Once Upon a Time in Joel Osteen’s Temple of Money-Worship

March 31, 2010

Specifically, it was Dec. 31, 1994 – and the combatants weren’t dollars and yen but, rather, the Houston Aeros and the Chicago Wolves…

…back when a Summit wasn’t just an ego-massage parlor for those who want to convince themselves that not only is there a ghod but that it wants them to be rich even while other of that ghod’s creatures are starving  to death.

Gentle Venn

March 31, 2010

At HuffPo:

An Israel Luna Defense at Bilerico? I’m Shocked….NOT!

March 30, 2010

I’m not sure what’s worse, the arrogance of the actual post by Steven Cheslik DeMeyer…

[I]t’s important to note that both Ticked off Trannies with Knives and Corpus Christi are works of deliberate provocation made by queer artists.

or, his attempt to censor those who call him out on his Dreger-esque ‘censorship’ histrionics:

Let’s stop the quibbling about the meaning of the word censorship, shall we? It’s disingenuous and it’s distracting.

or, the cluelessness of commenter Yasmin Nair:

The queer community would do well to wonder why one is deserving of protection while the other is yanked from a festival.

As for those who, without even having seen the film, already have and will keep showing up to insist that forcing a film festival to yank a film from its lineup is *not* tantamount to censorship, I can only say this: Let me know how you feel when YOUR creative work gets that kind of silencing….

Here goes, Yaz:   My research and writing is my creative work – and it has been censored by the Marriage Derangement Syndrome-addled, transphobic gay rights industry via its de facto ‘transsexual women need not apply’ policy.

Now, STFU.

No, I’m not censoring you by saying that.  I’m not the government.  I’m not an activism consortium or even one employer therein.  I’m not prohibiting – or even inhibiting – you from not S-ingTFU.  However, I am suggesting that the less you say, the less you’ll sound like an apologist for overly-privileged, under-affected-by-discrimination, transphobic gay white men…

like the racially and homosexually-privileged DeMeyer, who fails to point out is that both Ticked off Trannies with Knives and Corpus Christi are “works of deliberate provocation made by” gay men but one is about a group of people who aren’t gay men but who racially and homosexually-privileged gay men tend to denigrate by de-sexing into gay men who, via decades of politico-legal chicanery by the privileged transphobes of the gay rights industry, are not actually protected as gay men under the “sexual orientation” rubric – which racially and homosexually-privileged gay men tend to think is the only civil rights category that the gay rights industry should be fighting for when it comes to proposals such as ENDA.


March 30, 2010

Thought my previous post was minimalist hyperbole?

Think again.

Protecting families, but not, well….

you know.

HRC’s Response to Israel Luna’s Gay Male Trans-Exploitation for Profit

March 30, 2010

Says a lot, eh?

Lesson of the Day NOT Filed Under ‘Satire’

March 29, 2010

A history lesson from Vanessa Edwards Foster:

Ten years ago this past Monday, on March 22, 2000 was the meeting between the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) at HRC HQ in downtown DC, not far from K Street.

Six weeks earlier, on Feb. 11, 2000 was the National Roundtable meeting between the Gay & Lesbian organizations, Trans organizations and a few from academe at the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) headquarters, then on Kalorama NW. in Columbia Heights.

The NGLTF roundtable was the brainchild of their executive director, Kerry Lobel, with assistance from PFLAG, and came at a crucial point in GLBT history. It was a period of flux, where the Trans community first began truly exercising its voice.

Only nine months had passed since the largest Trans lobby day on record at GenderPAC, but it created fissures within the T community, with GPAC announcing a move toward “gender” and later “gender orientation.” Also at that lobby day was a seeming closeness developing between GPAC and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and a simultaneous cooling off between them and NGLTF.

As for that Feb. 11 meeting (which I participated in via phone):

“The meeting was a very good start to build alliances,” NTAC vice-chair, Yoseñio Lewis, noted at the time. “For the most part everybody played well together. There was a tense moment when Nancy Buermeyer brought up the friction between HRC and NTAC.”

Indeed I was out of the room getting the nickel tour with Kerry Lobel, and when we walked back in, it was over: Monica Roberts and Chelsea Goodwin had their backs up, Nancy Buermeyer was crying and Michael Gray was offering to set up a group-to-group meeting between HRC and NTAC. Nancy shoved, and apparently Monica and then Chelsea shoved back.

However, to a person, everyone except Buermeyer left that roundtable with a lot of hope and enthusiasm.

And for the record, I’m not overlooking [] NCTE. At that point no one in political circles had heard of Mara Keisling as she was still months away from her first participation in Trans activism with GPAC, and three years away from creating her own organization.

Think about that whenever you see Gramma Frumpp act as though she speaks for anyone other than herself and her personal puppetmasters.

Much has changed since those meetings in early 2000. At the beginning of 2001, HRC suddenly announced they were including transgender in their mission statement and shortly after began billing themselves as the largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights group in the nation. They were not going to allow us our own voice: they would declare oversight of it in order to manage our message themselves.

And think about that whenever you see or hear Gramma Frumpp’s organization being involved in anything.

NCTE effectively supplanted NTAC and all its members. It wasn’t for malfeasance or being in the wrong (we were actually correct, which ironically worked to our disadvantage). We were replaced strictly for not playing the Washington game: we didn’t feel that Trans folks should simply accept our “place” at the bottom of the pecking order.

In summation:

In early 2000 we seemed to be on a track of true GLBT community cohesion. From 2010’s vantage point, that view was quite delusional. The good relations NTAC had with other organizations through 2002 magically vanished almost overnight in 2003, coinciding with Mara’s arrival. Shortly thereafter, media relations vanished as well. Most everything began singularly funneling through Mara Keisling afterwards. This was no longer a community dialogue, but a top-down controlled environ

I reiterate: Think about that whenever you see Gramma Frumpp act as though she speaks for anyone other than herself and her personal puppetmasters.

Lesson of the Day

March 29, 2010

H/T to We Are Respectable Negroes.

Memo to the Luna-Ticks: We’ve Been Used By Gay Men For Profit Before, So Don’t Expect Us to Shut Up Now

March 28, 2010

Exhibit A:


I could just end there, but that would be insufficient.  After all, the novel Myra Breckinridge largely was a legit, scathing critique of Hollywood – and, the title character wasn’t really a transsexual woman; in fact, an honest assessment would place her outside even the broader category of ‘transgender.’

But, thanks to a gay man, when people think ‘Myra Breckinridge,’ they think ‘transsexual’….

EVEN when viewing the movie version (which even Vidal hated.)

Yes, if I stopped with the book Myra or even the movie Myra, that would let Isreal Luna’s Myra-on-Viagra-just-in-time-for-ENDA-2010.

Not surprisingly, the latest gay man to exploit trans suffering and death (thereby both legitimizing it and ensuring that it repeats) has his defenders who have mastered the art of FOX-esque anti-PC speak (so much so that one could be excused for wondering if all of the internet posts defending Luna actually came from members of Michael Bailey’s Greek chorus of faux-anti-PC histrionics.)

But, please note the word I emphasized.

This image is not from Vito Russo’s Celluloid Closet.

Actually, I take that back; part of it is. 

The photo within the ad appears in the book – but, as noted, this is an ad for the book.  I don’t know how many gay papers it appeared in (or if it appeared in any non-gay papers as well), but this is the ad as it appeared in the July 20, 1981, edition of the GLC Voice, a Minneapolis-St. Paul gay paper.

Perhaps some of you are thinking to yourselves, ‘Jeff Bridges played a transsexual woman?  Wow – maybe I’ll give Thunderbolt and Lightfoot a look.’

Well, the movie is worth a look.  It was Michael Cimino’s first directorial effort.  The next was The Deer Hunter; his previous work had been as writer for the second ‘Dirty Harry’ movie, Magnum Force.  And, like Cimino’s other work (which also includes the epic fail of epic fails, Heaven’s Gate), its not a happy-fest. 

A great movie, but a real downer.

And, oh by the way, it also has nothing to do with transsexuals.

And, perhaps most importantly, the scene that Russo singles out has nothing to do with gays or lesbians.


And there is no debate on that point.


Don’t even try.

In case the ad image isn’t clear, this is the text:

Jeff Bridges in drag in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot is just another example of the homophobia Hollywood has peddled over the years, from the “sissy” jokes of the silents to the paranoia and brutality of Cruising.  In his brilliant new book THE CELLULOID CLOSET: Homosexuality in the Movies, Vito Russo explains how Hollywood has adapted to prevailing attitudes, both in its veiled references to homosexuality (e.g., “buddy films” like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) and in explicit ones like The Boys in the Band.  120 photographic stills.



Noooooooooooobody in the gay community bitched about that one, eh Luna?

But a small cadre of gay men and women did think that J. Michael Bailey’s Man Who Would be Queen was worthy of a Lambda award – and it was up to transsexuals to bitch about that gay transphobia and be derided as bullies and censors both by Bailey’s Greek chorus of well-professed heterosexual Ph(U)Ds and the small cadre of award-conferring gay men and women who could not stand to have their credibility (deservedly) questioned. 

Can we assume that Israel Luna’s celluloid definition of trans women should be gearing up to receive awards from other gay men and women whose judgment is above question because they say it is above question?

Israel Luna is exploiting and insulting trans women.

There is no legitimate debate on that point.

Exploitation of, insults to and erasure of trans women has been nothing but a career-enhancer in gay land, so I suspect that, in addition to preparing to receive gay-made awards, Luna should be gearing up to occupy an office on Rhode Island Avenue.

Yes, Israel Luna is exploiting and insulting trans women.

There is no legitimate debate on that point.

But what about my other example?

To the same extent that Jonathan Katz erased male-to-female-ness in Gay American History, Vito Russo exploited trans people – particularly male-to-female-ness – in The Celluloid Closet.

Yes, Russo – not Michael Cimino (or even Jeff Bridges.)  As non-PC as it may be, as long as there are movies and television programs, there will be instances of male-configured bodies wearing women’s clothing.  No one has the right to demand that that stop any more than christianism-infected government has the right to criminalize wearing the clothing of the opposite sex.

Shit happens.

It just doesn’t have to always smell – and look – like shit (I won’t mention Candis Cayne’s appearance on CSI:NY by name.)

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot was about a bank robbery.

Jeff Bridges’ drag scene was a disguise to aid in the bank robbery.

In fact, even though much of Russo’s analysis about gay subtexts in  ‘buddy movies’ is worthwhile – even as to two of the characters in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (those played by George Kennedy and Geoffrey Lewis) – with respect to Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges he stretches his thesis beyond the point of structural failure.

In no small part, the structural failure occurs because he tries to tie the drag scene to it.

Russo used the mere notion of deviation from archetypal masculinity (I use that term instead of gender transgression so as not to piss off the HBS people, who I’m hoping will side with me as I think we’re all in the same boat on this one) as being something evil and something that Real Men (gay or straight) should find abhorrent.  (And if this paragraph inspires you to re-read Julia Serrano’s Whipping Girl, it should; and if you haven’t yet read it, you should.)

Forget the fact that a key element of the bank robbery at the center of the plot of the movie was Jeff Bridges’ Lightfoot-in-drag seducing a straight security guard. 

Anything remotely trans = Antithesis of Gay Male = EVIL!!!!!!!!!!!!

Forget the fact that, though strictly speaking classifiable as trans behavior, Lightfoot was not being trans-anything (much less gay anything.)

He was robbing a bank.

This wasn’t Billy Crystal as Jody in Soap.

It wasn’t Dinah East.

It wasn’t even Myra Breckinridge – print or celluloid.

It was one of four bank robbers – and it was one of four bank robbers not being gay, explicitly or implicitly.

But, the image of Jeff Bridges in drag running down a street in a small town in Montana in the mid-1970s was the image that was used.  And I do have to ascribe the picking of it to Russo, though I don’t know if he actually had a hand in the ad; still, the pages in the book that deal with Thunderbolt and Lightfoot are not simply as negative toward the movie as that ad – they’re even more negative, favorably citing the negative reviews of reviewers he calls out as homophobic.

Russo’s own take:

In Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Cimino does a Ratso-and-Joe number on Jeff Bridges and Clint Eastwood, the same number he did on Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken in The Deer Hunter (1978).  At the beginning of Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Eastwood’s baby blue eyes hit Bridges like a thunderbolt, and Bridges lightfoots it into drag for the remainder of the film.


The first time there’s even a hint that Bridges will wear a dress?  Roughly 80 minutes into the two-hour flick.

The blue eyes?  Eastwood is the one who makes a comment about Bridges’ eyes (something about all great racecar drivers having blue eyes; I leave it to the NASCAR crowd to verify or disprove that.)


Just another gay man who would do anything to stretch anything in order to say anything imaginably negative about people he feels he has the right to project his idea of gay-masculinity on acting in a way that he feels those he feels are gay should not be acting.

Luna can say anything he wants about what he claims his piece of garbage is.

And his Luna-ticks can dutifully assemble into a neo-Dreger-esque Greek chorus of fake outrage at the ‘censors.’

But if Luna wants to salvage himself, he can do one simple thing: He can take a lie detector test – and he can answer the following questions:

  1. Did you really intend the movie to empower trans women?
  2. Thus far, have you in any way lied to your critics?
  3. Do you acknowledge transsexual women as actually being women.

Simple, eh?

As simple as holding my breath – which, I’m not going to do.

Because I’m standing by my contention that there is – and will be – no legitimate debate that Luna’s flick is just another instance in a long line of gay-orchestrated cultural trans-bashing.

Why America is Dead – Pt. 20: Health Insurance Companies Are Allowed to Exist

March 27, 2010

From the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram:

To appropriate an observation by Montgomery Burns: This corporate cadre of faceless  money-snorting automatons is conspiring to kill the Tracys’ son, and yet if the Tracys were to have them killed in order to save their son’s life, the Tracys would be the ones to go to jail. That’s capitalism – the way that Boehner, Cantor and McConnell want it to be – for you.

Bringing in the Big Guns, er…, Cats

March 27, 2010

I decided that I was going to need some outside help in my campaign to get Dan Savage to experience life on the same employment-seeking hustings that trans people have to deal with all the time.

And, given that the Golgathan was busy (proximity to Easter and all), I went for the next best thing:

A kitty who introduced herself to me by saying, “Dan Savage is a typical sleazy opportunistic transphobic gay white male of undeserved privilege.”

How could I not let her come home with me after that?

She later told me that her name is Bella.

Sleazy opportunistic transphobic gay white males of undeserved privilege: You are hereby on notice!