The Lady Garden

Tea and Strumpets

Monthly Archives: April 2013

Gathered Together

cross posted

This is a slightly weird day for me. Today, something I’ve been fighting for for years is going to come to pass. The Marriage Equality bill is going to pass its third reading. What will I do tomorrow?

Obviously, the answer to that question, for me and hundreds like me, will be  ‘groan, wince, and think “I really shouldn’t have done that”.’ Tonight is for celebrating, with like-minded individuals.

It’s days like this when I really wish we could all be together. Not that you could fit all the people I’d want to spend this evening with into the same bar, but you understand the sentiment. The closest I will come is Twitter, where I fully expect to see the people I love making sarcastic remarks about ParliamentTV’s hold music.

Out in the meat-space, there are events all over the place. In keeping track of this, I am even more than usually indebted to gaynz for constantly updating this page as things have changed through the week.

Starting with Christchurch, because that’s where I am. There will be afree concert at the Pallet Pavilion from 6pm, featuring Anika Moa. The third reading will be shown.

I will not be there, and given the forecast and the venue, I won’t be the only one. Luckily (and contrary to what was reported in The Press) it’s not the only game in town. A bunch of us will be heading along to join Tony Milne and the Christchurch Campaign for Marriage Equality upstairs at the Pegasus Arms from 7pm for viewing and drinking. It’s always nice to have company when you’re yelling at the television.

Wellington, where they really know how to celebrate some legislation. Legalise Love has a lunchtime picnic planned on Parliament’s lawn from 12-2. Again, the weather is probably going to be a factor there. For the reading itself, the public gallery is full, but there’s now overflow space in the Legislative Council Chamber. On the other hand, Back Benches is also filming that night, right across the road. The official after-party is, of course, at San Francisco Bath-house, and it’s free.

You can also watch the debate and the vote at S&M’s and Ivy.

Auckland. You can watch the debate at Caluzzi, or The Zookeeper’s Son. The latter venue would like you to RSVP. I remain convinced there must be more going on in our northern city. Let’s not keep it a secret. EDIT: Gaynz have added an event at Family, from 9pm. That’s more like it.

The gaynz page also has details of events in Hamilton, Palmerston North, WaihekeIsland and, yes, Blenhiem. Nothing for Dunedin. Yes, it’s cold, but I know y’all have bars down there.

The debate will be on Sky and Freeview, and you can stream it here.

In the midst of all this celebration, I can’t help but spare a thought for the legislation’s opponents. They’ve found themselves a minority in our society that some people feel it’s okay to say mean things about. I can’t even imagine what that must be like. And imagine the strain of maintaining the cognitive dissonance of continuing to believe they were right when all around them, society fails to fall apart.

On the other hand, maybe they’re right, and I’m wrong. Maybe I really will wake up tomorrow gay-married to my cat while fire and brimstone rains from the sky. All the more reason to party hard tonight.


(Always gay-drink gay-responsibly and all that.)


Pay As You Weigh(t, what??)

The thing is…it makes sense, I guess. I don’t know. I don’t know enough about economics or aeronautics to know. But yes. Logic dictates that the heavier the plane is, the more fuel it’ll use. I get it. I don’t know. Maybe they could try to come up with more efficient engines or ways to fly? But I don’t know.

Which is why, I guess, for those of you that don’t confront this all the time, it seems fair and logical. Sure. I weigh more, I should pay more. It works out great for you, because you only weigh 75 kilos. Your flight might even be cheaper! Fatties like me will be subsidizing it. And it’s fair, right? If I don’t want to pay more, I can just lose weight. Or not fly.

Except…I do deal with this all the time, so I see it a little differently. I already pay more. My clothes cost more. I can’t just go to glassons. I have to go to expensive stores, where they don’t have anything I want to wear anyway. To buy underwear requires an engineering degree and the GDP of a country similar to Samoa, and god forbid I want anything sexy. I go to the supermarket, and the pantyhose I want to by are more expensive than “normal” stockings, and even when the same brand is on sale, the plus-size ones never are.

This is fat hatred, plain and simple. Maybe the company doesn’t think it is, but then, the company doesn’t seem to have thought about much. How is it going to treat pregnant people? Or people who require wheelchairs or walking sticks? The CEO thinks that this will encourage people to get healthier. I think it will just encourage people to be ashamed of their bodies. Especially when they turn up at the airport and have to pay more, because they’ve gained a kilogram since they bought their ticket. Flying is already humiliating enough, what with the cramming oneself into the seat, and wondering if this is the time the seatbelt won’t reach round you, and the moment when the person next to you comes up the aisle and their face falls when they realise they’re sitting next to a fat chick. Way to make it worse.

Yes, I could lose weight. That’s an…. argument. But given no weight loss programme is proven to work, and companies have spent billions of dollars developing them, lets put that aside for a moment. My option is to not fly. What if I have to fly for work? So now my career is threatened because of my weight? (More than it already is) What if I want to attend a wedding or a funeral? Sorry can’t afford the fat tariff, can’t go.

I’m pretty comfortable discussing my body these days, and I came to a realization a while ago that fat hatred can’t hurt me. Because there’s nothing anyone can say to me that I haven’t already told myself. But this? Made me want to crawl into a hole and cry. This? made me rage and type in all caps and yell at people I like. This? Made me never want to visit Samoa, a country I love, ever again. This encourages a stigma against fat people, is shaming and policing and concern trolling, and will do nothing whatsoever to address the very real lifestyle disease problems that Samoa faces.

This? Is why we can’t have nice things.