Essay. Gay Rights = Human Rights.

Gay Rights = Human Rights.
An Argument.
Gay Rights are Human Rights. If you do not believe in Gay Rights, you do not believe in Human Rights. Gay Rights mean marriage rights.
For Human Rights, I do not believe there can be an opposite opinion. For Human Rights, I will look into your face and tell you that you are wrong. For Human Rights, there are no qualifiers. That’s some pretty radical statement, I know. I know that according to the rules of rhetoric, it is erroneous to say: there can be [no] opposite opinion. Human Rights are worth such extremism.

Debate.
I am, in fact, a moderate. In the political sense & the ideological. The former speaks for itself. The latter is to say that when someone disagrees with me on, say, a political issue and even one I feel strongly about (i.e. gun control), I partake in the agree to disagree approach. For me, this means that I do not to press or assert my own perspective because I feel compelled not to. (Which is an important distinction. It is not that I control my desire to partake in debate. It is that I am not compelled to partake.) While I believe in my own perspective, I see value in both.
On this issue, the issue of Human Rights, I am an extremist. On the issue of Human Rights–be it women’s rights such as those involved with rape, racial rights such as those involved with segregation, or religious rights such as those involved in The Holocaust–I stand firm. I stand 100%+. I make 0 exceptions for Human Rights. Allow me to defend the assertion.
Gay rights are Human Rights. If you do not believe in Gay Rights, you do not believe in Human Rights. Gay Rights mean marriage rights.
One might counter: This is a sweeping generalization. Of course I still believe in Human Rights even when I do not believe in gay marriage. I believe in the freedom of worship. That’s a Human Right. Therefore I believe in Human Rights.
 
Rebuttal: To believe genuinely in Human Rights (plural), one cannot pick and choose. One must believe in all underlying principles that construct Human Rights. According to the United for Human Rights website, the definition of the term as well as its component parts are as follows:
 
Human: noun
A member of the Homo sapiens species; a man, woman or child; a person.
Rights: noun
Things to which you are entitled or allowed; freedoms that are guaranteed.
Human Rights: noun
The rights you have simply because you are human.
It seems that 3 principles underly the term Human Rights. 1) Human Species. 2) Guaranteed Freedoms. 3) Rights Simply Because you are Human. Hence, if any part of these principles, such as human species, is exempt from your definition of Human Rights, than no, you do not believe in Human Rights. Using the above example, you believe in just religious freedoms.
Gay Rights. Let’s define this. If Gay Rights are Human Rights, then Gay Rights are the rights in the United States of America that extend to every other citizen in the United States of America. Gay Rights are the right to vote, the right to education, the right to EEOC, the right to worship. Gay Rights are the right to marry.
One might counter: Many things. That marriage is religious. That marriage is between one man and one woman. Those, I will not tackle. We have DOMA for that. (Although I will say that in my religion, you can get married. We are of the opinion that Christ is all encompassing. And, The Bible is not meant to be taken literally. If you believe The Bible is, and therefore cannot make allowances for homosexuality, then you also cannot make allowances for any of its preachings, such as its stance on evolution & the heliocentric theory.) I will hone in on the more moderate perspective: I believe gays should have the rights afforded marriage, but I do not believe it should be called “marriage.”
 
Rebuttal: To label rights differently is to categorize rights separately. Women, imagine if when the 19th Amendment passed and we earned the Right to Vote, it wasn’t called voting, but rather, opining. Words are powerful. Words are canon. Canon is voice, and voice is cannon. The implications are revolutionary. In the above, Suffrage would have taken on the tone, not of formally giving or choosing (voting), but instead, of offering (opining). An opinion. Which then takes on the tone of something weaker, insipid, and passive. The 2 words are separate. The 2 words are not equal. The 2 words characterize an act, differently. Likewise, so would a phrase such as civil union used instead of marriage with which to categorize the rights under the legal partnership of 2 couples who are the same-sex.
Does anyone see a theme developing here? The theme is this. Underlying Principles. While considering and debating Gay Rights, we must ask ourselves: What are my underlying principles? Do not merely examine the off-shoots. Examine the qualifiers as well. Understand what belies your beliefs and look for discrepancies. If you find a discrepancy, then your underlying principles are flawed.
Exercise.
Example. I support people who are gay. But I do not support gay marriage. I do believe in equality.
Underlying Principles. 1) Equality. 2) Supporting a group of people.
Off-Shoot. I support people who are gay.
Qualifier. I do not support gay marriage.
Discrepancy. If not blatantly apparent, identify discrepancies by comparing your off-shoots & your qualifiers to your underlying principles. Does the off-shoot, I support people who are gay align with the underlying principles, Equality and Supporting a group of people? Yes. Does the qualifier, I do not support gay marriage align with the underlying principles, Equality and Supporting a group of people? No. Unequivocally, no. The first indicator being the phrasing, “do not support.” This directly conflicts with the underlying principle #2. The second indicator bno to gay marriage. This directly conflicts the underlying principle #1. If 1 group of people are stopped from or do not have access to a right that everyone else does, then something is not equal. That is that. There are no qualifies. If this were a math equation, it would read:  .

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When any part of your underlying principle reaches a discrepancy, your underlying principles are flawed. You can tell yourself and you can tell others that you believe in support, or that you believe in equality. This is a lie. Just because you support one aspect of a group by holding tight to an off-shoot which is mere pretense, does not mean that you genuinely, truly support the group. You can tell yourself you do. You. Do. Not.
Reflection.
Should you disagree with Gay Rights & therefore gay marriage, I implore you to ask yourself a series of questions.
1. If I deny a human being all of the rights & dignities afforded marriage, am I adhering to the principles of Human Rights?
2. Do I have the right to deny a human being the rights & dignities afforded marriage, even if my religion says I do?
3. Why would I want to deny a human being the rights & dignities afforded marriage?
4. Would any force-of-pure-good-&-altruistic-love want me to deny any human being any right or any dignity, let alone those involved with marriage?
5. What am I so afraid of?
6. If I have gay friends or family, and I do not support gay marriage, which means all of the rights & dignities afforded marriage, do I truly & genuinely support these friends & family?
7. Do I see any parallels in my beliefs to past injustices upon which we now look as antiquated or ignorant? Think segregation. Think Suffrage. Think oppression of religion.
8. Why am I unable to empathize with these human beings? What does this say about me?
9. Am I being hypocritical? Am I okay with this? Can I admit it?
10. Can I live with my beliefs today?
I say this now, and I say it proud. Gay marriage will be ratified into the constitution of the United States of America. Be prepared to go down in history as having been an oppressor to social progress. As having tried to control someone else’s freedom. Be prepared to bear that.
=

Fashionista’s Guide to Rochester: Victoire.

Belgian Beer Garden Anyone??
This is the first of the newest series wherein I review a local Roc hotspot
and make fashion recs for what to wear, to boot. 
**RocStyRtainment??**
 
V is for Victoire, the newest addition to Rochester’s burgeoning bar-meets-trendster scene. This Belgian addition to East Avenue nears downtown, in the seat of the Rochester Club Building, and sits directly across from the late-20’s/30-something crowd that populates Temple Bar & Salinger’s. If you’re barely famil. and all you can conjure mirrors plastic mugs, twenty-tweens, & festival gates, erase all images of the East End Fest from your mind.
 
Friday Full Moon.
Sept 28. Second Night Outside of Victoire Beer Garden.
Victoire, French for “Victory” and pronounced as such, is anything but East End & everything East Ave. With a wide array of commercial(Ommegang) and lesser-known (Duchesse De Bourgogne)Belgian drafts and bottles, including sweeter Lambic & Cider selections, along with a killing kitchen that serves a tasteful fusion of old v. new–like the must-order gourmet counter to its streetcar offering, Poutine, so common to our South Wedge
this bar is as much victory as it is versatility.

 

 

Lately, I probably haven’t been to the same bar in 3 months, let alone (ever) the same bar 3 times in 1 week. Victoire did it. Not only did I have a great time and even better drinks on all 3 occasions, but additionally, I enjoyed myself in 3 completely different settings each time I went.
Victoire Victories:
*Networking Event mid-week in the evening.
*Going Away Party/Belated Birthday during dinner crowd on Friday.
*Late-night nightcaps on Saturday.
Black Bird Cider.
Locally Made. Organically Grown.
Fav Cider at Victoire … So Far.

All completely different and all, equally as enjoyable. Why? How?Victoire’s juxtaposing versatility. Victoire is as much Belgian Beer Garden, as it is hip bar, as it is trendy restaurant. Drinks in the early evening on the garden patio beside sleek hearth where you watch from below, passer-bys who walk the streets above. Casually eating a chic palette served home-style modern on dark wooden tables of the open dining rooms, even while your friends enjoy just their beers. Or perched upon bar, seated tastefully and comfortably in front of clearly displayed Belgian drafts with names written vertically in chalk, to scan the crowd through its ebbs and flows. There is no bad seat, or bad beer, in the Garden that is Victoire. Like contrasts in flavors that add depth to both brew and menu, Victoire’s diversity manifests in the diverse crowds that it draws.

 

Saturday Late Night Victoire.
Bar is Bumpin’. Dining Areas Surround Bar. Beer Garden…Outside.
Hipster. Broster. Trendster. Oldster. Youngster. Midster. You-ster name it.Because of its various settings in its unique East Ave-Meets-Gibbs Street-Meets Downtown locale, Victoire draws in all crowds. The flat-screen TVs, smaller near the bar and larger beside the pool table, and its dinnertime offerings (kitchen closes at 11pm) circulate an interesting crowd that, like gourmet cheese melting onto hot fries, mixes nicely. In a Belgian Beer Garden with so many selections—menu, settings, crowd–it’s hard to stay away.
* * *

…And to know what to wear.
 
While, truly, you can’t go (horribly) wrong, I’d like to think that in 3 outings, I finally struck Victoire with my 3rd fitting. 
Victoire Outfits:
*Too Cas:
Cropped, Cuffed T with Zipper;
Sweatshirt Blazer; Dark, Skinny Jean; Saddle Shoe Flat.
*Too Hip:
Gray-V T; Leopard Print Pashy;
Leather Jacket; Gray Stretch Skinny; Black Bootie.
*Victoire:
Flowy Shell; Tunic-V Cardi;
Brown Pashy; Leather Jacket; Black Jegging; Brown Riding Boot.


This, my friends, is a Jegging.
(Pay no attention to my dirtied mirror/bedroom.)
(Pay plenty attention to the Subculture Mag on my floor… .)
 
I can’t so much say why the 3rd outfit worked, as it includes some of my oldest pieces (and therefore those most prone to cliche), as I can explain why the first 2 didn’t. The first, despite being for a mid-week event, bordered on the way-too-cas. Namely because Victoire, while comfortable, always boasts sophistication.Switch out the sweatshirt blazer with a real blazer and/or add heels. Cas becomes Victoire chic in an instant.
The second, way too hip. Monotone gray combined with a striking ankle bootie resembled something ofKristen Stewart angst. When you try to look glam, full make-up & done hair, with a slinky, I just don’t care V-neck T, it probably means you do care, just a bit too much. This outfit is great, don’t get me wrong. But more for an upper-scale venue, such as Victoire, during a more-cas event, such as mid-week networking. …
Makings of the Victoire Outfit.
Indigo Tunic Cardi. Shell. Black Jegging. Brown Riding Boot.
 
The third, felt oh-so right. (Where have we heard this before…?) Similar to Victoire’s juxtaposing crowd and settings, this outfit shares just as enigmatic a quality. The dark brown riding boots, tre-beat-up & without a heel, at first seem too casual and even robust for Victoire, let alone late-night on a Saturday. But not so. Somehow the sleek black jegging (go with it) blended just well-enough with the coffee brown boot and brass buckles to emphasize its industrial, and therefore modern European qualities, while the illusion of a monotone, elongated and made sexy, a subtle leg. The tunic-comfort and luxe color of an indigo V-neck cardigan allows for that I don’t care how I look attitude to sneak through, along with the comfort that comes with, but is balanced by emphasizing hips, waist, and bust. The shell? Just an undergarment. Wear whatever matches & feels good. …Leather jacket & pashy combo:  always a must. (Especially for Fall… .)
 
* * *
 
Different Outfit. Same Idea.
Love Philosophy The Color of Grace
The Art of Blushing Palette.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bonus: Make-Up Hint

When wearing lighter colors (close to the skin) in the winter, create a warm glow on your face. If porcelain-skinned like me, choose silver flecks in a rose blush. Rose warms. Silver looks natural. If olive skinned, go bronze.

Look
Good
&
grab  a
Belgian
Beer.
xo.