Friday, August 31, 2018

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

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



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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, August 26, 2018

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, August 25, 2018

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



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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Video from 2016 identifies the world's ten most anti-gay countries; what about people who travel for work to these countries (and US public social media reputation)?



I thought I would share an Oct. 16 video “The 10 Worst Countries to Be Gay” from "The Talko". 


It hasn’t really changed. And this all refers to the familiar cis-gender gay world, let alone trans and fluidity (but note Iran below). 
   
But a couple of points.  One is that the video doesn’t mention Russia’s 2013 anti-gay propaganda law, although it mentions that Moscow and other cities won’t give permits to gay pride permits.

Quite disturbing is the aggressive attitude apparently to hunt gay people down in some third world countries.  Generally, these countries have low standard of living and a heavily religious influence, either from Islam, or (in the case of some of sub-Saharan Africa) certain forms of proselytized evangelical Christianity.

In Iran, gay men have been forced into sex changes (just as Alan Turing was forced to undergo chemical castration in Britain in 1952, before his suicide).

I grew up at a time when the question was not so much about group identity, but simply, why were others meddling with private lives? 
   
Generally, homophobia is associated with anti-individualism – emphasis on the welfare of the nation or group, which is comforting to those with limited opportunity on their own (the idea that homosexuality is “un-African”). That obviously ties into many religions.  In Russia, despite the reports about tying homosexuality to pedophilia (or ephebophilia), homophobia connects to Russia’s low birth rate, and a concern that more adults won’t be willing to take on the responsibility for having children (and giving their parents a permanent lineage). That also ties in to the idea of “demographic winter” popularized on the alt-right.  But the biggest reason seems quite sinister. A lot of men can perform in the family well only if they believe everyone else has to follow the same rules that they do.  They need to feel superior to some other people to continue performing.
  
This whole issue can be a serious problem when gay Americans travel to developing countries for employment, or for charitable missions.  It is even conceivable that a person’s public social media presence or otherwise online reputation could lead to arrest when in some of these countries, even if there for employment, even if the person stays out of trouble. I wonder about going to St. Petersburg myself if I go to Finland next year.
  
By Murrur - Own work, CC BY 3.0, Link s

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Video shows parental confusion about "known homosexuals" even in these times



“Im From Driftwood” has a YouTube video (Dec. 2017) where a man tells his Catholic father, when coming home from college, that he is gay, after the father had gotten rumors “Your Son Is Being Seen Around Town with Known Homosexuals”.  His first reaction, "I am known too". 


The middle aged speaker had grown up in Louisville, KY.  He says his Christian parents used a strategy of “containment”. So it was with mine after William and Mary. 

Then the speaker’s partner got HIV.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Visit to Rehoboth clubs; Timcast examines the question of refusing to date transgender people: is this "discrimination"?




Saturday I made my annual visit to Rehoboth, stopping first in Ocean City and then Bethany Beach.
   
In Ocean City, I found you could park free on the other side of the isthmus.
  
I got to Rehoboth about 6 PM and visited Diego’s Hideway bar.  The quiet bar has an outdoor patio, an interior mirror that makes the place look bigger, and a black curtain behind which there is a small dance floor.  There was to be a military-man dance Saturday night. I did not come back because Rehoboth was so crowded with such extreme traffic.  I was able to park on the main drag for two hours and walk to Queen Street, which (at the far south end of the Boardwalk) around 7 PM was relatively empty.  This time, Rehoboth seemed to be much more family-occupied, with fewer gay men than in previous visits.  I did pass by the Purple Parrot but didn’t have time to eat there before moving my car.

I thought I would mention Tim Pool’s Timcast video where Tim discusses the new Conde Nast publication “Them” with coverage of the LGTBT community.  Pool seems to be a somewhat conservative commentator, critical of the emotionality of the far Left but with kinder, gentler more inclusive focus (why can’t the entire GOP behave this way)?  Lately Pool has been critical of Ocasio-Ortez’s exclusion of the press from her community town halls.

  
Pool analyses a “Them” article on the willingness of cis-gendered people to date trans people.  Now, dating or not dating someone is a personal preference;  it’s not supposed to be discussed as “discrimination” – until it is, because of the long-range implications of whom people see as attractive.
  
An ABC episode of “Mistresses” (TV blog, July 5, 2016) had dealt with this issue.

Update: Aug 24

While in Rehoboth Aug 18 I did hear a "rumor" that the Baltimore Eagle had re-opened. Check Aug. 16 posting. 

Friday, August 17, 2018

Trump's policy on HIV infected soldiers is not well known



John Riley on Metro Weekly describes the case of Sgt. Nick Harrison, who had survived years of “don’t ask don’t tell” as a military lawyer and member of the Oklahoma National Guard.
  
It got better, of course, in 2011 with the official repeal.

But Harrison got HIV, which in his case is easily controlled by modern protease inhibitors, apparently without impairment. But military rules don’t allow him to be deployed outside the US for more than one year at a time. Trump’s new policy would force him to be discharged.  This has not been discussed much.

Early in the debate on the military ban during the first Clinton years, there was talk of battlefield transfusions (which don’t happen) as a reason not to lift the ban. This didn’t get much attention because of all of Nunn’s talk of “privacy” and “unit cohesion”.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Vermont Democratic voters nominate a transgender woman for governor; nasty incident in OK; more on Baltimore Eagle; Masterpiece back in court



A few varied items this morning.


First, Christine Hallquist is the first transgender nominee for governor of a state, being Vermont’s Democratic Party nominee after Tuesday’s victory, as on NBC Today. One can imagine Kristin Beck as being qualified for Secretary of Defense, for example (and deal with Trump's attempted ban). 

A middle school in Achille, OK closes for at least two days after threats from parents against a transgender student in a covert group surfaced online, according to a CNN story among others.  This sounds like particularly shocking behavior.  Some accounts have the entire ISD closed. 

  
Yesterday, I visited the site of the Baltimore Eagle before going to the Parkway theater for a film.  I saw no changes. I had a dinner in the Spanish restaurant Tapas Teatro on Charles Street (adjoining the Charles Street theaters) and the wait staff was familiar with the dispute and said there had been a nasty battle on social media. (See below).

Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado is back in court again -- this time for refusing to make a cake for a trangender person in transition, People magazine story. Phillips claims that God's assignment of biological gender is a religious conviction -- but what if science shows otherwise?  (Intersex exists, for example.) Does public accomodation here overcome any compelled speech issue?  Are transgender people a legitimate suspect class?

One other note:



As I left the Parkway last night I passed a bus offloading demonstrators on Charles Street. I'm not sure what "Unite Here" is all about.

Update: Aug 24

There is a story that the Baltimore Eagle is re-opened, as of around July 31, with some management changes.  During the afternoon, a visit would not have picked this up as a bar would normally be closed.  But as I found at the Tapas, nearby businesses are not fully aware of what is going on yet. I heard a little rumor about this in Rehoboth Aug, 18 and checked and found this story. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Political correctness now complains about straight men playing gay men in the movies; Chandler Massey at HRC in Atlanta



The social justice warriors are at it again, complaining that Disney will cast a “straight” actor Jack Whitehall in the upcoming film “Jungle Cruise”, CBS News story

Recently there was a flap leading to Scarlett Johanssen’s canceling out of playing a transgender character in “Rub and Tug”.

This is all pretty silly.  Straight actors have played gay characters and vice versa all the time. Sexual orientation should not be a parameter on Imdbpro (after all the flap about birthdates because older actors lost out on opportunities).

Some male actors may not want to play transgender characters because they wouldn’t like the necessary body alterations.  But then what about playing competitive swimmers or cyclists.  On “Days of our Lives”, a soap, it seems that a few of the male actors are shedding body hair intermittently with some regularity. Maybe one of the characters (especially Will) will transition.
  
   
Chandler Massey returned to “Days” recently, after “amnesia” when he was strangled to death by a psycho and then was resurrected.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Strict voter-id laws seem to trip up transgender voters



Strict voter-id laws in many states may seriously impact transgender voters, according to a study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA law school, link

The numbers for Virginia were rather shocking. 

There seem to be problems when the picture doesn’t match the gender after transition, and the person hasn’t replace the ID.  I’m not sure why many voters would have trouble replacing these photos. 

But there are also problems with actually recording the gender change on official state records according to voter id laws.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Trump's transgender military ban turned down again, as only marginally better than the original one



A second federal judge has rejected Trump’s slightly modified ban on transgender service members – those in transition or not willing to serve in their original biological gender.  Metro Weekly reports
  
So far the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" seems to be holding. 

It's interesting to remember that Selective Service Registration is required of any one born as a biological male (and it isn’t clear what happens with intersex).

I don't know the gender of the deer in front of me in Tidewater VA today. 

Monday, August 06, 2018

Georgetown University in Washington offers full scholarship to gay student expelled by his parents, after successful GoFundMe page


Georgetown University has extended a full scholarship to an incoming freshman, Seth Owen, who was expelled from his home by his parents when they found out he was gay (it’s not clear if he told them himself from this report), NBC News story here. He had been a high school valedictorian. 

A former high school teacher set up a GoFundMe page, which raised over six times its goal.  At that point Georgetown decided to offer the scholarship, which normally would have not been extended because his family could have contributed.


Perhaps this is somewhat reminiscent of my own fiasco with William and Mary in 1961 – but not exactly, as my parents picked up the tab at GWU (also in DC)  for four years with final tuition in those days ending at $800 a semester for 15 hours credit. 

Based on religion, this could have been challenging for Georgetown, at least in the past, as a Catholic (Jesuit) university. 
I had not heard about this until maybe this past weekend. 

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Extremist chatter from both sides of the "gay divide" continues, to be exploited by the Russians



An older gay man in Florida, who calls himself center-of-right, writes a strong letter to the Wall Street Journal where he calls major gay rights organizations “hate groups” and praises Senator Orin Hatch for condemning people’s bringing politics into public spaces and refusing to serve others whom they disagree with, for religious or any reason (that goes both ways, as Sarah Sanders found out).

On Saturday, July 28, Freddie’s Beach bar experienced religious protestors outdoors from its drag show.  I don’t recall this has happened at any bar in the DC area.  I was at a party in Fairfax VA Saturday night
.
A GOP candidate for a state house seat from Poplar Bluff, MO claims that homosexuality is more dangerous than smoking and that being gay cuts 30 years off life expectancy.  But such claims may have held more traction for men back in the 1980s during the explosive AIDS epidemic.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Controversy over surrogacy in Israel



There has been some controversy over changes in the law in Israel to allow surrogate parenting for gay couples and singles.

Originally it was reported that female couples would be allowed surrogacy but not male couples (to use a woman as mother), because of religious pressure.

But Benjamin Netanyahu denied he had opposed allowing it for male couples. 
  
This is not something I personally would do

Wikipedia attribution for railway picture in Israel: 
GFDL, Link