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The Problem with Dublin Pride

“How can I tell you. How can I convince you, brother,

sister that your life is in danger: That everyday you wake

up alive, relatively happy, and a functioning human being,

you are committing a rebellious act. You as an alive and

functioning queer are a revolutionary.

There is nothing on this planet that validates, protects

or encourages your existence. It is a miracle you are

standing here reading these words. You should by all rights

be dead. Don’t be fooled, straight people own the world and

the only reason you have been spared is you’re smart, lucky

or a fighter.”

Have you ever been to Dublin Pride? It’s an experience. I think everybody, or at least every Queer- body remembers their first time. There’s just something about it. Maybe you were out and proud, living with your partner when it happened, or maybe you were a teenager, arriving awkwardly at the Garden of Remembrance by yourself, absolutely terrified that you were going to see someone you knew there. Walking around, you saw so many people, thousands of people, some running around manically with hi-vis vests on, some trying to stick huge papier mache things to lorries with masking tape, some wearing a lot of glitter and not very much fabric, posing for pictures.

Drag Queens wearing so much make- up, looking like they just stepped off a stage, except they are smoking and hugging each other and talking about how hung-over they are. But mostly, mostly you see people like you. Ordinary people in ordinary clothes, maybe with a flag or a whistle around their necks, just walking around and smiling. This is your community. And then you stop worrying about who will see you, because everyone is HAPPY to see you. And you never knew that you could be so happy because a whole bunch of strangers are smiling at you, but you are, and it feels great, and then everyone lines up to march and all of a sudden you’re holding one corner of a giant Pride Flag and yelling and laughing all the way down O’ Connell street, and everyone is laughing with you. Everyone. Someone sticks a camera in your face and you are happy about it. It doesn’t matter where that picture ends up, because you have all of these people on your side, now. You belong here.

        “Being queer is not about a right to privacy; it is about
the freedom to be public, to just be who we are.  It means
everyday fighting oppression; homophobia, racism, misogyny,
the bigotry of religious hypocrites and our own self-hatred.
(We have been carefully taught to hate ourselves.)  And now
of course it means fighting a virus as well, and all those
homo-haters who are using AIDS to wipe us off the face of
the earth.  Being queer means leading a different sort of life.  It's not about the mainstream, profit-margins,
patriotism, patriarchy or being assimilated. It's not about
executive directors, privilege and elitism.  It's about
being on the margins, defining ourselves; it's about gender-
fuck and secrets, what's beneath the belt and deep inside
the heart; it's about the night.  Being queer is "grass
roots" because we know that everyone of us, every body,
every cunt, every heart and ass and dick is a world of
pleasure waiting to be explored.  Everyone of us is a world
of infinite possibility. We are an army because we have to
be.  We are an army because we are so powerful.  (We have so
much to fight for; we are the most precious of endangered
species.)  And we are an army of lovers because it is we who
know what love is.  Desire and lust, too.  We invented them.
We come out of the closet, face the rejection of society,
face firing squads, just to love each other! Every time we
fuck, we win.  We must fight for ourselves (no one else is
going to do it) and if in that process we bring greater
freedom to the world at large then great.  (We've given so
much to that world:  democracy, all the arts, the concepts
of love, philosophy and the soul, to name just a few gifts
from our ancient Greek Dykes, Fags.)  Let's make every space
a Lesbian and Gay space. Every street a part of our sexual
geography. A city of yearning and then total satisfaction.
A city and a country where we can be safe and free and more.
We must look at our lives and see what's best in them, see
what is queer and what is straight and let that straight
chaff fall away!  Remember there is so, so little time.  And
I want to be a lover of each and every one of you.  Next
year, we march naked.”

After the parade, everyone is herded into the rally, and you are on a high. The space around you is filling up with people, people who are just as drunk on happiness [and probably beer] as you are. And then someone comes on stage, and welcomes you to Pride, and tells you that today is going to be the best day ever, but you already knew that. And then they hand over the microphone to someone, and they step up to centre stage and they tell you The Truth, They tell you that today exists because every other day is a struggle. They tell you they have no money, no support, no reason to be doing what they are doing except that it’s right. They tell you that young Queer people kill themselves too often. They tell you that our government will not pass legislation which would legally allow them to have an identity of their own. They tell you all the reasons civil unions are not and never will be marriage.
They tell you about your history, about Stonewall, about Declan Flynn, a gay man murdered in Fairview Park, an event which made Irish LGBTQ people stand up and say they weren’t going to take it anymore. They tell you that WE are not going to take it anymore, that we are going to keep fighting until we get what we deserve, and everyone yells and claps and stomps their feet. This is our community in action, and it feels powerful with rage but also with optimism. You get the feeling that the noise we made coming down O’ Connell street can reverberate all over the country, could do anything we wanted it to do. This is a protest, and it’s a protest that isn’t going anywhere until it gets what it wants.

               “   A crowd of 50 people exit a gay bar as it closes.
Across the street, some straight boys are shouting "Faggots"
and throwing beer bottles at the gathering, which outnumbers
them by 10 to 1. Three queers make a move to respond,
getting no support from the group.  Why did a group this
size allow themselves to be sitting ducks?
   Tompkins Square Park, Labor Day.  At an annual outdoor
concert/drag show, a group of gay men were harassed by teens
carrying sticks. In the midst of thousands of gay men and
lesbians, these straight boys beat two gay men to the
ground, then stood around triumphantly laughing amongst
themselves.  The emcee was alerted and warned the crowd from
the stage, "You girls be careful.  When you dress up it
drives the boys crazy," as if it were a practical joke
inspired by what the victims were wearing rather than a
pointed attack on anyone and everyone at that event.
   What would it have taken for that crowd to stand up to
its attackers?”

This February, I was walking with my girlfriend through Rialto, where I lived at the time. We were holding hands. Some kid started bothering us because of this, and I dismissed him. In response, he threw binbags- binbags full of other people’s waste, which had been sitting in the street al day in the rain- at us all the way to the top of the street. This is my neighbourhood, nobody helped.
Recently, a friend of mine was called the F- word and hit in the head with a bag of cans in front of a busy café. Dublin city centre. Nobody helped.
Two fucking days ago, my sister and her girlfriend were called ‘half men’, verbally assaulted and hit with eggs walking down Aungier Street in the middle of the day. Nobody helped.
Buzz O’ Neill got hit in the head right outside the fucking George, and nobody helped.
These are just the examples I have off the top of my head. Be assured, there are more.
I am angry. I am angry that it is 2013 and this is what my country feels like to live in. It feels scary. It feels unsafe for me, for my Queer brothers and sisters and people of no gender at all. It feels like there is a real fight, a fight to take control of our streets going on, and it doesn’t feel like we are winning. That’s why Pride is so important this year. Our community needs to feel like we can walk where we want to walk, yell where we want to yell, and just be who we want to be, and we need to feel it soon.
That is why, more than anything, I am angry at Dublin Pride. They are allowing us to take to the streets for a day, but in Nissan-sponsored ways. They have- in a year in which we were promised gender- recognition legislation that we aren’t getting, in a year when the constitutional convention happened- themed the parade something inane, something childish. Something which isn’t scary. They have made it so that only groups which fit their definition of what it is to be an LGBT activist can march in it. They have removed politics from the rally.
This decision is not only morally wrong, it is morally fucking dangerous. A Pride parade without teeth is just what every right- wing, homophobic person wants us to have. It makes everyone in it look ridiculous; it turns a man in a tiny pair of leather shorts into a laughing stock, instead of a deliberately provocative take- over of what heteronormative society says we can wear on the streets. It turns our community into a group of people who drink together, instead if a group of people who stand together. It gives us no defence when people question what we are doing, because what we are doing is just another Paddy’s Day. Just an excuse to get drunk in public. And worse than that, it deprives anyone who is heading to Pride for the first time of the vital knowledge that our community has goals and we are working towards them. It removes the spotlight from community groups who need occasions like this to continue to function on a large scale, and it creates a generation of young gay people who accept the fact that sometimes they will get beaten up or egged, but that somehow that is all OK because we can drink in Temple Bar one day a year.

               “I hate having to convince straight people that lesbians
and gays live in a war zone, that we're surrounded by bomb
blasts only we seem to hear, that our bodies and souls are
heaped high, dead from fright or bashed or raped, dying of
grief or disease, stripped of our personhood.
   I hate straight people who can't listen to queer anger
without saying "hey, all straight people aren't like that.
I'm straight too, you know," as if their egos don't get
enough stroking or protection in this arrogant, heterosexist
world. Why must we take care of them, in the midst of our
just anger brought on by their fucked up society?!  Why add
the reassurance of "Of course, I don't mean you.  You don't
act that way." Let them figure out for themselves whether
they deserve to be included in our anger.
   But of course that would mean listening to our anger,
which they almost never do.  They deflect it, by saying "I'm
not like that" or "Now look who's generalizing" or "You'll
catch more flies with honey ... " or "If you focus on the
negative you just give out more power" or "you're not the
only one in the world who's suffering."  They say "Don't
yell at me, I'm on your side" or "I think you're
overreacting" or "BOY, YOU'RE BITTER."
   They've taught us that good queers don't get mad.
They've taught us so well that we not only hide our anger
from them, we hide it from each other.  WE EVEN HIDE IT FROM
OURSELVES. We hide it with substance abuse and suicide and
overachieving in the hope of proving our worth.  They bash
us and stab us and shoot us and bomb us in ever increasing
numbers and still we freak out when angry queers carry
banners or signs that say BASH BACK.  For the last decade
they let us die in droves and still we thank President Bush
for planting a fucking tree, applaud him for likening PWAs
to car accident victims who refuse to wear seatbelts.  LET
YOURSELF BE ANGRY.  Let yourself be angry that the price of
our visibility is the constant threat of violence, anti-
queer violence to which practically every segment of this
society contributes.  Let yourself feel angry that THERE IS
NO PLACE IN THIS COUNTRY WHERE WE ARE SAFE, no place where
we are not targeted for hatred and attack, the self-hatred,
the suicide --- of the closet.  The next time some straight
person comes down on you for being angry, tell them that
until things change, you don't need any more evidence that
the world turns at your expense.  You don't need to see only
hetero couple grocery shopping on your TV ...  You don't
want any more baby pictures shoved in your face until you
can have or keep your own.  No more weddings, showers,
anniversaries, please, unless they are our own brothers and
sisters celebrating. And tell them not to dismiss you by
saying "You have rights," "You have privileges," "You're overreacting," or "You have a victim's mentality."  Tell
them "GO AWAY FROM ME, until YOU can change."  Go away and
try on a world without the brave, strong queers that are its
backbone, that are its guts and brains and souls.  Go tell
them go away until they have spent a month walking hand in
hand in public with someone of the same sex.  After they
survive that, then you'll hear what they have to say about
queer anger.
   Otherwise, tell them to shut up and listen.”

Something needs to be done. The year is 2013 and I can quote Queers Read This, a publication made in 1990, and not only is it relevant, but it’s relevant within our own community. We are not in a place where we can afford to turn Pride into a party yet. The party is always a part of it, but we are not living in a world where it’s OK to ignore the protest. We are not safe yet, and anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is either misguided or a goddamn liar. This includes the entire commity of Dublin Pride this year. They are sanitising your community, and they are depriving you of your right to stand up and ask to be treated with dignity. They are not on your side in the fight for equality.
Let’s do something about it.

Here are the contact details for Dublin Pride. Let them know that you are going to let yourselves be angry, whether they like it or not.

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DublinPride

twitter:@DublinPride

email: bod@dublinpride.ie

All I Want For Christmas

It will surprise absolutely nobody that Christmas is my favourite time of year. I know religion is problematic, and everyone gets the ‘flu, and ther’s a pretty high chance that you’ll hoop yourself in Temple Bar in front of a gang of Cool Teens who will laugh at you for hours and hours, but fuck it, it’s also a holiday pretty much dedicated to being rad to each other while eating as many biscuits as you ohysically can, and who is against that? I legitimately think that if athiests spent as much time findng reasons to deliver chocolate to each other as christians do, the country would be totally secular right now. Dawkins just can’t compete with a tin of Heroes, and how could he? He’d look shit wrapped in foil.

 

ANYWAY, I have been pretty mush SWAMPED by people asking me what I want for Christmas this year [I haven’t]. Total strangers have [not] been calling me at all hours of the night, asking ‘which is my favourite kind of plaid, red and black or black and red?’,  ‘Do I own a soldering iron?’ or ‘How did I get this number??’

 

Well, don’t worry, you guys. I got your back. Because there is one thing that I would love to get for this Christmas, and I would put money on it that you know someone else who’d love it, too. Any of you guys out there find yourselves getting righteously angry, but unfortunately have dumb jobs that mean you can’t get to protests? That is pretty much the bane of my life right now. I miss all the yelling. But luckily for me, the amazing people at TENI have my back yet again. They have thought of a rad way to combine their activism with their desire to exist in January, and remember, it is that tight for those guys. TENI are without funding, they are like a little match girl standing outside the Dail running out of matches. Since TENI are pretty much the frontline, go – to Trans* group in this country for everything, I think we can all agree that it would fully blow if they ran out of matches.

So this year, why not be rad to them, as well as to your other activism friends? Introducing the TENI Christmas giftpack- it comes with a T- shirt, wristband, a years membership and- for a tenner extra- a really rad book about Trans* people in Ireland [I’ve read it, it’s great]. Think of of as adopting a transgender polar bear, except instead of pictures of the jaysus thing you get a T- shirt you can wear to parties- High Fashion Parties.

Here’s the link to pick one up for you and/ or a loved one this Christmas: https://transequality.wufoo.eu/forms/teni-gift-bags/

There is a possibility you might even look this good in it:

644484_10151013183686254_1164882474_n

 

 

 

Merry Christmas, everybody

I Do My Own Stunts

Dudes, have you ever just been really fucking happy, for absolutely no reason? Well fucking try that shit out, because I am here to tell you it is pretty much the raddest of all the miraculous sensations [is happiness a sensation? I don’t know, I am not a scientist. But if I was a scientist I would wear safety goggles all the time so bitches would know about my Experiments. Also, I would probably be a bad scientist].

Now, I know nobody likes to read about somebody telling them how rad their life is, that shit is minus craic. I mean, you can be totally content and comfortable with every aspect of your life, but if someone comes along and makes you read 800 words centered on how fucking deadly they are, it’s gonna harsh your buzz. ‘Gee’, you will say [you are Bobby from all educational videos made in the 50’s, by the way], ‘I sure thought I was happy living here in this Moon Tower, but now that I know all about that sighting of a nun in a sex shop [true story, happy Monday], I just feel inferior.’

But also, I kinda want to share this rad feeling with everybody. SO- I have come up with a plan. Imma make every single one of you feel as happy as I do right now, and also make you feel much better about your lives in general. I will do this merely by relating some in real life true stories of how I am messing up my own life. Specifically, how I am messing up talking to girls.

Exciting, right? Prepare to be Validated:

OK, so you guys know I volunteered at TGEU this year, and had a rad time and you should all donate to TENI this second, right? Right. A thing most of you don’t know is that not only was there a ton of learning experiences to be had there, and a lot of friends to be made, and karaoke to be sung- dudes, there were also a ton of Babes.

Babes as far as the eye could see, if the eye could only see as far away as the other side of the building. And as we all know, I have supreme difficulty with talking to Babes. I can’t do it. I see a face, and I either run entirely out of words, or I run into too many. One time in Galway at a Socs day, I accidentally called a pretty girl a cunt, and to this day I do not know why or how I managed it.

What I am saying here is I have serious game.

Anyway, so on the first day I was working registration, and it was my job to sign people up for a bus home from Mother on Saturday night. Simple! I was the last person at the desk, so I made sure to scan the line ahead, in case of Babes, so I would have time to prepare what to say [I know for most people, saying the sentence ‘Do you want to get the bus home?’ comes naturally, but what can I say, I told you I had game]. Foolproof plan, right? And it worked perfectly until some people who were asking me difficult questions about line- dancing in Dublin made me lose my concentration.

I wrote their names down on my list of bus names, and looked up… And suddenly, the roof of the nursing building parted, and allowed a single stream of sunlight to glisten on the forehead of what can only be described as the most beautiful human being that has ever existed. Angels carved that face out of my dreams, and then sent it to register for a conference in DCU, and that is how I know god is a fan of LGBTQ people. That is how I know it for a FACT.

Of course while I was thinking that, the Most Beautiful Human was just standing there, probably wondering why I was gazing into their perfect eyes and drooling slightly [and attractively].

‘Oh shit!’ I thought, ‘Fucking say something! You gotta say something oh god what is happening this silence is too long SAY SOMETHING!’ and so I said something, and I said it loudly, and it was this:

‘BUS?!’

And then I died.

LOL JK I only WISHED I’d died. Instead what I did was just die internally, and that was almost as good. Eventually Bus [for of course, that became a nickname, with my friends that had no choice but to become a nickname] left, I have no idea if she ever signed up for the bus or not, but I do know this- my heart was already sad that she was leaving.

The next day, I engaged in such advanced flirting tactics as ‘hide under the table she is walking this way’ and ‘Oh shit pretend that these t shirts need to be folded again’. I was laying it on THICK. In hindsight, I don’t know why she didn’t fall for me there and then, I was being such a smooth criminal.

That night, there was a barbeque and karaoke, so naturally, we got drunk and skipped the barbeque, but arrived just in time to start the singalong party. I had a look around the bar, to see if Bus was there, so I could charm her by spilling a pint all over myself or something, but thankfully she was not, so when my mate said we should get up and do Gold Digger, I was like ‘Chalk It Down’.

And we got up, and it started, and we sang the first line before the whole audience of volunteers yelled ‘BUS’ at me… because of course that’s when she arrived. Nobody who walks in on you trying to rap along with Kanye will probably ever think you are cool again. Especially if the karaoke machine swaps the N word for ‘Figga’ and you don’t know how to process that. Should you sing anyway? I don’t know the rules.

The next night, long story short, I got very drunk at Mother and told her she was the most beautiful person I had ever seen in my whole life, and we danced for hours and it was rad as hell. So rad was it, that I woke up on Sunday with a big grin on my face, and the feeling that all was right with the world.

As we were tidying away all the t shirts and stuff in DCU before we left, I saw Bus walking towards me with a case. ‘You can handle this one, Dolan’ I thought to myself smugly, ‘You guys danced, you are done making a fool of yourself, and she’s about to leave with a pretty chill impression of you. Good job’. Now, for background information, I had spent the previous three days whooping and hollering and singing, so my voice was a low burr at this point. Only whales could hear me. And so it came as a huge surprise even to me when she said ‘Goodbye’, and flashed me a day- maker of a smile, and I replied ‘Bye, see you later!’, but with this guys voice:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_baIGq_nAc

I’m cool.

Obviously, immediately after that, I had to go and share My Gay Shame with everyone, so I went back to the Nursing building, where all the volunteers were hanging out.

‘Guess who made a fool of themselves in front of Bus [I used Bus’s real neame] today?’ I yelled.

‘She’s sitting over there’ replied Ais, pointing to Very Much Nearby.

‘Guess who made a fool of themselves in front of Bus TWICE today?’ I replied, and I knew in that moment that up until then, I had only imagined the feeling of embarrassment, and that this right here, was the Real Deal. I also knew I would never feel anything even close to that level of shame again, and so I clung to that silver lining to prevent sinking into the earth.

And Iwas right, I haven’t felt like that since.

That is, until a couple weeks later when I wrote Ais a note to go with a thing I’d borrowed from her, and the note said ‘I spent most of last night making out with someone a day older than Dakota Fanning- NO REGRETS’, just to cheer Ais up, and she took a picture of it and put it on facebook for everyone to see , includingthe aformentioned girl who  responded with ‘tell her I’m loads older than Justin Bieber, it’s fine’, which is a fairly good reaction but STILL.

Because that’s my life, apparently. A series of incredible and awesome things, joined together with intense and semi- permanent blushes.

Thanks for listening. Have a rad day.

Ain’t Nobody Got Time For This

About two weeks ago, I put up a post on this very blog, calling someone out on homophobic behaviour. The internet went crazy. It was viewed and shared more than 2000 times within the first three days of going live, and the response was overwhelmingly supportive. My friends, family, even strangers were outraged that I had been treated so badly by people who were supposed to be my bosses. And, as a direct result of me calling these people out, I have published articles all over the place. The internet exploded when I asked it to, and the good guys won. I am so, so happy about that. Thank you, everyone, for standing up for the right thing.

A while ago, GCN was running out of funding. It put out a call to arms to the LGBT community, and asked for donations. People sent in postal orders, Cormac Cashman organised a club night, Mamma’s Place existed for a while-the support was phenomenal. So phenomenal that GCN is still a thing that you can read. That’s crazy, everyone. This is a thing that exists because our community exists, we are fuelling the fire. How inspirational is that?

 

On August 12th this year, a huge crowd of people gathered outside City Hall, and marched to Merrion Square for Gay Marriage. Now, we might not have marriage yet, but the march keeps getting bigger, and people are noticing. Statistics tell us that the majority of people want Gay Marriage to happen, and we are confident that it will. That’s because of us, guys! We got out, we marched, we yelled, we made a difference. Our community is marvellous, and we can do absolutely anything when we stand together. From protecting me when my boss is a shithead to reversing thousands of years of religious indoctrination across the country, we are capable of huge change and unbelievable force. We are pretty much unreal, you guys.

 

And it’s about time we started acting like it.

 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love that we do all the stuff I just talked about. I wouldn’t change any of that for the world. But it seems to me that we could be doing an awful lot more. We are great at getting angry when the issue affects LGB people, you can guarantee that, but what about the T? You guys, we are totally ignoring the T, and it’s time to stop.

Not long ago, I was looking at a Facebook LGBT activist group I am a member of, and someone put up a complaint they had sent in about the incredibly transphobic Meteor ad. Most people who commented underneath it also thought it was a terrible ad, and were shocked that it was on television. But also, some people had this to say:

‘Good Ad though’

‘Just my two cents, but comedy is comedy. If you put minorities in a protective bubble, I believe you are marginalising them too. Everyone is subjected to some stereotypical jokes.’

Now, bear in mind these are comments from people who identify themselves as activists, they are in a group designed for activism… and they aren’t really interested in standing up for Trans* people. Just imagine for a minute that Meteor had made an ad that specifically made fun of people who identified under the Homosexual Umbrella. I can guarantee that these comments would never have been posted under that clip.

 

This is an attitude that you can see, in varying degrees, all the way through our society, and I think it’s time we threw some of our incredible manpower behind getting rid of it. People in Ireland do not march for Trans* rights, because they don’t understand them. They see the insults thrown at Trans* people every day, and aren’t affected by them, so they shrug them off. Fuck That Noise, we can change that.

 

Imagine what would happen if straight people shrugged off our calls for marriage like that. Not even marriage, because if straight people treated LGB people the way ALL people treat the Trans* community, we’d be nowhere near marriage. We’d still be working on decriminalisation. But we can fix that.

 

This weekend, I was a volunteer at the 4th European Transgender Council, which Dublin hosted. A thing that speakers kept saying in workshops is that Trans* rights in Ireland are at least 15 years behind Gay Rights. That really stuck with me. Up hands who remember what it was like to be gay 15 years ago? I don’t, but I am pretty sure that it wasn’t great. The Employment Equality Act wasn’t until 1998, so the records back me up on that one. And that’s the kind of environment people are happy for the Trans* community to live in now? An environment where literally no aspect of their lives is safe? Fuck That Noise. We can fix that.

Another thing that happened at the conference this year was that three delegates were subjected to Transphobic assault. They were bullied and spat on. Genuine human beings were fucking spat on by people who live in our city, and what kind of outcry did it provoke? Almost none. Nobody gave a shit. We can fix that.

We are living a country where the LGBT community is so strong, so powerful, we can fuel and fund ourselves, and yet in four months time, TENI- our only national Trans* group, which provides literally ALL the services and support for Trans* people all over the country- will have no more funding, and will disappear.

Now, I don’t wanna be a dick about this, but how many gay clubs are there in Dublin now? On any given Saturday night, there is Mother, The Front Lounge, The Dragon, The George, ALT, Panti Bar, The Wilde Venue, BBC every now and again- all drawing a crowd. Clearly, we are not a community which is incapable of spending. But TENI is almost out of money. Doesn’t that seem, I don’t know, INCREDIBLY FUCKED UP to you?

This is not an organisation that is superfluous. While we are marching for marriage- a human right we think everyone should have- the Trans* community is fighting for gender recognition, otherwise known as ‘being legally recognised as the person you actually are’. That seems like a human right to me, why don’t we try marching for that, too? And while we’re at it, why don’t all you wonderful activists out there join TENI, and pay a tenner instead of a euro when you do it, because that is probably the most necessary tenner you will be spending today. Isn’t it rad to change the world?

Did you know that at the conference this weekend, we had the very first ever rally for Trans* rights in Ireland? Putting aside the fact that it is incredibly late for this to be a thing that is just starting to happen, it was a thing that was advertised all over Facebook and Twitter, and yet nobody from outside the conference came. No allies from the LGB community, no straight people who think that the government should allow people to be themselves, just Trans* people, supporting each other, because nobody else ever does.

I am mad as hell that this is the case. I am angry that all of the incredible, beautiful people I met this weekend do not get legal recognition in my country. I’m angry that the welcome they got on the one night they left the safety of the nursing building in DCU was literally a spit in the face. I’m angry that TENI has to run table quizzes and beg for money, and still not receive it, and still puts on the happiest face and organises conferences like this one, still operates groups all over the country, still saves lives. I’m angry because soon it won’t be able to anymore. I’m angry because most of you still don’t care.

Equality isn’t a thing you and pick and choose from, you guys. We either all get it, or none of us do. So please, stop leaving so many members of our community 15 years behind. This year, Dublin Pride is running a competition for a theme. Make it be Trans* Rights Are Human Rights. Make that be the theme not just of the parade, but of the year.

Donate to TENI, spread the word, get up and support your brothers and sisters. They support you.

Here’s the link: http://www.teni.ie/page.aspx?contentid=10

Joshua Doyle Responds To ‘Why I Quit Writing For College Times’

In  the interests of fairness, I am linking to a response to ‘Why I Quit Writing For College Times’ that Joshua Doyle published on his tumblr page. I only just became aware of it, sorry for not putting this up sooner.

 

http://joshuadoyle.tumblr.com/post/30311263997/gay-bashing

 

I don’t want to get involved in a mudslinging war with this guy, I really don’t. I obviously have a lot of issues with what he has written here, but it’s his blog, he can say what he wants. I would just like to add one small thing- the day he published this piece, he did contact me on facebook, and ask to meet.

He was very cagey in the conversation, and I felt unsure about the situation, so I said I would meet him only if he gave me a straight answer about why he didn’t attempt to apologize until after Greta let him go. He refused to do so, and so the meeting fell through. Joshua, I have no doubt that you will read this post, so when you do- be aware that that offer is still open. If you want to sort out our differences, then explain yourself and I will be more than happy to put the contents of that conversation up here. That decision is still up to you.

Saying No

Today I discovered that College Times removed one of my articles. Unsurprisingly, it was not the one which is [at the time of writing] still topping their ‘most shared’ bar. It wasn’t the silly one I wrote about scissoring, or the informative one I wrote about strap ons.

 

It was the one about consent.

 

Frankly, I think this choice is telling. Faced with a huge response from my blog post exposing the company as a place which supports sexism, they responded by removing any reference to women being allowed to refuse sex from their website.

 

I wasn’t planning on removing anything from College Times, because I wanted the articles I did write to reach the audience I wrote them for, regardless of the issues I have with College Times’ staff. However, I can’t let these people continue to profit from my work any longer, not if ‘consent’ is not a message they can get behind.

 

As regards the other articles which College Times have not yet removed- If any LGBT Society, website or even blogger would like to print them, you are more than welcome. You can email me at dolanchap@gmail.com and I will provide you with everything I have, to do with as you wish. The reason I would prefer to give them to a society blog is because that way, they will still be reaching young LGBT people, which is the audience I aimed them at. I have asked College Times to remove them as soon as possible.

 

Anyway, here is ‘Saying No’:

 

 

 

Alright, kids, today we are gonna discuss Serious Business. That is the business of consent. Now, I’m not talking about rape, rape is a separate issue and if you are looking for some advice about that, I suggest calling the Crisis Hotline. I’m not qualified to help you out there.

 

What I am talking about is being pressured into doing something that you are either not into, or just plain not comfortable with. This happens all the time, you guys, and it’s A Shame. Right now, people all over the world are engaging in sex acts that they kind of would rather not have anything to do with, and they are doing it to make their partner’s happy.

 

Imma drop a truthbomb on you all right now- if you are with someone who is not respecting your boundaries, you need to not be with that person anymore. Not respecting your boundaries is the same as not respecting you as a person, and what kind of relationship is that?

 

A True Story: I once dated a girl who was very much into the bumlove. At the time, I was young and relatively inexperienced, and I just wasn’t sure I really wanted anything inside my butt. So I told her that, and she said it was cool, but then kept going for it whenever we were having a naked party. So one day I let her, and I had the Worst Time ever. We ended up having a giant fight the next day, I started thinking about the sex we were having as a favour I was doing her, like a thing I was performing so she would still like me, and eventually we broke up. I was immediately much happier.

 

Does this mean I do not like anal sex? FUCK NO. Imma talk about the charms and beauty of going up the wrong’un at some stage, and we will all be Enlightened. No, the moral of that story is that I was having a bad sex life because I was trying to please my partner at the expense of my own orgasm. I wasn’t ready for that yet, but I did it for her, and it was a fucking HUGE mistake. Don’t be like me, guys. Don’t live in regret.

 

Now, obviously, everyone has different boundaries, and they change and grow over time. Sex is all about trust, and things you would never do the first time you bone a girl will turn into Standard Repertoire if you stay together long enough, such is the way of relationships. But just because you’re with someone who is a step ahead of you does NOT mean you should start jogging. Fucking take your time, enjoy the scenery! Half the fun is exploration, and exploration is way better when you do it together.

 

Because here’s the deal, you guys- if you are not enjoying the sex you are having then you gotta really think about why you are having sex, you know? If it’s not to make a baby, or to have a good time with someone you love/ like/ just met but they are cute as heck, then why are you bothering? You are a grown ass woman, and being a grown- up means you get to make the rules. So do yourself a favour and make some that result in multiple orgasms, instead of just plain relief.

 

And similarly, if you are into hardcore BDSM, and the newest lady in your life is into fingerbanging with her underpants still on, then be a good person and don’t make her feel bad about that. Not everyone you sleep with is going to have the same sexual history as you, and that’s OK. Try to remember how it felt to not be sure what you were into yet. The excitement of going to bed with somebody and being wicked nervous about it, because you were worried you were gonna do it wrong or backwards or something. And when you are imagining that, think about this- you have the opportunity to blow somebody’s mind. Do you wanna waste that by making them do what you wanna do straight away, or do you wanna continuously do it, every night, for ages, until they are in the same place as you? Because chances are, they will get there, and even if they don’t, you might learn something new, too. Every day is a chance to learn a little bit more about how your genitals like to be touched, and rushing that will definitely lead to skipping a few Cool Moves. Respect each other, and I can 100% guarantee that your sex life will be hella better. And if it’s better, it’ll happen more often, and who says no to more sex?

 

The message is simple- don’t be a dickhead all of your life. Be rad to each other, you’ll be happier in the long run.

 

Sexting 101

As promised, here is an article about sexting that would probably have gone up on College Times, had I not been forced to quit [see previous post]. This is one of only two sex columns I wrote that were not my idea, full credit for the concept must go to Jack O’ Connor.

 

 

 

 

Sexting, much like being really good at rollerblading or sitting outside Central Bank, is a thing that is only cool if you are a Cool Teen. For most of us, the urge to send a boobshot to someone because you feel like a wank fades away sometime around the time of the leaving cert results, never to pop up again until we are middle aged and running for some sort of political office.

 

Fig. 1: A Sext

 

 

 

It’s one of those things people only want to do when it’s highly inappropriate/ illegal, because once it becomes an OK idea, it also becomes a depressing one. Also, once you hit your 20’s, chances are you’re going to be thinking of the future, and you don’t want future employers googling you and finding a picture of your 16 year old butt [even if it does have a youthful complexion].

 

Fig. 2 A Sext

 

 

That being said, EVERYONE gets drunk, amiright? And sometimes, when we are very drunk and more than five metres away from someone we have had sex with, we feel like letting them know that we wanna do it again. Or maybe just taking a trip down memory lane, to the last time we boned. Sending naked pictures might be a bit passé, but our generation is famous for being nostalgic about the recent past, and alcohol usually makes us wanna think about sexytimes, rather than how awesome the Power Rangers were [Side Note: If you can combine these two things in a workable way, please be my girlfriend forever].

 

So, keeping that in mind, here are some Rules Of Sexting [or, for more examples of the art, please follow @rare_basement on twitter]

 

First of all, never sext someone you haven’t boned yet. I mean, you are already doing a silly thing, imagine how ridiculous texting someone ‘I wanna grab your boner parts’ would be if they actually HATED that? Total buzzkill. You have to know what they want to hear, otherwise you are just being a Creep. Nobody likes being a Creep.

 

 

Secondly, don’t immediately start with the hardcore stuff. Everyone knows that sexting is mainly about the Filth Factor, but if you open with it, there’s no surprise. Like, walking up to a girl in a club and immediately touching her genitals is not a good idea, is it? But you can totally work up to it, only if she wants, and that’s allowed. Sexting follows a similar principle, I think.

 

 

 

Another important rule is to spell everything properly, or as properly as drunk you can spell. The cool thing about being a grown up is that you can enjoy an adult sex life, free from the dangers of someone’s mother coming in. So take your time. Nobody has ever successfully rubbed one out to a message that had more numbers in it than letters. It’s not cool, you guys, if you wanna let someone know your serious, use your grown up alphabet.

 

 

Now, say you have just had a hot and heavy sexting session with your ladyfriend, and you feel like showing her your wonderful, vodka- scented body. That is totally allowed, and you will definitely regret it tomorrow but so what! Everyone has regrets, right? Just try to leave a little something to the imagination, if you can. And remember, every sexy picture you send out will end up on the internet eventually, that’s just how the world works.

 

 

That’s pretty much all the advice I have on the subject of Sexting. It’s a bit silly, but all sex is a bit silly, and actually going out and having sex is obviously a way better choice. But if you happen to find yourself distanced from the person whose genitals you admire most, then stick to the rules above and you should be fairly OK. And remember kids- Always Delete. You don’t want anybody else reading that shit, and more importantly, you almost definitely said something you will regret in the morning. It’s like a hangover for your phone!

 

Oh, and by the way, it’s definitely cheating if you use Siri. Poor Siri.