Jared Leto scored his first Oscar on Sunday night, taking home Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Dallas Buyers Club” as Rayon, an HIV-positive transgender woman living in Texas in the 1980s. Many in the transgender community are questi…At least it’s nice to know that the black community isn’t the only minority willing to cut off it’s nose to spite its face. This is crazy. I didn’t see the movie, but I’m about to order it on demand tonight. I would not have done that if he hadn’t won and I heard his acceptance speech. And the movie wouldn’t have gotten the buzz it got had he and Matt M not starred in it. From all accounts, he gave a respectful and moving portrayal of the character and moved a decidedly not mainstream topic into the mainstream conversation. There is nothing about that that isn’t good for the trans community. Heckling him or disparaging him for the role is asinine and short sighted and fuels the other side that much more. That doesn’t mean that the attitude should be, you got an oscar end of discussion. Of course, the idea of a trans person playing roles on TV and in movies should be a goal. But you gotta start somewhere. Using this moment to build upon, not tear it down, would be prudent. And he did thank the community in his speech. In fact, he was more inclusive in what he said because the fact of the matter is that trans person’s story is relevant to more than just other trans people. And, while important, the trans community is very very small by comparison so alignment with other groups is again in their best interest. Their issues are not all that different even as they have unique challenges that only they face. I felt that was the message he sent.
Black men in Hollywood
So I’m confused by the point of - and I admit I posted one about the best man holiday - the memes showing the black actors who have had success in hollywood who are in relationships with women who aren’t black. The suggestion being their white significant others are the key to their success.
There are so many things wrong with this idea. First, lets level the field and look at white men. Does anyone give a damn who they’re married to/sleeping with come awards season? Does DiNero owe his success to his black wife? Is Speilberg n debt to Cate Capshaw for his success? Maybe it’s actually Calista Flockhart - or his first wife - that caused Harrison Ford to be the icon he is.
It makes no sense. On the one hand, women are the underdogs in hollywood. They can’t sell movies, they only get cast as bimbos etc etc. But then, magically, if they are in a relationship with a black man they have the power of Zeus in the hollywood community. Give me a break. Perhaps, if you were married to a Weinstein, or a Speilberg or a Lucas or a Cameron, it might hold some sway in hollywood. It might get you a role or even an award you didn’t otherwise earn. Maybe. But being the white chic on the arm of Steve McQueen certainly is not the black card of Oscar commerce.
Beyond that, when are we going to get past the idea that there are types of people you’re “supposed” to love. This is not 1983. It is possible for a black person to like, nay love, a white person and it not be a commentary on how low of esteem black love is held in. Are there self-loathing black men who only date white women or latin women because they feel it makes them look better? Of course there are. But who cares? Do we really want men like that dating and marrying our black women??????
A white woman who is ok being with a man who wants her only because she’s white has her own issues to worry about. But I’m not going to impute that kind of baggage on someones relationship. Not in an age where we want to say it’s ok to love (and marry) whoever you want to.
To reduce these brother’s success down to their chosen relationships is to set ourselves back a hundred years. Dating a white woman didn’t make them any less black in that audition. It doesn’t make them any less black in public and it doesn’t make their award won by any less of a black man. Nor does it make them less of a positive image of success.
Even when we win, we can’t be happy for ourselves. Who do you think that benefits?
I don’t even know how I know of this number. Only that I know it, and my friends know it, and my mom knows it. Somehow, somewhere along the road, I was taught that if I want to have a flat stomach and tight tushy, I need to limit my calories to 1,200…First, I like this bloggers writing voice. She’s entertaining, informed, passionate and kind of funny. That’s what I want in a blog entry. But I don’t entirely agree with her. She makes tons of good points. Women should gain muscle but it’s a reality that most men don’t want a woman with muscles that rival theirs. Overly muscly women just aren’t as sexy - to most men, not all. And at the end of the day if you’re interested in having sex with me, you want to look sexy to them. And vice versa. But men also don’t like stick figures either so there’s that. She doesn’t like the idea that men and women get different fitness and nutrition advice. But men and women - even as we are the same carbon-based organic life forms - are different. My body and my sister’s body perform differently, even as we generally get our excersize from the same activity and share common genetics. My body is larger and more capable than hers when it comes to physical exertion of an athletic nature. It is also a more efficient muscle-building, and therefore fat burning machine than hers. If my sister ate and drank the way I did (and trust me, she ain’t starving, she eats a lot for a tiny girl;) she’d be enormous. Actually, if most men ate the way I eat they might be too but that’s another story entirely. Point is that double X and the related hormones and physicality that come with it require a different type of care than an XY configuration does. So I don’t buy her idea about men and women being the same and getting the same info. I don’t think a woman would be all that successful (unless she was some sort of athlete) using Men’s Health as a guide (hell, most men can’t follow that rag!) Then there’s her issue with calories. The fact of the matter is the only way to loose weight is to create a caloric deficit. Either by eating fewer of them, burning more off than you eat or some combonation thereof. For someone like me, calories and weight are the only things I worry about. I don’t actually count calories but I have a sense for the days or span of days when I’m consuming more than I’m eating and I have a pretty good sense for how much I weigh - even though I don’t own a scale - at any given point. I use my clothes as my guide. I know that if my clothes are requiring a belt at the third ring, I’m a normal 175 and I can run a race without issue. If however, I don’t need a belt I’m closer to 185 and I’m going to have to work hard to run a race and won’t have a great finishing time. If my belt is pulled farther than the third ring and/or my pants still sag, I’m closer to 168-170 and I need some Popeyes in my life stat. A race will be harder for me to run and my time won’t be good because I don’t have enough glycogen stores to rely on for anything over a 10k. I care about calories and weight because I run. The lighter you are, the easier running is and the faster you can go. The more calories you eat, however, the more energy your body can store for those runs. So I give myself a 20-25lbs swing from lightest to heaviest I’m allowed to be. That way, I never have to spend much time thinking about what I eat (although I am always eating or trying something new to eat or eliminating something I choose not to eat, that’s just a me quirk). And I don’t have to give a hoot about lifting weights or going inside a gym. And I’ve got a fairly muscular frame - I’m not winning Mr. Universe any time soon but I do ok. I think the real problem with nutrition is what she’s talking about - just focusing on one thing is not good. But it’s more than that. It should be about each person getting in touch with what’s important to them, what they want to look and feel like and what their particular body is capable of and responds well too. In my case, I was not interested in ever needing a gym membership again. I was not interested in being fat. I was not interested in giving up things like chips and second helpings of bacon and brunch! I was interested in fitting into leather pants, tailored suits and slim fit pants and being able to take my shirt off at the beach whenever I damn well pleased and not having my belly stick out. I was also interested in running races in the warm weather months and was willing to train in the cold-weather months to do that if it kept me out of a gym. I think women, and men, should look at fitness and health that way. Instead of what works for women or what works for me, what works for me! And I love Special K chocolate delights I don’t care what she says. It’s the only cereal I eat. With chocolate soy milk and ground flax seed.
Flaw in the logic on gays and kids
So, maybe because I was off today, I’ve been thinking about things. This whole Boy Scouts banning gay adults (and Disney - perhaps the gayest place on earth - making an awesome move in response) makes me wonder why no one can see how insane the rationale is.
I remember when I was first interested in volunteering after I stopped working. I was really unsure about what I wanted to do so I just investigated a bunch of things. I looked at a mental health facility, an old folks home and the Big Brother/Big Sister program. Ultimately, I opted not to move forward with the latter because they had, as part of their screening, questions about sexuality. I asked why and the guy told me that they would have trouble placing someone what was gay. I found the logic, in addition to being invasive, to be fundamentally flawed and opted not to pursue being involved with them. I ended up with the Smithsonian so it’s all good.
I could not abide by the idea that an organization who’s mission was to find positive role models willing to make a significant and personal time commitment to work with a child who’s life was in disarray enough that they needed the benefit of an “at risk youth” program would discriminate based on anything as irrelevant as a person’s bedroom preferences.
I mean, other than my teachers who were married, I didn’t have very much awareness of the personal dating lives of the adults who were responsible for shaping my childhood learning experiences. I never once thought - other than in Jr. High with one teacher who did it in the classroom with another teacher - about my teachers sex lives or preferences. Until maybe high school when I made the off comment about how my poor grade must be a result of said teacher “not getting any.” And even then, I certainly didn’t care about their sex life. Nor did it ever come up in any conversation I had with them - even the married ones.
It’s just not appropriate for an adult to be discussing their sex life with a juvenile in their charge. An adult - regardless of preference - who is qualified to work with kids would abide by that. The idea that a gay person would not be able to control themselves around kids suggests that they are pedophiles. Which we all know is not accurate. It also, if taken to it’s logical conclusion, suggests that straight adults cannot teach or mentor children of a gender opposite to theirs.
Are they suggesting that a straight adult discussing their sex life with a kid is somehow ok?
Anyway, this whole thing is dumb. kids don’t care about this and most adults don’t either. The sooner we move past peoples bedroom antics the sooner we can focus on things that are actual threats to our well being and the well being of our kids.
There is something beautiful about a disarmed stranger. We usually only get to witness that kind of vulnerability with friends or family, when something — sympathy or apology — is expected of us. Public criers ask nothing; they don’t need anyone to take care of them.
Reminded of Brené Brown with this great reflection in the Times’ Opinionator blog.
(via New York Times)
Never thought about that. Basically, crying - others or mine (which is rare) - makes me uncomfortable. There’s definitely a therapy session or two in that…
New Years Resolutions 2014
Tonight at 6:30pm, Trenton Doyle Hancock will resurrect his 1998 performance “Off-Colored” in a new context. Hancock will bring to life the mythical creature called the Mound. He is fed huge bowls of Jell-O and, in between feedings, sings a spiritual hymn taught to him as a child by his grandmother. The singing references Hancock’s religious upbringing but also reaffirms his connection to his relatives and loved ones who are no longer living. By bringing these hymns into the museum space, Hancock draws a connection between his religious past and his present relationship as an artist to the museum.
The event will take place at NYU Grey Art Gallery. Tickets required: http://bit.ly/HCHDfN
Visit: http://radicalpresenceny.org/ and use #RadicalPresenceNY on social media to keep up with all the “Radical Presence” programming.
Image: Trenton Doyle Hancock, Devotion, 2013
Photo: Max Fields
More work from a former classmate of mine. Check him out!
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