Category: GLBT

Breaking: Stereotypes

According to an article by Sabrina Tavernise in the New York Times, from a couple of days ago, Census Bureau numbers have been crunched and some surprising facts have been generated.  If you don’t have a Times account, here’s a mirror at the Seattle Times.

The American South hosts more gay families than any other region.  The largest population of same-sex couples with children is in San Antonio, with Jacksonville, FL, not far behind.

The data was mined by Gary Gates at UCLA.  The article itself focuses mostly on Jacksonville.

From the Lions’ Den

One in 4 Utahns are now protected for employment and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity now that Grand County has become the tenth local governmental body to pass protections.

Cities and towns in Grand County are Castle Valley (population 349) and Moab (4779), the unincorporated areas Brendel (aka Crescent Junction) and Thompson Springs, and the ghost town, Cisco.

Whiners? Really?

I mean, how did I end up in this place…or how did this place come to be a location where people working for equal rights are whiners?



I can only imagine that someone who would say such a thing also thought that Martin and Malcolm and Medger were also just whining.  And so were César and Dolores and Philip Vera Cruz and the Filipino farm workers at Delano.  Whiners all.  Really, there was so much more important stuff to worry about than equal rights in their time.  

Now, I don’t claim to be anywhere near the same league as those people, but the point is the same.  You either believe in equal rights or you don’t.  And when you see someone without them, you do your damnedest to see that must change.  

O, Canada!

Unlike here in the US, we have some progress to report from north of the border.

Recently the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights of the Canadian Parliament had been working on C-389, otherwise known as the Transgender Rights Bill.  On November 2 the Committee reported the bill back to the House of Commons for its Third Reading, where it is awaiting its final vote.  If that is successful, it would move on to the Senate for approval.

Bill C-389 adds gender identity and gender expression to the Canada Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code of Canada hate crimes provisions.  The bill’s author is MP Bill Siksay of the New Democratic Party (the social democrats, sadly missing in the US).  

Halloween Hash, Take 2

Halloween on Sunday.  Halloween again.  Almost like clockwork, it keeps showing up.


As a child I loved Halloween.  We’d go to Mrs. Silver’s house across the street and she would invite us inside and make us fresh caramel apples or popcorn balls.  Lord knows, one can’t do that anymore.

And we would go door to door around the neighborhood and get a real haul of treats.  And somewhere, later, older kids would toilet paper someone’s house or yard, which we would discover on the way to school in the morning.  I never liked the “trick” part.

Razor blades and pins and poison and just plain bad people put a stop to most of the good stuff I remember.  

As I got older, the tricks became worse and the treats were few and far between.

On Asking Experts, Part Two, Or, What’s An LBGT Voter To Do?

It’s been a few days now since we began a conversation that addresses the issue of how frustrated some number of LBGT voters are with the Democratic Party this cycle; this because they find themselves either frustrated at the lack of progress on the civil rights issues that matter to them, or because they see both the Democratic and Republican Parties as unreliable partners in the struggle to assure equal rights for all.

In an effort to practice some actual journalism, I assembled a version of an online “focus group” at The Bilerico Project (“daily adventures in LBGTQ”), with the goal of gathering some opinions on this subject in the actual words of those frustrated voters.

Part One of this story focused on “stating the problem”, and today we’ll take on Part Two: in this environment, with Election Day staring us in the face, what is an LBGT voter to do?

As before, there are a variety of opinions, including a very informative comment I was able to obtain from a genuine Member of Congress, Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania’s 8th District, and that means until the very end you won’t hear much from me, except to help “set the stage” for the comments that follow.

Finn’s Flee Church over Homophobia

A strange thing has been happening…in Finland.

On October 12, there was a televised debate on the Finnish station YLE featuring Christian Democrat leader, Päivi Räsänen, Bishop of Tampere Matti Repo, True Finns’ MP Pentti Oinonen, pastor Leena Huovinen (who has blessed lesbian couples), openly gay Green League MP Oras Tynkkynen, board member of SETA (a Finnish GLBT organization) Manne Maalismaa and Mr. Gay Finland Kenneth Liukkonen.

With Ms. Räsänen  saying things like

Obviously a person knows that if they are in a homosexual relationship they are doing something wrong from the Christian viewpoint.

and, in unison with Bishop Repo, called gay marriage and adoption “unnatural”.

Friday Philosophy: Votes for Sale

It often gets annoying to hang around the InterWeb, for one reason or another.  I have to say the past week has been one of those times.

I’m not referring to anything that the Obama administration has or hasn’t done, though for sure plenty could be and has been said.  Fierce advocacy often appears what any objective person might call milquetoasty.  Of course, he he did say he’d be a fierce advocate of gays and lesbians, not transfolk, and recently seems to have forgotten we exist.

Then, Obama was asked whether being gay or trans was a choice. Here is his incredibly weak response which completely ignores trans people.

I am not obviously – I don’t profess to be an expert. This is a layperson’s opinion. But I don’t think it’s a choice. I think people are born with a certain makeup, and we’re all children of God. We don’t make determinations about who we love. And that’s why I think that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is wrong.


Mmmm.  Toasty.

On Asking Experts, Part One, Or, Do Democrats Really Understand Their LBGT Problem?

Stories begat other stories, or at least they do for me; this two-part conversation came from a comment that was made after I posted a story suggesting that voting matters this time, especially if you don’t want environmental disasters like the recent Hungarian “toxic lake” that burst from its containment and polluted the Danube River happening in your neighborhood.  

Long story short, we are going to be moving on to ask what, for some, is a more fundamental question: if you’re an LBGT voter, and the Democratic Party hasn’t, to put it charitably, “been all they could be” when it comes to issues like repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” or the Federal Defense of Marriage Act…what should you do?

Now normally I would be the one trying to develop an answer to the question, but instead, we’re going to be posing the question to a group of experts, and we’ll be letting them give the answers.

And just because you, The Valued Reader, deserve the extra effort, for Part Two we’ve trying to get you a “Special Bonus Expert” to add some input to the conversation: a Democratic Member of Congress who represents a large LBGT community.    

Friday Philosophy: October Trans News

We have had another suicide, unfortunately.  Chloe Lacey from Clovis, CA, shot herself because she feared she would be harassed and bullied when she went to college in Eureka.

This and other stories about the transgender community on the inside, including some murders, sexual harassment, lost history, and challenges to discrimination.

Some good.

A little more bad.

The usual.

Speaking of Sickening…

There have been a couple of diaries which discussed, in whole or in part, the incident involving the Latin King Goonies.

It would be so nice to believe that with the name Goonies involved, this would have been about something somewhat amusing…rather than out and out horrific.  Last Sunday nine members of that street gang kidnapped and tortured three gay men, sodomizing at least two of them with a toilet plunger and a miniature baseball bat, robbed and beat the brother of one of the victims in a home invasion, and forced one of the victims to burn one of the others with a cigarette on a nipple and his penis, while they stood around and laughed.

It almost makes a person hope that the real Latin Kings took enough offense at these guys to really do something about them.

Friday Philosophy: Judge not…

I’ve been having a slow conversation through Facebook with a friend from high school.  Hopefully she will show up here eventually.  But she’s a little busy training to be a Peace Corps volunteer, so we’ll se.

In one of her messages she wrote:

You have an original voice. I know that transgender issues are understandably important to you, but I also find your posts on other subjects to be fascinating. You write with passion and are able to reduce the macrocosm down to the infinitely human microcosm.

Also, everyone changes as they live their lives. Most of us don’t want to be judged, but if we are, we want to be judged by who we are now. As an old high school friend, I would like to see you address this type of issue in relationship to transgender politics.

I’ll try to do that tonight…with a little bit of other stuff mixed in.

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