Friday, March 30, 2012

Hey Brownback! Over Here!

I never do this. I never get into discussions involving politics unless I am sitting next to you with a beer and a shot of whiskey and we can look each other in the eye and have an honest conversation about the issue at hand while tossing back a few and inserting a couple of jokes to relieve the tension of the topic at hand. This is a massive exception to my rule, my number one rule: never get into politics on the internet. I’m only doing this once, so don’t get used to it. This is a challenge of my bravery, and of yours. Am I brave enough to out myself to all of you, and to deal with the sideways looks and whatever other fallout ensues? I am. Are you brave enough to look me in the eye after reading this? We shall see.

Yesterday the Kansas house of representatives (or the Kansas House of Representatives La-di-Fuckin-da if you're into capitalization) passed (by an “overwhelming majority”, no less) a bill that dismisses local anti-discrimination ordinances against gays and lesbians as a violation of religious freedom. The bill is called the “Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act.”  
In short, it states that if an employer, a landlord or anyone else in a position of authority over another person, decides that someone’s “lifestyle” offends their personal religious beliefs, they are allowed to terminate, fire, evict, cast out said person under the protection of the state, regardless of any other factor, even overriding local ordinances to the contrary.  Notice my abundant use of quotation marks? I hate quotation marks. That means I think this measure is heartbreakingly full of shit. Oh, Kansas. You abuse my amigos over and again, but that damn prairie holds me fast. The language in this bill doesn't specifically target the LGBT community, but the implication in Kansas is clear. When we in Kansas say something offends our religious sensibilities, we are usually talking about sex.

Let’s take a step back. Rather than dancing around it and implying the deed, let’s just talk about sex. We’re all adults here. (Please, if you’re not an adult, stop reading now and go graffiti a building or light some fireworks or whatever it is that you kids do these days to stay entertained when you’re not on the interwebs.) I am a happily married mother of three beautiful children.  I am heterosexual. I blend in nicely here in Brownbackistan. But as they say, you can't always tell by looking.  

Not that it's anyone's damn business, and not that my employer nor landlord could legally discriminate against me if they knew, I am also a super-freak in the sack. I get down in ways that would make Howard Stern blush. I won’t go into too much detail there, but let me just say that I am a devoted mother, a committed employee, and an all around generous contributor to my community. This is not in spite of my colorful sex life. It’s because of it. Get it? I am a fulfilled, happy, well-adjusted kinky chick who actually performs more adeptly and enthusiastically at my responsibilities because of my kinks...not in spite of them. I’m energized and feisty and spunky and fun and make great cookies because I’m so damn happy and free. I’m so damn happy and free because I am in a relationship with someone who not only understands and embraces, but also shares my freakiness. I'm allowed to be who I am and he's allowed to be who he is and we talk about it all the time, how great we are.

If someone were to come put a big anvil on my head by way of state legislation that said that I might be fired or thrown out of my house for doing the things that actually enrich my marriage and make my world a happier place (not to mention how happy they make my husband), I guess that might have a profound influence on my orgasms as well as my productivity. I can guarantee that it would cause me to feel disassociated from my environment, knowing that I am considered inferior and subject to the ridiculous posturing of my state representative’s or my boss’s or my landlord’s religious persecution. All they have to do is cry “Slut!” and I’m out on my ass just because I like to get down? Because the State of Kansas made it legal for them to fire me, evict me, persecute me, for of my sexual habits? Come now. It doesn’t make any sense when you paint it that way, does it?
Could it be that 76.7% of our Kansas representatives would be happiest in an ice cream store with 40 options of vanilla? How does that play out at the counter?  ”I’ll have the vanilla. No. Not that vanilla, the one to the left. Yes, that’s the vanilla I prefer.” “Oh, have you tried the vanilla third from the right? It’s so vanilla it makes the other vanillas seem like rainbow sherbet. Realllllly vanilla.” If so, is that an accurate representation of our demographic here in Kansas? Does 3/4 of the population believe that if you don't like vanilla, you are not entitled to the same civil rights as the vanilla eaters?

As a heterosexual, I have never had to deal with the threat of being legally discriminated against for what I do behind closed doors. Let me acknowledge briefly that I understand that what I am talking about has nothing to do with my sexual orientation. I am not implying that gay sex is kinky. The point I'm trying to make is that in the eyes of those who would use their religious freedom as a crutch to beat people about the head with, all the while shouting that you have offended their religious sensibilities and that it is against their religion to employ you, it is absolutely about the sex. The sex is the part that freaks them out. They don't care who you go to the movies with. They don't care who you open a joint checking account with. They don't care who holds your hand in the hospital when you die. They only care who you fuck.  

Sam needs to hear how you get it on.
I have a feeling that in the eyes of Sam Brownback, I am just as much a threat to his agenda for Kansas as the LGBT community is. I may be a bigger threat, because my agenda is to breed thoughtful human beings to counter the terrorism of intolerance and ignorance he has set upon us. When he's finished with the gays, he'll be coming for me, until all the shelves that used to hold the condoms and lube are newly stocked with Wonder White Bread and that weird bacon that doesn't have to go into the refrigerator. When Sam finally gets rid of us sexy types, all of Kansasland will have sex only for the purpose of procreating more diabetes-stricken, artless and uneducated members of his militia.

Here’s the truth. Human beings are layered. We’re complex. But that’s not scary. Sexuality is complicated, and fascinating, but it’s not that big of a deal. It’s just sex. It’s not a “lifestyle.” It’s just something you do, usually after the rest of the world has gone to sleep and there’s no one there but you and your partner, a bottle of tequila and maybe another dude or maybe not and maybe some gadgets or maybe not and maybe a rope swing and a dog collar or maybe not...  the point is, it’s something you do. It defines a very specific aspect of you, but it’s not who you are, not any more than any one single hat that you wear defines who you are.  

Who and how you screw is not who you are as a parent helping your kid with algebra, or who you are as an employee when you show up to work on time even after the really late nights when you were getting down until the sun came up. Come on. Let’s be frank about this. What we do in the sack and with whom has absolutely no negative bearing on how we perform the rest of the day if we're doing it right. The only real threat to productivity is the daydreams, and I can vouch, straight people have them too.

What are you so afraid of, Kansas? If we allow people to be who they are and do what they do...what is the worst that could happen?  

If every one of us straight, rational, sane-minded, kinky Kansans stepped forward and said hey, you know what?  I’m straight but I do freaky things in bed, and my freaky sex life is none of anyone’s damn business but I’ll tell you about it if it will get you to leave my gay friends alone already! maybe we could at least divert attention away from them for a minute.  Honestly, they’re taking a pounding here, and not the good kind. They deserve a break.

I'll go first. The first email is coming from me. It will include a recitation of my proudest achievements, the accomplishments of my three very well adjusted children, and an itemized list of the contents of the case under my bed. But I'm not showing any of you perverts.


  1. A friend shared a link to this post on Facebook. Well-written, witty, and excellent points made to boot. Nice work! :-)

  2. I've read this a couple times now. I think it's fantastic - ballsy and articulate, witty and right on the money, in my opinion.

  3. Awesome. Thanks for going political! (if only for a moment :)