Otep Shamaya is an artist, a rocker, a singer, a writer, a poet, and a friend. I hope this is just the first of many guest blogs she'll share with us. She'll be reading your comments. Also, this is my open invitation to her to have a column in my magazine INTERLUDE once it's relaunched later this summer.
To read my SuicideGirls interview with Otep, click on the pic:
And if you're unfamiliar with Otep and/or her band OT3P, check out their video for their new song "Confrontation":
"Justice For All"
“… that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression.”
— Thomas Jefferson
In order to scribe this weeks entry, I have had to remove myself from any source of news or interference. I believe it’s important to have the right kind of atmosphere when writing something this important that will undoubtedly evoke the biased and hateful to turn on me. So, here I sit, on a traditional bridal bed made of dark mahogany, draped in red curtains from India, fortified behind walls of giant harem pillows. In the deep darkness of 3 a.m., candles singe the exhausted air and lighten the ethers with their soft fragrances. Twisting and rooting all around me are the limbs of three sleeping furies, lost in the universal mind, their enervated bodies radiate a rainbow of halos that pinch and pull dark visions of sweet temptation. Yes, the mood seems right. My fingers are ready to focus on stroking the keys of this powerbook (and perhaps a leg or rib or nape of the neck or two). Okay, enough. To the meat.
Here it is, a topic so vile and disruptive, so provocative and arousing, so ridiculously taboo that I expect the hate mail on this to reach mountainous proportions. So be it. The California Supreme Court recently handed down a ruling that legalized Same Sex Marriage. Many cried with absolute joy at this revelation. Others were shocked and outraged, “Dear God,” they exclaimed, “the heathens have won!” Perhaps. But which is better? Heathens or tyrants? Good question. It shall be answered thus!
Our citizenship is not defined by sexual orientation, gender, race, or religion (or lack thereof). Neither is our patriotism, our loyalty, or our love for this great republic. I am a free-thinker, I am a songwriter, a bohemian, a scoundrel, an outsider, a painter, a provocateur, a godmother, a god-damner, a daughter, a sister, an activist, a lover, a fighter, I am Sapphic, and yes, I am a proud American.
So why should the bigotry of some define the limits of my life? Why should I be subject to the archaic ideas of a Puritanical bunch of hypocrites with hate in their hearts? Now, to be clear, I have no desire to marry anyone. But, if I did (somehow, somewhere) find that special someone that sends my spirit soaring beyond the sub-stratus (fueled by all the love we can muster) and all this beauty and joy and affection just so happens to emanate from another woman, then why should I be subject to the judgment and legislation of some intolerant, thick-headed xenophobes that know nothing of me, of my lover, or how we feel about each other? I am positive that I would disapprove of the way they cowardly shimmy through life but does that mean I should be able to enact a law against being an uninformed, namby-pamby, jingoistic mook? If so, we should immediately arrest GW Bush and the Republican members of Congress on the spot, forthwith! Ah, but I digress.
The Religious Right is always bantering on about the sanctity of marriage, meanwhile, most of these douchebags are (or have) been cheating on their spouses (left and right) and the loudest opponents are usually cheating with someone of the same sex! These particular swine have shamed themselves into “the closet” and now their attraction to same sex partners has become a mutation of sexual deviancy that they can not control. I despise these mongrels. How dare they attack and condemn and legislate love when they are the creatures they pretend to protect us from.
And you know what? My disdain goes out to you celebrity folk who remain in the closet to protect your careers! Gay and lesbian teens (across America) are being attacked and sometimes killed for no other reason than being who they are, and yet, you hide away, ashamed of your own skin and heart. Meanwhile, they have no role models, no one to lead the way, no one to teach them that being themselves is okay.
They have no one to tell them that they are NORMAL! It is those that violently fear anything different that are the true freaks! These cowardly actors and rappers and singers make me sick. They are eager enough to take your money, to live their lives happy, wealthy, and in the umbrella of privacy that Hollywood can provide, and meanwhile gay and lesbian teens are under fire from all sides — mostly from their own anxieties and insecurities. Well, my friends, leave it me! I tell you here and now, if you believe in a God, and that God is perfect, then, (as my great-grandmother used to say) God don’t make no mistakes!! You are perfect and beautiful and (flawed) just the way you are. Never let anyone tell you anything different!
And to those who disapprove of this lifestyle, and denounce the union of same-sex couples based on the idea that marriage is sacred — well, why aren’t you this vocal against heterosexual couples that cheat on each other? Isn’t that soiling the sacredness of marriage? Where’s your outrage when a “straight” man molests his “straight” daughter? When he sleeps with the babysitter, when parents beat their children, where’s your outrage when they violate everything holy and good that you claim is perfect based solely on the idea of gender? Love doesn’t count, right?
Look, I know most in this category won’t be swayed by any logical argument I scribe here, but we should at least be able to agree on this: If two adults are lucky enough to find each other and fall in love in this ugly world, at this time, then may the fates bless them and grant them good fortune and many days of happiness. Besides, if the Republican way is the godly way, then why do the top tier of these hypocrites have gay and lesbian children?
Ronald Reagan’s son - GAY.
Dick Cheney’s daughter - GAY.
Aren’t these the holymen of Conservatism? Didn’t they raise their children in the heart and soul of good, old fashioned American values? Then why do they have gay children? What did they do wrong?? Jesus Joseph and Mary! Homosexuality is as natural as heterosexuality and has been with us since time began. Hell, even Alexander the Great, the “greatest” conqueror known to us and is studied by all of our military leaders, was bi-sexual and arguably his greatest love was shared with a man, Hephaestion.
Now, to those that rejoiced and saw this as a big win for “our” side. I ask you to take a moment and think about the bigger picture. Yes, it’s a beautiful moment for equal rights in America, but, why now? Most people don’t realize that outside of Los Angeles and San Francisco the majority of California is pretty conservative. Our governor (Ah-nold) is a republican and the California supreme court is known for its conservative nature. So why this big move? Well, forgive my cynicism, but the conspiracy sensing sector of my spirit is suspicious. Could it be that the Republicans are so afraid of losing anymore seats in Congress (they’re falling like flies) and bigger still, the Presidential elections this November, that they are hoping to ignite their base (the religious right) this way? I mean, what better way to motivate the Jesus-freaks (no insult intended) than by giving those “damned Satanic Gays” the right to marry? Because everyone knows that the Homosexual Agenda is to give everyone “The Gay”! Right? Wrong. A straight woman (a breeder, if you will) once told me, “Not everyone is gay, you know!” And I replied, “Yes, I know. And we like it that way!” This is a club that likes its exclusivity. Ye gods, it’s astounding that we are shin-deep in the 21st Century and still plagued by such invincible ignorance. But again, I digress.
They say the monkey king (GW Bush) won his second term by sparking fear in the hearts and minds of middle & southern America over the 3 G’s — God, Guns, and Gays. Their talking points were, “If you elect a Democrat, the liberals will destroy America by taking God out of our schools, Guns out of your homes, and let the Gay agenda take control.”
This is complete and utter poppycock, balderdash, bollocks, and bullshit but it worked. And now, because those cowards were so filled with intolerance, look where our nation is now? Bush and co. have run our nation to the point of fiscal, cultural, and spiritual bankruptcy. I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s parade or piss on anyone’s moment, but I just want us to be ready for anything that the conservatives might pull. As we have seen, they will do anything (lie, cheat, steal) to stay in power. Now, I could be wrong, and I hope I am, and this could be an amazing moment in our collective history. But remember this: Now that they have reversed this ban it will be on the ballot this fall and it will most certainly be a topic in the Presidential debates, and the evangelical swamp rats will be waiting for a fight.
Let’s give it to them, with everything we have.
“We are all the same people. All of us. You are no different than I am. Our love is the same. To me, what it feels like, I will just speak for myself, it feels like when someone says, ‘You can still have a contract and you’ll still have insurance and you’ll get all that’ — it sounds like you can sit there, but you can’t sit there. That’s what is sounds like to me.
— Ellen Degeneres
Do we want to continue down this slow slide of self-destruction? Or do we wish to inch ever closer to the promised capacity of our beloved country? I say, we stand up and fight. It’s worth it.
Otep Shamaya, Esq.