Saturday, August 12, 2006


OK, so this is not the most burning topic in the world today. But I can't resist commenting. First, a confession: I broke down and bought a copy of People magazine. I couldn't resist Lance Bass's big announcement, not that it's a surprise. (A member of a boy band is gay? Did you also know the sky is blue?) I wanted to know how this was written about in the mainstream press and what Lance had to say.

Alan could hear me in the next room yelling at the magazine. (I yell at the TV, the computer monitor, and a variety of printed material, but my understanding is that I only have a problem if I start to hear them reply.)

The offending passage:

I want people to take from this that being gay is a norm. That the stereotypes are out the window. Being who I am and living my life the last few years and not hiding it, I've met so many people like me that it's really encouraged me. I kind of call them the SAGs -- the straight-acting gays. We're just normal, typical guys. I love to watch football and drink beer.

Lance, being gay is NOT normal -- normal being average or in the majority. Queers are a minority. Being different is permissible in a pluralistic society. And I do not fight for my right to BE gay but ACT something else, whatever the hell that means!

Be yourself, damn it! If that means beer-swilling and football-watching, fine. If that means lipstick-wearing and hip-swaying, then you go, girl. Meanwhile, there's a whole middle ground between macho meathead and queen about town that most of us fall into. But I don't care where on the spectrum anyone is; we should all be allowed to be whoever we are at any given time. That's what freedom is about. That's what self-acceptance is about.

I object to the idea that somehow a nelly queer is wrong or bad or less than your SAGs, Lance. FYI: Nelly queers started the Stonewall riots and the modern gay rights movement that allows you to announce "I'm Gay" on the front cover of People.

Lance is young. He proudly reports that he has a supportive grandmother because she responded to his announcement by saying, "I may not agree with it, but I love you just the same and you're welcome in my house anytime." Well, yes, that's better than shunning him. But I have to wonder just what there is to "agree" with. Alas, I'm being picky; I'm glad Lance's family hasn't disowned him.

I just hope he reaches a point where he doesn't feel a need to define himself in relation to how much he thinks he's acting like the majority.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Vancouver Visit in Review

Well, we had a great time visiting what we hope will be our future home. Pride was wonderful; you can see some photos on this post from our friends over at Moving to Vancouver. Highlights for us: The "standoff" between the firefighters and the supersoakers, Jack Layton of the NDP, the float with Stephen Harper as W's puppet.

Still not sure how I feel about the Conservative Party participating. On the one hand, would it be worse if they just ignored LGBT folks? On the other, don't they have some nerve to parade with us when they don't support equal rights?

I wasn't thrilled with the American (U.S.) flags present. I see enough of them here, South of the border. I don't need to see the Stars & Stripes when I'm in Canada. I'm sorry, when you're the 800-pound gorilla (no offense to gorillas) in town, announcing your presence is not friendly, it's creepy and boastful. At least, that's my take on it. I wonder what the motive was of the flag-flyers?

I've talked about the fireworks and our long walks about the city and in the park. My other major excursion (Alan mostly excused himself) was perusing HMV, which is like Tower Records. I have a weakness for DVDs. Their prices are kind of high, but they had some great sales going. Problem was, anything I was interested in on sale, I already have. So, I focused on things I can't find in the States. I discovered a series, Slings and Arrows, that looked interesting enough that I gave in to temptation. I bought a few other DVDs and I'll say more about them as I watch them. (Wouldn't want to embarrass myself.)

All in all, a good time. And extra special because we were able to meet and spend time with the guys from Moving to Vancouver. We talked about the possibility of participating in a future Vancouver Pride parade, under a banner that says "Americans by birth. Canadians by choice." (This is the tag line over at L-girl's blog, we move to canada.)

Today, I was browsing on the web looking at apartments. I don't think finding something in our price range will be a problem. The hard part will be finding a place that will take cats. (We have two.) I will do more searching to see if Vancouver has a pet-friendly housing web site, as exists for Seattle.

Six months have gone by fairly fast, but I think I'm getting more antsy with each trip North (to visit our legally-recognized marriage) and news of others' progress. I can't imagine that if you're reading this that you don't know that Nick & Mason have been officially accepted. We submitted our application almost exactly one year after they did. So, maybe this time next year it will be us?

We owe Nick a great debt of gratitude because at one point I was almost ready to call it quits. But he explained the realities of the application process and how to satisfy the CIC, even if we couldn't do exactly what was asked. He has also been incredibly emotionally supportive (one example). Alan and I are so very happy for Nick & Mason and wish them continued success and happiness! Canada is gaining two wonderful new residents!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

In Vancouver

We're up for a long weekend in the city we hope will one day be our home. It's Pride weekend, so that's our excuse, not that we need one. We're excited to get a glimpse of the Vancouver GLBT community -- and we recognize that it will be just that, a glimpse.

We're also looking forward to meeting the guys from the Moving to Vancouver blog. We'll see them tonight and we'll all enjoy the fireworks together.

Alan and I have been exploring. Yesterday, we walked a rectangle around our neighborhood of choice, the West End. The streets certainly are bustling. We like the energy and appreciate the diversity.

Today, we walked about Stanley Park, Vancouver's oasis. It's wonderful and we only saw a small part of it. We don't have data to back this up, but our overall impression is that there are more resources put into common areas in Vancouver than in Seattle.

In both cities, it just amazes us that there are so many people who can afford upscale condos. I mean, yes, we're aware that there are wealthy folks out there, but there seems no end to the number of families who drive the demand for expensive housing in either city.

I don't have much to say at this point, but I really wanted to write a post while in Vancouver. :-)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Another Year Older

So, while I don't have an exact date, it was the last week of July 2005 when Alan and I began this venture. That is when we first started seriously discussing trying to move to Canada, when I first started doing research, when I first started reaching out by reading blogs and writing their authors. So it's been a year.

About half that year was spent preparing the CIC application and the other half has been in the queue. We've watched while the process for other couples ahead of us has moved forward. I guess that means there's hope for us.

Come to think of it: I have yet to hear of someone rejected. There have been folks who have gone through years of agony jumping through hoops. But I haven't heard of a rejection. I don't know if that means that those rejected keep quiet and don't participate in the groups/blogs I read or if this is all just a horrendous hazing that CIC makes us all go through to prove that we're serious. (Which I guess has some merit.)

This doesn't keep me from worrying. (What, me worry?) I barely slid in at passing score and my work history, while including many impressive experiences, has not been traditional. While I want this to happen, I do try to put myself in a space where I can be OK with whichever outcome.

By the way, I heard from the person with whom I interviewed. She says she's not really too worried about my possible relocation in a year or more. Her concern was more with my expressed hatred of office politics. She said it would be disingenuous to say that the workplace in question was without its tensions, being an executive corporate office. I responded that it wasn't that I couldn't deal with the realities of work life, but I didn't want to deliberately place myself in shark-infested waters and that our conversation had allayed my fears (in regard to some behavior I had observed when I had been assigned there 18 months ago). She wants to talk with me again on the phone; we'll see what happens. In a move that has probably sealed my fate, I think I have decided that I want the job.

In other news, the Supreme Court of Washington State has decided that marriage is for breeding and the state is under no obligation to provide equal status for same-sex couples. I'll let Dan Savage, editor of our local weekly alternative The Stranger, speak for me in this op-ed piece in The New York Times.