The winter solstice, which goes by many names, is represented by a beautiful phrase “Half Way Out of the Dark” as spoken by the Doctor.
Things feel pretty dark right now, the conservative right wing has just practiced a purge on its more moderate types, and now has gotten into the majority of the House of Representatives.
Barack Obama, while being a good centrist leader, is not the progressive president we’d hoped for, were ENDA implementation and DOMA repeal high priorities, you’d hope they would have been pushed through or least brought up during this Congress.
Uganda is still going ahead with their gay genocide bill, and the Christian Right is looking at their situation practically salivating at the possibilities. Look at the Tea Party caucus coalescing around Jim DeMint and his hatred.
The extraordinary thing about the winter solstice is that at the same time as being the shortest, darkest, most miserable day of the year, with a progression of it getting darker and shorter its the first day it starts getting brighter and sunnier.
There is a large grouping of intolerant people on the right, often formed around religious groups, that wants to roll back the progress. They are afraid of us, and out of fear and hatred they bring up voices like Christine O’Donnell, Joe Miller and Sharon Angle.
However our allies are growing, a large majority of Americans recognizing the fact that gay discrimination is wrong, and its only a matter of time before those people realize that they need to support full equality. We help that every day that we are true to ourselves, not ashamed, not in the closet, and not quiet.
If you are hiding in the closet at work, its time to stop, its time to stand up. Maybe in your church you hide yourself for a quiet life, its time to stop, its time to stand up. Thankfully now my gay brothers and lesbian sisters will soon be able to stand up for themselves in the military. We are not a quiet passive minority, we are an army of repressed, brilliant, wonderful, shining people, and now is the time to not wait for the light, but create it.
We shouldn’t be waiting, we have to stand up, today we should have equality, so waiting for tomorrow is too late.
I’m Gemma, I’m a lesbian identified, occasionally guy dating, transgender woman, and I’m standing up for today being the day we get equality.
I never thought I’d see the day when I’d have a hero that goes by a name such as Barney Frank. Perhaps my being British is part of the reason for that – it’s not a common sort of name over here in the lant of tea and crumpets. … but I do now!
For the benefit of non US readers, when Barney said “2 down, 2 to go”, the 2 down refers to the passing of the Matthew Shepard Act against hate crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability, and the repeal of the ubiquitous “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy preventing openly gay people from serving in the US military.
The two to go refers to the implementation of the Employment Non Discrimination Act (which sadly does not go far enough being exclusive of trans people), and the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act which invalidates the marriage of same sex couples in states other than where the mariage was performed, and ensures that same sex marriages are not recognised at a federal level as marriages.
Barney, thank you for that empassioned speech showing up republican opposition to the “radical homosexual agenda” for what it really is, and showing just how unradical the so-called homosexual agenda really is! What gay people want is basic rights, not special rights, and this illustrates that point perfectly.
This video is by Grishno about an inspiring event, where a conservative christian became an ally.
I’ve been watching Grishno since before I transitioned, and I found her to be an example of a brave and inspiring transwoman, and she was someone who’s words and videos certainly helped me find courage moving forward towards my own transition.
Its also fair to say without the example of women like her, I would not have had the confidence to start No More Lost…
She continues to work for our community and is an awesome role model for other young transwomen like me.
*end of gushing admiration*
This is a somewhat personal story, in part due to the fact that i’ve faced 3 people who have used knowledge of my gender identity as a basis on which to attack me.
Two of the incidents were ignorant men who honestly I couldn’t give a shit about, but the one that actually upset me was a former friend using transphobic language against me.
We had a friendship ending falling out and the details are not relevant, what is relevant was in a final communique she referred to me as a “He She Freak”. I was shocked, more than I thought possible not because I expected better of her, but simply the fact that me being transgender was so off limits in the same way calling someone of african american descent a *unmentionable racial pejorative*.
When i confronted her about it recently, after refusing to apologize for such vile language she retorted “I said that to you, to hit you where it hurts”.
This isn’t about my qualities as a friend, or our friendship, it isn’t about how bad things get when friendships fall apart. Its about basic respect for what someone is.
If you use such language, its part of a deeper issue that you have a problem with what I am, the same way if you use such offensive terms for other minorities and women.
I’m not naming this person because it would do no good, but she is no better than a white supremacist calling a former friend a *offensive word*
This is a really good visible campaign, of course being called on their crap frustrates NOM, so they responded claiming the children are being exploited.
The response makes me sick, how dare they talk loving families and say these children are not allowed a voice.
We are here, we have marriages in reality if not in law and people we love, and surprisingly we want share that positive environment with our children. I really don’t care that your neolithic religion doesn’t like the fact that i fuck my girlfriend and I think like everything else from that ignorant age it should be thrown on the trash heap…
Pop on over to FCKH8.COM and show your support
I’m just making a clarification here, that not all branches of the judeochristianislamic pantheon of religions cling to the homophobic tennets preached by the christian right. I do not intend to criticize the enlightened sects that remained true to the positive aspects espoused by those faiths, and if anyone took offense i do apologize, your faith is not for me but you are entitled to it.
I keep hearing that i shouldn’t paint the republicans with the lgbtqa-phobic brush that i do despite a track record of trying to make my life and the life of everyone different more difficult.
Here is a sample of the opinions on gay equality but the current contenders for RNC chairman.
We have number 1:Reince Priebus
We have number 2:Gentry Collins
We have number 3: Ann Wagner
Aside from the fact that all these candidates have no idea of the thousands of happy successful children of LGBTQA families, and cling to antiquated homophobic talking points. They ignore years of studies showing that there are no inherent disadvantages to having an LGBTQA family.
One of the candidates even talked proudly of the anti-gay rhetoric of 2004. We are facing a political party that is applying a litmus test of hatred for LGBTQA equality, to its candidates, and that is dangerous on 2 large fronts. Firstly it means that when the republicans get in, they will make our lives miserable. Already they are talking about trying to stop DADT repeal from happening. Secondly it means that the Democrats feel like they don’t need to stand up so much for LGBTQA equality. When your other choice is someone who is campaigning on repealing your rights, you have to choose the lesser of two evils.
I am a lefty liberal socialist, so i sit to the left of the left wing of the democratic party, so i’m not in favor of republican policies, however i’d like to see a more sane moderate republican party, with sane voices like Meghan McCain rather than extremists like Sharon Angle because its better for the country, and its better for the cause of equality.
However with voices like Ann Wagner, Reince Priebus and Gentry Collins, I don’t see a sane republican party in future, only more hatred and vitriol against LGBTQA people and other minorities….
Anybody that recognises the title of this article will instantly realise that it’s about to illustrate something ridiculous. Fittingly, it comes from Monty Python’s “The Holy Grail”; the Holy Grail, in this case, being the ‘right’ sought by some Christians to discriminate against LGBT people. It’s a cry all too familiar in the US, and recently in the UK alike, where those facing laws preventing the enactment of bigotry in the name of religion scream out “Help! Help! I’m being repressed!”, which is no less ridiculous from these religious figures, public servants and so-called ‘pro-family’ groups than it was when it came from Michael Palin’s Dennis, the infuriatingly awkward peasant in The Holy Grail.
As reported by The Telegraph, a UK based tabloid newspaper with a conservative bias, the Bishop of Winchester (the Rt Rev Michael Scott-Joynt) chose the day after Christmas to deliver his gift of wisdom to the nation on the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘The World This Weekend’. Namely, that he notes that “The Human Rights Act is protecting the rights of minority groups while encouraging judges and politicians to discriminate against Christians”. Could he be complaining of a “war against Christmas”? Perhaps, but no. Instead, he warns us that “the death of ‘religious literacy’ among those who made and administered the law had created an imbalance in the way in which those with faith were treated compared to sexual minorities.” By sexual minorities, of course, he means gay people. Once again, a religious figure is effectively complaining that the refusal to allow Christians to discriminate against gay people is, in fact, discrimination against Christians.
There is a temptation here to pick apart his argument statement by statement – while it may sound reasoned on the face of it, it’s absolutely jam packed full of straw men. Instead though, lets go for the jugular – those things that are pretty much universal in such claims, and that which forms the basis of his argument.
Firstly, there are LGBT Christians too – and so by definition, “sexual minorities” and “Christians” are not separate, disparate groups. Support of the human rights of “sexual minorities” does not and cannot mean discrimination against Christians.
Secondly, there is an argument that people of strong faith should be able to realise their faith and live it rather than simply pay lip service to it. This is actually a very strong argument, with one flaw; where does it say in christian scripture that Christians must interfere in other people’s lives, be dismissive of gay people or refuse to provide them with services, push their beliefs onto other people, refuse to “love thy neighbor” because that neighbor happens to be gay or insist that gay people don’t make good parents? Sure, a person of conscience must of course act by their conscience – but what informs it? Certain Christians believe that God insists that man should not lie with man, but since when are genuine Christians the enforcers of Gods law rather than its adherents? A person who believes that gay sex is wrong according to their faith can live and realise that faith by not having gay sex. It’s that simple. Christian scripture actually warns against pronouncing judgement on others!
Finally, of course, there’s the issue of Human Rights itself. These are rights that each human being has by virtue of being human. Inalienable rights stemming from one’s existence as a human being. It seems to be that those that wish to create a right for the religious to discriminate against LGBT people (the right never existed in the first place – more of a wrong that was allowed to happen) either don’t understand the concept of Human Rights, or believe that they should be defined in accordance with their personal religious beliefs – it’s a little bit crazy when you really think about it.
No Reverend, religious literacy doesn’t have a place in lawmaking, except in laws directly relating to religion. Laws that public/secular services must be provided on a non-discriminatory basis do not qualify as laws directly relating to religion. They may, however, go some way to righting the wrongs of those few religious people who practice bigotry, mean spiritedness and hate in the name of their religion.
Its sad really that our third real comment on this site was from a bigot…
This is the world we face, its not full of reasonable people who do not understand, its a world that is afraid of what is different and what it does not understand. We have to fight the ignorance, and defend ourselves from the hateful.
I get to call myself a muff munching queer dyke, because those are words i own, but if you want to come on here and call me unmentionable things, then you are not welcome here….
Apparently, being the new Microsoft is not good enough for Google. For all of Microsoft’s ills, it never stooped to the new low which google has recently reached.
It’s no secret that Google is a behemoth of a corporation. In fact, it’s now so big that it has a measurable affect on internet traffic flows like a “giant gravity bending star”. Consider the size of the internet and it becomes obvious just how huge that really is. It’s the biggest search engine on the web, and derives 99% of its revenue through advertising, making it an incredibly powerful force (if not the most powerful) in advertising on the web, and a significant voice in the shaping of trends and opinions.
The thing is, with great power comes great responsibility. This great responsibility could easily be modeled on Wil Wheaton’s excellent motto, “Don’t be a dick”. Unfortunately, the memo doesn’t appear to have gotten through to Google. Or at least, it got through but they used it for cheap PR instead. Google’s infamous unofficial corporate motto is of course, “Don’t be evil”, but they don’t appear to be abiding by this fine ideal. Embarrassingly, they’re doing just the opposite.
Yes, Google has set a new record for evil, both for censorship, and for its treatment of LGBT history.
Queers in History is a nearly 600 page encyclopedia of famous gay, lesbian and bisexual people — over 900 prominent people from 2450BC to today. First published on diskette in 1993, later published on CD-ROM in 1994, having been distributed by 600 independent bookstores worldwide and a number of major book chains, it’s been around for a while. It’s a respectable academic work on what is often referred to as the academic subject “Queer history” or “Queer studies”. In fact, it’s been advertised through Google for a number of years.
In the last few days, its author has suddenly received a (first, and) “Final Warning” from google for contravention of Google’s terms and conventions for its advertising service. The breach was suggested as being “adult content”, making the advertisement not “FamilySafe”. Naturally, the surprised author wrote in some detail to Google, who failed to offer a more specific explanation. In fact, the only clarification of their assertion is the following…
“FamilySafe’ is considered to be language, images and products in ad text and/or site content that is appropriate for all audiences. ‘Non-FamilySafe’ is considered to be language, images and products in ad text and/or site content intended and appropriate for adult users. ‘Adult Content’ is considered to be any site, regardless of language, images and products in ad text and/or site content, that includes graphic language and/or nudity. ‘Nudity’ – We consider nudity to be any picture where the model is not clothed. This includes sites where images have been blurred or are strategically covered with graphics such as stars, bars, words etc. Google takes into consideration the language in your ad text as well as the overall focus, purpose and content of you site. Graphic language in ad text as well as graphic language or images on the website will influence the status of the ad.”
Essentially, it all comes down to the original charge that the ad for the book breached one or more of these four red lines, namely than an ad must not contain
- Any material intended for persons over 18.
- Mature sexual themes, nudity, and/or sexual activity.
- Crude or indecent language.
- Offensive or inappropriate content.
It’s been an awfully long time since the word “queer” could be considered to be “crude or indecent language”. In fact, as previously mentioned it’s now even used as the title of an entire field of study by academia. There are queer writers on this very site.
What Google are essentially saying by this objection to the ad is that queer people and their history – a history we can all be proud of – are not family safe. Google is saying that our lives and our history constitute “adult content” – a phrase synonymous with pornography. This, is an outrage, without a doubt. This is censorship of the worst kind. This, from a company that supposedly prides itself on a motto of “don’t be evil” is absolutely shameful!
What sort of message is google sending out by this? What sort of bigoted, evil, intolerant and antisocial attitudes is google reinforcing by classing a factual history book as “adult content” and not “familysafe” just because it happens to be the history of queer people?
Do the upper echelons of Google even know about this? Do they agree with it? If not, it’s about time they did, because what is being done in Google’s name is absolutely inexcusable. There can be no circumstances in which this is a just and reasonable statement for Google to be making. None at all!
Shame on you Google. Shame on you.
… and shame on your employees for endorsing this. This shows your true colours, and they’re truly ugly.
Update: As of the day of posting, “Thanks to an overwhelming public response, Google has apologized and appears to be setting things right.” Google sent the following email to Queers In History;
Hello Keith, It has come to our attention that your ad disapproved on 30th November 2010 was in error. I have made the change and your ad is now approved, Family Safe and running on Google. Please accept my apology for an inconvenience caused.
Though as one commenter has stated; “That’s good! But of course it doesn’t resolve the issue of why the ad caused any problem in the first place — This reminds me of when celebrities or news pundits use anti-gay slurs and then apologize afterwards. THINK before you act! Read the ad before you reject it, Google!”
We’re afraid to criticize african cultural issues, because of our own genocidal activities that went on during the colonial era. The exploitation in many countries still continues today.
However having come to terms with my colonial ancestry, i find there no problem in criticizing the genocidal attitudes in Uganda. This isn’t just about David Bahati and his party, his opponents are equally homophobic, and will probably vote for the “Kill the Gays” bill.
Uganda has been convinced by the ugandan church, and by lies and deceit fed to them by the fundamentalists in the USA. They believe that being gay is a learned behavior, they believe that gay people recruit youth and that children are at threat.
Reading some of the work on Uganda done by Jeff Sharlet, i was shocked by many aspects, but the stories of three transmen and their treatment by their community and the police. The first was a man who was given an exorcism by his community church against his will. He was stripped naked and tormented in front of the congregation, before being locked away for a week, while he was raped, in an effort to convince him that he was female. The other two were two transmen who were arrested by the police because they were presenting as male, and being involved in a gay rights movement. While in police custody, both were subjected to corrective rape. This is the kind of behavior supported and condoned by the Ugandan government, and to be honest its not too far from what those on the religious right in the US would like to do…
For those of you who know me, you’ll know i consider rape to be a worse crime than murder and should be treated and punished enough, but somehow corrective rape should be even more severe. This was a state sanctioned crime, and Uganda should be made to suffer for the actions it makes. If they want to try to continue with this gay genocide, then we should act, this is no different than the ethnic cleansings of Bosnia or the pogroms of the Russian Empire and we need to act, with diplomacy, and if necessary with aid to the LGBTQA community in Uganda, including offering of asylum to any who need it.
I’m not a fan of George W Bush, I consider him a war criminal and guilty of many crimes against the American people however this has nothing to do with his failings as a president.
One of the biggest claims for opposition of trans issues by the christian right, is that God doesn’t make mistakes. If God makes you physically male, and neurologically female, or physically female, and neurologically male, then that was not a mistake and you should just accept it.
Are you freaking kidding me, what about George W Bush, who was born with a clear deficit, known as A-L-C-O-H-L-I-S-M, a condition that means he has to avoid alcohol to avoid irrational uncontrolled self destructive abilities, and thats a minor situation.
What about someone who was born with a hole in their heart, wasn’t that God’s perfect work? or someone born without fully functional lungs. Surely God would be offended by correcting his perfect handy-work.
There isn’t a real debate going on here, a real debate has valid arguments on both sides. However on the one side you have a body of medical and psychological evidence showing that gender identity disorder is a real medical problem with a viable practical cure involving therapy, hormonal treatment and surgery. On the other side you have people who want to deny that and hide themselves behind religion not for a good reason, but simply because the idea of trans people scares them and makes them feel uncomfortable.
So next time some ignorant bigot says to you, you are violating God’s design, ask them whether God’s perfect design included George W Bush’s alcoholism…
The religious right, is currently loudly protesting that several of their member organizations have been put on the list of hate groups. However while they claim to be loving, pro-family, tolerant, they still sponsor, support and approve of hate-filled actions, and doing so is their core reason for being.
Often people in the moderate space of American life, do not realize exactly what these groups are truly like, so its useful to get a chance to look behind their platitudes at their real thought process.
Uganda, has strong ties with many in the Religious Right, The Family/The Fellowship/C-Street, and right wing politicians, and recently they have been in the news for their genocidal anti-gay law that they are trying to pass in parliament, which includes provisions to execution for “aggravated homosexuality” (continuing to be gay), 7 years for being gay, and 3 years in prison for knowing of someone who was gay and not reporting them to the authorities within 24 hours. There is also a provision to try to extradite any LGBTQ ugandans out of the country to bring them back to Uganda for prosecution…
Yesterday Rachel Maddow, interviewed David Bahati, author of the bill. She apparently has a near goddess like stomach to continue so long in this interview, I needed to pause it several times to take a break.
The religious right would love to dismiss this as the actions of an unaffiliated politician from the third world, however David Bahati seems to think that his american political friends agree with the sentiments in the bill, and it seems in keeping with mutterings and whisperings from the less politically savvy members of the religious right.
This is not something outside what they want, its is what they wish the US was like, and consider it a tragedy of biblical proportions that its not.
I’ll talk more about Uganda in future, but for now its just an illustration of the enemies that we all face.
I keep hearing from the christian right that because I’m a girl who likes girls, i’m “sexually confused”. It hit me that this is in some ways the most offensive kind of comment, because its someone denying me my right to know what’s going on in my head and heart.
When I see a girl who i’m attracted to, my body and mind reacts as is normal in a girl who liks girls. When i’m going down on a girl there is no little voice in the back of my head saying “um like shouldn’t we be sucking dick this is wrong”. I love women, and I love every part of them, there is no confusion there.
The only people who are actually confused are those who think you can pray-the-gay-away, who believe they can be something they are not. If you love women, then accept it, if you love men, accept it, and if you love both, go enjoy yourself!
So if someone calls you sexually confused, or deluded, or in any way denigrates who you are, remember two important things, firstly they think they have the right to pigeonhole you as insane, and secondly nothing will upset them more, than you ignoring them and being true to yourself.