Friday, October 21, 2011

Talking Sexuality, 2: It’s All Just Love and Sex, Isn’t It? (Maybe One, Maybe the Other, or Both!)

***Everyone has the right to his or her own opinion. Mine may differ from yours and I accept that, and if you would like to discuss your own, feel free to sound off in the comments! But please, be respectful. I am not here to offend anyone or try to sway them to see things my way, I am just expressing my beliefs and am open to having a conversation regarding any others that may be presented to me.

[Note: I’m not even going to touch the argument of religion and sexuality in this, as I feel it is a whole other discussion in itself, which will likely be written about in a post to come.]

It’s interesting that I started talking sexuality right around Spirit Day, which was on October 20th, in support of LGBT youth. Though really, any time is a good time to talk about sexuality, as it has become a big issue in modern society, with very split opinions on the subject. Yes, we have come a long way from past decades to being a more accepting culture, but there is still discrimination, and large movements of bullying against LGBT teens (and even adults). But why? Aspects of religion aside (as I mentioned above), what makes homosexuality or bisexuality seem offensive to some people? Because when it boils down to it, it’s really just about who you love and interact with, right?

Now I know, there is always that looming question of what exactly is love to begin with? You know that feeling you have with your best friends, like you can tell them anything, be who you really are, and there is also some strange emotional connection between you that you can’t put your finger on? Well, of course I don’t know for sure, but to me, that is love. I know that friends love each other, and I think that in essence, romantic love is just an extension of those same feelings. I’m not saying that if you “love” your best friend that you feel romantically about them, or that it is sexual in any sense, I just think that sometimes it can go beyond the “normal” realm of friendship/other relationship love and turn into romantic/sexual love, you know what I mean? How can someone say that emotions of love in a relationship are not real just because two people are of the same gender? Do you not love your friends of the same gender? Of course not in the same manner, but regardless, as I mentioned already, I feel like it’s really just a different form of those other types of “love” you may feel (but what do I know? I’m not a science or love expert by any means!)

And of course, some might argue that the nature of homosexuality and bisexuality, or any sexuality for that matter is in fact whom you want to have sex with (hence the nomenclature of the categories). It might be this thought of sexual activity that turns some off of accepting different sexualities because they see it as “unnatural”, but I don’t necessarily believe that sexuality per say boils down fundamentally to sex. Maybe it’s the romantic in me, but I think it has a lot more to do with emotionality and love than that. Or maybe I’ve watched A Single Man one too many times, because within that film, the main character recounts how he has had sex with women, but categorizes himself as gay because, as he tells his partner, "I fall in love with men. I fell in love with you". It’s all a matter of the labeling of sexualities based on sexual acts, I think, even when the fundamental basis for one may in fact be more emotional than physical.

On the other hand, yes, homosexuals and bisexuals choose to have sex with people of different genders than what one might consider normal (in terms of human biology and reproduction). Some view sex solely as a means of reproduction, but in modern times, this view is obviously not as common as it once was. That being said, if a majority of people don’t view sex as only necessary for reproductive purposes, why is it so wrong for two people of the same gender to engage in it? They obviously cannot procreate, but if that’s not what people of different genders are using it for either, why does that matter?

It also seems as though homosexuals and bisexuals have this stigma attached to them that they are more “sexually devious”, that is, will have sex with multiple partners, more frequently, and in less “conventional” ways, you might say. But what about all those heterosexuals that engage in the same sort of activities? Heterosexuals often partake in sexual acts that are similar to those which two females or two males might engage in (or so I’ve read and heard) with one another—not everyone simply has sex in one conventional way, even in heterosexual relationships. It’s unfair to stereotype certain sexualities as the deviant ones when in actuality there are those who sleep around or do partake in “kinky” activities in all sexualities. Every group has it’s exceptions, so it is unreasonable to lump all people of one particular label into a certain categorization that they may or may not fit into (you see, I’m not denying that there are both sexually mischievous homosexuals and heterosexuals, but not all of them in either category are like this, of course).

So what is it about different sexualities that make people wary to accept them? There are relationship issues in all sexualities, including both emotional and sexual aspects, making it seem like no one “type” of relationship is necessarily superior to another (besides the fact that one can procreate and the other cannot).

Do you think that there is really any difference between two people of opposing genders falling in love and two people of the same gender falling in love, aside from basic biology? What are your thoughts on the subject?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Talking Sexuality, 1: Why Talk About It and Be Out There?

*** Everyone has the right to his or her own opinion. Mine may differ from yours and I accept that, and if you would like to discuss your own, feel free to sound off in the comments! But please, be respectful. I am not here to offend anyone or try and sway them to see things my way, I am just expressing my beliefs and am open to having a conversation regarding any others that may be presented to me.

[Note: At a later date, I will talk more about why I am supportive of all sexualities.]

Some believe it’s become fashionable to say that they support gay rights. (Everyone is doing it, huzzah!) However, sometimes we just think about these things when directly asked or if it is directly placed in front of us, rather than being outspoken, or taking an active interest in the subject. Anyone that knows me personally knows that I am very much interested in Gay Rights movements, as well as other aspects of sexuality and recognition. Every now and again, however, people will ask me why, being a heterosexual myself, I am so into that kind of thing, or more crudely put, “Why do you love gay people so much?” Really, I’m interested in all aspects of sexuality, not because I myself am questioning my sexuality. Also I want to gain a better understanding of this position and these issues. Through this understanding, --as well as through friendships with homosexuals--, I have come to accept who they are, and have become supportive of their lives.

That being said, it’s all well and good to be okay with homosexuality personally and in your mind, but why speak out about it? Why engage in conversation about it with others, and why show the world what you believe in by attending events and spreading information? Or should the real question be… Why not?

This is not to say that if you believe in something you should shove it down someone else’s throat; oh no. But showing you are behind something and engaging in discussion/debate around such subjects in a respectful way is always a good thing, to illustrate a perspective and be a face for what you believe in.

The “God Hates Fags” movement from The Westboro Baptist Church is certainly outspoken and in your face about what they believe in, and I think that the opposing side should also show itself in return. If you are strongly opinionated about something, you shouldn’t be ashamed of this, and not engaging in your ideas is almost a way of saying that you believe in something, but don’t want people to know it.

Take for instance, Gay Pride events. I was once told that they really just perpetuate gay stereotypes of being incredibly flaming and decked out in rainbows all the time, and I can definitely see the point in that statement; actually if someone doesn’t want to engage in such and even tI really don’t see the harm in it. However, if you do partake, it is as though you are declaring that you are not ashamed of who you are, and don’t care who knows this. If you are heterosexual, it’s a way of saying that this is what you believe in, and that you are going to stand by it as a real presence.

Finally, I will admit that a lot of this discussion was in fact spurred on by the recent outing of actor Zachary Quinto, confirming that he is in fact a gay man. He spoke out stating that he was inspired to step out in honor of teen Jamey Rodemeyer who recently committed suicide after being bullied for his sexuality. Quinto essentially says that he wanted to publically acknowledge his sexuality in order to make a difference, be a role model, show kids that they are not in fact pariahs like society may make them believe. (This was all in a blog post which can be read HERE! It’s really quite lovely). On the other side of the coin, I feel as though being supportive as a heterosexual is also important. I feel as though it is also a way of showing homosexuals/bisexuals that not only people “like them” will support them, but also others who are technically considered “normal”.

I know that in the recent years society has made great strides to bring equality to all sexualities, but --as Zachary Quinto also mentions-- we still have a long way to go. And frankly, even after all people have equal rights, there will still be a persistent stigma attached to sexualities (or so I personally believe). Why else would a book like The Help be considered so relevant today in regards to racism, despite the fact that races have been legally equal for centuries now? It’s because despite being legally considered equal, there are still stereotypes that persist, making people retain the feeling of being a pariah, when really they shouldn’t be made to feel as such.

But now I leave it to you: What do you think about homosexuality/bisexuality? Would you consider yourself an active supporter of your beliefs? Do you think that people should show their support in an open way or not?

P.S: Stay tuned for more discussion on sexuality to come. I really like talking about this subject, if you couldn't tell...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

50/50: A Quick Review

*** I do have a bit of a bias towards Joseph Gordon-Levitt as I am a fan (like many others), so sometimes it sways what I think, but I don't think it did a lot this time. And I understand if you disagree.

Just a quick couple of notes after seeing the film 50/50, Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Anna Kendrick.
If you haven't seen a trailer for it, you can check one out: Here!

I know a lot of people are referring to this as "that cancer movie" but I think it's so much more than that. I really enjoyed it for a number of reasons, and would recommend it to most of my friends! I say "most" because, you know, there are always those with weird/terrible taste, but let's not get into that now...

Quick Notes on 50/50:

1. Clean production and editing. Nothing too weird going on.
2. Great writing and pace. It is actually very very funny, but also heartfelt.
3. All of the actors/actresses in the film shone. Their talents were not wasted, and it was nice to see Seth Rogen drop into some more dramatic moments to go with his lovely grizzly-bear laugh.
4. It didn't laugh in the face of cancer, but it also didn't go down the predictable route of making everything seem like a travesty, or preaching that there is a light at the end of the tunnel (and all that).

I thought this movie was a great blend of showing the different emotions one can go through when facing a terrible illness/disease, etc. I've had close members of my family survive surgeries to remove tumors, but have also lost one to cancer as well, so I have experienced a lot of the feelings that were shown in the film in regards to the family and friends of Adam (the protagonist).

The one sticking point that my sister found in the film was that she thought [spoiler alert!] making Adam's father also have Alzheimer's was a bit overkill, and didn't really add anything, because he barely interacted with him in the film. I thought that it kind of added a dynamic and understanding of Adam's relationship with his mother, but I don't know, that's what she thought and I can see where she was coming from.

In the end, this movie is not a "shit happens, life goes on" comedy about a terrible, common disease. It's about relationships, helping people through tough times, loss, survival, changes, adaptation, family, trust, and everything else. And most importantly, you don't get the feeling that some movie executive is rubbing his hands together gleefully at the thought of gaining accolades for shining such a "light" on this subject. Not, it genuinely feels heartfelt and sincere.

I would definitely recommend this movie.
Have you seen it already? What did you think? Were you also floored by Joseph Gordon-Levitt?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dear "Glee": Mercedes and Rachel Can Stop That Now, Please

*** Spoiler alert? I don't even know, I don't give away that much really but still...

Some ideas spurred on by Season 3, Episode 3, which was supposed to have been "The Best Episode Yet", but frankly, the producers need to go back, watch the episode Wheels and then talk to me.

Yes, I like "Glee". Don't judge me, I know that it used to be a lot more fun and now it is overly campy and sometimes a little ridiculous, but I don't care. I got sucked in early by the incredibly talented singers on the cast and how it almost felt like it was mocking other teen shows originally. Now? Well, I'm getting irritated by some things. Thus, my postage here! Where else?

Oh Lea Michele and Amber Riley. Both are amazing singers, and I just wish I was half as talented as them. Their characters, however, are getting on my nerves. How many times have they done the "sing-off" thing with one another? At least three now (by the 3rd Season, 3rd Episode). And it seems like they keep being surprised by the talent of the other person singing! "Oh no, Mercedes was better than me, didn't you hear her?" Um, didn't you hear her two seasons ago when she sang "And I Am Telling You"? Yes you did, because you thought the same thing then. Then you hugged each other for your abilities after singing "Take Me or Leave Me". Get over it, you are both amazing.

Though frankly, I think Lea Michele has more of a show-tune voice than a popular-song voice. It just sounds more suited to show tunes, and often more mature in those songs, whereas some others come across as a little screechy. Still, an incredibly powerful voice.

Also, in today's episode (I think it was called Asian F or something like that?), Mercedes kind of went off on Mr. Schuester during their "booty-camp" dance practice for essentially treating Rachel as though she is perfect and asking "Why isn't Rachel here?"
You know what I said not thirty seconds earlier? "You know who should be there? Rachel! She isn't as strong of a dancer as most of the other kids. She has that awkward kind of movement sort of like Kurt does." So really, even though Merecedes could have taken it down a notch, I agreed with her.

What is this really all about? I don't really know, I guess I am just getting annoyed by some things on "Glee". Actually a lot of the time I express discontent at things, but in the end, I know I will keep watching it. It's fun, you don't have to think about it a lot, and as I said before, some of those kids are just so incredibly talented, I can't help but watch them.

So take it with a grain of salt. Take it with a pound or two! And let's just see what else comes to us in the time to come.
And apparently "Glee" is on a break until November now? Doing that stretching out business like last season which made it seem like it went on forever, and was kind of like 2 little seasons? I guess so, but what do I know?