As a free people in a western world we stand on the precipice of finally being able to comprehend all before us except death. We live our lives with more information on demand now than ever before, understanding the intricate roles of genetics and psychology, the hard facts of physical nature, and we can even funnel most human decisions down to a series of drop-down menus to give us the remaining options that might determine our lives. And at the same time we obsess over this technology to the point where it has controlled us, dumbed us down, made us it’s slave instead of the other way around. Instead of understanding human behavior more, we understand it less because we are interacting with our iPhones more than with other people. More people are sexting than having sex, and those who are having sex are doing it at great risk despite the open and ready knowledge of the gamble they take on when they take off their clothes. Much of this has led us to make even more absurd assumptions of the nature of humans, their make-up, what they are supposed to be and what we judge by some irresponsible hereditary tribal knowledge to be morally right or wrong as if there was ever such a thing.
People argue on Facebook whether or not it is morally right for a woman to put her tongue into another woman’s vagina. They argue if it is really ‘gay’ or if is really ‘sex’ or if it really ‘counts’ as opposed to the overt act of penetration males experience. How this conveys to the meaning of life for someone not involved in the act itself is quite beyond my reasoning. Who gives a shit, who is losing sleep, who cares so much about what other people do that they get angry and, after watching Fox News for three hours straight, write homophobic rampaging bullshit on Twitter on what they think is really wrong with the world – in one case, gay sex. In another case, gay marriage. In a third, the weird and bizarre relation they coordinate with bestiality. In this sad reflection of their own mindset, a heterosexual voter with a conservative, even religious, rural background is more likely to have sex with farm animals than a non-voting liberal, secular, urban bohemian lesbian. In this twisted, fucked up world, it becomes acceptable for a straight man to tell a gay woman that if she needs hot dick, to hit him up on Twitter.
During their So Jealous Tour in 2005, Tegan and Sara Quin, twin sister musicians from Canada, were touring radio stations all over the States in a huge commercial push to make their album go gold. Since their introduction on the scene in 1999 their band, Tegan and Sara, faced the huge media machine that labels as a function of its existence in order to fulfill the innate human desire to categorize everything in an attempt to gain an understanding of the chaos around them. What is this band, exactly? Canadian. Check. Siblings. Check. Twins. Check. Sisters. Check. Attractive women. Check. Lesbians. Check. Got enough things to call them?
You could, if you cared to, download every single song the duo has recorded and listen to it back to back for the ten or so hours it would take you and not once, not fucking once, would you find in all that erotica and well written heart pulling mindfuck of music one instance, one god damned hint, that the Quins were gay. And yet, at this particular radio interview the DJ, whom I am sure had no specific agenda but will hang in the court of public opinion purely because he is a fucking idiot, skips the forgone conclusion of genes splitting off must be so similar as to spark kind replications in DNA instructions and instead asks the Quins, sisters first, musicians second, lesbians probably last, if they have had sexual relations with one another.
There were three sets of twins in my high school. All six were boys. Two of them were skater trash, another two were heavy metal drug users, and the last were so conformingly boring I don’t even remember their mullet-with-a-rat tail names. When you grow up knowing twins for a decade or so you’ll understand that the likeness is the only thing they share. That in fact, despite online pornography showcasing the Simpson Twins and the Hilton Sisters strongly suggesting or perhaps even coyly hiding a same sex interest in their siblings in a bizarre circus act freak show the fact is, and most obviously, the DNA pretty much stops with the personality, and sexuality is not a character trait. Asking a lesbian twin girl if she would like to have sex with her lesbian twin sister is just as gross and personally upsetting as asking any sibling if they would like to have sex with their sibling, regardless of gender or sexuality. The idea that incest pervades homosexual practice only because it is homosexual is ignorant, insulting and exposes in the questioner a huge gap in knowledge about other human beings – especially if they have siblings. This absurd question is not a lesbian question, it is an incest question, and the only way to show any objectivity is if this moronic DJ then asked every sibling musical act such as The Beach Boys, Oasis, Paramour, Hansen or any other extended list the same question. I’m willing to bet the answer is no. I’ve gone through a lengthy amount of interviews during the White Stripes’ first two tours. Jack and Meg White are a particularly strange scenario as they were divorced, but to keep the media from hounding them about who they were dating and whether they were dating each other again, blatantly lied in junkets and told press they were brother and sister. This went on for years, and not once – not fucking once – did I read in any interview any query that asked this uncomfortable question:
“So, Jack, you’re a guy. And handsome. And Meg…you’re a girl…and attractive. Have you two ever…you know… or have thought about maybe the possibility, even though you two are brother and sister, just once, if you get my meaning… ever had incest?”
I don’t want to seem like Denzel Washington standing in the middle of a court room screaming to the jury “this is really about our fear of homosexuals” most notably because this has nothing to do with fear. This is about one jackass proving to the world just how fucking stupid he or she really is. In a recent poll done by the Canadian government, about ten percent of boys in between the age of 15 and 25 have experienced a same sex experience. This is HUGE, considering for a moment that the homosexual makeup of about any population continues to hover around four percent. More boys are experiencing same sex relationships than are actually gay. On the female side of the poll, the result in the same age group was about half. HALF. So we’re not talking about a few thousand people here in same sex scenarios. We’re talking about a huge percentage of our young population, mostly women, experimenting in lesbian sex to discover if they are lesbian or bisexual or just want to have a good time on Friday night without thinking about labels. As we have experienced a great invasion of technology that I previously mentioned that is driving a lot of this behavior and though it may taper off as a result of being “so second decade to do it with another chick” the fact is the future is not going to see a decrease in sexual activity as young people decide who they are and who they want to be. The nunnery has taken a huge hit the past two centuries and though some may think me crazy, I think it’s only a matter of time before other countries start banning Honor Killings, Sutees, “female circumcision” (which is in reality gender based torture) and some countries might start letting women drive cars, not wear hijabs as a requirement to not burn in hell for eternity and…just maybe…if we wait a few centuries…might even allow them to vote.
Tegan and Sara are just musicians. They play good music. They’re awesome at it. They know how to arrange, how to trust producers, and are pretty good live. These issues in some ways are quite beyond them. They have nothing to do with gender discrimination, same sex hate and these deep issues that affect so many people’s lives. That’s what I thought. Until I went to a concert and I saw a sixteen year old girl standing next to me. It was her first Tegan and Sara concert, she told me, and she started crying. She hadn’t come out to her parents yet, I could tell. But to her, this concert was her coming out party. She could be gay, be herself, for two hours and no one would care – certainly not me. And that’s what a lot of lesbians want. It’s not that they make this entire ruckus for equal rights and as Canadians say “all the rest of it” to make you recognize that they are gay. In a real sense, they want those rights so that you’ll see them like everybody else. You’ll see them and in a sense, you won’t care that they’re gay. It’ll cease to be a thing, a label, a categorization – like them not caring that you’re straight and you not caring that you’re straight yourself - and it’ll only be a world in which people choose to be with other people based on their personal preferences.
And that’s what Tegan and Sara mean to me.