Whiny gay Republican is mad he can’t be in Pride Parade

There are some things that  In My Opinion just don’t pair well together.

The first thing that springs to my mind is pineapple on pizza. When I was 16, I was hired on at a pizza buffet restaurant (my first job). One of the more popular pizzas was a simple ham and pineapple pizza (some places call this a Hawaiian Pizza). Nope. None for me then. None for me now.  I’m not interested in shaming anyone for their food choices. All I have to say is that I find pineapple to be deeply unappealing  in smell, taste, and texture…and I like pizza. So I’m not going to marry the two of them, bc to me, that’s not a marriage made in heaven.

Another thing I’ve found I don’t like together–water, juice, or soda with dessert. Now, I’m a finicky person when it comes to desserts. I like ’em simple.  I don’t eat creme brulee, hate pies (yes, I’ve heard all the jokes on that one) and cobblers, and the texture of cheesecake just does not work for me at all.  I like cakes, brownies, and cookies (the occasional bread pudding is ok, but the portion size on most I’ve seen is ginormous and the sweetness level is often off the charts). These are my go-to desserts. But I can only drink them with milk.  I mean, not literally. If I need something to drink, and there’s no milk, I’ll drink water or juice. Anything other than milk though, just doesn’t taste right.

The Republican Party is evil. What does that make their supporters?
(image of elephant representing the GOP. Elephant is filled in with rainbow colors to designate queer Republicans such as the Log Cabin Republicans)

There are some pairings that not only seem like a horrible fit on paper, but just make me shake my head in profound befuddlement. I’m speaking here of LGBT Republicans. That should be an oxymoron.  You’d think they wouldn’t exist, right? After all, the Republican Party has, for decades, opposed efforts to improve the quality of life for QUILTBAG folks. They fought tooth and nail to prevent same-sex marriage from being legalized. They’ve supported so-called conversion therapy, which is a fancy way of saying “torturing kids into being not gay”. They’ve continually made the reality challenged assertions that gay people cannot be parents and held that children raised by gay people are at a disadvantage (in point of fact, aside from individual physiological issues, we can indeed have children and study after study has found children of same-sex couples are not at a disadvantage). Though much of the harsh rhetoric from the GOP about QUILTBAG folks has become muted over the years, there are still Republicans who make comparisons between gay people and pedophiles (as if there’s a connection between sexuality and pedophilia). Then there are the bathroom bills that states across the nation have considered in the last few years.  16 states have considered such legislation and 15 states have bills pending in legislature. These bills would restrict access to multi-user sex-segregated facilities on the basis of gender as determined at birth. Supporters argue legal protections are needed to prevent predatorial men from wearing women’s clothing and assaulting or molesting girls and women in bathrooms. Such bills are an incredible insult to transgender women. They are not predators. They are women who were assigned the incorrect gender at birth. They are using the bathrooms for the same reason cis women use restrooms. Additionally, there are already laws on the books that criminalize molestation and assault, making these bathroom bills all about one thing: discriminating against transgender women and men.

And all of that? ↑ ↑

Barely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the disdain, contempt, and outright hate that the Republican Party has exhibited towards queer people over the last few decades. From discriminatory bathroom bills to preventing gay people from adopting children, the Republican Party has long been among the loudest opponents of queer rights. So yeah, it’s somewhat confounding to me that transgender, lesbian, gay, or bisexual Republicans exist.

On an intellectual level, I know they do. I accept that human brains being what they are, indoctrination into political parties occurring the way it does (often at a young age, in  a similar way to indoctrination into religion–i.e. before we develop strong critical thinking skills), and who knows how many cognitive biases and shortcuts converge in queer Republicans.  Emotionally, however, it not only boggles my mind, it’s downright insulting. I find insult in the fact that these people are donating time, money, energy, and other resources into aiding a political party that wants to [at best] keep queers as second class citizens. They don’t want us to have rights like being able to marry, adopt kids, own property, or be free from discrimination in public institutions. They don’t want us in scouting organizations or in positions of religious power.  They don’t want to see us doing something as innocuous as holding hands in public.  In fact, they don’t need to literally say it for it to be true: the Republican Party does not want us to exist.

That fact is lost upon the Gays For Trump, a group of whiny assholes who are mad that Charlotte Pride has denied them entry into the Pride Parade:

Continue reading “Whiny gay Republican is mad he can’t be in Pride Parade”

Whiny gay Republican is mad he can’t be in Pride Parade

‘Power’ is an essential component of racism

Content Note: Racial slurs

I really need more hours in the day, days in the week, and weeks in the year. I am a wee bit behind on reading my ‘saved links’ on Facebook. The sidebar says I currently have 11 saved links, but I think that number might be a wee bit higher.

::goes off to check::

Oooooooooh yeah. Way more than 11.  That figure reflects what I’ve saved today and *part* of last week. I just scrolled down and I have at least 84 saved links to be read. I say at least bc I got to the bottom of the page and FB did that loading bit where it says ‘please wait while we load the five gajillion links you have saved and if you read these darn things in a timely manner, it might not take so long to load them all‘ (it really says that on my page; wanna buy a bridge in Brooklyn or some swampland in Florida?).

Amid all those links are a host of articles that I have thoughts and opinions about. In more than a few cases, the content of those articles elicits strong opinions from me (and I’ve shared some brief thoughts about them on FB). Other pieces are logged away in a mental “to write about” file that is so huge it almost eclipses Donald Trump’s ego. While I was going through the links, one really stood out to me-a clip from the May 5 episode of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert featuring guest W. Kamau Bell:

Continue reading “‘Power’ is an essential component of racism”

‘Power’ is an essential component of racism

I finally have a superpower!

When I was a child, I wanted to be Spider-Man so much. I would run around the house with my fingers in the same shape the wall-crawler formed his when he THWIP’d his webs. I would pretend to stick to walls and be super-strong too. One time, I even injured myself, bc I was pretending I was swinging on a web. I had taken a rope and flung it around one of the prongs on those old standing metallic coat racks and actually put my weight on it, and of course the thing fell and hit me. On the head. I would have been fine, with perhaps nothing more than a bruise, if I hadn’t been in the habit of removing the plastic caps that go over the metal hooks. As a result, the metal hook hit my forehead with enough force to make me bleed. I recall walking into the bathroom telling my mom that my head hurt. If I recall correctly, I was 5 or 6. So yeah, you can imagine what it’s like for a parent to see their child bleeding from a head wound (it wasn’t terribly bad, once all was said and done, but that instinct of “OH MY GOD MY CHILD IS BLEEDING” is pretty intense). Needless to say, after that, I stopped trying to swing from things, and i learned my lesson about taking the plastic caps off metallic rods.

As I got older, I stopped wanting to be like Spidey. Not bc he wasn’t cool anymore, but bc I began wanting to fly. And that’s a feeling that has remained with me since I was a teenager. While I don’t remember my dreams in any significant detail, I *do* recall many nights (one even relatively recently) of dreaming of flying. Though vague, the details I do recall that my dreams involved flying all around the world. About the only joy I got out of the 2013 movie, Man of Steel, was watching Superman fly around the world, bc it reminded me-viscerally-of my dreams. The vicarious thrill I got out of watching that scene was *almost* enough to make up for the dreariness of the rest of the movie.

Unfortunately, we humans aren’t gifted with superhuman (or supernatural, whatever the case may be) abilities. We can’t manipulate the weather. We aren’t masters of magnetism. We don’t transform into half-ton jolly green balls of unbridled rage. Yeah, we’re pretty much powerless.

Or so I thought until today.

Today is a landmark day in human history. It has been discovered that we humans do indeed have superpowers. But #NotAllHumans. Unfortunately the majority of our species will have to muddle through life without experiencing the fantastic power that some of us possess. Apparently I am one of the recipients of this power. So too are all my fellow Orbit bloggers and anyone else who fights for the cause of queer rights. What power do we have?

We have the power to kill God.

Continue reading “I finally have a superpower!”

I finally have a superpower!

Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! Human rights have got to go!

Are you living in a country with a constitution that echoes-in part or whole-the human rights as enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?  Do you ever get the feeling that those rights are just a little…I don’t know? Stifling? Do you, on occasion, feel that you and the people around you would be better served by eliminating a few of those pesky rights? On hopeful days, do you find yourself lost in thought, contemplating how exhilarating it would be to cast aside rights like bodily autonomy or freedom of religion (bc let’s be honest, you know that some people really shouldn’t have the right to dictate what happens to or with their bodies ((that’s a responsibility best left to others)) and no one, but no one, should ever be allowed to decide whether or not to hold religious beliefs)? On really good days, do you speak out online or in meatspace about the virtues of living a life with significant restraints on freedom of speech and expression (bc of your sincerely held  belief that the world would be so much better if more people were imprisoned for heresy)? Do you often find yourself alone at night, laying atop your bed replete with rosary covered 1200-thread count sheets, thinking about people being slaughtered in the name of blasphemy laws as you grasp your really Good Book in one hand and attend to personal matters with the other?  If you do, then you probably have something in common with he who doesn’t like human rights (some of them anyway) Patriarch Kirill, the Head of the Russian Orthodox Church:

Continue reading “Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! Human rights have got to go!”

Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! Human rights have got to go!

The end of the world is nigh

“Some say the world will die by fire. Others say the world will die by ice. They’re both wrong. Rainbows and drag queens. The world will die bc people accept rainbows and drag quens.” -anti-gay bigots everywhere

Bigots of all stripes love to claim that homosexuality is destructive and the cause of so many of the ills in society. World-class bigots like Theodore Shoebat claim that homosexuality is a cancer that should be excised from our culture. There’s Mr. “Legitimate Rape” Todd Akin, who has said[…] there is no civilization which has condoned homosexual marriage widely and openly that has long survived.” And then there are my “favorite people”. Oooh, and who can forget Pat Robertson, who thinks that God uses snow to punish people who want to do gay things. But my favorite are those like Scott Lively, who think acceptance of homosexuality is a dress rehearsal for the End Times:

Continue reading “The end of the world is nigh”

The end of the world is nigh

When America was great

Donald Trump’s campaign slogan is “Make America great again”. Apparently, he thinks the country is not in good shape and needs to be as great as it once was. As of this writing, I’ve seen no explanation from Trump detailing the ways in which the country is doing poorly, when the US was last great, nor what exactly it would take to return the country to the glorious heights he longs for. But then Trump isn’t one to explain the logic of his opinions (if there is any logic to them in the first place). I recently found myself thinking “Self, if Trump wants to make this country great again, he clearly envisions some point in the past as an era when the United States was great. Soooooo, when exactly was the United States great?” After the jump, I explore some possibilities.

Continue reading “When America was great”

When America was great

They want to be just like Trump


That guy in the image to the right? That’s the so-called ‘King of Instagram’ and self-proclaimed playboy Dan Bilzerian. Before I go any further, I recommend you find a puke bag. Bilzerian recently showered presidential hopeful Donald Trump with praise. To his more than 1 million Twitter followers, Bilzerian said:

In an age of pussified political correctness, you have to respect the people who remain unfiltered @realDonaldTrump

When I first read this Tweet, I felt the exasperation swell within me. For months now, I’ve read who knows how many comments from people who say they like Donald Trump bc he is “unfiltered”, “speaks his mind”, isn’t “politically correct”, is “honest with his thoughts”, or some such bullshit. I’ve wondered for a while now why people think these are positive character traits. To be sure, they can be a good, depending on the situation, but it isn’t inherently a good thing that someone (for instance) speaks their mind. In the case of Donald Trump, speaking his mind often leads to some bigoted rhetoric. But I had an ‘AHA!’ moment while reading Bilzerian’s B.S.

Continue reading “They want to be just like Trump”

They want to be just like Trump

Racism Round-Up 4.8.15

In the eyes of some USAmerican citizens, we are living in a ‘post-racial’ society. In other words, here in the United States of America, racism is a thing of the past. What these people never explain is how this supposed ‘post-racial’ society was achieved. They offer no explanation for what happened to the racist opinions held by many U.S. citizens-many of whom are still alive. Did the Civil Rights Act magically erase all racist views-conscious and unconscious-of bigoted white people in this country? Or did racist white USAmericans sit up in the wake of Martin Luther King, Jr’s death and reject all their racist beliefs? Was the USAmerican criminal justice system overhauled while no one was looking? When did African-Americans gain the same political, economic, and social power of white people? Those who believe we’ve moved past racism have offered no explanations for how we’ve reached this post-racial utopia, but they have offered evidence of their claim: President Obama. Uh-huh. I’m just a wee bit underwhelmed by such “evidence”. It is a fact that we do have an African-American President (yes, President Obama is a USAmerican citizen, contrary to the idiotic claims of birthers like Donald Trump). It is also a fact that the Department of Justice’s Ferguson Report documented numerous examples of individual and systemic racism within the Ferguson PD. Clearly the presence of a black man in the Oval Office does not mean that racism is over (even if a black man as President meant racism against black people was over, what about racism against other racial groups like Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans, and American Indians?). Aside from that, I have seen nothing else offered up as proof that we live in a ‘post-racial’ society. In contrast, I’ve seen plenty of evidence showing that racism is alive and well in the United States. On the macro-level, there is ample evidence demonstrating that systemic racism permeates society, especially our criminal justice system (this is a great resource for people who don’t understand what systemic racism is). On the individual, micro-level, racism occurs all the time. Here are a handful of recent examples of racism on the individual level (and one of systemic racism):

FL chef fires back at KKK threats over his interracial marriage: ‘You’re a coward, brother’

Donna Slawsky, who owns the Arts & Eats Restaurant and Gallery with her husband in Bradenton, said the message was left on their business phone line by someone who identified himself as KKK member Ralph Edward.

“I’m the leader of the KKK in this area, and I’d like you people to leave this neighborhood now,” the message said. “We don’t want you here no more. Get the f*ck out.”

Slawsky said her husband, Jim Copening, recently had a confrontation with two men who threatened to send their “friends from the KKK” after him, although they aren’t sure the incidents are related.

“I’m not scared,” Slawsky said. “I’m outraged.”

Copening had a message of his own to share with whoever left him the threatening voice mail.

“What I want to say to them?” he said. “‘You’re a coward, brother — you need to go work your stuff out, but not over here. I didn’t come to your place starting nonsense with you, so don’t come to mine.’”

* * * *

‘Lynch ’em’: Pennsylvania university expels students for racist comments on radio

I’m somewhat torn on this one.  On the one hand, I do think the university should have taken measures to punish the students, but I don’t think they needed to expel them. I think that’s going to make them even more embittered and doesn’t serve the goal of combating racism. They needed to face some form of punishment, but I also think they needed some mandatory classes on diversity, or something aimed at chipping away at the racial biases and stereotypes they hold.

Their conduct was “a clear violation of our community standards,” President John Bravman said in an email to staff and students late on Monday.

One of the students used a derogatory term for black people, another said: “Black people should be dead,” and a third said: “Lynch ‘em” during a March 20 broadcast on WVBU, Bucknell’s student-run radio station, Bravman said in his email.

The expulsions were among several recent moves by U.S. colleges and universities to deal with racism on campus.

About 3,600 students attend Bucknell, located in the central Pennsylvania town of Lewisburg.

The Bucknell radio broadcast was heard by a local prison inmate, who contacted the Lewisburg Prison Project.

Dave Sprout, a paralegal at the inmate support organization, said he contacted Bucknell, and school officials reviewed tapes of the broadcast.

Sprout said the federal penitentiary in Lewisburg had more than 1,300 inmates, many of whom listen to Bucknell’s radio station.

“Racism exists on campuses across the country and, in fact, throughout society,” Bucknell’s president wrote in his email. “We need to look no further than recent news headlines to see that.”

Connecticut College canceled all classes on Monday to hold campus-wide counseling and discussions after an offensive posting was found on a professor’s Facebook page and racist graffiti in a restroom.

* * * *

Georgia judge allegedly uses N-word in court

A county judge in Georgia and two sheriff’s deputies are accused of using the n-word in court, according to Fox 5 Atlanta.

Allen Duray Green, an African American, was waiting in the Fannin County Courthouse on March 16 to testify at a bond hearing for his friend Robert Vivian, who is white.

When Judge Roger Bradley reviewed the witness list, he asked about Green’s identity. The two sheriff’s deputies responded, “N–ger Ray,” witnesses in the courtroom told Fox 5.

The judge went a step further and told a story about an African-American bootlegger in the county who used the nickname “N–ger Bob.”

McCaysville Police Officer Michael Early was in the courtroom. “I overheard the n-word followed by ‘Ray,’” he told a Fox 5 reporter. Early also confirmed, in a written statement, that more than one person used the n-word in court that morning.

The judge’s defenders said the context is misunderstood. Bradley and the deputies were referring to Green’s street name, they explained to Fox 5. But Green said he doesn’t have a street name, and no one had ever called him “N–ger Ray” before this incident.

“It hurts. It still hurts right now,” Green said in an interview. “It’s a subject that my grandfather, my great-grandfather, had to deal with. Not me.”

* * * *

If we lived in a post-racial USAmerica, there would be no racist asshats posting shit like this on Twitter:

That racist-as-fuck Tweet came from someone who got angry over a speech First Lady Michelle Obama gave at BET’s Black Girls Rock:

When I was a girl, I had parents that loved and believed in me, but those doubts still worked their way into my head. and I was always worried about something. Does my hair look right? Am I too tall? Do I raise my hand too much in class? So when folks said a girl like me shouldn’t aspire to go to the very best colleges in the country I thought ‘Maybe they’re right.’

But eventually I learned that each of those doubts were like a little test. . . that I could either shrink away from or rise up to meet and I decided to rise.

Yes, I decided to rewrite those tired old scripts that define too many of us. I decided that I wasn’t bossy, I was confident and strong. I wasn’t loud, I was a young woman with something important to say and when I looked in the mirror I say a tall, beautiful and smart black girl. … and that’s what I want for you, I want you to live life on your own terms. … but anyone who’s achieved anything in life knows that challenges and failures are necessary components of success. They know that when things get hard, that’s not always a sign that you’re doing some thing wrong, that’s often a sign that you’re doing something right. Those hard times are what shape you into the person you’re meant to be.

Yeah. Racism in this country is a thing of the past. Is it possible to roll your eyes so hard they fall out of their sockets?

* * * *

In most cities, blacks get paid a fraction of what whites make

In the cities where black families have the highest incomes, white families still typically make about 40 percent more, according to a new report. The report comes 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic march from Selma to Montgomery, and shows the prosperity gap between the races.

In Washington, D.C., Arlington, Md., and Alexandria, W.Va.—the cities with the highest median incomes for both blacks and whites — the $108,254 median income for whites dwarfs the comparative $64,663 figure for black families. A similar income gap also exists in the cities where median household incomes for the two groups are the lowest, the National Urban League found in its Equality Index report. The San Francisco, Oakland and Hayward areas in California are the least equal between blacks and whites in terms of household earnings. Median black income in those places is $39,902 vs. $95,285 for whites.

Similarly, unemployment among blacks in the U.S. is much higher. The rate for whites is 5.3 percent, compared to 11.3 percent for blacks. The gap widens further in certain metro areas. Jackson, Mississippi, has the highest such gap, with 14 percent of blacks unemployed and 3.9 percent of whites.

Racism Round-Up 4.8.15

My response to Rep. Fiore (R-NV)

I sent the following message to Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, in response to her comments suggesting that racism is a thing of the past:

Rep. Fiore,

I recently became aware of the comments you made during a hearing before the Nevada Assembly’s Legislative Operations and Elections Committee. These comments indicate that you feel racism is over. It is not, and the fact that you think so worries me. I also feel that you have a very limited understanding of racism.

Racism is not just “discrimination or bigotry towards an individual or individuals based on their actual or perceived race”. The sociological definition of racism is ‘power plus prejudice’ and is inclusive of individual acts of bigotry as well as systemic race-based discrimination.

Racism is more than lynching (have you read about the hanging of Otis Byrd yet?).

It is more than calling black people, American Indians, Latinos, or Asians one of the many bigoted slurs used to deny them their basic humanity (slurs which continue to be used to this day).

Racism is more than making black people sit at the back of the bus or enter the back door of an establishment.

Racism isn’t limited to the US imprisoning Japanese Americans in WWII.

It’s more than the Tuskegee Experiments.

It’s more than ‘Birth of a Nation’.

Racism is more than just the way people act, or the things they say. Racism is also about institutions. Institutions like the USAmerican criminal justice system which treats white people more fairly than people of color, disproportionately targets Blacks and Latinos for stopping and frisking, and imprisons African-Americans at an alarming rate.

Racism is also the War on Drugs.  Despite the fact that White Americans use drugs at roughly the same rate as African-Americans, the War on Drugs has had a far greater impact on Black people.

Racism is about people failing to realize that ‘People of Color’ and ‘African-American’ are not interchangeable terms.

Racism is also the way politicians speak about and craft legislation concerning undocumented immigrants.

Racism is also the way people refer to African-Americans as thugs (which is a stand-in for N*gger). Or the way political pundits drone on about “black on black” violence while ignoring the fact that white people commit almost as much violence against other white people.

Racism is also about politicians fighting to end or reduce the effectiveness of government assistance programs. Many political figures think that those making use of government assistance are all unemployed, lazy black people who shouldn’t be supported by the government. They’re ignorant of the facts that show that huge numbers of low-income people *have* jobs and still need government assistance to survive. They’re ignorant of all the poor white men and women who use government assistance, as well as the children of poor families who need it and the senior citizens who need it. Meanwhile, corporations across the country get tax breaks–i.e. government assistance–and there’s not a peep from these politicians.

Racism is also about voter ID laws which disproportionately target People of Color.

Racism is also the way people think of Muslims as being a threat (yes there is a racial component to anti-Muslim bigotry; these bigots likely don’t have white Muslims in mind when they talk about the threat of Muslims and Islam).

Racism is also about the implicit racial biases that float around in the back of the minds of even those people who think they aren’t racist. These biases affect us on subconscious levels and can be difficult to detect, but they are there. Subconscious biases lead people to make snap judgments about others, such as when a woman clutches her purse as she walks past black people.

Racism is also respectability politics. African-Americans are routinely admonished to pull their pants up,

Racism is not over. It is still alive and well. It manifests in both subtle and overt ways and can be seen in individuals or institutions. It affects African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latinos, and American Indians. While White Americans can be indirectly affected by racism (for instance, white friends or family members of PoC), they are not the target of it. It is American Indians, not White Americans, who are directly impacted by the continued refusal of the Washington Redskins’ owner to change the teams’ name.  It is Latinos and Hispanic-Americans, not White Americans, who have to deal with racist Sheriff Joe Arpaio. It is Asian-Americans, not White Americans, who face labor market discrimination.  It was African-Americans, not White Americans, who were horribly treated-for decades-by the racist Ferguson Police Department.  And rather than White Americans, it is African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Latinos, Asian-Americans, and American Indians who are routinely face discrimination at all levels in the motion picture film industry. As a White American, you do not get to decide when racism is over. You are not the target.

I hope the pushback you’ll inevitably receive prompts you to learn more about racism in the U.S.  There is a wealth of information available attesting to the continued existence of racism. That it permeates our culture is a fact. Unlike People of Color, that is a fact that you have the privilege of not acknowledging. As racism doesn’t affect your everyday life in any meaningful way, you don’t have to live with the daily realities faced by People of Color. By denying the existence of racism, you erase the stories of people across the country. And that in itself is racist.

So was referring to your colleague as ‘colored’.


A Person of Color who continues to be affected by racism

My response to Rep. Fiore (R-NV)

LGBT Link Round Up 1.10.15

Defying death threats and police detention, activists in Uganda publish LGBT magazine

In an effort to convey the realities of life for LGBT people, an activist group in Uganda have published a magazine that offers health advice, personal stories, and articles on the clergy. Activist Jacqueline Kasha says the magazine was created with the goal of addressing  “the falsehoods spread by the Ugandan media, which regularly publicly humiliates and degrades homosexuals.”

“Instead, we are sharing our stories in the hope that we can change social attitudes. The people we are trying to reach out to are the people who are threatening to burn our houses and beat us.

“We are not journalists and I don’t respect the media here in Uganda. The media is furious with us because we are reclaiming our stories. We expect them to retaliate. We are always frightened, but nobody else is going to stand up for us; our community needs a face.”

I applaud their courage, and hope that they remain safe, bc unfortunately, bigots are going to retaliate against them.

In a statement, the activists involved said:

“This magazine will also shade a light to readers on the extent of the marginalization and discrimination the LGBTI community in Uganda continues to face on a daily basis.

We have been forced to live undignified lives; the authors of the stories are Ugandans who, through their voices, should be heard by policy makers and the general public, and hopefully, help to create a path for attitude change in a community that is continuously growing in homophobia and violence against this harmless group of Ugandan citizens.”

They have also called on the government to “promote humanity, peace, unity and liberation as they report on LGBTI issues” and to suspend all moves to introduce further anti-gay legislation; for the public to establish a dialogue with the LGBTI community; and for religious leaders “to refrain from preaching and instigating hate within their congregations.”

 * * * *

For the first time Tiffany & Co. feature a same-sex couple in an engagement campaign

The unnamed pair are a real-life couple living in New York City.

“Nowadays, the road to marriage is no longer linear, and true love can happen more than once with love stories coming in a variety of forms,” said Linda Buckley, Tiffany & Co. VP of North American PR, in a statement to ELLE.com. “The Tiffany engagement ring is the first sentence of the story that a couple will write together as they create a life that is deeply intimate and exceptional, which is the message we hope to convey through this campaign.”

Thank you Tiffany & Co. for treating gay people AS people and recognizing that our love is every bit as real and deserving of recognition as heterosexual couples.

* * * *

“I wish I’d never written the story” says author of ‘Brokeback Mountain’

I wish I’d never written the story. It’s just been the cause of hassle and problems and irritation since the film came out. Before the film it was all right… In Wyoming they won’t read it. A large section of the population is still outraged. But that’s not where the problem was. I’m used to that response from people here, who generally do not like the way I write. But the problem has come since the film. So many people have completely misunderstood the story. I think it’s important to leave spaces in a story for readers to fill in from their own experience, but unfortunately the audience that Brokeback reached most strongly have powerful fantasy lives. And one of the reasons we keep the gates locked here is that a lot of men have decided that the story should have had a happy ending. They can’t bear the way it ends — they just can’t stand it. So they rewrite the story, including all kinds of boyfriends and new lovers and so forth after Jack is killed. And it just drives me wild. They can’t understand that the story isn’t about Jack and Ennis. It’s about homophobia; it’s about a social situation; it’s about a place and a particular mindset and morality. They just don’t get it. I can’t tell you how many of these things have been sent to me as though they’re expecting me to say, ‘Oh great, if only I’d had the sense to write it that way.’ And they all begin the same way — I’m not gay, but?.?.?.?The implication is that because they’re men they understand much better than I how these people would have behaved. And maybe they do. But that’s not the story I wrote. Those are not their characters. The characters belong to me by law.”

* * * *

Margaret Thatcher considered banning sex toys in the U.K.

The revelation comes following the annual release of documents from the UK’s National Archive. They say that the change was considered after moral crusaders lobbied the Prime Minister, including Mary Whitehouse, whom Thatcher met on two occasions.

In September 1986, the then Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, wrote to Prime Minister Thatcher saying that there was a ‘strong case’ for banning sex toys under obscenity laws.

‘Some of the items in circulation are most objectionable, including some which can cause physical injury.’

Brittan thought that sex toys, under the terms of the 1959 Obscene Publications Act, could be viewed as items likely to ‘deprave and corrupt’.

However, following her meetings with Whitehouse – a prominent anti-obscenity campaigner – Thatcher, who served as Prime Minister between 1979-1990, instructed Brittan to look at a new way in which they could be barred, more specifically in relation to how they could be considered to offend good taste or public decency.

Brittan felt that asking court’s to make rulings in regard to ‘good taste’ could be fraught with ambiguity. The plans were subsequently abandoned.

Heeey, I know what’s a great idea!
A government banning items that are used by consenting adults in the privacy of their own bedroom!
Glad this didn’t happen as it’s none of the government’s business what consenting adults do in their bedrooms.

* * * *

Today in “Transphobic assholes who refuse to accept that trans women are women”:

Trans woman turned away from Western Wall in Jerusalem

Stylist Kay Long from Tel Aviv visited Jerusalem with a friend from Madrid, but was refused entry to the female section of the wall by a ‘modesty volunteer’ who said she was not a woman. She was then yelled away from the men’s area.

The Western Wall, or Kotel, is the only remaining part of the Temple Mount and is the holiest site in Judaism.

Long visited the wall in a black dress and is two meters (6’7”) tall ‘without heels.’

‘From an early age we are taught that if we place a note at the Kotel our prayers might be answered,’ she wrote on Facebook.

‘All that’s left now is to take a picture and say a prayer from afar with the hope that it will be answered. Because God is everywhere and loves us all.’

Elinor Sidi, director LGBTI community center Open House, said Long’s experience was not unique.

I hope that one day such transphobic bigotry is so rare that it is nearly unique.

LGBT Link Round Up 1.10.15