (Acts 10:9-23).
Interestingly enough, though
Jesus has a lot to say about sex,
he never says a word about homosexuality. Far be it from me
to suggest that Christians reject
the Old Testament. But I do think
that Jesus' behaviour as well as
our own indicates that we should
not treat the Levitical commandments as a list of rules given by
God to all people for all time.
The final passage that people turn to is Romans 1:26-
2 7, "Because of this, God gave
them over to shameful lusts.
Even their women exchanged
natural relations for unnatural
ones. In the same way the men
also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent
acts with other men, and received in themselves the due
penalty for their perversion."
This passage has to be contextualized. Paul was probably writing the Epistle to the Romans
from Corinth and this passage
probably refers to the pagan
sex rites going on there, in the
Temple of Aphrodite, not the
kinds of things gay couples do
when they want to settle down
and start a family together.
"A good tree cannot bear bad
fruit, and a bad tree cannot
bear good fruit. Thus, by their
fruit you will recognize them."
(Matthew 7:18-20). The way of
Christ is the way of unconditional, sacrificial love (John 15:12).
Somehow when Jesus was talking about unconditional love,
I don't think that what he had
in mind was Christians disowning their kids or pressuring
their brothers and sisters into
"rehab" to "cure them" of their
God-given sexual orientations.
A more specific example is
the affair of David and Jonathan
in  1 Kings  15:1. It says that,
SRS. Transwomen identify
as women though their bodies may or may not align with
that gender identity based on
whether or not they have had
MTF is short for Male to
Female.  It refers to a person
who is transitioning from a
male to a female body. FTM
is short for Female to Male.
It refers to a person who is
transitioning from a female to
a male body.
with the exception of having
his friend murdered, David's
behaviour was perfect. But
there is ample evidence from
Scripture that David had a long-
term, monogamous, sexual relationship with Jonathan (see
2 Samuel 1:26). Crucially, it
also says that "The two of them
made a covenant before the
LORD"(l Samuel 23:18).
It sounds to me like there's
Gay Marriage in the Bible!
I once tortured myself by listening to James Dobson's radio show for about six months.
In case you don't know, Dr
Dobson's organization, "Focus
on the Family" is one of the
most homophobic Christian
groups in the states. I heard
Dobson use the world "biblical"
a lot. His view of what a "biblical" society looked like was
painfully heteronormative and
patriarchal (basically, whatever he liked was "biblical"). The
funny thing was this: I never
once heard Dr Dobson quote
the Bible on his show.
I think that this pretty much
sums up the debate over homosexuality in the Church. On
the inside, there are lots of people who misinterpret scripture
to the detriment of our queer
brothers and sisters. On the
outside, there are a lot of people who think that Christianity
is inherently homophobic. Both
groups need to read their Bibles
And now, because I'm a
good Evangelical, let me end
this article with an Alter Call.
If you are reading this and you
are a Gay Christian, do not
think that there is no place
within the beautiful covenant
of monogamous Christian
marriage for you. If you are
a straight Christian, let me
rouse you into action. You
have a duty to stand up for
those people that society marginalizes, including the Queer
community. Don't let people
like James Dobson be the only
voice coming from the Church
on this issue. Finally, if you
are someone who is interested
in Christianity, don't be discouraged by people on the religious right. Open a Bible and
read about this guy named
Jesus. Find out about His way,
a way of radical faith and community and self-sacrificing, inclusive love. Find out that the
Promised Land is open to all,
queer people included. & 2010.02.08
Wednesday February 10   I thursday February 11
Presented by UBC Faculty of Law Dean Mary
Anne Bobinksi
University Centre Lower Level (UCLL) Room 176
(Beneath Sage Bistro near the Rose Garden)
This in-depth presentation by the UBC Faculty of
Law Dean will shed light on the legal repercussions and policy aspects of the Canadian ban on
organ and blood donation by sexually active gay
SUB Partyroom
Free (donations welcome)
The workshop revolves around exploring,
reframing and sharing our coming out stories
and other narratives that are relevant to our identities as queer folks. Hosted by local slam poet
The Boulevard Cafe (Next to Shoppers)
Come on out and let your expression flow at this
friendly, inclusive open mic event. If you missed
Kimothy's slam poetry workshop, be sure not to
miss his stellar performance!
We couldn't put this in colour on the
first page of the supplement, so here
it is in all of its full-colour glory.
12:30pm-1:30 pm
SUB 212a
Free (Donations welcome)
Join Jennifer of Libido events in this fantastic and informative workshop that will introduce
Vancouver resources for many common fetishes and put people on the right track to locating
more esoteric resources for the less common or
less "out" communities. We will also point out
the ties between the fetish community and communities built around other forms of sexual expression such as BDSM, bi-sexuality, gender
queer, polyamory and swinging.
SUB Partyroom
Come learn to swing dance in a friendly, open,
and comfortable environment courtesy of the
UBC Swing Kids. Lesson taught by Rhythm City
Production's Lucy Falkner.
SUB Partyroom
Join Pride UBC's very own Allen in a whirlwind class covering the basic waltz and the cha
cha cha (or salsa) in a queer friendly context.
It doesn't matter if you want to lead, follow, or
both. Come ready to get your grooves on!
SUB Ballroom
Doors at 6:30
This will no doubt be a night to remember! We'll
first enjoy a delightful meal in pleasant company.
Bread, salad, a choice of several pasta dishes followed by coffee or tea with fruit and biscotti, a
feast not to be missed.
Near, far, where ever you are, join us after 9pm,
as the DJ will play on and the doors will open up
for a night that's sure to leave you in anything but
frigid water!
Costumes are not necessary, but are encouraged. Take the theme where you will!
Individual facebook event here: facebook.com/
even t.php ?eid=46224 6650220&ref=ts
Bear is an affectionate gay
slang term for those in the
bear communities, a subculture in the gay community and an emerging subset
of LGBT communities with
events, codes and culture-
specific identity. Bears tend
to have hairy bodies and facial hair; some are heavy-
set; some project an image
of working-class masculinity in their grooming and appearance,   though   none   of
Popular transgender
symbol, used to
identify transvestites,
transsexuals, and other
transgender people,
frequently consisting
of a modified biological
'Umbrella' terms
used to describe
people whose gender
does not align with
their sex, people who
do not identify with
a gender associated
with the gender binary,
people whose gender
changes at some point
in their life, or people
who play with gender
for either performance
(drag) or erotic
(transvestite) purposes.
Transgender people
may be Non-Op—not
planning on having
sexual reassignment
surgery (SRS) — Pre-
Op—planning on
having SRS—or Post-
Op—already having
had SRS.
these are requirements or
unique indicators. The bear
concept can function as an
identity, an affiliation, and an
ideal to live up to, and there
is ongoing debate in bear
communities about what
constitutes a bear. 14/UBYSSEY.CA/PRIDE/2010.02.08
Learning to celebrate
traditional womanhood
Growing up I always had difficulty finding my own look and
style. I wasn't at all a tomboy;
my only athletic activity was
ballet. But I eschewed fashion
and make-up, pardy because
of the cost but mostly because
I didn't want to be anything
like the fake, plastic cheerleader-type I thought all other girls
were. By high school, I'd established a look—straight-leg jeans,
hiking books or sandals, t-shirts
or tank tops, my hair clean but
un-styled. And though this look
suited me, I didn't really feel
like I was expressing myself.
It only became more complicated when I came out. Living in
a small town, I knew only a few
queers, and most of them were
middle-aged lesbians, not exactly what I wanted to model my
personal look after. I didn't want
to cut the long hair that I'd been
growing out for years. But I felt
like to needed to do something
to make myself visible, not only
to represent the queer community, but shallowly, to be recognizable to any cute girls who might
be interested.
After coming to UBC, meeting my first girlfriend, and beginning to reinvent myself as an
adult, I began even more to feel
like I needed to find my "queer
look." I stopped shaving my legs
and underarms, I rejected makeup and heels and skirts, and tried
an ill-advised fashion plan to embrace my masculinity. With naturally wide hips and an unusually narrow waist, I had to bury my
slim figure in baggy clothes to appear the least bit androgynous.
If I had forbid
myself the outfits
that made me
feel good, I'd be
as much in the
closet as my cross-
dressing friend
would be if he did
the same.
Soon afterwards, a straight,
male friend of mine discovered
that he loved women's clothes.
He loved stockings and garter
belts and short skirts and lacy
underthings. And I realized that
I did too. I had always loved
dressing up, doing my hair and
make-up for dance performances. Though I'd spent high school
dances on the edge of the floor
making fun of the dancing couples, I'd enjoyed shopping (albeit at second-hand stores) for a
dress and getting ready beforehand. It wasn't fair, I thought,
that my friend could put on women's clothes as a way of establishing his identity as anything
but the straight-and-narrow, but
when I put on the same clothes, I
felt like I was merely conforming
to the heteronormative expectation for my gender.
But I couldn't help liking what
I liked. If I had forbid myself the
outfits that made me feel good,
I'd be as much in the closet as
my cross-dressing friend would
be if he did the same. Putting
on stockings made me feel sexy
and strong and smart just like it
made him feel, so why I should I
be denied this out of guilt or fear
of looking straight? So I refused
to deny myself what I wanted.
I embraced my femininity, my
body, my sex and my desire, the
part of me that I had repressed
for so long.
When I buried my
love of dressing up,
the excitement of
putting together
an outfit, I was
trimming my
expression to fit my
ideas about what a
lesbian should be.
When I buried my love of
dressing up, the excitement of
putting together an outfit, of
shopping for new clothes, of curling my hair and putting makeup
on the canvas that was my face, I
was trimming my expression to
fit my ideas about what a lesbian should be. I was trying to fill a
role, instead of finding the queer
woman that I was. The femme.
For me, femme doesn't mean
I'm only attracted to butches, or
that I take a submissive role in my
relationships. It's much more a
part of my gender identity than my
sexual orientation. Being femme
means a conscious awareness of
my femininity and how it is displayed in my personal style. In my
case, this means that I wear skirts,
heels, some make-up (especially lipstick), coordinate my jewelry
and accessories to my outfit, and
style my hair. I model my style on
pin-ups and femme fatales from
the 20s, 30s, and 40s, who for me
embody a powerful and controlled
femininity I want to emulate.
I feel most myself in sky-high
heels, thigh-high stockings held
up by garters, short skirts and
tight tops that show off my waist,
my mouth a perfect cupid's bow
of red lipstick. But I try to project
myself as a strong woman despite
(or perhaps because of) my classic
looks. And although I enjoy a lot
of stereotypically feminine activities (like cooking and sewing), I've
found my masculine side in other
aspects of life: my philosophies of
eating, drinking and dating are all
based on the put-together manliness exhibited in GQ, Esquire, and
yes, Playboy magazines. W
The pink triangle was originally used by
the Nazis to denote homosexuality in male
concentration camp prisoners. It has since
been reclaimed; many LGBT-related organizations use either point-upward or point-
downward depictions as a symbol of queer
resistance, gay pride and gay rights.
The Gender Binary
Heteronormativity can be such a Drag!
The gender binary is the idea
that there are only men and
women. Women are expected
to be feminine in appearance
and behaviour, while men
should express masculinity.
The gender binary does not
leave room for people with other gender identities, such as
genderqueer (a third option),
gender fluid (moving in and
out of genders), or two-spirit
(embracing both male and female spirits within one's body).
In addition, the gender binary
fails scientifically since there
are intersex people whose genetic and physiological sex cannot be classified as male or
Heteronormativity can be
considered the gender binary
squared. It assumes the same
rigid gender roles of the binary
as well as the notion that men
are expected to be intimate
with women only and be the
dominant partner, while women are supposed to only be involved with men and be the passive partner. There exist far too
many restrictions under heteronormativity to have freedom
in terms of sexuality or gender
Choosing an 'appropriate'
bathroom when there are only
two options is biggest issue for
me. I risk being perceived as a
male intruder in the women's
room or risk being bashed for
not being a man in the men's
room. Please don't gender police bathrooms. If an individual is just minding their own
business while using a rest-
room, no need to confront them
about their gender.
Pronoun usage is another issue. The commonly used pronouns for people in English
are female pronouns (she,
her,...) and male pronouns (he,
him,...). I don't feel comfortable with either of these choices as they both feel restrictive
and binding. There are gender
neutral pronouns (ze, zir, hir...),
however many people are not
comfortable using these options. Personally, I prefer people to use my name instead of
an ill-fitting pronoun.
Another issue arises when
filling out forms with two options for gender. In my opinion even a third (or forth) option would not be sufficient
since people would be effectively asked to out themselves.
However, why is it such a big
deal what one's gender is?
When does it actually matter?
My gender does not fit neatiy
into a box. Please don't ask
me to inappropriately box myself to perpetuate the oppression of the gender binary.
As a genderqueer individual, it becomes impossible to
satisfy the criteria for heteronormativity, as well as the requirements of gay or lesbian
identities. All of these classifications are based on a person identifying as a man or
woman. Furthermore, they require categorizing attraction
according to the gender binary. Pansexuality is a refreshing alternative to heteronormativity. Pansexuality recognizes the potential for attraction to a wide range of genders and sexualities.
Sadly, even in trans spaces
I have felt not trans enough to
belong. I feel the trans community gender polices spaces to fit society's expectations
of the gender binary. Perhaps
we should consider gender
as a continuum of colours,
like the fabulous rainbow the
Queer community embraces,
instead of the black and white
extremes we are socialized to
accept. I?
Pink triangles and yellow stars
The closet isn't just for queers
It can be easy to play straight.
You go to work, to school, to
the bar after a long day with
friends. You just don't mention some things when you're
there. You don't bring certain people to certain places.
You keep those things separate. You remain careful with
what you wear—nothing that
will draw the wrong attention. You compartmentalize
how you interact with people.
You stay aloof and always—in
some way, at least—alone. As a
straight male in a heteronormative and patriarchal society
I have not had to live with my
sexuality in the closet. As a Jew
in a Christian world however,
an invisible minority, I have
my own closet.
Here in Vancouver, I don't
feel it as much. I wear a kip-
pah (aka yarmulke, skullcap,
jew coaster) when I go out. It reminds me that I am under G-d,
both as a soul in G-d's world
and as a finite being in the face
ofthe ultimate. It keeps me conscious of my Judaism and my
Jewishness and all that these
entail. Wearing it makes a statement and serves as an intimate
reminder of who I am.
Over the winter break I was
living in Kalispell, Montana,
real small town America. A
land of video poker cowboy
bars and mega-churches. Go
to the religion section in any
bookstore and everything was
Armageddon, Islamophobia
and curing homosexuality. This
was, until recentiy, big neo-
nazi militia country. Google
Prussian Blue. The cute litde
blonde twins who sing Nazi
tunes to the fiddle live there.
A beautiful area with many
wonderful people. But the feeling of "otherness" was always
there for me. I was different. I
was not what a man was supposed to be: jingoistic and
Christian. I debated with myself whether I would wear a kip-
pah in this place. To not wear
it was to feel in some ways safer, but in another way con-
standy paranoid I'd still stand
out and either way I'd feel defeated that I'd let a community's ignorance tell me how I
was going to present myself. If
I wore it I'd be making a constant statement, not of who I
was simply, not of how I understood the world, but just a big
"fuck you" to anyone who might
have a problem with it. Either
way I'd be letting someone tell
me who I was, and I'd be saying
I didn't belong. I could stay in
the closet or I could throw the
door open against people's faces but either way the closet was
still there.
Pride asked me to write on
Jewish perspective on issues
of queer sexuality and identity.
This perspective could have taken a number of forms. I could
simply deconstruct all the supposed proof texts Jewish religious homophobes use to defend their bigotry. Or I could
point out the other proof texts
on our side, the homosexual
and homoerotic narratives that
have been celebrated in the tradition, the examples here and
there in the bible and Rabbinic
literature that play around with
I could talk about how the way
one reads either sets of text reflects what one comes to them
with; that those with hatred will
find hatred, that they don't find
this in the text but in their own
insecurity, ignorance and fear. I
could talk about rabbis who compare gay sex to eating a cheeseburger, fun but forbidden and
I could point out that none of
these rabbis would ever compare the beauty of sexual intimacy with their heterosexual spouse
or partner to a good kosher steak.
Others have done this better than
me—I'd recommend Wrestling
with G-d and Men by Orthodox
queer Rabbi Steven Greenberg or
anything put out by Orthodykes—
and besides, none of this would
mean that much to non-Jews or
Jews who don't consider the tradition binding.
But what I can say is what living a Jewish life in a Christian
world whose dominant culture
has variously treated my people as pre-Christian leftovers,
heathens or vermin throughout its history, has taught me.
I have learned that the closet is
not something you have to just
walk out of but away from. Until
that happens your identity will
always be formed to some extent in reaction to bigots. Until
you break down the closet your
identity will be constructed as
much by those who have put
you there as by yourself. & 2010.02.08/UBYSSEY.CA/PRIDE/15
in the
I like men. I love their low
voices and their strong bodies. I love that they can throw
me around like a limp doll if
they wanted to but choose to
touch my body with such gentleness and care. It is obvious
that I identify as a heterosexual; someone who enjoys the opposite sex, something the Bible
and my mother say is supposed to be right. But what I
don't share is that most times,
I wish I was with a girl.
It started sometime in middle school, when I was playing in the all-girls soccer team.
Most of the girls on the team
had long hair and wore makeup when not on the field. They
were beautiful, but I wasn't attracted to them. But when a
visiting team came to play, I
couldn't keep my eyes off the
visiting goalkeeper. She had a
boy cut, a slightiy crooked nose
and was aggressive. It was really hot. As it turned out, I liked
But growing up in
a very conservative
environment, I
didn't feel like I
could express that
side of myself.
But growing up in a very conservative environment, I didn't
feel like I could express that side
of myself. One of my best friends
growing up turned out to be gay,
and my mother would constantly
chide me for spending time with
him. Being quite conservative
herself, she would harp on issues
like AIDS or even just how homosexuality was downright disgusting. I would get into fights with
her, standing up for my friend,
saying that it didn't matter who
he dated. She was worried that
homosexuality was contagious,
and so I reassured her that I
wasn't, and that it was nothing to
worry about.
I got involved with the local queer community in support of my friend, keeping track
of what was going on, giving
a helping hand when needed.
However, as I spent more time
with the community, I realized
that I wasn't doing it purely for
him; I was doing it for myself as
well. Somewhere deep down inside I wanted to break free and
be who I really was.
Until now, I didn't know how
to face up to that side of me, so
I just locked it away, as cliche as
that may sound. At times, I feel
like a hypocrite; I encourage others to come out and support other homosexuals, yet can't bear
the thought of coming out myself. I like men now, but what if
it's all he? What if I am supposed
to be with a woman? How would
my family deal with it? What
would my younger sisters think
of me? What would society think
of me?
So I've decided: It's too big a
burden to come out. It's easy to
be there for someone else, but
a lot harder to do the same for
yourself. At the risk of not finding my true happiness, I will
not say a word. I will be heteronormative. W
My name is Elisabeth
Buchanan. I am 60, Metis,
Pisces, feminist, bi-sexual,
poet, writer, photographer, actor, nature lover, animal lover. I love children and babies.
I am from the Maritimes. I
grew up in a poor neighbourhood. My father was a socialist, and my mother was a humanitarian. I hitch-hiked out
here to Vancouver in the early
70s, a hippie. In my older age
I would like to travel and see
as much of the planet as possible. My dream is to own an
organic farm, and have many
children run free. I have had
this dream since I was a teen.
A dream of a dozen children of
all races.
I lived in the US for a decade and got to know a number
of people in the Entertainment
Industry. This mosdy wreaked
havoc on my life. Abuse stories
untold. It is an unreal and quite
insane world, and I'm still recovering from it. How insidious
violence against women can
be. Many moons ago, I was in
a group for battered women. At
that time, as now, it was emotional battering. No proof, no
bruises. Abusers are often far
too capable of convincing potential allies that the abused is
crazy or even the abuser.
The first time I was abused
this way, I caught it within
weeks. I was much younger and
employed the first time. I felt I
could make more choices, felt
more empowered. It was clear
to me that my self-esteem was
being diminished and that I was
questioning my own perceptions and sanity. At times I felt
I was losing my mind. I was exhausted and barely functioning.
In the battered women's
group I was in, I learned about
the "red flags" to be aware of.
In my present situation I saw
them immediately. Perhaps
the general public need be
more informed about the
many guises abuse and abusers have. Age and illness contribute to this sense of helplessness, as well. And when
you add the hate accompanying the homophobia to the
equation, it is quite frightening how much ignorance and
lack of tolerance still exists.
It is truly a tragedy how poverty keeps us somehow unable
to extricate ourselves from the
dilemma.    Ageism,    classism,
sexism and homophobia all prevail as poignant elements. They
are all areas of "hate" crimes.
All is minimized, denied or projected, in typical batterer script.
There are mind games, smears,
stalking and sabotage.
I have been told "everybody
hates you," "you are a psycho"
(by the psycho), and called "an
ugly old bitch," "a whore" and
much, much more. This astounds me, since most of my
life I have been known as a loving, honest and gentie person,
with great compassion and wisdom. People come to me for advise and healing. It is frightening how abuse and name-calling can camouflage these attributes. It has taken such a toll
on me that people believe them
not me.
Christmas Day I was clinically
depressed for the first time in my
life. I could not move out of bed,
and barely responded to the overtures of people at the door, telling me there was a party in my
honour for the good work I have
done in the Downtown Eastside
for a decade. I had nightmares
that I was so ugly I could not look
in the mirror. This is a statement
of what abuse can do to a good
I want me back.
I cry as I type this knowing
what has been done to me,
and yet, to this day the abusers say it is me, and are believed! How do they do it?
How do they cultivate so much
How many women are finally convinced the abusers
really do know them better
than they know themselves?
How many women kill themselves or harm themselves in
self-loathing? How many women question if they are really a
bad person?
I stood on the bridge to
jump, I was so defeated by
how they networked the lies
to friends and social life. I
worked hard for a long time
to have a sense of healthy
self love, and to heal my past
abuse. Now I can finally say
that I love myself.
I want to reclaim the power stolen from me by those who
have no idea who I am. Abusers
are not the only ones who have
power in numbers. I want to
know there is power in numbers
to counteract it. ALLIES PLEASE
STAND UP and be counted!
Together we can fight back and
say, "Nobody hit you." I?
A year and a half ago, when I
first started partner dancing
with any seriousness, I called
up my parents to tell them
about this new development in
my life. They were excited that
I was dancing again, because
it was something I had enjoyed
when I was a kid. But then they
asked a surprising question:
"Do you lead, or do you follow?" Maybe it shouldn't have
been surprising, since I've
been out to them for years. But
the thought simply had not occurred to me that I might lead
at a beginner level of dance.
Part of the reason I chose to
follow was that I'd done some
swing dancing in high school as
a follow, and I wanted to continue from where I'd left off rather than start from scratch. Part
of it was that as a new dancer
in the Vancouver scene, I realized that if I only lead, the
onus of asking people to dance
would be solely on me. Part of
it was embracing my femininity
(discussed in more detail in
Femme(ininity) on page 14).
But a large part of it, I had yet
to figure out.
It wasn't until much later, after taking weeks of classes, weekends of workshops,
and many, many nights of social dancing, that I discovered
the real joy of following. Lucy
Falkner, the rock upon which
Vancouver's swing dance scene
rests, explains it this way: "The
lead paints the picture, and the
follow colours it in." The lead
gives the follow a direction and
a momentum, but it's up to
the follow how that movement
looks. And in the narrowing of
possibility the follow is introduced to a fabulous new world
of movement that would be incredibly difficult to access if you
were also worrying about the
bigger picture.
Control comes naturally to
me. I'm most at home being in
charge, chairing meetings and
organizing projects. When I'm
not in control, I get nervous, angry and upset. If, at the time of
choosing my dancing role, I had
thought of the choice between
leading and following as a question of being in control or not,
of dominance or submission, I
may well have chosen to lead.
But I'm glad I didn't, because
following has introduced me to
the idea that I can be okay without being in control, perhaps
even happier than if I was. It
introduced me to the idea that
there is possibility and freedom
in submission. And not only
has dance become and incredibly important part of my life
and happiness, I've also begun
to accept that there are other
things in my life I can't control.
And that maybe that's okay.
Maybe it's even better.
Of course, there is an element
of trust that is vital to not being
in control. If I don't trust a lead
with my safety (not hurting my
arms, not running me into other
people, not dropping me during
a dip), I can't submit to not being
in control and I certainly can't enjoy following. And in the rest of
my life, I'm even more hesitant
to trust people: with plans, with
grades, with work I think is important and least of all with my
secrets and my love. So my journey isn't over. I still need to find
that delicate balance between
trust and safety, between being
in control enough to be comfortable, but submissive enough to
enjoy the freedom it brings.
These days, I lead as well
as follow. Most experienced
dancers in the community do.
And I enjoy doing it, though I
find it maddeningly difficult to
take back that control that I've
worked so hard to let go of. I
love doing simple moves and
watching the styling my follow
adds, knowing my attention is
what allows him or her to do
this. And I particularly love the
coy genderfuck of leading men,
and seeing the sassy femininity that arises from their hips.
Letting them know that it's fun
to submit. Giving them the gift
they gave me.
See page 13 for details on the
Outweek dance workshops. $
As various states in the US
deal with the issue of same-
sex marriage, time and time
again the idea of threat is
thrown around. Somehow
making marriage available to
two members of the same sex
will intrinsically threaten the
sanctity, institution or validity
of heterosexual marriage, traditional family structure, and
normative American values.
(By "normative" I mean characteristics or identities which
are constructed as desirable,
moral, and socio-culturally acceptable.) This was a huge argument in the "Vote Yes" campaigns of California's Prop 8
debate, and continues to characterize the discourse around
same-sex marriage both on an
individual and political level.
I would like to offer a different perspective. In my opinion,
the marginalization of same-
sex couples  offers legitimacy
and validation to heterosexual
As with other systems of privilege in our society (including
those of race, class, ability, ethnicity, gender expression, etc.)
those operating within systems
of privilege maintain their position through the marginalization of "the Other." Power is relational, and the boundaries of
what is socio-culturally normative are both created and maintained by the non-normative.
They define each other. For example, early twentieth century Canadian immigration policy was extravagantly, heinously racist. As John A. MacDonald
put it, Canada was to be a "white
man's country": a concept enacted both within the social
imagination and state policy.
For example, while thousands
of South Asian men migrated to
Canada with the increasing demand for labour (as Canada's
economy restructured itself
and British colonial settiement
began in full swing), they were
considered temporary labourers and largely denied access
to citizenship, voting rights and
ownership of certain property. Their families were actively denied entry into Canada.
Through the marginalization of
certain individuals, the projects
of nation-building—of who was
legitimately a Canadian citizen,
and why—were defined.
There is no question that
the queer community is marginalized within the North
American society. And while
some argue that things are
better than they used to be, or
that queer marginalization obviously operates in very different ways and to very different degrees than that of South
Asian immigrants in the early 1900s, comparing marginalization is not the point of
this discussion. The point is
that marginalization affirms
normativity. The marginalization of queer relationships
affirms the privilege and "lifestyle choices" of straight, cis-
gendered individuals as normal and wholesome...simply
because they aren't gay.
To claim "same-sex marriage
would threaten the integrity of
traditional marriage" is hugely ironic. It's not that gay marriage would threaten the legitimacy of straight marriages. If
you want "threats to the traditional values of America," turn
on the TV and watch two complete strangers marry each
other for money at the end of
the season. (Oh wait. They're
straight. Obviously not a problem!) It's that by extending social, political and economic
privileges to a diversely marginalized group of people, the
affirmation of your own normativity is weakened.
That's what's threatening
you, Traditional America. Not
having your own marriage upheld by the boundaries of what
it is not. 3* 16/UBYSSEY.CA/PRIDE/2010.02.08
How words dehumanize
When we describe a person,
we usually do this by enumerating their properties. For instance, if we were describing a
person named Alex, we might
say, "Alex is a redhead." There
are, however, multiple sentences which could convey this
information. We might have
said, "Alex is a red-haired person" instead. On the surface,
the sentences appear seman-
tically equivalent, but I believe
that there is an important difference between the two.
The first form, "Alex is a redhead," is what we can call the
noun-descriptor form. This
is because the syntactic difference between the two sentences (the part that comes after "Alex is") is a noun phrase
which does not include an adjective. The other form, "Alex is
a red-haired person," I call the
adjective-descriptor form, because it is a noun phrase which
includes an adjective.
The more strongly a speaker objectifies someone in their
mind, the more they will use
the noun-descriptor form. Use
of the noun-form when describing a group engenders objecti-
fication of that group. For the
purposes of this article, I define
objectification as the opposite
of humanization: it is the belief that a person does not have
properties which are commonly attributed to humans. An example of this would be the belief that a soldier does not feel
pain. Note that objectification is
not necessary for noun-descriptor preference. That is, while I
would expect one speaker who
objectifies a group of people
to prefer nouns, I would not
necessarily expect a speaker
who prefers nouns to objectify
I first noticed the correlation   between    objectification
and noun-descriptor usage
on stormfront.org, a white nationalism website. I noticed
that noun-descriptor form
was much more common on
this site than in everyday life.
Both when users were describing themselves and when they
were describing others, they
would prefer to say "whites,"
"blacks," and "Jews" as opposed
to "white people," "black people," and "Jewish people." In
fact, there was a brief controversy in 2004 when it was reported that a Google query of
the word "Jew" returned the
anti-semitic website jewwatch.
com as its top search result, indicating that Google's search algorithm considered anti-semitic content to be more relevant
to the word "Jew" than neutral
or positive content.
If we have the
ability to affect
the prevalence
of objectification
language, we
have a moral
responsibility to
do so.
I believe that strong evidence
in support of my hypothesis can
also be seen in the change in usage of the word "gay" over time;
as acceptance of queer sexuality has increased, it has become
more common for people to
use the term in an adjective-descriptor form rather than noun-
descriptor form (e.g. "Gays protested..." versus "gay men and
women protested...'). There are
many instances where unpopular groups ("criminals," "atheists," "morons") are given the
noun-descriptor format. While
I admit that these examples do
not demonstrate a causal link, I
maintain that there is a meaningful correlation.
For argument's sake, let's assume that my conjecture is correct: that the more an individual objectifies a group, the more
likely they are to use the noun-
descriptor form. If this is the
case, I believe that use of the
noun-form encourages objectification of the group being described, regardless of whether or not the speaker actually objectifies them. For example, suppose a parent tells their
child, "Sarah is a lesbian." In
this case, the child might infer that, because the noun-form
was used, the parent holds the
belief that lesbian women are
to be objectified. Although this
may seem insignificant, the
effect is not trivial considering how often people use the
noun-form without thinking
of its tendency to encourage
If we have the ability to affect the prevalence of objectification through language, we
have a moral responsibility to
do so. Because there is never a
reason to objectify a human being, we should strive to use the
adjective-form in all cases. In
some cases, the noun-descriptor form is used so commonly that an adjective-form may
sound wrong, or may even have
atrophied into non-existence.
For instance, does it engender objectification to use the
terms "man" and "woman" in
the noun form? And what about
job tides? It would be difficult
to convert the sentence "Jake is
a mechanic" to adjective-form.
Creativity and diligence may be
needed at first, but the reward
is the humanization of us all. 3?
Hi, my name is G, and right
now I identify as polyamorous
and bisexual. I've discovered
this over the past few years,
and it's taken me a long time
to understand it and be out
about it. I've done lots of reading and thinking about relationships lately, and I would
like to share some of my findings in the hope that it'll
help others navigate the less
First, what is polyamory?
Literally "many loves," it refers
to maintaining several relationships at once and being honest
with everyone involved. The amorous part allows for more than
recreational one-night stands—
'swinging' describes that better.
It's really an umbrella term—a
polyamorous person could be single and not seeking commitment,
in a sexually but not emotionally monogamous partnership, or
part of a group of people who are
all involved with each other, just to
name a few examples.
I'm most familiar with the primary/secondary relationship
structure. I would, for instance,
choose to be in a couple with someone that I share life goals with, and
seek out secondary relationships
to meet other needs. Primary partners often commit to a set of rules
and boundaries on secondary relationships; examples include "no
intercourse," "no emotional attachment," "no S/Mplay" or "anything
goes as long as safe sex is always
I came to realize that I wanted openness in my relationships by being aware of my attraction to women, while being
in rewarding relationships with
men. Being bi-curious was fine,
desiring of several partners less
so—practically every one of my
boyfriends has been supportive of me seeking out intimacy
with women, but jealous of other men in my life. I find ground
rules that allow me to express
myself in some way and with
only one gender hard for him
to accept: I've worked hard to
be 'gender-blind,' and I want to
get to know people first and allow relationships to form without pre-imposing boundaries.
Are polyamorous relationships less stable? I've met people in open relationships that
work wonderfully, for example
a married couple who are very
grateful that they can explore
and fall in love with secondaries. The guy said that although
they do get jealous, the jealousy is 'spicy' feeling that adds flavour to their life together.
Jealousy, insecurity and
fear of change are all obstacles in an open relationship,
though they tend to turn up
in monogamous relationships
as well. To counter them, one
needs to be aware of one's
expectations and goals and
open about them with partners, and of course practice
good communication and conflict resolution skills. You
can build these skills by seeing a couple's therapist, or,
for much cheaper, by reading The Ethical Slut, the unofficial 'bible' of polyamourists. A
book that I would recommend
over The Ethical Slut is Tristan
Taormino's Opening Up—it
has a wider range of relationship types and real-world experiences and less of a prescription for free love. And no,
I don't recommend that everyone convert to slutdom. I see
polyamoury, monogamy and
asexuality all as equally valid.
I want the choice to form connections that make me happy,
keeping in mind that that can
fluctuate. I'm glad that I'm admitting who I am, though it's
not without perils: when I came
out to a friend from high school
I felt an immediate rift, I've
had potential partners consider me not worth their time, and
I won't come out to my family
until I want to introduce them
to someone. But I know I'm on
my way. $
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mxvM-BEZ-     FEBRUARY 19     "SIIIBI
In Theatres February 19th
Come to our weekly general
meeting this Tuesday at noon.
It's open to ALL students.
We re in SUB 24. See vou there.
Public Open House
DP 10002: New Secondary School
You are invited to attend an Open House to view and comment on a proposal for the
new Grade 9-12 Secondary School on West 16th Avenue. The Vancouver School Board
plans to renovate the existing former National Research Council (NRC) Building and
build a 5,250 sq.m (56,510 sq.ft) addition on the east side ofthe building. Staff from
the Vancouver School Board and Campus + Community Planning will be available to
provide information and respond to inquiries about these projects. The public is also
invited to attend the Development Permit Board Meeting shown below.
Public Open House
Date Thurs. March 4, 2010
Time 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Location Atrium
MBA House
3385 Wesbrook Mai
Wesbrook Mall
,1*3^,      FacullylStarf  Spin
$ 4- Wesbrook
| f     Village
Cc-t.^ilp !y
East Mall
YS>i, Meeting
i Location ,_
v   s
Development Permit Board
Date Wed. March 10, 2010
Time 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Location Cedar Room
Ponderosa Centre
2017 West Mall
For directions: www.maps.ubc.ca
More information on this project
is available on the C+CP website:
Please direct questions to Karen Russell, Manager Development Services, C+CP
email: karen.russell@ubc.ca. 2010.02.08/UBYSSEY.CA/PRIDE/17
Me and my moustache
I am a self-proclaimed low-
femme. This means that I am
curvy and play up my feminine side, but I don't have long
hair or wear make-up. I occasionally wear a skirt or dress,
but most often I don't and I
rarely wear heels.
I've always found it difficult
to dress in drag—as in a drag
king. I was so determined one
St Patrick's Day, a few years
ago, that I bound my chest. But
I just couldn't find the right
outfit to accentuate my masculine side—so on I went out as a
However, my most recent
encounter with my masculine side was via a peel-n-stick
moustache and I loved it! It
was November 20, 2009 and
we were observing Trans Day
of Remembrance (TDR). I was
helping to organize speakers
and once that portion of the
night was over I was cleaning
up our room. One of the people helping me found a moustache and asked if I wanted to
wear it. Without thinking about
it too much, I said sure. They
placed it on my upper lip and
I was transformed, especially
because it was an almost exact
match to my own hair colour.
As we finished clearing out the
room, I caught a glimpse of
my reflection in the darkened
windows—I saw a young, baby-
faced version of my father staring back at me.
This realization was profound
to say the least. I have never lived
with my father. My parents divorced when I was one- or two-
years-old. I had very litde contact with him and only really ever
heard bad things about how my father had acted. As a result, I had
no way of knowing how much I resembled him, in mannerisms or
personality, because I had never
really gotten to know him.
Although I had a sneaking
suspicion that I looked like him,
I never really understood how
much. That is, until I saw myself with my moustache, which
was the same sort of shape as
his was in all three of the pictures I have from my very early life. The effect? I was flooded with a sense of connection.
This connection is one that will
never materialize in real life
for many of different reasons,
but all the same, it was pretty
Not only did I realize that
I am all or at least mosdy the
good parts of my father—I have
his patience and soft-handed
approach, especially compared
to my mom's at times abrasive,
quick temper and speedy constitution. My blue eyes, squinty
smile and Irish hair line are all
from him. I also have his penchant for chocolate chip cookies and beer on a hot Sunday afternoon. It's too bad that my father will never really know me.
He helped, reluctandy and by
court order, in supplying some
financial backing as I completed my undergraduate degree.
But since then, there has been
no contact that I know of. So I
doubt that he knows I will graduate with a doctorate in close to
two years or that I have been involved with the same woman
for nearly eight years. In some
ways, I don't think he would accept or appreciate my choices,
lifestyle or what I consider my
successes. It is for these reasons that I'm not so keen to be
in touch or contact him—there
is just entirely too much water
that needs to pass under the
proverbial bridge, plus I'm not
confident that he would be will
ing anyways.
So with my moustache freshly trimmed and firmly in place,
I enjoyed the rest of the evening dancing and talking with
folks who had come to hear the
speakers for TRD and participate in the festivities. I enjoyed
it so much that I continued to
wear my moustache late into
the night. On the way to pick-up
my girlfriend, I rode through
a drinking and driving roadside check with my moustache
proudly displayed on my upper
lip. Nor was I goaded in to removing it, upon arriving to find
most of my girlfriend's Softball
team inside our friend's house
watching a movie.
My girlfriend took to calling
me by my father's name, because the resemblance was so
clear to her from seeing my
childhood photos. On our way
home and for the next few days,
I fanaticized about wearing my
moustache here and there, maybe to teach a class or on the way
to yoga. It was such an empowering feeling that I wanted find
reasons to wear my moustache,
to challenge gendered stereotypes and the gender binary or
feminine beauty standards.
In honour of my father and
all the good parts I have from
him, I needed an important
place to put my moustache, to
keep it safe. That night, before
bed, I wandered in to our home
office and found the picture of
me, the year I was in The Vagina
Monologues, where I read the
small vignette "My Short Skirt."
In that picture I am in many
ways my most feminine. The
picture frame, made out of solid wood, was the most perfect
spot to display my moustache—
at the bottom where the wood
frame is thickest. Looking at
it now it is the perfect balance
of feminine and masculine—a
complete whole, my moustache
and I had a magical night. It
gave me a greater understanding of gender, masculinity and
femininity and how much both
play a role in who I think I am.
I'm not sure that this was the intention of our TDR events, but I
hope that as I grow and learn I
can be an even better more sensitive and respectful trans ally
than I was before. This gender
thing is a lot more complicated
than I ever realized. 2r
Gay or European?
It is a common misconception
that all Europeans are prone to
acting in a manner that would
be considered "gay." In fact, this
is a by-product of the culture,
and not really true. This misconception is understandable,
because it is culturally acceptable for men to look after their
appearance and act in a manner
not seen as masculine in North
America. This just makes life
more difficult for Europeans
like me, who leave the old world
and are also homosexuals.
Europe as a whole is perceived
as a suave, stylish place where it
is acceptable for straight men to
act flamboyant. This idea has
pervaded society from bygone
times, as well as being reinforced
by recent movie portrayals. I am
quite guilty of abusing the notion
of the flamboyant European to
keep myself in the closet, where
I've comfortably sat for a while.
In practice, people don't usually
think about which part of Europe
you are from when applying this
idea. You could be from Madrid,
Paris or even Warsaw, and as
long as you don't come out of
some relatively unknown nation,
this idea will be applied to you in
some shape or form.
This assumption applies not
only to appearance but also to actions. Once, when I was singing
songs by Aznavour ("the Frank
Sinatra of France") at 2 am, I was
surprised that people's reactions
were mosdy just shrugs, with
someone actually saying "It's
one of those European things,
eh?" I'm not offended by this reaction, since in certain circumstances, such as staying closeted in the Greek Fraternity community, assumptions that my
flamboyance is just 'European'
can be beneficial. Yet, while
sometimes I appreciate hiding
behind these assumptions, the
stereotype is troublesome, as it
is a somewhat patronizing view
of my culture.
Although I sometimes appreciate the misconceptions surrounding Europeans and homosexuality, I believe these stereotypes lead to a more negative attitude to being open
about oneself. Speaking as a
resident of a former Soviet Bloc
country, I see a generalization
in North Americans' views of
Europeans, as some of my own
behaviours would seem odd
and out of place in my home
All in all, the idea of the flamboyant European, although it
may at times seem to encourage tolerance of different behaviours, is in the end a stereotype,
and like all stereotypes, does
more harm than good to openness in identity. &
Days died
One after another
On her small window
There she stood,
Gazing at vacuum
Observing the murder of her
By sleeplessness, anxiety, and
unaffordable waiting.
Her heart is the great prisoner
of the past
That could not be freed
Since its keys are with a long-
awaited Godot,
That decided to disappear
For reasons unknown.
Although       sadness       overwhelmed those
Small beautiful pair of eyes.
There was still in them;
A flicker of hope
That aspired to hold
What's beyond the distances.
To ask the road to shrink
To bring back.
The images of what has gone
Among that huge confusion
An inner sound shouted:
"Nothing to be done,
surrender my soul.
I'm sure he will not come."
And in despair,
She turned her head
To find behind
What her tired mind cannot
He was in flesh and blood
Standing there.
Very close to her.
"Yes my darling,
sorry, to make you wait
I'm sure that I'm so late.
But forgive me,
This is the way of the world.
I come to say
I've to go back again
But, wait for me
For sure I'll return
I will return on one leap day,
When it will rain."
The labrys, or
battle axe, was a
symbol used by
Scythian Amazon
women warriors
(sometimes said
to be ruled by
two queens at a
time. The labrys
is often used to
represent lesbian
and feminist
strength and
iconic images
the neon sign flickering blue,
red, blue,
black air, a dense nicotine
that stretches its body on the
the unswept floor
your hand
down the front of my jeans
wrist, breakable, against belly
your face in profile,
blue, red, blue,
the mussed feathers of your
casting a shadow on the wall
not your ordinary, daylit
but something else
on the dance floor
women without names rub
hips and cunts
and love each other's slim
just for now
nothing sleeps,
yet these are dreams
the corner booth writhing like
many-backed beasts
why does the sun come?
we none of us want it,
no one
The expression, behaviour
or identification of a person considered masculine
or feminine.  Not always
synonymous with sex (denoted by a person's physical genitalia).  In Canada
it is widely accepted that
there are two genders—
male and female—but in
other cultures, gender can
include more than just
two genders.
Sex is the male or female
(or intersex) classification that one is assigned
at birth based on genitalia.
More often than not gender will align with the sex
of a person, though not
A term used to describe
people with non-normative gender identities.
Omnigendered, polygen-
dered, gendervariant and
others could fit under this
People whose biological
sex and gender align, as
opposed to transgender.
The act of being perceived
as someone's gender over
their sex. 18/UBYSSEY.CA/PRIDE/2010.02.08
The joys and pitfalls
"For while who you are as an
individual is in an important
sense defined and made possible by the groups to which
you belong... [Preserving
your individuality demands
that your identity not be completely submerged into or engulfed by group membership. Otherwise, you have
no self that you can call your
own." (Edles and Appelrouth,
Sociological Theory in the
Classical Era)
Upon reading my SOCI 3 50A
textbook's summary of what
German sociologist Simmel
calls the duality of our individuality and society, I became
motivated to write about my
own experience as an individual and as a member of the
gay community. The quote adequately describes my perspective on a recent debate regarding my particular behaviour as
a gay man.
After attending a Lady Gaga
concert, I was told online by
an acquaintance that on that
night, he was present in the audience and he found my public displays of flamboyancy, in
the form of dancing near the
front row, not only an entertainment flop but a serious offence to the gay community.
He asked me to think of certain
gay people who are disadvantaged in society because they
are negatively stereotyped as
promiscuous, overbearing, attention-seeking and flamboyant
to the degree of histrionics, and
to think of the gay men who are
trying to develop a positive image of themselves, breaking the
stereotype they are given. He
then reprimanded me for having danced dramatically, after
the last opening act, to Michael
Jackson songs in front of a theatre packed full of people of
all ages and beliefs in gender
and sexuality. He accused me
of promoting what he believes
is today's "gay" stereotype to
which he and other gay men do
not aspire. I believe he felt his
voice is lost in all of the theatrics the media has associated
with gay people and some gay
people have, in fact, produced.
My guess is he wants the world
to understand that gay people
are just people and have the
potential to be "normal," or
normatively modest, too.
I understand that when I hear
a theatre of cheers and see ten
camera flashes every ten seconds, I am bound to have as
many haters as you have fans.
But I realized that this is not only
a personal critique of my performance but, rather, a shaming
scold asking me to become more
responsible as a member of the
gay community, for I am representing a socio-political minority. Frustrated and deeply concerned that I have in fact done
something irresponsible, I gave
this issue much thought.
I was able to justify my actions, especially after acknowledging that he has wrongly sexualized my theatrical dancing.
I figure not only do I owe him
an explanation of why I did
things he didn't like, but that
some people ought to be reminded of the individual freedom to artistic expression. A
Lady Gaga concert, in my opinion, is an ideal place for people
to not dress normatively and
not to worry about being too
unconventional and distracting to society. I know in what
times of my life the Fabulous
Show starts and when it must
end. At the concert of an artist
who preaches self-love and the
discovery of the innate fame
we have self-control over, my
detractor and I can agree to
disagree about my entertainment value, but to flag my theatrical dancing as detrimental
to diversity in the gay community accounts to no more than
expressing personal disinterest in my performance.
I understand how one would
see flamboyancy as overshadowing acts of what he believes
is humanizing normality, but
I do not agree that one member's flamboyancy is necessarily disrespectful and can
ever eclipse the group's individual capacity for humility and success. Unless my
detractor did believe that all
gay men should act a certain
way (and that the way is to
be forever modest and mediocre), I don't see how I am
guilty of marginalizing non-
stereotypical gay men. People
have the responsibility to distinguish themselves as individuals by garnering the attention that they deem as positive; placing shame upon
those whose self-expression
he fears of being recognized
as a gay-man staple is ignorant and futile. It is much like
bleaching one's skin to become more of what one believes is acceptable. Instead
of managing individuals on a
micro-level, we should focus
our attention on those who
fail to recognize diversity in
a group of people with a common sexuality, belief or political goal.
So, fellow homos and just
people in general, keep an
ear out for everyone's opinion. When people accuse you
of being oppressive by overexposing yourself to stereotypical activity, be critical.
If you have no intention on
representing or mocking any
groups, you ought to turn
the table on these complain-
ers for oppressing your own
self-expression. In some situations, it's better to be "neo"
than "anti." I mean, I wouldn't
be accusing people of "lying
to people" that Gays Just Want
to Have Fun when I, myself,
can proclaim Gays Don't Just
Want To Have Fun! 3?
When Marta dyed her hair,
Liah refused to sleep with her
for the two weeks it took for
the brown to return to milky
grey. The postman who told
Liah that he'd thought she
must be Liam's sister, "Not
his mother; I can't believe it!"
was glared down the path.
Marta's sister's suggestion
of a cosmetics party was politely declined in favor of a
picnic and a short walk, because neither of them had
the knees for a long hike anymore. They watched a line of
mallard ducklings following
their mothers in fuzzily bumbling procession.
Precious—sweet cocker
spaniel that she was—snuggled across two sets of feet that
night, too stiff to climb onto the
couch, and too heavy for their
laps anyway. Marta accepted help in the shower-chair
and Liah told her how dear
she was, moving the washcloth gently over folds of wrinkles and her mastectomy scar.
Stiff hands traced veins along
the paper-thin flesh of her underarms. Liah's cheeks turned
blotchily pink when Marta
traced her chubby sides in
"Love you," Marta signed.
"Just as you are and always
as you will become," Liah replied, fingers tracing rapidly. Pinching gently, she added, "So don't try turning yourself young. No children in my
"Yes." Marta leaned up
into a kiss. 3*
amS Insider weekly
student society
a weekly look at what's new at your student society
JZk    -oo"'0661"
As a UBC student, how are the
Olympics going to affect you?
Knowledge is power: if you know what your legal
rights are and how they work, you can better
understand and protect them, and protect and
respect the rights of others.
Pick up your "Know Your Rights" information card at
the AMS Speakeasy desk, available now through
March 2010.
Brought to you by the Alma Mater Society,
your student union at UBC.
For more information: www.ams.ubc.ca
(Annual \
General 1
Meeting #
February 12th, 3:00 p.m.
SUB Room 207
Free food and refreshments provided.
RSVP to execprojects@ams.ubc.ca
Have a dispute with the university?
We can help.The AMS Ombuds Office provides
assistance in dispute resolution to students and
AMS staff. We operate independently, neutrally,
and confidentially. Call, email or click today.
11 604.822.4846
QrnOUQ.C     assistc»ams.u bc.ca
!/-»£» yJr http://www2.ams.ubc.ca/index.php
lA-AWS^ /student_government/category/
w     ams ombuds office
%m tm _\m _\m lOO free tickets/week
PlbL for any UBC Athletic    .
-^m_mKm_T^-^j* Event at the Outpost m
TICKETS First come,first serve.
AMS Safety Office is looking for volunteers to be part of
"Safe-Team."Successful applicant will be provided with First Aid
training. For further info or to apply, email safety@ams.ubc.ca
UBC Alma Mater Society
y Twitter:
AMSExecutive 2010.02.08/UBYSSEY.CA/IDEAS/19
Ylll          SEXUAL ASSAULT IS A MEN'S ISSUE TOO [FEB. 4, 2010]":
__                            Great article. I went to the           to step up to the plate
B^™ J* 1   i^»     Jackson Katz talk. And that         and take action by institu-
^£aI 11     guy is one smart dude. He's        tionalizing Sexual Assault
^^*   *' "^      right, sexual assault is a               Workshops—instead of just
l^p     huge problem on campus—       paying lip service. GJ Allies
especially with alcohol culture. We need UBC leaders                               —Ronald Lee
EDITOR TREVOR RECORD»ideas@ubyssey.ca
We've sat through the years of Olympics-related construction.
The only information session we were given about the Olympics
happened months before anyone on campus started to care. And
since then, communications from the university informing us
about the Games have been essentially non-existent.
But hey, the Olympics are finally here, that means we'll finally get
our payoff, right? All our inconvenience will be rewarded with a giant celebration? Isn't that how it works? Well, only if you went out
and paid for your own tickets, because it seems like UBC would rather you didn't attend.
The university purchased 442 Olympic tickets at $40,690. There's
nothing wrong with an organization purchasing a mass amount of
tickets, as long as the various stakeholders in it see the benefits.
But UBC has allocated only 82 tickets to be given away to students.
Alumni have gotten 118. Former students have received more tickets than current students.
BCIT and SFU also purchased Olympic tickets, which they raffled away to their students, staff and faculty. Unlike at UBC, none of
these were given to administration, former students or stakeholders. Students are feeling the impacts of the Games more than any
other university students in the Lower Mainland—we've already
seen road closures and fields paved over—yet we're the least likely
to get into the Games?
Imagine if your landlord decided to throw a party in a house you
were leasing and not only took forever to tell you the details of when
it was happening or what to bring, but made it clear thatyou weren't
invited. Worse, imagine you were handed a mop to clean up after
the party, then found out all of the house's former tenants and your
friends were invited.
Most of those few tickets that were given out to students were not
made common knowledge. The VP Students office just sent out a
mass e-mail survey to all students with the chance to win Olympic
and Paralympic tickets, but it seems a little late at this point, doesn't
it? The only other tickets that were given out to students were the
ones given to Associate Director, Student Development Chad Hyson
and Student Olympic Collaborative (SOC), a student group at UBC
which promotes the Olympics, who distributed them as they saw fit.
The SOC was partly responsible for setting up raffles and draws to
disseminate the tickets. They held a raffle at the Student Leadership
Conference, a photo contest and a contest through a UBC Housing
survey, to name a few. They also plan to give away some tickets
during the Torch Relay. But the only way you would know about
any of those is if you were following the SOC or going to the events
they were working on. Unsurprisingly, barely any students we asked
knew that dozens of tickets were being given away to students. Not
that this is atypical for the SOC—try rinding out any details about
their Olympic Torch Relay. It's less than a week away and they still
haven't announced the main entertainment or even nailed down
the event's time. There will be a "flash mob" that is about as spontaneous as tax season, though.
At this point, it's too late for UBC to do very much more for us
when it comes to the Games. Students have already planned out
their reading break; they're going to the celebrations, leaving town,
or watching the events. The time for the campus to do much celebrating around a once in a lifetime event has come and gone, and
that's sad. This is a campus whose biggest failing is a continual lack
of student engagement, and if you want an example of how, this
Olympics tickets fiasco is front and centre.
We're not saying that UBC intended to leave students out of the
loop when they were planning for the Games. More than anything,
it seems like they forgot we even exist, vl
Former Information and Privacy
Commissioner David Loukidelis
resigned on January 19 after
over a decade in the position.
For whatever reason, a replacement wasn't named. Without a
Commissioner in place, work
in the department had stopped.
Ground to a halt. In the words of
the Times Colonist, it left "British
Columbians with no independent office to hold the government accountable after the previous commissioner resigned to
take up a new post."
The matter was rectified a
week later, but only after a combination of embarrassment and
pressure forced the government
to name an interim head. They
still won't say why the delay
happened, and frankly, it's embarrassing that a government
that portends to be open and accountable is so flippant when it
comes to making sure watchdog
agencies can run efficiently.
So, what does the ineffectiveness of an independent body
which monitors and enforces
the grey area between public and
private organizations have to do
with you? In the summertime, it
was decided UBC must release
records for three of its profit-raising entities if requested to under
the Freedom of Information and
Protection of Privacy Act. Nine
months later, the university ain't
budging. In fact, they've appealed
to the BC Supreme Court to overturn the ruling, arguing that despite the university owning 100
per cent of Properties Trust, it
shouldn't be considered a public body.
Those who believe in the public accountability and openness
of information can only hope that
the court rules against UBC. Even
then, there's no guarantee that
the government won't refuse to
recognize the ruling—remember
the parking ticket fiasco?
The bottom line is that freedom of information, openness
and checks and balances are
fundamental to a free and functioning society. In this province
and with this university, though
such ideals seem disposable. vU
Unrepentant Readership,
Too Sexy here with a two-
pronged column intended not
only to titillate, but also to expand your horizons. So lay
back, open your mind and prepare for deep, penetrating insight as we answer both of this
issue's reader-submitted questions. Read on, sexplorers, and
never look back.
So I recently met this guy and
I like him and he likes me. Ha!
Take that, lonely high school
years! I was really excited to
take things beyond the friend
level (and still am, I guess) but
unfortunately after our first
kiss...well, my interest has been
on the wane.
Is French kissing always supposed to be like that? It felt a little invasive. How do I know if
I'm just being weird? How do
I know if he's weird? I haven't
done much boy kissing (or any
kissing really) before. Aren't
kisses supposed to feel nice?
How do you get them that way?
Help me Too Sexy, kissing is
—Kid's Ignorance Stifles
Hello KISS,
Ah, how we long for the halcyon days of youth back when
each set of lips was an unexplored horizon, each well-
stuffed pair of jeans a new adventure. Your letter was a much
needed breath of fresh air to a
pair of jaded perverts who've
begun to take the simple mysteries of life for granted. Kudos,
you've moved us.
Let us begin by saying that
French kissing shouldn't feel invasive unless you and yours are
in the mood for some invading.
In the event that your Maginot
line does need some crossing,
we prefer the term "blitzkrieg"
make outs in order to differentiate between the two. French
kissing, on the other hand,
doesn't really call for the alien
tongue to lick the back of your
throat so much as caress, dance
across and otherwise play with
your teeth, tongue, gums and
lips. Nibbles and sucking are
also exciting options available
to the kissing masses.
How do you know if you're
being weird? How do you know
if he is? Well, we suppose you
could stand before a jury of
your peers, cross-examine each
other, and then let the normal
people pass sentence on you.
But normal is lame anyways,
you could always say "fuck it"
and just concentrate on finding
what works for you and the oral
acrobat of your choice.
And thus, KISS, we come to
the final query of your letter.
Yes, kisses should be nice. You
get them that way through practice and communication. If you
don't like what your partner
is doing, try saying something
like, "I like it when you (insert
way you want to be kissing)." If
the problem persists, go for the
more direct, "Stop trying to get
your tongue past my glottis."
Remember that your partner
wants you to enjoy the kiss as
much as they do. If they don't,
you probably shouldn't be kissing them anyway. Provide them
the information they need to
make it perfect and we're certain they'll do their best to accommodate them. Remember
that variety is the spice of life
and that less can definitely be
more when it comes to having
someone else's tongue in you.
Is it irrational for an atheist
to value their virginity? Why or
why not?
Thanks in advance,
—Value Appraisal Needed
Hey VAN,
Short answer: No, it's not
Long answer: Virginity is a
fairly nebulous concept. For example, have you lost your virginity if you've had oral sex? A hand
job? What if you've masturbated? What if there was phallic
penetration, but no orgasms on
either side? Is the definition different for an LGBT person?
Let us begin by
saying that French
kissing shouldn't
feel invasive unless
you and yours are
in the mood for
some invading.
Essentially, the "loss" of virginity is the act which, for you,
concludes your life as someone
who doesn't previously have a
"sex life." Even without a scornful god watching over you, it's
still perfectly rational to value that pre-sexual life. There's
no shortage of people out there
who, given the choice, probably
would have liked to have lost
their virginities to someone
more considerate, more permanent, or better endowed. That
lack of experience signifies that
you still have the choice as to
how you want to begin the sexual chapter of your life. That being said, there's also no shortage of people who had a great
first experience and never
looked back except to play pornography in their mind's eye
during masturbation. So value
your virginity for what it is—
an opportunity to make a good
Just don't value it so highly
that you never get to make that
start at all. tJ
That's all for this week. Letters
can be submitted to toosexy®
ubyssey.ca, our anonymous web-
form at ubyssey.ca/ideas, or the
Facebook honesty boxes of either
Kasha Chang or Austin Holm.
With so many eager receptacles
waiting for your questions, it'd be
cruel for you to hold out on us. 20/UBYSSEY.CA/IDEAS/2010.02.08
Dr Student rA-iU
The perils of self-reporting the flu
In the fall 2009 semester, UBC
told students that it was their
responsibility to help minimize the spread of the H1N1
pandemic sweeping the globe.
Since the start of 2010, it
seems as though the H1N1
concern on campus has died
down. Two remnants of UBC's
response to the H1N1 epidemic remain: Purell hand sanitiz-
er dispensers at every doorway, and the online "declare
absence" system. Although the
benefits and drawbacks of hand
sanitizers are generally agreed
upon, the effectiveness of the
influenza-like illness (ILI) online self-reporting system is
still unclear.
Starling last term, students
were given the option of declaring absence from classes and
exams due to influenza-like illness online through the Student
Service Centre (SSC). According
to the SSC, this was done "in
an effort to encourage students
to stay home and avoid public
places when exhibiting [influenza-like] symptoms." Students
could simply click a "declare absence" button when they fell ill
and expect to have their assignments and exams deferred.
It is unclear how effective
the system was in preventing
the spread of H1N1 throughout UBC. It is certain, however,
that students have taken advantage of the self-report system to
get more time to study during
last term's midterm and final
"A midterm every day?
You've got to be kidding me,"
said one student, who wished
to remain unnamed, in a discussion with The Ubyssey. "If
there's a way right in front of
me allowing me to get out of
three exams in less than three
days, why shouldn't I?"
Another student talked about
her frightful, yet successful, experience getting past the SSC
self-report system. Her professor asked to see a doctor's note
after she missed a midterm by
reporting an ILI online, or her
grade would be a zero.
"There was no illness," she
admitted, "so getting a doctor's
note was problematic."
Eventually, she managed to
convince the professor that according to UBC policy, a doctor's note was not a requirement when it came to flu-like
symptoms. "But it was too
much of a close call. I'm not
risking that again."
There is no doubt that 2009
was a unique year for the flu at
UBC. According to Dr Patricia
Mirwaldt, Director of Student
Health Services (SHS) at UBC,
"In the fah of 2009, the SHS saw
twice as many students for influenza-like illness as in [the fall
of] 2008." 922 students were
diagnosed with ILI by the SHS
from August 1 to December 31,
Dr Mirwaldt was quick to
note that once the ILI online reporting form was introduced,
SHS saw the number of in-clin-
ic cases drop by 25 per cent.
Evidently, the ILI reporting system was at least partially successful in its goal of encouraging students to "self-isolate."
However, since the advent
of the self-report system, stories have been circulating
around campus about widespread student abuse of the
system. According to Marc
Johnston, Associate Director of
Records, Registration & Student
Information Services, 4348 students declared absence due to
ILI during the fall term. But of
those 4348 declared absences,
1008 of them were in effect during the December exam period.
Almost a quarter of the cases of
ILI declared online happened
in the span of 14 days.
In terms of the number of
physician-reported cases of
ILI, the BC Centre for Disease
Control (BCCDC) reported very
little change during the month
of December. In fact, from
December 13 to 19, there was a
6.1 per cent decrease in the number of patients diagnosed with ILI
compared to week of October 25
to 31. According to the BCCDC,
influenza levels for the month of
December were low. But according to the students of UBC, levels
of ILI were high, vl
UBC has seen its fair share of flu epidemics,
and has handled each one differently.
On October 14, 1918, The Province reported on a Spanish Influenza epidemic so severe
that a portion of the UBC campus, then located in greater Vancouver, was taken over by
the Vancouver General Hospital due to overcrowding at other hospitals. Reports from the
time indicate that 400 UBC students agreed
to pass a motion to close the university "until such time as the medical authorities [had]
the epidemic under control." On October 20,
1918, the university closed for five weeks,
which delayed winter exams until February
1919. The Spanish influenza epidemic resulted in the death of three UBC students.
The "swine influenza" of 1976 was predicted to peak on campus in the fall of 1976 and
affect those from the 20 to 40 age group the
most. Although the need for inoculation at
the time was emphasized, only an estimated
50 per cent of that vulnerable group sought
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Totem vs Vanier
Does one actually party harder than the other?
"It's tough to be, you know, 18,
and you can't go into a bar, and
your only option is to party
in res, and to have that be actively discouraged to a greater degree in Vanier than in
Totem, seems like a little bit of
bullshit to me."
So said Place Vanier Residence
Advisor Alex Van Drunen. Place
Vanier and Totem Park are the
only university residences on
campus that house students under 19, and there persists a myth
that Totem Park is a louder, rowdier residence than Place Vanier.
UBC Housing administration
claims that they are trying to dispel this reputation, but Drunen
said he received advice both from
a member of UBC Housing administration and returning RAs
during his summer training session that contradict this.
"We were specifically told in
training...that if a party gets out
of hand, we were to send it to
Totem—tell people to go to Totem."
Most students accept the fact
that Totem possesses the reputation as the boisterous residence, but are divided on the
issue of whether or not this
reputation is valid.
Totem resident and first-
year Arts student Cecilia Brar
said, "I was told that Totem had
more of a party scene, [but] I really haven't noticed it to be that
much more than Vanier's."
Vanier resident and first-year
Arts student Olya Kushniryk disagrees. "Totem is too crazy...I
go there more to party than
The residence contracts are
the same for both Totem and
Vanier. Students are given
points for breaking rules, and
may be evicted based on the
number of points they have accrued, depending on the severity of their infractions. Eviction
rates over the past five years
have been relatively similar in
both residences.
Kate Ferguson,
the Assistant
Director of
Residence Life at UBC, said
that the most common instances of rule-breaking are due to
high noise levels, or poor decisions as a result of alcohol
But Drunen claims that RAs
at Place Vanier face more pressure to be strict about what constitutes an out-of-control party.
He said that in his own experience as an RA, he was forced
to shut down parties he did
not believe were out of hand.
"Sometimes parties are just
loud, and we're told to break
them up."
When asked about his own
speculations as to why Totem
continues to be seen as the
"party residence," Drunen said:
"It could be that somebody
higher up in the administration told them to be a litde bit
slack, or maybe. ..RA's in Totem
are more relaxed individuals.
But the fact remains that we
[Residence Advisors of Place
Vanier] are pretty strict around
From 1968 to 1971, lowan elementary school teacher Jane
Elliot conducted a series of psychological exercises on her
pupils to impress upon them the injustice of racial discrimination. Placing the brown-eyed students at a disadvantaged
position in the class, Elliot stated that these students were
inferior to blue-eyed students, who were more academically competent, well-mannered and capable of success.
Within a day, the effects of these labels became visible
both in the students' physical appearance and academic
performance. Brown-eyed students began to look increasingly disheveled. Arithmetic scores and vocabulary scores
showed that the blue-eyed students were performing both
above the average and above their own previously measured capabilities. Test scores also revealed that the previously measured aptitudes of the brown-eyed children had
deteriorated within a day of starting the experiment.
Elliot later reversed the roles of the children, placing blue-
eyed children in the disadvantaged position, and found
again that the children's performance levels correlated with
the labels and expectations set about them. The conclusion
was that setting expectations about a group of individuals
does influence change in their behavior.
here. We are encouraged regularly by the administrators to be."
Ferguson says she too has become well aware of the differences that are said to exist between the residences.
"[Totem's reputation] is something that has definitely come up
and is talked about by students
and by staff, and we are aware of
it and it is something that we are
really trying to get away from, because that's a reputation that we
know is out there."
Ferguson maintains that the
administration is doing the best
they can to ensure that things
are consistent between the two
buildings. "We intentionally assign high school students entering with high academic achievements in an equal and proportionate distribution in both areas...the same types of students
are living in both [Place Vanier
and Totem Park]—the same
number of first-year students
and returning students."
She denies Drunen's claim
that Residence Life staff are instructed to reinforce the different atmospheres at Place Vanier
and Totem.
"No, that's not the policy," said
Ferguson. "I don't know if that
was a misinterpretation on his
part, or someone was giving the
wrong information, but if someone is having a party in Vanier
or in Totem we would encourage
the staff to break it up, or to try to
deal with it. If they are not able to
deal with it on their own then we
encourage them to call the RCMP
to come and help them, but we
would never say, 'Oh, just send
this to another residence,' because then it's going to be somebody else's problem, and that's
not what we're trying to do here."
When asked whether the police are called more frequently
to one residence than the other, Ferguson said, "They seem
about the same...based on both
anecdotal and actual statistics,
it doesn't really seem to be the
case that one is louder than the
other, or has more parties than
the other."
Ferguson suggests that the
myths surrounding Totem
are what continue to shape
people's beliefs about the
"Sometimes we wonder if it's
a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, like someone from the year
before says, 'Oh, you're living in Totem, it's such a party
residence, if you wanted it to be
quiet you should live in Vanier,
if you want it to be loud or party
you should live in Totem.'"
UBC psychology professor
and Canada Research Chair
of Social Psychology Toni
Schmader agrees that this is a
legitimate explanation of this
phenomenon, and offers a
more detailed explanation for
why Totem's reputation might
carry some weight.
"On one hand, you create a self-selecting sample.
Students who want to party in
residence will put down the
residence with the reputation
for partying as their first preference when applying to residence...you will also have students facing normative pressures...so that students who
don't normally party may feel
like they have to live up to an
Whether or not Totem's reputation is grounded in fact, it
remains acknowledged both
by students and Residence Life
staff. And despite UBC's best
efforts to dismiss this myth,
Drunen's claim that Vanier
RAs were told to direct rowdy
parties to Totem suggests that
the expectations surrounding
Totem have influenced the attitudes of even UBC Residence
Life staff, whether based in
policy or not.
Taking into consideration
the conclusions of psychology
experiments which show how
expectations shape behavior, it seems the UBC Housing
will be hard-pressed to find a
way to repress this myth without first addressing underlying perceptions inherent in its
own system. As long as both
students and Residence Life
staff are aware of this reputation and believe it to have
some validity, students will be
influenced to behave in a manner that perpetuates Totem's
reputation. *y
—With files from Arshy Mann,
Larisa Karr and Judy Yuen
In 1978 Snyder and Swann conducted a study that demonstrated how expectations can create self-fulfilling prophecies in people's behavior. When participants
were led to believe that they would be interacting with an extrovert, they tended
to ask that person different kinds of questions that made him or her come off looking more extroverted than they actually were.
Their findings could partially explain the mythology surrounding Totem. When
a person learns you live in a residence with a reputation for partying, they might
ask you more questions about your social life. As a result, you end up discussing
your partying experiences, reinforcing the reputation of the residence. If that same
person learns you live in a residence without that reputation, they might ask more
questions about your academic pursuits instead.
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No IW Well I  ope,f j       YQo ^     J^J 2010.02.08/UBYSSEY.CA/SPORTS/23
Men up and women down as playoffs loom
In a crucial push for second
place between the T-Birds
and the Victoria Vikes Friday
night, the T-Birds came up a
point short.
Jane Anholt scored her only
basket of the game with 37
seconds left, giving the UVic a
three-point lead in a match they
went on to win 72-71.
T-Birds head coach Deb
Huband reflected on the game.
"I would have liked to get to
72," she joked.
"I think we made a few defensive mistakes that sort of
stopped our run," she said.
"[We] gave up an easy back
door, then we fouled a hit on a
"I think it slipped momentum a little bit, then they
jumped it up on us...and that
gave us some problems to in
the fourth quarter."
The teams were evenly
matched, with the Vikes at 11-
4, and the T-Birds at 11-5. Both
teams were fighting for second
place in the Pacific Division.
The stakes were apparent early
on at Saturday's game as both
teams started strong, with UBC
managing to pull ahead 40-39
by the end of the first half.
Things were looking up at the
end of the third, as the T-Birds
jumped ahead by seven points.
However, UVic managed to tie
the game at 5 5 at the start of the
decisive fourth quarter.
The T-Birds took the lead
one last time with less than
three minutes to go, thanks to
a basket by Candace Morrisset,
but UVic scored four straight
points, including Anholt's basket, for the victory.
Down by one with three seconds left, UBC had a chance
to foul a Vike player and gain
a chance to send the game to
overtime, but inexplicably let
time run out.
"We were supposed to [foul].
I don't know what happened
there. I don't know why we
didn't try to...make something
happen," Huband said.
Kayla Dykstra was UVic's top
player of the night, ending the
game with 26 points.
For UBC, Lia St Pierre,
ranked 15th in the Canada West
Conference for points per game,
started the game off strong with
12 points in the first 11 minutes, but finished with just 14
points. Alex Vieweg led UBC
in the second half of the game,
with 21 points, making 10 of
16 shots, but no one from UBC
could hold Dykstra in check.
"Obviously she's a factor,"
Huband said, reflecting on the
"She draws a lot of attention...she's the biggest body on
the floor, so she's a lot to contend with, so we'll have to give
that some consideration [next
Alex Vieweg (left) and Graham Bath (right) leap for layups last weekend. GEOFF LISTER PHOTOS/THE UBYSSEY
Following Friday's one point
loss, UBC needed a victory
Saturday to hold any chance
of getting the No. 2 seed in the
Pacific Division for the playoffs.
Unfortunately, what they got
was another last-minute loss.
Despite leading by nine
points at halftime, the UBC
Thunderbirds (10-7) lost 64-
58 to the UVic Vikes (10-7),
ensuring a third-place finish
in the division and leaving
head coach Deb Huband fuming at her team's inability to
"The big factor was how
poorly we handled their pressure in the third. We gave up
28 points, which is ridiculous"
she said after game. "Why they
let the pressure get to them today, I don't know. But it was
the unpinning of the game."
UBC came out of the gate
strong, up 30-21 at the half, holding the Vikes to just 28.6 per cent
shooting from the floor.
However, much like Friday
night's game, Victoria came
storming back in the third quarter, going on a 24-11 run at one
point to take a 49-48 lead into
the final frame.
It was in the fourth quarter
that the game slowed down to
a crawl for both games. Strong
defence and shaky shooting left
both teams struggling for baskets, with no points scored by
either team for a whole four
minute span.
Tied up, the T-Birds had a
chance to take the lead in the
final minute, but guard Lia St
Pierre missed a jumper with 45
seconds to go.
The Vikes then brought the ball
up the court, and 2008/2009 CIS
player of the year Kayla Dykstra
hit a short hook shot with just
26 seconds left for the game-
winning shot. UBC had one last
chance to tie, but forward Zara
Huntley missed a long jump shot
with 16 seconds to go.
A bright spot for UBC was
Arianne Duchesne who turned
heads, with 15 points on 7 of
8 shooting in a season best
"She's had a tough go of it
this year," said Huband after the game. "[She's] just now
starting to re-establish herself
and show what sort of game she
can bring, which is nice."
However, with two straight
losses against a division rival
and just one game remaining
until the playoffs, Huband is
searching for ways to ensure
her team plays at their top
"You have any ideas?" she
asked. "It's a question I've got
to pose to the athletes, because
ultimately, it's up to them."
Fifth-year guard and co-captain Candace Morrisset echoed
the concerns.
"When you want to win a national championship, you have
to be able to execute down the
line, and hold up against a
tough team—make them not do
what they want to do. We didn't
do that tonight." tl
Despite a slow start that has
become a regular occurrence
at the beginning of games,
UBC pulled away from UVic
in the fourth quarter for a six
point victory.
Heading into the weekend,
No. 2 ranked UBC (16-1) was
solidly entrenched in first place
for the Pacific Division, while
UVic (8-9) was in a four-way
race for the final two playoff positions in the Canada West conference, and needing at least
one win to realistically stay in
Their desperation showed
in the first quarter, as airtight
defence kept UBC to just nine
points, as the Vikes managed to
keep the game tied heading into
the fourth quarter.
"For a couple weeks now, I
don't think we've executed well
at the start of the game," said
head coach Kevin Hanson after
the game. "We're turning the
ball over too much to give them
easy scores."
However, led by Kamar Burke
(11 points, 11 rebounds), the
T-Birds took control. Despite
the win, Hanson made it clear
that UBC, which have trailed
in the first half of many games
this year, had to play better.
"It's been a long time since
we played a good 40-minute
basketball game. We're not
playing the way we should at
this point of the year."
One minute into the matchup,
Victoria guard Jeff Cullen drove
into the lane and scored to
make the score UVic 2, UBC 3.
Then the bloodbath began.
UBC went on an amazing,
improbable run, scoring 27
straight points to lead 30-2
at the end of the first quarter,
and cruising to an eventual 90-
41 victory. UBC held Victoria
to 17.6 per cent shooting, and
controlled every aspect of a
game that the Vikes had to win.
"Sometimes you need a little adversity to overcome a
slump," said coach Hanson after the game. "Give the guys
credit. I thought they came
out a played a really good first
quarter." He mixed up the
starting lineup for the game,
inserting Graham Bath and
Alex Murphy into the starting
five, and the adjustments paid
off in spades.
Murphy, who finished with
three points and team-high seven assists, was happy with the
increased playing time.
"It felt good," he said. "I was
just trying to bring a lot of intensity, do my thing, push the
ball up, so that was great."
The win clinched first place
in the Pacific Division for UBC,
who have just one regular season
game remaining against Trinity
Western before the playoffs begin in three weeks' time, tl
—with files from Ian Turner 24/UBYSSEY.CA/SPORTS/2010.02.08
Two races into their relatively
short season, the Thunderbirds
Men's Alpine Ski team has dominated their competition in the
United States Collegiate Ski
Association (USCSA) Northwest
Conference. The team members are Matt Bunston, Ben
Middleton, Alexander Matheson
(pictured), Carl Dawson and athlete-coach Ben Millar.
In a sport where races are
won and lost by hundredths of
a second, the T-birds are winning by up to seven seconds.
The UBC Men's alpine excels in
both the giant slalom and slalom disciplines, as seen in their
consistently strong results.
Last weekend at a giant slalom race in Idaho, the T-Birds
swept the podium, placing first,
second and third. The previous weekend saw rookie Matt
Bunston take first place in slalom by an impressive margin of
three seconds.
Over reading break, they
hope to qualify for USCSA
Nationals in Sunday River,
Maine, where they would be
the only Canadian university
Frangois du Toit of men's
rugby is this week's athlete
of the week for helping the
team win a hard-fought battle against the University of
Central Washington (UCW) last
The speedy rookie scored two
incredible tries, receiving cross-
kicks from the other end of the
field then pushing right past
UCWs fullback. He also had
a great tactical kicking game,
gaining territory throughout
the game while tackling everyone in sight. Teammates say he
is so fast it's unbelievable, and
with his speed and agility he
will no doubt have many more
great games in the future, tl
The Athletes of the Week are
decided by the Thunderbirds
Athletic Council.
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