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Archive for March, 2010

Sticks, Stones and Ticked off Trannies with Knives.

March 30, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Thought of the Gay

Ticked off Trannies with KnivesThe controversy over the Tribeca Film Festival’s decision to show the film “Ticked of Trannies with Knives” hasn’t stopped brewing. In fact, it’s resulted in several articles, blogs, new stories, emails and even a RuPaul-Intervention.  Most of the criticism, one must assume, comes from the use of the word “trannies” in the film title.  This seems to be the case as currently only sneak peaks/trailers are available for public viewing. Few calling for a boycott of the film have seen it.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has stepped in as well, indicating that the term “tranny” is offensive.  Further, Planettransgender.com has cried out indicating that the word “tranny” and the words “drag queen” should not be used as they degrade the transgender community – thus begging the question, “What should we call a drag show?” – My vote is for “Guys who dress up as women in order to lip-sync to selected tracks from Madonna, Lady Gaga, Tina Turner, Tori Amos and other iconic personas of queer culture,” but I doubt that would sell many tickets for the charity ball.

As a white, mostly cisgender, gay male my opinion on the subject isn’t authoritative, but I do have an opinion.  I have many “T” friends, some of whom are outraged at the word “tranny” but many of whom use the word to refer to themselves or even their friends.  It’s not a word in which I find any comfort; like “faggot” or “nigger” it leaves a sour taste in my mouth and burns my ears whenever it’s used.  Even when my self-described “tranny” friends use it, I cringe.

All that being said, I look to the great tragedies suffered by my “T” friends – the lost jobs, the lost homes, the lost friends, the lost families, the desperation to feel complete, and I ask myself, “How important is this low budget, B-rated movie that only about .01% of the population would have seen (or even heard of) had it not been for the controversy?”  I go further and ask myself what other films are being shown at the Tribeca Film Festival, and with deep regret my answer is, “I have to look it up.”

That’s right.  The only movie I have any knowledge of being shown at the Tribeca Film Festival is the movie, “Ticked Off Trannies with Knives.”  The only reason I know the movie is showing is because I’ve been slammed with emails and information about how horrifyingly demeaning it is to the “T” community – and other emails about how it really doesn’t matter.  It is controversy that further divides our communities and even pits members of the “T” community against each other.

So, I have a suggestion to my LGBT brothers and sisters.  It’s time we stop all this bickering, unite and fight back against the real enemy – the HRC – the anti-equality foes (NOM, AFA, etc.).  Together, we can pass an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act, pass the Uniting American Families Act, repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.  Together, we can make change… divided, we’re just making noise.

Fundraising 101 – Gay, Inc. Uses Grassroots Momentum but Not Its Power.

March 26, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, Thought of the Gay

gay, inc. HRC, Courage Campain, Equality California and a 2010 InitiativeLast night on Rachel Maddow’s show, Rachel exposed the republican email scams using healthcare reform and fake election candidates as a platform for raising funds.  Unfortunately, using the momentum of others to raise funds for your cause isn’t just a republican strategy; it’s also being used by “Gay, Inc.”

You may recall that the Human Rights Campaign (“HRC”) was more than happy to ignore the National Equality March until it was deemed a success and they felt they could use that success as a platform to get more money.  Apparently, the HRC underestimated the power of a grassroots movement.  You’d think that Gay, Inc. would have learned from that lesson, but as Restore Equality 2010 continued pushing hard for a 2010 ballot initiative, Equality California, along with other major “gay rights” groups, were spending money to persuade Californians that a 2010 ballot initiative to repeal Proposition 8 was a bad idea.  In fact, Rick Jacobs of the Courage Campaign announced that, because polling looked bad, we have to wait until 2012 for equality.

After nearly a year of hard work, signature gathering, canvassing and debates by many grassroots groups and organizations, the Public Policy Institute of California has revealed that polling shows California is ready to repeal Proposition 8 – with a whopping 6% increase in support of marriage equality in just a year.  Can we say, unprecedented?

Unfortunately, Equality California still doesn’t get that we are tired of waiting – but they understand perfectly the opportunity to raise more money.  In a March 25, 2010 email blitz, Equality California announced that they, proved skeptics wrong about the perception that we could not sway voter opinions significantly enough to overturn Proposition 8 and that they need more money in order to, “keep this effort going and have millions of conversations so we can secure majority support and win marriage back.”  They then make the ominous declaration that they can only secure equality if we stand with them today, linking that declaration, as well as 6 other links, to the donation page.

While some in the community who have worked so very tirelessly to sway public opinion are outraged at this latest tactic of Gay, Inc., I’m not so outraged.  In fact, I find it very amusing that they sent an email asking “us” to stand “with them” by donating money, when they so quickly turned away when we asked “them” to stand with “us” and overturn Proposition 8 in 2010.

It’s important to remember; however, that Equality California, the HRC, Courage Campaign and the rest of Gay, Inc. may be wrong, but they aren’t our enemies… well, not in the same way that the American [Heterosexual Only] Family Association; the Southern Baptist Convention; the National Organization for [Heterosexual Only] Marriage and their cohorts are our enemies.

Perhaps soon, they will wake up and fil the momentum.

When is a Hate Crime Not a Hate Crime? – When SAPD Investigates

March 20, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Hate Crimes

The San Antonio Police Department has refused to investigate the murder of Troy Martinez Clattenberg as a hate crime in spite of a confession from his murderer, Cody Carmichael, wherein Carmichael stated to police that he shot Clattenburg because the victim made sexual advances toward him.

Troy was murdered on February 21, 2010 in my hometown.  His murderer, was charged this past Monday with bail set at $100,000.00.

Troy’s body was found laying under a poster of the ten commandments in his apartment.

Troy’s murderer, Cody Carmichael, states that the sexual advances came while an unidentified man was with them, providing Cody with the gun.  Cody then left the apartment, took the man home and returned.  Troy had dinner in the microwave, some meat loaf and green beans, when he answered the door.  He didn’t get to eat.  Cody shot him.

As his murderer prepares for the highly successful Gay Panic Defense, let’s talk about what San Antonio’s pro-LGBT Police Chief is doing for the community.

Apologizing, again… and again

This latest slap in the face from the department comes just weeks after an SAPD officer raped a transwoman in the backseat of his patrol car and just months after the SAPD raided the home of a lesbian couple, laid panties and bras on the bed and harassed the two women about their sexual orientation [see links above].

I’ve had my own problems with discrimination from the San Antonio Police Department, including an incident where a group of skinheads threatened to murder me for being a “faggot.”  When the police arrived, they escorted me from the scene and released my assailants.

Isn’t it about time we say, “ENOUGH!?”  Isn’t it about time we GetEQUAL?

***UPDATE***

Cody Carmichael has been released on bond.

I am dangerous for believing in LGBT Equality.

March 18, 2010 By: geekgirl Category: Featured, LGBT Lessons for Straight People

Thursday, March 18th,  three LGBT activists were arrested. Lt. Dan Choi, Captain Jim Pietrangelo and Robin McGehee. It made more news than the 200,000 LGBT equality supporters made when they marched on Washington D.C. last October.

This is only the beginning. I will not wait any longer for my friends to have the equality and protection that they deserve.

I am not willing to wait for a world where LGBT children can grow up in a society where all of us know that they are normal. Where being LGBT is as different as being a redhead or left-handed.

I’m imagining a day where LGBT activists go into every legislative building in this country.

This is not a call for violence. This is a call for demanding equality. Citizens have the right to peaceful assembly to protest the actions of their government. We did that last October. Very little changed.

Some have called this a juvenile act that will set back the LGBT movement. A circus. A stunt.

Do we remember Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, Lech Walesa, Mahatma Gandhi as juveniles?

If refusing to move off the White House lawn, Capitol Hill, an elected official’s office, a government building in order to stand up for what is right, results in me being arrested, I will wear that as a badge of honor. I will have accomplished something with my life. I will make my family proud of me. I will have harmed no one. I will be living my values, not just writing words on the Internet.

I’m straight. I’m a child of the sixties. Civil disobedience is in my blood. I’m going to be wearing comfortable clothes, comfortable shoes, have my cell phone, some cash and a jacket just in case. My civil disobedience survival pack is ready to go.

I would like to see the embarrassment on a politician’s face when an older, average looking, slightly overweight, mom-type gets hauled off by the police. Because I am so dangerous for believing in LGBT equality.

Now. Who do I visit?

jaysays.com contributor geekgirlgeekgirl: Jude, the author of this post, is a straight woman, a mom and has been married for 32 years to the same wonderful man. She believes in Buddhism and attends the United Church of Christ. She is a molecular biologist, her best friend is a lesbian, and she believes that every human deserves equal rights, respect and a life free from hate, fear and discrimination. The only thing she hates is pickles. Her science blog can be found at LGBT Latest Science.

GetEQUAL Goes to Jail, But Passes Go.

March 18, 2010 By: jaysays Category: DADT, Featured, LGBT Action Alerts, LGBT News, Uncategorized

Today, I learned that action is inspiring.  Tomorrow, I hope to learn that it’s also contagious.

As my facebook, twitter and email exploded today with little clips of the DADT Rally, I marveled at an act of well timed genius.  While the HRC was negotiating equality with the well-oiled political machine, the people were speaking.  Grassroots activists took to the streets refusing to negotiate their rights… our rights.

When the group of marchers reached the steps of the White House, Robin McGehee assisted Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo as they handcuffed themselves to the gates and demanded a repeal of the militant Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy established under the Clinton regime.  For her assistance, Robin was thanked with a set of charming silver bracelets becoming the first arrest of the day.

Simultaneous demonstrations were underway.  By 3:00 p.m. activists such as Kip Williams were staging “sit-ins” inside Nancy Pelosi’s offices in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. demanding an inclusive ENDA be taken to the floor for a vote.

But now tweets bounce back to Lt. Choi – he and Capt. Pietrangelo have been cut down from the gates and arrested.  My Spanish Novellas are suddenly much less dramatic than my twitter feed.  Gay, Inc. and their supporters are pissed and claiming that the jouvenile acts of today set us back, are immature and make us look crazy.

Now, not only do I have to wrap my head around one of the most important moments in LGBT History, I now have to think of it in terms of “politics.”  Am I not allowed to simply be proud of my brothers and sisters?  Must I now think in terms of political strategy.

But what has that political strategy been – what has it done for us at the Federal Level?  It’s the same kind of political strategy used during the Clinton Administration to keep him in office as an LGBT friendly president while allowing him to pass Don’t Ask Don’t Tell as a compromise to our rights.  It’s the same kind of political strategy used that allowed the same LGBT friendly Clinton to pass the Defense of Marriage Act.

I’m tired of negotiating my rights.  I will not stop until my personal life is deregulated.  It’s time to GetEQUAL.

Quick Bit: Blog for Equality Day against PA Senate Bill 707

March 15, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Quick Bits

PGH Lesbian, a blog devoted to the Pittsburgh LGBT community has deemed today “Blog for Equality Day” to raise awareness about Pennsylvania’s Senate Bill 707, which is designed to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.  The Blog for Equality Day has been largely focused on PA regional bloggers, but in the spirit of making small dreams bigger, my non-PA blog is determined to contribute.  Why?  Because amending state constitutions to take away the rights of consensual adults to entire into legally binding contractual agreements is not only wrong, but repugnant – something better left to theocracies (which, as an aside, the U.S. likes to invade and blow up).

But there is another reason I feel that we must shed light on this atrocity that is becoming constitutionalized discrimination… I get a button:

And you know we gay boys like buttons!

I make light, but this is a very serious issue.  To find out how you can help in the fight against SB707, I recommend visiting our friend at thomascwaters.com.  He’s done a fantastic job at enumerating what you can do to help swing this vote in favor of equality.

Will Phillips’ GLAAD Media Award: Support our LGBT Heroes.

March 15, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, Thought of the Gay

Will Phillips - the mightyBeing on the side of justice and “what’s right” isn’t always easy.  Just ask anyone who has had to fight for equality under the law.  Many will tell you stories about hate mail, the toll activism takes on their relationships, the shouting matches and derogatory comments made to and about them.  However, when you are a member of a “suspect class” finding and using your voice is a bit easier; after all, you’re fighting for yourself – your own family.  Who wouldn’t fight hand and fist to defend their own family?

But there is a rare breed of activist that I’ve often heralded as our great defenders – the straight allies.  They come out for equality as they recognize that the pursuit of happiness involves not only “the American Dream,” but the most pure of emotions… love.

Will Phillips is one of our great defenders, a 10 year old boy from Arkansas whose refusal to pledge allegiance until all Americans, even the LGBT ones, receive liberty… and justice.  On his own accord, Will recognized the extreme discrimination suffered by LGBT people in the “land of the free” and used what voice he had to make a statement; thus, he was rocketed to Internet stardom, humbling even the most hardened of activists.

During his acceptance speech for a GLAAD Media Award, Will Phillips stated:

I believe activism is important. Activism is CHANGE! It is the fuel, lubricant, & engine that drives the slowly moving turtle-mobile that is progress.

I accept this award on behalf of those who have been struck down, beaten up, & instead of attention & praise have gotten intolerance, violence, or even worse… indifference.

Will’s strength, courage and compassion toward the equality movement didn’t come without a cost.  In the initial days after his refusal to say the Pledge, his mother, Laura Phillips, wrote to me regarding the negative impact on Will:

My concerns to the principal of the school is that if this is what a straight ally is going through, what must it be like for the GLBT students there?

Now with this award and his video on getequal.org, Will is gaining more attention.  May we remember to show him that for all the “negative” there are positives and that an entire community stands with him.

Please consider contributing to Will’s college fund.  To do so, you may mail a check or money order to:

“Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plan”
P.O. Box 33090
St. Petersburg, FL 33733-8090

In the memo section you must write:

“Will Phillips Acct# 472-321-7514”

If you cannot contribute monetarily, please consider sending Will a note of thanks:

Will Phillips
c/o NWA Center for Equality
PO Box 9014
Fayetteville, AR 72703

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: Mississippi isn’t Burning – It’s Flaming

March 11, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

School board members in Fulton, Mississippi have taken a harsh stance against girls dating girls.  On February 5, 2009, the school board circulated a memorandum stating that same-sex couples will not be allowed to attend prom, in direct violation of legal protections against discrimination.  Constance McMillen, however, wanted to take another girl to the prom as her date.  She then met with the assistant principal and the district superintendent but was told that, under no circumstances would she be allowed to bring another girl to the prom, and if she showed up and her presence made the other students “uncomfortable”, she would be thrown out.

This little act by the school board alone isn’t surprising.  School have fought and lost this battle repeatedly.  The difference here is that the school decided that, since a publicly funded institution can’t legally discriminate against people, it would just cancel prom altogether.  Here’s the best part – supporters of the districts discriminatory policies are claiming that Constance, not the school, has ruined it for everyone.

In one comment on parent dish, user charlotteofthebarbarycoast had this to say:

I think that the offensive thing is how this girl has decided to make her political statement at a Senior Prom and ended up ruining it for everyone else. *** If this dumb girl had any brains, she would have asked 2 of her homosexual male friends to double date with her and her tuna, and they could have just gone to the prom. Instead, she decided to make a national incident out of it, and now people all over the country are at odds trying to decide what is right, while the rest of her classmates are having one of their important memories tainted by this one inconsiderate child’s self made problem.

I can’t help but wonder how much in taxes charlotteofthebarbarycoast would pay in order to support a public institution that denied her the right to participate in that institutions events.  Those supporting the school district have all but ignored two very basic facts: (1) Constance is a student at the school; and (2) LGBT people pay taxes (often at a higher rate than married heterosexual persons) and those taxes fund schools.

Further, Constance didn’t ruin anything for anyone, the school board ruined it.  Constance is merely attempting to enjoy the same “important memories” that other students are allowed to make.  So charlotteofthebarbarycoast, I think that the offensive thing is how you and your cohorts have decided that your precious memories are more important than the precious memories of others.

Your ego, by the way, is a sin… Bitch.

The Book of Ghinedu: Prostituion and Papal Hypocrisy

March 04, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Religion

Papal Gay Sex Scandal and HypocrisyThe following is inspired by the recent gay sex scandal of the Roman Catholic Church – or more specifically, of the papal house. It was recently revealed that a member of the house was actively seeking male prostitutes – not to save their souls, but to lay with them as they say we should lay with woman.  You may recognize some of the phrases below from the Book of Job, chosen because that book dealt with Job’s struggles with Satan which I feel has an interesting metaphorical relationship with the LGBTQ’s community struggle with (and within) the Catholic church.  For the “story” of the sex scandal, I encourage you to read this post at thenewcivilrightsmovement.com.

The Book of Ghinedu (the Choir Boy).

Now there was a day when the choir boy, Ghinedu, at the Vatican called upon the prostitutes of the land to present themselves before the papal houseman but hypocrisy came also among them.

And the papal houseman said unto Ghinedu, “Whence bringest us our homosexuals so that we may lay with them before condemning them?” Then Ghinedu answered the papal house, and said, “From going to and fro I have found the men you have requested to lay with and go down upon them.”

And the papal houseman said unto Ghinedu, “Thou hast done well in the eyes of our hypocrisy and we shall pay thee well for thy services,” and the papal houseman considered those that were brought and chose the perfect and an upright man, one that liketh being on top and would remain silent?

But the investigators were listening and exposed the hypocrisy, saying unto the Vatican, “How doest thou continually commit the sin while damning the sinner?” But the Vatican hath no answer and delivered unto the investigators more hypocrisy by the work of their blooded hands.

It was the same whence the homosexuals had put forth their hand and asked unto the Vatican, “Doest thou not realize they words are causing us death ?” And the Vatican responded to those that are the homsoexuals, “Thy face and they hands are cursed and thou shalt never touch all that he hath.”

But the Vatican was not speaking of the Lord “he” but instead of the prostitute he and touched him only after paying the man with gold given to them by the congregation. And the homosexuals said, “You’ve got to be f-ing kidding me.”

Increased Risk Factors Associated with Heterosexual Sex Supports Criminalizing Straight Sex

March 03, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, LGBT News, Marriage Equality

No Straight Sex: Heterocopulative Disease and the Ban on Straight SexOur country, and the entire world, is faced with a huge risk brought on by the actions of heterosexuals.  These sexually active persons, perhaps unwittingly, are placing our social and economic well-being behind their needs to get off.  In 1997, the International Journal of Epidemiology published a study regarding this horror afflicting heterosexuals titled, “Heterocopulative syndrome: clinico-pathologic correlation in 260 cases.”

The hazards of heterosexual behaviour have been well documented. They include, but are not limited to, unplanned pregnancies, penile and cervical cancer, vaginitis, a host of sexually transmitted diseases (some of them incurable or deadly), a disproportionate propensity to engage in child molestation, global overpopulation, socially oppressive gender roles, and more. A recurring pattern of these health disorders resulting from the union of the penis and vagina has been named heterocopulative syndrome.  — Heterocopulative syndrome: clinico-pathologic correlation in 260 cases. 1998. Scarce, M. Int J Epidemiol. 2002 Apr;31(2):498-9.

This study clearly illustrates the need for governments around the world to intervene and outlaw heterosexual copulation and marriage – at least if we follow the same false-logic of same-sex marriage opponents.

Barb White, a republican candidate for the congressional seat in Minnesota (District 5), expressed her opinion that gay marriage was dangerous because, amongst other ridiculous claims, homosexual sex results in “Gay Bowel Disease”.  That diagnosis is a frightening one, but what is “Gay Bowel Disease”.

In 1976, before we learned the lesson from Gay Related Immune Disease (“GRID”, now known as AIDS) that we should not label a disease to be exclusive to one group of people unless it really is, a group of researchers in New York studied 260 gay men and found that these men showed a higher rate of anorectal disorders such as hemorrhoids, polyps, nonspecific proctitis, anal fistula, perirectal abscess and anal fissure.  All of which can be found in heterosexuals as well.  However, due to the findings that such disorders seemed more frequent in gay men, the term “Gay Bowel Syndrome” began permeating medical literature of that time.   Under this same horrifying logic, it could further be argued that there is a “Pregnant Woman Bowel Disease” as pregnant women are at a significantly higher risk of hemorrhoids than are non-pregnant women.

Researcher and activist, Michael Scarce (author of the aforementioned Heterocopulative disease” paper) responded to Gay Bowel Syndrome in 1976 in an article published in the Journal of Homosexuality:

In 1976, a group of physicians in private proctologic practice in New York City coined the illness “Gay Bowel Syndrome” in reference to a constellation of gay male anorectal disorders. Through analysis of biomedical discourse and popular media, it is apparent that Gay Bowel Syndrome is an essentialized category of difference that is neither gay-specific, confined to the bowel, nor a syndrome. The use and diagnosis of Gay Bowel Syndrome must be abandoned before it further lends itself to the formation of social policies and governing practices that seek to force gay male bodies into positions of social, cultural, and political subordination. — Harbinger of plague: a bad case of gay bowel syndrome, Scarce, M., J Homosex. 1997;34(2):1-35.

Therefore, should we accept Barb’s argument that an increase in anal fissures is grounds for denying gay citizens equal rights, we must accept the same argument as to other citizens and immediately ban heterosexual copulation due to the increase health hazards and significant burden such behavior places on the health care system.