GLBT

Foo Fighters smack down the Haters

**The Videos in this post are Not Safe for Work**

There are people in this world who have absolutely no sense of humor.  I don't even want to say their name, but a certain group of ultra-right wing homophobes became upset when the Foo Fighters, a band with a brilliant sense of humor, released their video for Hot Bun.

The homoerotic trucker pastiche enraged these, well out of generosity, I will call them people (link), and they announced they were going to picket an upcoming Foo Fighter's concert.

So, How did the Foo Fighter's respond?

That's right, they pulled up in front of the protesters dressed in their costumes from the Hot Buns video on the bed of a truck performing a country parody of Keep it Clean that can be heard at the beginning of the video.

Brilliant! Love it.  This is the way to fight hate.  The best part of the video is watching the people who came to protesting them break out in laughter and bop along to the song.

Rise Against the Hate

I really needed a song like this when I was in High School:

I have been on the fence about Rise against.  I like some of their songs, but this one pushed me over the edge.  I was bullied for being gay in High School by a large "christian" group that I refuse to speak the name of, I don't want to give griefers publicity.  They used to throw things at me, call me anti-christ, and harass me.

I understand the pain, but it really does get better.  Keep your chin up, and fight back.  Life is worth it.

Missouri House declares state sovereignty, dark ages follow

A woman makes her support of her marriage, and...
Image via Wikipedia

Isn't this how the Civil War started?

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House members have given preliminary approval to a constitutional amendment that asserts the state's right to reject federal actions.

The measure says that Missouri will not enforce or recognize various federal policies. Those policies would cover subjects such as hate crimes, gun control and allowing civil unions or same sex marriage (KFVS12).

So the right of someone to beat up or kill a Faggot, keep us from having equal rights, and ready access to guns are so important that they have to be enshrined in the state constitution... and why are they mixed together like that... that doesn't make me feel very good...

Since the Nullification Crisis of the early 1800s, the US has recognized the supremacy of federal law over state law.  This is one cycle from the past we can skip... ugh

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Glee: Sue's Corner: Sneaky Gays

I can't wait for Glee to come back on April 13th. We are planning a premiere party here. What better way to get ready for Glee than a new Sue's Corner:

I never thought I would ever say this, but I agree with Sue Sylvester, but I do.

Be out and proud!  People need to know that we are living among them.  The more used to us they are, the harder it will be for them to hate us.  Let your light shine, and never forget to be who you are.

John Barrowman worries Fox will de-Queer Capt. Jack

SCI FI Wire has a story about John Barrowman's concerns that Fox will make Captain Jack straight in the American Torchwood, we actually have two bigger concerns:

Jack is Bi

Russell T Davies always said that Jack was bisexual.  (remember his daughter and grandson)  What is more likely is that Fox will trumpet his bisexuality and say he is just interested in a particular girl.  That way they can have their cake and eat it too... or should that be Π.

Fox does not have a good track record with GLBT characters.

24 with Aliens

Fox likes comfortable patterns.  The biggest threat facing an American Torchwood is that it will be little more than 24 with aliens.

Hopefully, Davies will have some pull with them and keep the series on track, but my hopes are not all that high.  Fox loves to muck up scifi shows and break fans hearts.  Fan tears are their crack.  Be wary of Torchwood until we have proof they didn't naff it up.

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Enter the Gayngels

I wish I were gayer so my rants could be this funny!  Maybe my gold star gets in the way.

I am getting increasingly outraged by the appearances of the Gayngels on TV and especially in film.  If this trend continues, hopefully they will bring Paul Lynde back from the dead.  Uncle Arthur will save us all!

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WFT: Gene Simmons to Adam Lambert "shut up about sexual preferences"?

WTF Gene, I mean WTF!  In another spot:

Adam should have won. On the other hand he should have kept his mouth shut about his sexual preferences. I don't really care what he wants to do and neither does America. But this kid's got talent, Adam Lambert can go on. As long as he's quiet about whatever else he prefers to do indoors. I personally don't care, I mean if you love farm animals, that's fine, but I don't wanna read a magazine about that (AfterElton).

gene.pngI am a huge Kiss fan.  My sister became a fan when Rock and Roll over came out, and I grew up with their music.  It has been the sound track of my life.  I own all their albums, most of their DVDs and have seen them in concert a couple times.  When I was 16, my sister took me to see Kiss as my first concert.

Now, I have to admit that I have never been the biggest fan of Gene Simmons.  He has suffered from foot in mouth disease for decades, and he has one of those personalities that has always made me roll my eyes.

This is blatant hypocrisy!  Gene's entire career is based around him talking about his sexuality, sexual preferences, and sexual activity.  Gene is the man who said, "If it's not about sex, its not rock and roll."  How dare he of all people say that anyone should shut up about their sexuality!

Adam has talent.

Gene's view of Show Business

I don't think this quote is necessarily homophobic.  Gene is first and foremost a business man.  I assume that he looks at Adam's decision to come out as one that will hurt his ability to sell records.

As someone who has made a career off singing about his love of women, I can understand that.  Personally, I would love  a gay rock star who isn't afraid of wither his sexuality or an electric guitar.

Boo Gene.  At least Paul Stanley is the one who is doing the majority of the work on the new Kiss album.

Acceptability/Assimilation Will not Keep Us Safe

Within fandom, as with the mainstream culture, assimilation into an ‘acceptable person’ is not a way to be safe. For years I have participated in the panels and sundry other discussions about whether GLBT fans should blend into the background, or whether we should be more vocal, and make our presence known and felt. It was a struggle at first, but eventually we came to believe the price of silence too high for us to pay.

In other words, those who were naturally straight-acting, were encouraged not to change their persona at fan events, and those of us who were a bit more obvious in our sexual orientation and gender identity were encouraged to be ourselves. The only exception we stressed was for cosplay (dressing in costume and pretending you are what you are dressed as).

While we always used common sense, we found it was best to be open and upfront about our orientation and identity. The vast majority of negative experiences I have had at fan events were when someone found out I am gay, and felt like I had hidden it from them.

I am very inappropriate

the flag of the Klingons
Image via Wikipedia

I am more inappropriate and direct with people then the average person, and will often introduce myself: “Hello, I am Eric, and I am a gay man, may I presume you are heterosexual.”

It usually gets a laugh, and will often open the door for people to understand the awkward position GLBT people are placed in by society. If we are not open about our identity or orientation, it is assumed we were hiding it.

You don’t have to be as upfront as I am, but be careful not to lead people into believing you are covering it up. This self-serving sense of betrayal is often used as a thin veil to excuse a person’s homophobia. “Well, I just don’t know who you are anymore.” Whoever you are, always be yourself, be open, and be honest.

Klingon Drag Queen

Last year, our first klingon drag queen attended Shore Leave. She was stunning and took the time to make each piece of the costume by hand to express her gender identity and passion for klingons. Unfortunately, she also experienced an inordinate amount of sneers and cat calls as she went through the convention.

Our group also features a number of male-to-female transgenders who often come in costume. They have not faced some of the same hurdles the rest of the community have. When I talked to one who asked to remain anonymous, she told me that her biggest problem at the conventions were that people assumed she merely wore a costume.

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Captain Robert and Public displays of Affection

Captain Robert from Abney Park is a little defensive in his latest post about disruptive behavior during rehearsal.  His language is a little gruff:

A little Whiskey or a little rum…okay, A LOT if Whiskey…and they are all over each other. In front of the rest of the band, in front of fans, in front of my kids.

It started as ass grabbing, arms around each others shoulder, dancing, pretending it was a joke…but as the months went on it turned into more. Mooney eyes, pretend kisses leading into real kisses, leading into full on tongue swapping! IN THE MIDDLE OF FUCKING SONGS! And the worst thing is, when they do it, their guitars rub together, and that messes up there playing, and then we got to start the songs all over again (Captain Robert)!

I don't know Robert personally, though I wish I did.  It would be easier to wrap my head around this.

Some people don't like public displays of affection

I know many of these people, and in fact I have been married to one for 12 years.

I am a little concerned that Robert could be labeled as homophobic for his rant.  Honestly, it doesn't take much these days to earn the label.  I have even been accused of Homophobia, and I am gay!

My impression of Robert

From reading his blog, listening to his music, and watching his videos, I tend to believe Robert is a dedicated and passionate about the future of Abney Park, and anything he sees as a threat to that would engender his rage.

His band mates not focusing on rehearsal is just the sort of thing I can see him flying off the handle about.

Leave the children out of it

I wish Robert would have left his children out of this.

I have mixed feelings about the effect on children of seeing grown people making out, but invoking the kids doesn't help his argument.

Personally, I would rather my kids (if I had any) see a public display of affection than to see me (I don't know if Robert was drinking or not) and my friends imbibing copious amounts of whiskey and rum.  I wish the kids had not been mentioned.

The other sides of the story

I really wish we had the other side of the story.  The nature of Robert's actions will be under a cloud of suspicion until we know the opinions of the other people in the room.

I hope Robert is right that this is not homophobia, but honestly, we cannot know one way or the other until we hear from the others.

Coming Out in Fandom

My personal experience in fandom is a mixed one. I was raised in a conservative, Baptist home. When I was ten, I realized I was gay. I hated myself, and never felt like I fit in anywhere, until I attended my first convention.

My first convention

shoreleave.gifI was a geek in school, and we hadn't lived in Maryland for every long.  One day, my friend Suzie invited me to go to a convention with her.

It wasn't easy.  My mother wasn't keen on me going out for a day trip to a convention north of Baltimore with people she didn't know very well.  I begged and pleaded, and though I don't remember them, I am sure I threw in some hissy fits and tantrums just to get the point across.

When we arrived, I felt like I entered the promised land.  Thousands of people who all loved the same things I did.  I didn't have to lie about anything.

For the first time, I felt like I found a place I belonged. If you have never been to a convention or participated in a fan club, they are amazing things. At a convention, you know that you are a de facto friend with most of the people there. Our mutual love for the same franchises, movies, and books ties us together in a way that is hard to explain. I have made connections with people that have lasted for years.

Coming out

My convention friends were the first people to know that I was gay.  I was open and honest.  Something about being surrounded by so many like minded people empowered me.

I was very lucky.  I never faced or felt any kind of discrimination at the conventions until many years later.  When I first entered fandom, IDIC was not a slogan or piece of jewelry.  It was a philosophy people took to heart.

Conventions are some of the few places that we can be ourselves... or are they?

Are all conventions safe?

It depends from convention to convention, but in general, speculative fiction fans are more open minded then the general population, except in periods of mass popularity for speculative fiction, or when a convention slips into the mainstream.

Popularity often brings more closed-minded people into fandom because they liked the special effects in movie x and have not been exposed to the ethos of open-mindedness which usually pervades fandom.

For me, conventions were a sanctuary from the homophobic world, until I started writing.

The Young (gay) X-men, who will die first?

Youngx-MenMarvel released the Young X-men with two, count them two gay characters: Anole and a newish character, Jonas Greymalkin.

Jonas Greymalkin, a character whose history was revealed with a story in X-Men: Manifest Destiny #3. It turns out that Greymalkin is over 200 years old and his powers were activated soon after his father realized that Jonas was gay. Furious, Jonas was beaten unconscious by his father and buried alive. Fortunately for Jonas, his powers (which include invulnerability) work best in darkness and, therefore, were well suited to surviving being buried alive. Jonas spent the last 200 years in a state of suspended animation, a time that ended when Jonas' grave was disturbed and he was thrown back into the modern world (After Elton).

Given the history of GLBT characters in speculative fiction, I have to ask the question: "Which one will die first?"

My money is on Anole because Jonas is invulnerable, but who knows, maybe he will be buried alive again. I hate to be a downer, but that is usually what happens to GLBT characters, and Marvel has done a good job keeping the streak going.

Day without a Gay

DaywithoutagayThere is a movement to get all GLBT people to take December 10th off, and spend it volunteering in a way to make an impact against the hate and homophobia that swept the elections.

The worldwide media attention surrounding our massive grassweb efforts for gay rights has been tremendous. Join the Impact was a HUGE success and will continue to thrive because of our efforts.

We've reacted to anti-gay ballot initiatives in California, Arizona Florida, and Arkansas with anger, with resolve, and with courage. NOW, it's time to show America and the world how we love.

Gay people and our allies are compassionate, sensitive, caring, mobilized, and programmed for success. A day without gays would be tragic because it would be a day without love.

On December 10, 2008 the gay community will take a historic stance against hatred by donating love to a variety of different causes.

On December 10, you are encouraged not to call in sick to work. You are encouraged to call in "gay"--and donate your time to service!

December 10, 2008 is International Human Rights Day. CLICK HERE to join us, and search or add to the list of human rights organizations that need our help RIGHT NOW (Day without a Gay).

Hmmm... It is an interesting idea, but I don't think it is the best idea to call in. Maybe just take the day off if you want to be involved.

For me, I think it would be best if I should up for work, and posted about equal rights that day. Spread the word. Besides, I know my readers are allies or in the community.

How do you think we should protest and raise awareness?

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Were the World Mine

From what I have heard in the trailer, I am not sure if I am quite ready to move "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" to the side in favor of "Were the World Mine," but the premise is interesting and sure to be controversial with the right wing if they catch wind of it, but the trailer has my attention, and I am eager to see the flick.

"Were the World Mine" is a modern retelling of A Midsummer Night's Dream, following the adventures of High Schooler Timothy, a gay kid cast in a school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream as Puck. Somehow, he finds a love potion and runs around the city making everyone fall in love with a person of their same gender. To top it all off, it is a musical.

Since the movie has been compared with Hedwig by the critics, I can only hope it does take a serious look at the question of sexual orientation, and doesn't just use it as a point of tension for the sake of drama. It is hard to read that from the trailer, but I have my fingers crossed.

The movie is already in limited release, and it is available to save to your queue on Netflix. (I already did)

For more information, see their site.

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Prop 8 Broke Our Hearts

Op-Ed from Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese

queer_sf You can’t take this away from me: Proposition 8 broke our hearts, but it did not end our fight.

Like many in our movement, I found myself in Southern California last weekend.  There, I had the opportunity to speak with a man who said that Proposition 8 completely changed the way he saw his own neighborhood.  Every “Yes on 8” sign was a slap. For this man, for me, for the 18,000 couples who married in California, to LGBT people and the people who love us, its passage was worse than a slap in the face.  It was nothing short of heartbreaking.

But it is not the end.  Fifty-two percent of the voters of California voted to deny us our equality on Tuesday, but they did not vote our families or the power of our love out of existence; they did not vote us away.

As free and equal human beings, we were born with the right to equal families.  The courts did not give us this right—they simply recognized it.  And although California has ceased to grant us marriage licenses, our rights are not subject to anyone’s approval.  We will keep fighting for them. They are as real and as enduring as the love that moves us to form families in the first place.   There are many roads to marriage equality, and no single roadblock will prevent us from ultimately getting there.

And yet there is no denying, as we pick ourselves up after losing this most recent, hard-fought battle, that we’ve been injured, many of us by neighbors who claim to respect us. We see them in the supermarkets, on the sidewalk, and think “how could you?”

marriage By the same token, we know that we are moving in the right direction.  In 2000, California voters passed Proposition 22 by a margin of 61.4% to 38.6%.  On Tuesday, fully 48% of Californians rejected Proposition 8. It wasn’t enough, but it was a massive shift.  Nationally, although two other anti-marriage ballot measures won, Connecticut defeated an effort to hold a constitutional convention ending marriage, New York’s state legislature gained the seats necessary to consider a marriage law, and FMA architect Marilyn Musgrave lost her seat in Congress.  We also elected a president who supports protecting the entire community from discrimination and who opposes discriminatory amendments.

Yet on Proposition 8 we lost at the ballot box, and I think that says something about this middle place where we find ourselves at this moment. In 2003, twelve states still had sodomy laws on the books, and only one state had civil unions.  Four years ago, marriage was used to rile up a right-wing base, and we were branded as a bigger threat than terrorism.  In 2008, most people know that we are not a threat.  Proposition 8 did not result from a popular groundswell of opposition to our rights, but was the work of a small core of people who fought to get it on the ballot.  The anti-LGBT message didn’t rally people to the polls, but unfortunately when people got to the polls, too many of them had no problem with hurting us.  Faced with an economy in turmoil and two wars, most Californians didn’t choose the culture war.  But faced with the question—brought to them by a small cadre of anti-LGBT hardliners – of whether our families should be treated differently from theirs, too many said yes.

But even before we do the hard work of deconstructing this campaign and readying for the future, it’s clear to me that our continuing mandate is to show our neighbors who we are.

Justice Lewis Powell was the swing vote in Bowers, the case that upheld Georgia’s sodomy law and that was reversed by Lawrence v. Texas five years ago.  When Bowers was pending, Powell told one of his clerks “I don’t believe I’ve ever met a homosexual.”  Ironically, that clerk was gay, and had never come out to the Justice.  A decade later, Powell admitted his vote to uphold Georgia’s sodomy law was a mistake.

Everything we’ve learned points to one simple fact: people who know us are more likely to support our equality.

In recent years, I’ve been delivering this positive message: tell your story. Share who you are.  And in fact, as our families become more familiar, support for us increases. But make no mistake: I do not think we have to audition for equality.  Rather, I believe that each and every one of us who has been hurt by this hateful ballot measure, and each and every one of us who is still fighting to be equal, has to confront the neighbors who hurt us.  We have to say to the man with the Yes on 8 sign—you disrespected my humanity, and I am not giving you a pass.  I am not giving you a pass for explaining that you tolerate me, while at the same time denying that my family has a right to exist.  I do not give you permission to say you have me as a “gay friend” when you cast a vote against my family, and my rights.

Wherever you are, tell a neighbor what the California Supreme Court so wisely affirmed: that you are equal, you are human, and that being denied equality harms you materially.  Although I, like our whole community, am shaken by Prop 8’s passage, I am not yet ready to believe that anyone who knows us as human beings and understands what is at stake would consciously vote to harm us.

This is not over.  In California, our legal rights have been lost, but our human rights endure, and we will continue to fight for them.

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Rachel Maddow and the Out 100

out100-maddow Thank God for Chuck D.  When Air America debuted, I had to check out his morning show Unfiltered.  Thanks to that, I was introduced to Rachel Maddow. I followed her around as they moved her show around, and even wrote letters to them when I thought they might have canceled her show many years ago.  Smart, funny, and newsy, she quickly became the high point of my day, and one of my primary sources of news and commentary.

I am so glad to see her success of MSNBC, and to see her on the “Out 100” with other luminaries as:

actors Luke Macfarlane, John Barrowman and Sir Ian McKellen, […] Wilson Cruz, Ugly Betty producer Silvio Horta as well as newlyweds George Takei and Brad Altman (New Now Next).

What a great picture, and even though I know a post like this will embarrass her to no end, I just had to say, good for you, girl, you made it.

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Homophobia, Misogyny and Bias in Culture and Fandom

You know what? I love fandom a lot. It's given me so many things--friendships, delight, Story and story and stories until I'm positively surfeited, meta and analysis and exegesis, a wider sensitivity to issues that I never would have even thought of had I been left to my own self-centered devices, and probably a dozen more things that I can't even think of because I'm only on my second cup of coffee this morning. ...

But look. Can you lay off announcing your posts with things like "It's time for some [schoolname]faggotry"? And stop talking about one character going to sex another up as "rape" (or "raep" as some would have it)? And maybe lay off calling everything "gay" or "ghei" (written_in_blue)?

This has been a huge problem in culture and especially in the fandom/gaming community. Not too long ago, Brian and I had to kick a couple guys from a group in an online game for saying repeatedly that they wanted to go rape an instance. To make matter worse, we could not get them to understand why that phrase was totally unacceptable. After a long, fruitless debate, we just added the individuals to our ignore lists.

Once, when I was playing a female toon, a player mock raped me after defeating me in PVP. He sent me tells filled with graphic and violent imagery, and when I reported him to the GMs, his guild attacked me, each sending me similar lurid tells.

Fanfiction has become infected with these images to the point where I am not sure where to go to find my fanfic anymore.

The blame for this comes down to people like me tolerating this sort of hate speech in our causal acquaintances and friends for too long. Something we never would have done if people where saying, that is so "N-word," or "Let's linch X."

I hate to be PC, and I am not saying that we fight for an absolute ban on the use of "That's so gay," even though I think we have to crack down on it, and stop the use the word rape in any way that could ever be perceived as positive.

On P:SI #249 “OMG A White Namic,” I used the phrase, "That is so Gay," about a pink pedal powered tank that fires hot dogs (DV!CE), because it is. As a gay man, I have to say, that is the gayest thing I have ever seen, but I would never use the phrase to mean something was bad.

Other than turning it around on people, it is helpful to use the word or phrase in a correct way.

It is time for us to get past the hate and get back to what fans do best. Celebrate the things we love.

Print Faggot

Headlines for August 8th

Here are some quick headlines for August 8th:

Movies

Art

TV/Series

Culture and Art