Sunday, December 31, 2017

Anderson provides my gay New Years Eve.


Well, it’s so cold in DC this New Year’s Eve that for the first time since 2003-2004 I didn’t go to a bar celebration.

So I’ll miss Town’s last New Years.

For a gay New Years I’m watching Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper from New York City Times Square. Anderson refuses to wear a fur headmuff despite being outside in 10 degrees. Yup, they had to do it outside.

I had a quiet dinner at Freddie’s late this afternoon.  



Later, CNN broadcast part of a drag show from Key West, FL.



And a friend did a Facebook Live from Hunter's Disco in Fort Lauderdale. FL. Right now it's at the top of my FB feed here. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

New "pop up" club apparently is set to open in NE Washington DC in January 2018


I missed the main Christmas Party at Tow Danceboutique in Washington DC on Dec. 16, but I got there last night.

The crowd was smaller than usual as Christmas Day approaches.  In fact, as of 1 AM, when I left, the upstairs disco had not yet been opened. But the drag show was quite creative, including a “top-bottom” contest among four couples.

One of the performers announced a new club to open Jan. 14, 2018.  She described it as a “popup” and gave an address in NE Washington DC which I did not get.  It sounded like Brookland.  But in the Union Market in NE (near Gallaudet and the NOMA station) the Angelika theater chain has a “pop up” theater (which it plans to replace across the street) for small indie films.  NE is now undergoing rapid redevelopment with many new condos (as near the Eagle).She also mentioned the idea of it as a safe space for trans or gender fluidity.

  

The lower floor got quite busy after midnight. It was mild enough last night (despite an earlier December thunderstorm and wind) that the patio could have been opened. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Q Virginia Magazine publisher gets Equality Award and summarizes how PrEP and PEP should work succinctly om Facebook


I wanted to pass along a post by Justin Ayars (Q Virginia Media) on Dec. 1 on World AIDS Day, refreshing memories about undectectable viral load, as well as the effectiveness of PRP (post exposure prophylaxis).
The individual post is on his timeline and is embeddable  but the individual post doesn’t have its own URL.

The future of health insurance support for PrEP and PEP would seem questionable, given GOP attempts to “repeal and replace” Obamacare.
  
Justin received the 2017 AGLA Equality Award at the Christmas party at Freddie’s in Arlington VA on Tuesday Dec. 12 (FB video)  I had a conflict that day and did not get to the event.  But my Facebook feed should have reminded me of it.  I don’t think the Russians have manipulated my Facebook feed!

Update:  Here is the direct link to Justin's post above. Here is the link to all the videos for the AGLA 2017 event. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

DC club owners face economic issues over land values, parking, and transit


On December 8, the Washington Blade ran an article by Mark Lee: “DC deserves a city ‘Office of Nightlife’ – done right”   
  
I can only recall the cutback on Metro hours.  And the same time Town DC is closing because the land owner wants to build condos or apartments, but the sort of people who would buy or rent them want clubs in the area.

I have written that the area needs a parking garage, especially as Metro cut back.

But I see in a local paper in Greensboro NC that “Parkingdecks are the new dinosaurs” because of ride hailing services and the advent of driverless cars. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Employment discrimination still happening, in Georgia (Evans case)


Lambda Legal has reported that the US Supreme Court has denied an appeal in the case of Jameka Evans, a security guard fired from a hospital in Georgia because she is a lesbian. Here is their link

  

Yes, this still happens.  The legal paperwork is here.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Indonesia contemplates sodomy law to protect parents from "intimidation"


A bill to ban gay sex, even in private, and adultery has failed in a high court in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim majority country, according to this Wall Street Journal story

But the dissenting voices stressed religion as a source of morality and made the comment that gays were “intimidating parents”   Think about what that would mean – making procreation seem less important and less rewarding?
  
Wikipedia attribution link for Toraja House Ave by 22Kartika CCSA 3.0 . 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

UCLA law school study notes large percentage of gender-nonconformity in California youth


The Williams Institute of the UCLA School of Law, at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, offers a paper “Characteristics and Mental Health of Gender-NonConforming Teenager in California”, by D.M. Scott Wilson, Soon Kyu Choi, Jody L. Herman, Tara L. Becker and KeritJ. Conron, report that 27% of California’s teenagers are gender nonconforming. 
  
But gender non-conformity can occur among cis-gender people and among heterosexuals.  The paper is not really clear on how this is defined, but it seems to include various behaviors such as cross-dressing (which might be done for acting purposes) or depilation. California is one of the few states that prohibits discrimination on the basis of what we sometimes now call gender fluidity.
  
This does not seem to be the same concept as Paul Rosenfels’s polarities (from the Paul Rosenfels Community or the earlier Ninth Street Center). Generally, on a dance floor or disco, most gay men are surprisingly cis-conformist.  

Monday, December 11, 2017

DOJ appeals court ruling ordering military to accept transgender recruits Jan. 1


The Department of Justice will appeal a ruling from Judge Collar Koteen-Kelly that the military must allow otherwise qualified transgender people to enlist by January 1, CNN story with video by Smerconish.

The appeal is to the federal circuit.

There are about 50,000 transgender soldiers in the US military, including a Navy flight surgeon who speaks in Smerconish’s video.

But at least one Navy Seal later became transgender. 

It may not take too much imagination to wonder if transgenderism or fluidity could be an asset in some intelligence operations. 

Roy Moore has made offensive remarks about transgender (and perhaps gay) servicemembers, who have replied (AOL story).



Update: Dec. 21

The federal circuit has refused to intervene, and the military must start being able to accept transgender recruits on Jan. 1.  German Lopez explains on Vox here

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Tech giants, after Cloudflare and Stormer, warn of a slippery slope that can affect LGBTQ online speech and sites


Justine Quart writes a provocative post on tech that is very much of concern to the LGBTQ community, “Where the battle for free speech is being battled online.” 

Matthew Prince of Cloudflare and Ed Williams of Medium discuss the problem in the video on this article (on October).

Prince says that after be booted Cloudflare, he got over 3500 requests to boot other customers.  He says he is particularly concerned over the idea of getting demands from authoritarian countries to block LGBTQ content (and this probably could include Russia, although he didn’t name Putin). It sounds like this has been happening but not reported. 

It isn’t hard to see how this problem could mix in with the newest controversy over ending net neutrality, which would involve another set of companies.  There is definitely a lot of public confusion in distinguishing among publishers, distributors, social networks, and utilities. 
   
There are consequences to what we don’t see online as to what we do see. That's how I would warn people as a "gay conservative".

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Supreme Court hears Masterpiece Cakeshop oral arguments


The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Human Rights Commission this morning, Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 10 AM.
   
First, I note that at 3:45 PM Tuesday afternoon, the Supreme Court website is down with Internal Server Errors, which could be a symptom of hacking rather than simply overloading. I’ll post their link for oral arguments as soon as it is available.

  
NBCNews has a detailed report and video..    CBS News covers the hearing here
  
The general consensus among most moderate observers is that the cakeshop cannot exclude gay customers, but it can refuse specific artwork common on wedding cakes for same-sex weddings on religious freedom grounds as a private entity.


  
But the cakeshop seems to have made the case more muddy by saying we don’t make products for gay weddings.  A wedding is not the same object as a person.  The shop apparently never got far enough to talk about artistic cake design. 

Media reports suggest a divided court.

The incident generating the case occurred in 2012, before Obergefell. 
  
I attended the demonstrations this morning and my report is here. At that link I also refer to the Cato Institute forum, which brings up the idea of “compelled speech”, and about the “regulation of speech” as opposed to “conduct”.   Cato also referred to cake-making as “sculpture” that can be copyrighted.    There is also mention of the 2000 Boy Scouts case. Should fashion designers be forced to make dresses for Melania Trump? 

George Will had taken up the "participation" issue, which National Review criticized. The New York Times has op-eds by Ria Tabacco Mar and David Brooks



Later today:

The SCOTUS website is back up, and the arguments are available now, as a PDF

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Sean Spicer, Sarah Palin get impersonated SNL style at a Freddie's drag show


I “checked in” at a bar for the first time ever on Facebook tonight after a movie, the impersonation contest at Freddie’s Beach Bar in Arlington, after a movie (“Marshall”) at nearby Potomac Yards.

The drag queens seem to be imitation political figures, especially Sarah Palin and her negative contribution to “Make America Great Again”, and then Sean Spicer, in falsetto, about to attack everyone from the podium.  Nobody imitated Trump with his $60,000 hair weave permanent while I was there.  (My mother used to get a permanent once every three months, took four hours.)  

The cover was $5 and I’m not sure what the prize was.

Freddie's is less than two miles from the Pentagon (an easy walk from Pentagon City or Crystal City) and you wonder if DOD planners knowledgeable about likely covert strikes against North Korea will come in for breaks from the gloom.  The country is, frankly, in serious trouble over this. That makes the reversal of Trump's trans ban (and the repeal of DADT in 2011) even more ironic. We probably need Kristin Beck in the Pentagon right now stopping Trump from being reckless.  It's also ironic that Kim Jong Un's intentional physical ugliness ("fat little rocket man") could become an emotional flash point as Trump imitates Milo Yiannopoulos's fat-shaming of Kim.  (CNN's Will Ripley had noted North Korean men's aversion to white men's hairy chests and big noses in his broadcast -- and then recently warned Trump about referring to Kim as a "puppy" on Twitter or in speeches -- the biggest insult yes.)

No one want to imitate Milo in a drag show yet. It's hard to be cis in a drag show.
   
We’re all waiting for the Masterpiece cake Supreme Court hearings Tuesday.  People (hardcore activists) are already camping out starting Sunday night. 

Friday night, HRC and Reel Affirmations screened “After Louie”.  Zachary Booth looks like the next hot star, in the fashion of Timo Descamps.  RA is quite unwilling to discuss its not screening “Lavender Scare” as covered in the Blade.