Friday, December 28, 2012

Religious Freedom (To Treat People Like Shit)

I hadn't clicked on a National Organization for Marriage link in quite some time.  NOM has been reeling since going 0-5 on election night and their articles have trended overseas to countries that still hate the gays as much as they think is appropriate.  That was until I saw this article, which rehashes an old favorite point of mine that the religious right makes.

Gay Marriage is a threat to the freedom to treat people like shit.

For those that don't want to click, an Annapolis company which features trolley rides for newly married couples is shutting down because they hate the gay, and gay marriage is now legal in Maryland.  Let's dissect just how dumb this is first:

  • Anti-discrimination laws are to blame for the trolley owner's decision to shut down.  If gay marriage didn't exist, they would still have to provide service to gay people.
  • Anti-discrimination laws also protect religious freedom.

Makes NOM strategist Frank Schubert look pretty stupid when he says "the law doesn't protect people of faith.  It just doesn't."

The best part about the bible is that it doesn't say anything about the evils of endorsing same-sex unions, or the punishment for not condemning same-sex unions.  Religious people have come up with that one all on their own out of the blackness of their own hearts.  Much of the bible actually endorses treating people pretty well regardless of anything in their background.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hating the Westboro Baptist Church is Counter-Productive

Who gives a flying fuck about the Westboro Baptist Church?  These people are universally recognized as assholes and lunatics.  Their tactics are reprehensible to an extreme which is exactly why they don't fucking matter.  Getting angry about them, and signing petitions are nice feel-good acts, but ultimately a waste of time.  At the end of the day their message isn't going to land with anyone, and they're going to crawl back to Topeka like the pathetic masses of human scum they are.  These people are mosquitoes in a room full of tigers.

Why not get angry about the Catholic Church, the National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council, or Focus on the Family?  Organizations that have deluded people into thinking that they're any more legitimate.  James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and the FRC blamed the Sandy Hook tragedy on gays and godlessness.  This is an organization with the support of millions whose leaders are routinely paraded around on CNN, Fox, and NBC as experts on theology and family structures.

The Pope decided that Christmas was a good time to bash the gays.  Catholic priests have molested countless children.  Almost a quarter of adults in the United States are Catholic, and many of them willingly give money to these people.  Why don't people do something about that instead of spouting off empty disdain for a couple hundred nuts from Kansas?

MacLeod Cartoons

Friday, December 14, 2012

Off Topic: School Shootings

This isn't about me.  I want to make that very clear that I am not writing this for any sort of anything for myself.  But I do have thoughts and opinions, and I find that putting those to words helps me in these situations. And I also have this platform on which to do so.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bullying Apologists

Evidently a picture of a preschool boy wearing pink shoes that was posted on Facebook went viral recently prompting a slew of comments about how horrible the mom is for giving other preschoolers fodder with which to bully her son.



Excuse me?  Why is the onus on the (potential) victim to act like everyone else and not on the other kids to stop being (or not be) little shits (and their parents to stop enabling (or not enable) their little shits).  That a condemning comment quoted further down in the article is from a woman is even more astounding as her argument is eerily similar to the crap being spewed forth by rape-apologists in regards to victims' supposed slutty attire.


Off Topic: Dog Park Musings - The Breeds I Most and Least Like to Encounter and Why

Editor's Note: Most of the entries here deal with the LGBT community and the issues that affect us as a group.  However, from time to time Adam and I will want to share things from our personal lives. 

As I've said before, I go to the dog park as often as I can.  We have a Siberian Husky - German Shepherd mix and a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, both high energy, working breeds that need a lot of exercise.  They need to interact with other dogs that can give them the attention and energy that I cannot on my own.

In that time, I've encountered at least fifty different breeds on a regular basis, and probably another fifty on an occasional basis.  And while each dog is its own unique animal regardless of breed, there are some that seem to be better around my dogs than others.  The following is a series of lists based on my observations from probably around 500 dog park visits in the last two years.

The Breeds I Feel Most Comfortable Playing With My Dogs



1). Siberian Husky - This one's a no brainer.  There is no breed that mixes speed, energy, and bulk like a Husky.  They're fast and spirited enough to give my dogs a good workout, large enough to handle wrestling when the dogs are up for it, and their temperament is a perfect blend of friendly and aloof.  That my dog is part Husky seems to inspire a certain sort of kinship as she seems to like them best.




2). Rhodesian Ridgeback - Rhodesians were bred to hunt lions, so they are absolutely fearless, and some can grow to over a hundred pounds.  They are incredibly tough, extremely solid dogs without being super bulky.  They might be one of the best all-purpose breeds in existence given their strength, size, and speed.  Given their demeanor, they're probably one of the least likely breeds to show aggression out of nervousness.  When dogs are wrestling and accidents can happen, that's definitely a good trait.




3). Australian Shepherd - This is basically a repeat of all the reasons I like Huskies.  They're fast, decent sized, high energy, and super smart, plus their fur gives them an added barrier against rough play.  They're more of a herding dog so they tend to be less up for a straight run than Huskies or Ridgebacks, but they still usually end up being a great playmate.




4). English Bull Terrier - English Bull Terriers are like bowling balls with legs.  Small, compact, and remarkably tough, they're great for tug-of-war sessions, although not so much for running and wrestling.  They're a good sturdy smaller breed, but they tend to lack that Napoleonic aggression you sometimes see in other small breeds (Corgis).  The only downside is they will rip your toys to shreds.  Our dogs are more runners so they tend to leave them alone though.




5). Great Danes - Danes  have a reputation for being lumbering gentle giants, and while they certainly are that, they can be super playful too, especially as puppies.  They're definitely big enough to be able to handle any sort of rough play, but also goofy and clumsy enough to even the score a little bit with our smaller dogs.  When my Husky gets running with them, it looks like a dog running with a couple of deer.

The Calmest Breeds




1). Irish Wolfhound - Wolfhounds are a little frightening to some, being the largest (height-wise) breed and having been bred to hunt wolves, but they're also one of the gentlest breeds in existence.  Not recommended for any sort of guarding activity, these dogs just want to lope around the park at their own leisurely pace.  They're supposedly great coursing dogs, but I've never actually seen one run.




2). Basset Hound - I always have a hard time believing these are hunting dogs, because every one I've seen has looked like he was laboring just dragging his ears around.  They're the kind of dogs that my dogs quickly pass over because they're just not very interesting to them, but I'm sure they make great pets.




3). Leonberger - Most larger breeds tend to be relatively calm, and Leonbergers are no different.  Every once in a while I'll see a younger one that wants to romp around, but mostly they just slowly wander, oblivious to whatever the weather is.




4). Alaskan Malamute - Very similar to the Husky, Malamutes are larger, slower, and generally more docile.  Most of the ones I've seen act similarly to the Leonberger, just strolling the park at their own pace, occasionally breaking to head into one of the fields to sniff around.  

Most of the people that bring their dogs to the park do so because of their energy, so I have to end this list at four.

The Most Unpredictable Breeds / The Breeds I Least Like To Encounter




1). Golden Retriever - If I was here to be a jerk, the Golden Retriever would occupy each of the top five spots.  If you gave me a room full of family owned Retrievers and a room full of family owned Bully Breeds, I'm avoiding the Retrievers every single time.  They are the most unpredictable dog, they're big enough to do some damage, and there seem to be more stupid retriever owners than any other breed.  There are at least three Retrievers at our dog park that have to be muzzled to go there.

This probably has a lot of people wondering why I am so opposed to the stereotypical American family dog, a breed that is often rated as the best family dog.  And the answer is largely found within that sentence.  Because retrievers are so common and so popular, there are so many owners that have them without a good understanding of dog behavior.  They are a lot of people's first dog, and as such a lot of them come with poor training and a whole host of neuroses.

They also happen to be one of the most trainable breeds, which leaves their owners without a respect and understanding what more difficult dogs are like.  To them, a dog is a creature that wants to be your friend.  Tail wags are good, and any sort of noise is bad.  They have absolutely no understanding of what is typical behavior for a Shepherd, or a Husky, or a Corgi or any number of more rambunctious breeds that aren't the least bit dangerous.

In conjunction with the issues above (and also partly because of them), they're often poorly socialized.  One of the worst things you can encounter at a dog park is a poorly socialized older dog, because that leads to nervousness, which then leads to aggression.  Retrievers also most often have the habit of engaging a dog in play and then running and hiding behind their owner.  It sounds cute, but it's incredibly annoying because it ends with another dog barreling into the retriever owner's legs, or getting ticked off and starting to bark.

I've even had a few professionals tell me that the dogs that make them the most nervous are the Retrievers and Doodles (Retriever-Poodle) for the reasons listed above.

My dogs have had great experience playing with Golden Retrievers, but more often, I see at least one of the above.




2). Dachshund - This goes for a lot of little dogs because their owners think their yappiness is cute and don't do anything about it, but Dachshunds tend to be particularly nasty.  Of the relatively few major incidents at the dog park I went to in New York, several of them were caused by, or involved Dachshunds.  Luckily for the most part our dogs don't really bother with small dogs.




3). Chihuahua - Of all the breeds I've encountered, Chihuahuas seem to object the most to simply being sniffed.  A lot of it probably comes from nervousness and poor socialization, but it may just be the fact that they're small.  I can see it in my dog's eyes when she inspects a Chihuahua and it snaps at her, "Jesus fucking Christ...calm down."




4). German Shepherd - Shepherds seem to come in two types, the overly aggressive, and the overly fearful, and I don't think I'm suffering from a lack of sample size here as they're pretty common.  I've had a lot of minor incidents with Shepherds where one dog or the other ends up getting spooked, but nothing major or dangerous.  I don't worry too much since they're relatively robust, but the unpredictability is disconcerting.




5). Greyhound - Mostly Greyhounds just want to be left alone, and they will let your dog know it.  Some of this is in coming from New York where a vast majority of the Greyhounds are former racing dogs that are rescues, and rescues themselves can at times be unpredictable.  The nastiest snarls I've ever seen going to dog parks have come from Greyhounds, but I've never seen one do anything more than growl.

What Did I Leave Off?




Staffordshire Terrier (Pit Bull) - I know the stigma that pit bull breeds get, and the fact that so many are rescues gives it a little bit of basis, but I have no issue with any of the breeds or mixes that are called pitbulls themselves.  I've seen a couple dominance altercations between them, and they do sound terrifying, but I've never seen a pit bull seriously injure another dog.  I know it happens, but I think that's more attributed to most of them being rescues than it is the dogs as a whole.




Wolfdog (wolf - dog cross) - While not an actual breed either, they frequent many of the "most dangerous dog" lists that you'll see.  I've only seen maybe 4 or 5 in person, but I have never seen any hint of danger from any of them.  My dog has played with one before with no issue.  Temperament-wise, they remind me a lot of Alaskan Malamutes where they typically just want to do their own thing.  I saw a boxer-mix attempt to dominate a 9 month old German Shepherd - wolf mix which is a situation tailor made for a dog to lash out due to nervousness, and the wolfdog did nothing.  There is in fact no scientific research that suggests they are more prone to aggression than any dog breed, just a series of horror stories that are probably due to bad upbringing.  




Rottweiler - I don't see too many Rotts, but more than a few.  They are big solid dogs, and they have the strongest bite of any dog, which is probably why they're so feared.  The problem isn't necessarily that Rotts (or any bully breed) are more prone to aggression to other breeds, it's just that a larger percentage of their attacks cause significant damage.

There are plenty of stereotypes that ring true.  Corgis and Hounds are loud and annoying, Vizslas and Pointers have no concept of personal space, Border Collies never stop moving, and Bulldogs coat everything in their saliva.  Some of these things are more bothersome than others, but every breed is capable of being a good dog. It just takes a good owner.

Monday, December 10, 2012

ESPN980, Steve Czaban, Andy Pollin, and Bigotry

In case you missed it ESPN980's (Washington DC) Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin let loose an anti-trans tirade for the ages when talking about transgender college basketball player Gabrielle Ludwig.  Amid referring to her as 'it' and saying that 'it' is the politically correct term for transgender individuals, Czaban and Pollin also belittled her appearance and advised against her playing sports.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Off Topic: Dangerous Dog Breeds

I think it's important to start with my history.  I don't have any sort of official background with dogs.  My family got our first lab when I was 10 or 11, and a few months after she died 13 years later, we got a lab-pointer mix.  I myself own a Siberian Husky - German Shepherd mix along with my partner's Pembroke Welsh Corgi, who has the AKC papers to prove that he's better than your dog.  I've gone to the dog park almost every day for the past two years, and every day except five or six total since moving here to Seattle.  Over that time I've become pretty good friends with a few of the professional dog walkers and trainers that frequent the park, along with several people that have some breeding experience.  So while not an expert, I think the moniker of 'knowledgeable amateur' fits.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Those Poor Christians

I've seen this 'confession' by Ben Stein making the rounds on my Facebook timeline recently, unfortunately by a few people who I respect.  And while I'm certain that their agreement is with the sentiment, and not the words, I felt the need to tackle it anyway.  Since I find these things are often best dissected piece by piece, I will do my dirty work in that manner.  Ben Stein, for those who don't know, is the Clear Eyes shill with the notoriously monotone voice who has also hosted a couple of game shows.  He also happens to be a creationist young earth proponent with a reputation for ignoring the science he doesn't like.  The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Washington State Looking for Input on Same Sex Marriage Certificates

This is kind of fun.  In a rare moment, I get to talk about something enjoyable instead of dissecting something that some misguided asshole said about LGBT individuals.  As you all know, the state of Washington recently voted in favor of Marriage Equality.  While this was a great victory for everyone in the state of Washington (and yes, I include you anti-gay Christians, my hope is that you'll come around), in some respects the work is only just beginning.  Numerous state forms that were written to only specify heterosexual couples must now be modified to be inclusive.  In an interesting move, the Health Department is asking the public for suggestions.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Brief - NOM Thinks You're Stupid

If you follow NOM on Twitter, you might have noticed their criticism of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for "choosing gay marriage over safer streets" because he highlighted Marriage Equality as a priority, and people get murdered in Chicago, and obviously mentioning the former means you don't give a shit about the latter.  Or something.

Amid all this one has to wonder, if NOM is so concerned about the safety of Chicagoans, why isn't it using some of it's massive pile of Catholic dough to aide law enforcement agencies (or maybe to feed the poor, but that's another discussion entirely).

NOM President Brian Brown, courtesy of Daily Kos


Therein lies the evil of NOM, it assumes that its supporters are either so stupid (or so vile and willing to lie) that they miss the hypocrisy.  Shameful.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Off Topic - Geek Cred

Editor's Note: Most of the entries here deal with the LGBT community and the issues that affect us as a group.  However, from time to time Adam and I will want to share things from our personal lives. 

There are a lot of communities in which people seem to need to possess a certain amount of cred to be considered a real _______.  There are street gangs, there is sports fandom, and more and more, we're seeing that it is present in certain circles of nerdiness, particularly when a female wanders into the fold.  Nerds hate the "fake" nerd girl.  Why?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Slavery-Apologist Argument Against Marriage Equality

I encountered the following in the politics subsection of an unrelated message board.  I was going to post the quote in its entirety and respond after (because I think it raises several good talking points), but I think it is simply too large for me to be able to do that effectively.  I have chopped the entire post down to the relevant portions and fixed the punctuation for readability's sake.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Major League Soccer Gets it Right...Kind Of

The Seattle Sounders' Marc Burch was caught calling an opponent a "faggot" on camera during last week's playoff match against Real Salt Lake.  I've written about this before, when the NHL's Wayne Simmonds was caught doing the same to Sean Avery.  The difference is that MLS came down hard on Burch, fining him and suspending him for three games, at least two of which will be playoff games.  Meanwhile, the NHL took no action against Wayne Simmonds claiming that the incredibly damning video didn't constitute proof of what he said.  Whether the fact that Simmonds is black and had been on the other side of some insensitive comments a week previous, or that the target was Sean Avery (the RSL of the NHL for you soccer fans) played into the NHL's decision is unclear.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Off Topic - On Writing

Editor's Note: Most of the entries here deal with the LGBT community and the issues that affect us as a group.  However, from time to time Adam and I will want to share things from our personal lives.

As some of you are probably aware, my current "job" is writing fiction as an independent author.  Lately, instead of leading off with my Engineering Degree when people ask what I do for a living, I've been telling people that I'm a writer, mainly in the hopes that it will come (financially) true eventually.  As you'd expect, there are a lot of common and uncommon questions that come with that admission.  These are them:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Transgender Community and The You Can Play Project

Early this morning (on West Coast time anyway), I had a brief conversation via Twitter with Patrick Burke, co-founder and President of the You Can Play Project dedicated to combating homophobia in sports.  The conversation began when Burke said that a part of the project has, and will continue to be focused on working with fans, i.e. to combat homophobia in sports arenas (and through that in sports fandom as a whole).

I then asked if it would be within the scope of You Can Play's mission to also work on behalf of the transgender community.  Transgender individuals often find themselves in a difficult situation in sports arenas.  Unisex bathrooms are few and far between, often full, and typically "supposed" to be used by families.  That leaves transgender individuals with the unenviable task of choosing between the restroom of their birth gender (which is what they are legally supposed to do in most states) or choosing between the gender they identify as, present as, or to put it more bluntly (and offensively), most resemble.  That conversation went as follows (I have adjusted some of the character-limit-driven poor grammar and abbreviations):

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election Night, An LGBT Recap

"Delusional Conservatives that predicted a Romney victory are now learning that they were full of shit, and that math is a real thing that exists." - Me, last night.

I'll skip over Obama's landmark victory (because you can find volumes on it everywhere) and delve into some of the important House and Senate races and ballot measures.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Top 25 Star Trek Episodes of All Time

I thought about making this an off topic entry, but Star Trek has been a trailblazer in terms of support for minorities.  Think back to the The Original Series...where else in the 1960s could you find a TV show that featured an African American in Nichelle Nichols (Uhura), an Asian (ancestry-wise) American in George Takei (Hikaru Sulu), a Russian (ancestry-wise) American in Walter Koenig (Pavel Chekov), and a Canadian playing a Scot in James Doohan (Montgomery Scott)?  So too has Star Trek been a boon for the LGBT community, so we are on topic punching in a cruising speed of warp 9.975.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Impacting Homeless LGBT Youth

This past week, Hurricane Sandy battered the east coast and New York City and New Jersey in particular, leaving many without power, and many more without homes.  While their loss cannot be understated, and any assistance that people can offer to anyone is a positive step, I want to focus on a very specific group that Sandy has affected.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Christian Blogger Accidentally Makes a Good Point, Still Manages to Be a Complete Idiot

We're going Inception style here, as I do a commentary on an article that is, in part, a commentary on a third article.  The article's author Nick Rynerson thinks that Dan Savage, an outspoken LGBT activist and gay father, makes a pro-family (code for anti-LGBT) statement by being married and raising children with his partner.  Rynerson argues that in doing so, Savage shows that God has stamped an innate desire in everyone to trend towards a "covenantal" family structure.

Amazing.  I don't even know where to begin.  Seriously.

I guess the first part that jumps out at me is how Rynerson seems completely unaware that Savage is an outspoken proponent of polyamory, which throws his entire argument out the window.  Savage's heart isn't innately stamped to try and emulate anything.  And hell, if Savage really were trying to get as close to the lofty institution of heterosexual marriage as he could, he and his partner would probably be divorced and fighting a bitter custody battle over the kids by now.

I also particularly enjoyed how the author condescendingly paints LGBT individuals as a bunch of sinners cutely trying to imitate their superior heterosexual counterparts.  (Because, despite his family, Savage is still an awful human being that no one should listen to.  That point is made repeatedly.)

But Rynerson accidentally makes a good point overall, one I felt necessary to highlight in the comments.  Given his revelation that many LGBT individuals are raising children with their partner in stable homes, one wonders how religious people like him can continue to comdemn marriage equality.  After all, one would think they'd want those children to be afforded all the financial benefits of their heterosexually-parented counterparts, right?

(Answer: Wrong.  Being "pro-family" isn't about doing what's best for children.  It's about hating gays.)
 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Off Topic - Why Play Fantasy Sports When You Can Play Hattrick?

Editor's Note: Most of the entries here deal with the LGBT community and the issues that affect us as a group.  However, from time to time Adam and I will want to share things from our personal lives. 

I feel like such a shill for doing this, so I'll start off by saying that I am not in any way affiliated with Hattrick other than having enjoyed playing it for the past 10-ish years.  But seriously if you like soccer and statistics and math and fantasy sports...you should play Hattrick.

Voting - Playing the Game the Right Way vs. Playing by the Broken Rules

I've been watching a sort of minor war develop between various parties on Twitter and Facebook.  On one side you've got the hardcore Obama supporters, who argue that a vote for a third party is a vote for Romney, especially in swing states.  On the other, you've got the Greens (mostly) and Libertarians that argue that the way the American political system (and any political systems that involves voting of any kind) is supposed to work is that you vote for the candidate you most believe in, not the best among few, relatively crappy, choices.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Lazy Sunday Links

It's Sunday which means Football, and Football are on and I don't really feel like writing anything.  So here's some stuff by other people to read.

Foster Kids Do Equally Well When Adopted by Gay or Lesbian Parents
Psychologists from UCLA studied 60 foster kids placed with heterosexual parents and 22 placed with gay (15) and lesbian (7) parents.  The sample sizes are a little small, but the results are encouraging.  (Credit to Alvin McEwen for the find.)

Mitt Romney - Gays having children - "not right on paper, not right in fact."
Not that I want to reference certain over-simile-d German leaders, but the marking of the birth certificates of the children of LGBT parents is...creepy.

The Totally Not a Hate Group Family Research Council Wants Pastors to Link Homosexuality to Pedophilia
I have nothing to say other than that this is par for the course for the FRC.

Debunking the Religious Right's Four Most Common Anti-Gay Lies Regarding Marriage Equality
The article wants to call them horror stories, I'll call them what they are, outright lies.  The worst one is that gay marriage shut down adoption agencies.  First of all, the laws that these religious run adoption agencies had a problem with were anti-discrimination laws, not gay marriage laws.  Secondly, those agencies ceased operations on their own.  They were given the following options:

  1. Help ALL children by obeying anti-discrimination laws and continuing to recieve public funding
  2. Help SOME children by refusing to obey anti-discrimination laws and operating privately
  3. Help NO children by shutting down.

They chose option 3.



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spineless Andy Parrish is Afraid to Debate LGBT Ally Chris Kluwe

I'll try to get through the background on this as fast as possible.

Andy Parrish is a former Michele Bachmann aide who got into trouble several months ago for posting via the Minnesota for Marriage Facebook account that gays should be put to death because...well...it's in the bible folks.

Chris Kluwe is a Punter for the NFL's Minnesota Vikings who has been a staunch supporter of LGBT rights.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sixteen NHL Teams Participate in Spirit Day

In case you're unaware, Spirit Day is a 2010 concoction by GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation to be observed on October 19th.  Participants wear purple to speak out against bullying and to show their support for LGBT youth.  Unsurprisingly, given the popularity of Patrick Burke's You Can Play Project, many NHL teams rushed to participate either by flashing some purple or by making a statement in support of the day and the project.  They were:

Buffalo Sabres
Carolina Hurricanes
Chicago Blackhawks
Columbus Blue Jackets
Dallas Stars
Detroit Red Wings (which is ironic given they're partnered with anti-LGBT Amway)
Edmonton Oilers
Montreal Canadiens
New Jersey Devils
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
Ottawa Senators
Philadelphia Flyers
San Jose Sharks
Toronto Maple Leafs
Vancouver Canucks

As LGBT (recreational) athletes ourselves, we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to those NHL teams and all of those who have been involved with the You Can Play Project.


Editor's Note: Thanks to @BurkieYCP for some great publicity and be sure to let us know if anyone was left off.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Off Topic - The Many Colors of Washington State

There were a lot of hopes I had for Washington state before moving here.  That it would be better economically and financially (true), that it would be better for the dogs (true), that it would be better for LGBT couples (true), and many others.  One thing I didn't really think about was diversity.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I Have Severely Pissed Off Preserve Marriage Washington

So I've been keeping tabs on both Washington United for Marriage (pro-LGBT) and Preserve Marriage Washington (anti-LGBT) which included getting on mailing lists for both organizations.  Sure they both have nice websites, but organizations such as these (read: PMW, based on my experience with the NYFRF) also disseminate materials to their supporters that can't be found online.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Matt Birk is a Victim of His Own Hypocrisy

I don't know if Matt Birk is a plagiarist or not, or if Minnesota for Marriage is simply passing out templates for people to modify as they see fit.  Whatever the case, Baltimore Ravens' center Matt Birk's "editorial" to the Star Tribune, the same paper that published Riley Balling's "editorial" a few days ago reads as oddly similar.  It's entirely possible that some National Organization for Marriage money went Birk's way to be one of the "non-cognitive elites" that they so enjoy.  Stereotypically speaking, it is tough to get more non-cognitive than a football player.

Friday, September 28, 2012

'Why Same Sex Marriage Affects My Marriage' - Riley Balling Tries to Sound Smart, Fails

Early this morning the Star Tribune out of Minneapolis Minnesota, posted a commentary by Riley Balling about how Marriage Equality would affect his marriage.  Balling tries desperately to sound like he's coming from a position of intellectualism and science.  He is not, and thus fails quite handily.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Anti-LGBT Bingo

Click to Enlarge

Peter Sprigg is a Lying Sack of Shit

But you probably already knew that.  And to be fair, I don't know how much of a hand the FRC's Senior Fellow for Policy Studies had in writing their latest release, but he was the one to tweet it and so my ire will focus on him.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Oddest Conversation I Think I've Ever Had

Earlier today at the dog park I frequent daily in Washington State, I happened across a man in his 50s or 60s.  I'd run into him once before and made it a point to avoid him.  He seemed like the awkwardly chatty type that introverts like me tend to loathe so I kept my distance.  It's a 40 acre park, there are plenty of other places to go.  Little did I know I'd underestimated him.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Off Topic - Farewell Brian Moorman

Editor's Note: Most of the entries here deal with the LGBT community and the issues that affect us as a group.  However, from time to time Adam and I will want to share things from our personal lives. 

Earlier today the Buffalo Bills released my favorite player, longtime punter Brian Moorman.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The CDC, HIV, and LGBT: A New Response To An Old Argument

Earlier tonight I had a conversation with someone who tweeted an infographic at me out of the blue about the horrors of STDs (HIV particularly) among youth.  Also mentioned in the tweet was Chris Kluwe, the relatively widely known pro-LGBT punter for the Minnesota Vikings.  Yes, the tweeter's motivations were anti-LGBT.  You can read my feed yourselves and see how I proved that the tweeter: is anti-LGBT, did not read any of the referenced infographic's cited sources and thus could not verify their accuracy, does not think that footnotes matter on infographics, does not care about heterosexuals with HIV, does not know or is willfully ignorant that the CDC specifically mentions factors other than risk when researching STDs, and is the kind of religious that makes its money hating gays.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Chick-fil-A Reversal

Chick-fil-A decided to change its tune.  In a letter to Joe Moreno, Alderman of Chicago's First Ward, the company vowed not only to cease giving money to anti-LGBT organizations, but also to uphold a company policy of non-discrimination.  (Whether this will be useless like the Salvation Army's officially policy of non-discrimination remains to be seen.)

The Other Washington's Transgender Respect Ad Campaign

Washington DC's Office of Human Rights has recently unveiled a series of ads promoting respect for transgender individuals (which, it's kind of sad that such things are even necessary, but I digress).  The spot is set to feature several transgender members of the DC community with statements like "Some think I should dress more like a man," and pleas to show respect for transgender community members.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Lazy Sunday Links

Always remember the Sabbath is for sharing gay links, not working.  It's in the bible, I promise.  Here are a few:

Washington Newspapers Show Support for Referendum 74
Referendum 74 or R74 is the ballot initiative that would bring the right to marry to LGBT couples of Washington State.  The Spokesman-Review, The Columbian, and The Seattle Times have all published editorials supporting the measure.  Credit: Pam Spaulding.

NOM's Bid To Oust The Republican Senators That Voted In Favor Of Marriage Equality Last Year Is A Flop
What does two million hate dollars buy you these days?  Not much apparently as Mark Grisanti held on to win handily and Stephen Saland and Roy McDonald are awaiting the counting of absentee ballots in their respective races (Saland is barely up, McDonald is barely down).  Credit: Jeremy Hooper.

Tony Perkins Acts Like Tony Perkins
Family Research Council head Tony Perkins encouraged parents of children that come out as gay to 'express disapproval.'  As author Alvin McEwen notes, Perkins has no educational background to justify making such a statement, and as Dan Savage further notes, LGBT youth are four times as likely to commit suicide as non-LGBT youth, and eight times as likely if their home environment is hostile.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Gayyy - The Power of Words

As a writer, and to some extent, as an athlete, I have an odd relationship with words.  On one hand, I recognize the power they have, the things that even just a few of them can do.  On the other, it is the recipient or the reader that gives them their power.  Words directed at us have exactly the impact we choose to allow them to.  It's why Twilight is the most meaningful thing in the world to some, and to the rest of us it's hot garbage.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Chris Kluwe Might Be My New Favorite NFL Player

Granted Kluwe is a punter and no one generally gives a fuck about them...but come on.  In case you missed it, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has been very vocal in his support of marriage equality.  This didn't sit well with Emmett C. Burns, he of the old west villain name.  Burns wrote a letter to the owner of the Baltimore Ravens complaining that Ayanbadejo should shut the fuck up and play football.

Look, there is no way I'm going to touch Kluwe's Hindenburg level torching of Burns so I won't even try.  I will point out something Kluwe missed though.

Click for full size

What an embarrassment.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Off Topic (OT) - The Big Move

Editor's Note: Most of the entries here deal with the LGBT community and the issues that affect us as a group.  However, from time to time Adam and I will want to share things from our personal lives.

For those of you that know us personally, this is old hat to you.  For those that don't - we moved from New York (technically Maryland to New York first for Adam) to Washington state.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Lazy Sunday Links

I don't know whether this will become a recurring item or not.  On some rare occasions, an individual will sum up a topic so perfectly that I have little else to add.  These are those occasions:

Non Monogamy and Cheating by Queer Ramblings
Being polyamorous individuals in an open relationship, we are often prone to some misconceptions. This tackles them as well as I ever could and probably better.

Tony Perkins's File in the GLAAD Commentator Accountability Project
Wondering why the Family Research Council has long come under fire from a number of LGBT groups?  GLAAD sums it up nicely.

Get Informed - The Southern Poverty Law Center's Map of Hate Groups in the United States
Note that the SPLC doesn't give a hate group designation based on beliefs.  To earn the distinction, a group must spread false propaganda, lie about, or demonize a class of people.  To put it in other words, groups that simply oppose Marriage Equality on Religious Grounds (i.e. the Boy Scouts) are not listed as hate groups.  Groups that spread false information and discredited research (i.e. the Family Research Council) are.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Three Year Old Things I Just Learned About - The Manhattan Declaration

The 'too long, did not read' version of the Manhattan Declaration is that it is a manifesto of sorts, penned and signed by the most radical of radical Christians where they vow to uphold the true meaning of God's word as they have so perfectly figured it out in their heads.  This, more or less, means hating gays and abortion, because Jesus talked at length about both of those things.  It's a rather amazing combination of revisionist Christian history and overt bigotry, so much so that I figured I'd ridicule it with little point or purpose here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

No Abortion, No Exceptions - The Rarity of this Position

In case you missed it, the official plank of the Republican Party in 2012 includes a clause that calls for a complete and total ban on abortions.  That means no abortions in cases of rape or incest, no abortions when the birth threatens the mother's life, just no abortions, alright?  Why, this sort of anti-woman legislation is reminiscent of those totalitarian middle eastern countries we Americans hate so much.  Actually...it's worse.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Conservative Groups Milking Victimhood for All It's Worth

I don't feel it is necessary to again highlight how repulsive yesterday's act of violence at the FRC was so I will avoid doing so.  But to hear conservative groups talk, that's all we should be doing because they have a rare moment of legitimate victimhood, and by god, they're going to milk it dry.  Take my brief conversation with Andy Parrish, head of the anti-equality campaign Minnesota for Marriage, which is aimed at passing a constitutional ban on marriage equality in Minnesota.  (If his name sounds familiar, it's because he was the boy who cried 'hacked!' when some posts surfaced on MN for Marriage's facebook page endorsing the Leviticus passage that gays should be put to death.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Some Asshole Tried to Shoot People at the Family Research Council This Morning

I have opted not to approach this with professionalism or restraint.  I tried, it wasn't working.  In short, there is no justification for what happened at the FRC today.  In that regard, the FRC is a victim.  However, there is also no reason to discontinue holding the FRC accountable for its perpetuation of violence.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"Never Felt More Me in My Whole Life"

If you follow us on Twitter at all, either collectively as @RainbowMasochsm, or me personally as @CriminallyVu1gar, you'd know that I love Miley Cyrus.  She is a wonderful human being, from her love of dogs to her support for marriage equality.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Anti-LGBT Movement - It's All About the Children...Exploiting Them That Is

You hear it time and time again, the false assertion (one among many) by the Anti-LGBT movement that we queers are somehow a threat to children.  And yet somehow it seems that it is that very movement that is so often exploiting children.

Friday, August 3, 2012

What is Beauty

If you frequent the internet, you've probably seen them before, depictions of Marilyn Monroe and how her style of beauty used to be the pinnacle of attraction, but has now fallen by the wayside for thinner, more unrealistic figures.  She's become a bit of a poster child for larger women who eye her as some sort of stereo-type breaking Goddess.  I don't understand it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Let's Be Honest, It's Not Chick-fil-A that Pisses Us Off

If you're not up to speed on the 'controversy' surrounding what Chick-fil-A does with its money, or some of the things Chick-fil-A President and COO Dan Cathy has said, Alvin McEwen of Holy Bullies has a pretty concise Q&A format rundown here.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Dear Buffalo Sabres, What the Fuck Are You Doing?

Earlier today I retweeted this link about a woman's experiences working with the Salvation Army, and then being dismissed for admitting to being bisexual (even though she is married to a male partner and has a child).  I'm not going to get into the particulars of the story, of which there are many, as it would take me significantly off course.  But there is one specific point I want to touch on.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The National Organization for Marriage's Call for "Corporate Neutrality"

If you haven't been keeping track, NOM has endorsed multiple boycotts of companies that have come out in support of the LGBT community (and in particular Marriage Equality), like Starbucks and General Mills.  NOM's position is that corporate entities, as they serve many people who hold a variety of viewpoints, should not take sides in the marriage debate.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bigotry in Niagara Falls - The Response

Editor's Note: I write for other blogs that do not exclusively cover LGBT issues.  Occasionally there is some overlap and in those cases I like to post in as many places as are applicable.  This is one of those instances.


In case you haven't seen it (part II), the Niagara Falls Reporter has painted itself as a victim, an ardent defender of free speech, and released a response to their anti-gay article that went viral last week. (You can read the article as well as my initial response here.)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Beginner's Guide to Bondage

With 50 Shades of Gray's meteoric rise in popularity and this oft-ridiculed article from Cosmo, I thought I would write a real introduction to the world of BDSM (Bondage, Domination, Sadism, and Masochism), one coming from someone in the lifestyle that stands a chance of being useful to actual people.

I already did a big rundown of various BDSM terminology and aspects here, (note: you should probably tackle that after you read this entry) but I fear that might turn off some of the more softcore individuals that are intimidated by even just the term 'Bondage,' let alone actual implements.  It can be difficult, with the wide world of BDSM, to figure out exactly where to start.  That's what this is for.

Right away I will make the disclaimer that I have not read the aforementioned novel, so I can't speak directly to the scenes in the book, but I do live in a BDSM-lifestyle relationship and have accumulated a lot of experience, so I will be speaking from that.

Bigotry in Niagara Falls

If you haven't heard about it yet (and you will eventually), a Niagara Falls Reporter writer, Lenny Palumbo, has published an article containing some damning anti-gay language. Just in case the Falls Reporter wants to pull this article and pretend this never happened, I have taken the liberty of copying the text of the article and saving it here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Shameless Self-Promotion for Those that Enjoy LGBT Fiction

A little over a year ago I wrote a short novel called Skankarella.  The premise was simple; what if a lesbian was trapped in the house of a brutal religious family like Cinderella?  I wanted to make sure I featured a title character that has positive attributes beyond beauty and blonde hair (good job Disney), like intelligence, artistic talent, nerdiness, and just so happens to be attracted to women.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Curvy Movement

Sometimes I don’t know what our problem is in regards to physical attractiveness.  We all seem to have this narrow definition of what is attractive, and fuck anyone who has a different opinion, or anyone who lives outside that scale of attractiveness.  Which is screwed because a lot of us have a very narrow definition in what we like physically in another person.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Short Recap of the Rochester Pride Parade and Festival

Yesterday I marched in the Rochester (NY) Pride Parade with The Self Made Men a Rochester based group that Adam has been involved with that promotes equality through transgender education.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hockey Player Cam Janssen Makes Dumb Comments

In case you missed it, a video was released of Cam Janssen, former Blue, current Devil, and St. Louis native appearing on the Thom and Jeff Show out of 105.7 The Point in St. Louis. I'd post video of the show, but it has been yanked off YouTube and other video sites, presumably because of some of the comments Janssen made.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The National Organization for Marriage and Marginalizing LGBT

Recently several companies have either made shows of public support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered individuals or donated money to pro-LGBT causes.  Understandably this has raised the ire of groups that spend millions of dollars fighting against rights for LGBT individuals.  However, it has raised a very selective ire.  Allow me to explain.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

War of Words: Minnesota for Marriage’s Aversion to Truth

In addition to the religious right’s fight to get an anti-gay amendment passed in Minnesota, there is a second battle, this one over the official title of said amendment.  Two weeks ago Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie renamed the amendment “Limiting the Status of Marriage to Opposite Sex Couples,” much to the chagrin of those that would like to see the amendment passed.

The question I have posed to various groups like the National Organization for Marriage (who is pumping some serious out of state money into Minnesota for Marriage) is this: “what is the specific problem with Secretary Ritchie’s title?”  Unsurprisingly I haven’t received a direct answer, but the organizations involved are trying to direct their ire at what they perceive to be an abuse of power by Secretary Ritchie.  An abuse of power in changing no other language in the amendment other than the title.  Right.

The more likely theory is that the previous title, “Recognition of marriage solely between one man and one woman,” is more positive sounding than the new title.  This is a pretty common tactic of anti-gay groups, to make their cause sound less damning than it actually is.  They’re not stripping rights and status from LGBT couples, they’re protecting marriage.  They’re not archaic and outdated, they’re traditional.  They don’t hate LGBT individuals, they just work as hard as possible to make sure LGBT individuals cannot receive domestic partnership benefits, aren’t protected by anti-discrimination laws, and that their children are taught from a young age that their parents’ relationship is invalid in some way.  (Not italics there, it's just true.)

The fact that Minnesota for Marriage is so uncomfortable calling this amendment what it is shows that on some level they know what they’re doing is wrong.  Otherwise there is no need to “look better.”  And with the rash of LGBT suicides at Anoka still fresh on everyone’s mind, groups like Minnesota for Marriage aren’t looking very good these days.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What To Do With ‘Hate’ Speech

Earlier today I posed the following question on Twitter: ‘What’s the opinion on ‘hate’ speech?  Do we need to be above letting mere words hurt us or more conscious of what we’re saying?'

Pretty much every response favored a middle ground, to which I agree.  As a writer, I am probably more comfortable around such language than most, seeing words as simple strokes on paper and understanding that there is a lot more, tone, context, background, that goes with them and gives them meaning and weight.

Still, it is undeniable that words like ‘nigger’, ‘faggot’, and ‘tranny’ are offensive and do cause harm, even if members within those cultures identify as those words.  In a world where none of the three groups associated with those words are equal to the straight, cis-, white majority (and we kid ourselves greatly on the first in this country), they’re too often used to hold those minorities at a disadvantage, to point out that there is something inherently wrong with whomever or whatever those words are directed at.  They’re more than calling someone black, gay, or transgendered, they’re also pointing out that there is something wrong with being those things.  It is for this reason that I have largely stricken them from my vocabulary.

IMEnough Submission - Adam

As Alex mentioned a few weeks ago here, we were invited to participate in Kye's IMEnough project which promotes visibility of transgender people and their allies. Check out my contribution to the project after the jump.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

In Any Case, I Figured It Out (Personal)

We tend to stick pretty closely to the LGBT sides of ourselves here, which is important considering the social landscape of this country, but there's more to us than that.  I for one am fascinated with the complexities of relationships, of emotions, of love, of sex.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What Does a Company Need to Do for LGBT Employees?

I’ve been thinking about this one a lot over the past few days.  I work in a very rural area with people that predominantly occupy an older, whiter demographic.  Many of my coworkers consider their religious beliefs to be very important to them.  Now, none of these things necessarily mean anything from individual to individual (and I want to highlight that I am making no assumptions), but I am well aware of the demographics and percentages.  As you would expect, it is not the most naturally welcoming environment in which to come out, or advertise any aspect of being LGBT.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Some Thoughts on Being Out and Coming Out

I’ll back up a bit first.  I am not ‘out’ in the traditional sense in that everyone knows that I am not straight and it is violently obvious within five minutes of meeting me.  There is a large group of people that knows about my sexuality, and a large group that doesn’t. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Contribution to IMEnough

I graduated from George Washington University with a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts (hence the photography:)). I played as an openly trans male on the women's basketball team. Now that I am out of college I came up with the idea to "Hide to create Visibility". I know that sounds strange but let me explain. When you see a photo of a person people usually want to see the face so that they can SEE who the person IS. My project goal is to teach people how to relearn that tendency.

Our outer appearance does not tell us who we are, we are who we say we are. Who someone is comes from within and my project will portray that. So my pictures will have individuals (only one person in a photo, this is about our inner self) doing whatever you feel like doing, standing, running, reading, dancing, WHATEVER you feel describes you. The sky is the limit. The only thing I ask is to not allow your face to be seen. You can hide it anyway you'd like, be creative, or not ha. Just make sure your ENTIRE face is NOT visible so we create the visibility.

 Now the visibility comes from your words. Everyone transitions in life not just transgender individuals. So what makes one transition better than the other? Absolutely nothing. I will give you a sentence starter, "I transitioned........From______To________". You can have as many of those as you need. At the end of your I transitioned piece it will say IMEnough. This project will consist of trans people and trans ally's. IMEnough promotes love and respect for yourself and others.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Girl or Boy?

As many of you know, one of the things we're railing against here is the 'gender binary,' the assertion that a person must be male or female without any middle ground. Lately society has come to find out just how narrow and inaccurate a way that is to classify people. I'll let one of my favorite artists, Dani Shay, take it away after the jump.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The National Organization for Marriage is at it Again

Tonight I'm glad to bring you a perfect example of how the National Organization for Marriage, arguably the largest, most dangerous, and most well funded anti-gay group, lies about LGBT individuals.  If you haven't been following the story, a school district in Erie, Illinois has banned materials from the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network.  Here is NOM's writeup.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How The Anti-Gay Lie

If you were watching on Twitter today, the National Organization for Marriage was all over a "study" completed by Mark Regnerus, a Texas professor (that was funded by conservative special interest groups...but who's keeping track?).

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Clothing and the Gender Binary

I identify as male...barely.  Gender fluid might be a better descriptor, but for convenience's sake I pick one and, in line with my physiology, that one is male.  As you would expect, my tastes are anything but what you would stereotypically call male, especially with clothing.  However, I often find myself limited.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Anti-Gay Lobby; What is it Really About?

Something Alvin McEwen of Holy Bullies wrote today struck me and I want to expand on the idea.  McEwen points out that of all the things in comic books that go against Christian teachings, violence, torture, murder, religious groups like One Million Moms (Note: does not actually contain one million moms) have chosen tot ake issue with a couple characters who have recently been revealed to be gay.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Porno Peter LaBarbera has had Enough of Me Pointing Out He's a Liar

Peter LaBarbera blocked me on Twitter in a sad development today.  I'm assuming he didn't like being called our for the liar he is yesterday when he tweeted:

". Homo-fascism. So much for the Left + "choice." Killing babies: Right to Choose! Leaving homosexuality: BAN IT! "

Of course "banning leaving homosexuality" is preposterous and nothing of the sort has been done.  He was referring to the proposed bill that would ban Reparative (ex-gay) Therapy in California for minors.  If you haven't been keeping track, this therapy has been condemned by every reputable medical and psychiatric association.

As you can see, there is a massive difference in banning a sexual preference and banning a harmful therapy for a certain subset of the population.  LaBarbera is not an idiot, and knows this, but that doesn't stop him from spreading the kind of misinformation that is common of him and his anti-gay compatriots.

Farewell Peter's Twitter feed, I will miss the special brand of crazy you brought that even had some conservatives shaking their heads.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Grow Up Tebow

Earlier this week this story about Tim Tebow started making the rounds on the internet.  The 'too long, did not read' version is that whoever is in charge of Tim Tebow's public image has been threatening those that post photos that do not fit in with that manufactured persona.  If you're not following, that means any photos with scantily clad women.  Seriously.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Transcript - My Speech about MSM Blood Donation

This week we did persuasive speeches in my Public Speaking class. I decided to write my speech about the FDA's lifetime deferral of MSM blood donors. The transcript is below:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Use of the Word Faggot

Lately there's been a much stronger push to eliminate the word 'faggot' from our vocabulary.  When you get right down to it, the word is a slur used to denigrate gay people.  Or perhaps more accurately used to remind gay people that there are many places in this country where they are still inferior.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Amendment 1 Passes in North Carolina

First of all, let me outline briefly what Amendment 1 entails, because most of the voters in-state didn't have a clue.  Amendment 1 defined in the state constitution that the only valid union in North Carolina is marriage between a man and a woman.  Not only does that mean no gay marriage, it means no domestic partnerships or civil unions for straight couples as well.

Misogyny and Feminism

I’ve seen quite a few women in my Twitter feed (and in real life) refer to another woman as a slut or a whore for any number of reasons.  While it may be true in certain (even most) circumstances, it makes me a little angry.  (And far be it for me, a male, to opine on feminism and misogyny, but hell, here we go.)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Polyamory

I’ve been thinking a lot about polyamory lately, what it is, and how it pertains to me. Like with most things, I think any definition will vary person to person. We humans like to classify and organize things, but when it comes to ourselves that’s all but impossible.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Partner-ship

I actually really never have been comfortable with the term 'girlfriend' to describe my current relationship.  It just never seemed to fit.  Still, only recently have I started using the term 'partner' in casual conversations with people who haven't had any sort of gender introduction to my other half.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Transgendered Children - An Outsider's View

Recently one of the conservative nincompoops I follow on Twitter posted this article.  The "too long, did not read" version is this: a British couple is raising their child in a gender-neutral environment.  What that means is that they haven't disclosed the child's gender to friends and family and have encouraged the child to dress in whatever manner s/he chooses, whether that means jeans and a t-shirt or pink frilly dresses.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Subtle Homo-awkwardness

While there is a lot to be said for being out to all comers, there is a certain something that comes with being a closeted gay (okay, bi/pansexual and gender fluid or whatever you want to call me) man in a semi-conservative environment.  You get to play spy.  I often find myself wondering how many allies or opposition I might have, and it could really go either way.  I work in a liberal state in a conservative county in a town reknowned for being one of the forerunners in the women's rights movement.  The statistics say that it's about a 60-40 split between acceptance and dismissal of LGBT individuals.  It can make people hard to peg even though they're comfortable talking about things they might not be if they knew I was LGBT.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rick Santorum Eulogy

As many of you know, I am a huge hockey fan.  One of Yahoo Hockey Blog Puck Daddy's yearly features is eulogizing NHL teams as they are eliminated from the playoffs.  Since Rick Santorum dropped out of the GOP Clown Car yesterday, I am here to eulogize him.  What better way to send one of the GOP's creepiest and most vile homophobes packing?

Monday, April 9, 2012

My Big Issue With the Buffalo Sabres

If you're keeping up on this blog, you've seen my numerous posts regarding my correspondence with the Buffalo Sabres regarding their affiliation with the anti-LGBT Salvation Army.  After some back and forth discussion, I've had few, if any, of my questions answered.  To paraphrase:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Buffalo Sabres and the Salvation Army Continued

I wrote on updates to the Sabres' relationship with the Salvation Army yesterday.  Today I received a response from Rich Jureller, Sabres Director of Community Relations.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Is Transphobia Sometimes Guilty Appeasement?

I want to preface this by saying that I'm jumping into the realm of suppositions, a dangerous path, but one I want to explore.  Thus none of the following is any sort of universal truth, merely the impressions I get in observing different reactions to transgendered individuals.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Muddled Thoughts of Sex and Gender

As I've said before when I write about such things, this is probably a much better topic for my partner and his expertise.  However, as I've also said, I think that an outsider's view is important in the discussion.  It can help bridge the gap between straights/the cis-gendered and LGBT as a lot of the tension is predicated on fear and misunderstanding, not hate.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Breaking: The National Organization for Marriage Exposed

Major news coming out of Maine.  I'll try and breeze through the back story to get to the important bits.  The gist of it is that the National Organization for Marriage has lost court case after court case fighting to keep from revealing more about their campaign financing.  Today in Maine several formerly confidential documents were unsealed.  Ho.  Ly.  Crap.

LGBT: What the Buffalo Sabres Could Do Better

As some of you are aware, one of my pet projects has been opening a dialogue with the National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres in respect to what they could do to reach out to the LGBT community. Recently I made the point that the Sabres could do better in this regard, prompting someone to ask, how?  That’s a good question, one I had to take a step back and think about. I don’t like being the type to offer complaints without possible solutions, so here they are.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Rebirth

When I was a child, my mum made us go to church at least every other Sunday. It was mostly for appearance's sake, and I absolutely hated it. It was long and boring and hot and I had to dress up girly and nice and pretend to be a gentle, well-mannered young lady. It sucked. What made it even worse was when there was a baptism. They were usually a surprise and we'd show up expecting an hour and a half to two hours of skull-crushing boredom and then there'd be a baptism that would easily tack on another half hour to forty-five minutes. But one thing sticks out in my mind about all those baptisms that seems relevant to this particular day.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Is the Internet Killing Religion?

I was reading an article earlier today about Gay-Straight Alliances in the southern United States.  One of the things one of the interviewees said caught my attention: "my generation is the first that grew up with the internet -- the ability to gain any piece of information from any source at any times. This gives us an advantage to see what the world thinks, not just what our parents or communities think."  It seems evident that the internet, at least in part, is helping spread tolerance for LGBT individuals.  I also wonder if a similar point can be made about religion.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Retro Post: Sex Education and Parental Rights

One of the biggest talking points of those opposed to comprehensive sexual education in schools is the assertion that such things are up to the parents.  After all, they're the ones responsible for raising their kid to become a productive member of society, they should supply the majority of input that their children receive.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Dharun Ravi Verdict

In case you haven't been following along, Dharun Ravi was a freshman roommate of Tyler Clementi at Rutgers.  Rhavi filmed Clementi having an intimate encounter with another man without his knowledge.  Many believe the incident led to Clementi's eventual suicide.  Today Ravi was found guilty of some charges of bias intimidation (hate crimes) as well as invasion of privacy and tampering with evidence.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Transition Isn't Destructive

It's been my experience that most people I've come out to have been pretty supportive when it comes to starting to use the correct name and pronouns and treating me as "one of the guys" - the social part of transitioning. But the one thing that consistently seems to make most people uncomfortable is the physical transition - the actual medical intervention that will help me change my body into how I really feel. People tend to see it as destructive - that I will be "cutting off" my breasts, that I will be "destroying" my body's estrogen in favor of pumping it full of testosterone, that I will be "mutilating" my genitals to make them how I want. But it's not that at all. All the medical interventions are reconstructive. Just like refurbishing a building, some things will need to be removed to update and improve the building. To me, my current chest feels like an asbestos-laden back room that needs to be completely torn out and rebuilt. Yes, the process is somewhat violent. There's the cutting of flesh and spillage of blood and removal of parts. But those parts are malignant - maybe not physically, but emotionally. It's hard to explain to cis people how it feels to have a body that you can't identify with and you can hardly stand to look at. I don't see some parts of my body as anything more than a type of tumor. I even have minimal feeling in certain erogenous zones because of my brain/body disconnect. Sometimes I find it hard to believe how much better I feel when I hide these parts with binding or augment them with packing. I think it's just the shock of having my body finally be closer to what I feel it should be. It's healing, it's wonderful and I hate how I feel if I'm not doing it.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Retro Post: No Offense to Christians...

Really this isn't about any one thing in particular, rather about how Christians tend to cherry pick the bible based on their own biases and prejudices.  For lack of a better way of putting it, the Bible is a big old book with a lot of stuff in it that is stupid, outdated, makes no sense, or some wonderful combination of the three.  And Christians are okay with only following bits and pieces selected by a complex process of...???

Sunday, March 4, 2012

You Can Play and Homophobia in Sports

Philadelphia Flyers scout Patrick Burke (brother to the late and openly gay Brendan Burke) has created a new nonprofit organization dedicated to ending homophobia in sports.  The You Can Play Project will operate with the goal of showing that sports are more accepting than people think.  A more detailed description of the organization, its goals, and those currently involved can be read here.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

This Whole Birth Control Debate is Really Fucking Stupid

I highly doubt there are many people who aren't in the know about the recent birth control debate, but just in case, the gist of it is this: President Obama signed a mandate requiring private healthcare providers to cover the cost of contraception for their clients.  To a vast majority of people this makes a whole lot of sense.  To a small religious minority, private healthcare companies giving the option of taking advantage of a product they claim to never use, this is infringing upon their religious freedom.

Now you can believe what you want, and if you have little use for birth control, then fine.  But I fail to see how making a product that can combat unwanted pregnancies, reduce STD rates, and lower the number of abortions is a major point of contention.  Seriously religious people?  Have you flipped on MTV and watched all the shows about teen moms lately?  And you want to make that easier?  Unbelievable.  All the more reason why that stupid book should dictate as little as possible.