Yesterday Steve Jobs, stepped aside from his position as CEO of Apple. This is the end of a world changing era at Apple, that included innovations varying from OS X through to the iPad.
His successor is his close confidant and defacto CEO for several times during Steve Job’s medical leaves during the past 6 years, Tim Cook. He has now formally become CEO of Apple Inc. It might seem strange to talk about him as the most influential and powerful person in the world of business, but if you think about the influence that Steve Jobs has had, in the world today.
In 1997 Apple was a mostly defunct, engineered into the corner niche computer that had all the sex appeal of a ZX81. Fast forward through 13 years of Jobsian “tyranny”, and now everyone in the enterprise market, the personal computer market, the phone and now tablet computer market considers their position with respect to what Apple is doing, or might even consider doing.
Tim Cook has been involved in many of these changes, varying some from behind the scenes and some as the effective CEO running day to day operations. I think that Cook’s potential future influence will depend on whether he maintains the Jobsian style of running Apple. When Apple gave us the iPad, or the iPhone, it was seen as “Steve Jobs gives you the Apple *****”, now part of that was presentation, with Jobs out on stage talking about the newest inovation. However it was clear that Jobs was also a visionary who helped give leadership and direction on many of Apple’s innovations.
However Tim Cook also has to walk outside the Jobsian shadow, despite the fact that part of that shadow is his own contributions to Jobs’s success. If he achieves independent success, and continues to lead Apple in new and world changing innovations, then I think we’ll see him as approaching Jobs in terms of influence and power.
Cook has never been loudly gay, however while he’s quiet about his sexuality, he’s been openly Gay for more than a decade, and while Apple has been a friend to Queer people on many issues, it will be very significant to see how Apple moves forward with Tim Cook at the helm.
I was watching Ashley Love confront the absence of Trans panel members at the NAACP,
Now the argument that Don Lemon was trying to make is that we are all gay, which honestly on some level is not entirely accurate. I’m a transwoman who’s also mostly lesbian, however if I were a straight trans-woman, then I would consider myself not covered by the label “gay”.
However I feel that the label Queer does cover everyone no matter the identity. Don Lemon needs to realize that by putting “Gay” as the front term, he ignores the needs and presence of Bisexuals, Lesbians, Transgender and many other orientations and identities that face prejudice, sometimes even from within the Lesbian and Gay communities.
So if you want to use the term “Queer Community” as an umbrella term, but “Gay Community” is inaccurate, and excludes many people who are part of the Queer Community.
In 2004, the republican party used hate against queer people to help drive a wedge between independents, blue dog democrats, moderate republicans and the Democratic party. Its sad to say but it was a successful campaign and highlighted the fact that despite many improvements in queer rights and acceptance there was still an undercurrent of hatred for queer americans.
Its now 2011, and its so different from attitudes 6 years ago, and we should recognise that fact, as should the Democratic party. The majority of the country wants not only basic respect for Queer americans, but also marriage equality.
Currently the only viable republican candidate has refused to sign NOM’s hate pledge which includes calling for witch-hunt investigations of Queer rights groups who’ve attacked anti-equality organisations by calling them Hate Groups. Jon Huntsman has refused to sign the pledge, but in his view marriage equality is not on the cards, he’s a supporter of civil unions, but he makes it clear that they are second class relationships. Huntsman doesn’t even disguise the fact that he’s calling for “separate but equal” treatment of Queer americans.
Now Obama’s record on Queer Rights is far from great, he’s had opportunities to fight for true equality like ENDA and Repealing DOMA when he had huge majorities in the Senate and House, but he’s now supporting a limited marriage equality bill that he knows has no chance of coming law. However under Obama, despite his lack of action, hate for Queer americans is no longer the explicit policy of the US government which is a huge improvement. Under any of the republican candidates, the lives of Queer americans will get worse, varying from HHS rules forcing hospitals accepting medicare and medicaid funding to allow partner visitation rights, to the recent “consideration” DHS is now applying to binational queer couples as far as deportation is concerned.
Forty years ago, Harvey Milk said, that we had to step out of the shadows and be heard, that we could no longer be closeted from our friends, our families and our coworkers. Across the US, in a wave that was not unlike the “Great Awakening” in True Blood, Queer americans stepped out of the shadows, and started to find their voices.
Now we’ve become a generation of Good Queers, who’ve accepted that our republican and independent friends cheerfully vote for people like Bush, McCain, and others who relish the thought of hurting us. The republican party has chosen to make hate part of their platform. Barack Obama has been a centrist President, and I’d challenge anyone to argue with a straight face that any of his policies have ended up being anything but centrist, if not center right. So its time to go out and tell your friends and families about the hate they are considering voting for.
“A vote for a republican president, is a boot stamping down on the faces, lives, families, and livelihoods of your Queer friends and family members”
So on the taxpayer’s dime, Paul Clement continues to defend DOMA on behalf of the supposedly fiscally conservative house of representatives. His brief opposing the ACLU’s call for a summary judgement against DOMA, seems to have come straight out play books used for hundreds years against Jewish people around the world.
The opposition brief’s key line of thinking, is the idea that Queer people are not politically powerless. Essentially because though the efforts of some heroic activists, and some good allies in the governments of some states and the federal government , there is not a unified position of discrimination against Queer people. What this means in Paul Clement’s eyes is because we’ve had some success, and not everybody hates us, then we are not subject to discrimination.
In more than half the states of the union, you can still loose your job for being gay, in states as blue as New York, you can still loose your job for being transgendered, and at a federal level if your spouse is the same gender as you, then the president himself, will help deport your spouse if they are not an american citizen.
I made a rather contentious claim about calling these tactics Anti-Semitic, but they do tie back into some old ideas about attacks levelled against Jewish people over the past couple of thousand years. To roughly explain the situation, due to many contributing factors, often tied in with the isolated pariah status of the Jewish communities, certain limited power was gathered by the communities around finance and education, resulting in a frequently discriminated against, wealthy educated underclass.
When anti-semitic thought flourished, and became anti-semitic violence, the cries were of attacking the limited wealth and power, often with talk of demonic and satanic attribution to Jewish people.
Paul Clement is a ruthless lawyer, who’s trying to win his case by rubbishing claims of discrimination and vulnerability of the Queer community, and he’s a smart, well educated lawyer who knows exactly how to exploit those same fears and sentiments that have been levelled and vulnerable and different groups throughout the ages. Hate is hate, be it of race, sexuality or identity, and on the Taxpayer’s dime, Clement is recycling the tactics of racial hate, to support hatred of queer americans.
Throughout the site, I’ve been forced somewhat to use the unwieldy but accurate term to describe our community which is LGBTQIAPPQA. It covers every orientation and identity of our community, but it fails to be something that is easily sayable, describable or memorable unless you are an lgbtqiappqa rights activist like myself.
I think its important not to shorten the term to LGBT because we are not all represented by groups like the HRC, there are other identities and orientations that need the same respect and support as the easy to define and pin down Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities. I’m someone who is interested in queer culture, in questions of where our society might go, thinking deeply about how a post-orientation, post-rigid identity society might look.
There’s lots of talk about trying to find a word to describe the community and communal identity, and while words like “Rainbow” or “United” sound nice, but words have need to have power and meaning. There is a word, that some already use as an umbrella term that I think is very appropriate, very apt, and all inclusive.
Every one of us has been described by this pejorative and offensive word. Its been spat, hurled and spray-painted to make us afraid and ashamed, and its been used in our most memorable chant, “We’re here, we’re ****, get used to it”. During the lavender scare pogroms and before, it was all about hunting those ****s. Before we had the name Gay, Transgender, before we were recognised as more than a pathology we were ****.
So from now on, when I say Queer, it means Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, Ally, Pansexual, Polyamorous, Queer, Asexual and everything between. This isn’t about being accepted as what we are in a hetero-normative world, its about being who we are in a better world that we are helping build.
We’re here we’re queer, and we are united for equal rights and acceptance for all of us.