Monday, October 22, 2018

Trump administration wants to limit sex-related federal discrimination law to biological gender only -- transgender and fluid no longer will exist


Erica Green, Katie Brenner and Robert Pear of the New York Times write today that the Trump administration could define “transgender” out of existence. 

  The story was also carried yesterday by Bearing Drift in Charlottesville.  Here is HRC’s story

The proposal is supposedly inspired by a recent federal court ruling. The rule would limit HHS and DOJ interpretation of federal civil rights law to limit the term “sex” to biological gender assigned at birth.


The proposal is criticized as running against scientific opinion on transgenderism or even fluidity, and fails to recognize that biological intersexism at birth sometimes does happen.

It is not apparent that the proposal would hinder states and school districts from allowing gender changes on driver’s license or ID cards, but any litigation would stay in the respective states.  

Presumably the states would be required to keep record or original biological gender.

The Trump administration (along with conservative judges) can say that if Congress wants to include sexual orientation and gender identity in comprehensive civil rights protection, it can simply pass a law saying so. That’s sort of the same duck-and-cover Trump uses with the Dreamers – and goes back to Congress with “do your job”.

Trump seems to behave with some personal hostility to transgenderism and gender fluidity or ambiguity, although not to conventional cis male homosexuality or lesbianism itself (he had gay candidates on The Apprentice and had no problem with it, even admiring it on the male side – he does have a problem with Rosie O’Donnell).  However German Lopez has a rather sobering piece on Trump’s (and his administration’s_ attitudes on the matter today.

The transgender military ban is still in litigation and it could wind up in SCOTUS with Kavanaugh on the Court (Oct 9).

Lisa Ling had done a "This Is Life" segment on CNN about gender fluidity (as transgenderism and even a-genderism) on Sunday, Oct. 7 (TV blog); maybe this turned out to be provocative.

Truth-out (along with its repeatedly hysterical fund-raising appeals) offers this piece by Deane Spade, "Right-wing fantasies about gender are killing trans people."  While he makes a lot of good points, he could have mentioned that Selective Service Registration is done by birth gender.  The Left never thinks of mentioning this.

WJLA7 has videos from the demonstrations at the White House today.  The new hashtag is "#Wontbeerased". 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Finally, for me, Saturday night at DC Eagle; gay interracial couple; Adam Rippon still in view






Saturday night, I finally made it to the DC Eagle when the dance floor was open, for the event, this time called “BrutBear”.

I had no trouble getting there by Uber, or catching Uber when I was leaving (out at Minnesota Ave).
  
The admission to the bar was free, but the dance floor show as expensive, $30.

Inside, the d├ęcor rather reminded me of the Burning Man “no spectators” even east of Reno NV every September.

There is no mandatory leather dress code, but maybe two thirds of the people were from that community, compared to more preppie discos.  The music was almost all percussion.

The Washington Post today has a “Retropolis” story (Justin Moyer) of a gay male interracial couple that spent over 40 years together and had met in 1965.

There is also an article om the Washington Post Magazine “Adam Rippon Wants to Stay Famous”, by Nora Caplan-Bricker, photos by Marvin Joseph, with the display of some chest hair “allowed” for the first time ever (after some months ago he was in a YouTube video on body shaving, Sept. 6 post). Rippon had a chance to play political peacemaker at the South Korean Olympic Games, and I don’t recall that he ever met with Pence. But during that time Trump finally decided to gradually dial down the rhetoric on Kim Jong Un, which has turned out to be very important for all of us.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

OK, plenty of entrepeneurs in the gay community follow Nicholas Taleb's advice and put their "Skin in the Game"



Had my first dinner, salmon, at Fredericio’s Ristorante Italiano, the restaurant Freddie Lutz bought a few doors down from his Beach Bar in Crystal City in Arlington VA. 


Freddie certainly follows Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s edict “You must start a business” in his “Skin in the Game” book.  The bar and restaurant business is locally risky, and the gay bookstore business is even riskier. Local independent bookshops seem to thrive now, however, and that deserves a look.
  
Earlier I had tried to go to the cookout at DC Eagle that was supposed to happen at 4 PM (according to its own website).  The crowd was small.  The bartender said he did not have the materials to do the event.  Odd.  At least the Halloween decorations are up.  And, yes, there is some parking on the premises now (but usually you have to do Minnesota Ave. Metro and take your Smart Card).  The neighborhood around it is slowly gentrifying and looking better (which means prices go up).  People seem to be buying condos and rowhouses around Union Market and East.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Gay candidate for Congress issues cease and desist when her video is misused with misleading excerpts by opponent


The Victory Fund does help manage fund raising for LGBT candidates in the 2018 midterm elections.

Texas candidate Gina Ortiz Jones apparently issued a cease and desist to the campaign of US Rep William Hurd to stop excerpting one of her videos to send a misleading message, which would be copyright infringement.
  
  
The Wind City Times reports the cease and desist here

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Why Trump's attempted transgender military ban could wind up with SCOTUS fairly quickly


The Palm Center at the University of California at Santa Barbara (which I visited personally in February 2002) has issued a statement “Implications of Supreme Court Review of Transgender Military Policy”. Oct. 

Apparently the case is before the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco. If the Ninth Circuit denies the Trump administration’s motions it could wind up before the Supreme Court (with Kavanaugh and Goresuch) pretty quickly.

The Palm Center notes that there is a logical contradiction in the government’s contention that transgender people can serve as long as they remain in their original biological sex and don’t attempt change while in the service. 


However, there have been cases, such as Kristin Beck, where people did that and served even in Navy Seals as a male before transitioning after retirement and becoming compelling public figures in DOD policy debate.

In 1993, radio host Scott Peck interviewed a self-declared male-to-female trans person who was discharged from the Navy as an intelligence officer, but allowed to have almost the same position as a civilian employee after transition.

The arguments that transgenderism is heavily genetic are controversial (Forbes article from early this year). 
  
So far there is not much talk about undoing the “don’t ask don’t tell” repeal from 2011.  This was done by Congress and DOD, not the courts. Kavanugh doesn’t matter on that one.
There is also a troubling story from Stafford County, VA about a transgender student and an emergency drill, details on NBC Washington here. 

Monday, October 08, 2018

Well before Charlottesville, a web host had taken down a very extreme anti-gay site; are "hate speech" provisions a slippery slope?



In August 2017 there was a minor epidemic of a few extremist right wing (or white supremacist) websites being blacklisted from domain name registrars and webhosts after complaints, particularly with regard to insulting material of the murder victim, but also some other content.

We’re becoming familiar with occasions where social media companies suspend accounts for harassment or for hate speech (which it particularly connected to the extreme right in most cases) but this is also possible with web hosting companies, which have AUP’s but which are supposed to be a lot more neutral than social media companies.
  
In fact, this has happened with LGBT issues.  Back in 2011, a fundamentalist “Christian” site called “Christchurchquake dot net” had published generally offensive material blaming gays and lesbians for the 2011 New Zealand earthquakes.  (Imagine that in Indonesia now, with the scenes of liquified earth.)  Some news stories, at least UK Pink News, had reported the extremist content and published the “abuse” content to the web hosting company, Bluehost, to which thousands of readers responded.
     
The site was taken down.  Domain Tools shows that the domain name has been deleted and is available.

Yet in 2016 Pink News and BBC reported similar content, again, apparently after more quakes? 

While the original content must have been outlandish and so crude and silly that it would have been ignored by most visitors, activists have become very protective in wanting companies (that make profits off user content) to shut down content which urges unstable people into violence.  True, most hosts have AUP’s that prohibit targeting people (including recognized suspect classes) so they could act if reported.

Yet, we are moving away from a libertarian view where only the direct perpetrator of a violent act is to be punished for his crimes.  We obviously see this with the gun control debate.
  
Yet interpreting what is “hate speech” can be a very slippery slope indeed. While this case seems to have no rebuttal, consider the claims made in the early 1980s (before HIV or HTLV-III were identified) made by the religious right (especially in Texas) that gay men practicing chain-letter sex could, in some sci-fi scenarios we could imagine, later endanger the entire population. (There was Kimberly Bergalis, after all.)  That claim could not be seen as completely incorrect based on the knowledge at the time.

Westboro Baptist Church's site ("God Hates Fags", which I won't link to) is still up and rated green by Trend Micro.

And Tueday USA Today recalled the murder of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming in 1998, here. 

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Lambda Legal takes on case involving rescinded job offer, and eldercare


Lambda Legal offers an important story about the case of Mark Horton, a sales manager for a hospice company in Pittsburgh, married to Alton Greenough.  In order to be closer to his own mother who needed care, he took a similar job with another similar company in Illinois.


But he disclosed his legal gay marriage and soon had his job offer withdrawn, as explained in Lamda Legal’s article. 
   
I’m certainly familiar, from my own past, with the anxiety of starting a new job when all you have is the “offer”.  And my own mother’s eldercare created dilemmas, starting in 1999 when I was 900 miles away in Minneapolis.  This sounds like very tacky behavior on the part of the new company, and outside of mainstream corporate HR norms today, whatever the exact legal requirements. 
     
But there is a real problem in interpreting the law to mean that “gender” alone incorporates “sexuality” or “gender identity”. I don't think the current Supreme Court (with Kavanaugh) will sympathize with this extensive stretch of the law, taken literally.  
 
I did visit Pitcher’s (Adams Morgan)  last night on a weekend night for the first time,  I saw the end of the Yankees-Red Sox game (it is a sports bar) and visited the many rooms (like in Bartok’s opera “Bluebeard’s Castle”, maybe), including the dance floor, which was very crowded.  People were not as demonstrably intimate on the floor as they had been at Town.  One of the owners introduced himself. 

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Trump administration narrows eligibility for gay partners of diplomats to remain in the U.S.



The Trump administration’s State Department has promulgated a policy requiring gay partners of diplomats to have legally married in their home countries to be able to stay in the US.
   
There is an exception if the home country treats gay unions exactly the same as straight but uses a grammatically different word to describe the union, given the context of the home country language.
About ten couples are believed to be affected.
  
But even the libertarian magazine Reason was highly critical of this gratuitous change, as in this “Hit and Run” blog entry by Scott Schackford, link

LFBTQ Nation reports that students at an Escondido CA high school are in trouble for wearing spell-outs with anti-gay and racist slurs at a school event, story. 

Monday, October 01, 2018

DC Councilman has embarrassing incident with bouncer at a major DC club



DC Council Member Vincent Gray had a minor altercation and minor injuries with a bouncer at the DC Eagle on Saturday night, where there was some kind of art show.  The bouncer had said his ID was inadequate.

Normally a driver’s license or passport is adequate as it must show date of birth, age > 21.
  
NBC Washington has the story and video here.  The news story does give the Eagle’s side of the story.

Bars have become very strict about requiring ID even among patrons who look “much” older than 21, including senior citizens.

Back in the fall of 2002, in Minneapolis, I was twice denied entry into the Brass Rail by a bouncer who thought I was stumbling as if compromised by alcohol. But I was not.
  
In early October of 2001 (shortly after 9/11), at the Gay Nineties in Minneapolis, I was ejected after merely walking downstairs, by a security guard who thought I was compromised.  I had finished only about two-third of one beer.  But these are the only such incidents I recall in my whole life.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Northern Virginia Pride 2018 held today; Governor of Virginia spoke



Virginia Governor Ralph Northam spoke at Northern Virginia LGBTQ Pride today, in Bull Run Park, in Fairfax County, but near Manassas and near the Bull Run monuments.


I only recorded the few ending seconds as I did not realize he had mounted the stage.  He arrived and left by helicopter.   The Washington Blade also reports that Terry McAuliffe spoke. 

The appearance reminded me of former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg’s appearance at an HRC dinner a few years ago.

Earlier a female speaker criticized societal expectations of gender roles and mentioned Thursdays Senate Judiciary hearings as very difficult for women.

Later a rock group called Wicked Jezabel performed.
  
The Washington DC Gay Mens Chorus had a booth, and offers a concert Oct. 10 “Ropebuan 2: Guaridans of Equality”.


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

PrEP not associated with increase in non-HIV SRD's; more on Putin's idea of "moral compass" and it's pretty unsettling



The Los Angeles Blade reports a Williams Institute study denying that the acceptance of PrEP has led to a rise in non-HIV STD’s in men, what you worried about before 1982. The story by Christopher Lane is here

LQBTQNation echoed the results in a story by Gwendolyn Smith, here
  
I wanted to link to an old story, from 2013, from the UK Telegraph, about Vladimir Putin’s claim that Russia is the moral compass of the world – and it sounds like alt-right stuff (jiving with the 2013 anti-gay propaganda law).  Putin is particularly aghast at the idea of (through liberalism) promoting the “genderless and infertile”, whom he sees as parasites on “the people”.  I guess, as an only child, I’m the perfect bad example.  I didn’t carry on my parents’ genes into the future, so a whole potential family dies because I “decided” that it wasn’t good enough. Is this “personal fascism”?  In my novel I will come to a topic called “erotic royalty”.  I even describe a world in which there are “reeducation camps” to bring the non-conformists in line so that society can survive the next big catastrophe and rebuild itself.  Maybe I’m playing into the alt-right’s hands personally?  No wonder Trump admires Putin (to the point of wanting a kiss). 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Pence speaks to "Voter Values Summit" in DC, anti-gay interests there



Mike Pence has attracted a lot of attention for speaking at a “Voter Values Summit” in Washington DC.

While some of the attention was focused on pseudo-religious freedom bills, there was a back current from some more extreme speakers that LGBTQ activists were lobbying kids to abandon conventional gender obligations.


Pence has supported conversion therapy in the past as a way to stop AIDS (really??), like before 2000, but he denies that he supports it now.

There was a lot of attention to Kavanaugh’s appointment, the hearings this week on the sexual assault allegations, and the concerns over Roe v Wade and even Obergefell. Vox weighs in here  Ford Fischer on the protests here.   There is a general undertone that a lot of this is about false male supremacy. 

Pence’s attitudes are of great concern since he would become president if Trump were forced out of office.


Saturday, September 22, 2018

San Francisco HIV new infection rate drops to record lows -- but not among POC or homeless



Erin Allday has an important story in the San Francisco Chronicle, reporting that the rate of new infections with HIV is at an all time low in the City.

But the results are much better among gay white men than among other groups.  Black men had new infection rates maybe three times as high, but recently black men have been able to use PrEP more.  But that could be in jeopardy with Trump’s health care policies.
   
HIV is also much more common among homeless populations, which are considerable in the Tenderloin.

Pictures: from walk through area on Sept. 19 from Civic Center 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Castro in San Francisco



Okay, maybe as I said in the DADT-1 book, the world ends at the land of the Midnight Sun on Castro and 18th Street in San Francisco, a bar that was popular during the early days of the “don’t ask don’t tell” book.

But of course the Castro is loaded with bars: Badlands, Twin Peaks, Toad Hall, the Edge.

And I actually found on-street parking for the rental car, hard to believe in the Castro, on 18th Street on the hill to the north.

Nearby is the Castro Theater and Dog Eared Books.

You get to the Castro off 101 by getting off at Cesar Chavez, right on Mission, drive to 14th and make 3 right turns to get on 16, then to Market and Castro.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

OK, I see the "real" Secrets at Ziegfelds



Last night, I visited Ziegfelds-Secrets for the first time since 2011.  I took Uber to get there, even early evening, as Metro was running only every half hour.

Previously, I had thought that “Secrets” is the upper bar on the slit lower level. I hadn’t realized that you go upstairs, which I did, to see the real "Secrets". Yup, there were fully nude male dancers. I don’t recall whether the “Wet” back in the mid 2000’s had complete nudity.  Those were the good old days of Velvet Nation, before Nats Park was built. 

I presume that there is no photography of the dancer, although I didn’t see a sign saying that. I did see a sign, to touch only below the knees or above the navel. Indeed, one or two of them had gone to great lengths to create an appearance of extra endowment. Photos (or videos especially) would be against community standards, anyway.

By about 11 PM there was some activity on the dance floor, and there were three or four men communicating in sign.

The drag show downstairs didn’t start until 11:45 PM.
   
One area of the downstairs has a continuous video showing variations on the idea of riding inside a Mobius tunnel (like in my screenplay).
 
Outdoors, the new Audi stadium for the DC United looms.  I don’t know how much longer it will be before real estate development happens on the property for this bar.


Saturday, September 15, 2018

New Jersey's Chris Smith duplicitous on gay parents; Kavanaugh tries to stay neutral on gay issues in hearings and Booker won't let him


Chris Johnson has a long essay in the Washington Blade on the somewhat convoluted story that Chris Smith, R-NJ, insinuated that many children would be better off in orphanages than when adopted by same-sex couples.  Smith was amazingly critical of gay organizations for indirectly participating in coercing Catholic charities adoption agencies to close in some jurisdictions because they were not allowed to refuse gay couples on religious grounds. 


A study in California reports that only 4% or less of sexually active gay men use Truvalda, the Blade reports.  Paying for it with insurance can obviously become an issue. 
  
The questioning of Kavanaugh by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) on anti-gay discrimination and on the legal finality of Obergefell as a precedent is instructive.  Booker keeps interrupting him.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Glucksberg Test could be dangerous to any review of previous gay-equality wins before the Supreme Court



Facebook shadow-banned a ThinkProgess article because of criticism from a fact checker, the Weekly Standard. But what’s important is that the article discussed the Glucksberg test. This maintains that a right is fundamental if “deeply rooted in American tradition.”

It’s not just Roe v. Wade.  Gay rights decisions like Lawrence v Texas and Obergefell might have trouble remaining settled law if they in fact don’t represent long standing traditions. In Hardwick v Bowers, the conservative majority had held that anti-gay animus was rooted in tradition.

Zach Beauchamp of Vox explains all this here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Revisit DC Eagle; more on bars in stadium areas of DC



Sunday afternoon, I made a jaunt to DC Eagle, my first visit since Town close.

I parked at the Minnesota Ave. Metro free on Sunday (must use Smart Card all other days to leave).  It’s a long walk across Benning Road
 .
I got after the Redskin’s game started. But all that went on was karaoke.  But I’m told it’s busy Saturday night – no dress codes.  I was told you can park near the Safeway now with security guard watching.

There seems to be no recent reliable information on the Baltimore Eagle.

As to rumors about Ziegfeld’s (I heard them there), the best info seems to be that the developers of the land would build residence and retail (not parking) but would not start until at least 2019 or perhaps 2010.

The Blade has some stories, in 2016 and recentlyThe City Paper had weighed in on July 3 after the closing of Town.

Bottom line:  there ought to be a gay disco space in the stadium area, in a more modern building and with a parking garage  This is more likely, ironically or not, if both the Nationals and DC United do well. People who go to the Eagle do tend to follow sports, and there is a feeling that the Nationals management messed up the team with poor trades in 2018.  
  
Ziegfeld’s had moved in 2009 (before my June 2011 visit) and replaced its liquor and dance licenses without too much trouble. So it’s had nine years so far.  But there is a problem in general that when bars are evicted by landlords for development, cities don’t always let them have licenses in new locations.  

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Legal pressure on some schools, businesses to use gender-neutral pronouns



There is a movement to force schools, colleges, employers, landlords and public accommodations to force the use of gender-neutral pronouns for gender fluid or transgender people who want them.
  
In New York City (according to a 2016 New York Post story) the neutral pronoun third person singular would be “ze” and plural “hir:.  It’s not clear why you need a plural because “they” (“their”, “them”) does not imply gender. But you would need possessive “zer” direct object “zim”. 
“Gender unspecified” would not have the same connotation as “neuter” in German.  Romance languages would need to invent gender unknown pronouns and cases, as would German.

One question is what would make such a change “official”, like according to the Chicago Manual of Style. 

Indeed, there is a conceptual objection in some areas to allowing the use of the word “marriage” for same-sex unions (even with equivalent benefits) because the language has no way to imply that a person has a commitment to a monogamous relationship that can allow complementary sexual intercourse. But this would serve a political objective of lessening potential discrimination, even against the single or childless. 

Update: Sept. 13




"EI", conservative vlogger, who looks hot himself as a cis male, weighs in on transphobia and trans fads. 

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Adam Rippon video: does male body shaving imply gender fluidity? (or the converse)




The YouTube channel “Baring Is Caring” (Nivea Men) has a whimsical video about “all that body shaving”, or “Danny Amendola and Adam Rippon Talk Body Shaving”. A Facebook friend in Florida shared it recently.


Rippon (skating) was supposed to meet with Vice President Mike Pence at the time of the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February, at a time when North Korea was still an immediate threat to go back to missile tests.  For all the controversies about Pence’s past anti-gay attitudes, this meeting could have been diplomatically important. And, given the developments of the past couple of days, it looks a little more like Pence could become Commander in Chief.

As for the depilation, there is another angle. CNN journalist Will Ripley had interviewed some North Korean teenagers “on the beach”, and they had said that Americans were big hairy monsters with big noses.  Kim Jong Un has made a foppish, fem appearance into a perverted erotic royalty.

But there is a long backstory to this. Back in the 1950s, when I was growing up in largely segregated America, where I formed my impressions of what looked “masculine” only from white (aka European ancestry) men, I did have the idea that hairy men were automatically to be viewed as more masculine. The Advocate did a story on this in the late 1980s, after running a short story called “The Body Shave”.

There is something potentially “race related” about all this that nobody ever dares talk about (as Will Ripley found out).  Generally speaking, most white men evolved in colder, less sunny climates and wore more clothes.  In the rest of the world, where body hair would simply lead to overheating when hunting in the day (humans got much better at this than chimps with their full bipedalism) some hormones developed to prevent skin hair follicles (except on the beard) from responding to androgens after puberty.  (That observation could lead to some sci-fi scenarios for new hospital sanitation procedures – Michael Crichton had already explored the idea with the photoflash chamber in “The Andromeda Strain” around 1970).  So body hair wasn’t useful to men to attract women – that’s rather like saying in some bird species, the male’s plumage is brightly colored, and others not.  In parts of Europe it remained so.  (Whether mixing with Neanderthals made a difference, we don’t know – although Neanderthal genes may have offered some slight advantages in the cellular immune system, in exchange for greater exposure to heart disease).

And remember this about race:  uniquely human ability to pass down culture to succeeding generations started in Africa.  In a sense, we are all "black".  But ancestors who moved north lost skin pigment (protective against UV radiation) to make vitamin D.



But in the 50s and early 60s – well before competitive swimming and cycling got attention – male body shaving was seen as a no-no, or something ritualistic, maybe fair game for college or fraternity initiations (like the “tribunals” at William and Mary in the fall of 1961, as I describe in my first DADT book).  People could probably get off on it.

Then, of course, there was football – players often shaved for sports tape.  Then along about 1983, John Travolta, fresh off “Saturday Night Fever”, removes it all for a curious dance film called “Staying Alive”. And slowly, the magazines started talking about it.

Of course, things would change.  In high schools, as well as college, competitive swimming became an established sport (and more often learning to swim could become a graduation requirement form P.E. as high schools started getting pools).  Lance Armstrong put cycling on the map – after his own testicular cancer recovery and then the later scandals.

And furthermore, people became more racially integrated, not just in schools, but socially, even in dating and marriage (and even gay marriage today).

More recently, it seems to happen a lot in Hollywood:  Justin Timberlake and Jake Gyllenhall, among others, seem to regard their male plumage as expendable for the role.  And Cillian Murphy did to play a trans person in "Breakfast on Pluto" (2006) and that's controversial. On "Days or our Lives", it seems that both Will and Sonny have trouble with losing it all the time. 
  
In the video, Amendola has an excuse – the taping for football (Oh, yes, the NFL starts tonight). But Rippon seems rather girlish. "He'thmooth."  Is this video a monument to gender fluidity after all?




Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Male couple (married) adopts four foster children and founds "Comfort Cases" charity



NBC Nightly News tonight presented a story (Lester Holt interviewing) about a married same-sex male couple that has adopted four foster children, and started a charity called Comfort Cases.  It appears to be in Rockville MD. 
  
The tone of the story was indeed remarkable and should make the case for supporting (maybe even expecting) adoptions by same-sex couples, even as the courts (including the Supreme Court) grow more conservative.  The “expectation” might be viewed as a conservative.


The charity seems to make backpacks for children in foster care.

NBC has also covered another charity “Sleep in HeavenlyPeace” which makes beds for children with volunteer carpentry. It has chapters around the country.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Fostering agency would close rather than follow the law on LGBT parents; entertainers from Town now seem to be working in other clubs



The Supreme Court, on Aug. 31, rejected a case from a Catholic foster agency in Philadelphia that had sued when forced to consider LGBT couples as parents (maybe also singles) as counter to its religious teaching.  The group that runs the agencies closes agencies in cities where it is not allowed to discriminate. LGBTNation has a story here and notes that Republican lawmakers want to introduce a bill to allow such religious discrimination when using public funds.

This could be harmful if social service agencies getting federal funds could discriminate against LGBT asylum seekers or volunteers serving them.  That was a problem with Catholic Charities in Dallas in 1980 with the Mirabel Boatlift.

On another matter, it appears to me that draq queens from Town are now working other shows, such as last night at Freddie’s in Arlington VA.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Pitchers: My first visit to one of DC's newer clubs, and it is bigger than I had thought


Last night, after GoGayDC event at the Embassy hotel near Dupont Circle (in Washington DC), I walked the 3500 feet (according to Google Maps into Adams Morgan, uphill on top of the Fall Line (an Adventuring Hike, so to speak) to Pitchers DC, the new (as of June 2018) gay dance and sports bar complex at Kalorama and 18th St.

I had really not heard about the place until last week from this Metro Weekly article by John Riley, and had spent some time visiting bars even in other cities as Town closed July 1. 

But Pitchers is the largest bar to open recently.  It has a large downstairs restaurant area, then an upstairs, itself split level, with two bars, a dance floor, and a patio (no smoking). The bar, however “preppy” in mood, has elements of similar bars in other cities.  One thinks of Therapy in NYC in Hells Kitchen, SueEllens in Dallas at Cedar Springs and Throckmorton (forcing the old TMC itself to move) and a bar on the East Bank in Minneapolis that eventually closed, the Boom.  One or two places on Santa Monica in West Hollywood come to mind, too.


And then, there is the sports bar element.  Last night, the Washington Redskins were losing their last preseason game in Baltimore to the Ravens, and a couple of college football and European soccer games also played (as if to please Belgian actor Timo Descamps (“Judas Kiss”)). As for sports and especially baseball, it would help if the Nationals do better again.  (Yes, the Nats badly need a southpaw ace next season – and I rather ignored Daniel Murphy’s comments in the past.)  The dance floor was featuring square dancing when I was there relatively early on a Thursday evening for my first visit. 

The interview in Metro Weekly with owner David Perruzza is controversial.  First, a few years ago there was a fracas over his request regarding models to show up for an ad, as reported in Mic.  All I can say is, look at the model on the Mic page himself.  You cannot tell if the model is a POC, or if the effect is simply from low lighting or photo manipulation.

But in the Metro interview, Perruzza takes on social media – he doesn’t have a Twitter account for Pitchers. (Town Danceboutique’s Twitter account is still up and active, with a lot of memorable video.)  He also takes on the radical left, the “social justice warriors” that are polarizing the Democratic party.  Some of his remarks sound like they come from one of Tim Pool’s Timcast videos.  He suggested that the social justice warriors should stop talking, and instead volunteer in homeless shelters (or maybe soup kitchens) and learn how to “raise money” for non profits.  Is this Nicholas Taleb’s “Skin in the game” idea, from a gay libertarian-leaning  conservative, who probably has his theories as to how the GOP collapsed under Putin and Trump (yes, but because of Facebook, not Twitter).  He probably admires David Hogg, but would be a good interview subject on Fox News by Laura Ingraham.
  
Still, will Pitchers replace Town?  Well, the drag queens have gone to Trade, Ziegfelds, and (I’m told) the Eagle, despite the latter’s place in the cis male world.  I have to recall my visit to Eagle in 2017 – the minute I walked in the door, Bryce Harper got hit by a pitch on their TV and started a rhubarb.


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Conservative rural blogger calls out gender fluidity as driving far left-wing activism



I had to react (as “sad”) to a Facebook photo this morning (from a conservative female blogger from the California central valley) that offered the caption, “The Face of the New Democratic Socialist”, link.   I wrote “My goodness, gender ambiguous”  (that is, gender-fluid, maybe) “body shaved.  Maybe this is a new kind of fetishism.”   I don’t recall care what Caitlin Jenner did, but seeing this become widespread is disconcerting to my own “Next Door Mates” fantasy life.  (see the “personal fascism” tag on my “cf” blog.)

The picture shows a young white adult male with an attractive male face, but womanish clothes (“Dressed to Kill”, Brian de Palma, maybe, 1980) and shaved arms, legs, and stomach (tank top). 
   
You can’t help but wonder if a portion of the activism over gender identity (and pronouns) is to defuse the argument, that if you don’t step up to the responsibilities of gender when the chips are down (because of the hostile outside world), someone else will have to do it, and you’ll be the coward. Yup, a lot of people want relief from that.  I remember this idea all the way back to my days in Special Training Company at Fort Jackson in the US Army in 1968.   Obviously, this fits the narrative of gender-fluid people as an “oppressed” category, an idea that would have put me in the brig in 1968.

It also reminds me of the William and Mary freshman “tribunals” in the fall of 1961.

But not only have cis-gender gays done well in the military, so have some transgender troops.   

Remember, too, on a typical gay disco floor, and overwhelming number of the men seek other cis males.  Mandatory support for fluidity has become a bit of a political splinter. 

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Will Trade serve as a temporary Town Danceboutique? Also, Pool on why Leftists don't like trans conservatives



Saturday night I paid a visit to Trade, near Logan’s Circle, across 14th Street from Crew Club (which I have been in only once, in the 1990s).

You enter the one floor bar on the right, whereas on the left, the establishment “Black Whiskey” is entered to go upstairs.

There is a small dance floor and stage, which became lively and packed about 11 PM.  There is a substantial outdoor patio, no smoking, that closes shortly after 11.

There are also rows of "Christmas lights" for speed dating hookups. 
   
The drag show and music came from a group called “CTRL” which used to play at Town.

One of the queens said, “It costs a lot of money to look bad” while asking for tips.

So this bar seems temporarily to function as Town’s “replacement”.

Metro Weekly appeared to be there for coverage. 
   
Tim Pool has a video where he examines why leftwing activists resent transgender people who say they are conservative.

  
Pool says that lefties are collectivists and are concerned about who belongs in the “hive”.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Chicago Cubs have to deal with controversy over Daniel Murphy's past mildly anti-gay remarks when the Cubs picked up Murphy on waivers from the floundering Nationals



In the last weekend if June in 2014, the Chicago Cubs played a doubleheader with the Washington Nationals at home in Wrigley Field to avoid playing Sunday when Chicago had gay Pride in the area.  

 I was in Yankee Stadium that night, with NYC Pride the next day (after my own visit to the WTC).  The Cubs lost both games (but split the four game series) and would go on to become a powerhouse by 2016. The Yankees lost to Boston, 2-1, while I was there. 

The Cubs are also one of the most gay friendly franchises, holding a second Pride event this weekend.


So when the Nationals “gave away” Daniel Murphy to the Cubs because of the peculiar way waivers work in Major League Baseball, suddenly the press was all over Murphy for past plausibly troubling remarks disapproving of the “gay lifestyle”.  Now, he says he hope gay Chicagoans will remain Cubs fans.

This was reported by “The Comeback” and picked up and embellished by MSN. 
  
YouTube has a few videos of anti-gay comments attributed to Murphy two or three years ago.  Murphy did take brief paternity leave as a player.  Is this really about the idea that procreation is a moral obligation?

We still wonder when MLB will have openly gay players.  It may be more likely in some positions, like pitchers. 

The Cubs player David Bote, who hit the walkoff grandslam on Aug. 12 that ambushed the Nats, was known for volunteer work in Africa, teaching sports – closely related to some programs at churches I have attended.  There is some karma to go around here. 
     
Wrigley picture on Wikipedia: By Jason Hernandez - http://jdhernandez.mlblogs.com/2015/09/28/jds-2015-ballpark-tour-chicago-illinois-2/, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link