I’d Buy That For a Dollar!

November 25, 2008

I wouldn’t watch it, of course, but I might buy it just on general principle.

Hey Liberal Hollywood! Ponder This!

November 24, 2008

From the LA Times:

Should there be boycotts, blacklists, firings or de facto shunning of those who supported Proposition 8?

That’s the issue consuming many in liberal Hollywood who fought to defeat the initiative banning same-sex marriage and are now reeling with recrimination and dismay. Meanwhile, activists continue to comb donor lists and employ the Internet to expose those who donated money to support the ban.

Here’s a thought: Howza ’bout exposing and boycotting those who were willing to establish second-class citizenry in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Nevada, Maryland and New York?

Wuzzat?  Ya wants to know what I’m talking about ‘cuz it doesn’t sound like same-sex marriage?

Well, give yourselves overpriced see-garz, ’cause that’s precisely what I’m not talking about.  I’m talking about the consecrating of second-class citizen status for transsexuals and other trans people – you know, the establishment of a special right for gays and lesbians to discriminate against transsexuals and other trans people?

Before all of you Hollywood lib-rul types work yourselves into a lather about Prop 8 – no, I mean it; BEFORE you even shed one micro-bead of sweat to undo Prop 8, why don’t you go about undoing all of the legal transphobic hatred that, let’s be honest here, at least some who are now out in California and bitching about Prop 8 probably had a hand in creating?  Let’s get to exposin’, peoples! Let’s get to boycottin’, peoples!



You might end up having to expose and boycott some gays and lesbians?


That’s the point.

Now get to it before you even think about Prop 8.

Or…Maybe They Learned Their Lesson in 1993

November 21, 2008

Kevin ‘Any Bets as to Whether He’ll Take This Stance on Trans-Inclusion in ENDA?’ Naff over at Queer Channel Media is whining:

Right on cue, our gay rights “activists” have begun backpedaling and lowering expectations regarding the incoming Obama administration.


Today’s Washington Times features an interview with Aubrey Sarvis of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. Rather than aggressively advocating for an immediate repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” he is instead advising Obama’s transition team to wait until 2010.


That doesn’t sound like activism – it sounds like spineless appeasement. If John McCain had won the election and told gay rights advocates to wait a couple of years before addressing the military’s gay ban, we’d howl with derision at his homophobia. But because Obama is a Democrat, our supposed advocates give him cover. Obama promised to repeal the discriminatory gay ban, a position endorsed by scores of retired generals and admirals and supported by a majority of Americans according to recent opinion polls.


It’s 2008, not 1993. Times have changed since President Clinton caved to pressure and enacted “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” We will never experience the change that was promised if our activists accede to every demand of the Democratic Party. More than 12,000 careers have been destroyed because of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Why should brave service members have to wait years longer to simply serve their country openly?

When next Queer Channel Media acts as a de facto surrogate for St. Barney, the Scampaign and the rest of the rich, white, straight-acting transhobic gay hegemony – which is a question of ‘when’, not ‘if’ – expect to be called spineless, appeasing, expectation-lowerers.  (If it matters, you’ll certainly be called worse as well, but I’m just sayin’…)

Naff’s money shot, however, comes in the last paragraph of his tiny-violin-fest:

There is no rational justification for prolonging the repeal effort any longer. No more waiting, no more excuses and no more cover for duplicitous, squeamish politicians from our timid activist groups.


Lets change a few words of that, shall we?

There is no rational justification for prolonging the inclusion effort any longer. No more waiting, no more excuses and no more cover for duplicitous, squeamish politicians from our timid activist groups.

Actually, only one word needed to be changed.

Fancy that, eh?

Time Marches On…And That’s a Good Thing

November 20, 2008

Today is the thirtieth anniversary of a significant event.


No – not the anniversary of the assassinations of Harvey Milk and George Moscone. That’s a week from now.


In 1978, though, Nov. 20th and Nov. 27th each fell on a Monday.


And Monday – especially back in the 1970s – meant Monday Night Football, and pretty much nothing else.


I’ve actually utilized these 1978 MNF historical factoids as a collective teachable moment for my trans history classes.


How, you might ask?  Well, as fate had it, the Monday Night Football game for Nov. 27, 1978, was scheduled for Candlestick Park in San Francisco (the Steelers visiting the 49ers) and the NFL made the same brilliant decision it had made fifteen years earlier following the assassination of President Kennedy: no cancellation.  A news update before the game was the first time I saw the now-famous video clip of Diane Feinstein stating that it was her duty as President of the Board of Supervisors to announce that Milk and Moscone had been shot and killed.


And then the NFL marched on.


I was nowhere near San Francisco on that Monday in 1978.  In fact, it would be almost fifteen years before I would make it there (for those keeping score, it was for ConFrancisco, the 1993 World Science Fiction Convention.)


But, by Nov. 27, 1978, I had been to a Monday Night Football game.  It was the one from a week earlier: thirty years ago tonight, at the Astrodome in Houston: Don Shula’s Miami Dolphins visiting Bum Phillips’ Houston Oilers.


It would become known as simply the ‘Earl Campbell Game.’  (Years later, Frank Gifford would continue to call it the best of the Monday Night Football games that he announced.)


It also became famous for the blue-and-white pompoms that were handed out to those attending the game (for those keeping score, I still have mine.)


This week I showed my students some clips from The Times of Harvey Milk – the portion of the documentary dealing with the Proposition from thirty years ago: Proposition 6.  Then, for grins, I show a little bit of that Nov. 20, 1978 football game.


Of course, the only reason I’m able to do that is that a few years ago someone was kind enough to sell bootleg DVDs of numerous old sporting events on Ebay – including a game that I witnessed in person but I’d never seen the broadcast of (it would be almost five years after that game before I’d get my first VCR – yes, a Beta.)  I use it as a bit of a segue into pointing out that the game a week after this one was in San Francisco on the day of the assassinations.


Plus, we get to laugh at some 1978 commercials.  Everyone’s favorite has tended to be an IBM commercial (followed immediately by a blurb for the upcoming episode of Starsky and Hutch – after which I felt obligated to point out to the students that it was not Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson that they’d just seen.)


But there was the game itself.


And the players – some of whom seem to be running and kicking from beyond the grave (Toni Fritsch, RIP.)


And the announcers.  (Want to feel really old?  Try explaining Howard Cosell – and the significance of Howard Cosell – to a bunch of 2008 nineteen year-olds.)


The teachable moment (such that it was) was actually this afternoon (and for one of my sections, last night.)  On my own, now, I’m looking at the game – still hoping that, even through the bad rez of what was probably a sixth- or seventh-generation video tape transferred to DVD, I might catch a glimpse of one particular thirteen year-old who was sitting in the east end zone bleachers, a couple of rows up and just to the right of the goalpost.


I haven’t managed to yet.


But I have, not surprisingly, caught glimpses of the stats, etc., that were placed on the screen in such small doses back then that those aforementioned nineteen year-olds can more easily grasp Howard than a network football broadcast without nonstop stats, flickering tickers, and constant chyrons.


The rundown of the standings from the time got me to thinking…


The old AFC Central Division: the Oilers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns.


Thirty years later, only two of those teams still exist, at least as they then did (yes, there are teams in Houston and Cleveland now – Cleveland’s even called the Browns – but not the same ones.)  None of the stadiums that those teams played in are still in use – and only one of them is still standing.


The Astrodome – no longer full of pompoms, and now dwarfed by adjacent Reliant Stadium.


Time marches on.


Ten years ago I had occasion to write on this same topic – only the twentieth anniversary, of course.  I was writing for an LGBT newspaper, the Texas Triangle, and used the opportunity to deviate from my usual fare (calling out HRC and Barney Frank; some things don’t change, eh?  And, no, I don’t mean me.)  I was wistful about the past – and incredibly depressed about the present.


And as for the future?


I wanted there to be one, but I was wondering if there wouldn’t be (for me anyway.)


Even though I had, a few weeks earlier, seen Minnesota elect Jesse Ventura governor – an event which would eventually lead me to start sending resumes to Minnesota, which in turn would eventually get me that future – if someone had told me that ten years later the nation would be two weeks past having elected an African-American president I’d…


You know what I’d have said.


I had no idea then that, ten years later, 1998 would be looked back at as the impetus for what we now know as Day of Remembrance.  Sadly, I actually would not have been surprised if you’d told me then that there would be a lot more murders of trans people during the upcoming decade.


But in 1978, if you’d told me that by 1998 I’d be living as the real me…


You know what I’d have said.


I didn’t think it would be possible – ever.


Just like I didn’t have any means to even conceptualize the notion of an African-American president.  I didn’t think it would be possible – ever.


But time marches on.


Even though I feel mortality scratching at me a bit more annoyingly than even the cat on my lap is scratching my arm, I’m thinking that’s a good thing.

Something tells me that on Jan. 20th, I’ll think so even more.


In the meantime, I’m off to go pop that bootleg DVD in and fast-forward it to the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter.


The Oilers lead 28-23 and have the ball deep in their own territory.


If you saw the game, you know what comes next.


Now…where is my pompom?

If Its Pathetic, It Must Be Queer Channel Media

November 13, 2008

From an opinion piece in the Nov. 14th edition of Queer Channel Media’s flagship rag, the Washington Blade:

IN HIS FIRST year, President Barack Obama may be unable to give healthcare coverage to all, improve education, reduce dependency on foreign oil, or even end military entanglements. Nonetheless, with the help of large Democratic congressional majorities, he can secure a place among our nation’s most important civil rights leaders.

Obama and the Democrats can ensure that for the first time our constitutional guarantee of “equal protection of the law” applies to every American regardless of sexual orientation. They can ensure that the noble ideal of the Declaration of Independence — “all men are created equal” — becomes a truly inclusive national commitment.

Oh, but the tripe from James Driscoll gets even more rancid – not simply because, in a piece that began by invoking “all men are created equal,” there is not one mention, however oblique, of trans people of any conceivable gender.

Unique among all nations, America was born of a great idea: All men are created equal. The time has come to welcome gay people, the last major group to be denied equal legal rights, into the American family.

You call yourself major.

I’ll call you a transphobic hack.

Queer Channel Media, ‘Equality’ Maryland: Trans People? You’re Kidding, Right? There Are Such Things?

November 12, 2008

So, the former Free State Just Us has a new head honchette.

Equality Maryland announced this week that Kate Runyon, the interim head of Michigan’s Triangle Foundation, would succeed Dan Furmansky as the organization’s executive director.

Runyon said she wants to achieve marriage equality in Maryland by 2011 or 2012.

Marriage equality in Maryland in my lifetime!  Be still my beating sphincter!

Marriage equality?

Uh huh.

And, judging from Kate’s priorities (as distilled by Queer Channel Media), everyone who benefits from it will continue to have the speciual right to hang ‘Worthless Tranny Pieces of Shit Need Not Apply’ signs outside of their places of business.

With impunity.

Among the first challenges Runyon will face is improving the organization’s working relationship with Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

During a speech Nov. 2 at the annual Equality Maryland brunch, Furmansky said the state needs “a governor who doesn’t make empty statements and who will take a stand, because civil rights for LGBT people are worth standing up for.”

Furmansky also called for “equal pay for equal work for all Maryland state employees.”

Furmansky said that he has not sat down with O’Malley since before the state’s 2008 legislative session. More recent requests for a meeting have not yielded any results.

“His signature on the two domestic partner bills that were passed this year was crucial,” Furmansky said, “but his rhetoric after the court ruling [in September 2007 that upheld the state’s ban on same-sex marriage] deeply wounded thousands of LGBT Marylanders and his rhetoric since has been wishy-washy depending on which publication he is speaking to.

“In one publication, his spokesperson might say that he opposed marriage for same-sex couples but that he supports civil unions. Then in the Blade, he might indicate that he would perhaps sign a marriage bill if it reached his desk. If he’s going to take a position he needs to take that position and own it.”

But even on issues beyond marriage — such as full benefits for the domestic partners of gay state employees — O’Malley has not acted.

This would be a joke of the Tina-Fey-as-Sarah-Palin caliber if it wasn’t so disgustingly real.

Gay marriage.

Even domestic partner shit.

Yep – all addressed, because its all that matters.

The ability of me or any other trans person to be free from employment discrimination?

[Insert your own image of tumbleweeds here]

Runyon has worked in gay advocacy for years. At the Triangle Foundation, Runyon joined as interim executive director in October 2007, leading the statewide gay rights organization after the departure of their founding executive director.

She also served two years as the gay issues program director for the American Friends Service Committee.

“I first started working specifically within the diversity field as a diversity consultant for the National Conference for Community & Justice, and while there I noticed myself being aware of my own sexuality,” she said.

“I was looking at issues dealing with diversity and saw that these issues were ripe within the LGBT community since LGBT folks come from all different socioeconomic, political, religious, geographic backgrounds. And I realized the amount of inequality that existed in the U.S.”

“We are thrilled to have found someone of Kate Runyon’s caliber and experience,” said Equality Maryland Board President Scott Davenport in a statement.

“Kate brings commitment, respect, community awareness, bridge building, communication, political savvy and advocacy to her life’s work as an activist. Her six years of executive experience with LGBT organizations, ability to build quick rapport with community, and knowledge of the political and social landscapes in which LGBT Americans work makes her an ideal leader for us. She will no doubt hit the ground running.”

LGBT, LGBT, LGBT, LGBT, yadda, yadda, yadda, blah, blah, blah…

Furmansky said Runyon’s appointment as executive director represents “a great opportunity for someone to start fresh in their outreach to the


I wonder if you considered hiring a trans person as “a great opportunity for someone to start fresh” with the effort to rectify the 2001 Maryland Special Rights for Gays and Lesbians to Discriminate Against Trans People Act?


That’s right.

That’s not actually a priority is it?

That’s not actually on the agenda at all is it?

LGBT, LGBT, LGBT, LGBT, yadda, yadda, yadda, blah, blah, blah…

Call yourselves whatever you like – Free State Just Us or ‘Equality’ Maryland.  You’re a weasely cadre of Janice Raymonds in 21st Century drag.

From the Mind of The John

November 12, 2008

OK – in spite of what I’m about to say, I actually agree with the post by Sir John of Aravosis about Marriott’s involvement with Prop 8.  But, there’s more to it – as you’ll see.

Bill Marriott, the head of Marriott hotels, issued a statement yesterday, apparently out of concern that all the Prop 8 blowback was going to lead to a boycott of Marriott. Bill Marriott rightly noted that his business has a perfect rating from the Human Rights Campaign. And that’s swell. But there are a few problems with that argument.

It doesn’t matter if Bill Marriott didn’t give to Prop 8. He is a major donor to the Mormon Church. And they use that money to impose their religious views on others, whether you like it or not.

So, lets apply this logic regarding Marriott and Prop 8 to, oh…I dunow, HRC and ENDA.

It doesn’t matter if [insert name of person or organization here] didn’t directly oppose trans inclusion in ENDA. [He/She/It] is a donor to HRC.  And HRC has used that money to impose their constrictive, straight-acting-gay-centric, trans-erasive priorities on others, whether you like it or not.

Thanks Sir John, for providing yet another argument against the Rhode Island Avenue Cesspool.

That Sound You Just Heard Was Me Being Buried After Having Died Laughing

November 11, 2008

Self-parody doesn’t begin to describe the Rhode Island Avenue Cesspool of Transphobia.  But, I’ll cut Jim Burroway at BTB some slack:

As angry protests continue to erupt across California in the wake of Prop 8’s passage, our so-called leaders at the “Human Rights Champagne” is ready to mix it up with — get this — spa night:

HRC invites you to an evening of pampering and relaxation while you sip wine, snack on appetizers, and mingle with friends! We are proud to partner with Nickel Spa on this evening spa event.

…Note: There is a 50 person maximum for this event, you must be on the list to attend! Receiving a service is not required to attend. 20% of proceeds from spa services to benefit the Human Rights Campaign.

The HRC’s tepid response to ballot measures is now 0-30, their accomplishments on Capital Hill are minuscule — they are in serious danger of becoming completely irrelevant. With this, they are now reduced to self-parody. It’s like they’re not even trying anymore.

Oh, they’re trying alright – but the question needs to be asked: What are they trying to do?  How many people who have a platform to be heard will actually ask it?

Methinks the time has now come to remove the modifier ‘of Transphobia’ from my description of the Scampaign – though I think that will promt angry letters to me from the CADL: the Cesspool Anti-Defamation League.

Acceptable in The ENDA World According to Barney Frank

November 10, 2008

From Autumn at Pam’s House Blend:

There’s an article out today, published by Eyewitness News, Memphis, Tennessee. It’s entitled Homicide Victim Identified as Transgendered Person, Duanna Johnson.

Her name may be familiar to you. Duanna was the Tennessee transgender woman who was shown on surveillance tape being beaten by Memphis Police Officers — it was reported on just this past June.

As I remarked in the comments section of Autum’s piece:

[T]his life reality for trans people is acceptable in St. Barney’s eyes.  We don’t need jobs – just undertakers.

Shove this up your Oz, Barney.

Marriage My Ass

November 9, 2008

From Gay City News:

In a stunning realignment of the political status quo in Albany, Democrats have gained control of the State Senate for the first time in 43 years.

With all but one of the 62 Senate races decided, Democrats now control at least 32 seats in the Legislature’s upper chamber, while Republicans will have at least 29. Democrats already control the State Assembly and the governorship.

With a working Democratic majority in the Senate, several initiatives benefiting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community – a marriage equality bill, a transgender rights measure, and a public school anti-bullying law that includes protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity – each already passed by the Assembly and supported by Governor David Paterson, but stalled in the Senate by GOP resistance, will now likely be considered.

Notice which was listed first?

Care to guess which one received more discussion elsewhere in the article?

Care to guess what my reaction is to this?

Malcolm Smith, the Queens Democrat who will be the new majority leader, appeared at ESPA’s annual Manhattan Fall Dinner last October and enthusiastically pledged to “forward” the marriage equality bill on “the first day of our session,” and to put it at “the top of the list” when discussing agenda items with the governor.

I’m fine with that happening on the first day – so long as a bill to rectify the 2002 Gays’ and Lesbians’ Right to Discriminate Against Trans People Act (sometimes referred to as SONDA) is ‘forwarded’ first on that first day and so long as not one thing is done on the marriage bill until the bill to rectify the 2002 Gays’ and Lesbians’ Right to Discriminate Against Trans People Act has passed both houses of the legislature and has Gov. Paterson’s signature affixed to it.