I’d Rather Roll the Dice Than Play Russian Roulette With a Loaded Machine Gun

January 31, 2008

From tomorrow’s lead Queer Channel Media rag, Joan Garry’s pre-Super Tuesday undecidedness:

Why do I feel that a vote for Hillary isn’t the vote of a pragmatist but rather the vote of a cynic?

Why do I find myself agreeing with Bill Clinton when he says that a vote for Obama is a “roll of the dice?”

Why do I feel like I should back into my vote based on who will most likely win in November against the Republicans?

I have a few days to decide. Like millions of Americans, I will be paying a lot of attention. Sen. Obama, offer me some tangibles. Who might be a part of your cabinet? Sen. Clinton, tell me what my world will look like and feel like when you leave office?

I’ll answer that last one: It’ll be a world with an ENDA that allows gays and lesbians to discriminate against transpeople.

Obama makes me feel there is something to look forward to. 

Hillary makes me believe she could get things done.

With that, I’ll remind people of one of the better episodes of Red Dwarf.  ‘Tikka to Ride’ was that series’ take on the JFK (or, per one of the characters, ‘The American King – Jeff K’) assassination.  I won’t go into the intricacies of all of the time travel and other psychoses of the episode (and there were plenty), but the moral of it was: Being assassinated actually was not the worst thing that could have happened to JFK on Nov. 22, 1963.

So what if Hillary can ‘get things done’?

We’ve had 7+ years of all of the wrong things getting done.

Lets not let HRC’s HRC do any wrong thing other than perhaps casting a vote in the Senate for an HRC-esque ENDA.

Its down to her and Obama.

ENDA.

Trans political viability in the 21st Century.

These are the stakes.

The choice is clear.


One Out of Whatever Ain’t Good – But it is Typical

January 31, 2008

Also from this week’s BAR, perhaps the only thing Dale Carpenter and I ever agree on:

There’s no evidence hate crimes laws actually deter hate crimes….

Back in 2001, he and I columnarly ganged up on the gleemeisters who believed that Texas enacting a (non-trans-inclusive) hate crime law (re-animating the phrase ‘sexual preference’ to supplant ‘sexual orientation’) actually meant something.

As you might have guessed, he and I haven’t ever agreed about ENDA.

And, as you might also have guessed, there’s more to his BAR column than that slam at the futility of hate crimes laws.

Overall, its a pathetic Log Cabin-ite slap at the Dems: ‘A Failing Mid-Term Grade for Dems’ he proclaims.

Not surprisingly, the obvious area in which I think they deserve a zero – capitulation to Barney Frank’s 1970’s transphobic fantasies – is what Dale thinks is the Dems’ biggest success:

ENDA (worth up to 15 points): The Employment Non-Discrimination Act passed the House, with 35 Republicans providing the necessary margin for passage. That first-ever triumph for a gay-rights bill was thanks largely to the leadership of Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank (D), who fended off efforts by left-wing gay groups to kill the bill because it did not include explicit protection for transgender people. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) has promised to introduce the bill in the Senate, but so far no action has been taken or scheduled. It’s unclear whether the bill will even get a vote in the Senate this year.

Points for the Democrats: 5.

Look at his other whines:

  • Federal recognition of gay relationships (worth up to 50 points): Congress has done nothing to eliminate or modify the Defense of Marriage Act, passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996.
  • Gays in the military (worth up to 30 points): Congress has done nothing to eliminate or modify the ban on gays in the military, passed by a Democratic Congress and signed by Clinton in 1993. There have been no hearings on the subject, either

Golly gee – the two issues that would be guaranteed to get the Dobsonoids in rally-around-whoever-the-fuck-the-Republicans-nominate mode in November are the all-or-nothing kool-aid he expects Democrats to drink (even while expecting them to rigidly adhere to so-called incremental progress on trans-inclusion in ENDA.)

Incremental progress.

Its still the lie that’s for dinner.

The insanity of gay marriage greed.

Its still heart and soul of its chef.


Two for the BAR: Willing to Support an Anti-Trans Dem

January 31, 2008

From an op-ed in this week’s Bay Area Reporter by Jose Cisneros (the treasurer of the City and County of San Francisco) and Laura Spanjian (the treasurer of the San Francisco Democratic Party) and who serve together as board members of Equality California and are members of LGBT Americans for Hillary:

Recently, Senator Hillary Clinton addressed a question from a voter about the high incidence of depression and suicide among LGBT teens. She said:

“First number one, we’ve got to do everything we can to send a clear message that we value you. We value you as a person, you as a total person. And we want you to feel accepted and respected in your community. And you’ll certainly have a president who feels that way.”

Of course, HRC’s HRC only said gay teens in that interview.  As I commented over at Bilerico:

The *question* was about LGBT suicide.

The *answer* from HRC’s HRC only used the word “gay.”

And then there was the inserted clip from the guy who yammered about how well HRC’s HRC understands and works for LGBT people.

I heard no *T* (or B) from Hillary.

Michael Crawford didn’t get my point.

The solicitation of questions is part of Clinton’s outreach to young voters. That’s why Emily Hawkins, director of youth outreach for the Clinton campaign, was asking the questions.

Even if Clinton did not use “LGBT,” the person asking the question did.

Its a clip promoting Clinton’s candidacy, so “the guy who yammered about how well HRC’s HRC understands and works for LGBT people” fits.

So, what’s your point?

Not surprisingly, a trans woman – Becky Juro – did get my point.

And I doubt you ever will, Kat. We just don’t represent enough money or votes to be on Clinton’s radar, nor will we ever.

Just take a look at her campaign staff, including Barney Frank, and her LGBT steering committee, with 3/4 of the HRC Executive Board, and you know the kind of “LGBT” politics she favors.

Something tells me Cisneros and Spanjian are more Crawford than Juro.  Otherwise, why would they have tried to pass the following off as something the entire community should embrace?

Senator Clinton has shown time and again her commitment, respect and willingness to fight for our community.

Walks the talk

Senator Clinton has done more than anyone else to fight for what is fair. Her Senate record is unmatched, from being the lead champion of the Early Treatment for HIV Act, to being an original sponsor of hate crimes legislation, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and the Domestic Partnership Benefits Act.

I’ll be part of that,  She walks her talk.  And, when it comes to trans issues, her talk is an Escher-designed pretzel of nothingspeak.

There’s an old saying that you can judge a person by the company she keeps. And that could not be more true of Clinton. Within the first month of announcing her candidacy, Clinton hired a full-time national director of LGBT outreach. And she has openly LGBT staffers in key national and California campaign positions.

Uh huh. 

How many Ts? 

And, not to surrender this thread to but HBS-transgender debate, being that I identify as transsexual, I do wonder: How many of those are transsexuals?  You know – people who, as individuals, have had existing rights erased by the backlash to gay marriage?  People who, as individuals, have to worry about whatever the fuck eventually shakes out with Real ID?

And…another question for Cisneros and Spanjian: Which version of ENDA is the object of the support for which you are commending HRC’s HRC?  The legit version?  Or HRC’s?

As president, Clinton has pledged to end the divisive leadership of the past six years and ensure that all Americans in committed relationships have equal economic benefits and rights. She will work to end discrimination in adoption laws and ensure that Congress passes (and she signs) federal hate crimes legislation and an inclusive ENDA.

Okay – If I’ve missed something, please let me know. 

Has she ever made a definitive statement about actually being willing to actually support an inclusive ENDA?  I can’t say I’ve ever heard her utter any form of T-anything, much less anything indicative of being willing to go against Teddy Kennedy’s idea (read: HRC’s) of ENDA. 

Of course, with the endorsement of Barack Obama, maybe she might be willing to do something to butt heads with Teddy.

But – and I’m very serious here – if I’m wrong about HRC’s HRC, please let me know.  But – if you’re going to challenge this, point to legit, verifiable sources. 

And also, explain why we should trust her talk about supporting inclusion over Obama’s actual support of inclusion at the state level? 

Again seriously, I’m not saying that I can’t be convinced.  But, there is an issue of trust.  Obama has a track record – that includes an enacted trans-inclusive law.  Hillary has…

HRC.

I’m not saying that I can’t be convinced, but I’m not sure what can trump that.


DNC: Do Not Cogitate?

January 30, 2008

From Queer Chanel Media, a portion of an update on the anti-discrimination suit against the Democratic National Committee:

Daughtry follows church in views on marriage

Leah Daughtry, the Democratic National Committee’s chief of staff, opposes same-sex marriage, according to transcripts of her deposition in the Hitchcock lawsuit.

“I believe, as the church believes, that marriage is intended for one man and one woman,” Daughtry said in transcripts obtained by the Blade this week.

Despite her stance, Daughtry noted in the transcripts that she has not advised Dean to oppose same-sex marriage.

Daughtry is a Pentecostal minister to a small congregation in Washington. She has said that she speaks in tongues and considers the practice “a gift given by God.”

According to the transcript, she denied that her religious beliefs impact her work at the DNC.

“People know that I am a reverend but it is completely separate from the work at the DNC,” she said.

In the transcript, Daughtry also addresses the topic of changing party rules to establish mandatory numbers of gay delegates for the national convention.

 Garry Shay, a gay DNC member, proposed the rule change in 2006.

Daughtry said she opposes mandatory numbers of gay delegates because gays have not historically encountered discrimination at the voting booth.

“My opinion was that … the premise upon which he was basing his rule was faulty because the rule … is based on historic discrimination at the voting booth and that in order for his rule to be passed he would have to demonstrate that the GLBT community had been historically discriminated against at the voting booth and he had not presented that kind of evidence.”

A few questions for Ms. Daughtry: 

  • As a Pentecostal minister, have ya ever heard of Leviticus? 
  • Have ya ever heard of a certain class of secular law based on one particular verse in Leviticus? 
  • Have ya ever heard of the word ‘felony’? 
  • Have ya ever heard of the concept of states denying the vote to people convicted of felonies?

Now, for sure, the indirect ‘discrimination at the voting booth’ that resulted from decades of sodomy convictions was not on par with what southern states did to African-Americans (and, if left to their own devices, would still be doing to them.)

But, the fact that Daughtry doesn’t see any connection at all speaks volumes.


Marriage: Its All That Matters

January 30, 2008

Over at Bilerico, Irene Monroe is complaining about Barack Obama’s willingness to embrace/use anti-gay African-American preachers to further his campaign.

Is it mere happenstance that once again, and seemingly unbeknownst to the Obama campaign, another anti-gay African American minister has endorsed the presidential hopeful?

But with an Obama endorsement coming from the Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, longtime spiritual adviser to President George W. Bush and senior pastor of one of Houston’s black mega-churches, Windsor Village United Methodist Church, this isn’t deja vu all over again.

Why is Obama, a supposed healer and consensus builder, continuing to do this?

One answer: Perhaps Obama was unaware of Rev. Caldwell’s background and views regarding LGBTQ folks?

The real answer: how many sides are there to a politician’s mouth?

The following was my response:

The real answer: how many sides are there to a politician’s mouth?

I dunnow. What are the chances of exhuming the corpse of Lyndon Johnson in order to find out? He was arguably as dishonest as Dubya – but, unlike Dubya, in addition to creating a needless war LBJ actually used his political savvy to engineer legislation that was actually progressive.

If one of the sides of the mouth of a given politician manages to spew something that results in trans-inclusive civil rights legislation (read: Obama), I’ll rate that politician higher than a politician who spews nothing but civil rights skunk excrement (read: HRC’s HRC.) If something from one of the other sides of Obama’s mouth convinces the Kirbyjon Caldwells of the world to go for him, I’ll take the chance that whatever he’s said to them is more of a lie than his co-sponsorship of that trans-inclusive civil rights bill in Illinois was.

And less of one than the crap that either of the HRCs are still expecting us to swallow. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I think anyone’s association with christianists of any race is worth keeping an eye on.  But – Is it just me, or is Monroe off the tracks with the following?

[I]f truth be told Obama plays the LGBTQ community as a political pawn. He dangles a carrot our way every once in a while like his mentioning of us in his MLK speech, but Obama has no accountability to us. Obama will talk the talk but he won’t walk the walk. Case in point: his campaign refuses, at the continued request of the African American LGBTQ community and our straight black cleric allies, to speak out against the black church’s homophobia.

And Obama will advocate for us as long as it doesn’t run afoul with his run for the White House.

So…supporting trans-inclusive anti-discrimination legislation is just a carrot? 

I suggest that Monroe stop invoking the T (be it transsexual or transgender or T-anything) when she rants – or, at the very least, think about the actual track records of the politicians in question.  Of course, she’s not alone in – apparently – thinking that having done something more pro-T than anyone who tried for the White House this cycle is irrelevant.  Another commenter made it pretty damn clear: marriage is all that matters.

I find Obama’s refusal to support marriage equality and his continued alliances with anti-gay forces particularly painful because of his rhetoric of hope and justice. One liners about gays in speeches does not make for an ally, and the community should stop falling all over ourselves for these crumbs. His statement “I am not someone who has embraced gay marriage. I don’t think the country is ready for that” is the antithesis of his rhetoric of new politics, hope and change.

If actually supporting trans-inclusive anti-discrimination legislation – as opposed to mealy-mouthed platitudes – is just a carrot, this Kat will be cool with being a Rabbit for Barack (particularly now that Edwards has given up.)  If its a crumb, I’ll be a Krumb-y Kat for Barack.

Any Dem but HRC’s HRC.


We Won’t Cry For You, Rudytina…But, Of Course, The John Will

January 30, 2008

After all – Rudytina opposed trans rights.  That must make him a heroine to Purity of Rich Gay Male Elitist Essence crowd. 

From The (Tear-Drenched) John:

No room in the GOP for moderates like Rudy

If you’d stopped after the word “moderates,” we could have found something to agree on.  Having some gay male friends and parading around in drag, however, does not necessarily a moderate make – particularly when almost all of the other acts of the person in question add up to making the person objectively describable as a crooked, adulterous, opportunistic fascist.

Crooked.

Adulterous.

Opportunist.

Fascist.

Hmmmm…..have I forgotten anything?

Oh yeh…How could I have forgotten?  How could I have forgotten?  Add: self-loathing transphobe.  And speaking of transphobes, here’s what The John had to say after the title of his post:

Giuliani’s stunning loss in Florida tonight

 Stunning? Stunning to who? Rudytina herself?  Stunning would be a loss by the New England Patriots this coming Sunday.  They’re undefeated.  Rudytina the Transphobic Drag Queen was winless going in to Tuesday (meaning that even a Giants victory on Sunday would be less stunning than a win by Rudytina in the State of Chad.)

, and his utter flaming out of the Republican nomination – he has a grand total of 1 delegate

Would it still be drag if he now starts dressing up like John Connally at charity events?  Inquiring transsexual former Texans want to know.

– shows the degree to which far-right Republicans have taken over the GOP and forced moderates and anyone else who doesn’t breathe fire or speak in tongues out of the party

 That part of the statement I can agree with (just not its antecedent.)

(your faithful blogger, Markos, Arianna and so many more included).

I’ll reserve judgment on Markos and Arianna.  But…The John?  Sorry – classist arrogance also does not a moderate make.

Just as messed up, conservative Republicans may end up rallying around Romney, a man who once ran for the Senate claiming to be more pro-gay than Ted Kennedy.

 Considering what Dubya claimed to be going into 2000, you’re actually surprised?

A guy who in the past two years has suddenly become a lifelong conservative, after 58 years of embracing gun control, abortion, and gays.

 58 years of endorsing gays?  Wow.  I guess in ’77 he took time out from becoming a dog-abusin’ , job-cuttin’ greedmeister to fly out to San Frsancisco to campaign for Harvey Milk.  I guess Randy Shilts had to cut that part from The Mayor of Castro Street, eh?

This is the standard-bearer for conservative Republicans, a guy who on the litmus test “conservative” issues is – oh I’m sorry, was two years ago – a liberal Democrat. This is the standard bearer for evangelical jam-Christ-down-your-throat Christians, a Mormon.And they wonder so many of us left.

Because they let Mormons in?  I might understand The John’s frustration if Marie Osmond or Glenn Beck was the potential nominee, but why is he surprised about anything that a cartoon robot repug from central corporate casting (a friend of mine encountered him at a staged spontanaiety event at a grocery store in Iowa and said that he looked just as fake and creepy in person as he does on TV) would say or do to win any nomination to any office? 


Hitting a Nail, er…, Male on its Arrogant Head

January 29, 2008

Yes – Its another post about The John’s elitist Johnfoolery.  However, I think it is necessary.

The John may have yanked the original obnoxious post, but the comments can still be found – and I found this one rather enlightening:

John… I’m a big fan of you and the site. I respectfully disagree with your take on the Middle class and the stimulous package. The line had to be drawn somewhere and it just seems a little selfish (hate to use this word for someone who’ve I’ve respected for years) to expect special consideration because you and I live in desirable locations. I’d rather lower income people get the rebates and the rest of us making $75k and living in SF or NY will just have to find new ways to live within our means.

No, I’m not spotlighting the fact that this person has had respect for The John.  Rather, I’m zeroing in on the second layer of hypocrisy in The John’s whine: The Line.

The line had to be drawn somewhere.

Sound anything at all like the Barney-HRC-Aravosis-Crain rationale between who would be covered by ENDA and who would not be? 

Get your money out of your ears, John – and it will.