Archive | May, 2011

A Queer Version of Howard Zinn

31 May

Thanks to my friend Brad for inspiring this story.  Here we are on the final day of May, the day before TSM will do a month long celebration of LGBT History.  June is typically LGBT History Month in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots.  In preparation of celebrating LGBT history, I would like to strongly recommend a new book by Michael Bronski

A 21st Century Howard Zinn

A QUEER HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. I have been a great fan of Howard Zinn since the first time I read A People’s History of the United States, in the late 1980s.  Bronski, like Zinn has crafted a piece of non-fiction that reflects our history through a more accurate lens.  Bronski focuses on tracing the history of the LGBT community in the United States.  Bronski starts with the Puritans and shows the beginning of how America justified the marginalization of people:

The acceptance of slavery as a philosophical concept and political reality laid the groundwork for the justification of ‘othering’ — designating a group of people as ‘different,’ placing them outside of the legal, social, and moral framework granting full citizenship.

Bronski takes a very needed integrated approach in including the voices of the LGBT community.  Click here to see the full article. I hope that my month of celebrating LGBT people will help to hearing our voices in American history become fully integrated.

Here is a nice update thanks to a kind soul that follows TSM:

I thought you might like the video we did for Michael Bronski’s A Queer History of the United States:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzJ7X2Uavyc

Please share if you like it!

Best,

Jessie Bennett

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Women’s History: May 31

31 May

Happy Birthday, Cynthia May Alden

Happy Birthday, Cynthia May Alden.  Alden, also known as Cynthia May Westover, was known for her work as a journalist, and social reformer/worker.  After moving to New York City and taking many different jobs, such as street cleaning, customs inspector, and a gig she took at the Natural History Museum, Alden became a journalist for the New York Recorder and then later the New York Tribune.  Later, Alden would join the editorial staff of The Ladies’ Home  Journal.  For the latter half of her life, Alden devoted her time and resources for the welfare of blind children.

Not Your Usual Memorial Day Article

30 May

During this Memorial Day, I wonder how many gay men and women will be honored and or remembered?  While I think it is safe to say that gay men and women have been active in wars since the beginning of wars, how have they been recognized and honored?  Oh, yes, I suppose we can argue they have been recognized by being publicly humiliated with a dishonorable discharge (Lt. Dan Choi); what a great way to reward someone who has dedicated his/her life to serving their country.  Let us hope that the repeal of DADT will bring some peace to the very ill way we have treated our LGBT soldiers.

(Thank you Jen Lockett for inspiring me to compose this article) I also wonder when we will stop buying into the lies being told about women who serve in the military.  May 30, 2011, women are still not allowed to serve on the front line of duty.  Let us be very clear here! There are women that are fighting in combat, but technically they are not allowed to and are not recognized for their contributions to the military combat.  Yes, people like Newt Gingrich (the self appointed expert on all things military) told a group of college students that:

 …that women can’t serve on the front lines because they get infections.  They might be tortured, and they can’t handle that. They might be raped.

I’m sure Mr. Gingrich witnessed this first had during his military service.  Oh, that’s right. Gingrich never served in the military.  Click here to see the source I used about the hypocrite and fool Gingrich.  Here are five lies/myths men use to prevent women from serving in combat:

  1. Women are too emotionally fragile for combat.
  2. Women are too physically weak for the battlefield.
  3. The presence of women causes sexual tension in training and battle. (Hm, didn’t we hear this same argument about not allowing gays in the military?)
  4. Male troops will become distracted from their missions in order to protect female comrades. (Are the men equally distracted from killing women in Iraq and Afghanistan?)
  5. (I love this one!) Women can’t lead men in combat effectively.

Am I the only one here that says this stinks of complete horse dookey?  This is nothing less than blatant misogyny!  Click here to see the full article in the Washington Post. As we remember and honor those that have served in the military, I hope each and every TSM follower will take some time to reflect on all of the women and LGBT people that have also served.

More on Marriage Equality

29 May

I am going to continue to push the issue of marriage equality until it happens!  As most of you know by now, committed LGBT couples are denied over 1,000 benefits accorded to our heterosexual brothers and sisters. Even simple little benefits such as hospital visitation, insurance, and right of survivorship. Right of survivorship is an extra filing fee that LGBT couples have to pay that states property owned by the couple will go to the survivor, should one of the partners die. Heterosexual couples do not have to pay this additional fee, it is automatic.  Other benefits we are denied include social security and retirement.

My husband and I have been together now for 12 years, longer than any of the marriages of Britney Spears has had.  Is my marriage really that threatening that heterosexual can justify their bigotry and discrimination on a matter of civil rights?   Click here to see this brief article regarding marriage equality.

The Power Within: Anti-Bullying Comic Project Beats Its Goal

28 May

The Power to Stop Bullying

Regular TSM readers will remember the wonderful Power Within project, an effort to produce copies of a powerful anti-bullying comic to distribute nationally to LGBT youth centers. Creators Zan Christensen and Mark Brill set up a Kickstarter page to raise $3,000 of the approximately $4,200 needed to fund the project. Thanks to the generosity of caring people like you, the project not only met its goal, it raised more than the $4,200, fully funding the printing. Christensen notes on the Kickstarter page:

Thank you to everyone who pitched in and brought us not only to our $3000 minimum, but to our $4200 total printing bill! I’ve been in touch with the printers and am scheduling the print run now; we will be able to produce more than 3000 full-color copies of the book to distribute to at-risk kids. I’ve launched http://thepowerwithin.org with a link to submit your info for your local youth organizations that would like to get copies of the book. There will be more news as we determine the date that the book will be available. Backers will be the first to see it!

If you know of an organization that could benefit from copies of The Power Within, please identify it using the link above. A big thank you to everyone who helped make this project a reality.

Bryant, Noah, McDowell: Quite the Ménage à Trois

28 May

L'Amour, L'Amour, L'Amour

Thanks to my friend Jen Lockett for inspiring this story.  That past few months have done nothing to encourage LGBT youth to engage in sports.  In April we witnessed Klassy Kobe with his Queer Bashing.  Then in May, Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell made national headlines for making anti-gay slurs at a group of fans in San Francisco. “He also made crude gestures at the fans, in full view of children who were in the crowd,” McDowell’s over the top homophobia may be an indication that he is spending time in bathroom stalls tapping his foot waiting for Larry Craig.  And to round out this trio of twisted troglodytes, we had Joakim Noah also using the word “faggot,” perhaps he was addressing a love interest.

While all three bigots made the 3 minute obligatory apologies, none of them rang true.  When will it become completely unacceptable to use homophobic epithets?  John Amaechi, the now retired and openly gay NBA star recalls how painful it was for him upon coming out:

First of all, I wouldn’t want him on my team,” Hardaway told a radio host in 2007. “You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don’t like gay people and I don’t like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don’t like it. It shouldn’t be in the world or in the United States.

My personal experience is that men who truly are heterosexual and comfortable being heterosexual have absolutely no problem with gays.  However, those that are not secure in their sexuality seem to prove to be squeaky wheels, or at least they were being squeaked. Again, I ask when is enough enough?  When do we stop rewarding bigoted behavior?  When will companies like Nike say: “sorry, but we don’t want homophobic bigots representing our company?  Click here to see the full article.

Rep. Joe Walsh: My What a Lovely White Hood

27 May

Don't Call Me A Racist Just Because I am

Am I the only one that is terrified that we, as a country, are experiencing a whole new wave of vicious racism?  I am so tired of people saying we are no longer racist because we have a black president.  If anything, the racisim in the United States seems to have reached a fever pitch since President Obama was elected.

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) is just more proof of completely unacceptable racism. When talking to Slate, Walsh said:

Why was he elected? Again, it comes back to who he was. He was black, he was historic. And there’s nothing racist about this. It is what it is. If he had been a dynamic, white, state senator elected to Congress he wouldn’t have gotten in the game this fast…They were in love with him because they thought he was a good liberal guy and they were in love with him because he pushed that magical button: a black man who was articulate, liberal, the whole white guilt, all of that.

Really?  Really?  Did you think of all this on your way back from a Klan meeting?  How many white freshman are there in the House right now, you fool!  Are you really going to tell us that Rand Paul won his seat in the Senate because of all of his experience?  Click here to read the full article.

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