Ali Chaney didn’t make it 10 minutes into the school day before she was pulled out and forced to change. Now Chaney and her mother are fighting back. In a statement, district spokeswoman Wendy Sledd called the shirt “disruptive” and blamed the alleged reaction.
Just been asked in an interview whether I was worried about playing “two gay characters???” “Why???”…”Because you run the danger of those characters being the same….”…”Cause of their sexuality?”…..”Yes”…..”They’re both white, should I be worried about that too?”….”Of course not”….”Like somehow homosexuality makes all gay people identical.. Like somehow being gay IS the character” Let me tell ye, Sexuality doesn’t define you. What makes you get out of bed in the morning defines you. That’s character. What he’s talking about is homophobia… that’s says more about his character than it does the ones I portrayed. Needless to say the interview ended.. Popcorn journalism. Marks out of ten??? Just the 1…
I keep seeing the Argument “What if Janey were Male?!”
Here’s the thing, first off, she’s not. I know, but what if- Well… that’s where things get more specific…
You see, Janey wasn’t going to be a character, neither was Athena until someone tossed Athena’s name in the mix when they were looking for characters to put in Pre Sequel! Janey was made shortly following to SPEcifically be Athena’s love interest.
Don’t believe me? Look it up! Now, about the “Athena is bi” argument, I know I’ve gone over this a thousand times, so hopefully this will be be a thousand and one:
GEARBOX STUDIOS AND ANTHONY BURCH (ATHENAS WRITER IN PRE SEQUEL) HAVE CONFIRMED ATHENA IS A LESBIAN.
I mean, some people are Gay, get over it. I’m not going to apologize because you can’t get your straight shippies on. THE MEDIA CATERS TO STRAIGHT COUPLES LET THE GAYS HAVE THIS THING.
So where to start… Well I guess I’ve always been a lesbian. I was first attracted to a girl in primary school, I wouldn’t say I liked or fancied her. I can just remember thinking she had nice lips. Once I went to secondary school, when I was 12 I knew I liked girls. I had crushes on others girls and even a teacher as you do. But never acted on any of it. No one came out at school. I started liking girls when other girls my age started liking boys, so like I said I’ve always been a lesbian. I did like the odd boy too but could never actually see myself with them.
I went to college and these feelings for girls grew. I suppose when your 16 your feelings escalate anyway. I live in a smallish town in the UK, with a population of around 30,000. I didn’t really know any other gay people at the time. While we were at college we started going out drinking and socialising. I was not ready to come out, so I would make out with guys like everyone around me. Once I left college and started work I met a gay guy, I thought life would be easier around other gay people. However I knew the people around me wasn’t the right people including him, They made me something I wasn’t. We were a group of 4 and they started questioning my sexuality, the first time I had been questioned, so I made a massive mistake. One night we went out clubbing I got drunk and slept with a guy. I guess I thought it would shut them up but didn’t really take into account how it would make me feel. Anyway once I sobered up the following day I felt like crap. The feeling only got worse and I ended up pretty low and depressed. It got so bad I even had to tell my mum, obviously only half the story. At the time she never knew I was gay, she thought I was just beating myself up because I didn’t really know the guy and thought it was peer pressure. About 6 weeks later the 4 of us went on holiday. I had started to pick myself back up. There was a bar maid that would flirt, I think to her I was obvious. My gay male friend picked up on this and my struggle with sleeping with a guy and asked me point blank if I was into girls. At the time we were great friends and with him being gay, you would think it would be easy and I could trust him, however I had a gut feeling not to tell him so said no. I’m glad I hadn’t as a few days later he left me with his phone and i read a message that slagged me off and basically ended our friendship. Once we got home I went my separate way and never socialised with the 3 of them again. I think I got my wakeup call that they weren’t friends, I had other great friends around me and didn’t need people in my life like that.
By the time I was 20 I had accepted who I was but I thought I would live my life as a lie. I never saw myself coming out. I guess it’s the fear of rejection and letting your parents down as well as losing friends. I started watching this programme called south of nowhere, which by the way they should never have cancelled. I joined a chat room about it one day. A very long story cut short I ‘met’ 2 important people that both impacted my life in a positive way. I use the word ‘met’ in loose terms as I live in the UK and they both live in America. I guess this made it easier as I could be the real me without any worries. Anyway 1 became a great friend, her name is Lucy and she is the creator of this tumblr. The other well I liked her a bit more than a friend but that was never going to work being the other side of the world. However It was nice to be flirty and attracted to a girl and to have that connection back for the first time. The chat room was like a little community, I think we gave each other confidence to be who we were and we could be true to ourselves. We shared experiences, advice, had a laugh and grew as people. A few months later I decided I was ready to tell one of my closest friends. I don’t think I would have felt ready if it wasn’t for the people I became friends with in the chat room. I told my friend Tania, we had been friends since we were 13, I knew she was the right person as she was in her first year at uni and had become really good friends with a lesbian as well as being a great person. Anyway I told her on msn, she came and picked me up from my house. We went and sat in a car park and talked about everything. It was an excited feeling finally being able to tell someone who knew me so well everything, as well as being very emotional to finally get it out. A few months later she asked if she could tell her lesbian friend George about me, which I agreed too. As I visited Tania at uni it was nice to have George to talk, not only for advice but to chat about the l word too as we both watched it. It was over a year later before I told anyone else.
The next person I told was my best friend Tegan. This didn’t seem as easy as telling Tania. I knew she would be ok with it but I didn’t no if it would affect how close we were. At the time I was 22 and she was 19, not that this mattered as she was quite mature but hadn’t really been exposed to many life experiences. We had met through work and had the same sense of humour. We were meeting up one day after I finished work, she worked mornings, so in the morning I told her I had something to tell her, I knew by doing this I couldn’t go back. We met up and went and played pool, she didn’t question me on what it was until we was walking back to the car. I couldn’t quite get the words out. Once we sat in the car we talked, I think she knew what was coming but it felt hard to actually say. Luckily for me there happened to be a stonewall billboard poster up which said “some people are gay… Get over it” I said if u read that you might get the idea. We both laughed at the situation. Our friendship didn’t change, we probably were closer as I could be honest with her.
Telling 2 of my closest friends seemed hard, telling my parents seemed out of the question but I knew it was going to happen at some point. I am a strong believer in the fact that people come into your life for a reason and here is why. I use to go and play pool at a bowling place with a guy called Sean. One night we were out at a bar and a guy called Lee who worked at the bowling place called us over. He was a bit drunk and only called us over to tell us the half price deal on the pool was finishing. He asked If me and Sean were a couple, we said no we’re just friends. We stood chatting to him for a little while. He said let me add u on fb. A few days later he was talking to me on chat. Telling me he liked this person and that he didn’t no what to do about it. I said well just tell her how you feel and see if she feels the same way. He turned around and said well that’s part of the problem, it’s a he. Long story short we were both in the same situation at the same time, he had only told a hand full of friends as had I. I knew I wanted to be the one who told my parents, I respected them far too much for them to find out from someone else. Me and Lee became really good friends and saw each other serval times a week. One night we made a pack to tell our parents the next day. I didn’t sleep that well that night. I lived at home with my mum dad sister and her 2 children. I decided i would get up early before my dad went to work. My bedroom was downstairs and I waited until I could hear my sister and the kids come down. Once they had I went for it, I went into my mum and dads room and told them I had something to tell them. I told them I was gay. My mum didn’t really say too much, my dad said he knew since I was 15 and was waiting for me to be ready to tell them. They both gave me a hug and I went back to my room. My dad came to see me before he went to work to check I was ok. I asked him if mum was ok, he said that she thought I was confused and that she would come round to it. Later on my mum came downstairs. The conversation was very forced. I said to her you haven’t really said much. She said maybe your just confused, I told her if I was just confused do you really think I would be telling you. I was relived I had told them, but it wasn’t easy dealing with my mum. I knew nothing drastic would happen, I knew she wouldn’t kick me out but I also knew she wasn’t going to be totally fine with it. If gay things were on the telly or the subject came up she was always like I don’t mind them as long as they aren’t in the family blah blah blah. She told me i would loose friends, I told her I don’t think i would and that a few already knew and were totally fine with it. Lee hadn’t stuck to his side of the deal, but did tell his mum a few days later and left it for her to tell the rest of his family. I had said to my mum and dad they could tell my sisters, but they said that was up to me to do. For the next couple of weeks my mum didn’t really make conversation with me and the atmosphere was tense, despite not actually talking about it. We went away as a family for a weekend, while we was away Tegan came down as we were going to a gig close by. I think it helped my mum seeing me with her and her being totally fine with me as things seemed better after that weekend. We still didn’t talk about me being gay for a long while after, il get to that in a bit.
Once lee had came out to his parents he came out big style one night, didn’t care who knew. He said i should just do that too. However that wasn’t for me. I spent the summer telling the rest of my friends all who reacted in a positive way. For my 23rd birthday Tegan and another friend took my out to some gay bars and clubs. They both dressed really girly, think they were making a statement. It was a really good night and it was really good to have friends like that. Mine and Lees friendship lasted about a year, but gradually we drifted apart as we had both for filled the reason we were in each other’s lives.
November 2008 I met a girl called Meg. She worked in the cafe were I worked. We became friends on fb, I knew she was gay as I knew other people who went to school with her. I also knew she was moving away. I wouldn’t say It was love at first site or even if there was an attraction. But I decided to be brave and sent her a msg on fb, basically along the lines of would you like to meet up sometime, just as friends not a date or anything, sorry if I’m wrong about you. I felt really anxious waiting for a reply. The reply was positive saying she was up for it but that she wasn’t looking for anything as she was moving. I don’t think either of us were expecting anything to come of it. We went bowling then for a drink. It was a good night and not too awkward. We would text each other every day but getting her to come out for a second time wasn’t so easy. Once she finally agreed we went to the cinema. Not the best place to just hang out and talk, afterwards it was a little awkward and she went straight home, I kinda thought that would be that but we carried on texting. I think the more we got to know each other the attraction grew. We met up a couple of times after work and went to a coffee shop. The texts became a little more flirty but then she would knock me back saying she didn’t want anything to happen as she was moving away. It was nearly Christmas time so I decided to buy her a present, she was a bass player in a band, so got her a small guitar clock. I think she thought I was sweet by then lol! She was away for Christmas but had a gig a couple of days later and invited me along. I went with Tania and they got along too and her gig was really good! The next day we went on our first official date, we went to the seaside it was freezing cold but shared our first kiss on the beach. New Year’s Eve came and we officially started going out. Going back to the story about my mum this was the next time we talked about it. During all this time I had avoided telling my sisters, but now I had a girlfriend i knew I had to. New Year’s Day I dropped my eldest sister home and told her about Meg, she was fine with it and also said if mum had issues I could move in with her. When I got back home I told my dad I had told her and that I was seeing someone. The next day I told my mum. She asked the normal questions, who was she where did we meet etc. I felt nearly as nervous as I had when I first told her just because we hadn’t talked about it and I guess the fact I had a girlfriend made it real. I struggled finding the right time to tell my other sister. She was upset when I told her only because both my sisters teased me about being gay, as I never had a boyfriend and she felt they made it hard for me to come out. A few weeks later my mum met Meg, it was slightly awkward and my mum didn’t really make an effort. At the start of February Meg did move away to Cardiff which is a 2 hour drive. We didn’t no how the distance would work but we both made an effort and saw each other every weekend. It was probably good to have the distance as we couldn’t be in each other’s pockets all the time and Cardiff is such a nice place and very gay friendly. Meetings Meg’s family was fine, both her brother and sister are also gay so it’s very accepted in their family lol. About 5 months later I would say things ‘changed’ I knew I was in love with Meg and it was hard being so far away. I really missed her during the week, my mum became very supportive. Once she got to know Meg she really liked her. She tried to keep me busy in the week so I wasn’t always bugging Meg as I think it would have drove her away. Luckily for me Meg was feeling the same and struggling with money. We talked about it and she made the decision to move back. I think if she hadn’t the relationship would have to have ended as it just became too hard. Her mum and dad only lived half an hour away a lot easier than 2 hours.
By this time their was only 2 people that mattered that didn’t know. This was my niece and nephew. At the time that were 8 and 6. My mum and sister both said they were too young to understand so me and Meg had to pretend we were just friends around them. I didn’t mind so much at the start as I understood and respect my sister as it was her children. However as time went by I didn’t agree. After a year of being together me and Meg moved in to our own place. We had to keep up the pretence. Meg so called had 1 room, mine the other. It wasn’t until my niece and nephew was 11 and 9 that I told them. So 3 whole years later. I can remember having arguments with my mum and sister about it. Saying they didn’t really accept it if I had to keep it a secret. They should have also had more faith in the kids to know it wouldn’t matter to them or affect then. One evening my niece was asking me questions so I was honest with her. Everyone was around and they couldn’t really stop me. As she was 11 she was old enough to know things and asked a lot more questions than my nephew. She found it a little strange to start with. My nephew on the other hand was 9, he just accepted it and moved on. He gets on amazingly well with Meg and has done since day one. I think it would have been less drama if they knew from the beginning as they would have just grown up with it. No kid likes to be lied to either but I made it clear to then that wasn’t my choice.
Despite all the people that mattered knowing I was gay most people where I worked didn’t. Unfortunately you sometimes get an idiot who makes it their business and think they have a right to spread gossip and be narrow minded. One person made life a little bit more difficult at work once she found out I had a girlfriend. I told all the people at work who mattered and she basically told the rest, I suppose it was the gossip of the week. However she didn’t stop there, she would say unpleasant things and make it awkward. Work wasn’t a nice place to be at the time. She started to go over the top so I put in a formal complaint about her! Not much really got done about it even though other people gave evidence. At least she knew I wasn’t just going to take it. Luckily I got promoted and moved sections so got away from it.
Since being out I’ve been luckily and haven’t met too many people like this. Some people just need educating or their ideas of gay people changing. Once I moved sections I became friends with a girl called Claire. Over time we became really good friends. She never hid her view of gay people from me. I knew she didn’t really get it. It wasn’t until we went out drinking one night that I knew there was an actual issue. At work we were really good friends, had a laughed as well as serious talks. However once we were out it was like she wouldn’t come within 10 feet of me and she hardly spoke to me all night, didn’t even pose for pictures. The next time we went out was just the same. So I asked her what her problem was. She said she was girly when she was out and didn’t want me to feel awkward. I laughed told her I was a girl too, that I had other friends who were girly and that pushing me away was making me feel worse than awkward. I also told her that I was in a happy relationship and that even if I drank there was no way I would ever come on to her cos I know that’s what was troubling her. Over time she accepted me for who I was and she was only like it because of the people she has been around while growing up. I even got her watching a lesbian tv show. Who would ever have thought that at the beginning.
Me and Meg have now been together for just over 5 years. Everyone I meet nowadays knows that I’m gay. With time you become very open about it and proud. It becomes easier with time and it is so much more accepted. I work with people of all ages and none of them treat my relationship with Meg any differently to others. Me and Meg have had some fantastic times together and have created some amazing memories. We have been lucky to go on holiday to the states twice. I got to meet up with Lucy who has played a big part in my life and we have kept in touch for the past 8 years. Whilst in the states this year Meg asked me to Marry her!! We are getting married next year and hopefully after that we will have kids and live happily ever after. As happy endings do happen. If you asked me if there would be anything I would change, I would probably say I wish I came out sooner. But at the same time I knew I needed the right people around me and I might not have ended up where I am today and I wouldn’t want that to change! I know people have had a way harder time than I have had. At the end of the day i never lost anyone who really meant something to me. It just took them a while to come around to the idea.