I have a bigot in the family. My brother's mother-in-law is scared this country is "on its way" to legalizing same-sex marriage, which is "against what her Bible tells `her`." Debating the issue with her is no use, because it always comes back to her religious beliefs. She doesn't dislike gays, and she's said that if gay marriage becomes legal she'll help me find a husband.
Outside of the marriage issue, she shows no prejudice. As a gay man, I find her views on marriage reprehensible, but I'm conflicted about how to deal with her in the future. I see her half a dozen times each year on holidays, the same time I typically see my nieces and nephews. I don't want her bigotry to impose on my right and desire to spend time with these kids as their uncle. On the other hand, I can't just sit there and be quiet.
Battling Bigots In Brooklyn
Anyone looking for proof that the United States is "on its way toward legalizing same-sex marriage," despite recent setbacks, only has to look to the numbers of people — gay and straight — who poured into streets over the last two weeks to protest the bigotry of the Mormon Church and its assault on minority rights and individual liberty.
(Oh, Canada: While we scream and yell about being the land of the free, you quietly live it. I love how my boyfriend magically becomes my husband when we visit Canada, without anyone else's marriage being threatened. Here's hoping that one day soon the United States will recognize the legal marriages of all Canadian citizens, gay and straight.)
My favorite sign at the protest I attended in New York City last week — well, after "Jesus Had Two Daddies," "Use Your Magic (Underpants) for Good, Not Evil" and "Thou Shalt Not Fuck with Us" — was this: "No More Mr. Nice Gay." If anyone caught me on Anderson Cooper 360º later that same night, you saw me refusing to play Mr. Nice Gay in a conversation with lying right-wing überbigot Tony Perkins. (Looking to get involved in the fight? Jointheimpact.com is a good place to start.)
But while I'm down with the whole no-more-Mr.-Nice-Gay thing, BBIB, I see no need to go postal on your brother's MIL. She's not Tony Perkins; she's a human being. And it sounds like her affection for you is already on a collision course with her bigotry. Stand firm; continually emphasize that there's a difference between civil marriage rights and religious marriage rites. Polls show that many Americans have already come around on this issue. Thanks to the work you've already done, it sounds like your brother's MIL will be next.
I'm having an interesting dilemma. I'm a 20-year-old female and a junior in college. For the past few years, I've been working on becoming a journalist. But I've found myself less and less interested (and passionate) about it as time goes on. And I think I'd rather be a fetish model.
For the past year, I've been a submissive in a D/s relationship with my boyfriend. I love him VERY much, and he is more respectful toward me than any other man I've been with. Lately, we've been toying with the idea of creating a fetish-modeling website. I do not want to be shot nude or have sex on camera, but I love the idea of bondage photos and pursuing this as a career, and so does he.
From the photos I've done so far, I'm pretty sure this could pay off and be more personally satisfying than a job at a newspaper. But I'm nervous about what my family and friends will say when they realize I'm never going write for The Washington Post or The New York Times.
Journalism or fetish modeling, journalism or fetish modeling — gee, which career is right for you?
Um, KC? If you bothered to read either of the newspapers you cite as possible future places of employment, you would know that times are tough at daily newspapers. The Internet ate their business model — so long, lucrative classified ads! Hello, "citizen journalists"! — and right now, it's all layoffs and buyouts all the time at daily and weekly newspapers. If you care so little about journalism that you're tempted to make a career of posting bondage pictures to a website instead, then don't go into journalism. Leave the few jobs that remain at newspapers to people who have some passion for the field.
So it's fetish modeling for you, right? Not so fast, kinkster. Porn companies, large and small, are experiencing similar financial difficulties. Just as many people are willing to write for free online, many millions of people are willing to post everything from "tasteful" fetish shots to hard-core porn online for free. While there may be a handful of people out there who'll pay to see you tied up, you're probably not going to make enough money as a fetish model to support yourself.
So you might want to think of some other line of work, something with more job security and better long-term prospects — perhaps firstname.lastname@example.org