This is a little late, and a little less than topical, but as many of you may have heard, earlier this month Cynthia Nixon (an actress known for her role on Sex And The City) made a very open declaration that for her, being a lesbian was in fact a choice. This directly challenged the currently prevailing queer narrative, and the increasingly dominant mantra of “Born This Way”, and she received some pretty significant negative backlash.
Kind of creeps me out. The fact of the matter is, we don’t yet have much conclusive evidence as to what exactly determines sexual orientation or just how innate it really is. For most people who are queer, our identities feel quite fixed and immutable, and we often fought very, very hard to make them conform to social expectations and went through a long period of hating ourselves and desperately wishing to be “normal” before ever accepting that this is who we are and is who we need to be to be happy. But that experience is NOT universal, and many people have a far more fluid and shifting experience of sexuality and/or gender.
And what really stands out for me is the fact that the Born This Way debate really doesn’t matter unless we buy into the concept presented by the religious right that queer identities or acts are somehow immoral, sinful, disgusting, inferior or otherwise undesirable (“But we can’t help it!”). Even if it is a choice, it’s a choice we bloody well have the right to make for ourselves.
Anyway, a couple really great ladies I know from Teh Twitterz put up this incredibly cute, insightful and fun video last week, which articulates these issues wonderfully (and with wonderful accents) and I happened to watch last night and found too awesome not to share:
(and please do check out Feminist Ire, the site where they posted it)
Also I’m very excited to let you all know that next week (Tuesday evening) I’ll be giving a short presentation in person at the Vancouver Skeptics In The Pub downtown at The Railway Club on February 21st.
The talk is entitled “Getting Skeptics To Think Skeptically About Their Skepticism”, and will be about how to turn a critical eye towards your own biases, assumptions and cognitive distortion thingies.
So if you’re in Vancouver or the surrounding area, or somewhere near-by like Bellingham or Seattle or something, please do feel free to come down, have a beer or two (or more) and maybe some food, listen to me ramble about something, and if you’d like you can come up and chat with me.
I am also more than happy to accept beers and foods myself (contrary to the brilliant deductions of a certain JG, I’m not actually insanely rich, despite the fact that I’m able to access the internet and have a blog. Shocking, I know).
The Railway Club is right downtown on Dunsmuir, between Seymour and Richards, and sort of across the street from the Granville Skytrain station’s Dunsmuir exit, and also across from a big student housing hostel thing, and there’s a big old beautiful cathedral on the corner. It’s through a big wooden door and upstairs. Sort of above a Fresh Slice pizza place. The Skeptics In The Pub gather in the big back room (you’ll know it when you find it). There will probably be signs, but the bartender can direct you there if you get lost.
Yes, I’m terrible with directions. Google maps might do a better job.
The event starts at 6:30, but I’m not sure when exactly I’ll be giving the talk. I’ll probably need to have a drink first. It will be my first ever skeptic talk / presentation, and also my first talk / presentation of any kind at all in almost four years.
I look forward to seeing you there!
(please no assassinations)