Note: This post was originally sent to my email list in 2021. Sign up here for the most current musings.
I held my breathe this week. And for the past 4 years. This past presidency in the US affected my career, my mental health, and my sex life. I hated it.
⏪ Let's rewind.
Four years ago, I wrote a Facebook post based on the work of Sara Kendzior. She's an author who studies dictatorships and the fall of democracy. Her expertise and warning of our incoming president at the time was bleak.
She asked a question to me and anyone who read her work. I still think about it and in informed my work as an artist.
💬 "Where do you draw the line?"
When you're in a country led by an aspiring dictator, autocrat or fascist, when do you say "no" or "enough is enough"?
For me, it was early on. Every lie was the line. And I was angry.
Listen, if you don't know who you are. If you don't draw a line in the sand for yourself, your behavior will change with those around you. You won't notice the little steps you take until it's too late.
I'm not talking about positive things like growing and learning. I'm talking about humanity and obvious truths. Loving your neighbor. Caring about strangers. Justice. We live in the same world and our actions affect everyone around us.
This question allowed me to see—very early on—how Trump manipulated the masses. It was a simple and effective strategy. He simply told them what they wanted to hear. He lied. Everyday. 🥴 Contradicted himself constantly.
The insidious effect is that because he lied so much, you could take a sound bite to justify or denounce any stance. On anything! He could gain more followers without really believing in anything other than the attention and support from each insult and tweet.
One day he supports a trans celebrity (remember?) then 34 times in 4 years he passed orders stripping trans and LGBTQ folks our hard-earned rights for equality. And then his family holds a pride rally in Arizona the month of the election? The fuck?
He infected our social media with tweets filled with lies. He attacked women. He attacked his perceived enemies. He attacked Mexicans. He attacked girls. He attacked the media. He lashed out. Fired everyone. Appointed loyalists to him, not his country or party.
He revealed how toxic our culture is towards women, femininity, and people of color. Women and people of color already knew this. But so many of us didn't see it. Didn't care.
We're dealing with that now.
So let's improve gay culture by advancing our attitudes toward women and femininity.
Here are 3 things you can do:
Call out your gay male friends for cursing when they use the word "cunt" and "bitch". Why, as gay men do we think degrading one another by equating them to women? Why do we think this is the ultimate insult?
Call out your gay male friends for making disgusted remarks when it comes to "pussy" "vagina" "moist", PMS, menstrual blood, or "that time of the month" moods. All of these things also affect how we glorify tops and degrade bottoms. We degrade trans men the same way! Spoiler alert: not all gay men have a dick. Your friends might be trans or they might love trans men.
Stop encouraging the idea there there is only one "Beyoncé" in the group. I agree, she's unique. But when men put down Kelly or Michelle, we're supporting the idea there can only be one queen. We're helping white supremacy, in so many ways with this idea. We're saying: women are ok as long as there's only 1. Only one worthy of male attention. It diminishes and excludes femininity from our lives.
For me, addressing toxic masculinity means celebrating the divine feminine in my art and my life.
I love drawing lingerie on men. I love the accent on men that reads as more feminine. I feel comfort in those things.
I love drawing men in pin-up poses. Like this self-portrait of me. :)
If you remember only one thing:
❌ Stop bottom shaming your friends!
Let them enjoy sex. Let them have loose holes. Let them be sluts because they like it.
It takes a ton of work to bottom. And we should praise them and protect them when they need it most.
Toxic masculinity supports the idea of men not showing emotion. Or men not serving others. Or men not having a pussy. But men have emotion, they can and should support people other than themselves, and yes some men have pussies.
Again, if you want this bad-ass pin-up: you can get that here. Thank you Erik P. for requesting this piece.