A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘glbt issues

[LINK] “John Weir on the Controlling Effect of Trump’s ‘Locker Room Talk’”

leave a comment »

Towleroad shares author John Weir’s take on the idea of “locker room talk”, examining it from a needed queer perspective. This kind of language is meant to exclude more people than you might think. An extract:

So you have a lot of white guys sitting around on a tour bus talking, reminiscing about their past sexual aggressions, planning their upcoming sexual aggression; and then they get off the bus and there is footage of that aggression.

It was not as violent as gang rape, but it stuck to standard scenarios of how gang rape is represented in innumerable movies and novels and TV shows produced and written and directed by men; and it was sexual harassment.

Watching it – only once – I thought about how, since I hit puberty (I’m 57 years old), I’ve repeatedly been in social situations – not locker rooms! *living* rooms – where one man, or a group of men, whom I have just met, whom I am “getting to know,” has/have said stuff about women not so different from what Trump said to Bush.

It is, indeed, inevitable, that conversation: I walk into a room of men I don’t know, and sooner or later, one of them turns to me and makes a sexual comment about a woman or all women. Not like, “She’s hot!” But more like Trump saying, “I moved on her like a bitch.”

I’m a gay guy, and I’m talking here – I assume! – about straight men. Straight guys are constantly policing each other’s heterosexuality, even still, and they want to know, as quickly as possible, whether or not the new guy is a fag.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 17, 2016 at 3:45 pm

[BLOG] Some Monday links

leave a comment »

  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper noting how Tau Ceti’s debris disk is not like our solar system’s.
  • Language Hat talks about writers who want anonymity.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the return of homophobic protesters in France.
  • The Map Room Blog shares hazard maps of various Yukon communities.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that India’s biometric smartcards works, and notes diversity does not reduce economic growth.
  • Peter Rukavina shares some late 1990s photos of cows taken with an early digital camera.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes the recent controversy over Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
  • Window on Eurasia argues Russia might invade Ukraine more openly before January but also suggests that Russia is quite brittle.

[URBAN NOTE] “Fetish-wear business thrives by finding a niche outside the mainstream”

leave a comment »

Jacob Serebrin’s article in The Globe and Mail about Northbound Leather tells a fascinating story, about how a local company can, by catering to a specialty audience, thriving while staying local.

Jane Jacobs would be proud.

For Toronto’s Northbound Leather, getting into the fetish-wear market started by being in the right place at the right time.

It happened “by virtue of the fact that we were located at ground zero of what was Toronto’s emerging gay culture in the ’70s,” says George Giaouris, the owner of the leather and fetish apparel retailer and manufacturer.

This year, Mr. Giaouris is celebrating his business’s 30th anniversary, but it’s really just a celebration of the current incarnation and name of the family business that got its start in Greece in 1961. Mr. Giaouris’s father was making metal closures for small leather goods when he saw an opportunity to expand into making the whole product – things like leather handbags, briefcases and globes.

A few years later, the family moved to Canada and, by 1970, the business had settled on Toronto’s Yonge Street. It was there that the store, which had started catering to hippies, found it was getting interest from a new market.

And so it began to cater to a new market: alongside the leather jackets Northbound makes and sells appeared items like leather pants, shirts, chaps and corsets. Other products, like restraints and the category euphemistically referred to as “percussion” are aimed uniquely at a kinkier customer.

“We were taken by the hand and led down the Yellow Brick Road,” Mr. Giaouris says. But that didn’t present a problem for the family business. “We were a very liberal family, very non-judgmental.”

Written by Randy McDonald

October 16, 2016 at 7:15 pm

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

leave a comment »

  • Joe. My. God. notes that Peter Thiel gave $US 1.25 million to the Donald Trump campaign.
  • Language Log reports on one parents issues with traditional Chinese characters.
  • Marginal Revolution reflects on the interaction between pain medication and labour force participation.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money shares the right’s criticisms of Hillary Clinton for her politics and Miley Cyrus for her sexuality.
  • The NYRB Daily reports on one Syrian’s despair at the fighting in his country.
  • Window on Eurasia reports on history wars in Tatarstan over Ivan the Terrible and looks at Belarus’ opening to the European Union.

[PHOTO] Six photos from the Sunset Services ceremony at the 519 during Nuit Blanche, Toronto

leave a comment »

I had started off Nuit Blanche at The 519, a community centre in Church and Wellesley, where the 13 Moons independent project was to be staged. When I came in, I found that the entire first floor had been transformed, enveloped in purple light and filled with art (including paintings by Nancy King, Chief Lady Bird) and performers. Sunset Services Ministries, a queer-leaning spirituality group, was involved in coordinating the different displays of art and performance.

One thing I dislike about Nuit Blanche is how there is so little time to engage in-depth with a work. I left early, just as the ceremony depicted in the sixth photo in this series was about to start. I wish I could have stayed longer; I wish I could have engaged more. This space felt most intriguingly holy.

Sunset Service at the 519, 1 #toronto #nuitblanche #the519 #sunsetservice #latergram @chiefladybird

Sunset Service at the 519, 2 #toronto #nuitblanche #the519 #sunsetservice #latergram #altar #candles

Sunset Service at the 519, 3 #toronto #nuitblanche #the519 #sunsetservice #latergram @chiefladybird

Sunset Service at the 519, 4 #toronto #nuitblanche #the519 #sunsetservice #latergram

Sunset Service at the 519, 5 #toronto #nuitblanche #the519 #sunsetservice #latergram #candles

Sunset Service at the 519, 6 #toronto #nuitblanche #the519 #sunsetservice #latergram

Written by Randy McDonald

October 16, 2016 at 11:00 am

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

leave a comment »

  • Bad Astronomy notes a new census of galaxies finding that there are two trillion in the universe.
  • blogTO reports on a new twin condo tower proposed for downtown Toronto.
  • The Dragon’s Tales reports on findings suggesting Earth barely escaped a third snowball period.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that no one wants to stay in Trump’s new Washington D.C. hotel.
  • Language Hat notes the effort to revive the language of the Miami.
  • Language Log notes pervasive censorship in China.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money dissects the idea of “locker room talk”.
  • Marginal Revolution looks at Thailand.
  • The NYRB Daily considers the Bob Dylan Nobel prize.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Jason Davis interviews the makers of the revamped Antares cargo rocket.
  • Towleroad features a guest essay by Hillary Clinton’s honorary gay nephew.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy’s Orin Kerr looks at the future directions of computer crime law in the United States.
  • Whatever’s John Scalzi notes that the GOP doomed itself.
  • Window on Eurasia considers the problem of melting permafrost in the Russian North.
  • Arnold Zwicky engages with an article on gay/straight friendships.

[URBAN NOTE] Daily Xtra on Striker Sports Bar

leave a comment »

Daily Xtra‘s Aeryn Pfaff writes about Striker Sports Bar, a new gay bar in Church and Wellesley oriented towards a sports-loving demographic.

When Aaron Hewitt walked into Striker Sports Bar as a first-time customer, the first thing he noticed was that the washrooms were gender-neutral. The second was that he had just stumbled upon a place to watch sports without dealing with the hostility that he’s experienced in straight sports bars.

Hewitt played sports as a child, but he says his experiences were negative, a common issue for some LGBT people. “There was a lot of bullying from staff and from other students. It’s awful and it makes you sort of avoid sports altogether,” he says.

As he got older, he realized that he missed both playing and watching sports, and decided he would not let hatred stop him from enjoying what he loved. The next logical step would be finding people with similar interests, so when he heard about Striker, he was excited to visit a new space where he could enjoy watching sports.

Striker’s owners dub it as the first LGBT-specific sports bar in Toronto. It opened on Sept 2, 2016, after a sleek renovation. “We designed it and hand picked every single thing in that place from tiles to floors to the seats,” says co-owner Vince Silva. “We poured our heart and soul into this.”

Expenses don’t appear to have been spared. Striker has 15 TV screens, impressive lighting and a frost-rail — a chilled strip along the bartop meant to keep drinks cold. It also serves pub-style food.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 12, 2016 at 9:59 pm