Netflix – Boys in the Band

Watched the Netflix remake of “Boys in the Band.” Nobody’s really going to understand why they were all so horrible to each other. (Everybody’s missing the crucial context that they’re all closeted, with the possible exception of Emory, who gives zero shits about anybody’s approval.)

This may be a thing that casting all openly gay actors in these roles obscures. (Gay actors playing gay roles is a good thing. t’s just that this other thing is also, well… a thing.)

NJ Schools to teach LGBT History

From USA Today:

New Jersey to require schools to teach LGBT history

WOODLAND, N.J. – New Jersey has become the second state in the nation after California to adopt a law that requires schools to teach about LGBT history in a move hailed by civil rights groups as a step toward inclusion and fairness.

Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat who promised to promote equality for gay and transgender people during his campaign, signed the bill Thursday. Among those celebrating the news was Jaime Bruesehoff of Vernon, whose 12-year-old transgender child, Rebekah, spoke in support of the bill in Trenton in December.

No one is suggesting growth is impossible

For those of you telling me that you think Tulsi Gabbard’s apologies for her past hideousness on LGBT issues and toward queer people are sincere, well, that’s nice for you. But I came out as a baby fag in 1984 right in the middle of an entire society was more than content to let us all die, hearing how their god was visiting his wrath upon the country because I existed. I’ve been down this road before, and I know precisely how conditional so-called “tolerance” from christians is really is. Y’all wanna crow about her endorsement from HRC, feel more than free, but I remain suspicious, because hard experience has taught me that it’s fucking stupid to do anything else.

Precisely no one is suggesting that it’s impossible for people to change their minds, and to grow. But if that “growth” is conveniently timed with your run for Congress, and you’re reminding everyone how much you’ve “grown” now that you’re running for President, well… that ain’t growth, folks. It’s political expediency. If you’re smart, you’ll trust that that’s only ever going to last long enough for Gabbard to “evolve” into something else.

It’s worth noting that despite fawning praise from zillionaire lobbies like HRC, Gabbard is more than willing to point out that her “personal views” haven’t changed a bit.

A 2016 profile of the combat veteran published in Ozy suggests otherwise: “She tells me that, no, her personal views haven’t changed, but she doesn’t figure it’s her job to do as the Iraqis did and force her own beliefs on others,” noted reporter Sanjena Sathian.

You guys want to trust her? Knock yourselves out.

But don’t expect anyone else to do the same.

People’s World | Marriage equality activists win victory for all families

People’s World:

ORLANDO, FL – At the Dec. 12 meeting of the Orlando City Commission, leaders voted unanimously to pass a Domestic Partner Registry. The City of Orlando registry will be the first of its kind in the Central Florida area, with supporters hoping the registry will soon be adopted by Orange County.

I’m not sure I agree with PW’s headline framing this as a marriage equality win – we’ve got oodles of evidence on the ground that domestic/civil partnership laws aren’t remotely equivalent to marriage, and there’s little reason to think they ever will be – I hope this counts as a win.

No, “separate but equal” never really means equal, but at least this will help show people in Florida that the sky won’t fall if at least some legal recognition for gay couples happens.

I’m not sure I’m thrilled with Valleywag outing Tim Cook

Um. Hmm.

I’m not sure I’m entirely thrilled with Valleywag essentially outing Tim Cook. He isn’t in a position to legislate against LGBT folks. Much as I think he’d be happier if he were publicly out, and much as I’m not thrilled with the double standard that suggests gayness is something that ought to be kept secret, it is still Cook’s decision.

Meet Apple’s New Boss, The Most Powerful Gay Man in Silicon Valley

Gun control…please? Please, people…

I’ve listened to right-wing bloviation blaming the victims. (Check Salon. I’m not willing to give these idiots a click through). With that, I don’t feel it’s out of place to speak up.

Can we please, please dispassionately and intelligently re-examine the Second Amendment? Is it possible – just POSSIBLE, mind – that a provision that made sense to the framers more than two centuries ago might not have the same relevance in our modern democracy? While we’re at it, can the NRA ratchet down the hypocrisy and stop pretending that gun ownership is under some kind of organized assault at the hands of the evil, nasty left? The NRA is one of the most massively funded, and widely successful lobbying organizations in history. But their default position – even as Glorious Leader feels like the most appropriate first response to the Virginia Tech shootings is to throw some red meat action their way – is to act like this will be the end of guns for all those law-abiding members of the citizenry who really, REALLY need an assault rifle. For hunting.

The Right in this country goes into heat threatening a new Constitutional amendment to ban abortion, prohibit gay marriage and make flag burning a crime punishable by death just about every 14 seconds these days.

Can those of us on the Left get over our fear of upsetting these idiots and start calling for a serious re-examination of the right to bear arms?

Avarosis can suck it (though he’s probably too much of a man to admit that he’d actually like to)

Susan Striker wrote a well-thought rebuttal to the crap Avarosis Salon piece I wrote about a couple of days ago, that makes several of the points I was trying to make much more coherently:

Striker corrects Avarosis bullshit view of queer history, for one thing, and rightly calls him on the claim that trans-inclusiveness isn’t something being forced on the queer community “from above” as Avarosis has repeatedly tried to claim (apparently he’s really on a roll over on his own blog; I’m loathe to give the idiot the clicks, but some of the comments to Stryker’s piece on Salon are fairly telling).

I suspect, though, that what’s really going on here is that Avarosis is one of a long line of “straight-acting” gays who really wish the gay movement would get back to providing him with fuckable nuggets of appropriately butch, straight-acting man candy instead of peskily bothering with equality for queers Avarosis has no particular interest in sleeping with.

Fundamentally, this comes back around to the question of just what we really mean by equality. Straight acting fags assume that conditional tolerance is good enough, but that comes at the cost of genuinely supporting gender variant people (gay, bi, straight or otherwise) who can’t or won’t conform to social expectations of gender. You simply cannot claim to “support” the rights of transgendered and transsexual persons while simultaneously claiming that they’re expendable in your quest for “pragmatic” political action. There’s no such thing as a scarcity of justice (to steal and rephrase an excellent point from one of the Salon commenters). Justice for all means absolutely everybody, which is an idea that even conservative gays like Avarosis ought to get behind, but he (and they) won’t…because the dirty little truth here is that he simply doesn’t believe in justice for everybody.

Hmm. Maybe it’s time.

I hate to say this, but maybe the trans community needs to organize itself, separate and apart from the gay (and here, I think I very specifically mean gay-as-in-gay male) community.

I’ve been debating the pragmatic vs. idealistic argument with regard to the ENDA with several people, and I’m slowly coming to the realization that relying on the gay community for anything at all is probably going to end only in frustration for transfolks. The ironic thing is that gay people themselves have been told the same thing for decades. This exact argument – precisely the same – has been used by supposedly progressive Democrats in the past with specific regard to nearly any gay positive state or federal legislation. For more than two decades – or, nearly the entire time the US has had a visible lesbian and gay civil rights movement – gay people were told by (supposedly) well meaning straight folks in positions of power that we’d just have to wait for our time to come, and that now just wasn’t the time to try and pass a hate crimes bill or add “sexual orientation” to a nondiscrimination law. We’d have to wait until society caught up. We swallowed this until we simply refused to keep swallowing it. A generation of people my age and younger, who grew up in a post-Stonewall world, radicalized by AIDS activism were simply unwilling to wait for society to catch up.

What painfully short memories we have.

Or maybe there are just more folks like John Avarosis out there in the world and I’ve been giving the gay community credit it doesn’t actually deserve. Maybe most gay people really only care about protecting against sexual orientation discrimination and nothing else. Folks have made this claim, publicly, before – Somewhat famously, Roseanne did, not long ago, and was excoriated for it in gay circles.

Maybe it’s true.

Maybe it’s time for the trans community to stop asking for acceptance from a GLB community that from appearances doesn’t understand T* folks, and actively resists trying to. I’m ashamed of us queers for even coming to this place, but I’ve been beating my head against a wall with gay people who (I’ve said) really ought to know better.

You know what? We ought to know better.

But we don’t.

We don’t want to. Or, at least, we sure as hell seem not to.

I wish this wasn’t where my head was at around these issues, but for better or worse this is where I’m at.

But I’ll tell you this: the first pissed-off tranny who gets radicalized around ENDA – or whatever the next signal event happens to be – and starts a separate movement will have a few queer supporters throwing dollars his or her way. Because, ultimately, if it really does take a separate trans* movement to pry open the brains of the queer community at large, the organized GLB money machine won’t be getting any more of mine.