I Actually Don’t Think ‘Squeamish’ is the Right Word

February 15, 2008

From Page One Q:

On Wednesday’s installment of Sirius OutQ’s Michelangelo Signorile Show, Matt Foreman, outgoing director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, calls out Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) on his ‘squeamishness’ on the issue of transgender rights in the recent battle over the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

“I think what really happened,” says Foreman of Congress’ handling of employment discrimination protections for LGBT people, “is [Speaker Nancy Pelosi's] people said ‘Look, Congress has a terrible reputation right now, they’re not delivering for any progressive causes… What do we have to do to deliver to our progressive allies?’ That means labor and health and environment and gays. And, so, I mean, I don’t know this for a fact, but I would bet my life that this is what happened: They went to Barney Frank and said ‘What do we need to pass ENDA?’”

“Representative Frank,” continues Foreman, “who has always been pretty squeamish on the trans issue, and I guess I can say these things because I am leaving my job…”

“That’s what we hoped you’d do,” Signorile says to Foreman.

Foreman goes on: “…You know, said ‘Look the best way to pass ENDA, and the easiest way is to — let’s take out gender identity,’ and I don’t think the Speaker’s people thought this through–didn’t think it through–and then they said ‘OK, let’s do it’.”

A spokesman for Rep. Frank told PageOneQ the comments were “absurd”….”

Though I appreciate the sentiment, I think “squeamish” is simply not the right word.  Barney Frank is transphobic – and in this he is aggressively, consistently and malignantly obnoxious where trans people and trans issues are concerned.  He is a product of his political upbringing – and gay-politically he is a product of the 1970s, when assimilationists sought to politically exterminate trans-everything and all but succeeded.

He can’t stand transsexuals or trans-anything.  His support for trans-inclusion in hate-crimes proposals is not because of any pragmatism on the trans issue; its because of the residuum of his generally liberal political make-up.

He is Janice Raymond in man-drag.

What is “absurd” is any contention otherwise.


Proto-Theocracy in Action

February 14, 2008

From Sports Illustrated:

Kansas activities officials are investigating a religious school’s refusal to let a female referee call a boys’ high school basketball game.

The Kansas State High School Activities Association said referees reported that Michelle Campbell was preparing to officiate at St. Mary’s Academy near Topeka on Feb. 2 when a school official insisted that Campbell could not call the game.

Wait for it…

You know what’s coming…

The reason given, according to the referees: Campbell, as a woman, could not be put in a position of authority over boys because of the academy’s beliefs.

Oh yeh.  Theocrats on the slither. 

I wonder, then, what does this ‘religious institution’ have to say about that commandment – you know, the one about honoring thy father and mother?  The players involved here, after all, aren’t adults are they?  Or, is this ‘religious institution’ saying that no male of any age has to obey any woman under any circumstances?  I didn’t grow up Catholic, but I know plenty of people who went to Catholic schools – and based on everything I’ve gleaned from them about their experiences, something tells me that not too many of the nuns who teach at Catholic schools would put up with a student waving ‘no woman in a position of authority over any male’ quasi-dogma at them to avoid obeying them.

Shockey noted that referees normally don’t work Saturday games, but he agreed to officiate because his daughter’s basketball game slated for that day was canceled.

The Activities Association said it is considering whether to take action against the private religious school. St. Mary’s Academy, about 25 miles northwest of Topeka, is owned and operated by the Society of St. Pius X, which follows older Roman Catholic laws. The society’s world leader, the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, was excommunicated by Pope John Paul II in the late 1980s.

Gary Musselman, the association’s executive director, said the organization will not make a decision until it confirms whether St. Mary’s Academy has a policy of not allowing female referees to work boys basketball games.

If that is indeed the school’s written policy, Musselman said, the association could decide to remove St. Mary’s Academy from the list of approved schools and take away its ability to compete against the association’s more than 300 member schools.

St. Mary’s Academy officials declined comment when contacted by The Associated Press on Wednesday.

St. Mary’s Academy is among 30 schools on the list that are not full association members but compete against schools that are. Musselman said St. Mary’s Academy plays one or two games per season against member schools but has no more scheduled this school year.

One thing I’m not clear on is whether the other schools (in particular, the one involved in the game in question) are public schools or other private/religious  schools.  Make no mistake: whoever made the call to do this is a theocratic, misogynistic slimeball.  However, if this is truly a private organization then, presumably, the only action that can be taken is by the organization – which the school joined, presumably, willingly – and not by any public entity. 

However, I hope a public school was involved.

I really hope a public school was involved. 


I Want to See This Bill Become Law

February 13, 2008

Though I’m not a Deadhead, I have a general admiration dor the music of The Grateful Dead.  I only saw the Dead once – at their 1985 concert in Houston.

My point?

Some time afterward, I heard of a case involving someone who got arrested at the concert; per the story the person was inebriated/high and had an argument with a car.  The car won, but there was some damage to it – and some sort of criminal charge to the damager resulted.  When the defendant got to court, the judge decided to do some ‘creative sentencing.’  There might have been some jail time, but there was also some probation.  In addition to whatever else was involved, the judge tossed in the following behavioral restriction: The defendant was not to attend any heavy metal concerts.

Presumably he attended every Dead comcert thereafter given that doing so would not violate that condition of his probation.

Fast forward 23 years…

From the Knoxville News & Sentinel:

Newly proposed state legislation would ban anything that exposes students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade to homosexuality.

“Homosexuality, bisexuality, that’s something that should be left to be taught at home and not at our schools,” said Rep. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, author of the legislation.

“I don’t think our schools have reading, writing and arithmetic down enough to start teaching about transgenderism,” Campfield said.

The legislation states: “No public elementary or middle school shall permit any instruction or materials discussing sexual orientation other than heterosexuality.”

I want to see this bill become law and then to see every teacher in the state covered by the law devote part of each day to studying trans history – something that clearly would not actually be prohibited by the law, even if it were to pass constitutional muster!  After all, thanks to those who know better than us because they say that they know better than us, we all know that ‘sexual orientation’ doesn’t – and, according to those who know better than us because they say that they know better than us, shouldn’t – include trans-anything, much less transsexualism.

What a fucking moron.


Quasi-Lame Crain

February 12, 2008

Yes. Lame Crain can’t stand the thought of HRC’s HRC becoming prez either – but its from a different point of view than mine, of course.  From a recent  blog entry about Queer Channel Media’s interview with HRC’s HRC:

Hillary said she would prefer the Employment Non-Discrimination Act be introduced in the Senate in an “inclusive form,” meaning with transgender protection, but she declined to comment on the divisive House debate over whether to support ENDA as a gay-only measure if the votes aren’t there for gender identity.

Shouldn’t the complaint be ‘Queer Channel Media apparently didn’t ask her if she was willing to assure trans people that she would use her presidential muscle to ensure passage of a trans-inclusive ENDA’?

Oh…

I forgot.

You don’t really want that, now do you?

Of course, neither does HRC’s HRC…which brings me to:

Clinton was at her weakest when Kevin [Naff] asked her to respond to the claim by Obama supporters that he talks about gay rights much more often before non-gay audiences. Rather than respond to the substance, she quipped that she found the claim “ironic since Senator Obama had his gospel tour with [Donnie] McClurkin that he and his supporters would take credit for that.”

The real irony is that the McClurkin episode was only one of many when Obama did what Clinton will not, reiterating even to his own base supporters that he disagrees with them on gay rights and will work to fight homophobia within their community. Hillary Clinton has never showed that sort of strength.

I do hate agreeing with The Lame One, but….


How Many of Them Were Turned Into Same-Sex Couples By In re Gardiner?

February 12, 2008

According to Andrew Shillivan:

Not so much a political statement as a fact revealed when fear recedes:

According to a report released recently by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, the number of same-sex couples living in Kansas increased almost 60 percent from 2000 to 2005. …

But Tom Witt, chairman of the Kansas Equality Coalition, said the couples have always been here. That figure is just the number of “same-sex couples who are willing to answer that question.” “(The report) is inaccurate and misleading,” he said. “It makes it look like the gays are moving to Kansas. We live here. We were born here, raised here. We are part of the community.”

Whose fear has receded, Andy?  Certainly not the fears of transsexuals who live in Kansas – who have to contend with a decision based on a law that in no way contemplated transsexuals but, thanks to certain politically greedy gays and lesbians poking the the anti-same-sex-marriage dog, got used to wipe out not just transsexual marriages in Kansas but also the identities of individual transsexuals there.


Death of a Candidate Who Didn’t Exist

February 12, 2008

Long ago I chided Arianna Huffington for sounding like a reincarnation of Eva Gabor in character as Lisa Douglas.  That was when she was a righty shill (and still shilling for her closet-case ex - the one who tried to buy a Senate seat back in ’94).  I stand by the comment about her accent (if she ever says ‘shoosting’, may brain will probably implode), but I’ll give her props for the analysis on why the John McCain that people are going ga-ga over now is a rotting politicorpse.

I can no longer stand idly by and watch the media and independent voters continue to throw themselves at the feet of John McCain.

The John McCain they fell in love with in 2000 — the straight-shooting, let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may maverick – is no more. He’s been replaced by a born-again Bushite willing to say or do anything to win the affection of his newfound object of desire, the radical right.

The old John McCain once rightly called Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and like-minded religious bigots “agents of intolerance.” The new John McCain now slavishly seeks their endorsement.

It was that old John McCain that got me to the point where, had he not been pre-swift-boat swiftboated by Karl Rove (and the coke-snorting, draft-dodging spoiled rich brat) in South Carolina in 2000 and the general election that year had been Gore v. McCain, I’d have been sorely tempted to vote for McCain.

If you think the problem with the United States right now is that we haven’t given Bush enough time to finish his agenda, then John McCain is your man. If not, it’s time to stop running on the fumes of romantic notions past and find a good divorce lawyer (and, yes, I’m talking to you in the campaign press corps and to you independents and to you moderates and to you anti-war McCain voters in Florida).

The Thousand Year War Express is careening along the road to the White House, and the new John McCain is gunning the engine. And he has to be stopped.

Ya know what, Arianna?  You’re so right-on on this that I would have given you special dispensation to say ‘shoosting along the road’ on that.


So…Maybe ‘The Longest Yard’ Was a Documentary After All?

February 12, 2008

I know that both versions of The Longest Yard rankle some trans folks, but, I’ve still liked them as a guilty pleasure.

Of course, how was I to know that, apparently, the only difference between the movie(s) and reality was the type of ball involved  (and yes, the cheerleaders-in-drag)?

Softball, drunken orgies and a prison system run like the mafia. That’s what Florida’s former prison secretary says he inherited when he took over one of the nation’s largest prison systems two years ago.

In fact, on his first day on the job, James McDonough says he walked into his office — the same one his predecessor used — and there was crime scene tape preventing anyone from entering.

“Women were treated like chattel in this department.”

McDonough described a bizarre prison culture among those that ran the system — one that he says seemed obsessed with inter-department softball games and the orgies after games.

“I cannot explain how big an obsession softball had become,” he said. “People were promoted on the spot after a softball game at the drunken party to high positions in the department because they were able to hit a softball out of the park a couple times.”

“The connection between the softball and the parties and the corruption and the beatings was greatly intertwined.”

Wow!

I am curious.  Who did the previous warden look like more – Eddie Albert or James Cromwell?


Goldman (And I Don’t Mean Oscar)

February 11, 2008

From the NY Slimes:

Goldman Sachs bankers and traders enjoy famously big bonuses and, this year, a little extra job security thanks to their firm’s ability to steer clear of the worst effects of the subprime mortgage debacle.

Now, they can add something else to the list of reasons why life is great at Goldman: free sex-change surgery.

I know that, in and of itself, this is a good thing – if you’re an employee there who transitions on the job.  However, stories like this mask two more problematic matters.

Goldman’s enhanced medical coverage is part of the firm’s efforts to “recruit and retain a more diverse workforce,” a Goldman spokesperson told Fortune.

The expanded coverage may cost employers a bit more in the short term, but it’s a small price to pay to attract and keep top talent, Pauline Park, chair of the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy, told Fortune. “[A]ny employer that does not clearly include gender identity in their employment policies may send a signal that they’re not supportive,” she said.

(1) Retain.  I see that.  But this doesn’t for one second guarantee (hints at?  yes) equitible treatment for already-transitioned transsexuals. 

(2) The playing-up of this causes GLBs at large to forget the unfulfilled promise to add us to SONDA. 

Again – I’m not denigrating anything about this in and of itself.  I certainly wish I’d worked for an employer with such coverage when I was transitioning.


D (And I Don’t Mean Kiki)

February 7, 2008

From Crooks and Liars:

 

Fox.

And I damn sure don’t mean news.


Seeming?

February 7, 2008

From Gay City News:

On Super Tuesday, as voters in Deborah Glick’s 66th district made their way to the polling place on Bank Street where the out lesbian Democratic assemblywoman casts her ballot, gender rights activists were on hand outside, clipboards at the ready, asking them to sign letters to the four-member LGB caucus in the State Assembly. The letters request their “active support” in bringing the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) to a vote this year.

Tuesday’s call to solidarity exemplifies the soldier-on attitude of the New York gender rights activist community, who remain stalwart in the face of five years of inaction in Albany on their bill, as well as a revised, trans-exclusive version of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act passed by the House and under consideration by the Senate in Washington, and perhaps most alarmingly, the seeming indifference of the larger gay and lesbian community.

Seeming?

Yes, I know, there is a lot of support on the part of many GLBs.  But as for ‘the community,’ which still allows itself to be represented by the Human Right Scampaign?  C’mon.

Gender equality leaders say their fight has consistently been put on the back burner of LGBT causes.

They say it because it is so. 

While gay men and lesbians receive state protection under the 2002 Sexual Orientation Non Discrimination Act (SONDA), transgender activists, more than five years later, are still waiting for the Assembly, controlled overwhelmingly by the Democrats, to take up GENDA.

And the Frankrainvosisists wonder why we assert that the same thing will transpire in Congress if a law allowing gays and lesbians to discriminate against trans people is enacted at the national level.


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