The compromise that wasn’t

Remember that disgusting hate-filled piece of legislation out of North Carolina last year? The one crafted by Republicans at the last hour and rushed into law? The vile, discriminatory bill written in response to a Charlotte, NC Non-Discrimination Ordinance (NDO) which sought to protect the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexual folks, and transgender people?

That repugnant bill, commonly referred to at HB2 (here’s a breakdown of the bill),  was signed into law by then Governor  (R) Pat McCrory. Opponents of the law touted it as one of the most extreme anti-queer pieces of legislation they’d seen. Supporters of the bill simultaneously frothed at the mouth or tried to find some place to privately masturbate bc they were excited at the thought of sticking it to us. The bill eliminated anti-discrimination protections in place for queers (and we know how much it turns on Republicans to deny queers the right to make use of public businesses without discrimination). It also mandated that in government buildings workers were required to use the restrooms that corresponded to their birth sex.

The resultant backlash was immediate, fierce, and long lasting:

  • PayPal decided to not move ahead with a location in  NC
  • Global German banking institution Deutsche Bank decided not to expand into NC
  • the American Institute of Architects moved their conference out of NC
  • the Kellogg Foundation cancelled plans to host a conference in NC
  •  the 2017 NBA All moved their game out of NC
  • the NCAA stripped NC of its hosting rights
  • Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, and many more artists cancelled concert appearances in the state
  • Cirque du Soleil cancelled performances
  • producer of Wicked will not allow the play to show in NC
  • and much more (which can be read here)

As months passed and the 2016 gubernatorial race hurled toward its conclusion, it became apparent to  both the knuckle-dragging conservative status quo supporters who supported the bill and the opponents of the bill that the election outcome would determine the future of HB2.  After all, despite the tremendous economic fallout HB2 had brought to North Carolina, GOP leadership (including Gov. McCrory),  in the state remained firm in their support for bigotry. Meanwhile, Attorney General Roy Cooper, who hoped to unseat McCrory, ran a campaign that opposed HB2. Ultimately, Cooper received on the necessary votes to win the governor’s office.  In the end, the economic fallout of HB2, as well  as the ridicule and derision the state received for its passage were instrumental in McCrory’s defeat (a defeat he would not accept for weeks bc he was a sole loser). With a Democrat in place as Governor one would think North Carolina’s year of hell might be drawing to a close. To social justice organizations and queer rights groups, it looked as if a reversal of HB2 was imminent.

Sadly, rather than a reversal of HB2, a compromise was reached.

“Compromise”.  That’s not quite the word HB2 opponents where hoping for. But it can’t be that bad, right? After all, we have a Democratic Governor in office now. One who opposes anti-queer discrimination. Yeeeeaaah. About that.

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The compromise that wasn’t
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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!

It’s 2016 and we’re still being treated as less than human

There was a time not long ago, we had to hide the ways

we showed our love for one another, cuz people hated the gays.

Hounded by police we were, all across the nation,

told by leaders of the church–“you’re an abomination”.

Cast out by our families, and forced onto the street,

to lives of drugs and violence, to disease that can’t be beat.

Discrimination and bigotry, we had to face it all,

told by haters we would cause this great country’s fall.

As the years went by however, things began to change.

people started knowing us, and we became less strange.

On the big screen and the small, we began to be accepted,

by our friends and family, we were less rejected.

Now here we are in 2016, and everything is great,

free to marry, free to love, we’ve said goodbye to hate.

Right?

Mmmmmm, no. Some folks (::ahem:: Manny Pacquiao ::ahem::) are keeping the hate alive:

Continue reading “It’s 2016 and we’re still being treated as less than human”

It’s 2016 and we’re still being treated as less than human

The truth behind this video will shock you!

This is Timur the goat:

This is Amur the Siberian tiger:

Media sensations Timur and Amur reside at Russia’s Safari Park. The park runs a breeding program for Siberian tigers, and as part of that, they feed their tigers live food every week. Timur was supposed to be dinner for Amur, but apparently, when the dinner bell rang, Amur decided not to consume the goat. In addition, not only did Timur display a striking lack of fear around Amur, but he even took control of the enclosure, forcing the predator to sleep on the roof of his own lair.  Timur has been allowed to stay in the enclosure with Amur, and the two have apparently become friends, as seen in the following video of the two goofing off and romping together:

Officials at the Safari Park would have people believe this video presents two animals, predator and prey, playing around as if they are friends. But that’s a lie. A not-so-clever deception carefully crafted to hide an agenda. This is no friendship. Instead, it is gay propaganda!!!

Continue reading “The truth behind this video will shock you!”

The truth behind this video will shock you!

A question for straight people

Dear straight people,

In the last few years, I’ve come across something that boggles my mind. It’s a concept that confuses my queer little brain, so I think I’m going to need some assistance with it.  It’s something I’ve seen in online spaces as well as in meatspace. It’s something that a certain strain of heterosexuals seem to embrace. I’ve heard of it in conservative media and from right-wing politicians and pundits and it often pops up in discussions of Gay/Straight Alliances on school campuses. The idea behind the concept is counterintuitive to my brain, but my confusion is probably the result of those homosexual-inducing chemtrails I’ve been huffing all my life. Because of my difficulty understanding this concept, I’m hoping one of you can aid me in coming to comprehend

Image courtesy of LGBTQ Nation.

STRAIGHT PRIDE.

Now…I understand the importance of Pride as it relates to the gay community. Originating in the wake of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, Pride is both a form of unabashed self-expression whereby we in the LGBT community show we are comfortable being who we are, as well as a public statement that there is nothing wrong with us and no need for us to hide. Historically, LGBT people have been sent the opposite message; that there is something wrong with us. That because our sexuality and gender identities deviate from the social norm we must be made to conform or be punished.  As a result, LGBT people past and present have grown up in societies that display varying levels of hostility and intolerance towards us. This hostility manifests as anti-LGBT discrimination and bigotry. If you’re not familiar with the oppressive experiences of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, allow me to help:

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A question for straight people

Hate in the U.S.A.

I talk a lot about racism in the United States. I recognize that many people are ignorant of racial issues in the US and therefore my words may strike a hurtful chord. They may think I’m unfairly harsh towards the systems and institutions that oppress People of Color. They may be hurt when I speak broadly of the need for white people to wake up to the suffering experienced by PoC. Ultimately though, your hurt feelings don’t matter when weighed against the lives of People of Color-Blacks, Asians, Latinos, Indians-who feel the force of a racist and oppressive system every day in a multitude of ways. All of my criticisms…all of my complaints…all of my outrage…it all stems for a desire to see this country BECOME BETTER. I want fewer people to suffer. And I view *all* of us as people. I view *all* of us as equal. I don’t want white people to suffer. Nor do I want black people to suffer. Nor do I want Indigenous people to suffer. Or Asians. Or Latinos. I was all of us to prosper. I want all of us hale and hearty and able to pursue our dreams as far as we desire…beyond even, if we so desire. I want everyone to have equal opportunities, and I want this country to work to ensure that everyone has access to the same tools to succeed in life. To do that, this country has to level the playing field. We cannot continue to allow only white people (and male, cisgender, heterosexual ones at that) to be the ones who wield the majority of social, political, religious, and economic power. That power must be spread among everyone. So that no matter your race no one is left behind. And while the vast majority of my criticisms focus on the sexism and misogyny that pervade society, or the homophobia and transphobia that devastates the lives of LGBT people around the country, or the pro-white, anti-PoC racism that permeates society and leads to the racial disparities present in the criminal justice system, it doesn’t mean I’m going to ignore other forms of intolerance and injustice (if I’m aware of them). 

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Hate in the U.S.A.

Internalizing cultural messages

Over on Facebook, “Opinion Vlogger, Children’s Illustrator and Thrift Store Addict”  Kat Blaque, posed the following question:

So I need your opinion. I have mine, but I want yours:
Do you think people who actively say that they don't date members of their own race have issues with self hate?

Because I’m so well known for expressing myself succinctly, my response to Kat was a few concise sentences.

Ok, maybe it was a bit more than a few sentences. Ok, fine. It was a lot of sentences. Sue me. I’m still working on concise. Anyways, here’s the response I left:

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Internalizing cultural messages

Kim Davis is like a rock

Kentucky clerk Kim Davis has been all over the news recently for her repeated refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Last week, Federal Judge David Bunning ruled that Davis was in contempt of court and ordered federal marshals to take her into custody. While she was in custody, five of the six deputy clerks who work under Davis agreed to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples (with the exception of, surprise surprise, Davis’ son). She remained in jail until Tuesday, when Judge Bunning ordered her conditional release:

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Kim Davis is like a rock

Gawker editorial: "This isn't about ethics in journalism"

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A few days ago, Gawker posted a controversial and unethical article that outed a CFO who sought consensual sexual relations with a gay porn star. The CFO in question is not a politician with a history of crafting anti-LGBT legislation. Nor is he a renowned pastor famous for his anti-LGBT screeds. Outing someone in those circumstance is warranted. But this guy did nothing immoral or unethical.

In came Gawker’s managing partners who voted to remove the post (which is one reason why this post has no link to it; the other reason being HEY, even though this is the internet and the article has probably been saved somewhere, given the harm done, I’m not going to participate in spreading that tabloid bullshit). This was apparently an unprecedented move, as editorial was under the impression they had the final say on stories and they were pissed that the partners would overrule them. Virtually every member of Gawker editorial leadership protested removing the post.

Continue reading “Gawker editorial: "This isn't about ethics in journalism"”

Gawker editorial: "This isn't about ethics in journalism"

Gawker editorial: “This isn’t about ethics in journalism”

00

A few days ago, Gawker posted a controversial and unethical article that outed a CFO who sought consensual sexual relations with a gay porn star. The CFO in question is not a politician with a history of crafting anti-LGBT legislation. Nor is he a renowned pastor famous for his anti-LGBT screeds. Outing someone in those circumstance is warranted. But this guy did nothing immoral or unethical.

In came Gawker’s managing partners who voted to remove the post (which is one reason why this post has no link to it; the other reason being HEY, even though this is the internet and the article has probably been saved somewhere, given the harm done, I’m not going to participate in spreading that tabloid bullshit). This was apparently an unprecedented move, as editorial was under the impression they had the final say on stories and they were pissed that the partners would overrule them. Virtually every member of Gawker editorial leadership protested removing the post.

Continue reading “Gawker editorial: “This isn’t about ethics in journalism””

Gawker editorial: “This isn’t about ethics in journalism”