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Archives for : March2015

03/06/2015 – “50 Shades of Gay; The Sissy Spectrum”

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The LGBT Community has made strides in recent years for equal rights and equality. Many states recognize and accept gay marriage, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has been repealed and while there is still a major battle for rights for our transgender brothers and sisters there are still protections in place for LGBT people from harassment in the work place as well as employment protections as we learned from our recent guest facilitator, Trent McGrath, Federal Investigator with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). But what about the ways in which our behavior and bias impact those ​with​in our own community?​​

Many minority communities have ways of perpetuating division and hierarchy or class based on how close that invisible line of social normalcy that a person sit. For people of color, it’s about how close to the white community they can come or pass off as, i.e., light-skinned people or color or “Good Hair”. Even in the asian community some people go through surgery on their eyelids so that they can appear more caucasian. In the LGBT community this struggle has to do with perceived femininity vs masculinity or “Straight Acting” men and women; people that can pass as being heterosexual at a glance because of their appearance or mannerisms. Most recently actor, Russel Tovey, of “Looking” fame came under attack about comments he made regarding his upbringing and being thankful that his father didn’t allow him “…relax, prance around, sing in the street, I might be a different person now. I thank my dad for that, for not allowing me to go down that path…”

Having since apologized for “A Mis-fired quote that has banded me The Worst Gay Ever” it still brings to light a conversation that isn’t often had within the LGBT community. The idea of “Sissy Shaming” intentional or otherwise is ever present in our community. From our dating sites and hook-up apps (No Fats, Femmes, or Blacks) to the relationships we have with our family members. The idea that being femme can be seen as an affront when really it’s just who some of us​​are. This Friday, ​ we will discuss the wide range of Masc vs Femme in the LGBT Community​ as well as its impact and implications. ​
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Gay District meets at The DC Center, located inside the Reeves DC government building. Attendees will need to enter the Reeves building via the “Exit” doors on 14th Street, facing McDonald’s. We encourage attendees to bring their photo ID to gain access inside the building. If you do not have or are unable to present a photo ID, please contact me ahead of time by email or The DC Center’s Executive Director David Mariner. Afterwards, we’ll head out to one of the fine establishments on the U Street Corridor to eat.