Lucas Lascivious

Foe of moderation, champion of excess

The Gay Heirarchy

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Essentially, a dissection of generalized LGBT culture:

Gay
At the top of the gay hierarchy are gay men. Somehow we’ve become the poster children for the entire LGBT community, a distinction that’s as ignorant as it is unwarranted. In a patriarchal society wrought with misogyny, though, it’s easiest to demonize the biggest threat to heteronormativity and apply it to a broad group of trivialized people.

Lesbian
Even within the LGBT community, lesbians are an enigma. It’s a disappointing reality. The irony, however, lies in mainstream culture where films, for example, featuring two males doing something as simple as kissing sends the AFA into a frenzy and requires a strict R rating, whereas two women kissing is commonplace, as long as they’re pretty enough lesbians. There are obviously exceptions, but it’s a fucked up notion that reeks of misogyny.

Bisexual
I’ve always subscribed to the notion that everyone is a little bisexual. We all know a lot of hetero males’ egos rely on them trying to be as butch as possible, but, as the saying goes, “the lady doth protest to much, methinks.” Bigots are always saying that being gay is the result of one’s upbringing, whereas I think a lack of sexual fluidity is environmental rather than genetic.

Transgender
Transgendered people face enough criticism and harassment in daily life, but it’s compounded by people within the faction they should feel safe with. I don’t want to go into a biological litany about XY sex-determination, but essentially, all fetuses begin as females; some of them happen to grow penises and/or lack vaginas. The people who feign trauma at the very notion someone may not be the gender they were assigned at birth can take a seat, because trans people have it so much worse.

In a perfect world, equality would know no bounds, but we don’t live in a perfect world; therefore, we, as a part of humanity and, in a smaller coterie, the LGBT community, have to defy the social barriers that bind us.

The Importance of Recognizing Social Biases

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This notion that gays purposely subscribe to stereotypes is an incredibly imprudent assumption, but, realistically, we as humans all feed into societal expectations.

Trying to mold ourselves into an image that feels familiar is a typically human trait. From birth, almost all of us are taught to conform in order to fit an image that’s bestowed upon us, so it’s not necessarily any fault of our own when we unconsciously accept social norms. The difference is people with a same-sex attraction know from a very early age that they are attracted to others of the same sex, but when you’re consistently battered with the perception that heterosexuality is “normal” (a highly subjective term), it really fucks you up mentally. It’s not even a matter of whether or not you grew up in an accepting household or not, though it obviously helps, it’s cultural. When you see yourself underrepresented on a large scale, you feel abnormal by default, because you don’t have an outlet to relate to.

That’s why I particularly loathe the  femme versus masculine bias among gays. “Femme” gays feed into the stereotype that was more or less invented by heterosexuals in order to discriminate against us because we don’t act “masculine” enough, whereas “masculine” gays adhere to the societal expectations of how males are expected to act. We’re all equal when we use intrinsic biases as a faulty excuse to discriminate against each other. We’ve all gone and are going through the same shit, so drop the façade. You’d laugh at any Black person who discriminated against another dark-sinned person because they were “too light-skinned” (which, mind you, is an actual thing that happens), and the notion of discriminating against others within your same sexual orientation category is equally as ridiculous.

The bottom line is that trying to dictate how another person should act is both bigoted and antediluvian. I’m of the belief that, as long as you’re comfortable with who you are—which, let’s face it, far too many of us aren’t—you do you. It’s that simple.

Enough of the “Enoughs” with Hillary

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All of her career, Hillary’s been accused of not being “enough” to varying degrees without people recognizing what it means to be “enough”:

She’s not trustworthy “enough.”
Most people I know can barely cope with a single derogatory tweet. Try to imagine being criticized by millions of people over the course of 40 years. You’d be guarded, too.

She doesn’t smile “enough.”
The fact that she doesn’t smile as often as people would like is an incredibly sexist sentiment, and even when she does show that she has a sense of humor by smiling, her laugh is criticized and labeled inauthentic, so it’s a lose-lose. What’s more, if she seemed joyous while talking about gender inequality, terrorism, pervasive racism, or any other legitimate political issue, that would concern me.

She’s not attractive “enough.”
Sarah Palin is proof that attractiveness ≠ intelligence. Personally, as someone who is an American that has to deal with the ramifications of the people who are elected, I could not care less if a female politician is a little too butch for your taste.

She doesn’t care “enough” about minorities.
There’s a reason minorities overwhelmingly support her: as far back as her husband’s presidential tenure, she was fastidiously working to ensure minorities were begotten the same luxuries as white people. Not to mention, she was crucial in raising minority salaries by more than 25 percent, which is too little an improvement, but progress nonetheless.

In conclusion, don’t be an idiot.

Let Me Start by Saying…

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Recently, I was labeled a racist by someone who I’ve been friends with for the past 15 years. Whereas I don’t consider myself a racist, it did make me wonder if my pacifistic egalitarianism has actually been a farce. After all, even though I’m a gay person, I’m still Caucasian and male, and, though I believe in the potential and equality of all human beings, the fact remains that, even as a person attracted to people of the same sex, I still have two advantageous, biological traits in a nation wrought with political and social sexism and racism working in my favor.

As much as I like to lean on my liberal credentials, the reality is I’ll never know from a personal standpoint what it’s like to be a gender or racial minority. What I can offer, however, is my own experiences as an LGBT minority as an attempt at understanding the plight of fellow minorities.

I’m not going to pretend to understand what it’s like to have your reproductive rights restricted, because, even though I’ve gone with female friends to have everything from their first birth control administered to having abortions, I have never personally had to face that reality, because I had the luxury of being born with a penis. The reality is you can’t simultaneously restrict women’s access to birth control while slut-shaming them for having abortions; having an abortion doesn’t mean a woman is somehow dishabille and/or a terrible human being, it means they’re mature enough to recognize they’re not presently responsible enough to properly offer the parental support every child deserves.

Similarly, I can never know what it’s like to be born a racial minority in a nation that, for all self-proclaimed patriots’ protests about being a country that was built upon the backs of underdogs where everyone should feel welcome, still openly discriminates against anyone who doesn’t share their exact melanin levels.

So, please, if ever you feel I’m “mansplaining” or being “racist,” point it out to me. My ego isn’t one that’s so fragile that I’m immune to expanding it. I’ve said it many times before, but without expanding your mind, there can never be progress, and I don’t want to be a person who ever stints potential social and intellectual advancement. This isn’t a white man’s plea to excuse my own ignorance; rather, it’s a white man’s plea to highlight when I’m unknowingly using my whiteness as a source of privilege to quell the likelihood my white privilege will present itself in the future.

Opera: the Underestimated Faction of Music

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As a disclaimer, I’m aware this entire article is going to make me sound like a pretentious douchebag, but just hear me out.

As a child growing up in the rural South, I had very little exposure to the arts and saw opera as being comprised of farce-ridden, Falstaff-esque characters who shouted random words; I genuinely didn’t understand the appeal. It wasn’t until I took a college preparatory class in high school that required me to write a 10-page paper on Beethoven that I truly appreciated opera as an immaculate craft. That paper required me to study Beethoven in-depth, which led me to discover FidelioFidelio may have been his only opera, but it served as a kairotic moment for me.

From there, I dove into the pool of generic classical composers (Handel, Verdi, Rachmaninoff, etc.) and found that—holy shit!—this was an untapped musical genus I’d been missing out on.

Superficially, it was the amazing voices that drew me toward the field of opera, because the more I listened and learned, the more I realized that opera requires incredible vocal skills and the ability to subsequently emote. That’s a challenge.

The major complaints I hear from others about opera is that (a) it all sounds like screaming, (b) a majority of operas are performed in languages they don’t understand, and (c) operas are boring.

I get it. Opera isn’t for everyone. But, it only sounds like “screaming” to philistine eardrums. As for the other two criticisms: I’m not fluent in Russian, but can comprehend what someone like Galina Vishnevskaya is singing about in Iolanta. That’s how opera works: if a performer is good, you don’t need linguistic fluency, and that’s why I love opera.

Opera is truly a universal language.

Q: “Why Do You Drink So Much?”

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A:

By now, it’s no secret I’m a lush; I openly admit to as much. What I haven’t been as forthcoming about is I have diagnosed high-functioning depression, meaning even though I don’t have any reason to be depressed, because of the way mind works, I just inherently am. That I’m depressed for no reason is in itself is depressing, and I’ve been prescribed a jumble of medications for it, but they all essentially turned me into a lethargic zombie and impaired my mental faculties, so I stopped taking them. That’s when I learned booze is a great way to dumb myself down to the point where I can briefly stop thinking at such a frenetic rate. My brain thanks me for it, whereas the rest of my internal organs are about to quit a bitch.

The odds are stacked against me, because I’m genetically biased towards addiction. Everyone on my father’s side of the family are and have been heavy drinkers, sometimes to the point of full-blown alcoholism. I essentially disowned my father’s side of the family a long time ago, but their genetic impression is still felt. Still, it could be worse: at least no one in my family has had a propensity when it comes to drugs. I’ll definitely take an alcohol habit over a heroin dependency.

Above all, though, alcohol helps to curb my anxiety. I get anxious about things as ridiculous as an incorrectly folded shirts. I guess the bottom line is that I’m not so much an alcoholic as I am a binge drinker. I can go for days without drinking and don’t crave alcohol, and sometimes even find the prospect of drinking repulsive, but once I do drink, it’s balls to the wall. I guess I can at least derive a modicum of pride in that I’m rarely a sloppy drunk.

Proust Questionnaire

 

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[For reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proust_Questionnaire]

The principal aspect of my personality
Easygoing

The quality that I desire in a man
Intelligence and a sense of humor in equal parts

The quality that I desire in a woman
Recalcitrance

What I appreciate most about my friends
Variety

My main fault
Anxiety

My favorite occupation (recreation)
Inebriation

My dream of happiness
Hedonism

What would be my greatest misfortune?
Complacency

What I should like to be
Myself

The country where I should like to live
I prefer a nomadic life

My favorite colour
Achromatics

My favorite prose authors
Anaïs Nin, D. H. Lawrence, Poe

My favorite poets
Rimbaud

My heroes in fiction
Cal Trask

My favorite heroines in fiction
Ondine, Lady Godiva (as portrayed in Flores Historiarum)

My favorite composers
Wagner, Verdi, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff

My favorite painters
Collier, Monet, Fragonard, Modigliani, Dalí

My heroes in history
Rimbaud, Nero, Kierkegaard

My heroines in history
Any headstrong woman who has refused to settle for and defied the societal role they’d been dictated based on their gender

My favorite names
Callaway, Parker, Charlotte

What I hate most of all
Unfounded arrogance

How I want to die
Memorably, but painlessly

Faults for which I have the most indulgence
Bibulousness

My motto
“I’m the foe of moderation, the champion of excess.” — Tallulah Bankhead

The Right’s Problem (from a Democrat’s Perspective)

Trump

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past few months, you know by now that Donald Trump is officially the Republican presidential nominee, though even if you were living in a cave, you’d probably still have heard his voice resonating within the walls of the cave with the same dulcet tones as a Cheeto-dusted Bifoot. While his being the GOP candidate is a godsend for liberals, it’s left the Right scrambling. At best, most prominent Republican politicians are begrudgingly supporting Trump; at worst, they’re either fervently opposed to him or have spent the past few weeks backtracking their initial denouncements of him.

Essentially, the GOP is a fucking mess.

But, for some reason, they can’t figure out how it got to this point. As a Democrat, let me break it down for you: you pushed for Tea Partiers to be elected into the Senate and had buyer’s remorse once you figured out that almost all of them were bumbling idiots ill-qualified to be participating in politics. The fact a lot of them also happened to be incredibly racist, anti-gay, xenophobic, and misogynistic was just a bonus. Then, after that fiasco, you all tried to regroup in order to “take back the White House,” but your methodology included blatantly disrespecting the sitting President, rezoning voter districts, trying to reimplement discriminatory voting practices, staging government shutdowns, and overall showing the maturity of a toddler combined the erratic lack of self-control akin to the meth addicts on Intervention.

And yet the GOP wonders how Trump became their presidential nominee. It’s because he’s regurgitating the same policies Republicans have been pushing for years, only he lacks the same vocal filter as seasoned legislators. In that sense he’s admirable, because at least his bigotry is flagrant. The GOP is experiencing the runoff of a polluted political party and Trump is the unfortunate anthropomorphic manifestation of that.

L’chaim

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It used to be that whenever I heard an anti-gay bigot say hateful things, I felt an equal sense of hostility towards them, but then it hit me that my feeling anger towards them made me their equal; I hated them for being hateful, which was both ironic and redundant. That’s when I realized that what I actually felt towards them was more so a bitter sadness, because I wasn’t able to fathom that someone could go through life with a constant vendetta against people they don’t even know based on antiquated principles.

There are obviously things that are morally unforgivable (murder, pedophilia, elevating YouTube personalities to celebrity status, etc.), but allowing two people to signify and legalize their love for each other with a piece of paper? That’s not something I care enough about to protest.

I’ve long said that I’m anti-marriage, but pro-marriage equality, because it’s wrong, in my opinion, for marriage be a monopoly; marriage doesn’t personally affect me, just as it doesn’t personally affect anti-marriage equality crusaders, but the difference is I believe people have an intrinsic right to be happy, which should be echoed legally. Those opposed to homosexuality think they’re “protecting the sanctity of marriage,” but what they’re really doing is sanctimoniously depriving their fellow human beings of gaiety. There’s a certain amount of irony that goes along with anti-gay advocates saying that gay people infringe upon their rights, but absolutely don’t see how hypocritical it is that they’re trying to take away the basic civil rights of others, particularly the LGBT community.

What I’ve learned is that civility, not enmity, is required in order to progress both personal and social attitudes. What I care about more than anything is living a life that’s beneficial to not only myself, but also to others. I’m not perfect and I’ve got a lot of work to do, but in the meantime, there’s no harm in trying to better the lives of everyone else.

A Message to Liberals Voting for Trump

To start, are you fucking kidding me?

Let’s cut to the chase straightaway: we get it, you hate Hillary. While you’re entitled to your opinion, it’s an opinion that Hillary has accepted because of her decades in the public eye, whereas Donald Trump has literally sued others for the non-crime of disliking him.

You call yourself a liberal, but are willing to abandon the basest liberal values to ensure a certified egoist, racist, xenophobic, anti-gay sociopath becomes President, just because you disagree with the Democratic candidate on a few issues? You’re basically a spoiled child throwing a tantrum  because they didn’t get sweets before dinner at this point, since your candidate of choice didn’t become the Democratic nominee, the difference being tantrums among children are usually the most severe between the ages of two and eight, and you’re a fucking adult.

Do I think the Democratic voting system is flawed? Absolutely. In that same respect, did Bernie agree to the rules prior to launching his campaign to become President? Yes. But, your embitterment is transforming you into the Leftist version of Trump supporters; you can’t criticize his angry, idiotic advocates when you’re doing the exact same thing. It’s acceptable to dislike the presumptive Democratic nominee, but when the only other option is Donald Trump, it’s time to call upon the maturity as a voter that Trump as a candidate very obviously lacks.