#MyNameIs (and why it doesn’t matter)

Recently there has been a lot of noise on all social media platforms protesting against Facebook’s real name policy. The fight to be allowed to use an alias is being lead by a colorful group of drag queens, but don’t think that it is just some people on the outskirts of society who would want to or need to use an alias.

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For all or all the very good reasons as to why someone would want to use an alias everyone has missed the point.

Facebook Is not in the business of social media. Facebook is the most ingenious data mining website ever created. Social media is the hook they use to get you to hand over your personal information and by having your real name, email address, phone number, age, sex, country of residence, shopping habits, restaurant habits, holiday habits, and all the other info you willingly give over, they have a unique profile of you that is advertising gold!

Facebook will do anything to maintain the integrity of their sellable data and they really don’t care if they piss off a few minorities groups in doing so.

#ProjectPoetry 2

#ProjectPoetry is a creative writing collaboration between 4 bloggers; Green Lydia, Flat White Concepts, Cupcake Mummy and myself.

Each week we each post a poem

Each poem is written using a line from the previous poet’s poem.

Click here for the previous poem written by Cupcake Mummy

1987

The rain lashes down
and the rivers run full
A serpentine torrent
breaches it’s banks

The rain lashes down
and the flood water rises
A serpentine torrent
breaches it’s banks

The rain lashes down
rivulets on the window
Replacing drought dust
with mud…

A serpentine torrent
creeps under a door
The rain lashes down
and the rivers run full

A serpentine torrent
took the car and the bed,
a box full of photos,
and you

#ProjectPoetry 1

I have been lax and this poor blog of mine has been ignored in favour of new friends, drawing, life, a new business and other distractions.

My awesome friend CupcakeMummy invited me to join in on a fun little creative writing project, so here we are. I am trying my hand at poetry. My writing stills are as blunt as the EFF in parliament and inspiration is in short supply. Hopefully this will help get the creative juices flowing.

This is a collaborative effort between GreenLydia, Flat White Concepts, Cupcake Mummy and myself. (I am struggling to add hyperlinks from my iPad and will link the other blogs later from my PC)

The idea is that we’ll each write a poem a week. The first line of our poem will be the highlight line from the previous writer’s poem. Cupcake gave me the line: “the hunger to fit in”

Here goes:

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Slipping through the cracks

The hunger to fit in
a body that curves in
foreign ways

Fit in a society that leaves
This expansive self
DISCORDANT

The hunger to belong
without curious glances
or whispers

Do they see how
I drift out around the edges
like smoke

Curling around those hands
that would pack me
back…
in a pretty little box

The previous poems can be found here:

http://greenlydia.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/lets-write-something/

http://theflatwhiteblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/projectpoetry-1/

http://cupcakemummy.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/projectpoetry/

Edukits Learning Centre – Grand Opening

Remember the info I shared a little while back about the awesome Edukits email that I got about Toys for Boys and Toys for Girls? Well, Edukits have an exciting new project launching. They are opening a learning centre in Randpark. “What’s that?” you ask…

Edukits learning centre offers kids access to learn all the things they are curious about.  Our weekly classes include Art, Zulu, Science, Jewellery Making, LEGO and LEGO Robotics, Entrepreneurial skills and a whole lot more!  Run by people who are passionate about their subjects and passionate about kids too – Edukits is your ideal partner to help learning come alive!”

LEGO ROBOTICS! I’m sold! I’m going to drag the kids to that if they’re interested or not!

 

Want to see what it is all about? Why not join them for the grand opening on 5 July 2014. All you have to do is RSVP by clicking here.

I’m quite keen to see what they have to say about homeschooling.

 

8 Things Not To Say To Lesbian Couples Who Have Kids

A funny (funny peculiar not funny ha-ha) thing happens when you aren’t a typical cisgendered heterosexual person; people feel that they have the right to ask deeply personal questions. Furthermore they also assume that you are obligated to provide them with an education on the object of their curiosity. This happens to me a lot and I know many people have the same experience whether it is because of their sexuality or because of having had fertility treatments. This post may be a bit ranty, proceed with caution.

So here are a couple things that you should really not say to a lesbian couple who have kids:

  1. Oh did you adopt?

    In South Africa, adoption is not an easy process. Caucasian babies up for adoption are rarer than hens teeth and those that do come up for adoption are usually placed through a Christian organisation, which means the likelihood of the child/ren being placed with a gay couple is almost 0. The number of children needing adoptive homes is astronomical but the system to put those children into homes is a bureaucratic nightmare. Go read up a bit about adoption, educate yourself. Ignorance is not a valid excuse for being insensitive. (Often this question comes with a story of a friend/cousin/colleague/friend-of-a-friend/Angelina Jolie who adopted)

  2. So how did you have kids?

    I am really not interested in discussing the details of our reproductive interventions with anyone that asks. Sometimes another lesbian couple or infertile couple will ask because they are in the family planning phase too and in that case I will discuss every detail of reproductive options and what we did, but as a general rule my answer tends to be “we had help from a doctor” and I leave it at that.

  3. Oh so did you do IVF?

    IVF is not the stock standard method of Artificial Reproductive Technology for lesbian couples. Usually people would try artificial insemination (AI) first. IVF is very expensive and requires a lot more medical intervention.

  4. Wasn’t it expensive?

    Again, none of your business.

  5. Who’s the father?

    This is without a doubt my biggest bugbear question. By asking this you are completely erasing the validity of our family structure. There isn’t a father. There are two moms. There is no, never was, and never will be a father (unless one of us decided to transition but that is a completely different can of none of your business). We did have a donor who supplied a genetic contribution to help us create our kids.

  6. So did you use an anonymous donor, so what you picked them out of a book or something?

    Good heavens! Really? How many times must I repeat… it’s none of your business! Donor sperm can be either anonymous or from a known donor. Families can choose to have any spectrum of involvement with the donor from absolutely none to have them actively involved in the kids’ lives. This is entirely based on what works for that specific family and they have absolutely no obligation to explain their family structure to anyone.

  7. So who is the mom?

    Uhm… two moms.

  8. I mean who’s the real mom?

    Me: Looks at wife…touches her. Looks at self…prods self. “I’m quite sure we’re both real, thanks.”

    Getting caught up in the thought process that genetics = real family is very short sighted. There are many families who don’t share genetics. It doesn’t mean they are any less real. Think about it for a moment…

     

Thanks for bearing with me being a ranty-pants.

So… if you are a gay/lesbian couple who are looking to start a family there are a lot of resources with info about how to go about it. A good place would be to contact your gynaecologist or a fertility clinic. You can also speak to Medfem, Vitalab and BioART (all of whom are gay friendly) in Johannesburg. For gay couples looking for surrogacy options try Nurture.

Infertile couples looking for information and support can try the Fertilicare forum. It was a source of endless support for me through our TTC (trying to conceive) journey. There is also a Rainbow Room for LGBT couples, although I found the entire community supportive and have made some awesome IRL friends through the forum.

There are very few specific resources on South African options for gay/lesbian couples wanting to start families. Luckily we do live in a country where same-sex couples have full parental rights, however it is a good idea to be married beforehand to prevent complications with registering births etc. As much as we live in a country where our families are legally protected by the constitution there are a couple stupid bureaucratic hiccups in the system such as two ID numbers of the same sex can only be added to a birth certificate of a child at the Home Affairs Head Office in Pretoria which means there will be a delay in getting the birth certificates.

Do you have any questions? Feel free to ask… ha ha ha!