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.