Well, I’m back on Canadian soil, and the time of this post should demonstrate the extent to which my body clock is still happily ticking along in California time. International Ms. Leather was a fabulous time, and I’m sure I’ll have some reflections on the experience to post soon enough; in the meantime I’m simply marking my calendar for next year’s event, April 15-18, 2010. The bois and I enjoyed the town – we walked over the Golden Gate Bridge and watched the dolphins leap in the surf below, wandered into vintage clothing stores in the Haight-Ashbury district, dined and book-shopped (mmmm) in the Castro, and just generally had a wonderful week.
The highlight, in many ways, was our visit to the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon on Saturday. What a wonderful, intoxicating, sensual way to spend a Saturday morning! Of course we were all there in full leathers, as we were heading straight to IMsL right afterwards, so I had the distinct pleasure of savouring fine, smooth dark chocolates in a fine, smooth dark outfit. It amazes me how quasi-sexual the chocolate experience can be. One place in particular, Poco Dolce, stood a cut above the rest. I placed one of their signature bittersweet chocolate tiles in my mouth – the one made with roasted pumpkin seeds, chili and sea salt – and as the dark, smoky flavour rose up my nostrils, the backs of my thighs began to quiver, and my mouth watered, and I got dizzy. I kid you not. I very nearly had to sit down so as not to pass out from the sheer high of it. The only other time I’ve had a comparable experience has been with Black Science chocolate from Toronto’s finest artisanal chocolatier, Soma. I never expected it to be reproduced.
Now that I’m home, though, I’m jumping right back into the swing of things with two lectures this week and a meeting of the Leather Bindings Society, the book club I run for sadomasochists (oh, the things that make my motor run). Here’s the info for this week’s lectures if you’re interested; following that, I’m including a re-post of a brief rant I *originally posted on June 12, 2006, for your entertainment.
Tomorrow (today for those with a normal body clock), Tuesday, March 24, I’m giving a guest lecture in Prof. P. Durish’s “Feminisms and Sexualities” class at University of Toronto from 2 to 4 p.m. The topic is transgender awareness and trans ally work – it’s a new lecture and I’m very much looking forward to giving it. It’s taking place at 20 Willcocks St. room 524 – not technically a public lecture, but generally speaking universities are pretty open about letting folks just slip in.
On Wednesday, March 25 from 2-4 p.m. I’m giving another new class. This one’s a workshop called “BDSM 201: Percussive Play and Ask-the-Pervert Q&A” and I’ll be giving it at the York University Student Centre, room 321. The description is as follows:
“If you’ve attended ‘Stepping Into the Scene: BDSM 101′ and you’re hungry for more, come have a bite. This is a two-part workshop aimed at people who already have some familiarity with the basics of BDSM but want a place to explore a little deeper. First, we’ll explore the finer points of percussive play, with a wide range of implements for show-and-tell and a series of short demos to illustrate the safe and appropriate way of using them. In the second part, we’ll hold an “Ask the Pervert” Q&A session for any and all kink-related questions – both spoken out loud and using an anonymous written format. Come with your curiosity in hand!”
Someone posted to a list I’m on about the current poll being conducted by Advocate magazine. The question is, “Do you think an abbreviation like LGBT or GLBTQ, etc., should replace the use of the phrase gay and lesbian?”
What a stupid question. Should the term “clothes” replace the use of the word “shirt and tie”? No. Of course not. They aren’t the same thing – related but hardly equivalent. If you’re talking about your wardrobe, though, would it not make sense to have more words than only “shirt and tie” at your disposal to describe it? Yes, of course.
I hate it when people reduce this kind of thing to a “yes-no-undecided” range of answers. It’s frustratingly reductionist and painfully inadequate to actually begin any attempt to explore the issues at hand anyway.
So I answered the poll, and I checked “undecided,” and in the comments section I wrote the following:
One does not replace the other. They refer to different things. Gay and lesbian means gay and lesbian. Gay and lesbian doesn’t include bisexuals (like myself), trans people, intersex people, genderqueers and many other groups that simply aren’t gay or lesbian, but who share community space with gays and lesbians and whose concerns overlap with those of gays and lesbians. If we’re only talking about people who are actually gay and lesbian, of course let’s not add in a bunch of extra letters. If, on the other hand, we are talking about a wider spectrum of people, then let’s use the appropriate words for all of them, and abbreviate them to BLGTQ or whatever else is accurate in a given context. And let’s do it without tokenism or other empty attempts at political correctness. The letters don’t mean much if they aren’t backed up with inclusiveness in practice. But as for usage – it’s really just a question of accuracy.
And I remembered why it is that I generally don’t bother buying the Advocate in the first place.