Jive in the [415] Blog | Gay LGBT News Political Commentary: July 2011 July 2011 | Jive in the [415] Blog | Gay LGBT News Political Commentary

July 30, 2011

Call to Action: Turn the chatter into a ROAR!

In Washington, there is no resolution to the debt ceiling. We have 3 days until financial Armageddon. Speaker John Boehner has no control over the Freshman Class, and Eric Cantor is salivating over the prospect of taking the Speaker’s job. The GOP teabaggers refuse to support any revenue enhancements, and the Boehner Bill that passed the House yesterday, only did so because there was a Constitutional Amendment attached calling for a federal balanced budget.

The switchboard operators in Washington have been deluged with phone calls this week. I called my member of Congress to register my support for a bi-partisan agreement, provided Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, and nutritional programs for families and children, were left in tact. I was assured by the Washington staffer who answered the phone that my representative in the House of Representatives shared my view.

Call, write, email or fax your member of Congress! Tell them to stop the madness now!
House majority leader Nancy Pelosi is my Congresswoman. At one time, the dude who cut my hair also cut Congresswoman Pelosi’s hair. I used to like getting my hair cut on Friday afternoons immediately after work. She had a standing Friday afternoon appointment, and her first stop after landing at SFO on a Friday, was to tend to her well coiffed hair. Because of air travel, sometimes she would be early and sometimes she would be late. There were many times that I was sitting in Michael’s chair, when she arrived with her entourage, ready for a tease and comb out. I’m going to keep my secrets for a book, so stay tuned.

Teabagger Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) owes his wife $115K in child support! His ex-wife alleges that he paid sporadically from 2005-2008, and then stopped paying altogether. Is there a bigger asshole in Congress who doesn’t see fit to pay child support for his own kids? The same guy who wants to cut child nutrition programs? Disgusting.

"Word" has it that Mary Bachmann has been muzzled on the campaign trail. She is not to speak with the press unless the questions have been approved in advance by the campaign, and a staffer must be present. No questions about her counseling practice, or barbarian comments are permitted. The list of forbidden questions for candidate Bachmann are a mile long, and in order to have a sit down interview with her, you are only permitted to ask pre-approved questions, or she will not consent to the interview. Topics related to hot button issues are forbidden for her too. This is a democracy???

Warren Jeffs, the 56 year old leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a religious sect in Arizona and Texas, is charged with 2 counts of sexual assault, for raping two under aged girls and fathering a child with a minor. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison. What I find shocking, aside from the allegations - is the fact that this religious sect has been operating for decades, without any attention from the media or law enforcement. Their radical views support the sexual abuse of children, in the name of religious freedom. This is disgusting and needs to stop.

Dan "It Gets Better" Savage, the telegenic musical theatre buff, and sex-advice columnist continues to create controversy. The Massachusetts Congressional delegation created a video for the “It Gets Better” campaign. Noticeably absent from the video is Senator Scott Brown (R-MA). When the Massachusetts Democratic Party condemned the Senator for not participating, the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee rushed to the Senator’s defense. they cited past statements, and columns of Savage’s, directed toward Republicans.
On the Politico website, writer Ben Smith shared that the NRSCC feels that Savage’s “history of lewd, violent and anti-Christian rhetoric,” was responsible for the Senator not taking part in the video. 

That is so incredibly lame, that I cannot believe it. I hope the good people of Massachusetts call Senator Brown, and tell him that if he has a beef with Dan Savage, he is free to discuss it with him. His silence in not participating in the video, is giving tacit approval to those who bully. Dan Savage started the project, and who is more important here? You’re a US Senator for fuck sake, aren’t you bigger than that? Don’t you want to give hope to kids who are bullied? Be responsible and do the right thing Senator, make a video!

I have stated before that Dan Savage deserves the awards and recognition that he has received for the “It Gets Better” campaign. The unfortunate thing, is that Republicans and right-wingers, are making Dan Savage a political issue. With the Savage column that Ben Smith cited, “Fuck the Republican Party,” and his other statements related to the GOP, he gets in the way and obscures what the campaign is all about. When that happens, he must seriously consider stepping down.
I get it: There are some hot Republicans out there. I've undressed a few of 'em with my own eyes. I've been to the Republican National Convention. Twice.
 And, yes, there's nothing like a good hate/pity/mercy fuck now and then. But self-respecting queers should not be fucking card-carrying Republicans.
Oh, you can attempt to rationalize a same-sex encounter with a card-carrying member of the GOP any which way you want—"Someone has to fuck some sense into Aaron Schock..." —but unless you're taking one for the team, there's simply no excuse. (Taking one for the team = sticking it in/to a high-profile, anti-gay GOP closet case you intend to out.)”
This enmity for all things Republican is judgemental and narrow, and is no different than the myopic view espoused by teabaggers. You start a campaign advocating that “it gets better,” but if you’re a Republican, and gay, you have no self respect. The world isn’t black and white, nor is the LGBT community. I find this judgemental and exacting opinion to be responsible for the fractured elements within our community. 
GLAAD supported the AT&T merger, HRC endorsed President Obama’s re-election before the President announced his campaign, and Savage says basically that Republicans aren’t welcome in the LGBT community. Savage and the largely gay white males who head up these organizations, are so out of touch with the rank and file, and because they head large non-profit organizations, the only way to express our displeasure is with money and in forums like this. And through word of mouth - so start now. Let’s turn our chatter into a roar!

Written and posted by Roy on the blog “Tie-dyed Jive in the (415)”


July 28, 2011

A Love Letter to Bill O'Reilly xoxoxoxoxo

I have to confess, I created a video love letter for Mr. Bill O'Reilly. I couldn't help myself, and if anyone knows how to get in touch with Bill - I would appreciate you forwarding my love note to him. I hope it touches his heart! I think this is the best video I've put together yet. Let me know what you think.

Posted on the blog Tie-dyed Jive in the (415).

jiveinthe 415.com

July 27, 2011

The Truth Fairy Says........Bill O'Reilly Lies Like A Rug & Lies with a Straight Face (Pun Intended)

New York, NY: The pseudo conservative narcissist, Bill O’Reilly, went on a rant last night and said that it was impossible that the Norwegian terror suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, was a Christian. He said “Breivik is not a Christian. That’s impossible. No one believing in Jesus commits mass murder. He might have called himself a Christian on the ‘net, but he was not a man of that faith.” The O’Reilly factor could find “no evidence, none” anywhere, that Breivik was a member of a church. So he wasn’t a Christian.

He argued that there were two reasons why media outlets chose to characterize Breivik as a Christian. The first reason he cited was that the liberal media wants people to connect the Oklahoma bomber, Timothy McVeigh, Muslim extremists, and Christian extremists together. O’Reilly thinks that the only terrorist extremists associated with religion, are Muslim jihadists. He said the left “wants you to believe that Christian extremists are a threat.” He said this was “dishonest and insane.”

His second point was that mainstream media organizations don’t like Christians very much, because “we are too judgemental.” He thinks that the media seeks different ways to diminish Christianity, because Christians oppose abortion, gay marriage, and legalized drugs, issues the “secular left causes” disagree with.

“Sometimes I think the world is going mad. This Breivik guy is a loon. A mass murderer who apparently acted out of rank hatred........another loser who caused tremendous horror by murdering innocent people. It’s just another pathetic legacy stemming back to Cain.”

Where do I begin to point out the lies that this man is perpetrating. While I would hate to raise the hackles of O’Reilly acolytes, who worship in his Fox News church, and accept his rhetoric as the gospel, I think I can handle this with enough evidence to debunk his misguided commentary.

As a Christian, and a strong believer in the First Amendment to the Constitution, O’Reilly can think and say whatever he wants. Is O’Reilly a bad guy? I don’t know him personally, so I couldn’t say. His political commentary, hateful invectives, and rants, don’t do much to help the political discourse. It hurts more than helps. Just last week a reasonable Bill O’Reilly called out Republicans for their misguided inaction on raising the debt ceiling. That was the good side of Bill O'Reilly. This rant personifies the baaaad Bill O'Reilly.

The Norwegian Christian terror suspect left a manifesto that said he was an anti-muslim crusader for Christendom. He said that societies that are politically correct are imposing multi-culturalism on white Christians. As Reverend Barry Lynn said in the Washington Post today,
“So long as there are differing interpretations of Christian Scripture there can be “Christian terrorism.” Anders Behring Breivik justified his views and actions through a lens of what is in my mind painful misunderstanding of biblical texts and a “Christian” worldview to which very few Christians subscribe.”
 I notice that Bill O’Reilly says bringing up Breivik’s Christian beliefs is a scheme by the evil liberal media to vilify the faith generally. This is nonsense. Breivik says he is a Christian; he wrote a “manifesto” in which he attempts to link Christianity to opposition to Muslim immigration. Yet he failed miserably to understand the faith he claimed to champion.”
If anyone ascribes to O’Reilly’s pattern of thought, I have to ask if the Catholic priests who have sexually abused over 10,667 victims in the United States alone, are Christians. The abuse scandal has destroyed people’s lives completely. The Catholic Church tried to cover up the scandal. I don’t think that’s very Christian of them - but they will look you in the face and say they are Christians.

In September of 2010 a Boise Idaho police officer, Stephen Young, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for sexually assaulting infants! I would contend that only murder is more heinous. He will be eligible for parole in 12 ½ years, and this criminal behavior went on for 30 years! In the state of Idaho, there is a law called “Clergy Privilege” which allows Mormon lay bishops, and Mormon stake holders, to hear confessions of illegal and criminal behavior, without any penalties for not notifying the authorities. Young had confessed his crimes to the Church, and was ex-communicated. The Church never advised the police.

How Christian is that Mr. O’Reilly? The Church knew what he did, and did nothing but ex-communicate him. I would say those who covered up for the cop CAN’T be Christians, when they behave that way. What say you oh wise man?

In Uganda, there is a bill being considered by Parliament that will prescribe the death penalty for anyone the government thinks is gay. Ugandan Pastor Martin Ssempa is the leader of the movement, and he has spent a lot of time in the United States. His mentor, and sponsor, is Rick Warren. There is a group of conservative fundamentalist preachers, who are all based in the US, who have assisted religious organizations in Uganda, in their campaign to “kill the gays.” These US citizens -  Scott Lively, Lou Engle, and Carl Ellis Jenkins, have spent time in Uganda promoting the bill, and participated in anti-gay rallies in Uganda. Lively even bragged about it, and said he "dropped a nuclear bomb on the gay agenda in Uganda." Are these American ministers Christian extremists? Should we be afraid, because these American men of the cloth, are ignoring the facts and evidence that sexuality is an immutable trait?

sexuality can be chosen. Stop the lies Bill O’Reilly, and call these American Christian extremists promoting hate and violence, exactly what they are. Most Muslims, Christians, and Jews, are good people. Stop spreading lies and hate about Muslims. Mr. O'Reilly please call on Christians to repudiate Christian behavior that is  inconsistent with being a Christian!

The truth fairy says YOU LIE, and you lie with a straight face! Like you said last night - that's DISHONEST and INSANE!

Written and Posted by Roy on the blog "Tie-dyed Jive in the 415"


July 26, 2011

MONDAY MUSINGS: It's Tuesday & Our Country Endures As New York Celebrates Marriage Equality






Joe My God

Gays Are The Children Of Satan

NEW YORK: Hate Group Files Suit To Overturn Same-Sex Marriage

Crazy Eyes: Being Gay Means Being Enslaved To Homosexuality

TEXAS: Another Anti-Gay Hate Group Joins Gov. Rick Perry's Prayer Event

Pam's House Blend

Santorum bottoms out

Tony Perkins: his latest horsesh*t in defense of the Bachmanns

The Point Foundation honors its scholars past and present


The Atlantic Joins Mainstream-Media Bandwagon Calling Gay “Normal.” For Shame!

Surprisingly Drugs and Alcohol May Not Have Killed Amy Winehouse

Larry Kramer: “Gay Marriages Are An Embarrassment”

Good As You

NOM has an ABYSMAL NY House race record -- so why are they bragging about it?

NOM NYC rally sign: 'GAY = Got AIDS Yet?'

It wasn't just Manhattan: How NOM took on 'perverted and twisted' homosexuality in Buffalo

One Angry Queer

Chris Barron Defends Michele Bachmann On Gay Rights

Glenn Beck Is Even More Disgusting Than Usual

Right Wing Watch

Rick Perry's Confusing Stance On Marriage Equality And States' Rights

AFA: Marriage Equality Means "You Abandon God"

Congressman Tim Huelskamp: 85% Of Americans Oppose Marriage Equality

Posted on the blog "Tie-dyed Jive in the (415)"


Amazing and mature conversation. If you were looking to define "authentic self" you would see this mother and son.

This intimate conversation is too great not to share.

Posted by Roy on the blog "Tie-dyed Jive in the (415)"


July 25, 2011

Bachmann Brief: It's a Haboob! No It's Not - It's That Ordinary Woman.

Des Moines, Iowa: You asked for it, and here it is. The new campaign propaganda of one Michele Marie Bachmann. A short intimate look at her life, her political views, and her intimate friends. It was 65 and sunny today here in San Francisco - I hope those of you in the dog days of summer, drink water and stay cool! Happy Monday!
Posted by Roy on Tie-dyed Jive in the (415)


July 23, 2011

The Navy Let Me Down: Don't Ask Don't Tell - An Ugly Chapter In Military History Nearly Over

Vice Admiral Roy Alexander Gano
My Grandfather and namesake, Vice Admiral Roy Alexander Gano.
 (Official Photograph US Navy and Family Photo)

by Roy Steele

My father, my brother, and my grandfather have all served our country in the United States Navy. My uncle, my great uncle, and my great great uncle, also served in the Navy. To say that we were a Navy family would be an understatement.

Primogeniture in the US Disappeared With The Horse And Buggy

Male primogeniture is a term we aren’t overly familiar with in our country. It is primarily a European Royal custom, enshrined by law, that gives the exclusive right of inheritance to the firstborn son. While six European monarchies eliminated primogeniture laws, in the United Kingdom this custom still stands, and it’s this law that determines the line of succession to the British throne, and guarantees that the current Prince of Wales will succeed his mother, and be crowned King.

We don’t have primogeniture laws in the United States. We have family traditions that may surround birthdays, or holidays, or other events and milestones, and my family is no different. I was the first born son in my family. Being the oldest, in a family with four kids, brought certain responsibilities and obligations that are typical of other families.

One tradition unique to my family, was the expectation that I would follow in the footsteps of my ancestors, and Grandfather, and go to college in Annapolis, Maryland, and enroll at the United States Naval Academy.

We Planned Your Future And You Are Going To Be A Naval Officer 

From as early as I can remember, my parents, and grandparents, went out of their way to indoctrinate me in the ways of the US Navy. This started when I was very young, and involved going to church at the Navy Chapel, and spending time with family friends, who were usually Naval officers - generally Admirals all.

We attended events at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, went to football games at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, went swimming at the Army-Navy Country Club, and had Sunday brunch at the Officer’s Club. On many steamy summer nights, we were guests of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and Chesty, for the Evening Parade, on the parade grounds of the Marine barracks. We would watch the trooping of the colors, the parade and Marine band concert.

My father, my brother, and my grandfather have all served our country in the United States Navy. My uncle, my great uncle, and my great great uncle, also served in the Navy. To say that we were a Navy family would be an understatement.

A map of Beecher Pass which was named after Lieutenant Albert Morrison Beecher

This tradition started in the late 1800’s when my great great Uncle, Lieutenant Albert Morrison Beecher, of Fort Dodge, Iowa - graduated from the Naval Academy. In southeastern Alaska, a three mile long passage that connects Wrangall Narrows with Duncan Canal, is named in his honor.

Beecher Pass, and Beecher Pass State Marine Park, were named by the US Coast and Geodetic Survey, because Albert Beecher surveyed the area in the late 19th century. Lieutenant Beecher died in a freak accident aboard the USS Maine (BB-10) in 1903.

My great uncle Captain Paul Howard graduated from the Academy in 1921.

Vice Admiral Gano Was A War Hero And A Great Man

My Grandfather, Vice Admiral Roy Alexander Gano, graduated from the Naval Academy in 1926. A native of Minnesota, he was one of the most highly decorated Naval officers in the history of the Navy.

Admiral and Mrs. Roy A. Gano and unknown couple. (Family photo)
Admiral and Mrs. Roy A. Gano and unknown couple.
(Family photo)
Admiral Gano was known for his technical skills in battle, the exacting expectations he had of those he commanded, his ready quips and sense of humor, and for the warmth and empathy he had for all who served. His exploits in times of war and battle, are well documented.

Less well known is the work he devoted himself to after retiring from active duty. The balance of his life was devoted to promoting the welfare of American sailors and their families, US government, military, and civilian personnel, and anyone employed by the maritime industry, as President and Chairman of the Board of the United Seamen’s Service.

After my grandfather’s death, his best friend, Admiral Arleigh Burke,  and his diminutive wife Bobbie, stepped in and joined my grandmother in teaching me about the Navy. Arleigh Burke was an Admiral in the United States Navy, who was Chief of Naval Operations during the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations.

Admiral Arleigh ‘31-Knot’ Burke Got Me Drunk

When I was in high school completing my college applications, I found myself in Annapolis on a crisp fall day with Admiral Burke, watching the Mids defeat the University of Virginia.

Admiral Arleigh Burke and Admiral Roy A. Gano (Official Photograph US Navy)
Admiral Arleigh Burke and Admiral Roy A. Gano
(Official Photograph US Navy)
Going to a football game with Admiral Burke was a trip. After morning cocktails at the Commandant’s quarters, we would find the Class of 1923’s tailgate, where we would eat and drink, and more cocktails would be consumed.

Entering the stadium, every other person would recognize the Admiral and stop him, as they needed to shake his hand or say hello to him. He would mumble about wanting to sit down and watch the game, but greeted each person with kindness and respect. We would miss the first quarter with this ritual, and it would start all over again when we got to our seats, where every midshipman, and Navy veteran, would stop by to pay their respects.

With half time approaching, I was excited to see the half time show! The parade of midshipmen never fails to impress. This was the first time I became painfully aware that I was more interested in the pomp and circumstance and uniform,  and the men in uniform, than becoming an officer in the United States Navy. With that realization, I knew then that I would have to go through the painful process of telling my parents, and grandmother, that going to Annapolis wasn’t in my heart.

Being A Gay Midshipman At Annapolis Didn't Sound Like Fun To Me

This realization created a lot of turmoil within myself. I felt awful about letting the people important to me down, and I never enrolled in the Naval Academy. The last time I visited Annapolis, was with my family. We were there with my grandmother at a football game, where the Academy was unveiling a monument and memorial, in honor of a group of men who lost their lives on a ship that my grandfather commanded.

My Grandfather never had an unkind word for anyone. Ever. His chief aide was black, when segregation was de rigueur, and the civil rights act was still a dream. He led by example, and always said you judge people by what’s in their heart, not what you see with your eyes.

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Created A Toxic Work Environment

It’s only been as I got older, and matured, that I realized that I didn’t let my family down. The Navy and our armed forces let me and our country down.  The witch hunt created by Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, kept people in the closet, forced people to lie, and created an unhealthy environment within each branch of the military.

Institutionalized discrimination ruined people’s lives, and was a factor that kept me from continuing the family legacy.

Before President Clinton proposed DADT, lesbian and gay service members served with distinction. With a stroke of his pen, Clinton enshrined discrimination as the law of the land at the Department of Defense.

President Obama signs the Executive Order lifting Don't Ask Don't Tell

The Repeal Of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Makes Us A Better Country

Yesterday President Barack Obama received certification from the Secretary of Defense, and Admiral Mike Mullen, that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell would not affect military readiness. The President signed the certification, which signalled that the discriminatory law would be repealed in sixty days.

I’m certain that my Grandfather and namesake, Admiral Roy A. Gano, and my fill-in Granddad, Admiral Arleigh Burke, are smiling down on the President and Admiral Mullen, because they did the right thing, and followed their hearts, guaranteeing that in the future - anyone who wants to serve our country, can do so with dignity.

I know like me, that the old Admirals would be very proud.

straight talk in a queer world.            jiveinthe415.com

July 22, 2011

Bachmann Brief: Does Bachmann have blood on her hands?

Minneapolis, MN: In the Wikipedia entry for Minnesota, it says “Minnesota is known for its relatively liberal social and political orientation, and has a high rate of civic participation and voter turnout.”

Much of the chatter in Minnesota politics lately centers on Michele Marie Bachmann. Her political views would be best described as extremist, not liberal in any shape or form. If Bachmann were elected President, she would abolish the EPA, the Departments of Education, Commerce, and Energy. The Congress-worstwoman says that we need to wean people off of Social Security and Medicare. She doesn’t believe in protecting endangered species, and thinks that drilling for oil should be allowed wherever oil companies want to drill. She has said that carbon dioxide is a harmless gas, called climate change a hoax, and refers to hate crimes legislation as unconstitutional because it violates freedom of speech.

The  Anoka High School graduate with a predilection for television cameras, and revising history, ignoring facts, and disregarding science, has created an entire career based on misinformation and obscuring facts. With rhetoric imbued with hate, she has spent the last 11 years instilling fear and bigotry into ignorant minds of constituents, residents in her state, and ordinary Americans. She opines that the homosexual army that is spread across our nation, is recruiting and indoctrinating the children of America into a “lifestyle” she describes as bondage.

Anoka-Hennepin School District and Bachmann's district.
Yesterday the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, filed a lawsuit in a Minnesota Federal Court, alleging that the Anoka-Hennepin School District, the largest school district in Minnesota, that sits primarily in Michele Bachmann’s Congressional district, does not protect students who are perceived to be LGBT from bullying. There have been 7 suicides in the school district in less than 2 years.

The Justice Department and Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights are investigating the school district, that currently has a policy that directs school personnel and teachers to take a neutral stance in matters relating to sexual orientation. Teachers contend that the policy acts as a muzzle, and does not permit them to police the bullying, or act as an advocate for the kids being bullied, within the schools.

Is there a correlation between Bachmann’s shrill beliefs, and the 7 student suicides, in the school district that sits in her Congressional district? Does Michele Bachmann have blood on her hands?

One thing is certain, a policy that dictates neutrality and silence in the face of oppression, is supporting the views of the oppressor. History has reflected that time and time again. Schools must be a safe haven for all kids, regardless of who they are, or who they might be perceived to be.

A brave hero in the fight for equality Kyle Rooker.
A 14 year old student Kyle Rooker was urinated on by students, and teachers failed to intervene. That is heinous, despicable behavior that no child should ever have to endure. I have to admit when I heard that it made me cry.

Imagine if you are a kid watching the news, and for 11 years, your Minneapolis news station has been reporting what Michele Bachmann thinks and believes, about those people with a "sinful nature" who have “chosen the gay lifestyle.” This kid is being teased, harassed, and beat up because other kids think the kid is gay. The kid doesn’t know how to broach the subject with a parent or teacher, and the parent has no idea that their child is questioning who they are, and what their sexuality might be. It is a lonely and depressing space to inhabit, and the bullying and prospect of possibly letting your parents down, because of who you are, becomes too much to handle. The slurs and hateful rhetoric is coming at you in school, and it’s coming at you on the evening news.

Kids don’t know where to turn, and in the face of helpless sorrow, they sometimes will turn to drugs, or alcohol, hurting themselves, or worse. This has to stop. We must be responsible to our kids.

You might ask why I care - as a white gay male with no children, living in Bohemia on the west coast. Because I have first hand experience with this issue.  I didn’t have parents who loved unconditionally. I didn’t have parents who were supportive when I came out. When I brought home a report card with all A’s and a B+, I didn’t hear well done, I heard you have to do better. When I told my parents I felt different than the other kids, when I was 11 years old, this statement was met with “no you don’t, you don’t feel that way.” I'm not sharing this because I'm looking for sympathy, I'm over it. I'm sharing this because I have experienced the consequences.

In my opinion, children are a blessing. A parent serves their children best when they tell their kids that they love them, and that the love they have will be there always, no matter what. Love should never have conditions, and an open and honest dialogue, is an integral part of a healthy relationship. If you want to see your child filled with resentment, and strife, that results in years of therapy and unhappiness, put conditions on your love and support. If they tell you how they feel about something, don’t tell them that how they feel is wrong, ask them why they feel that way, and listen with empathy, compassion, and understanding.
If you hear a neighbor, a sibling, or another kid, make hateful slurs about someone just because they are different, call them out on it. Tell them it offends you, and hold them accountable. Kids mimic their parents behavior, and we owe it to our children to be the best that we can be.

7 kids in the Anoka-Hennepin School District have taken their own lives, because a school district refuses to do the right thing, and that is 7 lives too many. Is it a surprise that the school district is in Bachmann’s district? Not to me. Michele Bachmann needs to shut her mouth, and go back to Stillwater to live in obscurity, because her actions and deeds hurt people deeply. In some cases, those words and deeds kill.

Written and Posted by Roy on the blog "Tie-dyed Jive in the (415)"


July 20, 2011

The Summer of Discontent --- Dan Savage, David Badash, Dan Choi, HRC - Is Anybody Happy?

Washington, DC:  All eyes are still on Washington, as another day goes by, without a resolution to raising the debt ceiling.

Senator Leahy (D-VT)
In gay news - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee is hearing testimony related to DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, that passed both houses of Congress in 1996, and was signed into law by President Clinton.  DOMA prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, and denies LGBT couples, 1138 federal rights conferred on straight couples by the federal government.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC)  and Freedom to Marry are taking the lead on strategy, and lobbying members of Congress, and both HRC's Joe Solmonese and Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry, are scheduled to testify.

Activist Dan Choi, the West Point graduate and Iraq war veteran, charged that the witnesses testifying are "exclusively white and privileged."

Marriage equality is a matter of civil rights, steeped in the language and moral lessons of the historic American struggle for inclusion and equality,” Choi said. “That the panel of gay witnesses is exclusively white and privileged brings shameful discredit to the true character of our broad community and inclusive civil rights movement.”

HRC refused a request for a comment.

I can't help but agree with Dan. This isn't about accommodating the diversity among our ranks, it's about being accountable TO the diversity within our ranks.

The ineffective leadership displayed by HRC's lack of success, after raising over $100.0 million dollars over the last 3+ years, is a national disgrace. I appreciate their efforts, but it's been too little, too late.  HRC and GLAAD are our public faces, in the halls of Congress, and in the entertainment industry. And with the resources at their disposal, it is stunning that neither group is capable of providing the national leadership we need, and deserve. Here are 2 national LGBT organizations, and if you look at their websites, on their homepages, there isn't one word or reference to HIV.

Dan "It Gets Better" Savage, the telegenic musical theatre buff,  and sex-advice columnist, seems to be more like a 'substitute' leader, than an actual LGBT spokesperson. After declaring that he'd be happy to "hate fuck" Senator Santorum, on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, and mentioning the 'santorum' that would be a by-product, he also said he wished all Republicans were dead. I have to admit, when I watched the show, I wasn't sure that I'd heard right. I paused and rewound, and he did say it. While he apologized in his column, there are many viewers that will never read his blog. Republican agitators are already in an uproar about it, and that's the kind of attention we don't really need.

Savage has received a lot of credit, awards, and kudos, for starting the "It Gets Better" project. He's worthy of those awards. I'm guessing that as a result of the media recognition, that media organizations assumed he was the sex columnist for our community, and that just isn't the case.

His statements and sex-advice columns, have created controversy in the past. He doesn't appear to have much respect for the transgender community, and he has been highly critical of anyone that is over weight. He once suggested that if anyone infects someone with the HIV virus, that they should be responsible for the medical bills of whoever they infected.

In a May 2011 interview with hivster.com, he said the AIDS crisis was over, but the epidemic continues. He went on to say:
"I want to see gay men take more responsibility — for themselves, for their own choices. But we also need to recognize our responsibility to each other. It’s not enough to say, as some men will say, “If he lets me fuck him without a condom, that’s his choice, I’m not responsible for his choices.” I think that’s selfish, self-serving, sociopathic garbage."
Straight people need to have more sex, and more sex partners, than they do. Gay people need to have fewer sex partners than we can. There’s a balance. We need to find it.
That's not the rhetoric of a big tent, all loving, non-judgmental leader - and try telling someone who just found out they were infected, that the crisis is over.  In the US today - every 20 minutes someone dies from AIDS. The LGBT community does not need a sero-phobic sex-advice columnist, as either a spokesman or national leader. The LGBT community needs to be authentic, and we need to respect and honor everyone without judgment. (Unless your name is Bachmann).

The website queerty.com has a post entitled "David Badash: Dan Savage’s Open Marriage Will Set Back The Entire Marriage-Equality Movement." David Badash of the New Civil Rights Movement, takes issue with Dan Savage's propensity to run his mouth, and he wonders if Dan Savage is the Ann Coulter of our movement.
 On queerty.com, Daniel Villarreal wrote:
Savage Loves Dan Savage and David Badash of The New Civil Rights Movement are currently in a bitchy blog battle.
Savage has long advocated open relationships for couples who find monogamy rife with “boredom, despair, lack of variety, sexual death and being taken for granted.” In fact, he recently said as much in a recent New York Times interview. But when he noticed anti-gay activist Chuck Colson using Savage’s words to suggest that homos want to make the institute of marriage ultra-slutty, Badash called Savage’s words “misplaced rambling” and added that “those same-sex marriage activists who enter into marriage might want to think about the fact that they are the ones who will be looked at as setting the standard.”
Badash is basically saying that any gay person who has become a national media figure has an obligation to either shut up about their feelings on monogamous marriage or pretend that all gays want nice, sanitized monogamous marriages where we never do anything to offend or challenge anyone.
On this point I disagree with David Badash. I believe very strongly in marriage equality, and will continue to fight and advocate for those rights. One of the beautiful things about the LGBT community, is that because of our struggles in coming out, coming to terms with self-acceptance, and the bullying we continue to hear in our churches, on television, and in our communities in our fight to advance our civil rights, we can adapt ourselves, and adapt our committed relationships, to whatever we find works for us. Does that mean we shouldn't have the right to marry, just because we don't emulate the straight ideal? I would say resoundingly NO. We live in a country where the Courts determined that we can do whatever we want in our bedrooms.

Dan Savage is a sex-advice columnist, not a Dominican nun. We didn't put him in this role, the media did, and he accepted. It would probably be helpful for Savage to take a step back, and when he is invited on television, remember that he doesn't speak for the community. We must be accountable to the diversity within our ranks, without having to accommodate what everyone else thinks we should be. And that includes Dan Savage. Savage has earned a right to sit with the grown ups, but until he acts like one, he'll forever be banished to sit with the kids.

Posted and written by Roy for the blog "Tie-dyed Jive in the (415)"


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