Sunday, November 25, 2012
A good friend sent me a video this morning that I would like to share with you all as today's topic of discussion...and being as how my last few posts have been kind of heavy I thought it would be good to take on something different and something that likely we will all have very different points of view on. The video titled "Why Monogamy Is Ridiculous", a part of the Big Think series, and features Dan Savage offering his views on the need to rethink love and commitment away from an all or nothing stance to something more flexible and equal to both sexes. No stranger to controversy, Dan Savage says what he thinks and even though this video clip is only two minutes and forty seconds long, it is packed with enough Dan Savage goodness to light the comment section on fire....just like it has already done on YouTube.
Now, you may think you know where I am on this issue...but you may be surprised. The issue of monogamy is much more complex than it appears on the surface and touch's on issues of gender and sexual equality in addition to fidelity and so much more. So watch the video after the jump and fire up the keyboards...because I'm sure we are all going to have a lot to say.
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Did you know that this week is Transgender Awareness Week?...It is! From The 12th through the 19th you can expect to see articles and videos geared to help raise awareness about the Transgender community, culminating with the Transgender Day of Remembrance on the 20th. For those not familiar with the day of remembrance, it is a day set aside to talk about and remember our friends and family in the Transgender community who have been lost to transphobia, suicide, and violence.
In my opinion, these holidays are just as important as any rainbow festooned pride event, largely because the transgender community is so misunderstood...not only by the general public...but often also by the LGB community to whom their "T" is a part of. Coming out as a gay and being a member of the LGBT community does not automatically make you an expert on all it's facets and when a friend came out to me as trans I discovered that I had a lot of learning to do. Unfortunately, it wasn't long after my friend Carina came out to me that I lost her to suicide because the rejection of her family was too much for her to bear. And just like that, transgender issues stopped being abstract issues peripherally attached to a community I consider myself a part of and became a very personal part of my life. My education on trans life began with my friend Carina but it continues to evolve today...
For example...It was in a discussion with a Trans friend about raising awareness that a comment was made that challenged what I believe to be an important, if not critical feature of gay life....coming out, and then living your life out of the closet....
Saturday, November 10, 2012
"I felt a great disturbance in the force....as if millions of conservatives suddenly cried out in terror and then their heads exploded. Obama must have won...."(Just kidding! Please don't sue me Lucasfilm/Disney!)
It may sound silly, but that is exactly what is playing out all over the internet this week. This election not only saw the reelection of Barack Obama but it also saw a historic win for gay rights at the ballot box. For the first time ever, same-sex marriage won at the voting booth in not just one, but four states. In addition, we saw Tammy Baldwin become our first elected LGBT senator as well as picking up two more out legislators in the Congress. All in all, the wins for the gay community this election cycle have far reaching implications for the gay community, not the least of which being that it is no longer a liability for lawmakers to publicly support gay rights, nor is it a scarlet letter to be both gay and run for office. Additionally, the fact that gay marriage won the majority vote in...not one, but four states..could put some additional pressure on the Supreme Court to find DOMA unconstitutional. It is because of these big wins and their possible repercussions that some have dubbed this election the "tipping point" for gay rights....the point at which it becomes progressively easier to build further support for the equal civil rights of the LGBT community.
However, it is also because of these big wins that some people are losing their minds. For instance...Aware that the world is changing in ways they don't like, NOM and The Family Research council are having meltdowns of epic proportions, realizing that they are now going to have a much harder time building support for their cause. They have nonetheless circled the wagons and are vowing to continue the fight. To do that they are dropping the mask of civility and upping the ante on the amount of hurt they are willing to cause to their fellow humans. For example....
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
I can't even believe it!...after a nail biting night of sitting on the edge of our seats as election results slowly poured in...we are now looking at a massive victory for equality and progressive politics. President Obama has won reelection and we also have picked up a handful of out LGBT legislators...including our first out LGBT Congresswoman, Tammy Baldwin! Congratulations too all of them and it is my hope that the more LGBT lawmakers win huge elections like these, the more it will pave the way for even bigger gains and foster a culture of acceptance over fear.
But as if that weren't enough....
I went to bed last night before the ballot initiatives in Maryland, Maine, Washington, and Minnesota had been really counted. Marriage equality had been in the lead, but the margin was very slim. There was every chance that one or two of these states could have slipped away in the night. But what did I discover?...not the mixed bag of wins and losses that most of us expected to see....Marriage Equality had one in ALL FOUR STATES! For the second time in a month I was utterly gobsmacked. In fact, I'm still a little shocked as I write this post.
Most of you have been with this blog over the years and probably remember the feeling as we entered ballot fight after ballot fight only to have our hearts handed to us on a plate. The feeling of knowing that the majority of people that you would call neighbors thought that our lives weren't worth recognition or equal protection was sickening. And guess what?...I don't have that feeling today. For the first time ever, people went to the poles and told the world that the lives and loves of the LGBT family members, friends, and fellow citizens count as an equal part of the American fabric. That's a huge step forward from eight years ago.
As we take this step it makes one wonder what the next step will be? Now that marriage equality has won and won big...what will be the implications on things like the Supreme Court as it decides on a growing number of lawsuits against DOMA and have we seen the beginning of the end for DOMA because of last night? And what of The National Organisation for Marriage or The Family Research Institute? Surely there are going to be some head hanging and saber rattling to come from that quarter, but will last nights wins have an effect on their ability to literally scare up donations and fund further anti-equality ballot initiatives. I have heard the opinion that this could be the final nail in NOM's coffin...but...I am not ready to count them out yet. /A caged animal fights harder when it's backed into a corner and this puts NOM into a very small corner.
However, regardless of NOM or the voices that we know will always be there to devalue the gay community, we have a lot to celebrate and be thankful for today. Congratulations to President Obama and Senator Baldwin. Congrats to the people of Maine, Maryland, Washington, and Minnesota for letting love carry the day...and congratulations to all of us for this historic event touches us all and will reverberate through all our lives.
Who would believe we have come from...
The Journey may not be over, but it sure feels a little shorter today...
Until next time dear readers...
Saturday, November 3, 2012
1980....In a suburban cul-de-sac in Northern California, The sounds of Devo's "Whip It" echo off the houses as children play in the street. Riding bikes with playing cards taped to the spokes to make a motor sound, we all pretend to be on motorcycles or...if your me...X-wing fighters. As some bigger kids in their Kristy McNichol iron on Tshirsts sit by the radio and heckle us, Devo encourages us to "whip it good". A painfully skinny stood on a skate board and held on to a rope as a friend riding a bike tows me as fast as he can peddle. Only problem is...Cul-de-sacs aren't that big, especially when you feel like you're going a million miles an hour AND your riding a skateboard for the first time in your life...EVER. The exhilaration of speed quickly gave way to the realization of fast approaching curb, and rather than plow into a mailbox at speed, I elected to hop off the board instead, hitting the ground like a meteor on reentry ..at least, that's how it felt. Now, it was a warm day and I was wearing a Tshirt and those super high 70's shorts that made miniskirts look prudish. So it was all skin on asphalt till I came to a complete stop. I discovered the definition of "road rash" on that day as I limped home, pissed at my friends as everyone laughed their heads off. Devo had made cracking the whip seem like so much fun, but as I gimped my way around the block home to complain to my mom, Picking rocks out of my legs, it sure didn't feel that way. Nor, on this average day, did it feel like the world would ever change. It didn't really feel as if the 70's were over. There was no canon blast to mark the end of one world and the begining of another....but it did change all the same. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since that day. Tomorrow will be 40 years of it, in fact.
Today I would like to take a moment to reflect on what this birthday means to me and what my hopes are for the future. So have a slice of birthday cake, pull up a chair, and feel free to talk about being a getting older but not growing up.