Wednesday, January 20, 2021

More on Biden's sweeping XO's (Bostock case); reversing transgender ban may take some time


NYC bar, random, 2016

The Washington Blade has more details on how the transgender military ban should be reversed, as it is somewhat complicated administratively and will take at least 30 days. Gen. Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Defense, says he supports lifting the transgender ban, story by Christ Johnson. 

HRC has a historical page about the repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell”, but it is not that clear this happened ten years ago! 

But HRC also reports that Biden has signed one of the most comprehensive XO’s regarding LGBTQ rights (he used the word “queer”) in history, ordering the government to implement court holdings on three cases (Bostock, Altitude Express, and GR Harris Funeral Homes)

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Will Biden quickly reverse Trump's transgender military ban? Also, a transgender appointment, and an unusual far-right activist arrested


SLDN flag display, Mall, Dec. 2007

It is believed that the new president Joe Biden will reverse Trump’s nearly complete ban on transgender troops in the military, as David Crary and Edna Schor reported on Nov 29 in the Associated Press. 

Chris Johnson has reported in the Washington Blade that Rachel Levine will become an assistant secretary of Health, as the first Senate-confirmed administration official. She had been secretary of Health in Pennsylvania. 

In a controversial news item, Metro Weekly, in a story by Rhuardih Marr, reports that the FBI has “raided” the home of a “far-right” gay activist Kristopher Dreww for participation in the Capitol riots January 6.  It is not clear that he personally committed crimes during the event (other than possibly illegal entry).  It appears, as of this writing (early Tuesday evening), unlikely that current President Trump will pardon any of the persons charged. 

There are “conservatives” in the gay community (usually white people) and outrage over some persons, like Milo Yiannopoulos, has seemed a bit misplaced to me, if you actually take the trouble to read his book (which I have).  I’ve “met” him (Milo) once, at Harry’s Bar in Washington DC. 

Friday, January 15, 2021

Transgender persons as actors: do movie casting directors give them fair consideration?


Wilton Manor, FL 

Philip Van Slooten writes in the Washington Blade about transgender actors facing “casting challenges despite milestones”, link

There may be some scripts that only work with some characters cast as persons who look completely cis-gender, even today.  It can get interesting if the script is layered and is about the issue of acting and becoming another character.

On the other hand, sometimes gender ambiguity is part of the plot, as in the 1980 thriller “Dressed to Kill” by Brian de Palma.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Blade lists "5 things social media needs to do to combat anti-LGBTQ discrimination", but a lot of discussion can come out of this


flags on Mall, 2007

Brianna January has a provocative op-ed in the Washington Blade, “5 things social media platforms can do to combat anti-LGBTQ disinformation.”

I do have mixed feelings about this. 

Some of the suggestions social media platforms normally want to do for business reasons.  For example, Twitter’s rules against deadnaming or misgendering trans persons (possibly non-binary?) are intended so that they will feel comfortable using the platform. I believe Facebook and Instagram have the same rules.  That’s totally appropriate in a libertarian environment.

Generally, the questions regarding mental illness and conversion therapy and similar issues have been “settled” by peer-reviewed medical papers.  Yet, there are other clinical discussions of non-binary or non-cis persons that have gained a following, such as those of Ray Blanchard (whom I sometimes see tweeting his theories).  His views actually influenced an IRS tax case in 2010 resulting in loss of tax credit on the idea that the surgery was “cosmetic”.  These ideas may be painful to some people, but it should be allowable for people to discuss them in social media.

For example, Louise Perry has an interview with Dr. Ray Blanchard, “What is autogynephilia?” Nov. 6, 2019, in Quillette (which seems to tend to conservative thought, as Andy Ngo has written for them). 

People don't want "settled issues" regarding now recognized minorities to be debated all the time. But the problem is that in the past, when I was growing up, the unacceptability of gender non-conformity was seen as a "settled issue," until well into the 1960s (to lead up to Stonewall in 1969).  Times will always change because of new external stresses or new technologies.  

Of course, there are comparisons.  The unacceptability of anti-Semitism and of racism (as understood in a less identarian fashion twenty years ago) is not debatable anymore.  Gender and sexuality is still a little more unsettled. 

The Blade piece was particularly critical of the Daily Wire (which arguably might be violating Facebook’s “coordination” practice rules).  The Daily Wire’s articles look conservative but not offensive in the normal sense.  Spencer Klavan’s essay “The Threat of Revolution” is particularly double-edged (and it may not take seriously enough just how dangerous this riot really got).  There are articles critical of intersectionality and of creating groups to protect people in them from being regarded personally in a subservient light by others. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Lockdown TV interviews gay conservative columnist Andrew Sullivan

Saloon, Minneapolis, 2019

I have to share Lockdown TV’s (Freddie Sayers in the UK) interview with gay commentator Andrew Sullivan, who was the neo-conservative writer who supported gay rights (lifting the military ban and gay marriage) back in the 1990s, particularly the time of the 1993 March, and who authored "Virtually Normal". 

He then formed the Daily Beast.

He says that Donald Trump is by psychological nature a tyrant and unable to compromise or accept loss.

One other thing, you can check on Twitter that the Saloon, my favorite gay bar in Minneapolis, has reopened as a restaurant for restricted seating, to continue this way until enough people are vaccinated.  

Saturday, January 02, 2021

Gay circuit party held in Mexico; gay men dealing with lockdowns of businesses but seem to have much less illness because of living alone


LA on the 405, 2012

The Los Angeles Blade reports that a gay “impresario” (like Mozart's opera K 486) held a New Years Eve circuit party in Mexico, but that the venue had to be moved twice to get around the authorities.  Note that no photography was allowed at the event (which was true of the Black parties in New York from the Saint). 

Other articles relate the stay-at-home orders and the attempts to prevent or discourage other parties.

And some express concern for the major West Hollywood businesses surviving these indefinite closures.  Just checked the Abbey, and it has a large takeout menu of gourmet food.  Well, I’m 2400 miles away (in northern Virginia) so Doordash won’t work.

I’m trying to urge video bloggers like Connor Franta, Eduardo Sanchez-Ubanell, Andrew Neighbors and Sam Cushing to tell us what is really going on in the community.

There is a general impression that younger gay men (unless HIV+) are at low risk for serious disease, and some would resent being responsible for other people’s vulnerabilities from casual transmissions at extended family gatherings.  But in some cases, men have simply not gone to them this holiday season, as recommended.

Young adults do get the disease, and there is concern about the UK variant that may be more transmissible.  But it seems as though COVID19 is, ironically, almost like an “opportunistic infection” in its severe form, and this is ironic for a community that has been through AIDS. People with normal immune systems do get severe COVID, but usually because of metabolic and circulatory system disease, which is often heavily influenced by genetics.

We should wonder if mRNA technology can give us a vaccine against HIV.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Instagram removes gay influencers hammered by trolls; Amazon processes contributions to "anti-gay" charities


17th street DC 

Brody Levesque, in the Washington Blade, reports that gay social media influencers have been canceled by platforms, mainly Instagram, after their sites are hammered by trolls.

It’s not really clear how this would happen.  Users should be able to ban specific persons and comments. 

But Instagram, particularly has been hard hit by 100% work from home because of the pandemic, and has trouble responding to problems and legitimate complaints about takedowns.  There is very little illness among the tech workers (and that includes many in the LGBT community, ironically) who can stay home and often live in small households or alone, and are generally savvy enough to protect themselves.  But the huge number of large households among the working class (like in East LA) is causing the pandemic to explode, including lockdowns and closures. Instagram could benefit from trying to apply the Santa Clara Principles

The incident also plays right into the conservative’s hand on Section 230, which now Mitch McConnell using as a poison pill in the $2000 stimulus debate.  Ironically, it’s the conservatives who would have been critical of Instagram’s banning of the gay couple featured in the Blade story.  

Dan Avery reports on Yahoo! that Amazon has been lax in allowing “anti-gay” charities to use its non-profit support program.  One of the non-profits was involved with anti-gay repression in Uganda, which has been one of the worst countries (besides Nigeria). A few years ago, a church I used to attend had its youth group separate from supporting World Vision after that group’s reported anti-gay activity, in its 30-hour fast.