Category Archives: GLBT or LGBT Issues

However way you initial it–GLBT or LGBT– these are matters and issues concerning the Lifestyles of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgenders.

Transgenders Workplace Struggles

Her Name Was Steven has lit CNN with a new buzz while today’s new topic became about Transgenders in the work place.  While the person speaking had a positive experience, it made me think of someone who didn’t.

Back in the late 90’s, I worked at a (Nameless) Warehouse. Now, when I got the job I admit to being very surprised because they did seem to be an equal opportunity employer. Where I live and during that time, very rare. There seemed to be an equal eclectic mix of all races, all genders, and many, MANY different lifestyles.

However, after two years being into the job, a guy I will call Tim, but we actually nicknamed Skittles, came to work making an announcement. He explained openly to everyone, “I am going to live as a woman for a year so I can have an operation to BE a woman.” And from that moment on, Tim asked us to refer to him as a HER, and call her (we will say) Sarah.

I thought AWESOME for her and what better place to work at then one who had an eclectic mix of peoples…gay, bi, straight, and so on!

Sarah was bursting with excitement and VERY open and willing to answer ALL questions. Me and a girlfriend even made plans to have her over to my apartment one night so we could give her a new makeover, color her hair, go on a shopping spree and so forth. I really thought Sarah had found her bit of happiness and why not…she was on the top of the world about to be what her heart wanted.

Unfortunately, even though the Warehouse seemed like an open place to work by all races, lifestyles, and faiths …once Sarah stepped out of her closet, all hell broke lose. Guys became REAL paranoid about Sarah hitting on ‘them’. Some girls, not many, began slandering and gossiping, as if Sarah threatened them in some way. Then a week or so after Sarah’s announcement, the GL’s (Supervisors) called each department into a private room for meetings without ‘Sarah’, asking how everyone was feeling about it and so on.

I remember sitting in the closed off room thinking, this meant trouble. Something inside said that they were trying to find reason to get rid of Sarah and if too many people had a problem with her, then there ya go.

Not one woman said a word but boy did the guys start spewing crazy stuff like, “I don’t want to be hit on.” and “this is too distracting, so many gossiping about this.” and whatever other foolishness came to their minds.

When the GL looked at me, I corrected every single one of their so-called problems by calmly pointing out how ridiculous they were. I even said, “And no one has to worry Sarah hitting on them since she’s a Lesbian and has no interest in men.” The room became real quiet but the snarkiness stopped or so I thought.

A few months later, Sarah was fired for supposedly knocking over some boxes and “not reporting it”. Sarah happened to be one of the highest quota makers in the Warehouse. She had worked there for two years and hadn’t even missed a day of work. We all knew her firing was bull and a cover up.

Unfortunately, I never saw Sarah again and I soon quit the Warehouse too. CNN’s spotlight on Transgender issues made me think of her after all these years.

I once thought…

keeping secrets, hiding in the dark, is what fueled trouble, speculation, and paranoia. Sarah’s open approach, preparing all of ‘us’ for what she was about to go through… a change…trying to save us from wondering, speculating, or being paranoid…trying to ease our minds when she was the one on the verge of such change…

Well it didn’t save her or make us more comfortable, did it? And that’s what she was more concerned with…making her transition more comfortable for everyone else who knew her, because believe me, that girl was so happy and on so much of a natural high that when the ugliness started, it never even phased her.

I hope Sarah got her operation and found a job that could move past the personal stuff and focus on how productive her skills were and how dependable she was.

I hope Sarah/Skittles found her rainbow….

C.H. Scarlett

Pagan Women in Fiction

I love reading and writing about pagan women in fiction, especially ones who are a) true to life as both people and being pagan, b) are sharp and witty, and c) are interesting in general. I think there’s a real dearth of non-Wiccan pagans in fiction, as many seem to believe that Wicca is the default religion for all pagans. It’s also good to see women portrayed positively within the context of their faith and in their general lives.

In an upcoming short story I wrote, “My Big Fat Greek Pagan Lesbian Wedding”, two women who are Greek pagans–a devotee of Hera and another who is a devotee of Aphrodite–are getting married. Along the way they encounter obstacles due to their sexual preference, road blocks from their families and friends who have their own ideas on how (or even if) they should get hitched, and even trials from their own religious backgrounds and from people who share their faith on the “proper” way for them to undergo their ceremony.

Remaining true to oneself is the overall theme present, and the empowerment that comes from following your own heart over what others want. This is a struggle for many women who fight stereotypes and ideas on who and what they should be versus who they truly are. It’s not limited to religion, sexual preference, race, or class. It hasn’t gone unnoticed by me that being female, in a minority faith, and of the GLBT persuasion is a triple whammy. Add ethnicity for additional spice, and you have the makings of a serious struggle in dealing with being in our culture.

I often say that while I may be in this culture, I am not of it. It’s good for me to see writers and readers banding together to represent in fiction what we’d like to see our society demonstrate.

What are some good examples of pagan and GLBT women in fiction who rise above prejudice, bigotry, and societal expectations of them? I love compiling a list of new fiction to read and perhaps some good but old ones which I haven’t thought about in a while. Share away!

Love & Magic,
Adrianne

http://www.adriannebrennan.com

Book Review: Best Unspoken by Bryl R. Tyne

Title: Best Unspoken

Author: Bryl R. Tyne

Author Site: http://bryltyne.com

Buy Link: http://www.nobleromance.com/BrowseListing.aspx?author=59

Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing

Genre: Contemporary/GLBT

Length – # OF PAGES: 18

Other: M/M

Card Rating: – 4 Tarots

Review by: Strega

About The Book: Twenty-five year old social butterfly, Levi Finley couldn’t be more mismatched for his middle-aged, introverted counterpart, biomedical tech, Rob Langston. What happens when two so utterly opposite men come together? Besides the hottest sex in Levi’s young life? Throw in one opinionated mother, misunderstanding friends, and one hell of a birthday party at the wildest, gentleman’s gentlemen club in town, and friction, a notch above wild, is bound to ensue. Will Levi allow doubts to destroy their relationship? Not if Rob has any say in the matter. But that might not be as easy as it sounds, considering Rob’s preferred communication is always best unspoken.

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The Review:

First off, I have to say that I am a fan of Bryl Tyne’s writing. This author has never disappointed me but when I read Best Unspoken, I wasn’t quite sure I liked what I was reading. Levi is young, has lots of friends, is out going and friendly. His lover, Rob, is middle aged, quiet, almost to the point of being a “well, he was a nice, quiet neighbor, we never would’ve thought he had bodies in the basement” type of character. I truly began to fear for Levi’s well being and had a few flashbacks of my own! The reader can misconstrue the tension between Levi and Rob, just as it is by Levi’s friends, but when the two men are alone, the tension between them is something altogether different.

Best Unspoken is a quick read, only 18 pages, but Bryl R. Tyne has packed this story with enough raw emotion, sex, and heartfelt meaning to keep the reader thinking about Levi and Rob long after the story ends.

 

 

 

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