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On Being Gay


When did you choose to be straight?

Sarah Casimong
May 10th, 2013

So...when did you choose to be straight? That's the question that Travis Nuckolls and Chris Baker asked people on the streets of Colorado Springs.

It's an argument of nature versus nurture. See what these people had to say when they were asked whether people choose to be gay (and are stumped when the question so often asked of gay people is flipped on them). 

On a related note, comedian Wanda Sykes talks about how hard it is being gay and black, and what it would be like if she had to "come out" and explain how she became the latter.

Why I wrote "Jesus was a Fag"

Jaimie Kendal-Ward
Jan 7th, 2011

Hello. My name is Jaimie. I live in East Van. I’m formerly religious, and presently queer, and I wrote a song about it. The Vancouver Observer very graciously offered me a chance to write a response to the blog post about Jesus Was a Fag, and I would love to do just that.

I’ll start with a confession: I have, actually, no opinion one way or the other concerning the sexual leanings of Jesus. As I mentioned, I’m formerly religious, so at the risk of pressing more buttons than I assume my song will have already pressed, I admit that I’m not sure I believe Jesus, as we know him, even existed at all.

But I know for a fact that there are a lot of people who do believe, because I used to be one of them, and that those who teach his word teach, primarily, the emphasis he put on love. So the reason I present the idea that he was gay is to express a belief, or more of a hope I guess, that I do strongly hold: that it wouldn’t really matter if he were.

From Commercial Drive to the House of La Douche, Zoe Broomsgrove shapes hair... and queer culture

Hilary Mandel
Nov 4th, 2010

So you’re new in town and want to find out what’s hip and cool in the queer scene in Vancouver? Start by checking out Zoho Salon & Lock Shop (1708 East 4th Avenue, just off Commercial Drive). I’d heard through the grapevine that this hair salon was a gathering place for “out and about” lesbians, and since my tresses were getting a wee bit unruly, I made an appointment for a cut (and interview) with the shop’s proprietor, Zoe Broomsgrove.

School starts, homophobia radar on

Ryan Clayton
Sep 9th, 2009
While I’ve spent the last couple of years teaching in local high schools, this September I have done something that reminds me a little of what the kids I teach have to go through on a regular basis. I enrolled in college and had my first day of school.

It's been three years since I graduated from high school myself and I felt nervous the night before and that led to unfortunate dreams about showing up at school in a shirt that I discover has an unfortunate stain on it; I assume that’s the slightly more grown-up version of the old show-up-in-underwear dream.

Fighting homophobia in schools

Ryan Clayton
Jul 2nd, 2009

As I venture into summer my year goes through a drastic change. I switch from the constantly working busy caterpillar to a relaxed social butterfly. This means sipping lattés at noon in the midday sun and meeting new people through friends or at different summer events I chose to attend. As I meet each person they ask the same familiar questions, “Who are you? What do you study?” and of course; “What do you do?”

The latter question brings my year into review. I work in high schools and community organization doing workshops on violence and discrimination across the province. I speak to classes ranging from grade threes all the way up to University students. And yes, it’s a tough yet rewarding job, thanks for asking.

In reflection I have a massive repertoire of stories from my adventures in the schools. They range from the stories that would make the more sensitive among us gasp to the stories that make you stand up and burst into song. Or maybe that’s just me; I’m very musical like that.

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