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. 

Friday, February 15, 2019

A curious warning of heart disease gay men are more likely to notice in others -- balding legs

Here’s a surprise from MSN, one of the panels of “11 silent signs of heart trouble” – no hair on your legs.  You have to click the link twice.  This also happens a lot with diabetes. And cigarette smoking.

Nobody talks about this, but a lot of people must wonder.  Gender fluidity or drag performances could cover it all up. People don't think it's acceptable to talk about getting off on shame, as they did perhaps in the 90s.

You wonder about arms, which don’t have the same problem because they are closer to the heart and need less oxygen.  But I can remember being warned that bald men (on the pate) are more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer.

This is something more pertinent for Caucasian men than others. 

I remember noticing this about a lot of older men (right out of “Catcher in the Rye”) and (like men with guts) I wondered how they could keep their wives interested in them.  I thought, they didn’t “deserve” partners.  

And I was the guy in the dorm making other men fear they might never have kids themselves (Putin’s fear with the Russian anti-gay law).

Of course, the early days of the AIDS epidemic really did challenge the notion of body image. But back in 1980, a "roommate" told me this is what he noticed about the old men in the (now gone) Club Baths.  They were "from the grave" he said.  
Indeed, on one of my substitute teaching gigs in 2004, I was supposed to man the locker room for special ed, and then the deep end of the pool.  Well, I don't swim, very well.  But I would have to deal with the physical shame of wearing shorts in front of male students. It's important to save shame for special, ritualized occasions of one's own choice. That gets taken away.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Two plays in Manhattan deal with gay marriage, gay parenting

Andrzej Lukowski has a New York Times story about two off-broadway plays dealing with gay marriage and parenting. 
The article mentions a UK law passed in 1988 that had prohibited promoting gay families in schools (Section 28).  That was rescinded in 2000.  

One of the plays is by Kele Okereke, “Leave to Remain”, at the Lyric Hammerstein, with POC characters, through Feb. 16 (Saturday).

The other is “No Kids” by George Mann and Nir Paldi, at the Battersea Arts Center, through Feb. 23.
I hope these come to DC.  I’m not sure if I’ll get to NYC to see at least one of them.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Gay filmmaker offers his own coming out story

Eduardo Sanchez-Ubanell offers us a video “My Coming Out Story”. (See also Jan. 3)

A week ago he had made a short film about leaving Buzz-Feed (Movies blog).  I don’t know exactly what he did there, but other reports indicate that BuzzFeed did cut back on all specialized community commentary.

Eduardo talks about growing up in Miami, then attending NYU and then USC (Los Angeles), but also about life in Spain, which had gay marriage before the US did but where at one time open gay life was unheard of.

Spain seems to be lukewarm about opposing the EU’s Copyright Directive, and had even allowed the link tax collection to be mandatory for all publishers;  not one was allowed to offer links for free (protectionism).

Friday, February 08, 2019

BuzzFeedNews layoffs raise the question "Does LGBT Media Have a Future?"

Trish Bendix has a book-report like article on BuzzFeedNews, “Does LGBT Media Have a Future”? 

There was a lot of talk that especially at BuzzFeed and at some other sites, niche columnists, including LGBTQ, were laid off.

Eduardo Sanchez-Ubanell, known for “masculine gay” (but not leather) lifestyle videos, made a video about his leaving the company (see Movies blog Feb. 1), but I don’t know exactly what he did – perhaps photography and video editing (since he does a lot of that with his own channel).
But that points out another “problem” – culturally, values within the ‘gay community” (often connected to gender identity and sometimes body image) vary enormously, from the libertarian left and libertarian right to the more conventional Left, but generally the far Left and the gay community may not be getting along that well. True, there is an identarian component of the trans and fluid community, but yet at a recent DC Center briefing for dealing with the “Pence” partial ban on trans in the military (still in the courts, despite SCOTUS) everything was about military professionalism as it connects to genuine security issues, no identarianism at all.
Many gay journalists are more likely to feel more connected to broader issues – including connections to more visible minorities. 

Remember that in the fall of 2009 the Washington Blade had to reorganize (for a while as DC Agenda) after its holding company failed. 

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Trump's SOTU plan to end HIV is underwhelming

Here is some immediate reaction to Trump’s SOTU “plan” to end HIV from Rewire, by Miranda Yaver. 

Give Mike Pence’s history of homophobia in the past, the promise seems rather underwhelming.
The big question would be, in any health care overhaul, what happens in the future to coverage for PrEP?  Would a Sanders-like single payer cover it?

While Trump talked about childhood cancer, it would have been nice if he could have mentioned the accomplishments of “Science Fair Movie” ‘s Jack Andraka and a possible new test for pancreatic cancer and other cancers.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Timcast explores the banning of trans people from competitive sports over drug policies

Tim Pool, presumably a “heterosexual” independent journalist, weighs in on the issue of banning transgender people from sporting events, especially women’s power lifting.

With male-to-female, the male birth gender might still provide unfair advantages.  With female-to-male, in a men’s event, there would be the issue of steroid use.

Pool goes on to note the tension in the gay community, especially between cis female lesbians and female-to-male trans people.  There is also a hidden tension between the cis male gay community, which wants to stay in its own world, at least for erotic or personal interests.  For example, the videos of Eduardo Sanchez-Ubanell explore the world of physical fitness and health for cis gay men, and in a recent video about his leaving BuzzFeed (movies blog) he presents himself as a “boxer” to carry machismo to the extreme.
There are stories of a female who wants to be a pro football player.  What sounds more likely is that a female-to-male trans person will be good enough to play baseball – you would wonder about pitching, if being born a female is a disadvantage despite transition, since some trans men are indeed very strong.  The problem would be big league sports’ policies on drugs or medications.  But it would be a great thing to see a trans person in big league sports if it could happen.