Today’s post is a bit different. I approached Anne about her coming to be a guest a few weeks ago. At the time, I don’t think either of us expected what I’m posting today. Although this is a bit of a soap box post, it is timely, relevant and extremely well said. I’d say more, but that would take away from the brilliant post Anne wrote so, I’ll let her do the talking.

Guest Author: Anne Tenino

Originally I wrote a highly opinionated piece for today that began something like this:

“Hello there! I’m here today posting to you all because something’s been on my mind. I anticipate I’ll raise a little ruckus, pass some judgment, and maybe ruffle a few feathers.

Oh yeah, and plug my new book, Sweet Young Thang.

What’s been on my mind? Heteronormativity.”

Yeah. I didn’t write that post. I mean, I did write it, four times, but no matter where I went with it— anecdotes from real life, including my friend’s adventures in a bear bar in Paris; and the night Edmond Manning advised me to create a fake profile on Adam4Adam for research purposes (sorry about referring to you as “a gentleman of a certain age” in that one, Edmond)—I kept ending up in the same place. I’d start out talking about heteronormativity and conformity, which led me through prejudice, bullying, and the evolutionary imperatives to procreate, be monogamous and fit in with the rest of our herd. And of course I took a wander through religion (as opposed to spirituality) and other social institutions that enforce our psychological (and biological?) need to be alike.

But no matter what, it all came back to one issue for me: Russia.

If you aren’t sure what I’m referring to, here’s an op-ed that’s rich in facts and lays the crisis out succinctly: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/22/opinion/russias-anti-gay-crackdown.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0 Even more succinctly, I’ll say this—people are losing their children, being arrested, being assaulted and being murdered in Russia just on the suspicion of being gay.

What’s happening there (which I don’t believe for a second is only happening in Russia, but that’s where it’s heating up and hitting the media) is sucking all the humorous proclivities right out of me. I could get all up on my high (yet comedic) horse and poke some fun at this ideological backlash to marriage equality that may (or may not) be having a negative impact on the LGBTQ community, but it all seems a bit privileged when I compare it to the brutality of what Putin and the Russian government is allowing. (I’d go so far as to say they’re encouraging it.)

Which leaves me with very little to say about my new, romantic comedy. It leaves me with a lot of icky, unhumorous and unromantic feelings, actually, and it leaves me not particularly interested in picking apart my abstract notions.

What I am interested in is what I can do about the situation in Russia.

My first thought was to donate money to an organization that is working against Russia’s homophobic laws, but what organization that will be is still up in the air—I haven’t researched enough yet to determine where my money is best spent.

When I started looking around at what others are doing about this situation, one biggie comes up right away—the 2014 Winter Olympics will be in Sochi, Russia, and there’s a movement underfoot (on more than one front) to pressure the International Olympic Committee to condemn Russia over these laws. Here’s a slightly anemic article which gives an overview of what’s happening with the IOC, Russia, and activists—be assured this fight isn’t over, and while the petition campaigns asking the IOC to take stronger action will have closed by the time this is posted, I’m sure there will be other opportunities. http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/2013/08/01/ioc-russia-anti-gay-law-sochi-olympics/2609765/

While looking into it, I also found this story, where the only out, gay Olympian, Blake Skjellerup, shares his thoughts on what to do: http://espn.go.com/olympics/story/_/id/9522393/olympians-speak-anti-gay-laws-russia. I think the dude has a point. In my experience, the best way to convince people that gay is okay is to introduce them to some real and actual rainbow people.

But the most important thing I can do is tell people about it, and that’s what I’ve done here today. This is my first step, but it’s not the only one I’ll be taking. I’d urge everyone who cares about this issue to do the same. It may seem like a drop in the ocean, but with enough drops we can create our own current, and maybe sweep some old garbage out to sea.

About The Author:

Raised on a steady media diet of Monty Python, classical music and the visual arts, Anne Tenino rocked the mental health world when she was the first patient diagnosed with Compulsive Romantic Disorder. Since that day, Anne has taken on conquering the M/M world through therapeutic writing. Finding out who those guys having sex in her head are and what to do with them has been extremely liberating.

Anne’s husband finds it liberating as well, although in a somewhat different way. Her two daughters are mildly confused by Anne’s need to twist Ken dolls into odd positions. They were raised to be open-minded children, however, and other than occasionally stealing Ken1’s strap-on, they let Mom do her thing without interference.

Wondering what Anne does in her spare time? Mostly she lies on the couch, eats bonbons and shirks housework.

Check out what Anne’s up to now by visiting her site. http://annetenino.com

Links:

Dreamspinner Press http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2446

Riptide http://www.riptidepublishing.com/authors/anne-tenino

Chicks & Dicks Blog http://www.chicksanddicksrainbow.com/?zx=aff20b3ddd9f3961

Twitter https://twitter.com/AnneTenino

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4831235.Anne_Tenino

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/anne.tenino