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.  

Monday, May 07, 2018

"No Justice No Pride" accuses "gay conservatives" as complicit with group oppression; a challenge for Capital Pride

Capital Pride Alliance is having to deal with (presumably) left-wing and “intersectional” protest group(s) like No Justice No Pride, who object strenuously to participation by police, gun manufacturers, and parts of the “Beltway bandit” defense industry in the upcoming Pride celebration the weekend of June 10 in Washington.  (Baltimore’s will occur the following weekend in 2018.)

The No Justice No Pride website speaks of “complicity” with oppressors which I would myself have some doubts about. 

Lou Chibarro Jr. has a detailed story in this weekend’s Washington Blade.  
Pride Alliance has recognized that the gay community does have (McCain or Reagan-style) conservative and libertarian elements, as well as members of the military and intelligence committees.  The objections of NJNP might seem at odds with the fight to include transgender people in the military now (and at least one transgender person, and an expert on intelligence, as a Navy Seal before transition).
Personally, while I applaud the passion and media skills of people like David Hogg, right now I am receptive to both sides on the gun issues.  It is possible that disarming the public can make it more vulnerable to terrorism (as in Europe).

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Pulse survivors articulate at least two new disturbing narratives; more on Pence

Out Magazine reports a disturbing narrative where a Pulse survivor claimed that “Jesus” had cured him of being gay.  The article include a bedside picture with an absurd tattoo taking up his chest.
The subtext of the story sets a disquieting precedent:  that violence, intimidation and use of force by someone else’s ideological or religious dogma works.  The fascists and communists both make no bones about doing that (let alone radical Islam, which is both). 

(There was supposed to be a gathering from this ex-gay group at the Sylvan Theater on the Mall Saturday, May 5.) 

Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade (he was given an award at the Correspondents’ Dinner April 28) reports that another Pulse survivor, Brandon Wolf, has claimed that Vice President Pence still wants gays to have conversion therapy.  Pence’s office has denied that Pence has supported the practice, which he seemed to do in 2000, at which time the height of the AIDS epidemic in active gay men, while receding, had occurred 15 years before. 
Trump is reported to have joked “He wants to hang ‘em all”.  While many call for the impeachment of Trump over his disregard for the law in many areas and reputed obstruction of justice regarding the investigations, Pence could be much worse over issues like gays in the military (with the 2011 DADT repeal).  There are some claims that Pence urged the transgender ban.