Russia and Gay Marriage – Putin’s reasons

According to a new biography, ‘Cameron at 10’, Prime minister David Cameron and Vladimir Putin had a ‘candid’ discussion on gay rights late at night during a G20 meeting in 2013. According to the biography, it was more of a ‘bickerfest’ rather than a discussion.

Putin stated that should gay people be allowed to marry in Russia, the percentage of children in the country would reduce drastically, and there wouldn’t be enough children to support Russia in the future. Well…

  1. Has he never met a gay/lesbian couple and their never ending quest to have children? Being gay doesn’t generally remove your desire to have children. So this is kind of an invalid argument.
  2. Considering the number of children in orphanages (who are treated pretty badly according to research), maybe less children may be a good idea? So that they’re not just abandoned at a random orphanage. or…even better….
  3. Gay people could adopt children in orphanages. Now wouldn’t that be fantastic? Couple gets child, child gets a loving family? No? ok. I did some research, and reality is that Russia won’t let gay couples from abroad adopt Russian children. According to a newspaper article, when Malta (a tiny island in the Mediterranean sea which adopts a lot of Russian children) was discussing civil unions [which is now legal there], Russia threatened Malta that should the law pass, they would no longer let Maltese people adopt Russian children. So not only are they ‘punishing’ gay people for …. being gay, they are also punishing and neglecting babies from a loving family.

Needless to say, I find Putin’s excuse (should this be the real reason, which I doubt) empty. And like I said, it’s probably not even the real reason, if it is, then he didn’t really put much thought into it. Which I guess is even worse.

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Carmilla – Webseries and Kaitlyn Alexander

Carmilla – a webseries based on the novel of the same name by Sheriden le Fanu. Quite an old novella which speaks about a vampire called Carmilla, who crosses paths with an innocent, very naive and overly protected girl called Laura.

This webseries takes a more modern view of the novel, basing the story in Silas University, where both Carmilla and Laura are students. If you enjoy angst, subtle flirting, a bit less subtle flirting and uber lesbian cuteness – definitely give this webseries a shot.

But the lesbian context of the webseries isn’t my point of this post. My point is a particular character called La Fontaine. This particular character is a clever, savvy science major with a quick mind and a love of dissecting creatures. But more interestingly – this character is non-binary! And is played by a non-binary actor: Kaitlyn Alexander!

The beauty of this story is that when Alexander came out that they’re non-binary, this was translated into the show as well, when another character ‘interrogates’ La Fontaine about which pronouns to use in imaginary situations – which yes can get quite tiring for certain people, but it reflects as well the interest of this cis character in La Fontaine to be sure that she does not misgender them. Thus placing non-binary genders even on the webseries map. I really could not be more thrilled!

Kaitlyn Alexander is very present all over social media, so definitely follow them on twitter, instagram and so on for more non-binary love 😀

What is identity?

Simply put, your identity is everything about you. Therefore, this comprises your sexuality, gender and gender expression. So what’s the difference between them?

Sexuality

Your sexuality involves what kind of people you are attracted to, sexually or just romantically (if you are only ever romantically attracted to someone, then you are asexual, which is a sexuality in itself). It also involves what stuff turns you on. Are you more into traditional stuff, or do you prefer to be more adventurous in that department. This is all personal, and as long as you are not harming yourself or the other person(s) then no one can tell you it’s wrong.

Gender 

This basically means what you identify as. Do you identify as male, female, non-binary, agender (no gender), bi-gender (2 genders), demi or whatever? All are legit. Once again this is private, and honestly, no one has to know your gender unless you tell them. Of course, it can be uncomfortable for people to just take a look at you and label you a gender or the other, but really, it’s up to you whether or not to tell them. Think about your safety first.

Gender Expression

This is basically how you project yourself to the world. For example, you may identify as male, but express yourself in more traditional feminine ways (such as being very sensitive and calming). You could also project yourself in the traditional way, for example, you identify as female and project your gender in traditionally feminine ways.

Other forms of gender expression can involve clothing – so wearing clothes which make you feel like you. 

For trans* and non-binary people who experience dysphoria, our gender expression can help us keep that dysphoria at bay. Because even if we are misgendered, at least with our clothing we are trying to tell the world what kind of people we are. Do we like cute things, or are we more hardcore, do we wear bright colours, or are we more nondescript. Even if you do not experience dysphoria, clothing and body language are the perfect ways to subtly express to people who you are…and if they are attentive, they will pick it up.

So with all of these things (and other stuff, like likes and dislikes etc) comprise your identity. For this reason, no one should look at one aspect of you (say your sexuality) and judge you – because it is not all that there is to you. So if someone actually does judge you because of one aspect of who you are, then they are not worth it. People should get to know your full identity first before they can make a judgement of how nice you are as a person.

That Tender Touch (1969)

This movie was listed as ‘lesbian interest’ …considering that the entire storyline deals with ex-lovers Marsha and Terry I would say there’s a bit more than just ‘interest’. Terry met and married Ken, but Marsha cannot get over her and after her shop goes belly up cause she was too busy fantasising about her ex Marsha seeks Terry’s help and she starts living with Terry and her new husband, who isn’t very happy with this arrangement. Probably because he realises that his wife and Marsha are having loads of eye sex.

So much eye sex

Oh another note, this movie came out in 1969…apt don’t you think?

Terry dreaming about Marsha…

This movie is full of angst and desire. It’s almost palpable, which is quite strange considering the time this movie was filmed. Which makes me think that the intention was for it to be erotic. What strengthened this opinion was when a minor character was reading an erotic novel called (you guessed it) ‘That Tender Touch’, which is about two women, and she starts to get visibly turned on. So yeah, this movie may have been intended as soft porn for men. Which is probably why you wouldn’t find it on lists next to ‘The hours’ or ‘Desert Hearts’. And let’s face it, it’s really not good enough to be next to the classics..

The ending of the movie was…predictable. Please remember guys that Desert Hearts (ie. The 1980s) was the first lesbian movie which did not feature a suicide of one of the lovers. So naturally, this is a suicide trigger warning.

So final verdict? Waste of a two hours. Let’s face it, Terry totally has the hots for Marsha, despite being married to Ken. But society is cruel and bigoted so she must fight her feelings. I’m not really a fan of these types of endings, and honestly, it felt a bit too brash.

Finn’s Girl (2007)

URGH. Can I just say that I ADORE THIS MOVIE?

So the story is about Finn (duh) who is a fertility specialist at the local abortion clinic, which used to be run by her wife Nancy, who unfortunately died a year prior due to breast cancer. Finn decided to take on the clinic herself, despite the ever increasingly violent death threats by crazy religious fanatics pro-life supporters. So while Finn is trying to stay alive while still doing her work, her eleven-year-old daughter Zelly is getting into quite a bit of trouble.

The story itself has many layers, which I love. There’s the story of Finn trying to move on from her lover’s death through a casual rebound, which naturally Zelly is not happy with. There’s the story of Zelly, who lost her mother and feels neglected by her workaholic stepmother. Then there’s also the story of the death threats and how Finn’s life is in danger, which helps her realise what is really important in her life.

This movie is simply fantastic. The music is great, the storylines are well paced and it’s an enjoyable watch for both people who just want to relax, as well as those who want a story with substance. My one criticism is that there is a lot of emphasis on genetics. I won’t spoil anything, but Zelly treats Finn differently and says she’s not her ‘mother’, even though Finn raised her along with Nancy. Anyway, when you watch the movie hopefully  you’ll understand what I mean 🙂

Anatomy of a Love Seen (2014)

So, this movie only got a 5.3/10 on IMDB, and those audiences are generally easy to please! Well, after watching this movie I cannot disagree with them. The entire story is easily forgettable, and there isn’t much to it except that two actresses: Zoe and Mal, fall in love while shooting a (guess) love scene! Cue quite a long montage of their blissful time together. However, Mal walks out on Zoe (which is strangely enough only revealed at the end of the entire movie), leaving her heart in shatters.

Pros:

  • The setting was quite bright, so I didn’t have to increase the brightness on my own laptop. But it gave it a fake hue.
  • The actresses are not hard on the eyes and they definitely know how to act
  • Story was simple, possibly verging on the too simple
  • Nice camera work
  • An easy watch
  • Can’t complain about the sex erm, the love scenes are done well.
  • Homosexuality is not a big deal. It’s just two women in love

Cons:

  • The brightness could come off as fake
  • Half the movie was long montages which I ended up phasing out of
  • The other half was of the director taking one of the actresses to the side for a pep talk, or to say that she loves her.
  • Dialogue is meh
  • Not much of a conclusion.

Overall, this is an easy watch for when you really want to see something lesbian without the drama of ‘oh my goddess, am I gay?’ or overly religious parents condemning their child to hell. But don’t expect any life changing moments.

Yuri’s everyone must watch

Yuri is any anime which has some lady-loving involved. This can range from the blatantly obvious to incredibly-subtle-need-a-magnifying-glass-to-see-it. Here I’ll be listing my Yuri faves, in fact I’ll be updating the list quite frequently so make sure to check back if you’re craving a new yuri anime. Also, if you have any suggestions for me to watch, just let me know.

1. Blue Drop 

The perfect anime for the yuri lover who is also a fan of Science Fiction. Blue Drop (manga) focuses on the war between humanity and aliens, the anime on the other hand, focuses on life before the war. Our heroine, Mari, arrives at a girls’ dormitory (it’s ALWAYS a girl’s only dormitory isn’t it?), her baggage includes a few pieces of clothing…and a horrible past.

Here, Mari meets Hagino, who is basically loved by everyone…but for some reason she can’t stand being around Mari.

So obviously Mari can’t stop her attraction for her.

2. Aoi Hana

Seriously, if you haven’t watched this, you really have to. Not exaggerating. And read the manga too. Yes, it’s that good. Ok, it’s either great or I’m just a big mush when it comes to romance. Either or.

Aoi Hana follows the story of two childhood friends, who were separated at a young age cause one of them goes to live in another city. They quickly forget about one another…that is, until this friend comes back.

This is one of those classic coming of age stories, so expect some heart ache, a lot of self evaluation and a few funny moments too.

3. Candy Boy 

Some people may argue that this is not a yuri, I disagree. Candy Boy is super yuri. Maybe not in an explicit way, but it is definitely there in an ‘in-your-face’ way.

Just for the record, the title has absolutely nothing with the story. I have yet to figure out what the title is about and how it correlates to the story. Whatever.

They did selfies before they were popularized

The story is centered around twin sisters: Kanade and Yukino. Yes, this is twincest yuri. Speak about forbidden love.

This very short anime focuses on Kanade coming to terms with her feeling for her sister, and the struggle for them to remain as close as when they were young and living at home.

The manga delves more into the story, so if you enjoy the OVA, definitely check out the manga as well. Just watch the show with an open mind, it is seriously amazing (and frankly, quite addictive).

4. Sasameki Koto

Sasameki Koto, also known as ‘Whispered Words’, follows the lives of Sumika, a tall, athletic girl, and her best friend Ushio Kazama, an out and proud lesbian who could never understand what the big deal is about being into girls.

Unfortunately, because Kazama is so out and proud about her attraction to girls, she got bullied a lot, and that’s when Sumika stepped it. And tada! they’re best friends.

It is only after a while that Sumika starts to realise that maybe, just maybe, she may not see Kazama as just a friend. Don’t you just love struggling coming out stories?

You’d think the two would be perfect for one another, but unfortunately, Kazama is into ‘cute girls’, which Sumika, being strong and athletic, definitely doesn’t fall under.

This anime will have you at the edge of your seat, begging for more.

And more comes in the form of the Sasameki Koto manga, which is actually complete so you may feel free to binge watch, and then binge read until you’re fully satisfied (impossible).

5. Kannazuki no Miko

Another anime for the sci-fi lovers. Chikane and Himeko are two priestesses. And as with all sci-fi’s, the Earth is in danger, and it is up to the priestesses to protect it. I won’t spoil, but it is definitely an amazing anime which will make you think and even scream ‘NO’ at your screen a few times.

6. Strawberry Panic

Strawberry Panic is to the Yuri world, what The L Word is to the TV series world. It’s pretty much part of the lesbian culture to watch this. Once again, I have no idea how the title came to be. But let’s ignore that.

The story focuses on Nagisa, a new student at Astrea. On her first day she meets the mysterious and wonderful Shizuma, the most popular girl ever. Shizuma is instantly shown as a player, there’s pretty much no female this girl hasn’t pried upon, and her next prey is in fact, Nagisa.

Nagisa, being a good kid, doesn’t want to be another one of Shizuma’s conquests so she tries to resist the impeccable charm Shizuma has. Which she soon finds out is very difficult to resist. 

However, with time, Nagisa starts to discover what Shizuma is hiding about her past, and what is stopping her from loving ever again.

If you need any more reason to watch: the ending man. The ending will send your heart aflutter and bring tears of joy and happiness into your eyes.