Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Audacity of Promoting Equality

Something nice happened in Altona, Manitoba, a small town not too far from Winnipeg: two grade five teachers displayed a card pledging support for LGBT youth.

The cards read:

As an Ally, I envision a society that embraces, values and celebrates diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.

As an Ally, I support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Two-Spirit, intersex, queer and questioning individuals, families and communities.

As an Ally, I work towards a more aware, affirming, safe and open work environment in both policy and practice.

As an Ally, I acknowledge that creating a safe space is an unwavering process that requires productive commitment, re-assessment and dedication.

As an Ally, I am committed to the elimination of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and heterosexism as well as other forms of oppression.

I participated a Rainbow Resource Centre LGBTT* Ally Training session and completed ___ hours of training in the year.

Awww, how sweet.

That's why I love Canada. At grade 5 I already knew I was gay, but it was a shameful secret burried so deep that I didn't even entertain the thought of ever making it known to anyone. I am so happy that today young gay people, at least in Canada, have it better than I did.

I wish that would be the end of the anecdote, but it turned out that numerous parents were offended by the cards and demanded their removal. They were partly successful as the cards are now hidden with the exception of the title.

“We have to sign hundreds of petitions to allow religious exercises in school,We should treat this situation in the same way, as it seems to be just as controversial.” Said parent Kim Peters Sawatzky.

I found Kim's Facebook page with quick Google-Fu and discovered she only likes one book. Guess which one. Hint number one: It's NOT A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. Hint number two: It starts with a "B" and rhymes with libel.

So dear Kim, let me please explain to you why you are wrong.

The problem with teaching religion in school (other than the fact that all religions are man written fairy tales and there is no God) is that it's indoctrination. Not all the children in the classroom are Christians. Some belong to other religions or none at all. I am sure dear Kim wouldn't want her children to be taught Islam lessons. On the other hand it's perfectly fine to discuss different religions in class and teach children that anyone deserves respect and the freedom to practice whatever religion they want.

No one is trying to indoctrinate children to be gay. The only thing the card does is teach children to be open minded towards LGBT people and not discriminate against them. The thing is, unlike many countries including the USA, in Canada it's the law. Gay people have 100% equal rights, so any cards like the one mentioned should be considered a polite notice, not an actual request. We are way past that point. In Canada at least.

Kim Peters Sawatzky also said: “I would like to have the choice of how I choose to teach my children about these words and what they mean."

Translation: "I would like to have the choice of how I choose to teach my children that God hates gay people and that they are gross, derp."

Well, tough luck, lady. You might also want to teach your children that black people like decorating the walls of their homes with the intestines of giraffes, that Jews grind their own toenails and use the powder in most of their cuisine and that Muslims are actually demons wearing people-suits made out of latex. You can teach your children any type of nonsense you want, but you won't necessarily be doing them any favours. You certainly can't expect the system to bend backwards to accomodate your prejudiced, ignorant and bigoted "values". You can always relocate to a country that shares these "values" or maybe start your own colony in some far away rain forest. I can only hope that Kim's children, considering that they are growing up in Canada, will mature into more tolerant and accepting human beings.

Another parent, Rachael Friesen, pretty much nails it: "The kids are hearing some pretty crazy stuff on the playground and we have no control over that. All we can do is damage control, so I’m not understanding why a teacher can’t answer a question without everyone freaking out."

Regardless, we're moving in the right direction. Twenty years ago teachers educating children about LGTB rights would seem like science fiction. Since then Religion has been kicked out of the classroom and now teachers are actually trying to actively educate children to be accepting of LGBT people and the action is met with nothing more than feeble mixed reactions by parents.  The parents objecting are just remnants from darker times. In twenty years not only displaying these types of cards won't be a big deal, it's probably not even going to be really necessary. 

At least in Canada.

One can hope, anyway.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

14 Legs Worth of Love

Us with Justice James MacPherson at Osgoode Hall, Toronto

Today is our fourth wedding anniversary. It's more impressive when you take into account that gay-relationship years are like dog years and should be multiplied by seven. So it's like our twenty eighth anniversary. 

Actually, we've been together for almost fifteen years so in gay-years that's a hundred and five years which you must admit is quite spectacular.

Anyway, life isn't perfect and full of hardships, but getting married and starting a family was the best thing that ever happened to me. It doesn't matter where I go, I got my crew by my side. Starting life anew in a new country and new city without knowing anyone in advance would be much scarier if I really had to do it alone. But as things are, there are always five of us to keep each other company. Fourteen legs worth of love.

We had our surrogate and her husband at our wedding in Toronto, sitting at the family table. That was four months before Blake was born, so he was technically there with us at our wedding. We didn't prepare vows, so we decided to say a few words to our guests. My words turned into a spontaneous speech and you can totally see I'm winging it, but I'd like to think it's part of the charm. So I tell myself, anyway.

Happy anniversary, hubby!


Monday, January 23, 2012

The Cynthia Nixon Experiment

I'm Gay! Now I'm not! Now I'm gay again and now I'm not!!! Yay!
To make a short story shorter: In a recent interview Cynthia Nixon pissed off gay fans when she made the infuriating statement that being gay is a choice. Money quotes:

"I gave a speech recently, an empowerment speech to a gay audience, and it included the line ‘I’ve been straight and I’ve been gay, and gay is better.’ And they tried to get me to change it, because they said it implies that homosexuality can be a choice. And for me, it is a choice. I understand that for many people it’s not, but for me it’s a choice, and you don’t get to define my gayness for me. A certain section of our community is very concerned that it not be seen as a choice, because if it’s a choice, then we could opt out. I say it doesn’t matter if we flew here or we swam here, it matters that we are here and we are one group and let us stop trying to make a litmus test for who is considered gay and who is not." 


"Why can’t it be a choice? Why is that any less legitimate? It seems we’re just ceding this point to bigots who are demanding it, and I don’t think that they should define the terms of the debate. I also feel like people think I was walking around in a cloud and didn’t realize I was gay, which I find really offensive. I find it offensive to me, but I also find it offensive to all the men I’ve been out with."

I wish I could say that it made me lose respect for Nixon, but to be honest I never really liked her. I find Sex and the City to be the most abhorrent TV show ever created and any actor associated with this radioactive pile of crap is automatically ruined for me. The only time I remember enjoying a performance by Cynthia Nixon was when she played a stroke victim on ER. Not sure if I enjoyed it because it was a good episode or because I just liked seeing that bitch from Sex and the City getting a stroke. We will never know.

Fond Memories from the ER episode
I think Nixon's statement is offensive because it feeds the lie that being gay is a choice. It is also offensive because it is a complete crock of poop. One does not simply choose to be gay.

Nixon is offended by people saying that she was gay even back when she was dating men. Not only that, it is offensive to "all the men she's been out with". The way she says it she makes all those men sound like a sizeable demographic. I am sure finding out the chick you banged turned out to be a lesbian is a huge blow to the ego. An insecure man might even think that he was so bad in bed that he actually turned her gay. I can see why good ol' Chyntia is concerned and offended.

Lets get this straight (giggles): one can't choose to be gay. I call bullshit on that. One can't choose which ice cream flavour is their favourite. I love chocolate more than strawberry. I might force myself to eat strawberry ice cream instead of chocolate, but I can't make myself enjoy it more. It just does not work like that. I do not believe for a second that Nixon used to be sexually attracted to men, but not women, but then made the choice to just switch over and be attracted to women, but not to men.

BUT! Just so I won't come across as prejudiced against washed up actresses from terribly obnoxious TV shows, I should conduct the Cynthia Nixon experiment and choose to be straight. I will conduct the experiment right now while writing this blog post.

I, Mickey Blumental, decide to be straight now. I am no longer attracted to men. I am now attracted to women.

I'll take a break for five minutes to let it sink in.


OK, I'm back. It didn't work. I still see boobies as butt cheeks that were ruined by having nipples on them. Sorry, mom.

Cynthia Nixon, you are a moron.

No, more than that. You are an attention seeking moron. I bet you knew this unique and bizarre claim will get you some much desired attention. Who cares if you're giving ammunition to religious nuts and homophobes. There are many "gay therapy" groups where gay men are brainwashed to think they can stop being gay with disastrous results and this sort of publicity stunt just fuels that fetid phenomenon.

Regardless, we have freedom of speech and Cynthia Nixon is allowed to talk nonsense and to lie to herself and everyone else. She can also be offended by people who say she is lying.

OR! She can choose not to be offended.

I mean, if she can choose her sexual orientation, surely choosing not to be offended should be a walk in the park.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Winterpeg Photo Dump

I am not focused enough to write about anything in particular so I am simply going to cheat by using my utterly adorable trio of cuteness with a photo dump.

Self portrait.

Crappy photo, but shows the rec room at a rare moment of tidiness.

It takes Blake one minute to turn the rec room into this.

This is what Leo does 90% of the time.

Another self portrait.

After being eaten alive a few times Dexter now knows his place.

And he likes it.

Blake is puzzled by my fascination with him eating.

Quality time.

Blake notices the camera, time to pose!

Or is it time to nose?


Blake loves Leo.

And Leo loves Blake.

And more self portraits!

Took the dogs out to a field to stretch their legs.

They really really needed that...

So it the weather isn't -100c we'll try doing it every week.

A hat would be nice...

Manitoba? More like Flatitoba.

Ready for school!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

OK, Now I'm Really Angry.

I met my friend Mark through blogging. We discovered each other's blogs as we both wrote mostly about our gay parented families. We never met in real life, but we had some very nice e-mail exchanges and discussions. What I liked about Mark and his family was that, just like with my family, the "gayness" of the family was never an issue. If you read through Mark's blog (and you should) you will find many exciting anecdotes that cover all areas of life (as well as phenomenal photos). Some are hilarious, some are thrilling and some heartbreaking. You would be forgiven if you forget this is a gay parented family. It's just two people who happen to be in love with each other and with their beautiful children who happen to be two guys. The gay aspect practically never comes up.

Until now. Thanks to DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), Fred, Mark's partner of twenty one years is going to be deported in September despite the fact that they have adopted together four children. This DOMA act was signed by Bill Clinton whose ideas about defending marriage include sticking his Weiner in the mouth of an intern.

To make it worse, the main force behind marriage discrimination for gay people are religious people who are hurting real people by trying to protect morality laws taken from a fictional ancient book. Because if there is a God, I am sure what he wants is to see four children to lose either one of their loving parents or the country they were born in and call home.

This post isn't very organic to write because I am so angry writing it.

We were lucky. We lived in the UK so there was no problem for gay people there, at least not by the time I moved there.

So we got to stay together. We later got married "properly" in Canada just before our son was born and we are now living in Winnipeg, Canada where people care about your sexual orientation about as much as they care about the colour of your eyes.

Like I said, we were very lucky.

After the move to Winnipeg I was a bit disappointed in at least one aspect. I was under the impression that Canada is close in prices to the US, but in practice it's significantly more expensive in many areas to the point that people will drive south for several hours to the border with the US for shopping.

Now that I read about Mark and Fred's deportation threat it puts things in perspective. I would rather pay more for my cellphone plan and television, but have full equal rights as a married gay parent without any small letters, ifs or buts. There really is no price for freedom. I appreciate and support those who decide to dig their feet in the ground and fight for equality rather than just go elsewhere, as I am really not sure I could do that.

A while ago in an Interview Barack Obama has been asked about gay marriage to which he replied "I'm still working on it."

Well, Mr. Obama. Pull your finger out and do something about it after nearly an entire term. This is outrageous discrimination and if the first minority president is not going to do anything about it, who will?

To quote Mark from the CNN article: 

"I will no longer ride in the back of the bus. I am tired of waiting for people to give me rights."

You could say that again. In fact, I suspect you might have to.

Give them hell, Mark!


I finally get an excuse to steal-post great photos of adorable children from Mark's blog.

Sunday, January 08, 2012


I hope that the holiday season hibernation is coming to an end.

I was constantly aware that I wasn't writing in my blog, but I couldn't force myself to post stuff just for the sake of it.

Am I back? Maybe. Does anybody care? Maybe, though how many anybodies is a different matter.

The holiday break was fun and we got to celebrate both Christmas and Hanuka in our new humble abode. The benefit of being an atheist. Do Muslims have any fun holidays I can steal? 

It was really nice to be here just the five of us, catching cabin fever together as we snuggle indoors while it's snowing outside. Our first Winnipeg Christmas. With that said, we were disappointed by the lack of harsh weather. Damn you, global warming!

So I hope you (whoever you are) had a great break too and that 2012 will be great or at least not super extra crap. Wow, I'm quite the wordsmith. I should copy-write greeting cards.

I had to assemble Blake's train-set table in the middle of the night because he refused to go to bed at a normal time and to make it even better I didn't even get credit for it. You see, it was from "Santa". Pffft. That lazy fat bum.