Saturday, June 30, 2018

Activists urged to continue protecting gay marriage at state level given Trump Supreme Court appointment; goodbye to Town



LGBTQ Nation has an article urging activists to lobby to have their own states repeal amendments banning gay marriage (Virginia’s Marshall-Newman, banning any contract resembling marriage, was one of the worst). It warns that a case to repeal Obergefell could conceivably come up eventually with a more rightward Supreme Court here

More likely, you’d see more “pseudo-religious liberty” cases with little general impact.
  
I made my final visit to Town last night, to Bear Happy Hour.  The closing out "party of all parties" happens late tonight.  It is probably very difficult to get in.   The crowd was more "preppie" than usual for a Bear event. 


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Anthony Kennedy retires from Supreme Court, with a the likelihood of a less moderate replacement



Dylan Matthews has a detailed article on Vox on “America after Anthony Kennedy”, link here

The last part of the piece explains how a less moderate replacement than Kennedy might affect LGBT rights.  He/she might leave the right to the license in place but none of the privileges.  But doing so could undermine “marriage” as an institution for everybody.  But pre-nups and easy divorce have already done that for years.

The country has gotten used to same-sex marriage pretty quickly.  Most of the “religious freedom” cases have been on very narrow cases, some of which there seem to be genuine first amendment side effects (like Masterpiece Cakeshop).  Furthermore, the “right” has learned that discrimination in public places works both ways – as Sarah Huckabee Sanders found out a few days ago.  No, I would not have done what the restaurant did were I the owner.  But call it her “karma”.  (Look also at Starbucks and the recent sensitivity training.)


The overturning of “don’t ask don’t tell” happened in Congress at the end of 2010 (with the certification in 2011). The Supreme Court was not involved.  But there is little it could probably do about Trump’s limiting transgender service members in cases where there are genuine medical issues that might impact duty performance. 

The overturning of the Texas 21.06 sodomy law in Lawrence v. Texas, however, did happen in the Court in June 2003.  Going back on Scalia’s dissent, I still reel at the idea of collective moral opprobrium with no real rationality. Remember Berger’s rant in 1986 in the Georgia case?

The biggest concerns are apparently with abortion rights, and the overturning of Roe v Wade.

Judges sometimes don't behave as presidents appointing them expect. 

Chris Johnson discusses Kennedy’s retirement in the Washington Blade here

Monday, June 25, 2018

Tensions grow within gay communities over political divisions over gender conformity, and need for mandatory "resistance" to Trump



A New York Times story by Joanne Spataro, describing Pride in New York City last weekend.

There’s No Right Way to Be Queer”, describes the increasing tensions within the gay community over values.

The “masculine” or “normal” men tend to segregate off, as if to say the more fluid people were somehow less worthy of personal attention.  On the other hand, the more radical elements want to demand positive and public reassurances that everyone else is on their sides.
  
Gay dating sites say that increasingly people want to screen potential dates for political correctness.  Yje Sarah Sander—Masterpiece Cakeshop irony seems to be playing out everywhere. 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

TownDC crowds big as last weekend approaches



The penultimate Saturday night at Town Discotheque was indeed a blast. (The club closes for good July 1, 2018 after the last party June 30, since it lost its lease.)  The upstairs dance floor was packed earlier than usual, by 11:30.  I was in line about 20 minutes before getting in (around 11). Upstairs the crowd was more cis than downstairs.  The dirty dancing resembled what you see on YouTube with "Next Door Mates". 
   
There is a survey being run by Metro Weekly on Town, which I would encourage patrons to fill out, by 2 PM Monday.  Your comments could be helpful in assisting management in finding new arrangements that consumers want.

As I have noted, night life in Washington is under stress when compared to other big cities for a variety of reasons.  These include infrastructure (Metro problems since 2016), parking, and very high real estate prices, driving condo construction displacing businesses.

Of course, we want the Nationals to do well, celebrate the Caps Stanley Cup, and would like to have the Redskins (or whatever new name they get) back in the City. Development in NE Washington will help reduce crime gradually, and the same attention is needed in SE.  I hope David Hogg pays a visit to the City and speaks here:  Washington (especially its SE area) has a serious gun violence problem that seriously hampers relocation of a business like Town.
  
Sunbelt cities, in particular, seem better able to keep their large clubs open for a long times, because land costs are much lower.  Dallas, for example, benefits from a high tech, professional workforce which tends to make the more affluent gay population rather large. Red-state economics, when libertarian in nature, tend to benefit the actual lifestyles of most of the gay population – even though issues like marriage equality, pseudo-religious freedom, and now transgender needs are more challenging in these areas.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Major League Baseball sends volunteers to Youth Pride in New York City



Major League Baseball sent volunteers to New York City Youth Pride, according to a nice report on MLB’s own site, here

Major League Baseball does not have any out active players at the moment announced in the media.  Producers of the film “Alone in the Game” at a QA suggested that most teams have perhaps 2 players at least high in the farm system.

Professional athletes stay in the closet despite recent non-discrimination rules because careers themselves are short and trades are very public.
  
The Nationals held an LGBT night on June 5.

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