Tag Archives: LGBT

I Hear America Weeping

11 Nov

libertyweepsI hear America weeping today, November 9, 2016. No, this is not Walt Whitman’s poem, I Hear America Singing. This is a song of woe, a song of anguish, a song of despair.

How is it possible that a person who sold nothing but pure hate could be elected President of the United States? A man’s whose venom reached Muslims, Latinos, the entire LGBTQ community, and all women is now President Elect? How? When Gollum’s understudy, James Comey, released his red herring of Hillary’s emails (which of course was NOTHING) days before the election, it managed to turn the conversation away from the dozen of women who have been sexually assaulted by Donald Trump. A man who admitted to cheating the government out of paying taxes — taxes that people in poverty and middle class people have to pay. For his loyalty, Comey will not lose his job.

I understand people wanting to break a system. What I do not understand is how you chose to anoint such a homophobic, racist, misogynistic, and xenophobic piece of hell to do this. How? This man is a clear threat to me and my family and to all women, to all people of color.

Today, I hear children afraid to go to school. I hear adults and children of color afraid to live in the United States. I am afraid and ashamed to live here now.

I hear LGBT people young and old afraid to leave their homes — afraid that all of the successes made in the past eight years will now be turned back.

I hear women crying and fearful that the government will have even more control over their bodies — that the culture of rape has now been sanctioned by a misogynistic predator who has been elected as the leader of this nation.

I hear Native voices peacefully asking for us not to trespass on their sacred land and cry a cry centuries old in protest of colonization.

I hear the voices of our Muslim family quiver at the thought of what this now world “leader” will do to them.

I hear the Black Lives Movement tapping into strength and resiliency in the face of sanctioned, sustained racism.

I hear the choir of over 20 million voices (mine included) that now have health insurance thanks to Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act) scared that we will now go uninsured because of Trump.

I hear parents asking, “how do I explain this to my children?” How do we explain how we have rewarded this bully and his white supremacy?

How do we heal a nation that is divided by hate versus love. Trump has managed to normalize wicked and categorically unacceptable behavior. His supporters have sent a clear message that the only people safe and wanted in this country are white, heterosexual, cisgender men — and you better not have a disability! And you are welcome to treat women as chattel.

For those of you who voted for Trump who are in poverty, poor, and or unemployed, you have screwed yourself over yet again! But worse, you threw all of your neighbors under the bus because of your white anger.

As I am very quickly approaching 50 years old, I am exceedingly sad. This is not the country I hoped we would be in 2016.

Yet, I will not give into despair. Rather, I will challenge myself and all of America to take action! We need to organize, support each other, and change this system. Let us make every effort to mitigate the destruction he has laid out, the shredding of rights he has promised. Stay mobilized and passionate! There are anti-Trump rallies taking place all over the country — people are organizing and taking action. In fact, I was caught up in traffic last night because our anti-Trump rally managed to shut down I5.  I must confess, I did a little happy dance in the car. While I was inconvenienced, I was elated to learn that people are protesting. My only sadness, was that I did not get to attend this rally.

Well, my other sadness was that I later learned there were one or two people in the rally that were ill behaved. Please, I do hope all of us who are a part of these rallies do so peacefully–I don’t want us behaving in the same way Trump does. I implore all of you, please don’t despair, take action! Yes, I am also speaking to you, my white heterosexual allies. WE NEED YOU! Now is an opportunity for white heterosexual allies to step up to the plate and make your voices heard!

Hero of the Week Award: July 8

8 Jul

Hero of the Week

Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe was honored by the Trevor Project for his work in preventing LGBT teen suicides. TSM just recently celebrated Dumbledore during LGBT History Month and it is now such a pleasure to honor Radcliffe with the HWA.  Radcliffe has consistently used his celebrity to help with issues around social justice for the LGBT community.  Upon receiving the award from the Trevor Project, Radcliffe said:

The fact that I’m able to help with something like this makes me very, very proud. It’s a huge honor, and it’s lovely of them to give it to me. I’ll say it again later, but the real heroes are the people who are staffing those call centers and picking up the phones saving lives every single day.

Bravo, Daniel Radcliffe.  We all look forward to the many ways you will continue to contribute to making the world a better place for all.

Thank You, Patrick Leahy!

8 Jul

Thank You, Senator Leahy

Surprise, surprise! The House of Representatives just voted 248-175 for an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill which reaffirms the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  Yes, talk about a waste of tax payer dollars.  John Boehner and his merry band of bigoted Republicans pushed an independent agenda of hate and attached it to the Defense Appropriations bill, sponsored by the fun-loving Virginia Foxx (R-NC).  Fortunately, this story actually has an optimistic ending because of Senator Leahy (I-VT).  Here are the names of the bigoted hypocritical Democrats that sided with Republicans and voted for the bill:

Altmire
Barrow
Bishop
Boren
Chandler
Costello
Critz
Cuellar
Donnelly
Green
Holden
Kissell
Lipinski
Matheson
McIntyre
Peterson
Rahall
Ross
Shuler

Leahy just announced that he intends to start the debate in the Senate to repeal DOMA.  What a lovely contrast.  A true leader like Leahy working for civil rights against the backdrop of  a group of homophobic bigots–the House Republicans who have become the collective George Wallace  on the wrong side of history. The hearing for bill S.598 is called, “The Respect for Marriage Act: Assessing the Impact of DOMA on American Families.”  The title of the bill alone brings tears to my eyes.  Leahy will forever be known as a champion for the civil rights of LGBT Americans. Of course, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-​NY), already much celebrated on TSM, is a co-sponsor of the bill. Click here to read the full article.

Disturbing Irony at Best…

7 Jul

Thank you to my friend Jen for inspiring this story.  If you will recall Lex’ last story on TSM on Equality, we celebrated Marriage Equality in the state of New York, giving us a grand total of 6 states plus the District of Columbia granting marriage equality. While I’m inspired and hopeful that we will eventually put an end to discriminating against the LGBT community, no thanks to John Boehner, I am nonplussed to learn that in 25 states it is legal to marry your first cousin.  Really?  Does anyone else see a problem here?  I invite everyone who believes in civil rights to be engaged to extend civil rights to the LGBT community in every state and on the Federal level.

Here is some disturbing and interesting information by guest correspondent for TSM, Jennifer Lockett:

So, I have been doing some extensive research, and it turns out that the Bible does not actually been cousin-cousin incest. In the Bible, it describes incest (for males – women don’t get legislated as they’re not real people) as a man (jewish man, gentiles also don’t seem to count here) having sex with his mother, his father’s other wives or concubines, his sister, his half-sister, and his step-sister (if she is brought up in the same household). Still, there are exceptions if a man first marries his relation before having sex with her [/source]. Even if he doesn’t, they make some exceptions (Lot had sexual relations with his daughters and they conceived his children) . Yep, nothing about cousins.
Yep, nothing immoral going on here.

Here are Jennifer’s sources:

Leviticus 18
Leviticus 20
Deuteronomy
Genesis 18
1 Corinthian 7

These are the basic sources for these references.

The Often Overlooked “T” in LGBTQ: Interview with Susan

7 Jul

In the seventh part of this series, we meet Susan Lalone.  Susan was introduced to me by fellow do-gooder and mutual friend Kathy, whom TSM celebrated a few months ago.  Susan is such a delightful and wonderful person–a true do-gooder to the core and a perfect fit for TSM.  Susan is 61 years old and served in the Vietnam War in the Marine Corps before joining the National Parks Service, from which Susan recently retired.  Susan serves on the Board of Directors at the YWCA in Clark County, Washington.  Aside from the interview, it was a great pleasure talking about the efforts of the YWCA to eradicate racism, misogyny, transphobia, and homophobia.

Susan is originally from California and was raised by grandparents.  Susan has a sister who is lesbian. Susan identifies as agnostic.  Susan has been happily married for  37 years.  As we were talking, I was caught by something Susan said that really took hold of me: “I believe in educating people and reaching people through conversations.” Coming from a military background, Susan is clearly dedicated to listening to people and making the world a better place through conversations.  Here is Susan’s story.

Gender Identity: How do you identify?  

I identify as Susan.

Sexual Orientation: 

I am heterosexual, rather than lesbian. I suppose that is the male part of me that is there. I have been married for 37 years and incredibly happy with that.

Age of Awareness? 

I would probably say about 7 or 8.  There were two things that happened.  My mother had left a bag of girls’ clothing in my closet and they were probably for my sisters, but I wanted to try them on and it felt really, really good.  The bag of clothes disappeared and I never asked about it. About the same time I saw an old Burt Lancaster movie, The Crimson Pirate, and he had to dress as a woman. I thought wow! I like that idea.  I did not do any other cross dressing until junior high school.  In high school I did a lot of reading and the word transvestite came up.  I don’t remember the context but I remember running off the school bus into the library to look up the word, quick to make sure no one looked while I was looking up the word.  That was the first time I realized that there were other people out there like me.  That was a huge moment.

Age of Action? 

Initially about 8, then on a more steady basis through junior high and high school.  After my wife and I were married, we moved to Fresno where I went to school.  I went to the Goodwill in the 1970s and I bought a set of clothes and a wig.

What do we, as the LGBT community, need to do to be more supportive? 

I would say put aside the sterotype beliefs people have and learn! Take the time to talk with transgender people. Push us a little bit—we need to increase our visibility—involve us, engage with us.  We are a part of the LGBT community.  Help us grow.  We are everywhere and we are out in a positive way.  I think a lot of people now know the word transgender. My goal is to take the trans community and put us out in a good light, more visiable and more accepted and we must get out of the closet.

I want to thank Susan and also to say thank you for raising the visibility of transgender people and for making the world a better place for all!

LGBT Community: Leave Texas!

6 Jul

Not Safe For LGBT

There are so many parts of the South that discriminate against the LGBT community.  Do we remember Jim DeMint, or Saxby Chambliss? I often wonder what would happen to these states if ALL LGBT people just left and went to blue progressive states.

Given the following three stories in Texas, I certainly would advocate a great exodus.

Wharton, Texas: Nikki Araguz, a transgender woman, is being denied benefits from her late husband, fallen firefighter Thomas Araguz III.  Transphobic  Wharton County District Judge Randy Clapp ruled that “the Araguzes’ marriage was invalid because Nikki Araguz was born male. ”  Araguz continues to appeal Clapp’s ruling.

San Antonio, Texas:

Haven for Hope, a homeless shelter, is refusing donations that came from San Antonio’s Gay Pride Festival because, “it is a gay event.”  Yes, I suppose touching “gay” money might make the heterosexual homeless people turn gay.  Strangely enough, heterosexual money has not turned me heterosexual.  Here is the mission statement for Haven for Hope:

 Haven for Hope’s mission is to transform and save lives of the homeless.
Our purpose is to provide homeless individuals and families with the training, skills and assistance needed to help them become self-sufficient.

I left a message for both Christi Reyes and for Mary Rose Brown.  I did speak with Andrea and she said someone will get back to me. I shall post an update as soon as I hear back from any of the three people. I have to question their dedication to helping the homeless if they are willing to refuse money from the LGBT community.  Here is the gracious response I just received from Haven for Hope:

Michael, thanks for contacting us and giving us the opportunity to respond to this rumor.  We have looked into this issue, and from what we can gather, it was caused by miscommunication due to some internal turnover that we just underwent.  Basically, Pride SA had contacted an individual who no longer works for Haven for Hope, and there was a breakdown in communication with Pride SA after that person left.
Please know that Haven for Hope serves anyone in need – regardless of age, gender, race, religious affiliation  or sexual orientation.  We also welcome any and all support for Haven for Hope and its members, and sincerely appreciate Pride SA’s offer to collect items for Haven for Hope.

Regards,
George Block
CEO Haven for Hope

Houston, Texas:

Jon Buice was just released on parole after the brutal murder of gay banker Paul Broussard in 1991.  The Houston Chronicle offered the headline of “Gay community mixed over killer’s parole,” but got the response of one gay person.  Misleading? Gee you think?

Will Gov. Rick Perry be praying to end violence and discrimination during his big Prayer Meeting in August? I think not!  I wonder how much talent, money, and resources Texas would lose if all LGBT people got up and moved.  Click here to see my source for this article.

A Case For Misanthropy (?)

6 Jul

Remembering Larry King

My friend Jen Lockett, a fierce ally for the LGBT community, inspired me to write this story.  Many of you may remember the brutal murder of the gay 15 year old, Larry King.   Now as the story unfolds, I find myself feeling sick and exhausted at the hate and nothing less than sociopathy directed at the LGBT community.  I harken back to a story I wrote a long while ago: I prefer not to.

While I try to keep optimistic, and in part it is the reason I started this blog, and I try to keep the voices of hate at bay — Michele Bachmann, Maggie Gallagher, Matthew Franck, David Tyree, Bryan Fischer, Tracy Morgan, and all of the rest of the hate mongers — there comes a time when it weighs so heavily that one feels powerless and defeated.  It is easy to understand why so many LGBT youth commit suicide: it takes great courage and internal fortitude to survive and push the hate back to make things better for future generations.

Reading the testimony of Brandon McInerney made me want to spit up and cry at the same time.   McInerney shot King in the head and killed him.  McInerney explained that his white supremacist belief that homosexuality is an abomination was due cause for King’s death.

And when you thought it could not get worse, McInerney’s lawyer, Scott Wippert, proves just how revolting human beings can be. Wippert said:

 that King — and not his client — was the aggressor. He said King targeted McInerney for sexual harassment, making flirtatious remarks, and had humiliated him.

First, there is no evidence that suggest King was flirting with McInerney, but by this logic, are we to assume that any woman Wippert has flirted with has the right to shoot him dead? Alas, we have a double standard for LGBT people.  I do not write this article to give into despair, or to become a total misanthrope. I write this article to beat back the darkness, to expose the hate, to give hope to a world that looks very different.  The world cannot look different thought if we are not OUT and VISIBLE.  The world will not look different if we do not VOTE!  The personal is political.  Click here for the full article.

The Declaration of Independence: A Living Document

4 Jul

A Picture Everyone Should Recognize

First, let us look at this beautiful document, part of the actual text:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

How I understand this is that it is obvious that all men are created equal that [we] they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  Every time I read this document I cry at its power and wisdom.

Because it is a living document, we have the ability to recognize gross omissions and correct them, thereby further extending civil rights to Women, Blacks, Latinos, Gays, without condition.  Our unalienable rights are not dependent on belief in a god, or who we love (thank goodness we also learned from the miscegenation laws of not long ago), nor are these unalienable rights reserved only for white wealthy gentry–I realize that many of the current Republican candidates will need to look up the word gentry.

While I am not a nationalist, I do wish everyone a Happy 4th of July and encourage everyone to actually read the Declaration of Independence and keep in mind that it is a living document.

History Bachmann Style: A 4th of July Tale

4 Jul

It is nice to see so many rich white faces here today

Here is the story of the 4th of July back in 1776.  At this point in time we were at war with the British armies under King Henry VIII.  The Native Americans invited us all over to share their land and run a collaborative government. Our Founding Fathers “wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States.”

Of course the Founding Fathers also spent a great deal of time talking about how women were far too stupid to make decisions over their own bodies and so we want to prevent:

someone’s 13-year-old daughter could walk into a sex clinic, have a pregnancy test done, be taken away to the local Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, have their abortion, be back and go home on the school bus? That night, mom and dad are never the wiser.

Lest we forget that at that famous meeting between Paul Revere, George Washington, and Jesse Jackson, it was decided that,

Not all cultures are equal…It is horrific to know that in the African American community, 50 percent of all African American pregnancies in the United States end in abortion, 50 percent. That is a genocide of African Americans of the United States. It should not be. There are Americans all across this country who would love to adopt African American babies, but they can’t because 50 percent of all African American pregnancies today are ending in abortion.

The  Continental Congress spent most of its time talking about “The Homosexual” problem:

And what a bizarre time we’re in, when a judge will say to little children that you can’t say the pledge of allegiance, but you must learn that homosexuality is normal and you should try it…Normalization (of gayness) through desensitization. Very effective way to do this with a bunch of second graders, is take a picture of ‘The Lion King’ for instance, and a teacher might say, ‘Do you know that the music for this movie was written by a gay man?’ The message is: I’m better at what I do, because I’m gay.

Finally when many of these big decisions were made by Continental Congress, the baby Jesus let down his hair from the Capitol and proclaimed that the United States was his favorite country and we were now all free and would be treated equally.  Happy 4th of July. Click here and click here for my sources.

President Obama: How Very Dare You

3 Jul

Quit Protecting The Rich

As our employees the congress have to work during this holiday weekend, only because they had to be shamed into doing so, our President has the chutzpah to bring up cutting tax breaks again.  What nerve.  Is he insane? Has he been drinking?  President Obama had the unmitigated gall to propose adjusting the tax breaks for those that own their own jets.  This lunacy is tantamount to my husband telling me if I want to lose weight I need to eat less and exercise more.  Rubbish!  If that were true everyone would be doing it. If the answer to our deficit problem were as easy as cut tax breaks for the wealthiest of the wealthy in the country and raise taxes that have not increased since 1950, then of course Congress would implement such an obvious and easy solution.  They are the leaders, the intelligent people we hold accountable to help and protect all of the citizens of America.

Just look at how smart they are!  John Boehner wants to spends millions of tax dollars to discriminate against the LGBT community and Miclele Bachmann who can’t even spell the word history.  Oops, maybe these are not good examples of “leaders” in congress.  Maybe we do need to listen to President Obama.  Maybe we just need to pay attention!  Click here to see the full article.

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