Saturday, April 20, 2019

Gay press still avoids Chelsea Manning?

I was a Freddie’s in Arlington for Easter Saturday brunch, and in the course of conversation I brought up News2Share’s coverage of the widespread protests of so many issues connected to Trump, and especially Chelsea Manning’s continued jailing for refusing to testify for to a secret grand jury (another article).

I think it’s well for the folks at the Washington Blade and other gay press, the HRC and the activists to look at Electronic Frontier Foundation’s writeup by Cindy Cohn on why the Assange arrest and probably extradition and prosecution for “hacking” should matter. 

It seems now that some cis straight men have done more for Chelsea than the LGBT community.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Trans culture v. cis culture, and the myths about gold stars

There are a couple of provocative Medium essays this Friday morning on gender identity.
What caught my eye at first was “Trans Culture will changethe world” by Rachel Anne Williams. 
But then “Cursed E” continues with a blog post “Is “cis” offensive?  I hope not, because I use the term all the time. The TERF (trans exclusionary radical feminist) seems to have this rule.  Heaven forbit if it gets viewed as a slur by all the social media platforms.
So we go to the cis world of Andrew Neighbors (Andrew Goes Places) and Eduardo Sanchez-Ubanell, “How gay are you?”

At 7:45 the question comes up, “Do you have a gold star?”  My assumption had been that if you were sufficiently physically competitive as a male, you probably would have one.  But not necessarily so, according to this video.  This actually matters as a theme in my own novel. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

When gay bars lose leases to developers, here is what happens

Justin Fox of Bloomberg Businessweek explains the popularity of mid-rise “stick” (wooden interior) mid-rise apartments in suburbs and in some trendy neighborhoods. 

I think this matters for the LGBT community because there have been so many bar closings (like Town) when property is bought for apartment construction.  In the U-street area of Washington, this particular style of new apartment construction seems popular.

You need to have discos in buildings with 7-day use, for retail, office, and perhaps theater (both stage and indie movie showings) space with maybe a dance floor at the top. Maybe a parking garage, too. 
HRC owns its own building and takes 8 floors, I think. It’s amazing how much office space a major non-profit can use.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Pete Buttigieg formally announces run for Democratic nomination, as youngest ever and first openly gay candidate

Here are Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s comments form the LGBT Victory Fund Brunch on April 7.

Buttigieg formally announced his candidacy for presidency in South Bend, IN, on CNN, story, today.  I thought this had already been done.

By Cntrlaltdel33t - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Friday, April 12, 2019

Hunter Avallone's videos on LGBT issues sound like ordinary libertarianism to me but are still the target of SJW's; far left SJW cause Edmonton pride 2019 to be cancelled

Hunter Avallone got surprise attention Monday, April 8 when his channel on YouTube was suddenly hut down for no reason, with no community standards strikes, for “hate speech”, one day before the House hearings on content moderation.

I checked a few of his videos.

He has a few, going back to 2017, where he makes fun of the most extreme demands of the LGBT Left and SJW’s.

Here’s a recent one, “LGBT Insanity”.

There’s an earlier one, in 2017, “Dear Gay People”. In one video he attends Washington DC gay pride and interviews people around Dupont Circle. 
The most recent one is mainly about misgendering pronouns and the forced promotion of fluidity. (He has another video, “The Are Only Two Genders”).  Sometimes Hunter allows rainbow colors on his computer screen.

None of this is “hate speech” in the usual sense of the concept familiar from the past.

However, many elements of the far Left have become extremely combative, claiming that all speech critical of members of their community must be shut down, out of fear of inciting attacks.  There is also a fear of rollback of all political progress and a theory that everyone must join up in solidarity to stop it. This has become coercion from the far Left.

The combativeness of the far Left in some ways, ironically (despite Pulse) resembles the combativeness of radical Islam, or of fringes on the extreme right.  It’s also true that an anti-gay group wants to hold a “make America straight again” forum in Orlando (poor taste).  Back in the late 1980s there was a “Straight Slate” in a Houston, TX election.  All very silly.

Videos like Hunter’s don’t disturb intact people who can take responsibility for their own lives (like following Jordan Peterson’s “Clean Your Room”) but they may seem harsh to people who have been put through some kinds of group oppression.
My own oppression (around 1961-1962) with my college expulsion, etc., wasn’t quite the same thing as how group oppression and intersectionality are presented today.  My own story has its own unsuaul message.


It gets worse.  Edmonton, AL (Canada) canceled Pride 2019 over disruption from the extreme Left!  Tim Pool reports

Thursday, April 11, 2019

When someone doesn't know a date is trans; Pope Benedict returns

Here’s a curious item on Medium, “When to disclose your trans status to a potential romantic partner”, by Phaylen Fairchild. 

OK, maybe this piece is good practical advice.

I link to it with no skin in the game as a 75 year old cis white gay male. But the question as to whether it is “morally wrong” to refuse to consider a trans person as a dating partner keeps coming up, yes, it really does.  “Economic Invincibility” did a piece on this on YouTube some time back (from a young adult straight male perspective) and said, “well, No” – and got detoured with discussion of body parts.

Now, here’s another corker. Chico Hall and Stefano Pitrelli have an odd story in the Washington Post today about past Pope Benedict’s comments about gays in the priesthood, and the development of “homosexual cliques” in seminaries in the 1960s. We all remember the way the Vatican talked about “objective disorder” back in the 1980s, out of a belief that personal motivational systems within the head really burst out and matter to others eventually.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Palm Center analyses the official transgender policy for the military, as a kind of "don't ask don't tell" for most transgender troops

The Palm Center at the University of California at Santa Barbara has issued a report, in a series “Blueprints for Public Policy”, titled “The Making of a Ban: How DTM-19-004 Works to Push Transgender People out of Military Service”.  

The policy, going into effect around April 12, is said to be a kind of “don’t ask don’t tell for transgender persons”.

Essentially, only those who function and perform in their biological gender and who do not admit to gender dysphoria may join. There is limited grandfathering of persons who have already gone through transition.

The DoD policy does say that it follows non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation per se (as with the repeal of the “other” DADT in 2011).
The Palm Center released the report with a press release today.

Monday, April 08, 2019

Poland's populism turns on LGBT as the new enemy as migrant issue recedes; Buttigieg's speech for Pence's ears

Marc Santora offers a pretty scary story about the right wing in Europe, “Poland’s Populists Pick a New Enemy, Gay People”, NYTimes link

Poland’s governing party seems to be jumping on this before the May elections. It’s appealing to a mindless idea of “European christian culture”, all with the purchase of indulgences. It’s silly tribalism from people with little intellect.  It’s about the tribal person vs. the individualist – but so is populism.
As a whole, as you get to the end of the article, the public as a whole doesn’t buy it.

It’s easy to say this is nothing more than scapegoating, as the migrant issue is now not as useful as it was.

Poland, ironically, was one of the countries that had been looked upon as possibly able to upsetting the vote on Article 13. 

Ironically, it’s the mainstream left, generally good on social issues, that is curtailing free speech and shutting down user generated content out of false protectionism for legacy media.\

I visited Poland in 1999.  I spent a Tuesday at Auschwitz-Birkenau, driven there by a taxi for the day, on a quiet day. I spent the night in Krakow (taking the night train east from Berlin), and then a train to Warsaw, seeing the peasants in the fields. I spent a night in Warsaw and flew home to Minneapolis the next day. I didn’t run into any problems.

In 2007, there were stories in a Pittsburgh gay paper about anti-gay attitudes in Poland when I visited the Andy Warhol museum. The main issue seemed to be about not giving your parents grandchildren when there was a low birthrate.

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Some transgender pronoun laws in Canada are quite extreme, according to conservatives

“Press for Truth” has a video talking about the great links that Canadian law goes to in making sure that transgender people are referred to with their desired pronouns.

There was one case where a Child Protective Services threatened to remove a child from parents over a pronoun issue.

The video refers to a lawsuit by a new small Catholic school in Euclid, Ohio over transgender content in education against a local ordinance, which could affect similar laws around the nation. 

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Chicago now offers the nation's first big city gay mayor (female, PoC)

Chicago’s Lori Lightfoot has become the first large city (top 100) LGBT female mayor (PoC or not) ever, as in a Blade story by Chris Johnson. 

This will be interesting as Chicago reels from the Jussie Smollett mess.

How long will it take her to visit the Cubs and White Sox?  

I last visited Rush Street myself in November 1998.

Picture: from a family album, 1940s, I think in Illinois near Effingham. 

Thursday, April 04, 2019

LDS church reverses itself on gay marriage to counter national climate of hate

The Mormon Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints  has announced that it has reversed its previous policy that members in same-sex marriages (and their children) are “apostates”, as in the Church’s own statement here. 

Laurel Wamsley has a story for NPR with a picture of a rainbow flag near the temple in Salt Lake.   The church says it is time to reverse the epidemic of hate (from the right) that has exploded in the country.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

House Judiciary Committee has hearings on Equality Act today

Here is the full testimony for the Equality Act, H.R. 5, before the House Judiciary Committee today.

Mr. Nadler gave an impassioned opening statement.  For example, he said that there has been no problem for women’s sports.

He dismissed the libertarian attitude for same-sex couples who are turned away who can “take their business elsewhere”.
Mr. Collins talked about the problems that women who had been men would have advantages in sports and hurt women and girls.  He also talked about parents being to compelled to do unwise transition treatment.

The testimony did include discussion of "religious freedom".

One witness read a letter where a transgender person (raising kids) was outed at work and then fired under employment at will. She would see her family go on Medicaid.

But another one said that including arbitrary intersectional classes related to fluidity or transient gender identity would violate the rights of others, especially women and girls. She felt that sexual orientation alone was much easier to protect than gender identity or at least fluidity.

Each witness had to testify according to to a timing light.

Chris Johnson discussed the testimony on women's sports in the Washington Blade. 

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Avalon Saturdays, new popup disco in downtown Washington DC; also, Eduardo in drag

Saturday night I visited the popup gay disco bar “Avalon Saturdays” near Franklin Square on 14th St. in Washington DC.  (It’s not the same as the Avalon Theater, in far NW DC). 

The weekend-ly event is a welcome addition to Washington’s nightclub scene given the loss of Town Danceboutique (July 1, 2018) and suddenly Cobalt (February 2019).

The facility is in the basement of an office building. It opens at 10 PM, and is $10 for the first half-hour and then goes up to $15 ($20 for VIP).

There are comfortable padded seats in front of the stage for the drag show, which starts at about 10:40 and lasts an hour, and then the seats are removed to open the dance floor.  I don’t know why the area of the stage doesn’t add to the floor.

There are nice lighted abstract decors for serving samples in the back.

The drag queens tend to be very aggressive in trolling the crowds to demand tips. You need plenty of $1 bills.

The place gets crowded by 11:30 and the crowd is very mixed and random, much like Town’s was.
Here’s a little treat from Eduardo Sanchez-Ubanell, “I Try Drag for the First Time”.

He mentions that acting in drag is a way to show your masculinity, which sounds like a paradox, but Paul Rosenfels says that. He shaves his face (he normally has a neatly cropped beard), but does not shave body hair, but uses the costume and leggings to cover up.

What gets testy is when male actors play transgender characters, like Cillian Murphy or Jared Leto.
But cross-dressing itself has nothing to do with transgenderism.

Eduardo seems to be playing with a kind of Russell Paradox, where he wants the reassurance after all that men "have" something that women don't have, conspicuously.  And that's true of European men but not other groups, because of geographical separation in the past and colder climates with less sun. 

Friday, March 29, 2019

Are more gay men turning on transgender people?; House condemns Trump's transgender military "ban"

Phaylen Fairchild offers an interesting take on Medium, “Why are more gay men turning on transgender people?”

The author talks about some conversations on Gab, which I have sometimes looked at, and never really seen anything that horrible. 

At a personal level, most cis gay men want to find other partners who are cis (and then gets into “upward affiliation”).  In a typical disco with a drag show early in the evening, there seems to be a contradiction indeed.   As an abstract principle, they (“we”) will support trans rights (like to serve in the military, by analogy to DADT in the past) from a distance but usually not want to get too involved personally.

There are trans people who are unusually accomplished, like Lady Valor (Kristin Beck, an ex Navy Seal who would be a credible Democratic candidate for president if she wanted to run), or the controversial Chelsea Manning, who is as articulate as any person on the planet. But why hasn’t the gay press covered her solitary confinement for challenging secret grand jury abuse?

Fund raising and activism in HRC and other similar groups has focused much more on trans issues than in past decades. 

In some extreme cases, some cis gay men have been criticized for refusing to date trans people, in whom they would not be interested.
The House just voted to condemn (a non-binding resolution) Trump’s attempted and complicated transgender ban (PBS story). 

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Gay dating site considered a security risk when in Chinese ownership; Alabama wants out of the marriage business altogether

Metro Weekly has a story reporting that the US Committee on Foreign Investment wants to force a Chinese company to sell Grindr.

The dating site for gay people is considered a security risk when in the hands of a foreign owner because many people on the list, including active duty military, have high level clearances.  That’s an ironic aftereffect of ending DADT in 2011.

Here is the Reuters story
And in Alabama, many judges and counties are getting out ofthe marriage license business or ceremony over same sex marriage – following Kim Davis in Kentucky.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Equality Act might undermine legitimate women's equality concerns (WSJ)

The Wall Street Journal today, in an op-ed by Abigail Shrier, makes a convincing argument that the Equality Act, as applied for transgender persons, would undermine women’s equality and sometimes safety, link here .  It's called "The Transgender War on Women". 

There is discussion of male-to-female trans people competing in women’s sports, because they might have a residual biological edge. The writers also plays up the problems with restrooms and prisons and other special circumstances, which generally have not been very significant. 

The article is critical of the idea of using intersectionality levels to make policy, because of the contradictions particular groups can experience. 
It's hard for me to respond to activist organizations to take action on bills like this when they do have problems. 
Ironically, a female-to-male person might be able to compete in some male big league sports.  Someday, MLB will have a such a player, perhaps a relief pitcher.  Baseball has no openly gay conventional cis male players as far as I know, even though MLB insists it is committed to non-discrimination. (Opening Day 2019 is tomorrow.) 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Charges against Jussie Smollett dropped with small civil penalties in a confusing fact pattern; Manning in solitary

The story about the Cook County State Attorney’s office dropping charges against Jussie Smollett broke this morning and consumed CNN, just as stories about Trump and Barr etc had been all the rage.

I was distracted by the breaking news of the quasi-“passage” of a draconian copyright law in Europe, which has gotten relatively minimal coverage from mainstream media in the US.  That could change.

Then I went to a Town Hall, so I didn’t get to this story until now.

The most detailed non-video analysis of the incident seems to be a story in Vulture by Natalie Hope McDonald.  

The indictment was dismissed after Smollett agree to community service and to forfeit the bond as a kind of civil punishment.  He will probably be hired back on to Empire.

There is a lot of talk that the police made mistakes in statements to the press. 

There is also New York Post story hinting that Mark Geragos, an attorney for Smollett and Michael Jackson., is connected to the Mike Avenatti case.
Attorney Patricia Brown Holmes insists on Jussie’s innocence on CNN Don Lemon.
It is not too unusual for charges to be dropped after some sort of civil penance, like community service or mental health counseling, in a case where the circumstances of a defendant’s conduct are murky or somehow provocative in an uncommon way.  I know of cases where this has happened with teachers. 

There are also reports that Chelsea Manning has been kept in solitary confinement. 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Former Log Cabin Republican head opposes Equality Act

The Washington Blade reports that a former Log Cabin Republicans opposes the Equality Act. That’s Gregory T. Angelo (article by Mariah Cooper).  
That’s pretty much a libertarian position.  That is, gay (and trans and fluid) equality is more a matter of individual rights, not about groups.  Government shouldn’t interfere with what isn’t somebody else’s business. A free market normally has natural disincentives (except for small or very specialized institutions like some churches) not to discriminate.

I’ve always been unwilling to perceive GLBT as a “people” (there would be obvious contradictory intersectional factions).  But I’m also pretty uncomfortable about deliberately keeping score for PoC or various groups. 
But the problem is indeed that people don't start at the same place in line. Yet some people transcend disadvantage and poverty and become "antifragile" with it. 
So I’ve never made public campaigning (like raising money for or wearing badges) for abstract ideas of equality a personal priority or how I brand myself. 

On the other hand, the far Left has influenced the tech community and payment processors to become excessively preoccupied with the idea that almost any conservative pundit is leading followers down the path of white supremacy or ethno-states.  That notions is simply false.

Yet any group can be a target of violence.  Consider Pulse, Pittsburgh, Christchurch. The enemy of your enemy isn’t always your friend.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

DC Eagle has one week license suspension over incident checking id of a city councilman

Gay bars continue to have adversity in the DC area as the DC Eagle on Benning Road had its liquor license suspended for 7 days, and will close Saturday March 23 through Friday March 29.  The bar was also fined $2000.  The Metro Weekly story by John Riley is here.

The suspension was the result of a supposed altercation with a DC councilmember in the fall.

It is appropriate for bar personnel to insist on seeing identification and age verification for all customers entering, even those who look elderly. That is indeed required by law and this was done. Discos always check my id.

I had an situation in Minneapolis in the fall of 2002 when a small bar on Hennepin (not one of the discos) twice refused to admit me because the bouncer thought I looked intoxicated.  It is true that sometimes  have a slight limp from a 1998 hip fracture.  One other person who had bartended at the Boom, a bar that had been open on the east bank then, said that had happened to him.

In October 2001, shortly after 9/11, I was mysteriously asked to leave the Gay 90s on a Saturday night  after walking downstairs from the upstairs bar when a security guard though I looked incapacitated.  I had consumer maybe half of a beer.  That incident never was repeated.

I don’t know what happens now, but at the time bars in Minneapolis had dancers and it was acceptable to touch them when offering tips.  That is not acceptable in Washington DC. and will lead to ejection.

The DC Eagle had been reported as willing to sell the building with liquor licenses and lease it back. The Baltimore Eagle is said to reopen soon.

Update: March 24 

Washington DC has a new dance party Avalon Saturdays, which I just learned about last night at Ziegfelds.  Here's the Facebook link.  I'll try to go as soon as there is another good event (like for Cherry coming up) and report.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Newspaper in Tampa FL area reports chain restaurants in gay areas are closed for (imaginary) health violations

A newspaper in Tampa reports the closing of some locations of a popular restaurant chain because one or more employees tested positive for Hepatitis A.  (Unlike Hep B and C, and HIV, A can be spread through food but in practice is it rather rare to happen this way.)  It appears that these incidents relate to food businesses owned as franchises. 

The story is in the Tampa Bay Times, by Daniel Figueroa.

There are indications that locations in areas of St. Petersburg thought to be “gay” demographically have been targeted.
I was told about this in a personal email this morning.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Newseum offers "Rise Up" gay history exhibit but will close at the end of 2019

Wednesday I visited the exhibit “Rise Up” at the Newseum in Washington DC, on Level 6.

The tickets would have been $24 but I purchased a $75 pass for 2019.

The link has many posters and JPG’s.

The booths show the history of the gay rights movement from the early 1950s, when gay organizations were banned from using the mails, through Obergefell in 2015.

There is a big mural on the Stonewall riots in NYC on June 28, 1969.

There is a small panel on the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and Trump’s transgender military ban.

There was a large film “Into the Streets” on the wide screen on Level 5 (Movies blog).

The Newseum will close at the end of 2019, due to operating losses.  It will turn into a graduate studies center for Johns Hopkins (Washington Post).

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Most of Trump's transgender ban goes into effect April 12 -- but maybe not?

The latest is that Trump’s ban on transgender service members starts April 12, but most currently serving transgender members are grandfathered to stay.  There will be problems when they try to get promotions.

Mother Jones covers the situation in an article by Dan Spinelli and has an embed of the Pentagon order March 12.

People who say they have gender dysphoria will not be allowed to enlist.  Apparently they will not be allowed to enlist or reenlist even after surgery and 18-24 months of stability, as has been the case.  There many be issues with hormone treatments.

There are questions about the legality of the order since the plaintiffs have the right to ask for a hearing with the full DC Circuit appeals court until April 29.

LGBTQ Nation has a story by Alex Bollinger March 13.   The California National Guard is staid to be preparing to appeal the order.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Fertility insurance and same-sex parents, and surrogacy: controversial?

This is going to be morally controversial with many people.

The idea of no discrimination by insurance companies (or by governments in single payer systems) for infertility treatments is getting more traction, as in this post by Dr. Mark Trolice. 

Of course, people will object to providing assistance for surrogacy when there will not be a parent of each biological sex raising the child.  Trolice runs a clinic in Orlando (linked in the article).

The Family Equality Council has published surveys showing a rapid increasing in the percentages of younger same-sex couples (especially men) wanting children or to add children, but sometimes by adoption (which many see as much more desirable since there are so many orphans – especially overseas) without parents.

NBC News reports that some women freeze their ova before becoming transgender men so as to have children, although this sounds very expensive. 

Monday, March 11, 2019

Gay bar closures becoming common as gay lifestyle goes more mainstream

I did a quick tour of the 17th Street strip in Washington, Kameny St, on the first mild day in March, late on a Sunday afternoon, right after daylight savings time had resumed.  

Yup, I found the Cobalt closed, but without any signs of explanation.

I went upstairs into the DIK bar (Dupont Italian Kitchen -- it used to be called Windows – like Microsoft – in the days of GLIL) and found that the bar has set up a small stage-like area as a kind of emergency dancefloor.  If you’re elderly; be careful about the first step going downstairs.

I ate supper at Annie’s, which as packed (a steak salad);  it was just as it had been in the late 80s.  Everything else has changed.

Then I went into JR’s, which was also packed. It seems to me that Little could make a little dance podium upstairs in the back if he wanted.

Marissa J. Lang has an article in the Washington Post about the closing.

Lou Chibbaro reports for the Washington Blade here.

The closure was sudden, after a plumbing failure, and it was not economically feasible to stay open with a short non-renewable lease. The owner notes that specific gay spaces are not doing as much business as they used to because of mainstreaming of gay and even trans culture (with at least one openly gay candidate for president), particularly after Obergefell.

Chibbaro notes that the Baltimore Grand Central (across the street from the Hippo-now-CVS) was sold Feb. 28 and the new owners will operate the bar now but close it eventually (Baltimore Sun). .  But the Baltimore Eagle, sold again after an ownership despite over cultural values, is said to be planning reopening (it is across North Ave on Charles St).

One idea should be to build a mutli-purpose space that has economically profitable use seven says a week.

In a multi-story building you could have retail space on a ground floor, then meeting spaces and theater stages and dance floors (which could double as theater sometimes).  The old Town DC had an upstairs stage which could have been used during the week more. A theater space could be setup to attract new artists.  I could see how this could be useful to me with my own music.

I will cover the new Stonewall exhibit at the Newseum soon.

Casa Ruby is assisting some asylum seekers (story on Wordpress site today).

Friday, March 08, 2019

Chelsea Manning jailed for refusing to "snitch" on Assange to a grand jury

Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning) was jailed today in Alexandria VA for contempt of court after refusing to testify and provide more details about her role with Wikileaks and Julian Assange, who may be extradited to the US eventually.

She could remain in jail until the end of the grand jury session.

President Obama had commuted her sentence.  The Trump administration (despite Trump’s saying “I love Wikileaks” in 2016 during the campaign) now classifies Wikileaks as foreign intelligence instead of journalism.

Manning objects to secret grand jury investigations altogether. She says she will testify in open court.

Her refusal seems to be a matter of principle, so as not to snitch.

I was at the protests Tuesday morning.

Ford Fischer of News2Share provided other networks much of the outdoor footage.

The Associated Press story by Matthew Barakat is here. Chelsea could be a heroine or a villain for either the Left of Right, depending on what you see.

Because any citizen could have been chosen to be on the grand jury, this is important reading.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Muslim immigrant objection to LGBT education in Birmingham, England demonstrates quandry of intersectionality

Religious communities, led by the Muslim community, have pressured schools in Birmingham, England to stop offering lessons on homosexuality and gender identity.  There is a “no outsiders” problem.

Pool points out that the situation in the UK demonstrates the folly of “intersectionality”.  Here are two potentially protected classes in most western countries at odds with each other.
By JimmyGuano - Own work, Public Domain, Link

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

HRC reinforces calls to support the Equality Act

This video 1 year ago celebrates the act’s getting 100 cosponsors.

HRC published a new video on the Equality Act today in Facebook, which I could not find yet on YouTube. It encourages readers to call their Congresspersons and Senators with action buttons.

In practice vulnerability to discrimination is very dependent on overall economic status and sometimes race and gender identity (as opposed to sexuality alone).

This is a good time to note that both Tim Pool and Eduardo Sanchez-Ubanell have noted the folly of reverse racism, where people are expected to look a certain way based on their last name, ethnicity, or first language.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Bone marrow transplant for a cancer removes HIV infection

An HIV-positive man in Britain became the second person ever to become HIV negative by a bone marrow transplant from a man who had a gene that made him HIV resistant. The transplant was done to cure a cancer (MSN). It's interesting to report that a small minority of people seem to have unusual genetic resistance to HIV;  I don't recall this being reliably reported in the 1980s.

Marc Short, Mike Pence’s incoming chief of staff, is reported to have written a vitriolic anto-gay article in a college paper at Washington-Lee university in 1989, blaming gay men for their behavior in spreading AIDS (Daily Beast).

And the Williams Law Institute at UCLA published a detailed demographic study indicating that 4.5% of people in the US self-identify as :GBT.

Saturday, March 02, 2019

What about gay men in college fraternities?

Well, we’ve talked a lot about gays and more recently transgender persons in the military.

What about gays in college fraternities?

Eduardo Sanchez-Ubanell (now24, I think) did this at USC (film major) and says he was not officially out but more or less everyone “knew”.  But he says he was treated exactly the same.

There is very little said about fraternities in the gay press that I can recall.

Most of the attention recently has been negative, such as an unfortunate hazing death in Pennsylvania (where someone with alcohol poisoning did not get medical attention for 12 hours).

He has another video where apparently he told an airport agent “I have a right to be Eduardo” despite not being PoC.  In fact, it is very common for white people to have Hispanic names and language, partly because of WWII-migrations to South America and sometimes Mexico.  When I worked as a substitute teacher, I had two or three “Nordic” people with Spanish names.  Spain itself is a very diverse place, like England (I was last in both countries in 2001, need to do it again).

The video mentions "hookups";  Economic Invincibility just did a video on straight hookup culture.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Methodists face further splits in US over not allowing gay clergy or gay marriage

The AP reports that the United Methodist Church has upheld a ban on recognizing same-sex marriage and on gay clergy, largely as a result of overseas voting from poorer countries.  The AP story is on NBC, here.

There is thought that this could lead to further splits in the denomination, which gets weaker in the US.

The conference was held in St. Louis.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Cuba reticent on gay rights as referendum approaches; revenge porn issue; DC leather bar for sale

Sunday, Fareed Zakaria noted the rise of evangelical “Christianity” in Cuba and Brazil as behind the anti-gay attitudes, where authorization for gay marriage was removed from the Cuban constitutional referendum and where under right-wing rule, Brazil passed a strict “bathroom bill” and now forbids teaching of alternative gender and sexual identity in schools (sounds a bit like Russia).

The right wing seems to play on the idea that if gay marriage or expression is freely permitted, heterosexual men will not do as well in their own marriages, a kind of mirror of the vaccine debate. Russia, remember, is desperately trying to raise its birthrate so strengthen ethno-nationality (and settle remote areas). It sounds like Hungary is going down the same route.

“Evangelicals” are often said to have spread homophobia to governments in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Washington Blade (Michael K. Lavers)  notes that a gay paper in Cuba was blocked before the referendum

A couple of other odds and ends:

John Riley has a highly disturbing story in the Metro Weekly that gay men are more likely to commit revenge porn online (statistically).  I’ve never heard of a single case personally.  
But that does explain the sensitivity of people being photographed (however clothed, maybe in the middle of dirty dancing) in discos since about 2011.

Lou Chibbaro of the Blade reports that the DC Eagle is for sale (it was rebuilt on Benning Road around 2015).  That includes the entire business including licenses.  You wonder it Town DC would be interested, and make the club have a mixed focus, both regular disco and leather, on different nights.

Update: March 5

The Blade now reports that this is a leaseback idea, not a sale. Still, I wonder if Town could do events there, or at 930 Club, or even at hotels (maybe at National Harbor?)

Also the Cobalt has suddenly closed, as explained by John Riley at Metro Weeklu.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Florida remains purple as the state considers a "pre-emption" bill

Equality Florida is warning about a new “pre-emption” bill in Tallahassee (central time zone, no less, not coastal) that would preclude localities from passing their own anti-discrimination ordinances.

Florida still remains the purple-est of states, split down 50-50 on everything.
But it will have to wait four years to have David Hogg as a politician – as he starts Harvard in the fall after his gap year.  What a record of activism. Maybe a House of Representatives seat starting in 2027?

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Indiana Catholic school suddenly fires lesbian guidance counselor over marriage after years of no issues; police on Smollett

A Catholic high school in Indianapolis, Roncalli, has fired at least one female guidance counselor after she married her partner legally. Frank Bruni reports in a New York Times op-ed about the heartbreak. 

She was even told she could remain on the job if she dissolved the marriage.  

We keep hearing about “religious freedom” acts, but why does even a Catholic school decide to intrude in the lives of its employees after years when nothing like this happened. 

It’s as if they think that her freedom to marry a woman would degrade the home marital experiences of heterosexual employees – this is kind of a psychological herd immunity idea, like from the vaccine debate.
On the Jussie Smollett matter, here is the Chicago Police Department press conference on his arrest,

Such a dumb thing to do (assuming true and that there is a conviction or guilty plea).

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Trump administration will try to stop anti-gay laws overseas but doesn't invite major gay organizations to a conference in Germany

The Trump administration has reportedly unexpectedly announced a global initiative to decriminalize homosexual acts, but curiously didn’t invite major US and some European LGBT groups to participate in the meeting to be held in Germany. Christ Johnson has the story in the Washington Blade here.
The initiative will be led by Richard Grenell, the US Ambassador to Germany, who is gay.

Jen Kerby has a story in Vox.

But Out has an article calling the plan dangerous (actually tied to anti-terror and anti-Iran policy).

The administration may be wanting to send a message of its opposition to the left-wing partisanship of many gay organizations, while protecting the rights of individuals who can manage on their own. It seems to want to separate gay rights from race (which is logical).

It would be interesting to know if Peter Theil is involved.

SubSaharan Africa and the Middle East are among the worst countries.  
Angola reportedly has softened somewhat by allowing a gay rights group to operate, story.
The administration is supposedly looking at Chechnya (autonomous region in Russia, where the Tsarnaev family had come from – with the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013).  

Tim Pool weighs in, after linking to the Out article on Twitter and wisecracking it.  He points out that the far Left defines "race" very carelessly and mixed it up with other concepts. 

Nigeria today is one of the worst countries.  But in the 1980s it had at least two churches in the UFMCC denomination, an oddity at the time.

Update: Feb. 25

The Metro Weekly reports that the Family Research Council called this "cultural imperialism", as if it interfered with ethno-nationalism and the desire for higher birth rates (look at Hungary).

Monday, February 18, 2019

Judge blocks discharge of two HIV+ airmen based on speculative theory about deployments

Judge Leonie M. Brinkema of the US District Court of Eastern Virginia blocked the Pentagon from discharging two Air Force servicemembers because they were HIV positive. Trudy Ring has the story in the Advocate here.

The Air Force had argued that HIV protease inhibitor medication could be lost in deployment, particularly in the Middle East.

That sounds like a bizarre argument, that military deployment could not safeguard prescribed medications.

On the surface, it sounds like it could undermine the DADT repeal.

But during the 1980s when there was a pre-DADT ban on gays in the military, it was common to treat HIV-related OI’s  (like small Kaposi’s lesions) without discharging members automatically.

Update: Feb. 19

Economic Invincibility weighs in.  He can be ruthless with pure logic.

 DADT, again, was repealed in 2011.  Trump hasn't touched it, thankfully.  By the way, my understanding that battlefield blood transfusions as such just don't happen.  But never say never??

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Smollett denies the Chicago attack was a hoax, but he puts the whole identarian combat strategy of claiming group victimization at risk, especially in the LGBTQ community; Chicago Police update!

Saturday, there was a lot of buzz (no pun) when CNN broke the story that the Chicago police were investigating the possibility that Jussie Smollett might have perpetrated a hoax (even called the "Nigerian scam" by some podcasters). 

TMZ started to follow the story, and Sunday morning was walking the story back with the denials from Smollett and his attorney. 

TheWrap and Bizpac have stories on the denial, with some suggestion that “Trump” supporters were trying to frame Smollett. 
Let’s walk back again to the Covington kids fiasco.  On that one, the mainstream and intermediate media went with the radical Left’s interpretation of the Mall encounter, until more video changed the perspective. As a result, a lot of media figures are in danger of being sued for libel. So now, as a Blogger or even writing a tweet, an individual can no longer take even CNN’s word for a story on a controversial incident where someone claims victimization.  Here, the “right wing” interpretation of Smollett is suddenly picked up.  Is this a case that, from the evidence, you see what you want to see? 

The Washington Blade, in fact, in its Feb. 15 print issue, offered a dark front page with Smollett’s picture and the headline “Black queer people are victimized every day”.  The online story (Mariah Cooper) is a offered with a little more circumspection now in how it is framed on the website. 

Tim Pool made a second video about this early Sunday morning (“victimhood brownie points”).  But note Pool’s theory about the Smollett’s denial toward the end of the video. 

There’s a particular issue in the gay community, as I have mentioned, in that the “establishment” pushes identarianism and marginalized groups within the urban gay communities, ad odds with the often well off white gay men who prefer to look for partners who are as male, successful, and “masculine” as possible.  (Look at Eduardo’s video channel.)  Psychologists call it “upward affiliation” (a term that George Gilder apparently coined in the 1980s).  

Personally, I’d love to see Lady Valor (Kristin Beck) run for president, not because she’s trans, but because she really expert on national security in an unusual way. But Kristin is well off.  Or I can fantasize about lowering the minimum age for the presidency and imagine Jack Andraka, who is not only a leading young scientist but looks now like a model, in the White House.  We could use a scientist in office to handle climate change and prevent the next pandemic. Well, we already have Pete Buttigieg, 37, declared to run.  A white cis male. 

But in the leftist side of the gay establishment, there is a lot of victim playing.  If this was a hoax, one motive could be to make “identarianism” in the public debate more acceptable, and try to shut out the libertarian-individualistic approach which tends to ignore the needs of the truly disadvantaged and, sometimes, indeed, oppressed when perceived as parts of groups.  Conservatives and libertarians feel shame at the idea of victimization and can get off on it when encountered in others;  the Left relishes and uses victimization to fight, a combativeness strategy that corporate America these days notices. 
It’s even possible to have libel trolls: stage outrageous events, tempt the media and even bloggers into misreporting, and then sue or extort settlements.

Update: Monday, Feb. 18

NBC Nightly News has a video with the most up-to-date information on the case.  The details leave open the possibility that a perpetrator of a hate crime could then accuse the victim of having set it up by payment as a political ("victimization") stunt. 

Update:  Thursday, Feb. 21

The Chicago Police Department just gave a press conference.  Here is CNN's report.  Let the police speak for themselves as to what they say happened. 

Of course this hurts legitimate claims of attacks and hate crimes.