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The Ubyssey Feb 15, 2002

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 y Special Issue
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••elf nude roi.-n unities ol rr i r>ds and family But ••ho. king "iPrts of brutal b--.h-
'■'<r,\ I le that of \arun 'Ael.-'pr in St-'iley Park, or aruiuamcmtnts by ma} tut
ihat ^iv i»«]p da\s are '•^nM' and aga.n-t 'rhr,^,hi moiaK ' <>r the continued
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ants on reality TV shows, but what does all that mean? It goes to show that the
increased visibility of our community does not necessarily result in increased
In putting together this issue, it became clear that many LGBT people on campus don't feel comfortable—or safe—printing their names or showing their faces
on these pages. For this, we condemn not only the continued existence of homophobia at UBC, but also the timidity of some of our own. Even more troubling than
this are the stories from our city and beyond of struggling youths who choose suicide over coming out to family and friends. Then there are the indicators that
show AIDS is on the rise among young gay men, particularly minorities. Clearly
then, fear, confusion and lack of education are rampant in our community.
This edition of the Pride Issue cannot resolve all of these outstanding issues;
rather, with it we endeavour to join the journey towards increased visibility and
acceptance for all of us, both on campus and in the world generally. If some element of this issue can prompt even one homophobe to change his perspective,
then we'll have done our job. ▼
-Pride Issue coordinators
Y7-;7't^ Friday, February 15, 2002,
A Ubyssey Special Issue
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energetic, and fun loving students as
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GREAT SALARIES, room, board, ttavel
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SHEILA & MURIEL invite you to visit
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the Youth'"Sdillennium Project. Contact
Stephanie or Refqa at 822-5028, or email
Zeta Beta Tau is looking for men to start
a new Chapter. If you are interested in
academic success, a chance to network
and an opportunity to make friends in a
non-pledging Brotherhood, e-mail:
zbt@zbtnauonal.org or call 800-431-
To plate
m AH
any subjects A to Z. Call toll-free: 1-888-
345-8295 Fax: 416-960-0240. Email:
Uii 822-1654
er visit SUB
fern 23
'iSHRi tfWT' t^WH Pftcli JHtf i
Twisting terminology
       by Katherine Collins
You want to know what feels great?
When you're walking down Davie St.
clutching your girlfriend's hand in a
subtle but strong sign of affection
and you're waiting for a light to turn
red so you can cross the street and
pop into Rogers Video for a movie so
you can have a cozy night in, and you
unsuspectingly walk across the
street in front of a car filled with lost
high school boys and they see your
handholding, or they see your not-so-
subtle lesbian look, and before they
speed off through the now-green
light, they bark out of their car,
"Dykes!" And then they're gone, as
quickly as they were there.
Sure, I've been called a dyke
before, many times, like any woman,
and I've liked and disliked those
occasions equally. But this, this was
different. Why? Well, this is my
street, my Rogers Video and my girlfriend. Homophobes should check
the rainbows before they drive down
Davie if they're so ignorant that
they'll be disturbed by a bit of same-
sex touching. Blah, blah, blah. We've
heard it all before: how homophobic
harassment threatens all of us. Not to
discredit this worthy theme, I need to
put my article back on track. I'm trying to talk about words, names, labels
and how we use them.
'Sticks and stones may break our
bones but names will never hurt us':
a familiar chant, but the more I think
about it, the more I realise that names
and identifying labels can cut and cut
deeply. Isn't it our label that allows
the government to refuse us marriage
rights, fair taxation benefits, job security and opportunities enjoyed by our
straight counterparts? Isn't it our
label as 'gay' or lesbian,' 'transsexual' or 'bisexual' that begins the path
for many of us to family disownment,
alienation, brutal beatings and terror? Now of course I'm not suggesting
that we deserve this treatment or that
these phenomena are not more com
plex than simple labels and phrases. I
just mean that it all starts with a
name. For instance, if we don't out
ourselves individually, we're
assumed to be straight, a burden heterosexuals don't have to imagine. For
this reason, the way we name ourselves, and the Way others name us,
are important on so many levels.
Let's look at a few words. Take
'gay.' Now, since the word gay is
such a mainstream happy-go-lucky,
non-threatening word which we all
use now and again to describe the
Will and Grace episode of assimilating queers, I even find myself
squeaking it in there when I come
out to co-workers and classmates.
How about the word 'queer?'
Another non-offensive, inclusive
(which is always good) word, but the
last time I remember, it was being
chanted by gay bashers while they
beat up members of our communities who attempted to reclaim that
word. And who reclaimed it? Did we
all reclaim that word or did academics reclaim it in their theories and
then thrust it upon us as a whole
community? What about 'fag' or
'dyke,' 'homo' or lesbo,' 'tranny'
and 'queen?' Don't you think all of
these words are helpful to us to
understand our identities, and ourselves? I don't know about all of you,
but when they took the 'Gay' out of
'Gay Pride Parade,' the event
seemed to lose all of its class, its
sophistication and sleaziness. I love
that stuff and I miss it I don't want
others to name me; I don't want outside people to look inside and decide
what is the least offensive name to
describe us. "Butt out!" I say. "Leave
us alone!" If I want to call myself
Shirley or Marge, I will do it and so
should you. Now my advice to you all
is this: take a long look in the bathroom mirror, folks, and ask yourself
loudly and proudly so your roommates can hear, "Am I really the lord
of the gays?" Cause honestly, I've
always thought I was. ▼
The Madeleine Sophie Barat Award
SUBJECT; "The creative and reponsible use of freedom."
Choose your own focus, e.g., Literature, Art,
Capitalism, Philosophy, the Environment,
Interpersonal Relations, Economics, History, etc.
ELIGIBILITY; Open to 3rd and 4th year undergraduate and all
graduate students of UBC and affiliated theological
DEADLINE; Must be submitted on or before
Friday, May 31, 2002.
Prize Awarded; Friday, September 27, 2002.
PRIZE: $1000
Application forms may be picked up at St. Mark's College 5935
Iona Drive Monday to Friday: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
What are you doing for
reading break?
Want to go to Whistler?
Surf your way to The Ubyssey <& grab a pair
of free snowbus tickets to Whistler & free
Check out the Snowbus Ad on page 8
While quantities last. A Ubyssey Special Issue
Friday, February 15, 2002 «
Katherine Collins
Tim Wood
Duncan M. McHugh
Ai Lin Choo
Sarah MacNeill Morrison
Ron Nurwisah
Scott Bardsiey
Julia Christensen
Laura Blue
Nic Fensom
Hywel Tuscano
Graeme Worthy
Alicia Miller
The Ubyssey is the official student newspaper of the
University  of  British  Columbia,  it  Is  published  eveiy
Tuesday and Friday by The Ubyssey Publications Society.
We are an autonomous, democratically run student organisation, and all students are encouraged to participate.
Editorials are chosen and written by the Ubyssey staff.
They are the expressed opinion of the staff, and do not
necessarily reflect the views of The Ubyssey Publications
Society or the University of British Columbia.
The Ubyssey is a founding member of Canadian University
Press (CUP) and adheres to CUP's guiding principles.
All editorial content appearing in The 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.
Letters to the editor must be under 300 words. Please
Include your phone number, student number and signature
(noi for publication) as well as your year and facully with all
submissions. ID will be checked when submissions are
dropped off at tlie editorial office of The Ubysseyt 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 will not be run until the identity of the writer has
been verified
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 iar slight
changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the
value or the impact of the ad.
Room 24, Student Union Building,
6138 Student Union Boulevard,
Vancouver, BC. V6T 1Z1
tel: (604) 822-2301
fax: (604) 822-9279
web: www.ubyssey.bc.ca
email: feedback@ubyssey.bc.ca
Room 23, Student Union Building
advertising: (604) 822-1654
business office: (604) 822-6681
fax: (604) 822-1653
email: advertising@ubyssey.bc.ca
Fernie Pereira
Karen Leung
Shalene Takara
Hie big gay potluck was getting off to an unfortunate start -
"Ooops!" exclaimed Hywel Tuscano as he spilled Rimmer all
over his Tom of Findland shirt. Katherine Collins and Caroline
Kirsebom looked on in shock while munching their muffins, "I
prefer tossed salad," said a disaffected Timothy Wood. Just then
Rachel Victor, Emuy Elder and Liana Yong burst into the room
in full panty-wetting drag! Stuart Koop and David Brindle began
to argue about whose boy band was bigger, but Ted Chen's
patented "Kylie Monogue Ass Shake" shut them both up, "Butt
plugs!" yelled Stacey Landers, while Chris Shepherd countered
with a sharp "111 up your butt plug and top it off with vibrating
nipple clamps!" And if you think that's crazy, wait 'tilyou hear
what happened next: in walked "Mr. Big ol' leather-wearin'
Haiiy-Ase Bear' rivals Micheal Baker and Duncan McHugh. The
rDom fell silent Thankfully Ron Nurwisah peeped 'Facial anyone...?" Ai Lin Choo, Scott Bardsiey, Sarah MacNeill Morrison,
Julia Christensen, Laura Blue, Nic Fensom, Alicia Miller all
yelled "Yayi* And Sara Young finished off the brie. Yum!
Canada Post Solas Aoreamsnt Number 0732141
Gay on lesbian,
lesbian on
Stereotypes confirmed and dispelled in a big gay exchange
by Caroline Kirsebom and
 ■ Michael Baker
What does a lesbian bring on the second date? A
What does a gayboy bring on the second
date? What second date?!
Gayboy: So how come when you meet a girl
you never seem to spend any time apart unless
absolutely necessary? It seems as if you're getting attached before you've really had the opportunity even to get to know each other.
Dyke: I think it's an opposition to playing
mind-games. We're trying to break away from
the straight-dating 'mold.' For example, how
long do you wait to call after a first date? We
can't allow ourselves to have the T)ad' relationship qualities we feel men often exhibit. Also,
because of the smaller selection of potential
partners you make more of an effort to make
things work. As for getting attached, let me give
an exaggerated comparison: In a straight relationship, women tend to take 80 per cent of the
emotional initiative. So when there are two of us
there is 160 per cent emotional communication!
Dyke: So how about you gay boys? I know a
lot of you, and you guys aren't exactly proving
the stereotype wrong! The number of partners
and the brief length of your relationships...The
statistics would seem to speak for themselves.
Or do they?
Gayboy: I think for the most part they do. To
borrow your comparison to a straight relation
ship: who thinks about and initiates sex more
often? 80 per cent of the time it is the guy, so you
get two of us together and you have 160 per cent
fucking! I really don't think it's so bad, and who
really has the right to say it is? There is a stigma
attached to such blatant promiscuity, but what a
lot of people don't see is that it's frowned upon
because it challenges moral codes of conduct
that are religious-based and straight!
Gayboy. So if you lesbians like the women so
much, why do you try to look like men?
Dyke: I don't want to look like a man! I just
want to be a person and dregs comfortably. For
me, female-specific clothes are just a product of
a patriarchal system where women traditionally
dress to please men! It just so happens that typical male clothing is more functional; that's why
I wear it. And of course, lesbians in male clothing have become a stereotype many of us choose
to utilise in order to attract others.
Dyke: What's up with the effeminate behaviour and vanity in so many gay boys?
Gayboy: I think that many of us are trying to
differentiate ourselves from the straight norm,
and using our body language is one of the easiest ways to do that. We don't feel the need to
exude machismo from our pores. And as for the
vanity issue, we are trying to attract guys. Guys
are trained from the womb to prioritise looks
when searching for a potential partner. So, we
try to dress for success! (Not to sound stereotypical, but what gay boy doesn't want to look like—
and want—a Calvin Klein or Abercrombie &
Fitch model?)
Gayboy: What about the stereotypes of lesbians with short hair, pick-up trucks, tool belts,
no make-up and tons of beer drinking?
Dyke: Yeah, and gay boys with coiffed Jiair,
make-up, insane cooking skills and obsessions
with interior decorating and cocktails?
Dyke and Gayboy: These traits are not necessarily innate in us. It is because we are given the
opportunity to pick and choose qualities and/or
behaviours. We don't need to fit in to gender-typical categories! And we don't feel the need to
define gender roles in our lives and relationships because they do not define our sexuality!
Gayboy: So why do we get along so well when
our gender interests and behaviours are in
Dyke and Ga3'boy: Well, we share the sense of
oppression .and frustration of living in a predominantly straight society. As for friendship,
trust and closeness, we have nothing to gain in
lying to each other. We have no hidden agenda!
And despite diametrically opposed preferences,
we somehow meet on the Golden Middle Way of
what we see as a gender-role continuum.
Gayboy: And we complement each other well,
too! For example: A lesbian friend of mine will
take me and my boyfriend to IKEA in her truck,
put together our furniture, and serve us a vegetarian meal with a can of Budweiser, after we
promise to redecorate her home and whip up a
fabulous chocolate cheesecake dessert with
sprinkles! ▼
The breeders' questionnaire
If the gender of your sexual partner is not the same as your own, then you should
be aware that you are different from a significant portion of the population. Have
you thought about why you are attracted to a different gender? Are you
comfortable with your sexuality? Perhaps completing this questionnaire will help you
think about these things.
Please answer all questions as honestly as possi-   spiraling, with over a third of all marriages failing.
1. When and how did you first decide that you
were heterosexual?
■N 2. What do you think caused your heterosexuali-
Why are so few heterosexual relationships stable?
11. Why do heterosexuals place so much
emphasis on sex?
12. What do heterosexuals do in bed?
13. Considering the menace of overpopulation,
3. Is it possible that your heterosexuality stems how could the human race survive if everyone
from a neurotic fear of the same sex? were heterosexual like you?
4. If you've never slept with a person of the 14. Could you trust a heterosexual therapist to
same sex, is it possible that all you need is a good be objective?
gay lover? 15. How can you be a full person if you limit
5. To whom have you disclosed your heterosex- yourself to compulsive and exclusive heterosexu-
ual tendencies? How did these people respond? ality and fail to develop your natural, healthy
6. Why do heterosexuals insist on flaunting homosexual potential?
their heterosexuality? Can't you just be who you 16. There seem to be very few happy heterosex-
are and keep it quiet? uals. Techniques have been developed which
7. Why do heterosexuals feel compelled to enable you to change if you really want to. Have
seduce others into their lifestyle? you considered aversion therapy?
8. Would you want your children to be hetero- 17. How do you feel about the term 'straight?'
sexual, knowing the problems they would face in Do you feel that it adequately defines who you are?
society? 18. Do you see your sexuality as being central to
9. A disproportionate majority of child moles- your sense of identity?
ters are heterosexual. Do you consider it safe to 19. How do you plan to combat the rampant
expose your children to heterosexual teachers? spreading of heterosexual diseases?
10. Even with all the societal support that het- 20. A link between heterosexuals and drug use
erosexual marriage receives, the divorce rate is has been established. Are you a drug addict? T Jl Friday, February 15, 2002
All films $3.00
in die NORM (SUB theatre)
Film Hotline: 822-3697  OR check out
fri Feb 15-Sun Feb 17
7:00 Bandits
9:30 The Last Castle
Wrn Feb 20 - Thurs Feb 21
There is only one movie these nights:
7:00 Apocalypse Now Redux
■  •'   *   a
'A^U * Co!li gi- cif jfjt'r'i.'.s .' i 11 c i mi ■! s
I'-ika h,ai in * t«i'i .vidJi. w \ ''s^j: ■.■/<;
aihd Jinvic'i* ■vw-Vi.b.* w »J oJn ' ■■' i
t-ii.OjiiS'"'- v S
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If you have a university degree in any field you may be able
to obtain a BCIT diploma in just one year.
BCIT's direct entry and post-diploma business programs can
fast-track you into a career in:
Financial Management
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604.432.8898 or
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Apply now for Fail 2002
Love of a Lifetime
by Linna Yong
dedicated to EC.
everyday was a fashion show
Estee Lauder was what she used
i was entrapped, enraptured by her presence,
the whiff of her perfume,
her understated elegance
she spoke with a low husky voice
engaging to the utmost
witty at times
her eyes sparkle whenever she sees me
she talks more when i am around
she walked before me up the stairs
in the sports centre
in her sports pants and sweater
for the first time
i notice her backside
and felt something inside me
a twinge of lust
no, more than that—a tornado building up
at that moment, i wanted to hug her
but, did not
i was confused
i knew i loved her
on the way to the sports centre
she had been singing quietly a song
forgot the tune
it was like "don't you love me anymore"
i still loved her
i was just confused
i did not know how to tell her
just the other night
i cooked for her—forgot what
after the meal, she said she had stomach ache
we went back to my room
oh, my god, i knew what were in our minds
i wanted to rub some ointment in her tummy
but, i did not
i gave her some antacid
she mentioned something about the picture
on the wall
how beautiful it was
i said thanks and for a moment there was
ackward silenqe     i
she left i let hlr le&re
i wondered did shi know i stj31 loted Kef
i was just confiijse<I> "' '-
; .y* Y~   *~     '   *.
in the basketball court        -* * ^
we were in opposing teams    '
she was a very good shooter
when we were near each, other
she fell down /'
did i pick her up '   ]
no, i was confused
just a few days earlier  1        .   ' -'
i was in he* room ; «
we were listening to soiiie songs
it was a duet—man and woman
we pretended ,we were ths singers
i the guy, and she the girl \       . ',    / ■.
i was intoxicated '4       4   2  ■
...with her '     - * ' ;
then i carried her to the bed
she was laughing rapturously
we were happy
but, we did not sleep together that night
i was confused
she was standing behjjtd me
a group of us were efpwding around   *   '"
the birthday girl—% friend
for a moment ';"
i felt her breasts brush, no, it lingered
awhile \ . (-''      „
against my baclc >_ ?        '\
i said sorry '   ,       . -
she just smiled '7 -        ;
my face went red
i was confused
, s
that was 12 years ago
still felt like yesterday        ' ,<
E, wherever yoaaref *   ,-
i still love you   .■ '^   -.
ihave never stopped lovingyoa... ▼
Friday. February 15, 2002 lg
/■ ,
by Stuart Koop-'"      „7
And so il begins,/ *
P|enatal,]ives,|' .     "■
parental evils,/-,        Y
'  But it evolves'    r-
f'And is carefully altered
From the way it was
Nature exists as laws eternal;
Infancy gives way to accountability.
Time is a thief who won't be captured.
The once nurtured soul in youth restricted,
When challenged, wardens shall chide.
Nature exists as laws eternal:
Air, Desire.
The touch of his hand, like lace on my brow.
His smile blushed my hairless gkin
When lips touched lips, I buclded and stared
At eyes which in placid calm, bubbles in a still bath,
-   '    Looked back.
Nature exists as laws of eternal:
Water, Hope.       '
:' 4r * *"
The rash on my back, a sign of my crimes     -     "     ' '
Created by ignorance, tradition and fear.      -        /
I escaped with my pride, the bashing not oyer.'-    '
Change overwhelms and soothes, the tug<>£war; begins.
Passion for which I received my blows grew"' *     ' •>
As outward scars disappeared.- *.
Longing, lilke racing blood courses through'me,
Keeping me alive.        < ,' '    /       7  ,.    v
Nature exists as laws eternal:     %      ■ :'   t;
Fire, Love. * , > -       _,   <*
Surrounded by talk. Echoes lit a bottomless valley.*
Love, too often made easily,' ''- \
■  Spites me. ' * 7/ '   -
Beneath superficial peaks
Ground is found '    -
In an accepting world. T
The Funniest
Question I Know
by Emily Elder
can I think this?
do I have to do this? be this? walk this? talk this line this
this his is
lhe funniest questions, you know:
do queer people do triathlon
do they write poetry that does not surround their queerness
what does it mean to be queer or straight anyway
The funniest answers:
justifying why you want someone
when you don't know yourself
trying to explain a crush
without saying "she"
The funniest responses:
"you aren't gay to me I don't equate you with gay"
well what does gay mean
and why shouldn't I be
why couldn't I be
what would I have to do to be
a 'real one'?
What is a real one?
What if I don't want to be a 'real dyke'
anyway? T
breasts bound and packing
by Emily Elder
can I still fuck men want them
what is the line between before and now
■ nothing has changed
but the idea of her softness breast in. my
honey against her flesh, she ,
tastes like sweat I am relieved
for I do this too, sweat
{now I can be real a real one
what is real}
I always liked army boots
isn't that the definition, -
is fantasy of a woman
when fucking a man
the idea of her
she is
far from me, a drive that I cannot make
a bus that I have not taken
a bedroom I do not wake in
beside her
I sleep
awaken with light across my face
and her beauty slumbers
grace inherent in her she gives
she has taken me
from within the solid
to the fluid there between he/r
dancing around my face *
there is a secret hiding  '
and it tastes
like her
she does like she
comes between my legs
I wear it too
she is a daydream on a computer screen
a weekend from months ago
a face one kiss in a dark sports bar
words that soothe me
voice that moves me
(the idea frightens me too)
is chance given and I kneel before it
everything has changed with her eyes
I see a new light
less fearful, this secret cavern
she walks through these tunnels every day
she is beauty
those fantasies you always have
but can't complete
she is
frightened by me too? (do real dykes do this,
think this?)
I have not been this virgin for years
frightened into a strange free submission
muteness that shouts for joy
what is she?
a door that opens into another continent
a new countiy and we can reside
on the border
Anzualdua told us
sex is necessary here
and difficult
says Eilke
smile for me, Amy, will you dance with me
again? T
About as (j'iy as we could get
at Tinseltown
now playing
by Rachel Victor
If you're looking for a potent soporific, then
you should head out and watch this film. Or
if you're really into bra-less French stick
insects (and hey, there's nothing wrong with
that) then perhaps this one is aimed in your
Va Savoir is the painfully drawn-out story
of actor Camille (Jeanne Balibar), her director
Ugo (Sergio Castellitto), their boring play,
their boring week in Paris and their boriiig
relationship. It also explores Camille's relationship with her former lover (I was going to
say 'boyfriend/ but that's not Parisian
enough) and various other relationships that
add lip to make one big love hexagon. If I've
accidentally made this film sound interesting, please forgive me.
Oh, my sister's on the phone! What's that,
Lisa, our dad bought a new paper shredder?
Why would he do that? Well, he had all these
old financial documents that he thought he
should destroy before putting them in the
recycling. Mom says all he does now is shred
paper, so he has to turn the TV up even louder than usual and the dog is getting skittish.
Ha ha, those two! Maybe I should give them a
call later on. But first I have to finish watching this movie.
Camille and Ugo continue to look at each
other and speak French Hmmmm...Surely
we're halfway into it now and I could swear
nothing has really happened. I wonder, am I
sophisticated enough to be watching this film?
These pants I'm wearing are chafing a
bit..Maybe I should go get changed into
something more comfortable. You know
uncomfortable pants can really ruin an
evening...No, no, surely this movie's almost
over, I can make it to the end, then I'll go to
bed. Oh goodie, can't wait
I don't know where all these fruit flies are
coming from. I mean, I haven't even written
400 words yet and I've already lashed out'
and lolled three of the little devils. I thought I
was really good about washing my fruit and
not letting it sit out for huge amounts of time
and now eveiy time a fly whizzes past, I know
it is my Biology 334 mark coming back to
haunt me. Damn you, Drosophila! Haven't
you taken enough?
Now you may be wondering what this
article is about and why you're wasting your
time reading it; well then, I've succeeded
because that's how I feel about Va Savoir. My
dad's new paper shredder and my reflections on ill-fitting pants are actually more
interesting than my thoughts on this film,
because it wiped my brain clean and left me
wondering about other things, like how all
those little people fit inside my TV and what
exactly is in the Korean tea that my roommate made me and is that why I can hardly
keep my eyes open?
Maybe you are a film or creative writing
student, or someone else who hangs out and
smokes down at that end of campus. Maybe
you think that Va Savoir is^a piece of cinematic brilliance that is lost on someone like me,
who possibly has some kind of attention-
deficit disorder. But I bet that a large part of
the movie-going public will see things my way.
Lastly, why is this film, of all films, being
reviewed in the Pride Issue? It's because it's
so desperately gay, in a bad way.
That's 154 minutes of my life I'm never
going to get back. To see a gay couple in a
movie, I'd have to go rent a video because
there are no gay movies out now. Va Savoir is
as gay as we could get ▼
SurUglil shhting down on wburnt
jcr."-* "'i'i dry dirt .wind a brick
upurUru-nl bjulding. One of my first"
memories is wjlihipg ivy !>r.>th(r
play nun-Mes :\'vh other kids ii
Saint John, New Bitji'-wm k '-\ht-n I
v\'i.s fuur. .M ihit ij5<* ho would
oP.eii b'.i(k '.Mrs orilo :ny clothes
:-id scream, 'SpiJrr-.!*—iiBujily
provokiiig shrill s( «\i:r<? dvi Wis
Asi le from the evp.-cV-d '-riuma
frounJJer m!>1 '-ys, I !i.hi.'W! 1 ,\js
ej-j.guJT'g; my Lu^Ltw is nnu-o uf
an Linco;i^oi;,il)le u^Ie, i:id I <-m
on-iily .i:iii-ii"i—a '-oft le-ijier.^r.iTit
I luiu :i,on.ic>L'd lo reverl ba(k lu
u\or the}kits
Spr-rklx.'i bi-ige floors, shiny
(loifrfrg ratks .md \:v:>d-pa.nellod
bins u:nd»r fluusewnt limits. At
that sane :tije I v\ould often vi«.il 'lie
local di'pjrtrneril sto:e -,wth my
mother and let go of kvi kind to
wander off alone. They would Idler
find mo sL.ndiigin front ■si>hf '<ij s
with my neck craned towards
-oine'hing I really waited, and
pointing. They found m<3 v-.e day
insuring at a My Little Pony. Their
f \rh.inge if concerned hi -ks goes
AtTA I sirug o'T 'heir concern 'hat
'ho-se Ij>3 -trii for girls. I hd^-pjy
Like it home. My pony has grpen
hair; I laW cut off all Lhe h lir as I
sense 'he discomfort surrouidirg
the toy.
Pru.sn and jvUuiv. My p-irenls
ihoise Li *.end "ie ta Catholic
S'hoolsi from K-12. I'm MT.Mtiva
and i-\kw.u'd, but also 'hoLyhilu],
envtite and jili P'^ciiL I il'vajs
feci cidTtvenL Klls at bchool Jini in
my neighbourhood pick on me.
Sometimes my brother defends
me, other times he joins in. I get
into a few fights, but I find a lot of
the time I cant usually make kids cry
simply with words. I develop a temper and my parents suffer most
from It I can be cruel when I
choose to be.
Purple andyellow. Come middle
and high school I grow to be a bit
bigger than the average. It's an all-
boys Catholic private school The
word 'gay' is used as a synonjin for
lame' or 'uncoolY Hie label is also
thrown upon anyone vaguely effeminate. I learn how to inflict
immense pain by punching a bone
at the top of the deltoid. This stops
a lot of insults, but adventurous,
cocky individuals still question, me
to my face* I quietly hale their ignorance, I give a passionate speech in
an English class about homophobia
and say, "If I'm not a friend, theii
I'm a fag or a flake to everyone,
here." One of the only comments' I
receive after class questions my
sexuality; I walk away. I date some
girls eventually, and even stay with'
one for- more than a year. She
seems perfect for the 'straight* me,,
and every perfect-couple clicM can. *
describe the fa^ada I th-nk it isn't
so bad..;
, ' A wooden, desk and a halo of
while light from a computer screen. -
la the middle pf my senior year I sit
my mom down at home to talk iff.
the living room. I speak with an odd
authority;   I- am   the   haughty,
spoiled, youngest child.- -
4  Tin gay."   ,.        ,     ■
' "What do you mean?".,   . . _, -,
' Tam attracted to boysYand no,t
gMs-V-    .;    ,7 ;, „,-,;' '„
' "How do you know?"' " 4 ■   ^
/Cye always knovra^ I've aljvays *
Vvn. How couU jou not know?*/
h.id Livn bringing i bcyhorne for
o\er a j.v.r it J-.is pi-'nt;Th6 My
1 j:!> Pi >:ry ,il-o c. mic* into mind.'
"I jii-l fi'n.-r I'.ew.- I never
^"•I'Hed. Yoa ,',"iil out with girls/
1 send In-r ,n* ly I'hLteliher to
send my dad .l'.i\:istafrs.- He
lApre^M". "■■ore cjoccra about me
c"'l:pg a job befu"" he .retires than
,M'.h mu Li mg guy This is somewhat of \ ie!i.'£ 'Jtvy support me
wihont r!i']y un ii rs'.i:iding me.
Terrs on linoleum: My
kj) TrY-nd lire iks i.p wiiYme before
December e\jms i-i first year
oecau-e he -^ivs he's straight He
hail made me less \Ment more
mnfijlent I'm c'eva^tccL Ithought
I could r it?e behind Jie relationship
forever and be coiitcnl without ever
havirg lo come out to anyone else. I
in?n:ige to pp<s my p\i.ns. My parents leli me to Pir^el him and that
III find someone better. They suggest I escape io Eng! .:id. I question
how my ex-bojfuend turned out
>'r !!<{lit 'lhey tell :ne 'Jiey thought
in a gay :vl iriurship or:a of the guys
had to be straight and one was supposed to Lrf the gfrl. I yell at their
ignorance .ind hurt my throat while
o\MlaLnirg. They support me and
understand more.
A '•mallFdi iwii old, blue carpet.
I escape, to stay with a best friend
who I had apgluctpd =-oon after the
beginning >f my now-broken rela-
'-i.mship. I reed .-upport at this
point, but ri "irking out is harder
because \\e are not bound by
bleod-he tan ieje( t no.
'Iley I hive, to lell you some-
"Eh? Bring it on." He smiles and
"Well..." I stumble over words.
It's like clumsily trying to have sex
while still clothed. He's practically a
stranger without knowing this
about me.
"So you two went out?" It was
always easier telling them about the
relationship than saving Tm gay
"You're pretty sad now then."
"Yeah. I still think he's cooler
than Swiss cheese."
We laugh and I let him ask questions. He flips channels and wonders how I can't like that I assure
him the opposite sex on the screen
does nothing for me. He stops at a
shirtless Will Riker on Star Trek:
The Next Generation and flashes a
smile at me as I turn off the TV. He
sleeps on the floor all week and
gives the bed to me. -
-' The Student Union Building. All
the hallways upstairs are illuminated in that creepy yellow light I think
.they only use in schools. I drag my
feet through the beige and brown
halls with ovals of light upon the
walls, scraping the dust with hea\y
shoes, as though I'm slowly peeling
flesh away from the hidden
insides—like a hangnail. The floor
comes clearly into view. I move on.
Coming out becomes easy. Matter
of fact, really. 1 find support and
friends while I am still unsure of
inyself. A personal struggle
becomes a community struggle.
Between being busy with school
and work and being surrounded by
liberal university students, I often
. forget that I am, any different and I
feel no need to hide. Just a boy
come'a long way, and never going
back. T \, 6
Friday, February 15, 2002
A Ubyssey Special Issue
Ted Nebbeling may be a somewhat
atypical member of the BC Liberals.
For one thing, he's a true liberal. For
another, he's openly gay.
by Timothy Wood
Ted Nebbeling has come a long way
in a very short time. In 19.77, he
and his partner of 30 years were living in Amsterdam, | (where
Nebbeling ran a small hotel, Later
that year, the two of them visi|ed BC
and were captivated. ^This js$ paradise," Nebbeling recalls saying on
their arrival in Whistle*.      *. I
In short order, Nebbeling;and
his partner moved © *^—      —J
set up a series of su^cf ssfukretail
stores in Whistler Village. By 198 6,
he says, "There were things in
Whistler I wanted to change—and I
talk a lot—so I decided to run for
council." After serving two terms
as councilman, he was elected
mayor of the exclusive resort
municipality. It was in his capacity
as mayor that he helped establish
Whistler's annual Gay Ski Week—
the first such event in North
He remains passionate about Ski
Week. "There are many parts of the
world where gay people can't be
themselves, and for them to come to
a place like Whistler where they
know they're welcome is very
important," he says.
For Nebbeling, provincial politics
seemed like the natural extension of
municipal government
"I was bitten by the bug," he says.
"And here I am." Nebbeling is cur
rently serving his second term as
the MLA for West Vancouver-
Garibaldi, and after last year's election, was appointed to Cabinet as the
minister responsible for
Community Chapter ana file 2010
Olympic Bid. Despite the conservative reputation of West Van,- he says
his sexuality ha% never* been an
li     P.
"There "are \ \
many parts of
the world
where gay
people can't be
themselves and
for them to
come to a
they know
they're welcome is very
—Ted Nebbeling
Liberal MLA
West Van-Garibaldi
issue with his constituents.
"I've had one or two letters saying you know, you queer bastard,'
but never from my riding." Such
inescapable homophobia makes
Nebbeling's openness all the more
remarkable. He marches enthusiastically with friends in Vancouver's
annual pride parade and, during
his first provincial campaign, he
requested an interview with The
Vancouver Sun in which he spoke
frankly about his sexuality, among
other things. "I've never hidden
who I am," he says.
As for the reaction of members
of his own caucus, Nebbeling says,
"There have always been a dozen
or so members who are uncomfortable with my sexuality." He
strives to keep this in perspective
and says he maintains a decent
working relationship with these
people. He adds that it is simply
not an issue for the vast majority of
the caucus, and that the premier
himself "has never wavered in his
support for [Nebbeling] or for gay
Of course, there are those in the
GLBT community who would dispute the notion that the BC Liberals
have been supportive of gay issues.
Barbara Findlay, a lawyer involved
in the ongoing legal challenge to the
federal government's ban on same-
sex marriage, characterises the
Liberals' withdrawal from the petition as a "snub" to the gay community. Nebbeling disagrees.
He feels more work has to be
done to. get ordinary citizens to be
supportive of same-sex marriage
before aggressively pursuing it and
risking a possible backlash.
"The day may well come that
society is ready to take that step,
but I don't think we're there yet.
- .«■«■
r      .  ;\ ■ ,y :	
*   !-:?-.---
■     .., *-'j*-:..'    . *  -  -v-   ■    •-■■■ Vi..«--■"■"■*■.; ■■•'
.- i_».—;g.fc. -   t»n    --'.._-. ■■■I.*.,.—j - «-- ^-.-- *    .ihiT.     * -   -      -
That's not right, but that's how it
is," he says.
Nebbeling adds that an "overwhelming number" of gays and lesbians have conveyed to him their
view that marriage is an "archaic
status' which is not worth pursuing
with tax dollars.
Regardless of where you as a
GLBT person stand on the issue of
same-sex marriage—or on the poli
tics of the BC Liberals—Nebbeling's
success in business and politics as
an out homosexual is quietly
"Today, people in general are
much more comfortable with gay
people," Nebbeling says. "They interact with us on a daily basis arid we
don't hide our colours any more." It
is up to all of us to ensure that
progress continues to be made. T
Victoria School Teacher
Ravens Captain
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AtAny Ticketmaster Outlet Or The General Motors Place Box Office
:7'7; Anti Receive Up To 49^ Off The Regular Ticket Priicel^Y'Y
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Click on the "Misceumous Mathematical Utilities" link
• N Equations in N Unknowns
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• Finding Roots of a Function
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Yoii dcm't call...
Vou don't write.;.
^ubyssey. bc.ca
J   O    S   H
H   A   R :T Y^T E;  t-.yt
One man is atotst ta do fte unftinkabfe.
No sex, Wr^s&ey^
9.3QPIi, HOiL, Feb. 25th, 2002
SUB Harm Theatre
Gome to SUB 23 (Basement!
for pur GentpiifitiiitarM Pass!
*   [Jf I  V   i A Ubyssey Special Issue
Friday. February 15, 2002 "I
by Katherine Collins
S ) \;iii'iv ■];.. -it .>r wu're. -i .<-!y, .eid'.n.i hludv "r /.u:k
iLlIX* Y-'un i'il i nvl r:\<>hi'il. Wh-il.i'iV'1!'I.''''A'.'ll,
.''..■: e .ir*1 .i !ul if t>i"!iii'S f .r\'i-ir ."■■■ryv, r-i'mr a ': -v\
Pride L'HC hi ..ik.r.ij < ij^-i-n :n rri'iied Siu.L.-s :\
S.-\.i iL'.v -,r Wu™cn's St'nhc'1*.
rl..* fu-.v.'s-l ;i ih f..r i-om'tiiiiiiiv .ic.wri is -he P'^sihe
^iri'-d <7:r>p .ijy\   d JT'ijCCl jY'T.f.1 <it eVer\une "n i d'1-
ji.is. The pi in h i-i i re die a v L-iMe iii'Iicdiir ' j C'V.inU'r-
Liit ih.1 ir;\i»i:iil'!y of lhe .ric.-r nirrjuuiuly, he'.ercisi'v-
j'srn. Iwrti'ijih-i'iu .i:id i.riiriiphi.ilii.i. Trained resoiine
people 1Trf» 'here to dnjv.er qiii«U''iw ..aid i.ff.T «'i|,j>'»rt
ind r.-ferrjls Im VEC* uui'ir rwiaumiy and its .li.-s
Th.* i'lej ■,*.)? ft>m.iU«*L<.«1 untl »peerhev:eilby.V:,vv-
M.irie Liinsj "f UBC'1* Equity Oi'de. The r.imjwiija
!r;v.i!\cs a fe.v steps. Hrst, ..-.ny 'jueer-po-uLive st.ilt f "-"-
\:l.y \>r s'.udr:it f .4-1 v-;n up Lo be a tv^rirce pers'in Ail
:.-!?' j'.riv people lU'isjlj.lrTn'l Iwyh-.H.rs of '.rcuiur:.' Ji.it
' j\.t jwi.e-? finch is rt-AJWivs, knowledge nf he queer
vvii:j'i:riiy, dwareTies* of i^u.-s that qwr people on
' .::np::si nuv fan".
Oik? :ii*-_\ hive iiten.'.wl Llw UvinLr-g, rf&')iir',e people .ir-J gi\en i.v*ii,ri 3 ;::aTi'].u jnd J poster loh.'.i'J in
hs.'irwMik, b'.uJy nr!n jiJ>p.'i.o Th:* pokier bbp.iN hat
Ill's jivi i^ j '■ife, si;j'ji'ifli\i' spate f"r qjivr people
.V:\htip a ho iwnf-s s-'-'pp '*'t inTonM1 i'n "r .issiirnne
■h >t '):.-ir -j vu.-!i"y \i if-i'te will be wel'-miied n ihi «e
-p.ii'i'i The iJ-il 1'i.i "P'juiuJ SlI'p -::\lu.,u! li.rlh.-r
■,. >ini"ij .in . .vi.ie r ii-jid .'f opu » lu ses^ni: s de-i0i:e.1
io ::iivl in hviJu',lT«,i'i!«.
Th-1 fj-'-t '.-.iLriiuj M.--i'»n Pt le-murce pe >jj!e 'n-ik
ji" « e j ■_.)'.pie nf ;u'i l-s sui 'i'i vou *-h;mid ^'.-rt !?!.,i'J!,ri
p. r'.-i's up i.i 1 -.r ''i'il ' <j:!;jliS > i >:i Al Lhi? ;n,rft ei:l
Ih.-ie .ne i'i.i it 10 jie.ij le «.:jLjl- 1 Lip i'i-l '.n..'rii'.J Thr'ie
is -'.!•] 'i'::e I j ^.'L irj\!i;..' 1 >.i« \>r:n Sytu -A.inl lo he i
:fSi'i.j'i e person. More irinii:!^ it-^iiii.s ..re IitiU i\ely
-'h.-!'il."ir..rMinh7..'il 1"
The fi'.ure [« '.irisiht .mJi ii'.ir'i.'iihi::! uid tupp^rl
lj'.irri .i:-'.h.:i 11 111'" F'■■-.■ !« r L M .r h.i Piper e\r-n j^uod
her -uppi.rl Rt ■:>■ (,i::.pj!^u n. -i p.ihlic sj'-i!*-;:^.':!1.
Bri.<n Sul'n .n, lhe viia-pre-I'lcnt, ^ln.lf-n!^, js i \!rej'ie-
lv b.ii'p.'i .i\e .::iJ >vi:'.L-i !o iL.'t his &!jif fully Irjj'.ed in
L'ie p-i'^Mio. It K :if il«i:r<!i\ f.'-'.eii i d l-j iiLiLe '-}'.-:L '..n-
!_riL.fJ -iipp'irt fru-'ii Jtl' E jai.v OHko js a \ lUd ]url ;if
[i^-lir'g i}-1:-*! h ipj'e.'i
So f.r, Jw i" .i:ip.ii.yi h..s rieL wi h ii'tle o\ert ri'ris-t-
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.lie 1''i i-iiof. \»hy .k>'.\eiirod Uskuid of pifi!^.irn?I-ril
e\i*n\\Seie a pvi-ijhe pp'n e ulrr-Li'iy?'
Ame-M irie is -jiikk to [K>ii:l .ml Jj it wl lie qi.'vrs
ln\e rT,.ule -kii'Ib ^iiie'.d .;ri'l le-j-J t" i:r.s '-ji roivi.t
| .-.ifs, 'hi re w c-itil d 1 ■:;»; wjv Lo g) bepTP bf\n. 1 "in-1
<jf.: Ur ilivers>:i,v U"e 'ruly rulvi:'i'.\le'!t;ed «:id \i> ''>J\
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■ ii.tvr uppre-«i..:i :•! 'lutil nukes js '':\:.uib>, j i\i.r.-
i» lisjn like J-i'.s, whi. ii fm-wes oi \isiliilily. is Jl Lhe
inure :iec. &-S.1IJ1
Ar*«.'-M ir'.i' >* l'".e. !u-«t lo .idinil :h.'l lhe p:-.'^-.iii is
sLul in lhe sl:'^e>! of pn.Mi.Linj 11 die (.imerled, bul -he
h.s Utjl hopes iha pjos.r-.in .mJ re r-s-iire crrcnt Li'id
iTj^-pei ii\e w'.LidLii'us jf Lhe ■>ifn -ii-l p'is! i\e eiivL-nii-
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Pr.^enlly, .i oqj..rjle Ihtv h pn t;r an e>i.-L>!, suppurL-
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TEAM EFFORT: These members of Amnesty UBC are working to bring GiftThoulu to Canada, stacey landers photo
An international fight
Zimbabwe gay rights activist slated for Amnesty conference
 by Gabrieile Williams and Katherine Collins
Amnesty UBC and its international colleagues are busier than ever.
It seems the battle for human rights is never won and it definitely
can't be finished during a typical nine-to-five job. Amnesty's newest
campaign, not uncommonly, reaches across the world, this time to
Amnesty UBC is working to bring Gift Thoulu, a member of
Gays and Lesbians in Zimbabwe (GALZ), to Vancouver as a
keynote speaker at the student group's annual student conference. Thoulu, a prominent gay and lesbian rights activist in
Zimbabwe, is a perfect guest.
Under President Mugabe's present government, many social
activist groups such as GALZ have faced persecution, with some
members being detained, imprisoned, interrogated and even beaten and tortured. Mugabe's government is up for re-election this
March and as a part of its campaign, the government is cracking
down even harder on groups such as GALZ, to the point that many
of the gay and lesbian group's members have been threatened and
forced to leave the countiy. Thoulu has also been threatened and
harassed at his home. Some of his friends and fellow GALZ members have recently been arrested and questioned, leading Thoulu to
fear for his freedom and even his life.
Despite these dangers, Thoulu continues his work and his
fine example of activism has inspired Amnesty UBC to find funding to bring him to Vancouver for the student conference on
March 2 and 3, He will discuss issues of racism, human rights
abuses and gay and lesbian rights in West Africa. Thoulu is currently attempting to secure a visa to enter Canada, but he is
working closely with Amnesty members here to ensure he will
arrive in time for the conferences
The conference will be held at UBC and will include keynote
speakers on genocide, human trafficking and female genital mutilation, as well as workshops on human rights issues, including torture, sweatshops, the death penalty, women's rights, peacekeeping
and landmines. The conference has a $25 registration fee, which
includes all meals, workshops, speakers and events—including a
Latin American dance with live music on Saturday night and an
International Market on Sunday. For more information contact
Amnesty UBC at amnestyubc@hotmail.com or 604-822-3933. T
Looking for queer media? Try the web
^ by Ian Cummins
If you're like me and you think Canada is
sorely lacking in quality queer print media,
knowing which sites to visit on the Internet
is the key to staying informed. For this
piece, I went looking for interesting,
informative and well constructed websites
that I think deserve to be bookmarked.
Here are my picks:
If you want a comprehensive site on
current queer-related news, I recommend
visiting hrc.org, the website of the Human
Rights Campaign, an American group that
advocates bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgendered rights. This is an outstanding site
that is really easy to navigate.
Most importantly though it's a nonprofit site, meaning it isn't littered with ads
for discount vacations and dating services.
Instead, the Human Rights Campaign is
member-driven (and I suspect most of
these members must be middle-aged
because the site focuses a lot of its attention on family and work-place issues). Even
so, it's worth a visit, if only to see what an
ambitious non-profit organisation can
accomplish (Since hrc.org is focused on
events in the US, check out the site for
Equality for Gays and Lesbians
Everywhere—egale.org—for Canadian
To put the North American civil rights
movement in perspective, visit ilga.org,
the website of the International Lesbian
and Gay Association. It's scant on graphics,
but it offers a country-by-country survey of
laws (or lack thereof) as they pertain to the
GLBT community. Personally, I had no
idea that Fiji has been embroiled in
debates over homosexuality since it
amended its constitution in 1998 to make
discrimination based on sexual orientation
illegal. And cheers to Destiny, Mongolia's
first gay and lesbian rights groups, which
recently opened an office in Ulaanbaatar.
Considering the amount of attention the
Arab world has received lately, you'll definitely want to explore glas.org/ahbab, the
site for the gay and lesbian Arab society.
The Arab understanding of homosexuality
differs radically from that in the Western
world. It is apparent, from reading through
some of the articles on the site, that gay
Arabs (there was no mention of women)
feel very torn between Western and Arabic
For a more graphic depiction of the
lifestyle forced on gays in the Middle East,
visit http://surf.to/gay.lebanon It ranks
bars, clubs and cafes in Beirut in terms of
how gay-positive they are, and it sounds to
me like even the most gay-friendly spots
are dangerous.
If you'd like to know a little more about
the relationship between the queer community and the world of advertising, go to
Commercialclosgt.org, a non-profit organisation th°t records how companies use
queers in their advertisements.
In addition to a huge archive of old ads,
there is a list of the 'Leaders and Laggards'
of 2001—the companies and marketing
firms that produced the most queer-positive and negative ads of the year. The
Miller Brewing Company tops the list of
leaders, which I find a little troubling, and
the appearance of some marketing firms
on both lists makes me wonder whether.,
the use of gays to market a product is real
ly something to celebrate. Nonetheless, the
site is worth a visit
Interested in knowing more about
homosexuality in Japan between the years
of 1500 and 1900? Do you want real life
accounts on the experience of gay members from American fraternities? I found
both at queertheory.com, an incredible
online bookstore. Keep in mind, this is a
store, so you won't find any critical
Technodyke.com proclaims itself as the
"gathering place for the web-sawy dyke.' I
ain not particularly web-sawy, and I'm not
a dyke, but I loved this site. It's colourful,
it's funny, and it's easy to use. Astrology,
advice, chat rooms and fiction are all
offered here, as well as instructions on do-
it-yourself html development, graphic
design and programming. If you are a
writer, you should know the site accepts
both fiction and non-fiction submissions,
provided you are a lesbian, bisexual or
transgendered woman.
Finally, I have to recommend
hedda.com, the website of a New York City
drag queen and comedian by the name of
Hedda Lettuce. I've warmed up to drag
shows ever since I saw the B-girls perform,
and if drag is your bag, this site is a must.
Hedda's writing, diary entries and drawings are all posted, and she offers an advice
column if you have any questions about life
in drag or other such issues. In her
response to a transgendered individual
having difficulty coming out to friends and
family, she recommends being patient
because, as she says, "it takes a lot of lucking pounding and a knife to get the ketchup
out a new jar." How true! ▼ 8
Friday, February 15, 2002
A Ubyssey Special Issue
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Explore YOUR
Field of
Looking to further a research career in
the fields of natural sciences or engineering?
You could be eligible for a research
scholarship or fellowship.
NSERC (the Natural Sciences and Engineering
Research Council of Canada) promotes,
supports and invests in university research.
From undergraduate to postdoctoral levels,
scholarships and fellowships can help
expand your career and give you the resources
you need to succeed.
'gflfty m 'f&opte, rffstxnrery and innovation
^df^'imae^ 1$ gGCQuverte et /'innovation
by David Brindle
^4 . S
To find <mt ttwrfy imitf4m$ >.r,mpetiti^it
dates and deadlines, loniiurthe:
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Visit our web site: www.nserc.ca '
My campus experience is limited.
My life as a gay man in the world
is not. Until this year at UBC, my
sole post-secondaiy adventure was
a failed semester 25 years ago at
the University of Regina. It was
also when I came out. A quarter
century ago, I was otherwise much
too occupied with trying to come
to terms with who I was than with
Math 101. So, I left for success in
the real world. Now, I find myself
trying to come to terms with what
we as gay people have become
after 2 5 years. I am of a gay generation that set out to make our
- world a better place, to make it
okay to be gay. Instead, we've
become so much like them, like
they would have us be.
Imagine that it is 1977. (If your
imagination is limited, think of
That '70s Show.) Picture a dilapidated two-storey house in Regina,
Saskatchewan. It was in this house
that a handful of Regina's gays and
lesbians gathered every Saturday
night. Fags and dykes snuck
through the back door (double
entendre intended) to drink, to
cruise, to dance to the incessant
beat of Donna Summer's 18 minutes of "Love To Love You, Baby,"
and, hopefully, to get lucky. (Think
of it as a frat house, but with taste.)
It was scary to walk through those
doors. But, we were so proud. It
was ours. We could just burst.
It was a place to be gay, for
Saturday Night Fever and Saturday
night queens. It was a safe place to
be, maybe safer then than now.
What has changed? We've come
from disco to...disco. Fashion has
come from horrid polyester and
faded designer denim to...horrid
polyester and faded designer
denim. Somehow, a six-inch average has mutated to nine. Now,
you're nobody if not defined in a
code that John Nash couldn't crack
no matter how beautiful his
mind-GWM 29 6'1* 180 br/br
pecs abs r/t top.
Shirtless body Nazis and gym
thugs abound bouncing off the
walls of clubs, short-circuiting on
an alphabet soup of e, k, g, coke
and meth. Madison Avenue has
made homos-for-heteros palatable
in primetime with Will and Grace
Pridevision is porn, and Queer as
Folk is, by definition, queer.
The loud and proud gay liberation of the 19 70s has become a gay
movement, which is what you do
every morning on the toilet, isn't
it? The march of radical activism
detoured from the street, into the
mainstream, into the courts and
leffebehihd the community-at-large
to sign petitions, write cheques,
and vote conservative. The court
challenges will, in time and with
. due process, be won. We will win
the right to marry, although I am
not the first to roll my eyes at why
we would want to model our relationships on a failed heterosexual
model. We will make fine adoptive
parents. We will win recognition
under the Income Tax Act, which is
where equality really counts. I am
so proud I could just burst an RSP.
What is the expression? We're
here, we're queer, get used to it?
Where exactly is here? Where are
we? If this was Pride Week at UBC,
where was everybody? We've isolated and withdrawn into the mainstream.   In   fact,   we're   so   far
upstream that many of us voted for
Liberals masquerading as Social
Credit in the last provincial election. Gay people voted for Gordon
Campbell's Liberals. I'm so proud I
could just die of embarrassment
Coining out is an act of bravery,
a proclamation of courage. It is
not opening the door a crack and.
in a plaintive whisper, saying,
"I'm gay," then shutting the door
to the big bad world. It's called gay
pride. So why are we hiding in
chat rooms, cruise lines, want ads,
bushes and bathrooms? Is our
fear, our shame of who we are so
entrenched? What does it say
about a once fighting-mad^ proud
people that we are afraid of going
face-to-face with each other? What
does it say about a community that
plays peek-a-boo? Instead of
"We're hear, we'je queer, yeah-
yeah-yeah," how about, "Now you
see us, now you. don't?" Are we
afraid of ourselves? Homophobic?
Afraid of not just what the
straights might say, but of what we
say about each other.
Fear, theirs and ours, won't be
overcome by going to class wearing
a pink triangle, walking around carrying a rainbow flag, or carrying a
placard. It is going to take time, but
until enough time passes we have
to take care of our own.
I am told that on the UBC campus there are students who live in
fear in residence, in their homes.
And, there are gay fraternity brothers and lesbian sorority sisters
who are terrified of being found
out They all fear being beaten by
thugs. They fear being attacked in
showers. They fear abuse. They
fear the university won't protect
them, and, in my experience, the
university probably won't.
This is how far we've come in
2 5 years? Gay students are living
in fear, unable to feel safe in the
student body. This is not a question of gay rights. This is about
human rights and the right to live
free. I did not walk into the House
on Smith Street ih 1977 and join
the fight for my people and
myself to sneak through backdoors anymore. Thjs campus
should be a safe place for everyone. This is not a movement, but
a battle for liberation that is far
from over. What good are courtroom victories that grant us the
right to live equally if that life is
lived in terror? First, let's stop
being afraid of our own shadow.
Let's come out of hiding so we
know who we are to take care of
each other. Then, we can deal
with the threats from them. My
anger is available to me, UBC. I'm
so proud I could just pick up a
baseball bat.
-David Brindle is a writer,
broadcaster, journalist, activist
and first-year Arts student.


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