Saturday, October 30, 2010

Apex-DC holds Halloween Bash Contest; Retired chaplains whine about proposed repeal of DADT

Friday, October 29, 2010, the Apex-DC Club (site) in Washington DC held its “ladies night” version of “Halloween Bash 2010”, with a show (the viewing balcony was changed into a stage) and a costume contest with 21 entries. “Tiger Woods and his wife” beat out “Lady Gaga” in the competition; Lady Gaga might have been popular because of her recent campaign against “don’t ask don’t tell”.

Despite the "ladies" event, the dance floor was perhaps a little more than half male (not the case at a comparable even at Cobalt when I visited it on a Saturday in the spring); and the ladies in the show got a little explicit about their assets, enough to attract attention. Superwoman wore Clark Kent's shirt.



On that issue, a group of retired chaplains is reported to have opposed the repeal, concerned that chaplains could be disciplined for expressing their own religious beliefs against homosexuality. But chalplainship is different from being a civilian pastor with your own congregation. More uncompromising pastors say that chaplains will be forced to choose between serving God and serving Man in the military.

The AP story (also reprinted Saturday morning in the Washington Post) by Tom Breen is here.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Prelims on DOD DADT survey suggest most servicemembers don't object to open gays in the military

Richard Engel at NBC has found (as reported by Brian Williams on Oct. 28) that most of the 100000 or so servicemembers who answered the survey on repealing “don’t ask don’t tell” indicated that they do not object to serving along openly gay servicemembers. A few, however, said they did object and might leave or might not have enlisted.



Ed O’Keefe has an Oct. 29 story and a “Federal Eye” Oct. 28 blog entry on the story at The Washington Post here.

Earlier, gay activists had been critical of the survey as introducing bias.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Arkansas school district official makes anti-gay remarks on own Facebook page

An elected school district official (Clint McCance) in Arkansas wrote anti-gay comments on his own Facebook page recently, and the Arkansas Department of Education had to condemn his comments.



Anderson Cooper covered this incident on his CNN 360 program Wednesday night and tweeted about the incident then.

The posting reportedly used inappropriate and hostile language. He did say that he would disown any gay children of his own, which sounds like he expects his kids to give him heirs (behavior recently displayed by the Stefano character in a "Days of our Lives" episode and commonly shown in soap operas by networks, perhaps as "normal").

As with a recent incident involving a Michigan assistant attorney general, the behavior of elected or appointed public officials expressing their own negative views on line (in this case, about gay people but as a principle, about any group) is becoming itself a public policy issue regarding online speech. Needless to say, there would also be issues with Facebook's own terms of service.

There is a Facebook group urging the firing of McCance here.

Update: later Thursday Oct. 28

Washington DC/Arlington VA ABC Affiliate WJLA-7 did a report on anti-gay bullying in local high schools, with two students, at about 5:45 PM today. The link for the story does not appear yet.  As it was for me in junior high school in the 1950s (but not high school for me), boys who are less physically "competitive" are more likely to become victims. In the adult male world, the stereotypes about appearance, manner and demeanor disappear, certainly during the college years.

Also, in thinking about the Rutgers tragedy (yesterday's posting) I thought about the years that I lived in Minneapolis (1997-2003), and often visited the University of Minnesota campus there, through connections to both the Libertarian party and LGBT groups (as well as film festivals).   I never detected anti-gay attitudes at all.  I had thought that at mainstream state campuses, things were generally much better than when I went to college in the early and mid 1960s.

Update: Oct. 29:  Media reports indicate that McCance has volunarily resigned.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A few websites have more details on the Tyler Clementi tragedy

The Website gawker has an interesting story giving more details about a series of postings on a site called “Just us boys” by a mysterious user with id “cit2mo”, which appear to match the details of the forced outing of Tyler by the privacy-invading webcam in his dorm room. The gawker link is here, and the JUB link is this.  The gawker link asks if this was TC's "last call for help", and JUB refers to "roommate spying." There is a provocative picture on gawker and reference to “cam4.com” which Webroot/Spysweeper advises me not to surf (and it did find a couple spy cookies to quarantine after the warning).

The analysis on the gawker piece is comprehensive, but a few other questions remains. They are sensitive. What was Tyler’s own belief system, and that of his family? Who were the partners in the room, and would the outing be significant because of that? Did Rutgers have any particular policy regarding having visitors in dorms for intimate purposes? (When I went to college in the 1960s, it would never have been allowed, but of course things are different today.) Most web sites talk about shame and homophobia and make “the usual arguments”; a few go into legal analysis of culpability of the current defendants. A few (like Huffington) do go into the dangers of the Internet and cyberbullying.

The “cit2mo” posts tend to show an attempt to get some sort of solution and even justice from the university, and that somehow his expectation for that had failed; he appears not to have had a lot of confidence that the University would ultimately be able to handle this kind of problem fairly. Reading between the lines, one could suppose a sense of a lack of respect from others for his autonomy, not only from his roommate but others in the dorm environment. This is a difficult matter, but we know from all kinds of problems around the world (I don’t won’t to be too specific) that shame (or the feeling that others will not respect you regardless of the legal or overriding moral system supposedly in place, and that in practice there are intolerable “double standards”) can be a most unacceptable emotion, and that sometimes one’s own end is the only way to force others to deal with the harm they have done. Here, one can only go into some of the basic ideas of Christian faith particularly: that forgiveness is an important component of freedom, because society can never be perfectly fair or just by human standards, but must be a work in progress. Christianity (the concept of Grace) seems to do more with this problem than either Judaism or Islam, but that’s only my own personal perspective.

WJLA (Channel 7) will deal with anti-gay bullying further at 5 PM Thursday, Oct. 28.

I did have roommate issues my first (and lost) semester at William and Mary in the fall of 1961, with very different outcome, which would set the course of my life; the details of that are on the "BillBoushka" blog Nov. 28, 2006.

Picture: from the Navy Memorial, where a two films dealing with “don’t ask don’t tell” were shown Friday Oct 22 (see my movies blog that day). Repealing DADT would help with the bullying problem. The picture rather calls to mind Benjamin Britten's opera "Billy Budd" which would anticipate today's debate on DADT.

Update: Nov. 1: Lawyers for the Rutgers defendants are saying that Clementi's encounter was seen only on a single computer, not broadcast (Today show). Not sure what sense this makes yet.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Obama addresses anti-gay bullying with "it gets better" concept; repealing DADT could help with bullying

Brian Bond has a posting on the White House Blog Oct. 21 where President Obama addresses anti-gay bullying. The link is here  and there is a video that does not seem to be embeddable.

The president mentions the “it gets better” idea. As a matter of principle, that’s not a completely satisfactory answer even though it usually holds (as it did for me at one time). It sounds like it owns a bit of acquiescence, to the idea that some peer pressure to conform to the norms of the group is unavoidable when growing up and perpetrators of teasing cannot always be held accountable.

Nick Anderson has a story today (Oct. 26) in the Washington Post, “U.S. campaign takes on anti-gay bulling in school” here. The administration does contend that, post-incident, a school must look at the specific cause of a bullying incident, including anti-gay attitudes as well as anti-Semitism or other religious (anti-Muslim) intolerance, or race, or gang dynamics.

One help to changing the climate in schools specifically as to anti-gay problems is to repeal “don’t ask don’t tell” and end the legally sanctioned idea that homosexuals are not fit to share in the risk of defending the country.


NBC Nightly News ran this story about the administration and bullying on Oct. 26:

Monday, October 25, 2010

Recent DADT court ruling seems to depend on Lawrence v. Texas

The Washington Times has (again, I believe) tied the “don’t ask don’t tell” ruling from Judge Phillips in the Log Cabin suit to the Lawrence v. Texas ruling in 2003, striking down the Texas homosexual-only sodomy law 21.06. The story by Ben Conery is here.

Earlier, the Bowers v. Hardwick 1986 ruling had sometimes been used as constitutional justification of the ban.

The 2003 ruling can mean that Congress cannot prevent members of the military from engaging in constitutionally protected intimate private choices, or maybe even from talking about them with some due discretion. On the other hand, Congress might be able to prohibit members of the armed forces from some behavior because of explicit powers given to it by the Constitution to regulate the military. But the problem is that Congress still has the constitutional authority to resume the draft, which could (at least for draft-age men) effectively ban a private choice in civilian life.

This line of reasoning might be more familiar to older people and to “conservatives”. It seems a bit ironic that the so-far successful challenge to “don’t ask don’t tell” arose within the Republican Party. Even so, John McCain (R-AZ) talks about filibustering a Senate debate in the lame duck session, which is expected to house more Republicans than now.

The Ninth Circuit is expected to rule on the Log Cabin case early in 2011, setting up a showdown in the Supreme Court since there are conflicting rulings now at the appelate level, unless Congress does end the policy.

In the mean time, the Pentagon has made discharges much more difficult in practice, even for enlisted men.

As I've noted before, it's always seemed to me that sodomy laws has been used as a clumsy way of trying to make procreation a mandatory responsibility for everyone.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Rockville MD club has unusual parties

The Rooftop on Gibb St. in the Town Center of Rockville MD has held monthly LGBT Saturday night parties this summer, and last night the group held its Halloween Party. Since the venue is outdoors, and in a normally colder part of the DC area in winter (“north and west”), the parties don’t resume until April. Last night, it was comfortable, at about 64 degrees outside. The venue has a website here and it looks like a god place for film festival receptions (if Rockville ever had a film festival).



This time there was more costume dancing, a little less intimate. Perhaps people come from Frederick and I-270; there were a couple of mistaken identities.

When I was growing up, Rockville was about as far as the DC area extended. In the 1950s, you reached it on US 240, on the way to Frederick, and, yes, Breezewood, and the Turnpike to farm summers in Ohio.

Note: the DJ uses a MacIntosh.

Friday, October 22, 2010

NYTimes: Obama's DOJ should argue to 9th Circuit that DADT is unconstitutional, ending DADT permanently

Walter Dellinger has an important op-ed in the New York Times Oct. 21, “How to really end don’t ask don’t tell” (yup, a split infinitive!), posted by SLDN and tweeted today by “Freedom to Serve”. The link is (website url) here.

The columnist writes that while the Obama administration probably has the obligation to appeal the lower court’s injunction (resulting in the 9th Circuit’s Stay), it can tell the appeals court that it believes the law is unconstitutional. That would almost certainly result in the injunction being upheld, and a final end to DADT.

There is precedence for this approach, back in 1943 with a law prohibiting payment to certain government employees, and again in 1996, with a law (now often forgotten) requiring the military to discharge servicemembers with HIV.

The writer worked as the DOJ’s Head of Legal Counsel under President Clinton from 1993 to 1996, for me the “good old days”.

And now Ed O'Keefe of the Washington Post reports that the Pentagon has tightened discharge procedures under DADT. In a procedure resembling something that would be written up for a high school government test, military service branch chiefs must consult with with the Pentagon's top lawyer, Jeh Johnson, and the undersecretary of defense for personnel, Clifford Stanley, before discharging anyone, even for enlisted personnel. The story is here.

The policy seems to be going down in flames.  Some observers predict that Congress will pass the repeal in a lame duck session after the November election.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pentagon says recruiters can accept open gays for now, but with a caveat; Later 9th Circuit issues stay

Ed O’Keefe has an important story on p. A15 of the October 20 Washington Post, “Pentagon is instructing recruiters to accept gays”, link here This happens because U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips has refused to stay an injunction stopping the Pentagon from enforcing “don’t ask don’t tell”.  However, recruits are told that the moratorium against DADT could be lifted at any time. Presumably, self-outing could be used against a recruit retroactively, but then that raises questions about “ex post facto”.



However, around 11 AM Oct. 20 Anderson Cooper at CNN sent out a tweet to the effect that the Obama administration will appeal this latest "ruling", our of regrettable "necessity", link here.

Update: Wednesday evening:

The Ninth Circuit has issued a temporary stay, so presumably the Pentagon cannot continue to allow open gays to enlist. Here is SLDN's statement and warning to servicemebers.

Somehow, I don't think the Pentagon will troll Blogger, Facebook, or Twitter for self-outings anyway.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

AOL reports study of gay parents and gay kids, but it's confusing; disturbing notes on Paul Cameron

AOL Sunday released an article by Paul Kix, “Study: Gay parents more likely to have gay kids”, with major link here. The article discusses a study by Kansas State University (in Manhattan KS, not KU) professor Walter Schumm.

In the article and among its various links, I could not get a clear picture as to whether “gay parents” refers just to biological parents (that is, men and women who lived heterosexually before coming out), or to adoption or other arrangements such as willed guardianships (the “Raising Helen” situation). The sample sizes were small, and the “cause” of parentage might have a significant effect on the study results.

The article refers to a 2006 academic study by Paul Cameron, whom we know to be the notorious anti-gay “psychologist” of the same ilk as “Rev” Fred Phelps. But the article also gives a link to an important 2007 article by Jim Burrow at “Box Turtle” on Cameron, referring to an earlier article from the Southern Poverty Law Center that compared Cameron’s ideas to Nazism, a mixed bag because of all of the convoluted theories (“The Hidden Hitler”) from Machtan and others. The link to Burrow is here.  Burrows gives another link at the end of his piece to “Paul Cameron’s Collaborators”; the “enemies list” is shockingly long.

The article traces the development of Cameron’s “ideas”, especially the one about “parasites” (related to the supposed lack of reproduction), as well as his denial of "immutability" and his ideas about "recreational" addictions. Now, it’s true that totalitarian ideologies tend to classify people into identifiable groups and then act against groups of people who, when viewed as a group, result in a “net cost” to society. (Both National Socialism and Stalinism followed this pattern.) But what individuals concern themselves with is what “moral standards” are imposed on them and their peers as individuals, not as members of groups. The legal system generally does not support the idea that procreation is a universal responsibility (in the sense that it viewed military service as a potential universal responsibility for males in the past); instead responsibility occurs when one chooses to perform acts (intercourse) that can result in children. (Filial responsibility laws could well complicate this picture in the future.) But in practice, many people find the demands of family parenting very great, and some people want to see everyone have to bear the same “burdens” or pay the same “dues”. Cameron’s “ideas” play on that kind of sub-legal thinking; but a half century ago this is how a lot of people thought, without realizing it consciously, and that explains a lot of what we experienced (in the past) as a prohibitionist policy (that Cameron wants) against all homosexuality. The notion of “Super rights” is rather laughable, however. Cameron also claims an "I told you so" kudo for warning society about second hand smoke.

Picture: Kansas State campus, my trip, 2006.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Green Lantern in DC rocks with "Reel Affirmations" party; Cobalt-DC draws big on Friday nights

Well, now The Green Lantern in Washington DC (near 14th St and Mass Ave.) rocks on Saturday night, at least tonight, Oct. 16, as it hosted the reception for Reel Affirmations after screening “Bear City” (see my movie blog today).


 The audience at the film and at the GL tonight was more or less like the characters in the film; this is not the svelte 21-year-old disco crowd.


I saw a sign at the bar for a Gear Fetish Party called the Code, the first Saturdays of the months, and offering “barbers” (use your imagination), so I checked the dress code. I would have a hard time meeting this one, but here it is (link ).


Friday night, The Cobalt-DC really hopped, with a long line outside by 11 PM. However “bearish”, the men were almost always lean.  Call this the "low body mass index" crowd. 


And as I got there, the Yankees were carrying out their come-from-behind 6-5 victory in the ALCS at Texas on my Blackberry. Tried randomly, most guys knew what this was.

There's one earlier shot of a guy with a funny T-shirt at the Harman Theater earlier (at the movie screening). He said it was OK to take it. Maybe the word will disturb some people; but this is a grown-up audience. I don't move into the "R" territory often. Remember the movie "I Heart Huckabees"?  Roger Ebert rather liked it, as I remember.  (I did see it. Jason Schwartzman and now Nev Schulman ["Catfish"] qualify as "lean" or low body mass index bears, however straight or heterosexual they are.)  Yup, "Oh, my, God!"

Friday, October 15, 2010

Obama mentions immutability, still promises end of "don't ask don't tell"

I thought I caught a bit of a speech where the president said “No one can choose who they love” and promised that “don’t ask don’t tell” would end under his watch, in Congress, despite the Senate filibuster setback in September, and the DOJ’s “appeal” of the injunction stopping the enforcement of DADT.

There’s a school paper by that name that I found, link here

This choice thing leads to curious paradoxes. No one gets to choose everything in life anyway. But invoking immutability escapes a real debate about what it takes for people to “live in a community”, the need to step up, the striving for equality while realizing that people are by definition intrinsically different.

I caught a line on a new Smallville tonight, from the “Green Arrow”, where we’ve created a world of “Armchair bloggers who created a legion of critics rather than leaders. “ I guess I’ve always been one to win arguments rather than converts. I guess the courtroom is about arguments, and the Congress is about converts. At some point, the president says, you accept some postulates (like immutability), try to get along, end a flawed policy from the past, and move on.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Obama DOJ will appeal judge's injunction stopping enforcement of DADT

Two tidbits today. Look at MSN’s “Ten things men should know about marriage” (sort of like the movie “13 conversations about one thing”) (website url) here.  Not much of this works for gay marriage. It’s all pretty silly – except that you want your genes around when the Sun puffs up to the size of Betelgeuse.

The Obama administration’s DOJ will appeal the injunction stopping the enforcement of “don’t ask don’t tell”. It is caught in a conflict of interest, and merely says it wants Congress, rather than the courts, to repeal the policy. It’s hard to defend something in court that you want repealed. The USA Today story Oct 14 is here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

ACLU offers page on fighting Florida's gay adoption ban

Visitors should look at the ACLU’s information page “Fighting Florida’s gay adoption ban”, which has several important links. The most critical may be a 9/22/2010 story to the effect that the state appeals court upheld the ruling that the adoption ban is unconstitutional. If this goes to the Florida Supreme Court, well, remember 2000?

The article also mentions an “In the Life” Media story about Martin Gill.



Rosie O’Donnell has long been a party in fighting the adoption ban, which has always been a bit of a circular paradox, if the biggest complaint against homosexuality is the supposed refusal to procreate. A few other states have had adoption bans and even policies against gay parents giving foster care. Another issue is that childless people can feel ambushed by eldercare responsibilities, the half-sandwich problem.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Judge orders military to stop enforcing DADT

Judge Virginia Phillips has issued an injunction ordering the US Armed Forces to stop any discharge investigations or actions under “don’t ask don’t tell”. But the Administration, however reluctantly, will appeal.

Andrew Harmon has the story in The Advocate, which is now widely reported by the media, and by SLDN. Here is the original link.

CNN has the same story; keep checking for a video with Jeffrey Toobin.

Monday, October 11, 2010

NY governor's candidate Paladino (R) caught in double talk; he sees heterosexual marriage as mandatory

New York Republican gubernatorial aspirant Carl P. Paladino has had to explain his doubtletalk on gays, and it seems that his animus is not limited just to the idea of gay marriage in New York State.

Paladino criticized his opponent Andrew M. Cuomo for marching in a gay pride parade and said in Brooklyn Sunday that children should not be “brainwashed” into thinking that homosexuality is “normal.” He also said “I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don’t want them brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option — it isn’t.” He we have it laid out, very candidly: if you want to be an equal person in society, you have to take the equal emotional risks of negotiating dating, courtship, and (heterosexual) marriage and having children. You have to be open to procreation – isn’t that the Vatican position, after all?  (It's what the 1955 movie "Marty" was about.) Politicians rarely say that so candidly any more. But it does go to the root of the "second class citizenship" problem.

But then, with Lester Holt on NBC, he tried to say he has nothing against adult homosexuals and would have no problem hiring them in his administration. But Holt quizzed him on the logical internal contradictions in his positions. If you say homosexuals are less than equal, Holt asked, then why not expropriate from them and provide for those who have and raise children, in a society with limited resources? Of course, government make “value judgments” on the “relative worth” of people when they expropriate all the time. Opposing that is what libertarianism is all about.  Holt is also getting to the heart of what anti-gay bullying in schools (or sometimes against adults as with that horrific case in the Bronx recently) is about.

Since then, we've heard that the remarks were ained at orthodox rabbis, and seemed to have been crafted by the rabbis-- his host. He talked about gay pride speedos that grind together in the speech.
The New York Times story, Oct. 10, is by Elizabeth Harris, link here.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

CNN carries evangelical "famiy acceptance" story; horrific incident in the Bronx, NY

On a Sunday morning following a week where the media, especially CNN’s AC360, carried many stories and debates on anti-gay bullying, CNN covered the story of an evangelical family, the Ellis family, that had to come to terms with its son’s homosexuality when Adam announced it at 16 in 1997. The website is called “Family Acceptance” and is here. This particular family apparently did worry about what “other people think”.

The website says, "There are seven deadly sins in the Bible: Pride, Lust, Gluttony, Anger, Sloth, Envy, and Greed. Homosexuality is not among them. Why not? "

The media has covered a horrific anti-gay gang attack in the Bronx in NYC. The AP story is by Verna Dobnik and David B. Crauso, link here. Eight of the nine perpetrators are in custody.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Anderson Cooper covers school bullying, with emphasis on increase in anti-gay bullying

Anderson Cooper is covering school bullying and cyberbullying all week on his AC360 program, but special attention was paid last night again to the story of Tyler Clementi.

Jeffrey Toobin, CNN’s legal expert and attorney, said that this is not a problem that is easily resolved just in the legal system; it needs to be handled by parents and school systems with internal discipline. But then that’s the rub. We have an element in our culture that considers homosexuality immoral, and since the legal system no longer will support that view as it once did, it will resort to ostracism to try to maintain that cultural view. It’s ironic that while both gay marriage (including gay parents) and ending “don’t ask don’t tell” in the military get considerable support in mainstream debate, in some school systems the situation is as bad as ever, especially in more rural areas (and not always in the South).

We have an understanding that in civil society you don’t show hostility about race or religion (although recent events seem to test our tolerance about religion, at least in some “conservative” circles); but somehow making slurs about the f-word is still often acceptable. Anderson noted a trailer he had seen from Universal Pictures about a Vince Vaughn film (“The Dilemma”) where a character says, in the previews, “That’s so gay”, Anderson implied that showing a homophobic slur in a preview for general audiences was inappropriate (it would be OK in the MPAA-rated feature when it is a character-driven drama where that’s part of the character). And this from a studio that surely has employment practices that protect LGBT people. (That was not always true in Hollywood; in 1965, Technicolor supposedly had a huge purge of LGBT employees.)

If “social conservatives” want to use indirect ostracism to get their way, the next question is logically, what do they really want? What is it about homosexuality that is worse than being a deadbeat dad? Part of it seems like homosexuality seems to them like a proxy for something deeper: that the responsibility for producing the next generation and the sacrifices that go with it aren’t shared equally. We often hear the debate put in purely religious or scriptural terms. I would go so far as to say that sometimes gay rights gets mixed up with hyperindividualism, which is related but not the same thing. Another aspect is that some married parents behave as if they believe that they need their kids’ loyalty (that means interest in continuing an “immortal” family lineage) to remain interested in their own marriages.

Ellen DeGeneres was heard to say, "it gets easier" for kids as they get older. That's hardly a principled answer. People are supposed to submit to wrongful behvior of others and "forgive" it because they are second class citizens?  My own experience with teasing was largely centered in the later grade school and junior high school years, not for being "gay" but for not performing competitively as a boy.  It did get much better for me in high school (as DeGeneres would predict), but then I was halfway "outed" and expelled from William and Mary for admitting "latent homosexuality" to the Dean of Men in November 1961. Nevertheless, I eventually served in the Army starting in 1968 (after three draft physicals), and the miltiary, in the end, turned out to be a relatively positive experience.  I would lead an "alternate universe" adult life in which I wanted nothing to do with the emotional world of the "collectivist" family (as described by Carlson, Mero, and others), because my initial competitive experience had been humiliating. The entire experience left me believing that the problem was that if I didn't step up physically, others would "sacrifice" in my place.  Is that the point? What a Sunday School lesson. Say, it's about respecting autonomy.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Town DC has Superman party

Well, Town DC has a new wrinkle, a viewing balcony on the upstairs dance floor. And Saturday night the club had a Superman Party, with a model of Metropolis (not exactly Vancover, BC) built on the dance stage, and Polaroid viewing glasses, that tended to make the laser points aggregate in 3D. It did not work to do photography through the glasses.


It’s October, and Nicole has left, and Halloween is still a few weeks away. A lot of men don’t survive Halloween.

Sorry, I didn't see Tom Welling.

Yup, this party complements the "Waiting for Superman" movie.  Call it "upward affiliation".

Saturday, October 02, 2010

AIDSwalk in Washington in 2010 is embedded in larger events.

This year, the AIDSWalk in Washington DC was overshadowed, or perhaps embedded in, the larger “One Nation” rally the same day on the Mall and later at the Lincoln Memorial. This year, the heart of the festivities happened further up Pennsylvania Avenue, almost to 14th Street, near the White House and Treasury.


The tumbling demonstration was interesting. I dreaded tumbling in PE in high school.

I followed the walk in reverse order, meeting it as I walked up from Federal Center near the Capitol.

This year, the Walk follows hard times for the Whitman Walker Clinic, when the rate of HIV infection in the City and among gay men is rising again, as demonstrated in the recent film "The Other City".


There was a nearby demonstration that 9/11 was a fake, Noam Chomsky style.

Friday, October 01, 2010

HIV is returning among MSM's, too rapidly

The Washington Blade, the day before AIDSwalk, has an article “HIV Remains a Gay Disease”, by Daniel O’Neill, link here (in contradiction to politically correct pronouncements of the past) Monday, October 3, is National Gay Men’s HIV Awareness Day.

There are recent reports that about 20% of MSM’s in large cities are infected with HIV, a recent increase. MSM’s are 44 to 86 more likely to become infected by HIV than men with heterosexual relations only.

The article reports that over half of young men in the early 1980s would die of HIV. Young men living today probably have little awareness of this fact of history, an accidental viral holocaust. O’Neill writes “Conversely, if you endured those years unscathed, you know what it was like. So please share your story with the next generation of gay men” I was in my 30s to early 40s then, and I did escape. I do remember what it was like (in Dallas, Texas, which was two years or so “behind” New York and LA, but got hit very hard in 1985 and 1986 (Maybe moving to Dallas for a new job and new “life” in early 1979 from New York “saved my life”, if so, an irony.) One friend, Rodney, a flight attendant, would make a heroic comeback from KS and be well for about two years and then succumb again. I don’t know how I escaped infection. Larry Kramer used to describe HIV as implementing a “reverse Darwinism.”