This is going to be one jam-packed blogpost, especially considering I've been to busy to blog much ever since I moved to Chicago. Though I did manage to write two short blogs about instances of homophobia here, and, sadly it just keeps becoming more and more prevalent.
I'll do a simple copy-and-paste from a letter I sent to a friend to fill in the gaps of what's happened since I last posted, regarding unfortunate homophobia and sexism (and racism and general meanness, though, at the moment I'm simply talking about the prior two...)
From my Acting Teacher:
1. She makes us play our own gender, and by own gender she means hetero-normative (straight and feminine for females and straight and masculine for males)
2. She claims gender-queer people don't exist and believes in gender binary.
3. She cut a queer character out of the play we're studying, which I've read before so I KNOW she cut the character out!
4. She's called homosexuality perverted on more than one occasion.
5. She told what she thought was a charming story about firing a girl because she was fat.
6. She didn't know a single name of a Native American tribe and thought I was stupid for being intrigued by Algonquin culture, because "it's not real…".
7. She makes fun of her students' appearances.
8. When people have played queer people in the past she's accused them of playing the opposite gender because "Men can't have boyfriends that would just be inauthentic and clownish…"
9. She said people who are naked on stage are ALWAYS stupid whores and not real actors.
As for other students:
1. One white girl calls minorities "those people" and can't tell dark-skinned people apart despite how different they might look.
2. One guy said Macklemore was a worthless human being because he's an ally.
3. One girl freaks out when she's partnered with me since she's come to the conclusion that just because I'm pansexual I must want to have sex with her (which of course I don't since she's an awful person!)
4. When another girl asked me who one of my celebrity crushes were and I told her Amanda Palmer, she was noticeably grossed out and tried to get me to like the guy celebrities she did so I could be less disgusting…
5. One girl when she was partnered with me for a project where we had to plan a wedding together for the sake of a sociological experiment she freaked out said it was disgusting to imply that she was a lesbian and when I said I was she ran away from me to the other side of the room.
6. When I said later on during that experiment that I wanted my bridesmaids to be both bridesmaids and bridesmen, if I even was to get married, the class freaked out and said that was stupid and radical of me to do something so untraditional.
7. At the Halloween party I went to yesterday some guy called me disgraceful and slutty just because I showed my midriff.
Okay, so that should do it for background right now. As one could extrapolate, I'm having a rather difficult time with all this, especially since I had found such a magnificent community of openness and love back home in Minnesota, and was told it would be even better here.
Subsequently since I'm struggling a bit at the moment, I look for art to cling to. I found one major thing and two smaller things. I'll speak of the smaller things first, since, they are both quotes from artists I admire that I portray precisely how I'm feeling.
"And I am tired of explaining
And of seeing so much hating
In the very same safe havens
Where I used to just see helping" - Amanda Palmer
This is how I feel about Acting and Art-School due to the recent happenings.
"It's impossible to be in a minority and not realize that there are people out there who hate you but are perfectly nice in every other area in their life. A homophobe, misogynist, racist, whatever is not a cartoonish monster made of hate and bile. They're a person. The fact that you think its a big fact that I might not have noticed is pretty insulting. Do not try to lecture me on homophobia, I deal with that shit daily. OSC being a lovely person in every other area of life means exactly shit to me because being a nice guy isn't a get out of jail free card when you behave like a piece of shit." - Diamanda Hagan
Alright that one is a bit more of a stretch, but the fact that I know my teachers and classmates aren't monsters or evil is such a strange thing to wrestle with, since when you see them being sweethearts to other people the fact that they can, so easily, spew vitriol becomes incomprehensible. And I do my best not to hate people, but it's gotten to a point where I become literally sick and nauseous when my acting teacher speaks the things she does on a daily basis, and what with conditioning and all that, it's hard not to hate something or someone that causes such an awful visceral reaction.
And I am all about visceral reactions; beautiful things have made me convulse and hurt and have a hard time breathing, but I always felt bettered by the experience. This is just unfulfilling sadness and hurt.
The big blooming vast thing I found to wrap myself up in is 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch', though I'm only going off of the soundtrack and Paw's Review and various clips from YouTube, but still...
'Origin of Love' speaks to me on a spiritual level, as I think it's meant to, and the whole rest gives me a feel of camaraderie that I don't have with any human here, at least not yet.
I'm going to try talking gender now. I identify as a gender-fluid person, though I don't think of myself as transgender. My passport and state ID and all that refers to me as female and I'm perfectly content with that label.
But here's the thing: I identify lots with Hedwig due to the fact that I have PCOS and hence my hormones are all messed up in ways I don't understand and I'm kind of middle-ground about. I tried treatment since my mum figured that would be what I wanted and what would make me happy, even though I was perfectly content with the way I was. I went on pills and estrogen and such, but the pills messed up my chemical stuff and made me sad, so I stopped taking them. And now, although I'm female technically and am basically CIS gendered, I have the hormonal makeup of someone in-between. I have masculine features, which I'm fine with, and have been "mistaken" for a guy, but I haven't minded. In those ways I call myself gender fluid, though I'm comfortable with my feminine side.
SO back to my lamentations, when my acting teacher goes on her tirades about gender roles I feel like I'm the one she's preaching against since I'm certainly not stereotypically feminine even when I do choose to wear dresses and lipstick. I am what I am and I'm cool with it, though it seems most people here are not...
But I'm going to stay here. I'm learning lots, and even though this vast issue of discrimination is causing me some adversity, it's also making me much more conscious about these issues, which is a good thing. I'm also the type to push back, even if it's merely in poetry and blogs, but because of my push-backedness I'm becoming more self-aware and sure of myself in the areas that are making me the minority here.
Anyways, although this may be a wicked massive town, I'm able to seek comfort with the art I've found and afore mentioned as well as my beloveds back home who love me, all of me, even the parts that I'm hated for here.