Saturday, November 25, 2017

DC Center holds "Small Business Saturday"; can estates help asylum seekers?

The DC Center for the LGBT Community held a “Small Business Saturday” this afternoon, Nov. 25.

I’ve posted some video from it on a Wordpress site, here

I was particularly intrigued by the booth for the book publisher Redbone Press, whch I will discuss soon on my books blog.
I did have some informal conversation about the asylum seeker problem now.  Since I have sold my estate house and moved into a smaller condo, I am not presently in a circumstance to host.  I’ll say in very general terms, my mother’s estate increased in liquidity as a result of the event.  It’s possible to conceive of purchasing an interest in a shelter or home for asylum seekers.  But the terms of the trust would require that it actually hold a title (not give it away), and that such a purchase would be a responsible thing to do from a fiduciary viewpoint. That would tend to mean that residents would have to be able to pay rent or find some subsidy for it.  This is a general observation on how inherited estates are likely to address a need like this. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Trump administration digs in, appeals DC court opinion on transgender ban

The DOJ has appealed an order from a DC court reversing Trump’s transgender ban, although it was a Maryland court that also turned it down this week.  Chris Johnson has the story in the Washington Blade here

Trump seems have dug himself into a hole with that tweetstorm this summer, over an issue that plays to his “base” but has very little effect on military readiness. 

The Blade carried the defendant’s notice of appeal here
Capitol Hill observed a Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20.  A single protester disrupted the event in DC,  

Thursday, November 23, 2017

DC Center Thanksgiving Dinner

As with last year, I had Thanksgiving Dinner today at the DC Center.  There were about 30 people, including a few asylum seekers.

Before the food, there was a little 4-player Blokus game, as a kind of stadium gladiator event.  Remember, you have to put your pieces down adjacent to the color-coded pieces of opponents, but you can only attach diagonally to your own. It’s similar to the idea that pawns capture on adjacent files in chess but can move forward on the same file if the square is unoccupied. David Mariner won by two tokens (when no more pieces can be put down, the player with the fewest remaining pieces wins – but it is mathematically possible for that number to be zero).

In the meantime, I was passing around a smartphone with a beefcake picture of world chess champion Magnus Carlsen as a male model on the beach from Google images.  Here’s the notorious game that he lost with White in 22 moves (to a neo-Grunfeld). 

At the dinner, there was less talk of politics than last year, even if there was deference to resistance to Trump. 

Maybe I should buy the DC Center a chess set for the game room.

But there are also Go and Backgammon to consider.  Nobody plays Poker there;  there is no sense of Vegas. 

Note the blue lounge chair -- "The Puffy Chair" as in the Duplass movie. 

Also note the Blade article on the Colorado male couple and the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.  Libertarianism is taking a back seat to the abstractions of discrimination.

While we're on the subject of "game night", the Redskins won their first Thanksgiving home game at FedEx Field tonight against the Giants, 20-10.  Don't know if anyone from the dinner went.  I went to the movies at Landmark downtown after dinner. I could even have tried Atlantic Plumbing. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Liberal publications want to exile gay conservatives

Breitbart, and a Facebook post by Milo Yiannopoulos, have called out an article in the Guardian, “The Troubling Ascent of the LGBT right wing” by Arwa Mahdawi, link here
There is talk of “pink washing” of “white nationalism”, and that the idea that the gay right, believing it hs moved away from the group loyalty of modern identity politics, has succumbed to the “oldest form of identity politics”.
But Michael Musto in Out gets much more explicit when he admonishes, “What to do when your friend is a gay Republican”, link.   Short answer: unfriend or block him.

But is “inaction” an offense?  What about refusal to use gender-neutral pronouns? 

Monday, November 20, 2017

South Florida, post Irma

Hunters Lounge in Fort Lauderdale does remind me of the old Velvet Nation in Washington, and even Tracks, with
the upstairs viewing balcony.

There was a bit of a private party in the back, and an announcement of a Key West bike ride through the hurricane affected areas.

Sunday I did make it down to Key West and had a soup lunch at Mangoes on Duval Street.  

For parking, I had to walk three blocks west and pay cash $10 in a municipal lot;  credit cards and smartphone weren’t working.

I also had Saturday brunch at Rosies. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Copycat gay purges reported in former Soviet republics, and in African countries

DC Center Global has shared a report on 76Crimes about systematic LGBTQ purges in a number of African and central Asian countries.  It claims that the purges are copycat tactics by strongman politicians (more on the right than the left, although I wouldn’t want to be gay in Venezuela right now).  It also seems to represent a retreat to tribalist moral values.  Some countries have maintained “lists” of suspected homosexuals.  The problem seems particular bad in some former Soviet republics as well as some regions of Russia (Chechnya), where ironically there is a preoccupation by Putin with radical Islam.

The article demands collective action.

Monday, November 13, 2017

More people question the future of gay bars

Esther Webber, of BBC News, reports on the gradual or maybe more rapid disappearance of gay bars in London, here.

The theory is that LGBTQ people don’t need separate bars anymore, which in some venues in large cities is probably true.

I remember visiting a gay bar near Trafalgar Square in 2001, and being asked by a doorman if I knew what it was.

Back in 1982, I witnessed a brawl in a pub near Piccadilly. 

In Washington DC, the Town DC closes for real estate development on July 1, 2018, even though it would seem that new condo owners in the area would want night life.  (The Uproar and Nellies are nearby.) There’s some talk of progress in a replacement.

There is an important story about Nigeria on the International Issues blog today.

Wikipedia attribution link, London Gay Men’s Chorus at Pride 2011, by Tom Morris, CCSA 3.0 .

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Transgender woman defeats anti-gay marriage Marshall-Newman amendment author for Virginia delegates seat; 7 transgender candidates win in US

In northern Virginia (13th district), male-female transgender candidate Danica Roem has defeated the social conservative Robert Marshall (from Marhsall-Newman amendment notoriety) to become Virginia’s first openly transgender elected official.  The Hill has the story here

Roem is a journalist, for the Gainesville Times and Prince William Times. It’s a little unusual for journalists to run for office and win!

Mother Jones has a similar story here

The Richmond Times Dispatch ran a detailed story which Richard Sincere shared today.

Update: Nov. 8

HRC reports on seven transgender candidates who won Tuesday, including Andrea Jenkins in Minneapolis to city council. 

Sunday, November 05, 2017

A "White Party" as an ethnic-specific event

The first Saturday night of November in most years is an extra hour night for bars and discos – a chance to stay out late and actually get to church the next morning.

After going to a fund raiser regarding refugees in Arlington and then getting caught in a sudden thunderstorm when I went look for my car, I made it to the Cobalt White Party on 17th St. in DC.  This was also their Latino night and was based on all Latino music from the DJ.

The LGBTQ population in DC is large enough for some bars to try to attract specific subpopulations. As the evening wears on and the dance floor gets more crowded, there is a tendency for the population to become more generalized toward the actual mix in the area.  (At an event like this, “cis white males” tend to show up later, but do show up.)

One guy, doing a Nev Shulman lookalike (“Catflish”) took his sweater and turned it into a protective “tie”.  Never saw that before. 
Suddenly, around midnight,, there was a sudden minor brawl in front of the main bar. There were calls for security but it settled down on its own.  I backed up onto the stage to get out of the way.

That’s about only the third time in my life I’ve seen a brawl in a gay bar.  There was one in Wailuku. Hawaii in Aug. 1980, and London (SoHo theater district) in November 1982.
There was a little incident Friday night at a different venue, described here on another blog. 

Friday, November 03, 2017

James Damore tweets about "sexual capital", without realizing how gay men feel about it

James Damore (the Google Memo Guy) wrote a tweet recently about “sexual capital”, and whether society should accept the idea that generally women have more sexual capital, or at least use it more, than men.

There is indeed a Wikipedia page on the concept.

What I resented as a boy was that women got to be valued for their appearance(s), but men seemingly did not.  Men were supposed to be fungible, expendable in war to disfigurement and mutilation as sacrifices for the common good if necessary.  People weren’t supposed to “notice” “men’s bods”.

Gay men came along, mostly after Stonewall, and changed all that.  A man could fail physically, too (as Randy Shilts pointed out in "Conduct Unbecoming"). 
 It was no longer OK to put on the pounds after you got married because somebody cooked for you (so the thinking went around 1970).  Maybe it was not OK to gradually go bald on the legs.

Recently, with all the talk of gender fluidity and controversy over how transgender people assimilate with the rest of the LGBTQ community, “cis gay men” have retreated.
Guys, you have an extra hour in the dance bars Saturday night to notice other men’s bods, as the clocks move back. It happens once a year. And on the East Coast, it’s going to be warm.