Tag Archives: queer

sexual autonomy. the right to do what we will when we will with whom we will (so long as they also will)

PTO’s standards for offensive

Apparently the PTO is protecting us all from the offensive term “Dykes”. See Jason Schultz; SFGate. Very annoying and what poor judgment. ‘Offensive’ really ought to refer to terms used offensively, as in, attacks on someone or something. The way the PTO interprets offensive — a term that can be used disparagingly — any freaking TM app could be rejected! Hmm.

air guitar … celebrity impersonations

The NYT ran this article from New York’s reigning air guitar champ. [NYT 7/”10″] I wonder if these rock’n’rollers acknowledge the debt they owe to drag queens and lip-syncing celebrity impersonators, who have been competitively dragging since at least the 30s? [see Cherry Grove, Fire Island: Sixty Years in America’s First Gay and Lesbian Town (1993) and Mother Camp: Female Impersonators in America (1972), both by Esther Newton.] Probably — “clothes make the air guitarist” according to the author, and the clothes seem to be fabulous: Brooklynite C-Diddy won the world crown in 2003 “festooned with a Hello Kitty breastplate and crimson kimono”, and the author’s costume is a “silver jumpsuit and star-spangled armbands filled with dry ice”.

Rock on, dudes! I can’t wait to go to my first drag king air guitar show.

Bi Lies

The NYT profiled a new study that claims that bi-identified men really are either attracted exclusively either to men or women. And another new study is reported in The Scotsman about sex differences in the experience of and tolerance for pain.

As a rule I don’t think very highly of research on sex differences; research on sexual orientation is even worse, perhaps rivaled in its awfulness only by research on “race” differences. The methodological problems in any study I look at usually dwarf the value of any results. This one, I have no doubt, has similar problems. I predict that in a hundred years all the “gay science” of the 90s & early 2000s will prove to be as fraught with of-the-times misconceptions and ideas as the science of Havelock Ellis and Freud.

… I was going to babble on about the questions & criticisms I had about the results of this research (at least as reported by the NYT) but — well, I really have other things to do. In the meantime tho I get to be amused by snarky comments that point out hilariously obvious problems with research like this. For instance, Avedon Carol, who commented on the bi-lies study by noting that “every dyke I know says gay male porn is the hot stuff.” Yeah.

Related posts: Bi Lies, Reprised (7/27)

happy (belated) stonewall day & revolution season

The Stonewall Riots began June 27, 1969, at 130 am (or maybe it’s June 28; I can never remember, quite, in part because it’s always confusing to me whether you count 130 am as “the night of” the night before or “the night of” the next morning, if you know what I mean).

At any rate those fabulous drag queens, butch dykes, and other unnamed queers kicked off the public face of the mass movement for sexual liberation. Hoorah! Keep your state out of my bedroom!

Summer is a time for revolution. Consider:

  • May Day, May 1: Not just a pagan welcome to warm weather anymore. Since the Haymarket Riot, May Day has come to stand for the international struggle for the rights of all working people. As the tagline goes, Enjoy your weekend? Thank the Labor Movement.
  • El Cinco de Mayo, May 5: Celebrating the events of May 5, 1862, when 4,000 Mexican soldiers defeated an occupying army twice their size.
  • Juneteenth, Emancipation Day, June 19: Celebrating the emancipation of African-Americans in the United States. This presidential proclamation came after years of struggle, agitation by abolitionists, revolts by enslaved people, and of course the bloodiest war in US history.
  • The Fourth of July, Independence Day (US), July 4: Celebrating revolution against George, an incompetent and possibly mentally disabled ruler who inherited his position from his similarly named grandfather. After putting it like that, I’m starting to feel a bit more in the firecracker-and-barbecue spirit.
  • Pride, June 27 – July 2: Celebrating the Stonewall Riots, which sparked a gay revolution against sexual oppression!
  • Bastille Day, July 14: Celebrating the French Revolution and the overthrow of an infamous prison historically used against debtors and political dissidends.

boring cybersquatters

The same-sex marriage debates in Canada have taken a new turn: registering the domain name of the MPs and referring them to various websites opposing their position. Seems to be mostly the anti-SSM folks using these tactics. [Toronto Globe & Mail 6/20]

I appreciate a well-designed spoof & sux site as well as the next geek but the tactic of buying a domain name and redirecting it to a different generic website is just so boring. Take their domain names away, already, until they’re willing to actually do something entertaining & content-ful with them.

Et tu, Louisiana?

Not content with their shared top-ten ranking in teen births, Louisiana State Rep. A. G. Crowe (R-Slidell) wants Louisiana to join with Oklahoma and Alabama in segregating (or banning) gay books.

Good for you, Rep. Crowe. You tackle those problems that Louisiana is facing (high cancer mortality rates, high teen pregnancy rate, low education rates, high infant mortality rate) by, umm, micro-managing library collections. Let me know how that works out.

where is the heavenly response?

on may 17th, it will have been a whole year since Mass. started providing same-sex marriage licenses, and i’m still waiting for the quick and appropriate heavenly response. maybe the very cold weather here in mass., which seems unseasonable to me, is the heavenly response? my same-sex semi-lawfully wed spouse & i will keep a close eye out tomorrow for further developments.

<smirk>

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update: 5/19: nope, no apocalypse / heavenly wrath yet.

good job texas

Texas bans gay foster parents. now, if only they can figure out a way for people to know their own sexuality. [link from misc heathen 4/22]

update: ping analyzed the so-called research on ‘homosexual’ foster parents

and jon stewart’s The Daily Show aired the solution to knowing if you’re gay or not (or dangerously bisexual): Texas has initiated a quiz for prospective foster parents:

Fill in the last lines of this quote:

At first I was afraid; I was __________.

  1. petrified
  2. I don’t know.

hear, hear

siva calls out the folks who keep on talking to men in the public interest tech community & ignoring the women who’ve laid the groundwork: SIVACRACY.NET: Siva Vaidhyanathan’s Weblog: Y (Chromosome) the Same Old Faces? [thanks to copyfight]

and an nyu student demonstrates to j. antonin scalia understand that the private sex practices of consenting adults ought to be, well, private. (at a Q&A at nyu, the student asked j. scalia about his position regarding Lawrence, and dissatisfied with his response, followed up with the question: “Do you sodomize your wife?”) [page 6 in the nypost and Eric Berndt, the student questioner, explaining why he did it] [thanks to copyfight AGAIN] i wonder if j. scalia got the point? or did he merely console & distract himself by feeling outraged that someone would be so rude & inappropriate? ‘you can disagree with someone’s politics, but that doesn’t give them the right to verbally assault you in public!’ does he think it would be more appropriate & less embarrassing if asked by a prosecutor or judge in a courtroom with the coercive threat of prison and/or punitive fines and/or registration on ‘sex offender’ databases behind the question? [rewritten 5/5]

5/5: oh yeah. and did i mention how curious i found the blog commentary on this incident? on so-called liberal / progressive blogs, commentary seemed largely critical. ‘He did our cause a great disservice; how dare he be so rude & uppity’ with only a small minority defending the kid. [See, e.g., daily kos 4/12] And on the right-wing blogs I read that day I saw more commentary & debate between people who thought it was rude & people who got the point about individual rights & privacy! [I will try to remember which blogs those were – maybe volokh conspiracy.]

florida high school yearbook insanity

This is at least the second such story out of Florida in the last couple of years. This year — 2005, not 1955 — high school principal Sam Ward at Fleming Island High School in Clay County, Florida, has decided that the high school yearbook will not publish the photo of a senior young woman who had her picture taken in a “tuxedo” top instead of a “drape” top.

The mind boggles at this guy’s stupidity. How is he 50 years behind? Why on earth are the students not rising up in protest? This kind of idiocy from adults, and apathy / “good soldier” behavior from students is why I will never, ever live in the South again.

insidious homosexual menace spongebob

hmm. maybe the whole spongebob thing is worth checking out after all, now that i know what an insidious homosexual menace it is:

“We see the video as an insidious means by which the organization is manipulating and potentially brainwashing kids,” he said. “It is a classic bait and switch.”

NYT 1/20

Canada Supreme Court OKs SSM

Canada’s Supreme Court has given its official advisory opinion re: same-sex marriage, basically giving the green light to federal legislation to authorize same-sex marriage nation-wide. The Yukon Territory and six of ten provinces have already struck down opposite-sex-only marriage requirements, allowing couples to marry regardless of gender. [cite – from ping]

News | canada.com network

christian organization thinks gays should be fired

right hook on salon.com covers the right-wing press so you don’t have to.

Writing in the Christian news outlet Agape Press this week, Pugh takes note of Christian activist Joe Glover’s directive that Evangelicals, flush with Republican wins from the White House to Capitol Hill, now have every right to demand that gays be booted the hell out of the Beltway.

“A pro-family activist from Virginia says voters who put Republicans in office should demand that politicians not employ key personnel who don’t hold the conservative views that the party promotes. That activist says the Capitol Hill office of Virginia Senator George Allen is a good example. Senator Allen is head of the Republican Senatorial Committee and was a key figure in the GOP’s big victories in November. But Joe Glover, president of the Virginia-based Family Policy Network, says something is very wrong. Glover says homosexual publications have outed at least six members of the senator’s office as homosexuals. He says one homosexual activist even went so far as to say Allen had the ‘gayest office on Capitol Hill.’ Pro-family conservatives, he says, need to make sure Senator Allen hears their voices.

“‘If someone is going to run the day-to-day operations for the Republican apparatus to elect U.S. senators across the country, then dog-gone-it, it better not be somebody who practices a lifestyle that is diametrically opposed to the Evangelical Christian base that delivered George W. Bush and the Republicans in the Senate the victory they saw in November,’ he says. Glover says Allen’s executive director recently resigned because he was outed as a homosexual.”

— Salon.com Right Hook, 2004-12-08

alabama determined to drive itself into a deep, deep hole

god what a great state i come from. on nov 2 they — unbelievable — actually retained the state constitutional language mandating segregation. now this:

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – A lawmaker seeking to ban gay marriages also wants to prohibit state money from being spent on any materials or programs that “recognize” or “promote” homosexuality.

Republican Representative Gerald Allen says, quote, “We have a culture that’s in deep trouble.”

But Representative Alvin Holmes, a Democrat, says Allen’s measure was an unconstitutional form of censorship aimed at enhancing Allen’s standing with the right-wing conservatives.

If the bill became law, public school textbooks could not present homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle, college theater groups would not be able to perform plays like the Tennessee Williams classic “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof” where homosexuality is a theme, and public school libraries could not display books that include lesbianism like Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple.”

Allen says the method of weeding out objectionable material and programs was still to be determined. His bill has been prefiled for action in the 2005 session.

— AP, 2004-11-30 Bill Would Bar State Funds Used to Foster Homosexuality

great posts on this issue:

defense of marriage

The Christian Right and the Sanctity of Marriage

As we all know, the Christian Right has now made defense of the institution of marriage, as defined as a union of a man and woman, not only its top political priority, but the very touchstone of Christian moral responsibility.

I’ve always found this rather ironic, since the Protestant Reformation, to which most Christian Right leaders continue to swear fealty, made one of its own touchstones the derogation of marriage as a purely religious, as opposed to civic, obligation. Virtually all of the leaders of the Reformation denounced the idea of marriage as a scripturally-sanctioned church sacrament, holding that baptism and the Eucharist were the only valid sacraments. Luther called marriage “a secular and outward thing,”which he did not mean as a compliment. Calvin treated marriage as a “union of pious persons,” and while he did consider marriage a “covenant,” he used the same term for virtually every significant human relationship.

More tellingly, throughout Protestant Europe, from the earliest days, one of the most common “reforms” was the liberalization of divorce laws. And even today, in America, conservative Protestants have the highest divorce rates of any faith community, or un-faith community.

My point is not to accuse today’s conservative Christians of hypocrisy, though there’s room for that; it’s that the Christian Right has made a habit of confusing secular cultural conservatism–the simple and understandable impulse to resist unsettling change–with fidelity to their own religious traditions. “Defending marriage” is far down the list of concerns, historically, of the Reformation tradition, and indeed, that tradition has done far more to loosen the bonds of matrimony, for good or for ill, and to “de-sanctify” the institution, than all the gays and lesbians who have ever lived.

NewDonkey.com 11/19 [link from mike]

savage advice on election 04 & the next four years

Dan Savage’s 11/10 column advises us to enjoy our urban islands and hold out for midterm elections, being grateful that the Republicans will have no one else to blame but themselves.

If that doesn’t work:

But, hey, if this cold-comfort analysis is wrong, SSF, if we all live to regret the gay marriage issue coming to a head, rest assured that all the dykes and faggots out there will pay a high price for it.

What he said.

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i’m angry

Voters Complain About Misleading Calls

Mon Nov 1, 6:03 PM ET

By KATHY BARKS HOFFMAN, Associated Press Writer

LANSING, Mich. – Some Michigan voters have received phone calls falsely claiming that Sen. John Kerry (news – web sites) would make gay marriage legal. In New Jersey, some voters have heard a man claiming to be former Army Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf backing the Democrat.

Republicans and Democrats were furious Monday about the blatantly false, 11th-hour political calls to voters and demanded an end to the messages.

Schwarzkopf has endorsed Bush, but in a recording of a phone call played for The Associated Press, a man identifying himself as the Persian Gulf War (news – web sites) general says, “In 2000, I voted for George W. Bush, but this year I’m voting for John Kerry. … John Kerry has a real plan to make our military stronger and to go after terrorists wherever they hide. We need a vote for change, vote for John Kerry.”

A voice says the message was paid for by the Democratic National Committee (news – web sites).

In a statement from the Bush campaign, Schwarzkopf said the DNC was making fraudulent phone calls claiming that he had endorsed Kerry, and “nothing could be further from the truth, and I demand that they stop immediately.

The DNC had no immediate reaction.

In Michigan, in a recording of a call played for the AP, a young woman says: “When you vote this Tuesday remember to legalize gay marriage by supporting John Kerry. We need John Kerry in order to make gay marriage legal for our city. Gay marriage is a right we all want. It’s a basic Democrat principle. It’s time to move forward and be progressive. Without John Kerry, George Bush (news – web sites) will stop gay marriage. That’s why we need Kerry. So Tuesday, stand up for gay marriage by supporting John Kerry.”

Both Kerry and his running mate, Sen. John Edwards (news – web sites) of North Carolina, oppose gay marriage and say marriage should be limited to a man and a woman. Kerry has said he supports civil unions.

The calls began Sunday afternoon, according to Rodell Mollineau, spokesman for Kerry’s Michigan campaign. The campaign said voters in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint and Pontiac received calls.

“We’re shocked and pretty much appalled that Republicans would sink to this in the last 48 hours of the campaign,” Mollineau said.

Michigan Republican Party executive director Greg McNeilly said recorded phone calls have been made by former Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler and by President Bush (news – web sites) to Michigan voters, but he didn’t know anything about the calls described by the Kerry campaign.

GOP officials, meanwhile, have been getting reports of phone calls being made by a person who says he’s representing the Bush campaign, and then unlooses a string of swear words. Another phone call is said to tell voters they’ve been drafted for military service because Bush needs them for the war in Iraq (news – web sites).

“There are so many reports of phone calls going on right now that appear to be untoward,” McNeilly said.

Associated Press Writer Donna De La Cruz in Trenton, N.J., contributed to this report.

Yahoo! News – Voters Complain About Misleading Calls

Okay, i hate all these attempts to suppress the vote, but only one of them attempts to play on bigotry. Call me gay, but i am personally most offended by the “support Kerry to support gay marriage” call.

And another thing. Folks who compare different levels of rumors and try to say X is just as bad as Y. That pisses me off. It’s simply not correct, for instance, to suggest that “Bush will institute a draft” is the same thing as “Kerry supports gay marriage.” The equivalence is wrong in one important, objective way — it compares a political position to the likelihood of an event.

And it’s wrong in a couple of other equally important but somewhat more subjective ways:

(1) Actual likelihood of event occurring. In other words, even if we consider both statements to be about the candidates’ likelihood of doing something (Kerry will legalize gay marriage, or Bush will institute a draft), I think there is no chance in hell that Kerry will legalize gay marriage. (Alas.) But I think it possible that the Bush administration will push for a draft at some point.

Kerry is not going to have any significant lobby for legalizing gay marriage, and it’s not even clear what that would mean. He certainly could not pass a law or a constitutional amendment requiring states to perform same-sex marriages. It is doubtful he could get DOMA repealed or even revised. So what, exactly, could Kerry do on this front even if he were so inclined? Maybe get some federal recognition of same-sex unions or partnerships — but not “marriage”, which DOMA defines as between a man and a woman, and DOMA is going nowhere.

On the draft argument, by contrast, the mathematics of the situation in Iraq suggest that a draft would be helpful to the military effort. The Bush administration hasn’t exactly wanted to do the war “right”, so it’s quite likely they wouldn’t do a draft. On the other hand, it might turn out that they want a success, and would institute a draft. They’ve already been figuring out how to draft medical personnel in the advent of a national emergency, for instance. So, a draft is perhaps not likely, but certainly not inconceivable.

In this analysis, neither Bush’s nor Kerry’s statements of their intents count — we write those off as mere political BS. But if you want to tip the balance a little further, I think that Ohio state rep. Tim Ryan said it well: why on earth should we trust the Bush administration which has repeatedly lied to us about their intentions and about the state of affairs in the “war on terror”?

(2) Moral equivalency. Once again I protest the suggestion that it is morally equivalent to play on people’s fears of a draft, and to play on their hatred, fear, disgust of queers. I simply cannot take seriously people who think that these are on the same level. Only in the most abstract sense are these equivalent: both are policy questions with significant impacts on people’s lives. In that sense the draft is the more serious charge — a draft would force people into the military where they might die or be maimed or forced to kill. Playing on the fear of the draft plays on the fear of death — love of self and love of life. A big deal, no question.

But playing on the fear of same-sex marriage plays on hatred and disgust for other people. It’s negative in the deepest sense. It attempts to make issues where there are none (because same-sex marriage is simply not going to happen nationally) and it attempts to do so on the backs of — well, me, and my same-sex partner. I take that kinda personal. You find me a whole crowd of someones who are personally the subjects of the draft threat. And then maybe I’ll consider whether these are moral equivalents.

mentioning someone’s gay daughter is a “low blow”?

once again, i’m reduced to saying wtf ???

William Safire, “The Lowest Blow“, NYT, Oct. 18, 2004, is really pissing me off.

The Lowest Blow

Washington

The memoir about the Kerry-Edwards campaign that will be the best seller will reveal the debate rehearsal aimed at focusing national attention on the fact that Vice President Cheney has a daughter who is a lesbian.

Uhh, no, it won’t. This is bullshit, a fake issue.

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