Tuesday, October 31, 2017

No, Milo, you've got the transgender issue wrong

Some activists say that Milo Yiannopoulos is getting more extreme these days just to make money because outrage sells, but here is a UK Mail story on his latest “outrage”. 

No, transgender kids are of a very different mind that cis male college age and 20-somethings who populate dance floors.  Truth be told, a lot of us would like to have someone like Smallville’s Clark Kent as a dream partner.  Milo should know better.

And, I agree, Kevin Spacey shouldn’t “hide” behind “coming out” in his apology for a 3-decade-old discretion. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Partial victories against Trump's transgender ban in the military, Mississippi pseudo religious freedom law

According to the Washington Post as of 1 PM EDT Monday October 30, 2017, a federal judge has enjoined Donald Trump’s ban on service by transgender soldiers, but has upheld the portion relieving the Armed Forces from paying for sexual reassignment surgery.  The link is here

The story is developing.  Later Monday the AP offered this story

The Washington Blade is reporting that a federal judge in Mississippi has specified a detailed syllabus by which clerks in the state of Mississippi can detail their religious objections to same-sex marriage licenses, link here.
The judge had overturned a state pseudo-religious freedom law which seemed quite sweeping on the surface, but the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans had overturned his ruling for lack of standing.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Town DC has its last Halloween Party, but hints at a future

Saturday night, Oct. 28, 2017, Town Danceboutique held its final Halloween Party and Costume Contest, since it will close July 1, 2018.

Lena warned the upstairs audience that there should be no “boos” in the voting.

She also hinted once that there is some plan in the works for what will follow Town. But you wonder if closing bars for condo development really makes economic sense.  Condo owners who buy in the neighborhood will want the night life to stay.  And unlike in the suburbs, they will demand that Airbnb be OK. 

I got there at 10:45 PM, having had dinner in the new District Wharf, also on the Green Line. It took about half an hour to get through the line.  During that time, the Los Angeles Dodgers scored 5 runs in the top of the ninth “on my smart phone” to even the World Series.

The costume contest had the longest line of contestants ever. 

For some video, visit this Wordpress location.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Egypt increases crackdown on gay speech

DC Center Global has shared a story on Gayety about Egypt’s increase “crackdown” on gay speech recently. 

As in Russia, private adult homosexual acts are not against the law, but apparently “promoting homosexuality” is, including the carrying of rainbow flags and posters.

Like in Russia, Muslim societies fear that “propaganda” could lead to women becoming less willing to give men children.

A substantial portion of LGBT asylum seekers have come from Egypt.

Wikipedia attribution link for Cairo picture by Wing, CCSA 2.0. 

Update: Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017

The Washington Blade reports on a draconian anti-gay bill in Egypt which could be imitated in Jordan and Iraq, story by Michael K. Lavers.  The bill would specifically criminalize same-sex sexual contact as well as speech (right now Egypt does not). 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

One year ago, hosting asylum seekers sounded realistic for me, but then ...

A year ago tomorrow (Oct. 26), I sent an email to a local organization (DC Center Global) expressing an interest in the possibility of hosting an asylum seeker. I got one quick response, and I was hoping for a meeting in detail to see if this could work.  In a second email, I noted that I presumed Hillary Clinton would win the election.  We all know what happened Oct. 28.

Actually, there was a meeting of sorts in January at a Starbucks, but the necessary communications never quite happened.  I do think it is likely I would have hosted had Hillary won, but there would have been big questions on just what financial responsibility and liability exposure I might face.  A lot of hosting probably goes on informally, through social capital in the LGBT community in the City, but in my circumstances, I would have to be much more careful about exactly what was being asked for.

It’s no longer possible, because I have sold the house and downsized, and moved into a condo, not on public transportation and not with a separate bedroom.  Elections have consequences, as do external policy controversies, and they can become personal.
For my coverage of the Washington DC High Heels Race 2017, please see this link

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Sessions seems to support the idea that federal employees can deny same sex survivors social security benefits

“Law Newz” reports that Jeff Sessions suggested that government employees could decide to deny LGBT people social security benefits out of religious conviction 

When viewed more closely it looks like this refers only to partner benefits (especially surviving partner), and it appears to be similar to the idea that Kim Davis could refuse to grant same sex marriage licenses.
It seems to me that when you have a job you have to do the job.  If it’s against your religious belief to do it, then resign.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Trump'a joke about Mile Pence's "American Lynching"

Donald Trump attracted a lot of “attention” recently by “kidding” about Mike Pence’s attitude toward gays – “Mike would like to hang them all”.  HRC has released a very strong statement in response here

The remark is a particularly offensive allusion to the past practices in the South of lynching African Americans – as in Gode Davis’s incomplete 2003-2010 film “American Lynching”. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Milo talks about "masculinity" to a Catholic magazine and seems to refer to the past military draft and DADT

Milo Yiannopoulos has a recent Facebook Post (link ) and blog post (here) about his Catholicism where toward the end, he is asked, “What does masculinity mean to you?: and answers “It is a willingness to expose yourself to enemy fire, whether or not you wear a uniform.”

I answered the Facebook post with a retort that today’s generation has forgotten how the male-only military draft worked during the Vietnam era (with student deferments) and how I wove this into arguments against “don’t ask don’t tell” in my first book.

I can see how it could apply to today’s controversy over Trump’s attempted transgender ban for the military.
A similar consideration applies to a recent Intellectual Takeout article that I discussed yesterday on the main “BillBoushka” blog. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Gay men of past generations understood the advantages of being single

Bella DePaulo has an op-ed on NBC News, “Why we thought marriage made us healthier, and why we were wrong”, link here.
The article would apply to the culture of the gay world as it was probably in the 70s.  But marriage is getting to be a bad deal for straight men,  and more a matter of self-concept and political equality now for gays.
While marriage offered some financial benefits, it also offered a “marriage penalty” for some couples with more equal incomes.  Single people, when more affluent (and sometimes dual career couples with fewer children) tended to see the world their own content-generating achievements and less through social and familial position.
And there was always the idea that straight men get fat after getting married.  There was some truth to that (especially for Kim Jong Un). 

Monday, October 09, 2017

Truvalda ads still appeal to cultural preferences indeed

I noticed that the Washington Blade graced a PrEP Truvalda full page ad this past weekend (Oct. 6) with a picture of a cis white male model intended to look like a God king.  Forget diversity, when it comes to ads, gay magazines sometimes have to consider what other men are most turned on by.  Milo’s warning, perhaps.  For copyright reasons, I must refrain from reproducing the page.

I have to say, the add intrigues.  Maybe the guy is a young adult Clark Kent, with powers, who will save us all.  And he probably has the decency not to say "come and follow me."  Clark never does.  (I've always wondered about anyone who does that.  Today, that's Kim Jong Un.) Or maybe he's just a model, an actor hired to fulfill a fantasy of a savior. (I'm reminded of a video where Timo Descamps announces, "Richard Harmon is the greatest of all time.") 

In the straight world. Dove got sacked for a “racially insensitive ad” in the straight world, where a black woman turns white. Dove thought it was showing diversity. Here’s the NPR story

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Is Pence "on deck" to become an anti-LGBT president?

Karen Ocamb of the Los Angeles Blade examines the risk to the LGBTQ community of the fact that Vice President Mike Pence is “on deck” (her words) to take over as president of the United States should Trump be forced out, link here .The article was also run front page Oct 6 in the Washington Blade, but the company is dividing its online articles between “the Nats and the Dodgers”.

Ocamb looks at whether Pence behaves like a “Dominionist” (or “Christian Supremacist”), a philosophy that says that evangelical Christianity has an obligation to enter political institutions and spread Christianity through policy. From a moral level, this would correspond to supposed Muslim intentions with Sharia law, an idea that gay conservative Milo Yiannopoulos often writes about.

Pence’s statements in the past are disturbing, as he has supported conversion therapy as an answer to AIDS (although not since 2000), and as late as around 2000 still insisted that “homosexuality is incompatible with military service”, the original 1981 policy before “don’t ask don’t tell” (i.e., “do ask, don’t tell”).  Pence may claim he has moderated his views (as does Sessions), and that most of his objections are about the idea of singling out LGBTQ (gay and trans differently) as groups needing special protection from oppression. That is how he seems to view the “religious freedom” bills. After all, he can say, look at al the gays who do spectacularly well.

Pence would likely be a lot steadier on other national security issues, like handling North Korea much more carefully than Trump.  There’s no particular reason to think that he would try to undo the military DADT repeal or civilian security clearance policy – we hope.

Pence appears to derive his beliefs from others’ readings of scripture, rather than from “rational” policy thinking. For example, my family was not all that religious, but I think many of my issues (like in 1961 with the college expulsion) stem from the fact that I’m an only child and would fail to give my parents a lineage.  People often believe that everyone needs to share responsibility for other generations in a family (look at eldercare). 

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Sex change reversals do happen; Sessions intercepts Obama protections on gender identity

I know Milo Yiannopoulos talks about this, but it’s true, sometimes there are sex-change operation reversals, as in this conservative site story here

When I go to a gay disco, it seems that most of the “popular” men are very slender and very cis male (and, sorry, at least under 30). Everyone is attracted to what they want to be like, a bit of narcissism, and upward affiliation.  Milo is right – male physiology tends to reduce body fat compared to women.

And the conventional LGBT political establishment is railing at Jeff Sessions for reversing an Obama interpretation of recognizing gender identity or fluidity as getting systematic protection in civil rights laws, buzzfeed
But it’s one thing to fully protect the natural rights of individuals, and another to confer more rights through membership in an oppressed group.  The former, for example, would probably encourage school systems to recognize legitimate gender identity change when it is recognized professionally and recorded by the state.  And I think the former can accommodate transgender in the military (and especially in clandestine services) when the individual circumstances warrant.

Update: Oct 6

ABC News reports Sessions conferred with anti-gay groups on the "evangelical Christian right" so to speak, here.  This is disturbing, as a few of the groups actually want to re-implement sodomy laws, according to ABC.  This is an extreme overreach concerning a "religious freedom" issue that almost no "mainstream" employers would want to invoke anyway.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

US fails to condemn death penalty for gays in some countries in UN; Las Vegas victims

So why did Nikki Haley vote against a US resolution condemning the death penalty for homosexual acts, and then (like Peter in the Bible) deny that it was a change from Obama, when there was no such vote? Advocate story here.  CNN has another story, more detailed, on Chechnya. There is a death sentence for being "outed" by "honor killings". 

One of a young gay mal couple was killed in the shooting in Las Vegas, also reported in the Advocate, here.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Remembering Hugh Hefner

Karen Ocamb of the Los Angeles Blade (seeded by the Washington Blade) offers detailed story on how Hugh Hefner, who actually lived a “bisexual”  or "bi-curious" lifestyle, supported free speech, not only for gays and today’s world of LGBTQ, but also toward the broader scope of the First Amendment we know today, as explored in the Cato forum in Washington last week. 

Heffner became familiar with the narrative of Dr. Franklin E. Kameny (whom I met once at an HRC event a few years ago), which 17th Street in NW Washington is renamed as to honor him. Heffner talked about same-sex attraction in Playboy at a time when the mere discussion was feared as weakening many families. 


Playboy, as did similar magazines (like Penthouse) often had policy discussion articles, as well as esotetic subject matter like UFO’s sometimes.