Monday, December 31, 2018

Some controversy with regard to blood donations from trans people? Also, Jordan Peterson's limited view of romance

Lifestyle News has a story from Canada about more extremist trans-related activism complaining abouty other blood tests – it is possible for a trans person who had been pregnant (before transitioning) to carry dangerous antibodies?  I had not heard this before. 

But of course this recalls the blood donation ban for gay men (or MSM) only very begrudgenly lifted for men who had abstained long enough.

I picked up a clip from a video by Jordan Peterson claiming that “romance” is only for young people.  It’s not for happiness, it’s only for forming a relationship to have and raise children.  Peterson has reluctantly said it is sometimes OK for (married) same-sex couples to adopt children because there are no other capable parents available (which happens a lot).  But what is his view of same-sex romance?  Maybe like in “Judas Kiss”?

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Facebook algorithms said to make things worse for LGBTQ people overseas in non-western countries

Mike Buonaiuto has an article from the UK that says Facebook (and probably other social media platforms) should take responsibility for their negative impact on LGBTQ rights overseas. 

I’ve seen reaction already that some feel that this article is overblown.

I’ve always paid most heed to the logic of any arguments that are advanced.  I was able to advance my own theories, twenty years ago, on gays in the military because the way Web 1.0 worked, encouraging the use of search engines, resulted in people being more independent in how they formed political opinions because they didn’t have algorithms that let them get lazy about the news.

I’m not sure it’s up to Facebook to edit the opinions that get sent to people in echo chambers in various countries, once the validity of accounts is established.
But one problem is that in some countries Facebook “is the Internet” and there is poor infrastructure to encourage individuals to look up things for themselves. I have a posting on my main blog about this Dec. 28, along with an embed of a video by Tim Pool on this problem.  Another problem is that algorithmic politics inherently leads to the circulation of more extreme (instersectional) demands on "both" sides. 

Friday, December 28, 2018

Italian video series takes a (non-porno) look at gay match-ups

This time, something a little different.

There is an Italian YouTube series “Undressed” that seems to stage encounters for both gay and straight couples, by Vincenzo Ruggiero. 

This one matches Francesco, a technologist, 31, with Sandro, and interior designer, 33(?)

I won’t embed (it verges on being “R”) but the concept is interesting. Let the film (13 minutes) speak for itself.
Here’s the link

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Could new Secretary of Defense affect transgender, gay policies?

First, Diane Mazur has an article in the normally conservative “The Hill” with some “Reason magazine” style comments dissecting the Trump administration’s attempt to fight the courts on the transgender ban in the military. The arguments try to have it both ways.  The Palm Center at UCSB circulated this article. 
What we really need to wonder is what a new assistants Secretary of Defense might do, or even a new permanent one (Lindsey Graham?)  Will he be as fair as Mattis?  Would he honor the older repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell”?
Next issue is a disturbing YouTube video by Lauren Chen on “LGBTP” and the pastel flag, and it’s pretty disturbing, maybe about thought crimes and fantasy crimes.  I won’t embed it.

I tried dinner for the first time at Pitcher’s, the new gay sports bar in Adams Morgan, on the day that the Washington Nationals filled out their pitching rotation for 2019. You have to eat to sit downstairs; there was a moderate happy hour crowd upstairs.  The women’s bar downstairs now has a separate name, “A League  of Her Own”.'

Metro Weekly has an article on T.J. Flavel and his Go Gay DC directory and activity, here.

Update: Jan 4, 2019

NBC has a disturbing story by Ben Collins of some alt-right smears of some LGBT celebs as promoting pedo. I don't want to dwell on this one, but the visitor can follow and read all the links (the NAMBLA link seems to be hacked). It's all disturbing. Of course, it's good that Twitter banned the offending accounts, but it's so easy to accuse anyone of being in the "alt-right" in other circumstances;  it works both ways. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Fundraising activities (from Minnesota) where I used to live; recent censorship online

I have received at least two emails from members of Outfront Minnesota recently, asking for donations.

I lived in Minneapolis from 1997-2003 so it’s clear I would have ties to the area.

I generally don’t respond well personally from a personal email claiming a past hardship as a reason for money. What I prefer to see first is a link to a complete article of the person’s story and the issue it represents.

One of the emails was from Oluchi Omeoga, who says he is trans and a “Minnesota born Nigerian”.
She speaks of trans equity in the email. So I looked and the best account of his story (and some other trans persons) was on a site called transgenderlaw center
There isn’t much question that Nigeria would be a hostile place for trans people.

There was another email from Roger Sanchez, who says he went through attempted conversion therapy organized by the LDS church.  I did find a blog from him on Tumblr. 

I do have a lot of my own donations automated through a bank, and this reduces the chance for matching grants.  But the problem is that there are so many sudden requests, many of them made with a great deal of emotion, that it is impossible to respond to them all.

I also don’t just cut-and-paste stories accompanying fundraising campaigns onto my blogs.  There may be copyright issues. And I don’t actually put fundraising buttons for organizations on my sites for legal reasons, and because I want to keep, well, some journalistic objectivity. So I send the visitor to the original site for donation opportunities.
Here is Outfront’s site

I just wanted to mention another small issue.  YouTube took down a gay “softcore” video called “Always Be Closing” (a takeoff on the Glenngarry Glen Ross movie) because it said it doesn’t allow “fetishes”. Another channel restored it, and there is some innocuous foot fetish material for a moment that could hardly be viewed as erotic.  This recent crackdown on “erotica” seems to be related to fears created by the FOSTA law. This still PG-13 territory. All pretty silly. 

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Major case for transgender teacher in Maryland suburb of D.C.

Jennifer Eller, with the help of Lambda Legal and Arnold and Porter, is suing the Prince Georges County Public Schools Board of Education (MD) for harassment and lack of accommodation after she began to live as a woman. She had taught English in middle school from 2008 to 2017.
But I remember people at GWU’s Master’s ED program for certifying teachers back around 2005 telling me that teachers had been told not to “come out” until the late 1990s.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Controversial conservative psychology professor speaks on gay couples raising kids

Jordan Peterson:  Should gay couples raise kids?, link

Despite his concerns about society as a whole, he says, in individual cases, yes.  But a gay couple is taking on a tremendous challenge.   He also discusses the importance of fathers because they can introduce boys to “rough play”, an idea that the Washington Times has jumped on in the past (perhaps past good taste).

Apparently this copy comes from a longer original video.

Jordan Peterson also discusses why it is important to be open to having children.  But that could lead down to the troubling question of surrogacy, which I am not so comfortable with morally. 
I also want to point out an article in the Los Angeles Blade today by Christopher Kane in honor of the late Dr. Franklin E. Kameny, showing the extreme government prejudice against gays as security risks after WWII, and idea that did not start to ease up until the Vietnam war. The mention of physical cowardice in the context of the post-War climate is certainly telling. 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Libertarian pundit wants LQBTQ to just become "Q", and a lesbian military officer veteran shoots his idea down

Jonathan Rauch, libertarian writer (who supported gay marriage with an important book in the mid 1990s), wants to reduce LGBTQ to just Q (Atlantic, January 2019). 

“Gay” doesn’t include enough, but “Q: (not “queer”) would include everything except straight-cis-gendered people.

Rauch actually argues against identity politics, which drove us right into the maw of Steve Bannon and his “economic nationalism” in 2016.

But Amanda Kerri, herself a military veteran who overcame DADT, explains why the various subgroups developed over time, in the Advocate (but "weaponizing" the Q -- really?) 

And the gay leadership should pause to consider the departure of Jim Mattis, announced today, who held the line on the DADT repeal and kept Trump from getting very far with his transgender ban (the courts helped, even with the latest opinion).  This is so even though Mattis had authored (and edited other essays for) a book that explained well the military’s squeamishness in dealing with individualism. We would be concerned about the attitudes of anyone who would replace him.
I have to say that the YouTube channel and Instagram page of gay filmmaker Eduardo Sanchez-Ubanell seem to celebrate cis masculinity for its own sake.  How refreshing.  

Monday, December 17, 2018

Transgender boy band forms; trans couple raises "genderless" child (tabloid UK story maybe)

Although I’m not directly a fan of trans or fluidity just for their own sakes, it’s noteworthy that an all-trans boy band has formed, according to LQBTNation, story by Daniel Villarreal. 

Back around early 2001, ‘Nsync actually had a song that seemed to portray gays in the military, as if to support ending DADT at the time.  The song was often played at the Saloon and the Boom in Minneapolis when I was living there. Justin Timberlake, well, has changed his body a lot since then.
A story from the UK about a trans couple raising a child as a genderless “they-by” stirred up anger on Facebook today.  But when "genderless" is complained about, so is lack of ethnicity. (Alt-something.)  It doesn’t seem quite OK to me. No video on this one.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Timcast: Far leftist gays want to purge "gay conservatives" as enemies of the oppressed

Tim Pool has a challenging video today, “Left tells gay conservatives, shut the f___ up”.
Pool builds a complex narrative about a story in Deadspin by Lauren Thiesen with a picture of Trump holding a Pride flag.  He gets into well-off young gay white men (the charismatic cis types on the dance floors) as oppressing the less manly (the fluid) by refusing to hook up with them, and then telling them to compete better.

Tim actually starts out with the apology of Mika Brzezinskis’ calling Mike Pompeo (who has to date Kim Jung Un, which is rather like shaving your legs for work in “Magic Mike”, movies, July 1, 2012) a “but-boy”.
The title of my first book has the subtagline “A gay conservative lashes back”.  But I am told I am “neither” (including libertarian).

Pictures: Drag Bingo at Freddie's in Arlington tonight (Toys for tots campaign). 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Grammarians say that the use of "they" as a singular pronoun for people who want it, is OK

Lisa MacLellan writes for Quartz that the plural pronoun “they” is actually recognized now as acceptable usage in singular mode also, if the person referred to wants it (a genderless pronoun).
“He” and “she” came into mandatory use in the 18th Century. “They” was actually used during the time of Chaucer.  The German-style “it” was used in real estate documents.

I wonder what German does about this now.

My own preference is to address someone (if trans or fluid) by the pronoun “he” or “she” wants.  I have never encountered a situation where someone wanted to be referred to without respect to the possibility of gender. 
There are various posts on Facebook from the “right” that warn of a “genderless” future – overblown, but it really gets scary when “they” then talk about loss of ethnicity. 
I guess rooting for a baseball team is an example of tribalism, though.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

George H. W. Bush took his time evolving on LGBT issues

Chris Johnson writes on the first page of the Washington Blade on Dec. 7 that George H. W. Bush was unsupportive of gay rights and HIV issues (viewing them as behavioral) during his one term.  (The URL wasn’t working Sunday night; the paper online seemed to have a technical glitch.)

I returned to the DC area in July 1988.  I did not really pick up on that the time.  In a radio broadcast in early 1993, Frank Kameny reported to Scott Peck that by around 1991 (the Gulf War starts) things were getting much better with security clearances. But it would take until 1995 for Bill Clinton to end discrimination in the security clearance issue by XO, and the CIA accepted open gays in 1996. The CIA now normally has a booth at DC pride.  (It sounds tacky to say this, but sometimes you need a trans person in intelligence overseas.)
Freddie’s had a “clown show” Sunday night (Arlington, Crystal City.)

Also two more pictures:

and this.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

"Economic Invincibility" (a popular "conservative" vlogger who denies he is such) sees sexual orientation as a non-issue politically

“Economic Invincibility”, in a July 1, 2018 vlogcast, says he was repeatedly asked to address homosexuality, which he first thought was unnecessary. But he finally did, in a five-minute video.

It has a strange title, “The Homosexuality Question”.  What “question”?  That reinforces his reluctance to tackle the subject.  He pronounces the first syllable of the word with a short “o”, but I think his origin is Italian (he says on another video this English, however colorful and metaphoric, was not his first language).
He views it as a non-political topic. If you’re a grownup who supports himself (or herself) and don’t harm anyone, who cares?   In a sense, that’s the libertarian position – or perhaps a kind of Reagan free-market conservatism that wants to remain innocuous on personal issues  (I don’t know where he stands on “right to life’ yet).  If only the GOP could return to that from its detour with the alt-right.  He has also “said on other videos that he was brought up as an Evangelical protestant Christian but has privatized his own beliefs and doesn’t want to preach them.

He also is impatient with politicization, trying to teach varied gender roles or new pronouns in schools.  Just don’t need to go there at all.  No need to make up identarian groups for civil rights. 

  Really, no reason to politicize marriage either.  He also says the has encountered socially numerous gay men who are more “masculine” than most straight men (almost like the Rosenfels polarities) and definitely buys the idea that the components of gender and sexuality develop in a kind of linearly independent fashion – even if they aren’t genetic (well, maybe epigenetic – it’s simply a fact that latter born sons are more likely to be gay). I do get the impression that fluidity or gender identity issues have no relevance in his own world. 
That leaves us, however, with the fact that many of us, in my generation, had to wonder why others made my sexuality and interest their business, and wouldn’t leave us alone.  Part of it is “beholden-ness”. A half century or more ago, married couples typically needed to believe their kids would continue large lineages so that their own marriages made sense to them.  Of course, even then, there were only children (like me), or couples with no kids, and men who never married and never had kids.  But it you talked about it, you could disrupt the emotional (and marital, heterosexual) harmony of people who had provided you a world.

There was also simply the idea that the world was viewed as dangerous and challenging. For boys and girls to default on their assigned biology was to leave the risk-taking (men going to war) to others.  All of that, in my own life experience, led me to take on "don't ask don't tell" twenty-plus 

Indeed, today, a lot of the inequality comes from the fact that people with no or few kids can financially outflank those with larger families, and EI has talked about this before when he takes up MGTOW’s.  (The Southern Poverty Law Center considers MGTOW to be "male supremacy" and its page has a shocking quote about the Pulse massacre in Orlando in 2016, which logically doesn't fit the idea of men going their own way merely out of economic self-interest.) 

But EI (just like Barbara Bush in a famous 1992 speech at the GOP convention) has also said, you don’t have to be married and you don’t need to have children, and shouldn’t, unless you’re ready to be totally dedicated to your children.  In other videos, he has said that too many men (and women) just are cognitively unfit to be good parents.

He definitely believes that “you are on your own” to make it in this life.

He makes a reference to Milo Yiannopoulos, noting the emotional eof many activists to his content. 
As for looks, yes, maybe he is the perfect 10.  Maybe “the young people will win.”   That is, the "ableist" young people.  Even David Hogg has been called "able-ist" by the more extreme Left. 

Monday, December 03, 2018

Trump signs trade deal with Canada and Mexico with modest LGBTQ protections, but the agreement could set disturbing examples in other areas

President Trump has agreed to a trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, called USMCA, which has informal suggestions that Mexico and Canada support LGBTQ non-discrimination in commercial employment.

However, as Washington Blade writer Chris Johnson noted in a story revision, it does not obligate the US to enforce non-discrimination as with ENDA.

The trade agreement can be potentially important for another reason, as an indicator that the U.S. could become vulnerable to product and speech policies (especially on the Internet) made by other western governments.  This would contradict Trump’s idea of “America first.” But its possible that a future trade agreement with countries in the EU could be affected by stricter copyright rules in Europe with the Copyright Directive (Article 11 and Article 13) that is likely to be done implementation in most of the EU by the end of 2019.

It's also possible in the future that privately-driven US criticism of anti-gay policies in some countries could affect trade deals. 
Investors may become more aware of these issues in the future and they could move stock markets. 
Also, tonight Freddie Lutz, owner of Freddie’s Beach Bar and an Italian restaurant nearby, in Arlington VA, celebrated his half-century birthday.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Twitter prohibits "misgendering" or "deadnaming" of transgender persons; fluid not so clear

Twitter has added to its rules a prohibition on misgendering and deadnaming transgender individuals.
Deadnaming would mean referring to a transgender person by a birth name if it had been changed.  It’s not clear if non-binary pronouns can be required, such as “they” for an fluid person, when “they” would be grammatically incorrect unless plural.
Pink News has a story by Josh Jackman here

A recent copy of Twitter’s hateful conduct policy is here
However, some observers (such as Tim Pool, whose video on this I covered on the TV blog Nov. 24) do consider this to be quite an Orwellian overreach.  Christian Headlines gives a conservative reaction

There have been comments about Meghan Murphy’s expulsion, and the idea that you can’t say “women aren’t men”.

I have written about Trump’s attempted transgender ban in the military and tried to be supportive in saying the courts should resist it. 

In cases where I know a person is transgender and know the preferred singular case pronoun, I use it.  But this doesn’t come up often.

Wikipedia follows this policy in writing about transgendered persons.  If you enter “Bradley Manning” you will be redirected to “Chelsea Manning”.

However, I think that with public figures it should be acceptable to use the old name when referring to the person’s conduct before transitioning (that is, Manning’s prosecution and military jail time). 

I've seen people say on Twitter that they will unfollow anyone who says "I will not date a trans person".  Some people (as Milo Yianopoulos has pointed out) view a statement that one does not view a person with a particular aspect as ever potentially sexually attractive as itself a form of hate speech.  Is that next? 
The “Left” has been quite combative in trying to stop “disrespectful” references to members of previously oppressed minority groups. 

Ben Shapiro says it all well on "Twitter v Science" on Dailywire. Go back to high school biology and take another final exam.

Jack Dorsey might want to look up the Selective Service System rules, which require registration by males according to biological sex at birth and which would "deadname".

Update: Nov. 30

Parker Molloy, a trans woman, argues for the New York Times how Twitter's policy promotes free speech -- for certain persons.  She also says that the context of "Men aren't women" was "trans men".  

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Trump wants to bypass appeals courts and send transgender ban to SCOTUS, breaking accepted procedure

Both “conventional” gay rights activists and constitutional scholars are alarmed by President Trump’s (through his DOJ) asking the Supreme Court to rule on overturning officially the “Mattis” policy on transgender persons in the military, without hearing the cases before the DC Circuit and Ninth Circuit.
Adam Liptak explains for the New York Times here

It’s of concern that Trump wants to bypass usual SCOTUS procedures and tell SCOTUS, like an authoritarian, what cases to hear.  It doesn’t work that way.  Trump seems to have no regard for separation of powers. 

Trump wants to take advantage of having effectively replaced Kennedy with Kavanaugh, but Roberts, as Chief Justice, in his recent excoriation of Trump, is starting to sound more centrist and moderate than maybe Trump expects.

The arguments that transgender troops affect military readiness and cause expense are probably frivolous because the actual number and percentage is quite small.

Trump has so far shown no particular concern over Obama’s repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell” and the ban on open cis-gender gays in the military (who are much more numerous but generally inconspicuous –even as there have been a few gay weddings in military chapels). But Trump had gay candidates on “The Apprentice” and acts OK with this.

Of course, the worst case might have been the security leak from Chelsea Manning. 
On the other hand, we have Kristin Beck, who became a female after retiring from special forces as a male, and has detailed military intelligence expertise that would befit service in the Pentagon today, and would include running for office.

Update:  Nov. 26

This op-ed in Rewire by  Katelyn Burns seems relevant to Trump's claim that the supposed mental health problems associated with transitioning affect military readiness (in response to a NYTimes piece).  Maybe it would even be relevant if included in a court brief.  I hope Lambda Legal sees it. 

Friday, November 23, 2018

Russian asylum claims in the US, driven by 2013 anti-gay law, hit 24 year high

Radio Free Europe has a story by Carl Schreck back in May 2018 noting that asylum applications from Russia had hit a 24 year record in early 2018, link

Much of the migration had been prompted by the 2013 law in Russia banning “propaganda” of “non-traditional sexual relations”, even though sodomy per se has been legal in Russia since 1993.

The article notes that there is considerable gay migration to other countries, especially Germany and Canada.  But under Trump, it is getting harder for people to pass credible fear interviews or win later. 

The article pays special attention to the horrific problems in Chechnya (which is where the Boston Marathon perpetrators had come from).
And the reason for Russian homophobia has nothing to do with rationality; it’s more dictators’ exploiting pure tribalism.  But the low birth rate in Russia certainly figures into Putin’s own ideology.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving at DC Center Global, with rapidly growing awareness of the political complexity of the asylum issues

I did have Thanksgiving Dinner today at the DC Center at 14th and U St. in Washington, with an emphasis on Center Global (for LGBT refugees and asylum seekers).

About thirty people attended, with Food and Friends supplying the turkey and stuffing and veggies;  some people (myself included) brought pies purchased from FF.

Everyone introduced the self.  One young man from Nigeria described very poor conditions there (Anthony Bourdain had documented riverboat homes and entrepreneurialism in a society with poor law and order), as well as the inability to “be who I am or who I want to be.”

I described myself as an “independent journalist” in “retirement’ and that got a reaction – awareness of the political climate, abroad as much as here, with right (and sometimes left) wing populism, and the recent dangers posed by the extreme right and anti-Semitism.

There was varied awareness of recent news, with Trump’s policy on asylum seekers at illegal entry struck down in court in the 9th Circuit, triggering the exchange with Justice Roberts (Trump reportedly threatened to close the border today).  There is also some awareness that the media is sending very mixed accounts of the caravans in Mexico.  There is some recently growing awareness of independent news outlets reporting on the issue (News2Share and Tim Pool), with different facts depending on location. The Washington Post, as noted earlier, reported LGBTQ asylum seekers as among the first to appear.

One person from the Ukraine, now a software developer, seemed very aware of the emergence of populism in parts of the former Soviet Union.  He indicated that in Russia, people and politicians simply don’t think about things in terms of libertarian-like individualism. Politicians simply scapegoat groups (including LGBT) in order to arouse emotion and loyalty in an economically backward base.  There is varying opinion of how much ordinary citizens should involve themselves in politics;  but without doing so, you get the “president” you “deserve”.  A world where “moderate” people leave politics is left to the extremes, who (on either the right or left) will gravitate toward authoritarianism.  There was even some discussion that tech companies are lkely to stop doing business in some countries, like Belarus, and that leads into the discussion of the European Union politics and Copyright Directive, which could chase US companies out of Europe. 
An Amazing afternoon.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

LGBT adults less likely to own guns at home than the general population

The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law reports that LGBT adults are less likely to own guns at home than heterosexual adults, as in this study. 

Still, 19% of gay adults did report gun ownership. There is indeed a group called “pink pistols”.

Gun ownership may be less common because of living in relatively modern urban settings.
Gay bars generally have less violence than straight bars (as long as it does not come from the outside, as with Pulse).  People are, thankfully, more willing to just let rebuffs or disagreements go.  I have witnessed fights in gay bars only twice, in Hawaii (in 1980) and London (1982).

Monday, November 19, 2018

An "alt-right" anti-gay group reported within the Catholic Church

Corky Siemaszko has an article on NBC News describing a virtual “alt-right” within the Catholic church, particularly in Pennsylvania where there is a big distraction with grand juries and abusive priests.
A vocal small minority within the Church is harassing gays and even making threats, the report says.  Much of the incentive seems to come as a reaction to Pope Francis and his more accepting tone (“who am I to judge”?)

Back in 1986 a previous memorandum had called even latent homosexuality an “objective disorder”.
But the church surely knows that men who are less competitive with respect to women and less motivated by the idea of lineage will be attracted to the priesthood.  The church acts insulted that the celibacy rule attracts gays, but it is probably just reality.
So, let priests marry and have (and adopt) children, and the problem largely goes away. Yes, you could allow same-sex marriage and adoption (not surrogacy).

By the way, while we know about the Trump administration’s desire to recognize only binary gender (going against the best science), it’s well to remember that a federal appeals court in February 2018 had indeed interpreted federal Civil Rights law as normally including sexual orientation in most situations. There seems to be a real risk that the current Supreme Court with Gorsuch and Kavanaugh would reverse this, and rule that Congress must explicitly say so if it wants civil rights law to mean that.  (Masterpiece Cakeshop was a much narrower ruling.) 
There can be unintended consequences for legitimate speech online if the idea of (intersectional) protected class is overused, and the Trump DOJ says it is trying to protect such speech and personal religious practice, in a  libertarian sense.  That risk will surely get the attention of SCOTUS.  There will be more posts about this later.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

"No Gays Allowed" billboard above Times Square in NYC calls attention to putative hate group

There is a shocking light billboard above Times Square in NYC these days that reads “No Gays Allowed”, which is an ironic message trying to get attention to the group called “Alliance Defending Freedom”, or ADF.  Julie Compton reports here. The SPLC labels them a hate group, but the SPLC is capable of overusing this label.

Carlos Maza explains in the video above.

The NBC story goes so far as to claim that the group has tried to defend sodomy laws, especially push them in Africa, and wants to shove LGBT people (or people who do not marry traditionally and have their own children) into formal second class status to encourage more men to raise families (like Russia).

Laura Ingraham (so reduced to scale by David Hogg) took to defending the group after lashing out at the board, sort of, on Fox, ThinkProgress story by Addy Baird. 
On another matter, Fareed Zakaria introduced Serbia’s lesbian prime minister (since 2017), Anna Brnabic, typical story by Andy Humm in Gay City Times.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

LGBTQ leadership fears Whitaker could undermine DADT repeal (let alone trans)

The Nov. 15 and 22 issue of Metro Weekly has a disturbing article on p 24, “The Feed”, titled “Bad Trade”, of Attorney General Jeff Sessions for acting AG Matthew Whitaker, without Senate approval, here

Whitaker lobbied heavily against repealing “don’t ask don’t tell” in 2010 (let alone the transgender ban today) as well as for a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman later. This is the first credible article in the gay press during the Trump years that raises the idea that the DADT repeal could be undone.

There are many other problems with Whitaker, regarding separation of church and state, and even respecting “Marbury v. Madison”.
While I’m at it, I’ll give another Riley link whose suggestion I am not personally ready to live up to right now.  But you can say why not. 

Friday, November 16, 2018

LGBTQ asylum seekers among the first to reach the border from the caravans, at Tijuana; unclear if they will be allowed to "apply"; litigation expected

The Washington Post is reporting that LGBTQ asylum seekers are among the first to reach the border, at Tijuana Mexico (south of San Diego), in this story by Sarah Kinosian and Joshua Partlow. 
It appears that the administration may have closed off all “legal” entry for now, which according to Trump’s recent announcement, would create a Catch 22 preventing asylum claims from being filed. 

 This development will quickly be challenged in court if so.
This will surely lead to more calls for donations and assistance, but it is not clear what can work.
Tim Pool reports (late Friday afternoon, today) some clashes between migrants and residents in Mexico, but it is unlikely these are the same people.
This Quora answer from a libertarian seems very comprehensive and interesting.

Wikipedia attribution:
By miguemike - Own work, Public Domain, Link

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Lambda Legal calls out gun violence (as with Tree of Life incident in Pittsburgh)

Lambda Legal has called out the Tree of Life gun massacre in Pittsburgh, and indicated that the event was part of a week of white supremacist violence, suggesting that an event in a sports bar north of Los Angeles might have been similarly motivated, press release. 

I visited the memorial in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh Sunday night.

The clubs in Pittsburgh are mostly downtown along the Allegheny River (which has a spectacular bridge crossing on the PA Turnpike farther north). Driving in Pittsburgh is so confusing that I didn’t get around to checking them out.  I finally figured out how to get to the lower road (route 51) on the South Bank (below “Mount Washington”) to Station Square, and contented myself with a sports bar that allowed smoking (I thought everything in the US is non-smoking now).
I think that the whole topic of LGBTQ rights is getting more tribalized, with trans and fluid breaking off into its own intersectional groups.  Libertarian arguments seem much less welcome.  Everyone is seeing other groups as an enemy, now that some see white supremacy as a re-emerging political threat which must be met since the president has, by default, appeared to legitimize it and now journalists have to report it, further keeping the ideology in circulation.
When to personal tastes in what one would want in a partner become a political issue?  Milo Yiannopoulos is always warning that this is already happening.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Jared Polis elected nations first openly gay governor (Colorado)

Jared Polis was elected as the nation’s first “openly” gay governor, of Colorado, more or less a purple state.

His partner is Marlon Reis.  They are raising a son and daughter (don’t know if by adoption).
In 1996, Romer v. Evans had overturned Colorado’s Amendment 2.  I remember learning about the decision when I ran into sailor Keith Meinhold (pre DADT) on 17th Street in DC. 

In New Hampshire, two transgender women were elected to the state house of representatives, and one to the federal House (Blade).

There are some unmarried male politicians:  Jerry Brown, Lindsey Graham, even James Mattis. 
Pikes Peak Picture:  By Hogs555 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link   I drove it in 1994. 

Sunday, November 04, 2018

On "set the clocks back" night, the photography question comes back

For “Set the Clocks Back” with its extra hour one Saturday night (the first Saturday of November) every year, I tried Pitcher’s last night, first time on a Saturday, post World Series, post Boston Red Sox (and pre-signing of Bryce Harper). It's a good chance to see who survived Halloween intact. 

I did see the new women’s bar on the lower level, and there were plenty of men.

Almost every room was packed.

There was a little incident. Recall the Sunflower submarine hat that I bought during my 1993 visit in Norfolk early in the gays in the military debate.  I lost it in the move to the condo, so I bought a replacement on Amazon that says “U.S. Submarine Service: Boomer”.

I got a question even from the bouncer if I had served.  Later in one of the upstairs rooms (not the dance floor) a young man (familiar) accompanied by several women asked the same.  He tried it on.  
He took it off.  I snapped a quick cell phone photo.  Totally dressed, no nudity, nothing erotic.

About five minutes later another girl suddenly popped over and practically took the iPhone from my hand. “Did you take my friend’s picture?  That is so not O.K.” 

I’ve checked tonight. It is not on my iCloud.  (There is an earlier picture of the person who I will not identify, or where, on my harddrive.)

I interpreted his activity as giving me permission for the one headshot. 

I don’t know if this is tribalism (I’m not part of the in-group), or “safe space”, or “Me Too” as if I reminded her of Kevin Spacey.

It is indeed much less acceptable today to take photos of people in bars than it was ten years ago.  (A few bars have no-photo policies, as do some circuit parties.) Facebook is part of the reason, especially now, with all the privacy scandals.  And a smartphone photo can be exchanged on Snapchat so fast – except that I don’t have Snapchat or use it.

So for anything like a closeup, you need verbal permission.  I think I had it.  The person has to be >= 21 since the ID’s are checked.

The Town (as did the Apex, the Velvet Nation, and Tracks) had a balcony that made long shots possible, and no one objects to those (and lens closeups are possible. 

But the established gay media has a legacy market on up-close photos, especially Metro Weekly. So this is turning into a micro problem about independent journalism (see my main blog post today). 
There are plenty of photos from Town's last party on sale legally (don’t know the price per image, maybe $10, and if that gives posting rights.)

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Draconian anti-gay crackdown reported in Tanzania; Bolsonaro (Brazil) said to be anti-gay

There are horrifying reports coming out of Tanzania (essentially the same as Tanganyika in many atlases) about an unprecedented crackdown on homosexuals, including forced outing and spying on private lives, using informants.  NPR has a typical story here

BBC mentions Dar es Salaam in a story here

Anti-gay policies, especially in Africa, are a huge problem for employers who must do business in these countries and send domestic employees there. 
There are a lot of concerns about the new right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, story. 

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Corporate America castigates Trump on his transgender policy proposals

56 (now probably more) major US companies are warning Donald Trump to back off his war on transgender or fluid people, or it will be bad for the economy and earnings.
Chris Johnson has a story in the Washington Blade. 
This story appeared on the same day as a story about protests at Google demanding equity and apparently quotas in highly paid positions (see IT Jobs blog).  Libertarians like meritocracy and equality, but not forced equity.  (That was like the “No bunts except for Boushka” on the third grade playground back in 1951.)

But today the story is also about what happened to my comment.  I noted that the Blade should look into the Selective Service System rule on registration requirement by “birth gender” as binary male. I noted that activists have overlooked it.  The comment is in pending status, but when you click on it, you see every comment I have ever made on any site using the Disqus system.  (I use Blogger’s own here, and the Wordpress system on other blogs, along with Akismet).  I don’t mind at all, but it doesn’t seem appropriate the (Blade) site should behave this way! I had thought the Blade used WP, but maybe that isn’t the case.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

DC High Heels: a break after a week of terrible national news

I went to the early portion of the High Heels Race on 17th Street in Washington DC Oct. 30.  The event was a break from all the demonstrations and dire political news and tragedies.  

The parade started around 7:10 PM and was longer than I expected.
There were several marching bands.  This was a “mini pride”.

It was mild, around 60 degrees F.

I don’t think these Halloween costumes were particularly about fluidity this time.  But this year's is especially important for the trans community given all the political controversies from Trump. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

A smaller Halloween party Saturday night

I tried a smaller penultimate weekend Halloween Party this year, just at Freddie’s, Oct. 27.

The plasma screens on the porch are down, but the TV’s are in the bar, and yes, the Boston Red Sox attracted attention in the top of the ninth inning with their outburst.
There were some karaoke singers, and not as many costumes as usual.  I learned of some interesting things in conversation, like one man who does extreme sports and skydiving and does instruction in it.  (I actually know of another, who does Shaun White stuff.)

Then there is the issue of how much the LGBTQ community should focus on its own identity and equality issues, and how often it should speak to bigger problems, like anti-Semitism, and gun violence (Chris Johnson story, Blade). 

For example, AGLA can only bring speakers to deal with the narrower issues.  But after the elections, a lot of us will probably want to hear speakers like David Hogg and his friends.
I just now put my polling place and voter ID on my phone for Nov. 6, before uploading this post!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Washington National Cathedral holds memorial service for interment of Matthew Shepard twenty years later

Friday, the Washington National Cathedral held an internment service for Matthew Shepard, who was murdered in Laramie Wyoming in October 1998.

The family had been afraid to bury the ashes in a conventional fashion out of fear of desecration.

Here is the link for the entire program. 

Here is the video, for the nearly three hour service.

The Right Reverent V. Gene Robinson presided.

The musicians included the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington DC, the Rock Creek Singers, and Conspirare.  A major musical item toward the end is a setting of Samuel Barber’s Adagio.
Shepard has been remembered in film (“Anatomy of a Hate Crime”, 2001, and “The Matthew Shepard Story”, 2002). 

There was a major outdoor service in Loring Park in Minneapolis in October 1998 when I lived there.

I have heard the Beethoven Solemn Mass in D, played at the Cathedral (back in 2007).  The Cathedral sustained damage from the earthquake in August 2011.  
I have visited Laramie, WY once, in August 1994.

Also, yesterday I noticed a YouTube video (I won't give the link) from a young pastor who advocated a "humane" death penalty for homosexuals.  I don't report content for censorship; in a few cases I have reported emails to the FBI (this happened a few times from 9/11 until 2005). This sounds like maybe a TOS problem, but the radicalization "risk" to the public is minuscule. 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Paglia's controversial video on transgenderism and culture; Caitlyn slams Trump on trans issues in op-ed

In 2016, Camille Paglia made this video where she expressed the opinion that transgender mania is a sign of “cultural collapse”.

At least, minors should not be trying surgery or puberty-delaying hormones. 

Although maybe this is more about others not wanting to see gender norms diluted as role model examples to follow.  The same culture now may regard cis-male gay athletes as fine as role models.  (Not sure where Rippon fits, then.)

There are other YouTube videos that say reversing a trans decision is no big deal.

At least I thought this was interesting, given Paglia’s reputation.

Caitlyn Jenner, who had announced she was a Republican, has an op-ed in the Washington Post. “I thought Trump would help trans people. I was wrong.”