January 31, 2007

"Where can I meet women in Boston?"

...I've had quite a few women ask me this question lately, so I put together a brief list of ideas. Everyone - feel free to comment and contribute with additional ideas/info.

I would recommend:

  • Diesel Cafe in Davis Square. It's a great place to study, and queer owned and operated. Pool table, photo booth and lots of coffee. They just opened another location, Bloc 11, in Union Square. I haven't been yet, but it's worth a look. Peets Tea and Coffee in Harvard Square is also very queer. ;-)
  • Here is a list of most of the lesbian clubs/bars in the Boston area. Since the roster of lesbian club nights changes on a fairly regular basis, just check out the ones listed and talk to friends who have gone recently. I've heard good things about the Milky Way and Midway in Jamaica Plain (you pretty much can't walk two feet without running into a queer woman in JP anyway). Fridays at Pure are pretty good, with danceable music and a lot of space, but the location is pretty far from public transportation (also, I once got my credit card STOLEN there, so be careful about putting your purse down anywhere!). Club Cafe is nice, but tends to more oriented towards gay men. Lots of techno. Share your thoughts/updates/corrections in the comments!
  • MadFemmePride is a group that caters to femme women (and those who like them), and have fun events every so often.
  • GenderCrash is a monthly spoken word and performance night in Jamaica Plain, centered around queer/transgender performers, and is really powerful and entertaining.
  • There's also the Cambridge Women's Center. I've never been, but I know they have a queer women's support group and other resources.
  • There are a bunch of LGBT racial and ethnic organizations like Somos Latinos and QAPA. More here. You can get involved with religion-oriented LGBT organizations like Keshet. More here.
  • A great way to meet hot people AND help save the world: volunteer at places like Boston GLASS or BAGLY (which serve LGBT youth), MassEquality (which works for marriage equality), MTPC (transgender rights) or GLAD (GLBT/HIV legal work) - all of which have hot, hot volunteers! Totally recommended.
  • I would also suggest subscribing to The List, which will send you a weekly email with almost every queer women's event in the Boston area.

I hope these are helpful! So go out there and meet some new friends...or maybe even something more. ;-)

More questions? Email us and we'll try to help out!

January 19, 2007

Oh, shit.

You know how on the The L Word, they have that nifty web 2.0-y website that shows who's gotten with who? It's real now. It's on the actual internet. Or at least, it will be soon.

OurChart: Let the Drama Begin

January 12, 2007

If I had any doubts in Gov. Patrick...

He now has regained ground in my mind.

I can't say it as well as TChris
said it

I hope many many people are allowed to do their jobs, pay their bills, hang out with their kids, and just try to make ends meet more peacefully as a result of Deval Patrick.

January 09, 2007

Business moves faster than government?

Fortune Magazine just released its annual Fortune 100 Best Companies To Work For. The top eleven companies -- and, in fact, 92 of these top 100 companies -- ban workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. To save you some time, the eight companies that are behind the curve:
12. David Weekley Homes
28. Kimley-Horn & Assoc.
32. Plante & Moran
41. JM Family Enterprises
46. First Horizon National
54. Baptist Health Care (but you could have guessed that one.)
91. Memorial Health
100. Stanley

Discuss amongst yourselves?

January 08, 2007

Sexual Predator in Central Square

I've got a story I'm going to share.

As a woman, I get harassed. I'm used to it. It's barely even upsetting anymore, which in of itself deserves an essay. A pinch, a lewd remark; back in the day when I regularly took the T, men trying to rub off on my leg or ass.

The other night, however, something happened in Central Square that scared the shit out of me.

I was with my roommate, a curvaceous girl, when this man walking towards us reached around and behind her and touched her ass. It was so disturbing that my roomie just yelled something at him and fled halfway across the street.

I did not. I stopped and confronted him, an ugly and goose-pimplingly creepy experience I hope not to repeat unarmed.

The attacker - I'll call him this - was young-looking, but was older than he looked. He looked very effeminate; I took him for someone transitioning, actually, to female.

And the look in his eyes was dead. He stared, unblinking, into my eyes. He repeated everything I said back to me and mimicked my motions. He didn't shy away like mocked perverts do. He didn't run. He didn't show shame.

He was, in my opinion, escalating. He was testing his limits. This wasn't his first action, and it was in broad daylight on a crowded streetcorner without the luxury of anonymity. He was testing - and he won. No one stopped him. Nothing happened to him besides anger. He's not going to stop with that, either. He's going to escalate to a stronger offense. Next time, he might assault a woman sexually with violence.

We went to the police station, but they dragged their feet and didn't go to the corner in question - within even my poor eyesight's easy stone's throw from the front door of the station - for about 20 minutes. We explained how this was different from other offenses we'd both suffered before, how scary his eyes were and how he was clearly practicing.

Whatthefuckever. We reported it. One day maybe he'll hurt someone and our report will be on the books to be found.

Spectrum Rage

I play World of Warcraft. It's an MMORPG, meaning it is played online with thousands of others from around the world. I play in English, which means my server is populated with Britons, Canadians, Americans and New Zealish fowk in large numbers (cycling through depending on the hour of the day).

One constant irritation has caused me to write a macro I spam seemingly ALL DAY that says, "No, I am gay; they are stupid."

That's right, kids; homophobia, blatant and otherwise.

Now, you'd think in a geeky, queer environment like one online would have enough fags on it to "STFU" bashers and gently remind others. However, with the exception of special all-BGLTSI guilds on servers like Garona - one server among hundreds - this remains untrue.

See, people feel free to call each others fags, stupid things "gay", and otherwise remain blissfully ignorant of the fact that people are queer.

I am out on my servers. This is not particularly brave, because the system is anonymous, you can reroll a new character (toon) if the one you are on gets in social trouble, the world is very big and you can find better friends, etc. However, I feel like I'm fighting a one-woman battle sometimes. I'm not even out as trans on any server, if you can believe that; only as a dyke.

But I hear things. People come out to me privately (called a 'whisper' or 'tell'), but they refuse to be out at all even to their own guildmates. I find it frustrating.

The situation for women is better. The game promotes a kind of blind, random sex balance; all non-player controlled characters (NPCs), like guards, enemy monsters, quest-givers and trainers, were randomly assigned a sex. The heavily-armed Warsong Outriders patrolling Ashenvale change sex randomly by day. The night elves have an ancient division of labour between the priests and the warriors, or Sentinels, who are all female, while the males are relegated to druidic studies, but "modern" night elves have abandoned the prohibition on sex-role crossing. Hostile, NPC trolls are sexist bastards, while the playable tribes are not. The minotaur plains-hunting Tauren struggle between traditions of matriarchal leadership and male hunting with the advent of a new spiritual leadership by a male who studied druidic magic with the night elves. Humans are the source of egalitarianism; they don't seem to understand sexism.

In-game, there are many female players; there are all-female character guilds like, e.g. Order of Isis and their male counterpart, Wolfpack. The players might be male or female, but who knows? That's the joy of anonymity.

I still struggle with the appearance of homophobia in the game; it confounds me given the strong anti-sexism bias of the game-makers and the empowerment of anonymous role-playing.

I guess I'll just keep coming out and out and out and out and spamming that stupid comment.

January 03, 2007