Most people struggle with their identity--not this woman...
| Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting a bright young woman with incredible insights into what it's like to live in Hollywood, California, as an open lesbian. Unlike some people in her shoes, she makes the best of her situation. Out of a nine year relationship with her partner, she works today as a massage therapist.
I hope that you learn more from her than you can from me. So without further ado, I would like to introduce you to Dreacarvv.
Please note that I did take the liberty to attempt editing, because I'm sure some people would object to the grammatical errors. I, however, did nothing to the content at all! I left that fully intact. Wait, I did bleep some things to make the interview age appropriate...
SSthewriter: Who are you and what name would you prefer to go by?
Dreacarvv: Dreacarvv is a fine-combo of my first and last name--white lesbian, 32yrs old, massage therapist from Hollywood. Sounds more exciting than L.A. Four cats--can't be a lesbian without one... I think it's a rule!
SSthewriter: LOL. Because the interview has a lot to do with GLBT issues, I'm just going to go ahead with this question, if you don't mind.
SSthewriter: Have you always known you prefer women? If so, how have you come to terms with it?
Dreacarvv: Yes--I don't think it's a matter of popping out of the womb and wanting to go right back in, but it never occurred to me that liking girls was such a big deal. I think that by the first grade, kids, especially the little boys, figured out I was different (two in particular, John and Joe, seriously never forgot). By second grade, they were calling me a fag. We were in Catholic school, too. They thought it meant female a*s grabber, and I tried explaining but... coming to terms never occurred to me. I like doing what I want and have always been a little odd.
I have had sex with men, don't object to it. Most lesbians think that is sacrilegious. I love women and want to be in a relationship with one. Honestly, what makes a person gay? Straight or gay people tell me that there are those that they will marry and those they will f*ck (tell me if my potty mouth bothers you). There's a difference between love and sex--I think if more people were open minded and honest, then who slept with who would be no big deal. Sex is biological, chemical and mental.
Love, however, is just senseless. Uh-oh!!! Bitter today!
SSthewriter: Yes, in some ways, it is...
With what you've experienced, I'm sure, it's not real hard to feel bitter toward society.
Have you ever felt misrepresented by the media, by stereotypes in general?
Dreacarvv: No. The bitter part was just directed at love (just got dumped). I haven't had embittering experiences, only growth ones. I live in an area and era where things are more accepted. In most of the heart land, things are different, and fifty years ago, I might have got my a*s kicked up and down the street, but I have not had major problems with society, only individuals from time to time.
SSthewriter: Oh, I'm sorry.
Dreacarvv: As for the media--I don't hold that part of our culture in high regards. They want to make money like everyone else, and pissing off 90% of their viewers won't sell--if the average people came out of the closet, it would do far more good than Ellen, not that that isn't brave of her. But my neighbors don't know Ellen; they know me, and my neighbors are the ones who watch T.V., and vote. Sometimes I wonder if the cr*p on T.V. is meant to represent society, how it is, or how we would like it to be. Honestly, I almost quit watching the last few episodes of Ellen myself--it just wasn't that funny anymore.
We also need to be strong enough people to view ourselves in the mirror to see who we are--not take our cue from made-up characters from T.V. or the movies
SSthewriter: I agree. But, for most gay teens, who reject their feelings because of their suppressed society, what would you like to say to them? Wouldn't the media be the only way for them to relate to anyone remotely like them?
Dreacarvv: Let me know if I don't answer your questions. I ramble sometimes!
SSthewriter: You may answer however you wish to...
Dreacarvv: That is too simplistic and implies that the media should be raising our kids. Sound like Falwell, don't I? There was no Will and Grace when I was growing up, but there was a library. The books didn't fall off the shelves for me--I had to look long and hard to find them. Again, there is no quick fix, but the best fix comes from the GLBT (I honestly prefer queer!) society themselves. We need to educate the parents first. The best way is to be more open about who we are. This generation should take its lumps like the last. Now I may have missed a promotion at work, or my neighbors stare if I am too gay, but compare this to the pre-Stonewall days when we could be arrested for not wearing at least three articles of women's clothing (it was a b*tch being butch!). Bars were raided, patrons beaten, raped, murdered. We can't expect acceptance overnight, especially when too many people are too afraid or too d*mn lazy to do anything about it.
SSthewriter: Do you think gay teens in this generation have it better than when you were a kid? I mean, young kids these days often use the word gay to describe things as being stupid.
Dreacarvv: That's true, but there are also gay kids taking their gay dates to the prom as well. That is not something that never occurred to me or anyone my age that I know of--I am not trying to gay bash myself, or anything, but being a teenager is rough on many levels for many kids (anyone in a minority, the fat kid, the deaf kid, etc.). I know gay has an added stigma.
I know gay teens have the highest suicide rate, but the only thing I can say is things are getting better from generation to generation. Obviously, it can't happen fast enough, but realistically, we need to come to terms with our own responsibilities here. We need to be the ones reaching out to teens. We can't expect straight people to give up their bias because a few noisy activists say so, or the media says so.
SSthewriter: How strong do you think homopobia is? After publicized cases like Matthew Shepard, Teena Brandon, is that sending a message to young people that being out is dangerous? I know by research that a mother of a transgender claims that her son was denied treatment because he was what he was. That caused his death. What do you have to say to that?
Dreacarvv: More high schools are starting gay-straight alliances, clubs, but how many GLBT people who don't have kids bother to support their community in that way? I will admit I am a hypocrite saying that.
You asked if things are getting better. Twenty years ago Hilary Swank would not be accepting an Oscar for Boys Don't Cry because the story would probably not have made it to the media's attention. It's not that bad things aren't happening, it's that there are fewer cases like Matthew, and they are being reported, and people are protesting against such evil. Forty years ago, there might not even be an accurate number to cases of such violence and terror. That does no good for Matthew, I know, but what evidence have you that we are going backward and who do you blame? At some point, I could have been him... I have friends who have been beaten... I tell you, though, that I still feel it is my obligation to the betterment of the next generation that I be out. If that means I pay a price--well, anyone who knows me knows I don't want to die--but I wont back down. I know I am blessed to live in a neighborhood where I am not 'the biggest freak' on the block, but no matter where I go I am out.
SSthewriter: Dreacarvv, in your experience, what's it like to be gay? Is it really as glorious as some people portray it as? Is it just a popular trend some people will grow out of? Does being gay make you stand out?
Dreacarvv: Being gay makes me stand out only as far as people notice it, and it is up to each individual to process what that means to them. I have had it not come up in a conversation at all, and I have had people see me walk into a shop and clutch their purse with one hand and pull their child closer with the other. I keep one eye on the shadows and the other looking straight ahead; I won't look down everywhere I go. I can see glamourous people in magazines smoking cigarettes, drinking baileys, sexy women, and has-been actresses selling cars or Viagra.
Are you familiar with the Kinsey scale of sexuality? The 1-5 scale, or something like that... 1 is straight, 5 is gay, 3, bisexual, the rest, just in between. I have known a woman truly bitter towards men; she'd been molested as a child, raped in her twenties, married and divorced an a*sh*le, and she was gay. I know another woman who had a great childhood, loved her daddy, but just knew from birth she was gay. Nurture vs. nature--there have been many studies pointing to a biological connection to sexual orientation, and then I think of the lady who was bitter with men... Some people might feel attraction for the same sex and always be too afraid to act on it. Some might do it for a lark to please their boyfriend and not like it; but, if you are a 1 or a 5, I don't think it's a choice. As for me, I go to work, pay my taxes,(used to) come home, fix my girlfriend dinner, and hear about her day at work--as unglamourous as any straight marriage, I know--fight about money, how she didn't pick up her socks, made a mess in the kitchen... Nothing glamourous at all, just what I liked. average. That is why more average people should come out of the closet; if they knew how ordinary most of us are, then they wouldn't feel threatened or turned on. There was a study done on men convicted of homophobic violence. The study concluded that most of them were sexually aroused when shown homosexual pornography.
Being gay to me is what makes me happiest. It is me at my most fulfilled. It isn't always easy; it's never glamourous, but it makes me happy being with a woman I love, not just want to have sex with...
SSthewriter: Not too long ago, the boyscout and other organizations have rejected memberships to gays, have refused to hire open gays. Parents have objected to school districts hiring gay teachers, etc. Why is that, in your opinion? Why do people relate homosexuality to pedophilia? Are their children really endanger under the supervision of gays?
Dreacarvv: Look up the average profile of a pedophiliac, and you will see that in 90+% of the cases it was a straight man. Also, a majority of abuse is incest, a trusted member or friend of the family. The children are in danger of losing their preconceived notions of what big, bad people gays are if they are exposed to positive role-models. I think the parents feel that gay people recruit, or it unknowingly might just rub off on their kids--our gayness. It goes back to educating the adults, breaking the cycle of fear.
Religion plays an important part. Many gay people give up on God, but there are some out there fighting to bring understanding to their churches. One of the verses condemning homosexuality in the old testament happens to be sandwiched between a stoning for a divorcee and sleeping with one's mother-in-law, or something like that. Divorce has been forgiven and, well, just look at Jerry Springer... I won't be in hell alone then. Educate, educate, educate--the smarter people are, the less fearful and less willing to be led by others people become.
SSthewriter: Do you think gay people can change their sexual orientation? Recently, or not so recently, there were clinics out there claiming they could convert homosexuals. Is it really that easy? Is it a choice to be gay, to think gay, act gay? Can you change your sexual orientation?
Dreacarvv: Everything in life is a choice, except thinking. How do you prove if someone really stopped thinking about one thing in particular--I haven't seen them scientifically tested to see if they still are aroused like the criminals I mentioned earlier. We can all control our biological urges to some extent or another. That makes us different than animals. Of course, look at the scope of the Catholic Church's sex-abuse scandals--that's another story.
The question is are those ex-gays really happy and fulfilled, or is pain and the absence of sexual and earthly love a better alternative to the eternity burning in hell that awaits them down this evil path?
SSthewriter: Good question... I'm sure many people will struggle answering that.
In your opinion, does a person have to have sex with the same gender to be gay, or just have to have strong desires, not curiosity, but desires?
Dreacarvv: I choose to be a happy, fulfilled person--I could never have sex with another woman (please don't let that happen), but I could not alter my thought process, feelings, or unhappiness.
Desire is like a wish. We will desire many things, and not all will be good or healthful for us physically.
SSthewriter: Are you out to close relatives and friends you grew up with? What were their reactions when you told them?
Dreacarvv: I am out to all my relatives and friends--those I haven't actually said gay to must know after seeing me with the same woman for nine years, referring to her as my girlfriend, etc.
SSthewriter: Their reactions? Did they accept that?
Dreacarvv: Yes. She went to all the family functions, all that...
SSthewriter: Then have you ever been treated differently because you are gay? If so, in what way?
Dreacarvv: The only negative thing, if it's that, is I know my mom worries about gay bashing more than I do.
SSthewriter: Your mom must be very accepting though, right?
Dreacarvv: Not by my family or friends--once people know me they tend to at least act civilly, as far as co-workers and such. Even people who think I am going to burn in hell, once they know me they can respect my honesty and agree to disagree. I have had to work with some pretty religious people, and while work isn't the place for anyone to preach, at least, they got the chance to see that queers aren't as scary as they thought. My parents are both very accepting, so is my sister. We were raised to be our own individuals, not cater to or follow others. My mother's favourite saying is you get what you settle for... and only a dog gets kicked and goes back for more. But that might be off subject.
SSthewriter: How much harm do you think people are doing to homosexuals by not accepting them? How much harm are homosexuals doing to themselves by not accepting themselves?
Dreacarvv: A great amount of harm in both cases. That's obvious--the challenge is finding a solution.
SSthewriter: Just a few more questions... I know it's getting late.
Recently President Bush and Arnold Schwarzennegar, known republicans, have spoken out against the flock of homosexuals who want to wed. They even went as far as to support bills in favor of banning gay marriage. What do you think about that? What is your response?
Dreacarvv: There are gay republicans, and not all republicans support that. Like some democrats think it might be O.K. The point I would like to make is equal protection under the law. That piece of paper guarantees a gay couple the right to joint income tax, inheritance, legal rights to act on another's behalf in the event of a medical emergency, even the right to be in the hospital by a life partner's side, maybe, as they take their last breath. Historically, marriage has been a social contract for the most part, blessed by God. The idea of separation between Church and state is realitively new and still not embraced by the whole world. Whether you call a country a theocracy or a religious dictatorship can be a reflection of your own beliefs.
Marriage binds two people together for various reasons, and love is also a new idea, so to speak. Social contract--my daughter or son to increase family land-holdings, mother a proper heir to the throne, a way to keep the tribe populated or the farm going. Sound silly? Love is a new reason to get married in the grand scheme of things. I do think that, and acceptance in the eyes of society are why gay people want to get married. The idea it will tear the social fabric of this country is rediculous--straight people are doing that themselves; the divorce rate is at 50%, without us queers screwing things up. Save the children is one I hear. Marriage is meant for raising children, yet you don't see the churches or government ripping kids from single parents and giving them to married people to raise. No one is forced to sign a paper before they are married, swearing to have at least one child for the good of society. A union between two loving, consenting adults is good for society, regardless of the couples' gender. Married people live longer and tend to be more responsible, productive citizens--there have been studies to prove it, though, obviously, gays weren't included.
SSthewriter: Do you think gay people should raise and adopt children? Why or why not?
Dreacarvv: There are so many kids that need stable loving homes--if gay couples can provide that, why not? There is no link to childhood problems and gay parents. The kids aren't more likely to be gay, or serial murders. The American Board of Psychiatrists (I think it was them) are discussing endorsing gay marriage, and a different study was just released suggesting that there was no difference between kids raised by gays vs. straights. You could probably look it up under gay and lesbian research, or something--I just read them.
SSthewriter: Controversially, some people have claimed homosexuality is learned, is the result of early exposure to sex. Do you agree?
Dreacarvv: No, don't agree. Early exposure to what kind of sex? Homosexual sex?
SSthewriter: Any. Like there were claims about kids who were raped have higher rates to become molesters themselves, etc.
Dreacarvv: I don't follow a connection--if I see a heterosexual couple having sex, wouldn't that be my cue to be hetero? As for molesters, it's a matter of the normalcy of it. If you are a kid and something happens to you at an early age, you don't stop to compare that act to what is expected to happen to a kid. That takes a high degree of reasoning that even teenagers and some adults don't have (going back to the media, stories like Matthews convincing people if being out got him killed, it will kill me) at a young age they might not grasp that it's wrong to be touched there.
Even in cases of alcoholism, no matter how violent or destructive the parental example was, many kids follow in their parents' footsteps. I don't see a connection to gay anywhere there. It would still have to imply that, at a young age, I was influenced by homosexual sex. I can't infer something like that indirectly from heterosexuality.
SSthewriter: What would you like to say to people, whether GLBT or straight, who will be reading this now?
Dreacarvv: Treat people the way you want to be treated. Don't follow others without first thinking about what direction you are being led. Especially for gays, find a way, any way, to be a part of the solution, rather than fixating on how bad things are. Make it better and be happy with who(m)ever you are.
SSthewriter: Dreacarvv, thank you so much for your participation. Your prospectives will be sure to bring some enlightenment to writing.com. I, personally, appreciate it. I'll be e-mailing you when the interview's posted so you could look it over. Again, thank you so very much. You are very brave to relate your experiences to us. It's not an easy thing.
Dreacarvv: Cool--it's easier with practice. Take care.
SSthewriter: You too. Good night.
Again, Dreacarvv, thank you. I can't thank you enough. You're a very opinionated, very logical individual. I hope your logic rubs off on some people.
For people who actually finished reading the interview, thank you for your patience. Sometimes, it's easier to speak before you hear.
Feel free to e-mail me with your comments. If you happen to want to be interviewed too, e-mail with reasons, who you are, etc. Thanks for your time.