Category: GLBT

Friday Philosophy: if not now, when?

Last Tuesday Bloomfield College held its yearly convocation, a salute to the beginning of a new school year…which happens around Midterm Week each year for some indiscernible reason.  Or speaker was Dr. William Librera, Presidential Research Professor of Education at Rutgers University, and the title of his presentation was Inside the Horizon.

As these things go, it was a pretty good lecture, both fairly entertaining and containing some nuggets.  There was the obligatory PowerPoint, of course, which we were told was available online, but I can’t find it.  If I could have, I would know the last part of the woman with the hyphenated last name which began with Roth-.  That would have proved helpful, since one of the major things I can recollect from the event is her thought about people being divided into two kinds:  people who segment knowledge, and people who integrate it.

Do I know what the collective intelligence is thinking right now?

There are two kinds of people in the world, those who believe there are two kinds of people in the world and those who don’t.

–Robert Benchley

If the discussion is elevated to the level of the Algonquin Round Table, then I’m all for it.

Every once in a while we win one: a summary of Schroer v Library of Congress

I was minding my own business, cooling my heels in Friday Philosophy, hoping for a little more than the usually suspects to show up.  From the activity at 6pm eastern on a Friday, one might suspect that people had actual lives or something.

Anyhoo, jessical dropped by at 8:20 by the time stamp, which is probably something like 8:45 in real time.  So not only had most of the likely readers left by then, thereby missing what jessica left, but most of the unlikely readers no doubt missed it as well.  It’s not like there has been a big Huzzah about it or anything.

Well, except for maybe jessica and me and a batch of other transfolk.

jessica dropped of a link to the text of a decision by the US District Court for the District of Columbia in the case of Schroer v. the Library of Congress.

NL dropped by and left a link to an ACLU announcement.

There was the obligatory article in the Washington Post, from their man on the District Court beat, which appears on B10 the day after the ruling of that court.

I’ve spent a couple of days searching for someone to write the story and explain how this is important to transsexual people, mostly because when news like this comes from me or someone like me, it is too easy to downplay the significance.

Whatever.  Doesn’t seem like this news has a chance of surfacing amidst the roiling seas of financial profligacy.

So, as short and sweet as I can make it [turns out, that didn’t happen – ed], from my own biased point of view, here’s the deal.

Thank you, and a request…

Thanks to the hard work of many, many people – some of whom are no longer with us – I was able to marry my longtime boyfriend in a small civil service in California last week.


This is just a quick diary to thank some of the people who helped pave that road to legal protection of same-sex marriage.  

And it’s followed by a request…

Olympic gold for LGBT athletes

Though the Olympics aren’t quite over, I thought it’d be good to bring people’s attention to the openly queer athletes who’ve succeeded in Beijing, despite the stigma often attached whenever sports and sexuality cross paths.  

Stories like theirs often slip between the cracks, despite 24/7 coverage of the games.  But as long as stereotypes exist about the ability of gay, lesbian, bi, and trans athletes to perform at the same level as their peers, we need their stories to remind us that they can and do succeed.  

Here’s a quick roundup of athletes who are not only at the top of their game, but also open members of the LGBT community.

Stand Up And Oppose Pastor John Hagee

cross posted from The Dream Antilles

From Monday, July 21 through Thursday, July 24, Pastor John Hagee will be in Washington, D.C. to lead the national gathering of his infamous Christians United For Israel.  The CUFI conference is studded with rightwing zealots and features workshops like “Radical Islam: In Their Own Words,” led by neo-conservative Daniel Pipes and former right-wing Senator Rick Santorum; and “The Basics of The Arab Israeli Conflict,” led by representatives of the pro-occupation David Project and StandWithUS and Gary Bauer, president of anti-choice, homophobic American Values.

Unbelievably, the Anti Defamation League (ADL), the supposed bigotry watchdog, has not condemned Hagee for his anti semitic, anti gay, anti Muslim rhetoric.  To the contrary, ADL has given him a free pass. In fact, in a recent letter to Hagee, John Fox, president of ADL wrote, “We wholeheartedly support your efforts to eradicate anti-Semitism, including its historic antecedents in the Christian community. We especially appreciate your extraordinary efforts to rally so many in the Christian community to stand with Israel.”  This is utter, embarrassing nonsense.

As a result of ADL’s unprincipled behavior, Jewish Voice For Peace and others have condemned the conference and are calling on the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to stand up against Hagee’s pervasive bigotry and to condemn his statements.

Join me in DC.

in Other news…

I haven’t done one of these in a while, but it seemed like a good time to let people know what’s going on in the world of queer politics and activism.  I’ll try to post these more regularly again, but my schedule’s still a little sporadic to fix a concrete posting time.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy, and if you have other news blurbs that I’ve missed, please feel free to add them below.

  • Of course the big news lately is the flood of marriages in California (to which my own will soon be added), which has not caused the Biblical flood predicted by our right-wing religious compatriots.  In LA county alone, the first day of legal marriages prompted some three times the usual marriage traffic (pdf!).  If you need a real boost today, check out the Bilerico Project’s photo page, and bask in the joy of thousands of happy families.  

    The liberal media is stoking the flames, with noted leftist rag The Wall Street Journal posting an unequivocally positive editorial, “Gay Marriage is Good for America”:  

    In 2008, denying gay Americans the opportunity to marry is not only inhumane, it is unsustainable. History has turned a corner: Gay couples – including gay parents – live openly and for the most part comfortably in mainstream life. This will not change, ever.

  • From heaven to hell in one quick leap:

    Violence against the transgender community rarely makes the evening news, but the case of Duanna Johnson is so extreme that people are starting to pay attention.  While being booked for alleged prostitution in Memphis, a police officer called over to her:

    Actually he was trying to get me to come over to where he was, and I responded by telling him that wasn’t my name – that my mother didn’t name me a ‘faggot’ or a ‘he-she,’ so he got upset and approached me. And that’s when it started,” Johnson said.

    I can’t do justice to what happens next: you need to see the video for yourself.  WMCtv provides the full security clip, so you can see that it’s not being taken out of context (the incident in question starts around the 1:30 mark.)

    One police officer let go, another put into an office job, and a pending investigation with support from the FBI.  But the Memphis police is being flooded with complaints that this was not an isolated incident.  Do we laugh or cry at something like this?

    “It made me sick,” [Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin] said Thursday. “I was infuriated. I notified the FBI because they needed to investigate to see if this person’s civil rights were violated.”

    If this person’s civil rights were violated???

  • Same Genitals Marriage?

    On May 15th, the Supreme Court of California struck down all of the laws preventing same-sex marriage. Here’s my thoughts on the creatures attempting to overturn that decision

    Cross-posted from GentillyGirl…

    Café Discovery

    Since I came out, I have been especially active in trying to promote National Coming Out Day in the fall, World AIDS Day on December 1, and Out and Proud festivities at colleges and universities wherever I could reach them.  The latter are usually in the Spring, since Gay Pride events usually are scheduled in the summer when activity on campus is light.

    What if they gave an Out and Proud Week and nobody was?  Or maybe it’s just that nobody cared.

    We arranged some programs and selected some going on around us and tried to encourage members of our campus community to attend.  There was little interest exhibited.  Not from straight folks.  Not from GLBT folks.  Actually, more straight folks showed up than gay folks…and some of the straight folks clearly hadn’t reached a positive place with regard to the issues.

    And some do not understand that issues is plural.

    7 minutes

    black./women.:conversations tiona.m. (Tiona McClodden – myspace)

    April 19-20, 2008

    Zami Like Me:

    Queer Womyn of Color CipHER.

    Celebrating womyn & all of HER identities


      Cleopatra N. LaMothe & the CipHER Project

    Saturday, April 19, 2008 at 5:30pm

    Sunday, April 20, 2008 at 9:00pm


      Wollman Hall
      66 W. 12th Street, Floor 5. Between 5th & 6th Ave.
      New York, NY

    Suggested donation:




    All proceeds go to the Audre Lorde Project and Youth Enrichment Center (YES) at the LGBTQ Center on 13th Street.

    The conference is asking that you Please register.

    Isn’t the fact that we do love more important to us as human beings than who we love?

    OR-Sen candidate Jeff Merkley will fight for Equal Rights!

    Oregon Senate candidate and current House Speaker Jeff Merkley has been endorsed by equal rights advocacy group Basic Rights Oregon. This is yet another endorsement for the House Speaker in his Senate race in Oregon. Just this past Friday, there was a Democratic primary debate. In Jeff Merkley’s opening statement he talked about how he fought for workers’ rights and environmental protections. He cited his huge accomplishments during the past 2007 legislation. Where he seemed to get the most fired up, was when he talked about his work for equal rights for gay and lesbian couples. Here’s what he said:

    “I fought so hard for gay and lesbian families that Karen Minnis cut off my mic on the House floor and threatened to have state troopers remove me. But I kept right on fighting and in 2007 won passage of historic legislation for basic rights and domestic partnerships. And, today I’m proud to announce that my campaign has received the endorsement of Basic Rights Oregon”

    If you’d like to watch the debate in full go here.

    7 minutes

    Have you got 7 minutes to think about the world being a better place?

    viðrar vel til loftárása

    Words and music by sigur rós

    Contextual Icelandic-to-English translation via senyxx (Czech Republic):

    I let myself flow onwards

    I swim through my mind back and forth

    My soul still sings

    the song we once wrote


    We once had a dream

    We had everything

    We rode to the end of the world

    We rode on searching

    We climbed skyscrapers

    But they were all destroyed

    The peace is gone now

    I lack balance, I fall down

    Still, I let myself flow onwards

    I swim through my mind

    but I always come back

    to the same place

    There is nothing left to say

    This is for the best

    God will provide a day

    for us


    Isn’t the fact that we do love more important to us as human beings than who we love?

    Friday Philosophy: Where ragged people go…

    Sixteen years ago, when I was 44, I started transitioning.  Oddly, fourty-four years ago, I was 16.  It was also a transitional year, in many ways.  I have spent the week trying to remember it, perhaps with hindsight that is quite more myopic than 20-20.

    It was a time…

    It’s hard growing up knowing that there is something so terribly wrong that it must be hidden from everyone.  It would have been best at the time if I could have hid it from myself as well but, as I’ve said before, ideas cannot be unthought.  I was, in my mind, a pervert.  Nothing was going to change that.  The best I could do was to try to hide it.

    On Wednesday I posted my poem about my obsessive-compulsive disorder.  I spent an equally absurd amount of time trying to disguise that.

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