The Camp Vamp: Katrina Fox

Commentary on GLBTIQ issues, social justice and some of life's quirks.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Oh my god(dess)s!

The God squad are on a recruitment drive. The editor of the Sydney Star Observer reported last week that she’d received a Jehovah’s Witness leaflet proclaiming ‘The End of False Religion’. She was lucky and got a pretty girl brandishing it at her front door – I just got the leaflet stuffed in the mailbox. I wonder if the timing could be anything to do with Halloween being just around the corner.

It got me thinking that perhaps Pagans should employ similar tactics to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and other Christians to tout their religion, especially to the gay market. Let’s weigh up what each has to offer. Christianity: no ‘immoral’ sex (ie no gay sex, sex for money, casual or promiscuous shagging); daggy outfits (long sleeves, high tops, A-line skirts and sensible shoes); and in the case of Jehovah’s Witnesses, if you get hit by a bus and need a blood transfusion, you’re screwed ’cos it’s not allowed.

Paganism (a broad term encompassing a range of traditions from Celtic nature religions to Wicca or modern witchcraft): consensual sex acts between adults celebrated (sometimes incorporated into magic rituals to initiate global peace); activities that include running into the sea under moonlight to purify and cleanse yourself – trust me when I tell you this isn’t much fun on a winter night in a coastal town in the British Isles but Sydney is made for this sort of frolicking; cool clothes (black is always a winner as it makes you look slim and that whole ‘goth’ aesthetic allows for liberal and creative application of make-up). Well, I know which one I’d choose, but then again I’m a die-hard radical queer, militant vegan, high-femme lipstick lesbian with a penchant for older women in glitter eyeshadow and big heels.

I’ve never understood the attraction of Christianity, nor the embracing of it by GLBTI folk. I mean, each to their own and all that, but why worship one male god who by all accounts is a moody old bugger with misogynistic and homophobic tendencies and hang-ups about sex, when you can revere all manner of deities, depending on where you’re at on a particular day? Kali the Dark Goddess, for example, has head-dresses and bling to rival Cher, so is a natural choice of icon for gay men, and her wild, uncontrollable nature ensures her appeal to most dykes.

And why get up early on a Sunday morning to go to church in your stylistically-challenged attire to belt out war-mongering hymns like ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’, and listen to lectures from uptight clerics about boring things like original sin, when you can have a lie-in and dance around naked in the evening, chanting ditties such as ‘We All Come From the Goddess’ and generally have a gay old time? Oh yeah – and you’re unlikely to get 5000 Pagans in steel-capped boots blockading the Mardi Gras Parade because they believe that GLBTI people are about to bring forth Sydney’s destruction, according to God’s law (as is planned by certain religious factions for next year's parade). Sold yet?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Excuses, excuses

We can all find them, can’t we? Excuses I mean. If we’re grumpy to our girlfriend, it’s our hormones, not us. If we crash into the back of the car in front of us, it was the driver’s stupid fault for being in our way. If we take too much crystal meth and have unsafe sex, it’s all down to the drug, right? PMS, road rage, inebriation, even existential crisis of being – any old thing will do, so long as we don’t have to take responsibility for our actions.

The urge to blame someone or something else begins in childhood – the threat of punishment, whether it’s an adult shouting at you or a sound spanking (admittedly more likely to be a turn-on nowadays) instils fear and encourages the urge to deny one’s actions, even if they’ve been witnessed directly by your accuser.

At the age of eight I threw a bucket of water over my ‘best friend’ Julie Stokes who lived in the flat below me (lesbian melodrama with dominant/submissive overtones often begins early in life – I got away with tying her up, pulling down her pants and fingering her, all on the pretext that it was ‘practice’ for when she got a ‘boyfriend’ – girls are sooo easy!). Julie’s mother, ‘Auntie Maisy’, saw me through the window: ‘What did you do that for?’ she asked, incredulously. Bold as brass I replied: ‘I didn’t’. No amount of arguing on her part that she’d seen me, a drenched Julie wailing that I’d done it (she paid later, don’t worry) could convince me to own up to the deed, acknowledge that it wasn’t a very nice thing to do and accept that I deserved to be punished.

If I were old enough to have been able to think up a proper excuse for myself, I would have. Just like 46-year-old James Seaton did this week when he appeared in court in London, charged with sawing off his girlfriend Jacqueline Queen’s head while she was still alive because she told him she was a lesbian and was breaking up with him. His excuse? He was ‘too drunk at the time to be responsible for his actions’. Tch. There for the grace of God, eh?

These days I’m far more prepared with my ‘out’. If I come over all Winona and get caught slipping love balls and KY jelly into my bag without paying for them in a sex shop, I am not responsible for my actions – I did it because I suffer from GMSS – Gay Media Stress Syndrome. Having to come up with 500 words each week for my SX column, Keeping Abreast, as well as knocking out news and features while fending off queries from publicists who insist on ringing up on press day to enquire as to whether I ‘got the press release’ on a new brand of soap that’s pink and therefore ‘a great angle’ for gay readers invariably leads to occasional periods of temporary insanity. That’s my excuse, anyway.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Scarlet pleasure

While mainstream society seems to have embraced some elements of porn in the form of raunch culture: girls next door getting their tits out and making out in public and on camera for reality TV shows, a group of self-proclaimed “sex-positive horny feminists” have managed to shock and disgust mainstream pornographers with their new sex site, Erotic Red. “Before we even launched, adult industry types were quick to be repulsed at the entire concept of Erotic Red and referred to the site as ‘very disturbing’, ‘unacceptable’, ‘offensive’, and simply too ‘dangerous’,” says the site’s owner, indie pornographer Furry Girl. Even adult credit card billing companies, after they viewed the site, refused to take it on as a client and process its transactions.

You can’t blame them, really because what Erotic Red is doing is truly shocking and outside any acceptable limits of pornography or pop culture: menstruation porn. Yes, you read it right – women celebrating sex on the rag. Jeez, what’s up with these girls? What’s going on in their heads that they would want to foist such an obscene concept onto any right-thinking individual? Why can’t Furry Girl, and her cohorts like Bloody Trixie (who even has the audacity to run her own solo site featuring pictures of her masturbating in blood-soaked panties and revelling in smearing her body with her red fluids) be satisfied with the standard porn fare available? Don’t they check their spam emails properly? I mean, there’s ‘midget sex’, teenage girls getting spanked, ‘fat mommas raped in every orifice’, and of course an endless supply of silicone-enhanced Barbie dolls fucked in every hole before receiving a face full of cum.

And let’s not forget popular TV shows and films that glorify violence. If Erotic Red likes blood so much, why not stick with nice, safe material that meets with government approval? Like people bleeding to death from a knife or gunshot wound, or stories of serial killers cutting off a prostitute’s tits and mutilating her genitals – you know, all that inoffensive stuff that’s shoved in our faces every day.

But some girls just don’t know where to draw the line. Instead they feel compelled to subvert society’s consideration of women’s sexuality, instilling females with the positive message that their monthly flow isn’t dirty or something to be ashamed of but rather celebrated. It’s a disgrace. They don’t even use ‘proper’ models on the sites. These women in menstruation porn are of all ages, shapes, sizes and looks – some of them even have tattoos, piercings and large arses, for god’s sake. They’re seriously scary chicks. “Even with the knowledge that an obscenity prosecution could be just around the corner, I stand firm in believing that Erotic Red is an important site to open,” an emboldened Furry Girl proclaims. “We’re just happy to be making the radical statement that all women are lovely, powerful, sexual creatures EVERY DAY OF THE MONTH.” Honestly – can you believe her front? What’s she trying to do - start a revolution?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Why we need Queer Camps

Jesus Camp is one very scary documentary currently screening across the US, which shows kids as young as six being trained to be “warriors in God’s army” at pastor Becky Fischer’s summer camp in North Dakota, called Kids on Fire. Forget fun activities such as communal ball games, at
‘Jesus Camp’ the kids, who are mostly home-schooled and taught not to believe in evolution or global warming, speak in tongues, writhe on the floor, weep for salvation, and pray to pictures of George Bush (told you it was scary). It’s part of an Evangelical youth movement sweeping the US which sees Fischer say in the movie: “I want to see [the children] radically laying down their lives for their gospel as they are in Pakistan, Israel and Palestine.” A voice on the movie’s trailer proclaims that the fundamentalist Evangelicals have “taken over the White House and Congress”, before Fischer issues her own chilling warning: “This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Now see, this is why we need a radical queer agenda, people. It’s time to start training and indoctrinating our youth. It’s the only way – we’ve got the Exclusive Brethren right on our doorsteps to contend with, influencing elections with their anti-gay agenda. It’s time to set up Queer Camps in which all children of GLBTI folk, regardless of sex or gender identity, shall learn off by heart and recite at will the lyrics to every song by Cher and k.d lang. Camp leaders will know they are doing their jobs properly when each child is writhing on the floor, weeping and speaking in tongues, whenever ‘Believe’ or ‘Constant Craving’ is played. Praying to pictures of Ellen Degeneres is to be encouraged (the Emmys under her belt, she’s now to host the Oscars – who needs God with that kind of power?), as is substituting the word ‘lezzo’ (or ‘poof’, ‘trannie’ or any other word the child feels best describes their identity or sexual orientation at any given time) into Helen Reddy’s feminist anthem ‘I Am Woman’.

Once Queer Basics 101 has been instilled into the young warriors, they are then free to embrace diversity, whether it be adding death metal to their musical tastes or engaging in heterosexual activities. All Queer Camp attendees must, however, pledge to further the queer agenda and lifestyle for the rest of their lives. This includes but is not limited to preaching outside straight venues and making spin-offs to Will & Grace. Now if this all sounds a bit too drastic, consider this: in Jesus Camp a girl of about eight or nine can be seen crying and wailing “no more, no more”. She is calling for an end to abortion. Fischer argues she’s teaching kids about the value of human life. In Queer Camp, we could get the kids to pray for…hmm, how about an end to right-wing, war-mongering leaders who pander to homophobic Evangelicals? Or is that just way too radical and over the top?