Five Questions With… Zach Wahls

I was lucky enough to meet Zach Wahls at a recent fundraiser and awards gala for Fair Wisconsin. He gave such an amazing talk and was such a cool guy that I couldn’t help but ask him a few things.

Zach Wahls: My Two Moms(And how can you not love the adorable cover of his book? It’s good, too. )

1)      You are sometimes referred to as an “ally” of the larger LGBTQ communities but I don’t think you see yourself that way. Can you talk a little about what it means for you to be called an ally as opposed to being a community member?

I’m most often referred to as a “straight ally” by both the public and members of the LGBTQ community. And that’s usually fine, I don’t correct people or feel that it’s necessary for me to do so. But personally, I don’t feel as though I’m truly an “ally” because, in my mind, I’m a member of the LGBTQ community even though I’m not, personally, LGBTQ-identified. I know that the last thing any of us want to do is add another letter to the acronym, but the reality is that I do feel as though I’m a member of the community. Like LGBTQ people, I was born into this community. Like LGBTQ people, I have felt the shame and humiliation of being in the closet. Like LGBTQ people, I am regularly stigmatized by those who oppose LGBTQ rights as inferior, defective and sinful. The parallels are not perfect, of course, but as a community, we need to figure out a way to create spaces and community for those of us who have grown up with queer parents. So, to be clear, it’s not that I’m LGBTQ-identified, but that I feel the LGBTQ community includes its children, and that, to the extent that that’s true, kids like me are a part of the community. Continue reading “Five Questions With… Zach Wahls”

“It Gets Better.”

Dan Savage & his husband Terry talk about growing up gay, the assholes in high school, families you grow up in & families you create. Really beautiful stuff, and please, LGBT teens, watch it.

Fordham Gets Hip

I went to Fordham for a split second, and it’s cool to see the university is finally giving health benefits to same-sex partners:

Faculty members fought for four years to extend equal benefits for every member of the faculty, regardless of sexual orientation. Previously, legally domiciled adults (LDAs) were not recognized in the faculty’s benefits package. This means that same-sex marriages and partnerships, including relationships between two men, two women, or between an unmarried man and woman, were not afforded the same benefits as marriages between heterosexual individuals.

What’s more interesting to me, & more precedent-setting, is the final sentence of the same paragraph:

LDA benefits also extend to faculty members who may be responsible for caring for an elderly parent or another dependent adult in their household.

Which is how it should be: anyone should be able to name their own dependent.

Men Are Valuable Even When They Aren’t Dads

There are times, as a woman, that if you actually manage to recognize your own humanity, instead of your use as a breeder*/parent, you still have to face the fact that people write articles like this explaining that you are not an asshole.

It’s astonishing.

Just try to imagine the same article with the word men in place of women: “Childless men have been able to accumulate education and resources they otherwise wouldn’t have had if they’d had children. This time and income could then be put back into other people’s families “to pay for lifesaving operations, or to rescue the family farm, or to take in a child whose mother had fallen gravely ill.”

I mean, really?!

And while this particular article is pro child-free women (albeit condescending), it amazes me that any argument has to be made that women are of value even when they aren’t parents, that many women choose to be childfree (for whatever reason) and/or that even women who wanted kids and didn’t have any (for whatever reason) can live satisfying lives.

Can we get back to ZPG ideas? Is it possible, even, for people to consider all this talk about being green when it comes to children? There are too many of us on this planet & we’re destroying it as a result, and we don’t have a goddamn chance if the value of women who don’t have children has to be explained.

What bullshit.

* to clarify, since someone objected to my use of the term breeder: i used the term breeder to point out that this is the way our culture thinks of women if articles like this have to be written. i don’t use the term otherwise, but i do think it’s highly problematic that someone might object to the term but not the attitude/culture that treats them that way. that is, the only evidence that the culture doesn’t consider women breeders, and breeders only, is if there is inherent value in a woman’s life when she isn’t a parent.

Coming Out to Kids as Trans

I was asked recently for resources for trans people with children. Honestly, there’s never very much, but here’s the list I sent her:

If anyone has any newer resources I haven’t yet seen, please do add them!