Tag Archives: presidential candidates

National Coming Out Day 2015: The Power of Visibility

11 Oct

Coming OutGrab your smelling salts, clutch your pearls: I have big news. I am gay, queer, a homosexual. Yes, it is true. October 11 is National Coming Out Day. Why do we need this day? Why do we need to celebrate this day?

I cannot underscore enough the importance of being out and visible.  The more visible we are as a community, the more difficult it is to target us and treat us as sub-human or second class citizens.

Currently there are 29 states — over half of the US — where it is still legal to actively discriminate against LGBT folk.  Look at this map provided by the ACLU to see where your state stands on protecting rights of LGBTQ people. Yes, in 29 states one can be fired for being gay. Not a big surprise that no state in the South has the slightest protection for the LGBT community. (There do exist individual cities that provide limited protection.)  I guess that wacky Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court decision from 2003 meant nothing.

Sadly, in this election year, we have only seen venom coming from each GOP candidate regarding LGBTQ rights. Such asinine statements such as, “we will put them in camps,” coming from Mike Huckabee. My, I am having a deja vu moment here–almost as though Huckabee has no recollection of history. We have  Ted Cruz who rushed to the side of the bigot Kim Davis to canonize her. And of course, Rick (The P is Silent) Santorum, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and Bobby Jindal have all signed the antiquated and now obsolete the NOM Marriage Pledge of Hate. And Carly (I hate women and gays) Fiorina opposes ENDA promoting discrimination against the LGBTQ community. Marco Rubio also opposes ENDA and has gone so far as to say he will deny any rights for LGBTQ immigrants — my this group is charm free!

It is imperative that people see this as political! In 2014 we saw at least 16 LGBTQ people murdered because of their identities, and 11 of those 16 were people who are trans identified and of those 11, 10 were transwomen of color. Sadly, the numbers have only increased in 2015, and we know these numbers are not accurate because people are too fearful to identify, or authorities misidentify people.  We need to vote for people who will support LGBTQ rights.

And I  hold out great hope for the future. I have trans identified students in all of my classes who are embraced and cherished. I had the honor of meeting a transgender man who just turned 18. All I could think about what what strength and courage. Now, I ask everyone to think about how important it is for all of us to be visible and to support one another.

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So Many Questions: GOP Presidential Candidates

10 Aug

GOP VillansI am trying not to be outraged in the wake of the GOP debates, both the Kiddie Table debate featuring Carly Fiorina (Ann Coulter light) and the regular debate featuring a bunch of men who hate women, LGBT folk, poor people, teachers, all people of color (ironic and sad given two of the candidates are people of color), and basically anyone who is not white, male, heterosexual, and Christian. Rather than be outraged, I am trying desperately to understand what paved the way that allowed such utter absurdity that this is the best the GOP has to offer. What are the implications for the United States? What population is the current GOP trying to curry?

This current crop of GOP candidates make Joe McCarthy look almost reasonable. Is this a last cry/plea to protect a white heterosexual supremacist country, or are there even more nefarious forces at work?

Speaking of nefarious: Donal Trump certainly embodies all that is corrupt and soulless.  Hearing him speak reminds me of our Jane Austen’s Ms. Elizabeth Bennett: “The very rich can afford to give offense wherever they go.” Mr. Trump feels free to be a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot because his wealth insulates him. Speaking out against people of color, the LGBT community, and against women, is this who we want leading a nation? Sadly, ALL of the GOP candidates share the same views as Trump. I find it particularly worrisome that there was a stage of all men speaking out against women’s reproductive rights.

I also find it negligible and actually loathsome that not one candidate addressed the issue of race and racial inequities in the United States. Is this an example of a lack of courage, or a lack of leadership, or both? I think it is also worth noting there was no mention of climate change or voter’s rights. Sadly, there was mention of immigration, but the conversation felt quite racist.

While as one can see, I have many questions and concerns, I, do however, offer an authentic invitation. For those that see any viable candidate here, please help me see what you see. Would you want any of these people to be able to appoint a Supreme Court Justice? Help me understand why even one of these candidates should be taken seriously.

Romney – Ryan: Robotic, Ridiculous, Repellent

12 Aug

After weeks of making a mess of everything he touched, Mitt Romney decided to make a bold move an announce his running mate. Eschewing the “boring white guy” theme his handlers had promised, he opted for Teamaniac Rep. Paul Ryan (Evil – WI). Looks like he’s still making a mess of everything he touches.

Like Romney, Ryan has been honored with our Bigot of the Week Award. He’s also a firm adherent of Ayn Rand’ s objectionable Objectivism and deification of capitalism. A firm supporter of the War On Women and opponent of LGBT equality, his voting record in the House is almost identical to that of known loon Michele Bachmann. In fact, an aggregate score shows him to be the most conservative VP pick by a major party since 1900, a list that includes Dick Cheney and Richard Nixon!

Ryan is best known as the architect of a House budget plan so odious that even John “The Great Capitulator” Boehner thinks it’s a bit harsh. A key component of the budget is the end of Medicare as we know it. That makes one wonder why Mitt would make this pick, other than to keep up his string of really bad decisions. Romney’s strongest support is from older white voters. Those voters, particularly in swing states, are very opposed to any change in Medicare. By tacking so far to the right with his VP pick, poor ol’ Mitt has found a way to alienate potential voters without appealing to the rare moderate undecideds who might actually have bumped up his numbers. Rabid Ryan will firm up the base, but all that does is more firmly secure states that are already bright red. Pundits and journalists alike are baffled.

After months of dithering, deceiving, and dodging, Mitt has finally sent one strong signal. His campaign is dedicated to the small-minded and vicious voices that have stalled the recovery, dedicated themselves to opposing the President at the expense of the people, and pursued a narrow fringe agenda. The governing strategy of a Romney-Ryan administration is clear, and it holds no hope for the middle class or the disenfranchised.

Republican Word Games: It’s not offensive if you don’t quite say it…

12 Apr

Know what I mean?

Another great post from TSM contributor James Queale.

Democrats are often accused (rightly so) of lacking balls. Sometimes it seems that Republicans have the same problem.

Herman Cain was recently talking about politics, which he has clearly shown to know little about. To be honest, I forgot he existed. After losing as a presidential candidate, I thought he would go into the land of political rejects (which happens to be guarded by Ann Coulter). But, to my surprise he has resurrected himself. He appeared on Fox News (surprise, surprise) and was asked about the ever-widening gap between Romney and female voters. Herman Cain answered by saying this:

Yes, President Obama is very likable to most people, if you just look at him and his family. But if you look at his policies, which is what most people disagree with, it’s a different story. And I think many men are much more familiar with the failed policies than a lot of other people, as well as the general public.

Men know policy better than “other” people? Let’s examine this for a second. There are two genders, male and female, if you eliminate Option A: male, you are left with Option B female. I get it now! Does Herman Cain really think we are that stupid? This is what I mean by lacking balls. Why not come right out and say, “In my humble misogynistic opinion, men know better than women.” Done and settled. But, no, he thinks by referring to women as “other” like you see when taking a survey and considering the other ten options, that he could scapegoat himself out of controversy.

This is just like the time when Santorum was talking about welfare and clearly stated that he felt black people were the main recipients of it. Only later, he tried to explain that he said “blah people.” Really?

Someday I would love to meet “other” and “blah” people. When I meet them I will have to let them know that they make a wonderful scapegoat. In the end, I have to agree with the amazing Betty White, who is never afraid to actually say what she means:

Why do people say “grow some balls”? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.

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