If you can believe it, this past month has been so crazy, I'm looking forward to NaNoWriMo so I get some extra time. Either way, here's a quick update before I get started on my tenth (!) year of NaNoWriMo.
First up, in case you missed it, the poster for Episode VII:
And here's a supercut of all the trailers put together:
And, just to demonstrate the genius that is John Williams, here is the trailer with only his music.
The most Star Wars coffee table ever.
One of my favorite webseries, "The Outs," is coming back for a second season next year!
You guys, Pluto is beautiful:
I want to try this out next year for my jack-o-lantern (although this year I did Shy Guy from Nintendo, so it wouldn't have really fit). Looks intense!
Using GPS on family member's phone to recreate the Weasley's clock from Harry Potter!
Todrick Hall does a great mash up of Lady Gaga:
Remember, kids. The far right isn't really "pro-life" (I mean, they're really just anti-choice), they don't want you to have sex. Except to make babies, but that's it!
The final Curtain Call for Hedwig and the Angry Inch, cued up to the group version of "Wig In a Box"
That's it for now, but I'll be back soon with more, promise. Now it's off to the midnight kick-off for NaNoWriMo 2015!
The Stonewall Riots in June of 1969 are what kicked off the modern equality movement. There were organizations, riots and work done beforehand, but the riots were what most people point to as the catalyst for where we are today, and the reason most Pride celebrations are in June, as the first march was in June of 1970 to commemorate the riots one year later.
Here is the poster, which kind of looks like a poster for a dance movie or some sort, but I think the style fits for the time:
The Stonewall Inn had a dirt floor, no running water, and was run by the mob. But it allowed dancing, which was a major draw, when the police raided that night and decided to round everyone up, the riots started.
The riots lasted for days, eventually bringing in sheer numbers of people from the surrounding neighborhood. But that night it began with drag queens, trans* people, people of color, lesbians and homeless youth. I'm sure there were some white gay men there, but as far as we (and history) knows, they weren't throwing the first punches, bricks, overturning police cars or ripping parking meters out of the cement (but those did all happen).
The problem is, the movie (at least based on the trailer), doesn't focus on those we owe everything to, but instead turns it into a story of some young, white, gay guys.
One of the veterans of the riots speaks out:
It’s absolutely absurd — you know, young people today aren’t stupid. They can read the history, they know that this is not the way it happened. These people can’t let it go! Everybody can’t be white! This is a country of different colors and people and thoughts and attitudes and feelings, and they try to make all of those the same for some reason.
Here's the parody trailer, which sums it up very nicely:
The star, Jeremy Irvine defends the movie, saying it does justice to the historical event:
I saw the movie for the first time last week and can assure you all that it represents almost every race and section of society that was so fundamental to one of the most important civil rights movements in living history. Marsha P Johnson is a major part of the movie, and although first hand accounts of who threw the first brick in the riots vary wildly, it is a fictional black transvestite character played by the very talented @vlad_alexis who pulls out the first brick in the riot scenes. My character is adopted by a group of street kids whilst sleeping rough in New York. In my opinion, the story is driven by the leader of this gang played by @jonnybeauchamp who gives an extraordinary performance as a Puerto Rican transvestite struggling to survive on the streets. Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ character represents the Mattachine Society, who were at the time a mostly white and middle class gay rights group who stood against violence and radicalism.
And the director responds to the response to the trailer:
I understand that following the release of our trailer there have been initial concerns about how this character’s involvement is portrayed, but when this film – which is truly a labor of love for me – finally comes to theaters, audiences will see that it deeply honors the real-life activists who were there — including Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Ray Castro — and all the brave people who sparked the civil rights movement which continues to this day.
Some are calling for a boycott of the movie. While others, such as Larry Kramer, are hoping the boycott is ignored. Also in reaction, the 'Gay Liberation' statues at Christopher Street Park (across the street from the Stonewall Inn) were painted to highlight the whitewashing of the movie.
If we are to believe the star and the director, which I like to think we can (considering the movie isn't out yet), it appears as though the trailer was crafted in a way to make this movie more appealing to a mass audience: which sadly means white. If those two are telling the truth, and the movie does in fact show the true heroes of the first night of the riots, then I will have to side with Larry Kramer, especially since we can hardly expect there to be many movies about this subject to be produced, let alone get a wide release such as this film will enjoy.
I started writing this entry thinking I would be much more upset and ready to boycott the movie. But reading the quotes, and maybe I'm just being gullible, I hope that this will be a fair representation of the riots and the birth of this civil rights movement.
Matt Baume gives a great perspective:
However this movie turns out, it will be what the general public remembers for years to come as the true version of the riots, and that's why there is such an importance to make sure it's done right.
Alright, fairly big update, it's been a while! First up,
Looking at Mary, and her "perfection" may not be all that good, at least not in the way we think.
Check out a great column about the actual affects of the Ashley Madison hack. Not even discussed: the people put in jeopardy of being put to death: in some countries, "cheating" or being gay (AM ran a gay hook up site as well), is punishable by death, and now those people's information are out as well.
Right after the Ashley Madison hack, the feds raided the offices of Rentboy. But should they have? Matt Baume explains:
A useless but awesome machine: the perpetual slinky machine!
The naming system for Charon is awesome, it includes references to Serenity and Darth Vader!
A Super Star Destroyer is bigger than you think.
And speaking of Star Wars, the poster for Episode VII is amazing:
How about some chewable coffee? I know so many people who will want this!
Our robot overlords are coming, but they're going to start out adorable, like this Pixar Lamp robot!
The Deadpool trailer!
Arby's says goodbye to Jon Stewart, in such great ways!
And sadly, remembering Satoru Iwata:
If Disney princes had Grindr profiles. Amusing, and all the puns!
An insane view of the Oval Office: with nothing in it (from when the floor was refinished).
The new trailer for Season 2 of Eastsiders has dropped, and it looks awesome. Check out season 1, it's a great webseries!
The trailer for the final series/season of Downton Abbey is here, and it's all the feels:
Do you want to see graphs that break down stats about tv series finales? Of course you do!
Finally, trans* service members will be able to openly serve starting in May, 2016!
The new single from Great Big World, my new jam:
Pennsylvania has introduced sweeping anti-LGBT discrimination legislation. You know, because even though I can get married, I can be denied being served at any business (job protections are covered under recent federal rulings, but they're not permanent yet). Hopefully it can finally pass, Pa. is the only state in the northeast without these kinds of basic protections.
Somewhat related: a new survey finds that a third of young Americans don't identify as completely straight. Which makes sense, for years, the conventional thinking was that women's sexuality was more fluid, but recent studies have found that the same is true for men, but society pressured men to identify as straight.
Ignorant, hateful bakers in Oregon, who lost a lawsuit for refusing service to a gay couple and then smearing them (leading to death threats and harassment), have been raking in the money via crowdfudning (it's the normal cycle: do something illegal against the queer community, get fined, cry about it online and rake in the money from other bigots across the country). Now, they're sending cakes to LGBT organizations....with copies of a DVD about how horrible LGBT people and protections are. Fuckers.
For more information, let's once again hand it over to Jon Oliver, because he nails it, this is required viewing:
In case you missed it, the teaser for Zoolander 2.
Here is the latest list of the most homphobic colleges in the country, no surprise, Grove City tops the list, but I was surprised to see LeHigh and IUP on the list as well.
We joked while in Arizona about "the last cactus." I think I found it:
That's it for now, have a great one!
All right, let's see what we have today. First up, get the tissues. This makes a great point, we'll never know what Matthew Sheperd would look like as an adult:
Message to Christians, stop acting like you're being persecuted:
It’s not that Christians will have to perform gay weddings or have to get gay married. It’s not that their churches will be burned down or that they will be imprisoned. They won’t lose their jobs and they won’t be followed down the street or be harassed for what they believed. They simply will not be able to impose their beliefs on others nor restrict the secular rights that are conferred onto marriages by our government. It takes a powerfully twisted mind to translate that into the feelings of persecution so intense that it brings them to tears.
An interactive graphic of biblical contradictions.
The latest trailer for the final Hunger Games movie.
An extended look at the new The Muppets show:
Teens are getting better at using contraception.
Glasglow Pride originally was not going to allow drag queens to perform. After an outcry, they reexamined the issue, and made a really good apology.
From one of my new favorite blogs, the beauty of the Winter Mausoleum:
Marvel is doing a "color your own Deadpool" contest!
And for those who thought that Ohio Governor's Kasich quote from the Republican debate was so wonderful, not so fast. We're not begging for scraps. Basic dignity and acceptance should go without saying, any decent human can do that. We deserve the same rights as everyone else:
But let's not confuse progress with praise until a candidate steps up to that podium and states, "Every citizen is created equal and, as President, I would make sure that everyone is treated equally." We should not and must not cheer for anything less.
Nick Jonas gets chained up to sing "Chains":
That's it for now, have a great one!
Alright, let's see what we have today.
First up, pay attention because this is really important. Remember the anti-gay bakers that refused to bake a cake for a lesbian couple? They got sued because of they harassed the couple, drug their name through the mud and released their contact information, leading to even more harassment and death threats. They've been claiming that they're the real victims and have raised over $450,000 dollars (the fine was $135,000). Likewise, a county clerk is Kentucky is refusing to do his job (by not issuing marriage certificates to same-sex couples). The governor has personally talked to him to tell him to either resign or do his job. But he's claiming religious freedom. Now we just wait to see how much money he'll raise for himself once he gets fired. The cycle just keeps repeating.
I've been on my soapbox for years about the role institutionalized discrimination plays in the epidemic of youth LGBT suicides, and a Methodist pastor, fired for being gay, says the same thing.
Awesome bookends featured by Nerdist:
Republican Senators killed a bill aimed at decreasing bullying in schools. Because they hate the gays.
A judge in Texas will follow the law and marry gay couples, but they have to sign a document saying the understand how much he hates them first.
The sculpture featured in the end credits of "Avengers: Age of Ultron" was a physical prop!
Checking into the American Horror Story: Hotel:
Coke puts six men in a dark room so they can talk. It's been done before, but it's still a cool concept.
XKCD takes on the images of Pluto, and it's an awesome map!
The real price of being gay and belonging to an evangelical church. Long, but worth a read.
Now it turns out that evangelicals had a third condition for their pet gay celibates: They had to reject gay sex, gay relationships, and gay marriage not just for themselves but for all gays and lesbians.
It's been a great few weeks for LGBT rights, first marriage equality, then added protections for LGBT seniors, the final vestige of Don't Ask Don't Tell coming down by allowing transgender servicemembers, and now, what is probably the biggest victor, and set to help more people in very practical ways than even marriage: employment protections:
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that existing civil rights law bars sexual orientation-based employment discrimination—a groundbreaking decision to advance legal protections for gay, lesbian, and bisexual workers.... The independent commission addressed the question of whether the ban on sex discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bars anti-LGB discrimination in a complaint brought by a Florida-based air traffic control specialist against Transportation Sec. Anthony Foxx. The ruling—approved by a 3-2 vote of the five-person commission—applies to federal employees’ claims directly, but it also applies to the entire EEOC, which includes its offices across the nation that take and investigate claims of discrimination in private employment.
Make no mistake, this will end up before the courts, but this is a huge deal, one that we've been fighting for for even longer than marriage and has failed in every single session of Congress. This is huge.
Alright, let's see what we have today. First up, this is the reel from Comic Con about Episode VII:
Earlier today I posted an article about my bishop. Want to see some awesome drone footage of my church? Of course you do!
The truth about the lawsuit against the anti-gay bakers in Oregon. The payment is because they continuously harassed and then doxed the couple. And in reality, refusing your service to a group of people is discrimination. It is no different than a woman, African American or Irish American being denied to be served. It's bigoted, and in Oregon, against the law.
The Pizza Hut box projector, genius!
My new favorite blog, Pittsburgh Cemeteries:
ESPN teamed up with Marvel to do a Superhero Body Issue!
A jury has found ex-gay "conversion therapy" to be guilty of fraud. Awesome.
The smallest country in the world (population: 48) has marriage equality. One small problem, there's no gay people.
Prepare to feel old: it's been 30 years since Clue (the movie) was released.
John Oliver takes on trans* issues. Watch this:
And in the same vein, Google launched this ad:
Attention straight people, this is puppy play (also, I'm sure the picture accompanying this story is helping it's popularity). This will take the straight world by storm in a few years. Also, appropriate since Anthrocon is in town (but they're different!)
The Girl Scouts returned a donation of $100,000 after the donor specified it not go towards any trans* girls. They then got twice as much donated from the internet.
AirBnB has a great new ad about travel issues and Pride month. But it's a great examination of straight privilege:
Remember that time Republicans in Colorado voted to increase the number of abortions? Remember, they're not anti-abortion, they're anti-sex.
Brian Sims rides a shark. Because of course he does:
Some awesome ways to get around Australia's strangely-draconian marriage laws.
It's kind of a joke, but this is an awesome meditation (not safe for work):
That's it for now, have a great one!
Two weeks ago SCOTUS made marriage equality the law of the land, ushering in the age of same-sex marriage.
Quickly following, was the Episcopal Church's General Convention. The GC is the decision making body of the Church, meeting every three years in two chambers, the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies (and this year the unofficial House of Twitter). The two houses spent nine days working through resolutions, which included electing a new Presiding Bishop, divesting in fossil fuels and even raising all church worker's pay to $15/hour (this already on top of women bishops and conga lines. Seriously, we're a progressive church). This is where the actual Canons of the church are changed, as well as countless proclamations and other resolutions and studies.
The biggest news was that both houses passed the use of a previously-tested Rite and the update to the marriage rite for same-sex couples. The Canons of the church were updated to make marriage the union of two people, regardless of gender.
So it's awesome, I actually wasn't aware they were going to update the "regular" marriage rite (I did follow along on Twitter, but I didn't read the Blue Book ahead of time with all the resolutions).
My bishop, of course, voted against the resolution. He did not, join a letter that 20 bishops signed on to expressing disappointment in the outcome, so I suppose that is some restraint. He has not been a friend to the queer community, so this was expected. It's just disappointing. In a pastoral letter to the diocese he wrote:
However, to my mind, their supporting materials do not make a coherent or compelling theological case for same-sex marriage, nor do the rites themselves adequately explain what they are doing and why. Especially in the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision, their approval was seen by the overwhelming majority of those present at Convention as a matter of"marriage equality," of simple justice, making irrelevant any serious discussion of sacramental theology.
My church will be performing any marriage, so it's not an issue, but his letter reeks of pettiness. Almost as if he wants to throw out the idea that the queer community should be seen as equal in the eyes of the church. I don't understand his vehemence against us, or continued insistence that the church is moving in the wrong direction by granting all its members equal access to the sacraments.
I wrote about this extensively at Global Entropy, although I still need to bring those couple articles over.
But I'm tired of fighting. Yes, we won this battle (and there are many more to go), but this was a major victory. And sometimes, I just need a break and want to enjoy what we've accomplished. The country is not perfect, but we're moving closer to being a 'more perfect union.'
In the meantime, I'll actively avoid church whenever the Bishop visits (I already do, although he was at the Easter service I went to), I don't want to deal with a cleric who doesn't see me as worthy as other parishioners.
I spent this morning working with the Young Adult Ministry (YAM) from my church on a Habitat for Humanity house. I wasn't seen as unequal or broken, the same with any other time I'm with them, including our last happy hour where every person around the table was some sort of minority. The bishop can have his outdated and harmful views, and I'll fight and rail against them, but for now, I'm going to take satisfaction in a job well done.
All my best,
h/t to Scott, the rector of St. Brendan's for the awesome illustration!
Today marks the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which launched the LGBT-rights movement.
If you’re not familiar with the riots, here’s what happened:
People ask why we celebrate pride. NoFo writes it much more eloquently than I ever could, here is an excerpt:
We’re proud because despite relentless persecution everywhere we turn—when organized religion viciously attacks and censures and vilifies us in the name of selective morality, when our families disown us, when our elected officials bargain away our equality for hate votes, when entire states codify our families into second-class citizenship, when our employers fire us, when our landlords evict us, when our police harass us, when our neighbors and colleagues and fellow citizens openly insult and condemn and mock and berate and even beat and kill us—we continue to survive.
We’re proud because—thanks to the incredible bravery shown by gay people who lived their lives openly in the decades before us—we can live our lives more and more openly at home, at work, with our families, on our blogs … and even on national television.
We’re proud because after all we’ve been through, the world is starting to notice and respect us and emulate the often fabulous culture we’ve assembled from the common struggles and glorious diversity of our disparate lives.
We’re proud because this weekend we’ll celebrate with drag queens, leather queens, muscle queens, attitude queens and you’d-never-know-they-were-queens queens, and together we can see through the “pride” in our parade and enjoy the underlying Pride in our parade.
Quite simply, we’re proud that we have so much to be proud of.
We can take some time, and even in the face of hatred, bigotry and discrimination, we can carve a place in this world, claim it our own and celebrate.
We can celebrate, because this is our party. We don't need anyone's permission to celebrate:
Because even if Pride doesn't change many minds in the outside world, it's our PARTY, darlings. It's our Christmas, our New Year's, our Carnival. It's the one day of the year that all the crazy contingents of the gay world actually come face to face on the street and blow each other air kisses. And wish each other "Happy Pride!" Saying "Happy Pride!" is really just a shorter, easier way of saying "Congratulations on not being driven completely batshit insane! Well done, being YOURSELF!"
We can celebrate the community that we have, the radical acceptance that we embody and the fact that we’ve survived. We have a chance to come together, remind ourselves we belong to a larger community, have some fun and take back our city; just for a little bit. We know that hatred will continue, but still we march forward. We have pride because it helps those coming after us. In the words of Harvey Milk, it gives the next generation hope:
And this is a chance to celebrate the fact that I’ve survived. A chance to celebrate the fact that I’m a proud gay man. And even that act, powerful unto itself, has hopefully made a difference.
The most important and powerful action a person can make is to come out to those around them. Then the LGBT community isn’t a scary abstract anymore, it has a face. If you know someone who is openly LGBT, you see their humanity. You can understand that we’re not asking for anything special, just the same rights everyone else is guaranteed by the constitution. A chance to be happy. A chance to live the life we want, surrounded by those we love.
When will we stop talking about coming out?
"Many of us want to, and will: when a gay, lesbian or transgendered kid isn’t at special risk of being brutalized or committing suicide.
"When a gay person’s central-casting earnestness and eloquence aren’t noted with excitement and relief, because his or her sexual orientation needn’t be accompanied by a litany of virtues and accomplishments in order for bigotry to be toppled and a negative reaction to be overcome."
We will stop talking about coming out when it’s not news anymore, when the last barriers have finally been broken down. We’ll stop screaming for our rights when we’re finally treated as equals by our government. We’ll only stop telling our stories when they don’t matter.
The anniversary of Stonewall comes just two days after marriage equality came to all 50 states (and the anniversary of decisions in Lawrence v. Texas and Windsor v. United States), a major piece of the equality dream the drag queens, homeless youth and the rest of Stonewall protesters had less than 50 years ago. In 11 years, we've gone from no marriage rights to full equality across the country. We still have a lot to fight for, ENDA being at the top of that list, but for now, we can celebrate the 'thunderbolt' of equality that we have achieved:
So we keep fighting for progress, wherever we can. We celebrate our advances and keep chipping away at our obstacles: and this month we can celebrate both, as well as the individuals that make up our amazing community.
We’re proud of how far we’ve come. We’re proud to keep fighting. We’re proud.
It’s Pittsburgh Pride, and the shit is hitting the fan.
Note, I wrote the majority of this in the days leading up to Pride.
First, some background. We start with the Lambda Foundation. Years ago, they were the LGBT organization in Pittsburgh. Delta was a spin-off of Lambda and did the event planning. Over the years, Delta became the prominent organization. A couple years ago, what was left of Lambda was absorbed by Delta under the name “Lambda Giving,” with their goal to facilitate charitable giving (with a separate board).
Delta is headed by Gary Van Horn (side note, I graduated high school with his younger brother, and he’s a decent guy), and years ago he was in a bunch of legal/criminal trouble. To anyone outside of Monroeville, this old news gets dredged up as news whenever there is a controversy around Delta, we just shrug my shoulders: we all knew Gary had some trouble in his past and just sort of expect these kind of shenanigans. There’s more than what’s been reported, and the more I talk with my friends, the creepier interactions I keep hearing about, but suffice to say Van Horn isn’t someone you really want to hang out with, let alone be in charge of such a large organization.
To Delta’s credit however, I feel bad because no matter why they book to headline Pride, there is no way they’ll ever please everyone. Last year when it was Chaka Kahn, there were a ton of people complaining it wasn’t someone more relevant. After Adam Lambert performed, there were complaints his set was way too short. When planning a big event, you’re never going to please everyone, that’s just how the world works sadly, and those who are disappointed by some aspect will be vocal.
Which brings us to this year’s headliner: Iggy Azalea. Personally, I think her music is horrible, but she’s “relevant” (more on that in a moment). However, in her past, Azalea has a history of homophobic and racist comments, particularly on social media. Which again, things don’t go away on the Internet, they’re there forever.
I can almost give her a pass on her homophobic comments, she actually did have what seemed to be a very heartfelt and sincere apology, and I like to believe that people have changed. But her entire career, her entire persona, is based on the appropriation of a southern, African-American rapper.
She’s a white girl from the suburbs of Sydney, Australia.
She hasn’t apologized for her racist remarks, and tries to make a living through stealing a culture that she hasn’t lived and that comes off as offensive. She eventually backed out, in the wake of cancelling her entire tour, she cancelled her appearance at Pride, being replaced by Nick Jonas. Azalea has now gone on to say people are only hating her because "it's cool."
The booking of Azalea sparked off a cavalcade of criticism of the Delta Foundation, many of which had been brought up before, but were now all adding up to create a bigger picture of the organization. Bruce Kraus, the first and only openly LGBT member of Pittsburgh City Council (and its president), as well as GLSEN and many faith orgnaizations, pulled out of Pride, not only because of Azalea, but also the direction that Delta has been going for years.
They are inherently dedicated to cis-gendered, wealthy, white gay men. The board has no trans* members, and only two women. Pride in the Street is routinely an expensive concert to go to, especially for a community that is economically disadvantaged to begin with.
Their magazine, Equal, was finally shut down after months of not paying their writers or their printer.
One service they did offer, was small fundraising/banking services to smaller LGBT groups, such as the Gardens of Peace project (much like when banks will be donation locations for non-profits/emergency assistance funds, the Delta Foundation would do the same for other projects), except when they needed to get their money, they got the runaround or were charged interest on it.
This is an organization that last year, during Pride in the Street, shut down the public sidewalks, so unless you had a ticket, you could not get to the business and restaurants that were on the streets that were closed to traffic. This unannounced change led to a lot of people turned away from other events they had tickets to, or were forced to pay an additional fee to get to them.
But I what I think is the most damning of all, is that in the last seven years, the Delta Foundation has given less back to the community than what they contracted Iggy Azalea to play for.
Delta Foundation used to bill itself as the largest LGBT organization in Western Pennsylvania. That language has softened this week to describe themselves as “one of the largest,” finally making room for others, which is a nice change.
As such, they have failed to encompass the LGBT community in Pittsburgh. I don’t expect them to be perfect, no organization is. But these are criticisms that have been ongoing for years. And they had the balls to post on Facebook that this was the first they had ever heard of them, after hosting a meeting to try to address some of these issues:
That’s either entirely disingenuous or proof that their entire board has no clue what they are doing. Or maybe both.
But I think part of the reason we’re at this point is there is less work to do in Pittsburgh than other areas. Pennsylvania has marriage equality, and Allegheny County has ENDA. Yes, there is a lot of work to be done, especially in the rest of the counties that constitute Western Pennsylvania, but so much of the other goals we need to fight for are at a state and national level, beyond the scope of Delta (not that they couldn't help EqualityPA however).
So for now, Delta serves as a glorified party planner. Van Horn won’t step down (why would he, it’s a cushy job, and he still owns a bar I believe), and I’m afraid not much will change at Delta. But for the first time, there were Latin Pride events held in Pittsburgh (not that we’re known for our Hispanic population, but it’s more than I imagined, sitting around two percent), and what was formerly Black Pride, now Roots Pride, seems to be really taking off, both as a protest to Delta and as a fully inclusive and minority-oriented series of Pride events.
I don’t necessarily think splitting apart is the way to go, but at least right now, here in Pittsburgh, it seems to be the only way to get things done. And if this forces Delta to actually make systemic changes and listen to the greater queer population in Pittsburgh, so be it.
I hope we can all reconcile and reconnect, and maybe that will even happen for 2016 Pride, we'll have to see where this conversation goes, and we have to hold Delta accountable to keep having the conversation and to actually listen.
This however, is not just a problem that plagues Pittsburgh: this is a national problem. The HRC was recently described as a "White Man's Club," and it has every appearance as such, and a recent UK poll of gay men shows a shocking rate of racism.
This is something that lots of us, myself included, want to make better (and are probably guilty of ourselves). We can't just sit on the sidelines and allow this to be our community. Especially when there are so many external forces at work.
Which brings us to the second part of this sad article, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
For those unfamiliar, there are two daily papers in Pittsburgh (not counting the Business Times), the PG is larger by itself and leans liberal, the Trib (which has better coverage of Westmoreland County and owns the weekly neighborhood papers), leans conservative.
However, the PG published an utterly shocking, bigoted and harmful article in their editorial section about Caitlyn Jenner recently. I won't repost it, it's that's bad, not only from a hate standpoint, but just flat out lies.
The City Paper has an excellent take down:
In case you didn’t catch it, yes, Graham used references to the “good ol' days” of carnival freak shows to refer to Ms. Jenner, or as Graham so sensitively calls her: “Brucette.” Brucette?!? Really? Why not just call her “fruity,” “fairy,” “queer” or “fag?” I’ll tell you why. Because you know those words are hateful, disgusting and inappropriate. So you try and be cute and clever with "Brucette." Guess what? It’s just as disgusting, maybe more so.
And what is most shocking, is, as City Paper notes, the PG was recently awarded a GLAAD award and had a great speical feature covering the lives and stories of six trans* individuals here in the city.
The PG has defended the article, the Editoral Page Editor responded:
As an editor, I found Jennifer's piece well-written and worth publishing.
The HRC (yes the one above I just called out for being a white man's club) did their job and also had a fantastic rebuttal to the horrific article.
Consider the facts:
• 20 percent of transgender people have lost a job simply on the basis of their identity;
• 50 percent have been harassed on the job;
• Transgender people are four times more likely to live in extreme poverty;
• And so far, at least 8 transgender women of color have been murdered across the country in 2015.
By Ms. Graham’s logic, I’d be forced to use a women’s bathroom — despite being a short, bald man who, if I’m being honest, looks like a slightly more svelte version of George Costanza.
Whatever Caitlyn Jenner decides to do with her life (yes, HER life) will little affect Ms. Graham. You know, every major professional organization — from the American Medical Association to the American Academy of Pediatrics to the American Psychiatric Association — believes not only that I and Caitlyn Jenner and our likely 1 million or more fellow transgender Americans exist, but also that we should be supported by the medical community. And there’s widespread support for laws that protect transgender people from discrimination.
Pride is a celebration. We remember the Stonewall Riots and everyone who came before us. We remember those who have fought for our very right to exist. To love. To be free. Pride is a time when all the beautiful facets of the queer community (and our allies) can rally together, enjoy a celebration, take stock, and see what our next move is.
Pride is always inclusive. Even when the organizations that run the events and parts of the greater community turn their backs on us. We will continue to fight, to make the world a better place.
Not just for ourselves, but for those coming after us.
I still marched in the Pride Parade (I'll probably have a post about my Pride experience later this week). Yes there was drama, both internal and external, but Pride belongs to the community. Not to a non-profit, and certainly not to those who would make us believe we're somehow broken.
Wherever you are, I hope you celebrate(d) Pride, and I hope you'll join the queer community and our allies at Decision Day Rallies when the Supreme Court announces their decision sometime in the next two weeks.
But most of all, I hope you can celebrate Pride in your own way. Safe, and with the knowledge that you're worth it, and part of the greater community.
Alright, quick update, let's see what we have today.
They wish we were invisible. We're not. Let's dance. Joe My God's annual Pride post, worth the read.
Speaking of Pride, here's Target's video they released for Pride this year, really awesome and includes a clip from a great wedding video I love:
Shark killed in traffic accident. Sad, but true.
Men who have sex with men are still barred from donating blood. To protest this, an artist has created "Blood Mirror" a tank filled with the blood of gay and bi men:
Philea, the lander on the comet 67P, has woken up!
Mapping where in Africa it's illegal to be gay.
The evolution of Disney:
Wall-E is going to be a Lego set! Adorable!
And finally, couples ask each other's questions in truth or drink:
That's it for now, but I'll be back soon, have a great one!