Friday, July 22, 2016

HRC blasts Trump, calls him potentially anti-LGBTQ president ever in text message this morning

I found an alarmist message from HRC on my iPhone when I got up this morning.    It read “The time for underestimating Trump is over. He could honestly be the most anti-LGTBQ president ever.   It also texts “49 celebrities honor 49 Orlando victims. Watch this moving tribute now and take action with HRC.”  I was certainly surprised by the aggressive tone of it. The Washington Blade had a kinder and gentler account by Christ Johnson here.

Donald Trump, in his speech last night, labored to pronounce “L B T G Q” (especially the “Q”), and said that “our” greatest threat comes from foreign enemies.  Ted Cruz made a similar statement while not endorsing Trump.

Indeed, that’s been my own personal spin on Orlando, rather than on focusing on some sort of special victim status for a marginalized group, mine or anyone’s.  But that is not to say they’re aren’t pretty horrible pseudo-Christian domestic enemies still around (like Westboro Baptist Church, which ironically claimed "God Hates America" with its banners in the mid 2000's).

Peter Thiel made his speech, the first from an openly gay person at an RNC, but dismissed the bathroom bills controversy as a sideshow, with “Who cares”.  That seems to have angered a lot of people.  CNN reports on it here and Time has the text of his speech.  The NBA has moved a world series from North Carolina over the bathroom controversy (CNN )  I just did some travel in the mountainous part of North Carolina and nobody ever mentioned the issue.

I will cover this more “generically” on Wordpress soon, but I do have a problem with “solidarity” for its own sake.  I don’t put on uniforms or t-shirts and ask other people for money for causes, now, although I have done that in the past.  I don’t feel it’s particularly honorable to be remembered as the victim of an enemy that you or your culture has made, and I wouldn’t want to be “honored” that way if my end came that way.  (During the Vietnam era, some people said they did not want to come back maimed or be “honored” for what was involuntary sacrifice, and that’s how I felt, too, when we had a draft.)  Maybe I get some of where Trump’s emotion comes from.  But, then, imagine another parallel world and I’m a Jew living in Germany around 1934 (or Poland in 1939).  If they come for me, I would have little resolve or resilience to survive “for the group”, which a couple generations later would itself take away territory from “the others”.  I can’t solve all this now.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Feedback on overseas anti-gay culture at a breakfast yesterday

Saturday, I did have some interesting conversation at the monthly AGLA brunch at Freddie’s in Arlington.

One was that a power failure in Saw in DC affected some bars on U Street Friday night. (Town’s Twitter feed says it was affected, “Still waiting on PEPCO”).   But the closure of Metro at 12 Midnight is not affecting business much, according to what I was told.  Apparently, many employees are used to having to get home after the previous closing at 3 AM anyway, as were many customers.

There was also a young man from Nigeria who described gay social life as somewhat out of sight, kept quite private, even in Lagos, after the anti-gay laws signed by Goodluck Jonathan.  He also indicated that anti-gay laws in sub-Saharan Africa, below the Muslim areas, are influenced by an intellectually na├»ve application of evangelical Christianity, which is trying to establish its own religious identity.

The anti-gay planks reported in the GOP platform sound the same.  Yet it’s possible for people like Pence (Indiana) to rationalize their views, but it doesn’t seem like they want to; “old time religion” seems good enough for them.  One of the platform provisions would allow parents to force minor kids into ex-gay programs  (diverting money away from HIV prevention), illegal now in many states.  Again, there seems to be an idea that parents have a “fundamental right” to as many grandchildren as possible.  Procreation, in a cultural sense, is a way to level the “psychological playing field.” It could be connected to arguments about making a population more resilient. But no one bothers.

A note about the event: We were on the patio, not closed off for air conditioning. I do like social events where there is a sit-down meal or pot-luck.  I'm less enthused about happy hour socials unless they are fundraisers or in places I haven't visited. Today, I heard a sermon about "scruffy hospitality" (as an offshoot of "radical hospitality").  Indeed, I have been "busy" and haven't been into the activity of hosting events myself. (I don't think I've done that since 1985, after moving into a Dallas condo; but I had done it in my apartment in NYC in the 1970s);

Friday, July 15, 2016

GOP platform emerging in Cleveland is a process-piece getting progressively "more bad"

Tim Mak has an “Oh, Really?” column in the Daily Beast, “Donald Trump’s Platform Committee: Gay Sex Deadlier than Smoking”.

But Jeremy Diamond of CNN reports, “Trump to LGBT Community:‘I’m a real friend.”  Since Orlando?  Actually, he did treat gay contestants rather well on The Apprentice.

And in the Dallas Morning News, Laruen McGaughy wrote that the GOP platform will complete the job of alienating Republican millennials, if Trump (hands separately) hadn’t already done it.
I still think that the hyperbole of the most extreme anti-gay rhetoric (maybe not receding as quickly as I had thought) has a lot to do with “denying lineage”. Some people need it, if they don’t have anything else. 

There was also some (less controversial) language discouraging singling out specific groups as targets of foreign terrorism, as in Mother Jones. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Gay community divided on "Black Lives Matter", as many white gay men don't feel "marginalized" now

Steve Petrow has a provocative story in the Washington Post Style section today Thursday July 14, 2016, “A divide in the LGBT community”, or, online, “Black, queer, ignored: Why the LGBT community is divided on Black Lives Matter”

The story reports on a disruption of Toronto’s gay pride parade over the issue.

There is a mentality of identifying with a “marginalized” group.  But many white gays don’t feel particularly marginalized today, and have little sympathy with the way the “groupthink” of BLM is pimped in demonstrations.
Also, many people feel that whether one is willing to date or dance with an opposite race member is an issue now, with moral implications.  I sometimes see this on dance floors.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

National Park Service makes National Monument out of Stonewall Inn site in NYC

The National Park Service has made the Stonewall Inn on Sheridan Square in Greenwich Village and the nearby park a national monument, honoring the rebellion in late June 1969. The riots started early Saturday morning June 28, 1969.  The site is near the Christopher Street subway stop for the #1 IRT train.
The Park Service says that NYC laws against homosexual gathering places had been harsh, meaning many gay bars closed in the 1960s during the “panic” over the World’s Fair in 1964-1965 (after one or two rumored incidents).  Other bars were “protected” as “Mafia bars” until the mid 1970s. "It got so bad we had to go to Boston" was one account given to me back in the 80s from someone living in Dallas then.

As I’ve noted in Chapter 2 of my first DADT book, I think I was at a church retreat near Orkney Springs, VA that weekend, on a regular weekend pass from the Army at Fort Eustis.  But Kerry Lauerman had an article in the Washington Post today in the Style section, "Stonewall: You Had to Be There", link, and there are stories that it was catalyzed by the death of Judy Garland.

Note the newspaper accounts at the time.

CNN has a typical news story of Obama’s visit here.

Friday, June 24, 2016

US transgender ban in the military to be lifted as of July 1

The ban on openly transgender people in the US military will end on July 1, according to a story today in USA Today.

The plan has been in the works for about a year.  Estimates for the number of transgender troops range from 2000 to 15000.

The New York Times has a detailed editorial explaining the timetable that transgender recruits must  follow. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Pink Pistols: LGBT people need to be able to defend themselves, for existential reasons

Nicki Stallard, transgender, makes her own case for “The L.G.B,T. case for guns” in the New York Times today.  I do get the writer’s point and share it.  At any point in time, “I am what I am”, and I can indeed be brought low (short of being killed outright) by someone else’s violence.  Government rules cannot protect me from a determined enough enemy, only I can protect myself.  Then you get into what it means to live in a community.

She mentions Pink Pistols, which is asking for volunteers to offer training. "Pick on somebody your own caliber".

USA Today also covered the interest in self-defense in this story.