Monday, June 18, 2018

A "forced love-in" at Druid Hill Park at Baltimore Pride

Sunday afternoon, albeit a bit late, I got to the Baltimore Pride festival at Druid Hill Park. This year you had to drive around the perimeter of the park (off 28th St, off, I-83) past the conservatory and enter near the zoo. Parking was $10 as always.

The crowd, relative to the block party Saturday, was more “radical” perhaps.

The best exhibit came from Elder Pride, which had a long mural of gay history (see my retirement blog).

Then on the main stage, Rayceen (I believe it was her) had a love-in.  She demanded everyone seated in the amphitheater stand and kept after everyone until the stood up. Then watch what happens.

This is coercion!  But, like Better Angels, we’re seeing a lot more emphasis on getting people to interact interpersonally across cultural divides.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Baltimore Pride 2018, farther north on Charles Street

I did not attend Baltimore LGBT Pride in 2017, and in 2018 I found the format changed.

Now the block party is a kind of street festival for vendors, with two stages, one facing away from North Street (US 1) along Charles, the other a couple blocks up. The exhibits run from from 20th to 23rd St.

The Baltimore Eagle is just north of the first stage, on the west side of Charles St, and seems to be in a new or renovated brick building, with two levels.  There was a line to get in Saturday afternoon, which eventually dissipated.  I got in around 5:30 PM for a $5 cover. There were multiple rooms downstairs, a corridor to a stairway to an outdoor deck, which led to another bar and a dance color.

On the dance floor, the male audience tended to self-segregate.  The preppie crowd tended to separate from the “bears and bellies”.  Is this gay tribalism?
I tried to go to the Wet After Party at the downtown Cultural Arts Center on Howard St at 10 PM but it did not open in time because of an “issue inside” so I came home.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Pentagon struggles to celebrate Pride despite Trump's transgender issue

Orin Hatch has attracted praise for his reversal on LGBTQ “rights”, as in this story   Hatch, of course, is a Mormon and his turnaround has taken a long time.

 And the Pentagon held its own DOS Pride in an environment of trying to deal with Trump’s attempted transgender ban, Blade story by Christ Johnson here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

What about "toxic gay masculinity"?

Here’s a story on “The Establishment” about “toxic gay masculinity”, link

Are hypothetical preferences for “cis males” (especially white) a problem when widely held in the more established white male gay community?

I would rather disagree with the generalization of gay men seeing “blacks” and “Latinos” as masculine and seeing Asians as feminine.  The character Paul (the Japanese-ancestry baseball pitcher from Days of our Lives) blows away the second stereotype. And Silicon Valley, rumor has it, is largely ruled by Asian men.

But among white males there’s another marker that doesn’t differentiate MOC as it does many Caucasians (including men from the Middle East and India). That is, a lot of variation in male body hair, probably because of evolution in colder climates (and “reverse minoxidil” to turn off body response to androgens didn’t develop in Europeans much). People don’t talk about it a lot, but they definitely notice. 

But in general, as for dating, most men (especially white) have tended to look for other cis men and pretty much ignored the fluidity issue.

I note that a number of videos on YouTube purporting to show medical exams and massages seem to be exercises in showing desirable, often very cis, bodies and the palpitation thereof. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Capital PrideFest benefits from cool weather, rains hold off; people more radical than at the parade

It remained cloudy and relatively comfortable, and the heavy rains stayed to the west on Sunday, as Capital Pride held its street festival without a hitch. 

I got there about 2 PM. 

The crowd was more radical, with some obvious gender fluidity and body shaving and tattoos, especially with the people walking around after I had just arrived  -- than it had been for the Pride march Saturday, which was a lot more macho (as was the bar).

Generally, I haven’t seen tattoos in the male gay community as frequently as the population as whole (except for a short period Sunday).  People who use tattoos often would not be viewed as attractive by earlier standards of attractive common in my own young adulthood. In fact, a wife of a good friend in the early seventies had wanted me to go full hog with body art and beads and hippy stuff, since I couldn’t compete with other men “normally”.  (“Hogg”, by the way, looks very clean cut, very cis.)

I fact, I encountered one person from the Cobalt the night before on the way to the Nat’s game, which was held to 4:05 PM to accommodate Pride.  The Nats, even with Scherzer pitching, got shut out. (By the way, I missed gay night at the Nats Park Tuesday this year because that was the day I returned from Texas.)

I attended both alcohol bullpens (but only one beer).  The lines were not long. The second bullpen, near the Newseum on the north side of PA avenue., featured the dance floor, which was very crowded and largely minority.  The fogging machine ran often, and you could see the pipes.  At least one tech celebrity was there.
 It's worthy of note that the CIA and law enforcement agencies advertised at Fest, as in the past few years. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Capital Pride 2018 offers four-hour parade, longest ever; storms hold off

\Capital Pride 2018 offered a parade longer than any other in history for Washington DC, not ending until 8:25 PM, four hours, at least an hour longer than before. 

The thunderstorms held off to the Northeast for the whole parade.

JR’s did not hold its customary outdoor block party, perhaps because of the length of the parade.

Afterwards, the upstairs Pride dance at Cobalt started at 9 PM as usual, about three hours earlier than for most Saturday nights.

The Nationals had started their game early (at 12:05) to accommodate Pride and had won.

David Hogg reportedly was a star at Pride in Boston.  Check his twitter feed  DavidHogg111 for pictures. 

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Women's jazz concert at Arlington VA bar helps kick off DC Pride

Women’s jazz group performed at Freddie’s Beach Bar in Arlington VA on Friday, June 8, as Gay Pride weekend starts.  The improvised saxophone solo reminded me of Bill Clinton’s performances.

There is a threat of intermittent rain and storms, possibly heavy today, on the parade today, on the outdoor bar at JR’s, and on the festival Sunday.

The Washington Nationals start their home games early on Pride Saturday (at 12:05 PM), to allow fans to be able to attend the parade, which starts at 4:30. 
The Capitals have their Stanley Cup parade in DC on Tuesday, June 12.  They held a “one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth” in Las Vegas (where Bryce Harper grew up).

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Is it wrong to decide never to date a trans person?

Here’s a piece I dug out from Aug. 2017 by one Sara C. on Medium, “When you say ‘I would never date a trans person’ It’s transphobic,here’s why”.

She says she has no problem with the idea of consent (to reject) in an individual case. But she has problems with people looking for types or refusing them.

She also says you can never be sure from an external appearance whether a person is cis or trans or fluid.  There are some people you can be very sure are not trans, I would say.  But with clothes on, it’s very hard to know for sure what lies beneath.

She also gives this facebook page.

It almost sounds like dating is an obligation!
There was an episode of “Mistresses” on July 5, 2016 where there is the line, “I would never date a trans person.”

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Homophobia correlates to low literacy and cognition; gay clubs seem to thrive in cities where land prices are lower

LGBTQ Nation reports on a study with the not surprising finding that lower IQ and lower cognitive ability is correlated to homophobia, link here.

The article bears a curious resemblance to the work of Charles Murray.

The skills talked about in the article relate to abstract thinking, planning, and the ability to see consequences and "connect the dots", or to "see around corners" as Dr. Phil once said.  Stable two-parent families do help  -- an ironic observation

On the other hand, when I see the fantastic accomplishments of a few people (whether gay or not) in their teens and early twenties --  Jack Andraka, Dallas Taylor, Taylor Wilson, and for that matter David Hogg and Mark Zuckerberg, I can’t help think that they’ve all lived before, and have the privilege of continuing with brand new young adult bodies.  How else can someone know all the insides of nuclear physics at age 13?  Maybe a past life is remembered as a dream, and the people who benefit from one just don’t tell.  If you could count past lives into age eligibility, David Hogg could be president how and replace “President Poopiepants”.  (No, David doesn’t want to take away all your guns.)
I drove past the bars in Oklahoma City Sunday morning (not up to finding late at night – oddly, there is a business called Pulse).  It still bears my theory that clubs in cities with cheaper land have a better future today than those in coastal cities. The management of Town DC ought to visit the S4 in Dallas for ideas.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Supreme Court rules for Masterpiece Cakeshop in very narrow, "originalist" literal ruling that probably sets few precedents

The Supreme Court has ruled in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commssion, pdf slip opinion here from the Court, for the owner of the Cakeshop, 7-2.

Fox News reports in a quick timeline of events   

Anthony Kennedy noted a lack of religious neutrality on the part of the state.  The ruling is narrow and does not give businesses that are open to the public in a general sense of retail operations to discriminate.

The Chicago Tribune has a story here

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Aussies demand gender fluidity in children's books; Can "they" be a singular pronoun?

The Wall Street Journal has a valuable op-ed about how far left-ist political correctness has gone in eliminating self-image issues for gender fluid youth.  No Boys Allowed, and NoGirls Either”, by  Michael Taube.  

Oh, how I remember in grade school, the female teacher would address us as "boys and girls"!

The article has to do with an Australian audit of children’s books for “gender stereotyping”.  It’s disturbing to see government involved in proto-censoring of books of any kind. 

NBC News reports  (March 2017) that the Associated Press recommends "they" as a singular gender-neutral pronoun (just as in French, "vous" can be singular or plural). In the past, "thon" was proposed.  

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

DC Center Global reissues request for housing assistance for LGBTQ asylum seekers

DC Center Global re-issued a request today for housing assistance for LGBT asylum seekers in the Washington DC area.

The official short message is:

“Urgent Need for Housing Referrals for LGBT Asylum Seekers
“Center Global is seeking housing hosts for individuals seeking asylum from nations unwelcoming to our LGBTQ friends. Housing hosts need only to provide a private space/bedroom for a minimum (negotiable) of three months while these individuals go through the asylum-application process. Our asylum seekers are educated, motivated, and often professionals in their fields who cannot access US government services and lack support from the DC diaspora or family and friends in their home countries. We have several people in need of immediate housing.”

 These requests are published occasionally.  I sold my own estate house and can no longer be in the running to offer this myself as it is structure now.  

There has been at least one LGBT asylum request granted recently in the DC area, even in the Trump era/ 

You wonder about such requests for our own homeless, perhaps?   Is this what the GOP means by take care of your own?

(Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 9:30 AM EDT)

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Station 4 and Round-Up discos in Dallas shows that economics (land costs) really matter to the gay bar business

For the first time since Nov. 2011, I found myself in Big D last night.
I do wonder if the Station 4 Disco on Cedar Springs is the largest in the nation. It’s also called S4.

An elongated two-story structure, it seems to have been built from scratch.  The main dance floor has a “UFO” light show that descends.  The second floor has various bars as well as a stage for drag shows.
Across the street, the RoundUp, known as a country-western place, was actually more crowded around midnight CDT.  The dance floor seemed to be playing rock music from the late 1990s, some of it back from the 80s.  People were in long love trains, as if rehearsing a ritual march for a movie, before breaking back up into couples for the usual “dirty dancing”.

Both discos seem to attract celebrities.  The crowd,  even in comparison to Washington, seems particularly affluent and "cis".  
The TMC moved from Throckmorton around the corner and is partly open air and under renovation.
Sueellen’s is where the TMC had been.

JR's in Dallas uses two levels of floor space and is about three times as large as the franchised bar in Washington DC.  The outside balcony on Cedar Springs is within touching distance of the "Texa Interc
The owners of Town Discotheque (or Town Danceboutique) in Washington DC, facing closure due to loss of lease on July 1, 2018, would do well to look at how S-4 got built.  But of course land in Dallas is much cheaper than it is in DC.  It looks like an arbitrary big city built on an endless prairie, as if it could be duplicated inside an O'Neill cylinder. 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Gay rag criticizes white gay men for segregation and upward affiliation in selecting intimate partners

Terrance Heath writes in LQBTQNation about a British study of posts and interactions among gay men on “Tube Crush”, that “money and muscle” and usually Caucasian features are still what most gay men (at least in Britain) look for in potential partners.
The article tends to moralize.  “You’ll want to sit down for this.”  Like a boss is going to fire you from your psychological life.
The article has an image of a hairy muscular young man who resembles someone I met in Fort Lauderdale last November, wearing a Washington Nationals baseball cap. 
Is it a moral problem that many people have very restricted ideas of what would be desirable in an intimate partner?  Does that mean many people never get a chance?  Is this about minorities?  Is this a “skin in the game” problem?

Back in 2014, Stephanie Mannie wrote to white gay men to stop pretending to act like black women and stealing black female culture.  Don Lemon reported then on CNN.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Drug and insurance companies making coverage for PrEP more difficult

Lou Chibbaro Jr. reports that HIV-prevention advocacy groups are pressuring states to investigate lowering coverage for Truvalda abd PrEP, including excluding subsidy credits to deductibles.
From a libertarian perspective, it’s hard to argue that states have an obligation to regulate making people pay for the consequences of behaviors.  Realistically, I would hope that these drugs would be affordable in a market sense.

One does see a variety of people out and about, in discos, and some are a lot better off than others economically and physically.  How much restraint do people have today, compare to pre 1980s?  It does seem to be considerable in better educated populations, where it’s easier to be realistic about a future relationship than I t was in my generation. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Gavin Grimm's case moves as a federal court upholds Obama's rules for transgender; how wild animals use gender fluidity and even homosexuality

So a federal court has said it, federal law protects transgender people, and Gavin Grimm’s case from Tidewater Virginia can go forward, ACLU story here
Recently publications have said that the brain scans of transgender people match those of their claimed genders.  As far as I know, the brains of cis gay men don’t show obvious differences, but it would be very hard to trace “epigenetics”.

And a PBS Nature “Extreme Weapons” shows how in some mammals, indeed the most dominant males reproduce their genes.  But that isn’t always true with beetles, or even cuttlefish.  Some invertebrates actually use homosexuality to create false “honeypots” so that a diverse (rather than dominant) male population spreads its genes to the next generation. 

Monday, May 21, 2018

"Pride of the Americas" to take place in Fort Lauderdale in April 2020

I got an email from a press agent about the planned “Pride of the Americas” in April 2010, in Fort Lauderdale, as explained here in an interview by IGLTA. 

Let’s hope Trump hasn’t let the world get away from us in war or something.

The embedded town of Wilton Manor will be rather overwhelmed. 
Outcoast has a similar story here.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Cancer fundraiser at Arlington VA bar tonight

Tonight, Freddie’s Beach Bar in Arlington VA  had a dinner hour fundraiser for cancer, where tips to drag queen and not-so fluid male performers went to a cancer charity.

I didn’t hear whether any specific cancer (HIV-related) as singled out.

But the idea of such a fundraiser could be interesting to Jack Andraka, who still does research on his pancreatic cancer test while a junior at Stanford (and who will do research in Africa this summer – and I presume benefit from the new Ebola vaccine which travelers to some parts of Africa should take now).

Some performers or servers wore "crowns" or even "halos", as if filming a trailer for my own novel "Angel's Brother" (movie??) .  

LGBTQNation calls the NRA a “domestic terrorist organization” now, as somewhat anti-gay takes over.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Gender fluidity challenges the binary dress codes for proms

Here’s an op-ed from a high school student in Washington state, “My gender-fluid senior prom”, Mother’s Day, p. 5 Review in the New York Times, by Ava Halstead. 
She says the sex assigned at birth is female, who came out as lesbian to her conservative parents as a freshman in high school.
But the point of the article is the binary dress code for the high school prom, either a suit or a dress.  
So she chose a suit, improvising from Goodwill store materials.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Beirut Pride is canceled after organizer arrested; play critical of homophobic violence censored

Beirut Pride (in Lebanon) was canceled after its organizer was arrested, and released only on condition of his canceling the second festival.
BBC has a story.  In 2017, Lebanon had been the first Arab country to hold a Pride event.
Outright International sent out a press release Wednesday but I could not find their story online.

The government complained about the reading of a play about homophobic hate crimes (or about parents expelling gay children), saying it had not been approved by censors. 
Wikipedia attribution link for p.d. picture of Beirut. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

GOP candidate for governor blames Holocaust on "gay Nazi's"

A Republican who wants to run for governor of Massachusetts (the first state with gay marriage), Scott Lively, blames “Gay Nazis” for the Holocaust, according to  a story yesterday on Forward. 

Lively was also part of the effort to “evangelize” sub-Saharan Africa, especially Uganda.
In 2001, German writer Lothar Machtan had tried to exploit this issue with “The Hidden Hitler: The Double Life of a Dictator”.  The text constantly referred to “Hitler’s homosexuality” as a possession.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Public school systems consider wording of transgender policies, and of including information about PrEP in curricula

While I am a little unsure of the exact facts now, the Fairfax County School Board wrote some regulations in 2016 for dealing with transgender issues (students, teachers, and curriculum) and it is unclear if they have been adopted.  Here is the text.

The Board will have a meeting June 14 at 6:50 PM at Jackson Middle School at 3020 Gallows Road in Merrifield.
FCPS Pride encourages the use of the language “sex assigned at birth” instead of phrases like “biological sex” (used by the military in the past), “physiological sex” or “natal sex".

FCPS Pride also encourages teaching students about PrEP, or Pre-exposure prophylaxis, as a possible way to prevent HIV infection.  Of course, there will be those who believe this encourages “promiscuity”. PrEP can reduce the risk of transmission by about 90%.

Young people today do face a world that is “safer” but much more intricate than it was for me in the 1970s and 80s.

A fact sheet was available at Northern Virginia MCC Sunday.
I worked as a substitute teacher in the FCPS system 2004-2005 and again 2007.  I also graded special education mathematics notebooks.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Interesting party at TownDC; New NRA president brings up DADT

A couple stories in the May 11 Washington Blade have some incidental significance.
TownDC is one of the bars opposing a DC ballot measure that would eliminate the :”tipped wage” exemption, as reported here by Lou Chibbaro, Jr.
The fact that Town is included in the list is indirectly encouraging;  it would suggest that progress is being made on finding another venue to open after July 1. 

I was at town last night and saw a bizarre stage show upstairs.

T J Flavell (GoGayDC) offers a picture with Rayceen Pendarvis at Town last night. 
Chris Johnson has a story about Oliver North’s presidency of the NRA.  North is said to have compared the fight against gay rights to the 19th century fight against slavery.  North is reported to opposing not only transgender service in the military but even to the 2011 repeal of DADT;  even John McCain is now onboard with this. This is all rather disturbing that this would come up.  On the other hand, I sometimes listened to North on talk radio in the 1990s in my car, at a time when he owned a security company in northern VA.  He said that he doesn’t “ask” and at the time thought that the military shouldn’t.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Transgender people seek asylum at border at Tijuana after migration from Central America

GLAD Legal Advocates and Defenders issued a press release May 10,2018 regarding a number of transgender women held at the border, probably most in detention once crossing, link here
The Washington Blade has a more detailed story by Christopher Kane. Apparently many are stuck at the border in Tijuana but many have lived through an arson fire south of the border.

Once admitted, they will have credible fear interviews and it is likely many would be placed in detention until they are paroled out, unless they have money themselves.

The story did not address non-trans LGBT asylum seekers in this situation.
Presumably non-profits could run fundraisers for allowing people out of detention with parole money, but then they would need housing for some number of months until allowed to work, and have to go through the entire asylum process often discussed before, and it is getting more difficult under Trump.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

As Town-DC nears closing July 1, big city clubs have to consider the basic economics of real estate

Town Danceboutique is now in the last two months of its life, as it stands now; it is due to close on Sunday, July 1, since it has apparently lost its lease on the building, which will apparently be replaced with apartments or condos.  I wonder about the wisdom of developers closing down popular nightclubs which could be a main attraction for tenants. In larger coastal cities with large demand for housing, discos right now are at the mercy of developers. 

I’ve kept my own eyes open, and took a picture near Union Market which I have had passed along to owners.  I have no idea if this can work out.  I’ve also passed along a commercial realtor with whom I had indirect contact in the past two years before selling my own house.

It strikes me that the economics of real estate in coastal cities makes it very difficult to justify a property that takes a whole building and is only open two nights most week.  The Town, however, had opened a Patio, as I recall, in late 2015, and it got only three years of use out of it.

Wouldn’t it make more economic sense to have a building where much of the space is used for perhaps stage shows or cinema other nights of the week?  There are clubs that combine music or performance and social functions.  Not just the 930 near the Town;  I am thinking of the Poisson Rouge in NYC on Bleecker Street.   And the Therapy, in Hells Kitchen, manages to keep its upstairs dance floor open most nights, it seems, with no cover.  It is sometimes a reason to let Amtrak pick a hotel in Hells Kitchen.

In some southern cities with lower land costs, a disco-only property can probably work better.  I’m thinking of the Scorpio (Charlotte), Hunter’s (Fort Lauderdale or Wilton Manor), and S4 (Dallas). 

I was just in Baltimore, for the film festival, and I haven’t noticed much that takes the place of the Hippo, which became a CVS store.  Apparently it is very hard for a new owner to renew a liquor license there after a sale.

I’m wondering if some sort of club could work in the Ballston Quarter in Arlington when it opens.  Certainly, judging from the street traffic, the population is there. 
You could see more dance events in rented hotel rooms or casinos or other such spaces. Maybe not full circuit parties.  But this idea might have to be tried for a while after July 1.  I wonder if National Harbor could work. Maybe some sort of space near Nationals Park or the new soccer stadium to be built.

Any new location is likely to be in a gentrifying area, and attention will have to be given to security and patrols, and in improvements to the surrounding neighborhood.