Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Victory! House passes 1913 law repeal in roll call vote
by Laura Kiritsy
Tuesday Jul 29, 2008
The bill to repeal the 1913 law is on its way to Governor Deval Patrick, who will sign it into law. The bill cleared a final hurdle this afternoon, when the House of Representatives passed the bill on a roll call vote after about 25 minutes of debate. The vote was 118-35, with five members not voting.
The Senate passed the repeal bill on a voice vote with no fanfare or dissent on July 15.
Here is the debate on the Massachusetts House floor (Its long, 22 minutes, but the debate is worth listening to)…
Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Every person you have ever slept with is invited to a banquet where you are the guest of honor. No one will be in attendance except you, the collection of your former lovers, and the catering service. After the meal, you are asked to give a fifteen-minute speech to the assembly.
What do you talk about?
Well first off, it wouldn’t be that large of a banquet. I have no idea what I say.
What's your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
Go to the movies (like today), go over and visit some friends, go shopping, surf the web, etc. I really don’t have one favorite thing to do on a rainy day.
Are you a window person or an aisle person? Why?
A window seat because I like to look out the window at the ground below. I like trying to identity landmarks below.
Dancing Queen (Video)
The Winner Takes It All (video)
1. What’s the last card game you played, and with whom did you play?
Hearts, with some other friends up at the cottage.
2. What’s the last board game you played, and with whom did you play?
Backgammon and that was so long ago that I can’t remember.
3. What’s the last computer game you played, and with whom did you play?
Backgammon, with the computer.
4. Take the quiz: Which chess piece are you?
Your result for Which Chess Piece are You Test?...
The Bishop's Innkeeper
The Bishop's Innkeeper enjoys the experience of life to the fullest. They enjoy the variety of people and material comforts. They are excellent team players and focus on tasks at hand utilizing fun. They find pleasure in the new. They will involve everyone in discussion and decision making. They value the strengths of different individuals and encourage people to contribute their best. They make great storytellers and in fact this is why they have a special place for children in their hearts. They are deprived when cut off from others.
They aren't fond of written studies, but prefer learning in a 'hands on' way. Because of this they do tend to rush. Schools can be difficult at first, but if they find the relevance of a subject - they will exceed. They are sensitive to criticism and may take it personally. They will focus on the task at hand but forgo the long term costs. However, they are practical with their approach and have a lively sense of humor. If one asks them a question, one should be prepared for a drawn out explanation of their answer and how it relates to their life.
The Bishop's Innkeeper is useful because they can quickly mobilize others during times of crises. They are genuine and optimistic so it is hard not to do as they say. They are the peacemaker due to their sympathetic and tactful natures. They are the builders of the ‘can-do’ atmosphere using humor to brighten everyone’s mood. You should be pleased scoring as a 'Pawn' - it proves that you are a constructive and contributing member of society.
5. Of the games you listed in the first three answers, did you win any of the matches?
Yes, I have won at Hearts and Backgammon (I think I am an above average player in Backgammon [but, I do not use the cube])
6. If you could only play one single game for the rest of your life, which game would you play and why would you choose it?
I do not know if I could play just one game for the rest of my life, it would be very boring. However, Backgammon would be the game I chose.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
The news that night said that there were two 911 calls about home invasions and that was followed by the bank robbery. The police feel that the home invasion calls were a diversion for the bank robbery.
Friday, July 25, 2008
1. What part of the world and country do you live in?
North America in the state of Connecticut
2. What is the furthest from home that you have been, and where is it?
Port Townsend in Washington State.
Updated July 26, 2008 11:15am
States that I have visited
3. What travel destination have you enjoyed the most?
I loved traveling down the west coast from the Olympia peninsula to San Francisco
4. What travel destination have you enjoyed the least?
A business trip to the corporate headquarters in Pittsburg where I use to work
5. Is there somewhere you’d like to visit but have not, and where is it?
Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and southern Colorado
6. Do you prefer traveling to see historic places or to hit the beach and relax?
Yes. I like to travel to both historic places and I also like the beach or lake
7. What popular vacation destination have you never considered because you think you’d not like it?
8. Where do you travel to most recently?
To Newport Rhode Island
9. Do you like day trip “mini-vacations”?
I just did last week to Newport.
1. I believe whatever doesn't kill you _can hurt you really bad_.
2. If you're good at something, _make money doing it_.
3. Why so _glum? It Friday_!
4. Something is out there, it's _has your name on it_.
5. If my life were a sitcom, it would be titled _”Turn the Page”_.
6. Sitting on my back porch [if you don't have one, use your imagination] I see _trees_.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Sorry We Asked, Sorry You Told
By Dana Milbank
Thursday, July 24, 2008; Page A03
Don't ask, don't tell. And, whatever you do, don't ask Elaine Donnelly to tell you what she thinks about gays in the military.
The House Armed Services personnel subcommittee made just such a miscalculation yesterday. Holding the first hearing in 15 years on the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, lawmakers invited a quartet of veterans to testify on the subject and also extended an invitation to Donnelly, who has been working for years to protect our fighting forces from the malign influence of women.
Donnelly treated the panel to an extraordinary exhibition of rage. She warned of "transgenders in the military." She warned that lesbians would take pictures of people in the shower. She spoke ominously of gays spreading "HIV positivity" through the ranks.
"We're talking about real consequences for real people," Donnelly proclaimed. Her written statement added warnings about "inappropriate passive/aggressive actions common in the homosexual community," the prospects of "forcible sodomy" and "exotic forms of sexual expression," and the case of "a group of black lesbians who decided to gang-assault" a fellow soldier.
Rep. Vic Snyder (D-Ark.) labeled her statement "just bonkers" and "dumb," and he called her claims about an HIV menace "inappropriate." Said Snyder: "By this analysis . . . we ought to recruit only lesbians for the military, because they have the lowest incidence of HIV in the country."
Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), a veteran of the war in Iraq, called Donnelly's words "an insult to me and many of the soldiers" by saying they "aren't professional enough to serve openly with gay troops while successfully completing their military mission."
Shays, his voice rising with Yankee indignation, continued to lecture Donnelly: "I think the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy is unpatriotic. I think it's counterproductive. In fact, I think it is absolutely cruel."
Donnelly said something about her respect for the service of gay veterans. "How do you respect their service?" Shays demanded. "You want them out."
From the Chicago Tribune…
Hearing examines 'don't ask, don't tell' policy
Discussion intended to look at effect of gays-in-military rule
By Amanda Erickson | Washington Bureau
July 24, 2008
The hearing also drew on the experiences of gay former service members.
Retired Capt. Joan Darrah, who served in the Navy for 30 years, spoke of the stress the policy caused her.
Darrah had been at a meeting in the Pentagon just minutes before it was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001.
"The reality is that if I had been killed, my partner then of 11 years would have been the last to know," she said. "I had not dared to list her in any of my paperwork."
Last year some 700 military personnel were discharged from the armed forces at the same time the military lowered it standards to accept convicted felons, including rapist, to join the military in order to meet its quotas. Something is wrong with this picture!
Military Enlistment of Felons has Doubled
The data indicate that from 2003 through 2006, the military allowed 4,230 convicted felons to enlist under the "moral waivers" program, which enables otherwise unqualified candidates to serve. In addition, 43,977 individuals convicted of serious misdemeanors such as assault were permitted to enlist under the moral waivers program during that period, as were 58,561 illegal drug abusers. In the Army, allowable offenses include making terrorist threats, murder, and kidnapping.
Sharp Drop in Gays Discharged From Military Tied to War Need
By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 14, 2007; Page A03
More than 10,870 military personnel have been discharged under the policy since President Bill Clinton signed it into law in 1993. The law requires that gay service members keep their sexual orientation private and do not engage in homosexual acts, and it prohibits commanders from asking about sexual orientation.
Rep. Patrick Murphy questions the witnesses
Hearing on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" - Rep. Patrick Murphy 2
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
“The WPATH Standards of Care for Gender Identity Disorders were first issues in 1979, and articulate the ‘professional consensus about the psychiatric, psychological, medical and surgical management of GID.’ Periodically revised to reflect the latest clinical practice and scientific research, the Standards also unequivocally reflect this Association’s conclusion that treatment is medically necessary.”
“The current Board of Directors of WPATH herewith expresses its conviction that sex reassignment, properly indicated and performed as provided by the Standards of Care, has proven to be beneficial and effective in treatment of individuals with transsexualism, gender identity disorder, and/or gender dysphoria.”
“The medical procedures attendant to sex reassignment are not “cosmetic” or “elective” or for the mere convenience of the patient. These reconstructive procedures are not optional in any meaningful sense, but are understood to be medically necessary for the treatment of the diagnosed condition…”
“These medical procedures and treatment protocols are not experimental: decades of both clinical experience and medical research show they are essential to achieving weel-being for transsexual patient…”
“The WPATH Board of Directors urges health insurance carriers and healthcare providers in the United States to eliminate transgender or trans-sex exclusions and and to provide coverage for transgender patient and the medically prescribed sex-reassignment services necessary for treatment and well-being, and to ensure that their ongoing healthcare (both routine and specialized) is readily accessible.”
This statement from WPATH and the policy resolutions last month from the AMA (Resolutions 114 and 122), along with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities ruling that gender identity are covered by the state Anti-Discrimination statues are powerful tools that you can add to your toolbox to argue that your treatment should be covered by insurance here in Connecticut.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Longtime activist, ordained minister Robinson to lead organization’s work on transgender issues
WASHINGTON–The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the nation’s largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights group, today announced that Allyson Robinson has been named Associate Director of Diversity of the organization. Robinson, a longtime activist and ordained minister, will lead HRC and its volunteer base in promoting awareness of transgender issues and ensuring that all program areas demonstrate measurable commitment to transgender equality and inclusion.
“Allyson is a committed activist for trans people and the people who love them,” said best-selling author Jenny Boylan. “A lot of work needs to be done to mend fences between HRC and the trans community, and Allyson, by dint of her dedication, compassion, and articulate insight, is the one to do it. I am sure her wisdom, poise, and humor will do well for all the members of our community, and I wish her all the best.”
“Allyson is a great addition, and as someone who works closely with HRC nationally and locally, I’m delighted to add her energy to expand the quantity, quality and awareness of fully inclusive workplaces and to support our diversity initiatives in Boston,” said HRC Business Council and Steering Committee member Diego Sanchez.
No matter how much I hate the HRC for what they have done to the trans-community, I am also aware that we have to work with them. We cannot just turn our backs on them, they are a powerful voice in
What would it take me to maybe even start to consider listening to HRC again…
1. The resignation of the Board of Directors and the replacement of it with the new Board made up of at least ¼ Trans
2. Fire Joe Solmonese
3. Hire more trans-people (maybe this is a start)
4. Offer full medical coverage for all of it employees, including SRS
5. Revises the Corporate Index so that in order for a company to get 100% rating they must offer full medical coverage for all of it employees, including SRS to their employees
Monday, July 21, 2008
What's your favorite beach in the world?
Since I haven’t traveled to any far off exotic ocean vacation resorts, I have to stick to local beaches. I would have to say that my favorite beaches are, Race Point beach in Provincetown MA, Misquamicut beach in Rhode Island and Ogunquit beach in ME.
What's the next country you want to visit?
I am not planning to visit any other country, I just want to see the go ol’ U.S.A.
What one thing are you craving today?
Unfortunately food. I need to really, really go on a diet. The more I think about dieting, the more I want to eat.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
1. What is your favorite thing to do alone?
Surf the web.
2. What is your favorite thing to do with your best friend?
3. What is your favorite band?
4. What is your favorite song?
5. What is you favorite part of your job?
6. What is your favorite TV show, on now?
Since it is six in the morning, I would have to say the news
7. What is your favorite TV show all time?
Wow, that is a tuff one since it covers so many years, when I was little there was Roy Rogers, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Mary Tyler Moore and the list could go on and on for each decade.
8. Who is your favorite actor?
Once again, I had many favorites through out the decades.
9. What is your favorite film?
I find it so hard to pick just one, there was Space Odyssey, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Princess Bride and I could go on and on.
Friday, July 18, 2008
1. If I could be a fly on the wall I would _watch out for the fly swatter, because you would get swatted when you were not looking_.
2. Jealousy is _an animal that sneaks up on you and bites you_.
3. When I see a shooting star my wish would be that _I could win the Power Ball Lotto_.
4. I'd rather be _who I am_ than _someone I am not_ any day!
5. Certain songs when I hear them make me wanna _dance_.
6. If time were in a bottle _I would open the stopper_.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to _going out with friends to a coffee shop to listen to a folk singer_, tomorrow my plans include _not much_ and Sunday, I want to _visit some friends_!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Yesterday I went with some friends over to Newport RI to visit the Mansions; we went to the Breakers (pictured above) and Rosecliff mansions. Of the two I was more impressed with Rosecliff than the Breakers. I think that the Breakers is just big, ostentatious and grandiose; with a lot of big, big rooms some seventy in all. Most of the rooms that were shown in the tour had twenty-foot high ceilings and some of the rooms had more square footage than my whole house. The mansion was built by Cornelius Vanderbilt II and was built in 1893, in the style of the mansions in Europe.
The other mansion that we visited was Rosecliff. The rooms were large but the ceiling were only about ten feet high making the rooms seem smaller. The design was based on the French palaces of Louis XIV in Versailles, but on a much smaller scale and everything was white. The Rosecliff’s ballroom was used as a movie location for numerous movies; The Great Gatsby, The Betsy, High Society, True Lies, and Amistad.
After we toured the two mansions we went over to Point Judith to have dinner at Aunt Carrie’s, I had to have my clam fritters (clam cakes). Don’t expect anything fancy there, it is your typical seafood fare, lots of fried, broiled and boiled seafood, but it is fresh from local waters. I had; Rhode Island clam chowder (it is Rhode Island, so I felt that I should forgo the New England clam chowder.), clam fritters and fried whole belly clams.
The view from just outside of Aunt Carrie’s looking toward Point Judith lighthouse.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I found this video on Miss Emily’s blog, “Where the sidewalk ends” and I thought that I would share this video with you…
Monday, July 14, 2008
Mainly I have many questions…
What is being done to real estate brokers who knowingly went along with fraudulent loans?
What is being done to mortgage brokers who knowingly went along with fraudulent loans?
What is being done to mortgage companies who knowingly approved and encouraged fraudulent loans?
Where were the auditors?
Where were the federal regulators?
I got hit bad in this fiasco, being of retirement age, I started converting many of my stocks in my 401(k) and IRA’s to fixed income bonds. I wanted my investments to be safe so I made sure my stockbroker only invested in AAA bonds, well now many of those bonds are junk bonds. I think that it is criminal what has happened, the real estate and mortgage broker falsified federal documents (the HUD loans applications) and the mortgage companies encouraged them.
A good number of years ago I got called for jury duty for the Federal Court in Hartford and one of the cases that they voir dire was for a person who falsified his income on his HUD loan application. Do you think that any of these brokers or companies executives will be arrested? Is the FBI investigating any of these frauds now?
The Republicans say they are for less government regulations, but most of those regulations were developed over time because business and industry showed that they could not be trusted. Just look at the last year, do you remember when at the planes were grounded because the FAA didn’t inspect the planes, instead they let the airline inspect their own planes. How many different food recalls have we had in the last twelve months because the FDA is lax inspecting the food? Now we are having all of these banks and mortgage companies failing because the FDIC did not do their job. Do you remember Enron? Where was the SEC then?
Who gets hurt when the regulators look the other way, we do.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
What do you do when you are feeling very sad or depressed?
You mean like right now… because when I went to get a pizza the whole kitchen staff found a reason to come out and look at me.
I have a support network of family and friends that I can call on and talk if it is really bad. Otherwise my defensive weapon is to think about how small of a mind a bigot has, that the only way that can feel important is by putting someone else down.
Who was your first crush?
A girl in my class that lived on the street in back of us and to show you how small a town that I live in; her son bought my parent’s house.
If given a chance to skip work for a day (without repercussions), how would you spend the entire day?
I do not have to worry about that since I am retired. But if I was still working, I would take a daycation to Newport RI and have dinner at Aunt Carrie’s in Point Judith RI. Which by the way, I just sent out an email to my retired friends asking if they want to go there this week or next.
1. You order a plate of wings: what’s your first choice: mild, hot, inferno or teriyaki?
Mild, I like spicy foods but they don’t like me.
2. Which makes the best base for barbeque sauce: mustard, vinegar or ketchup?
Ketchup, also vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, Dijon mustard, olive oil and Bourbon.
3. If you could learn the eleven herbs and spices used in Kentucky Fried Chicken, how likely would you be to attempt to make it yourself? Why?
Probably yes, just to see if I would taste the same.
4. Take the quiz: Which condiment are you?
You Are Barbeque Sauce
You are both skillful and competitive. You enjoy mastering hard tasks.
You appreciate complexity more than simplicity.
Your taste in food tends to lean toward interesting flavors.
You appreciate exotic spice combinations. You tend to like cutting edge, fusion cuisine.
You get along with all personalities from a distance. Except salsa personalities, who always seem to annoy you.
5. Of the condiments currently in your refrigerator, which would you say you have used the least in the last year?
A1 steak sauce, I very rarely use it.
6. After months of unsuccessful attempts, you finally get the recipe for a food you enjoy. When making it for the first time yourself, you discover an individual ingredient that you hate in everything else. Would you still make the dish with that ingredient, or would you try it without?
Sure, I would just leave out that ingredient. Unless you are baking, ingredients are just for taste and if I do not like an ingredient, I will leave it out… like mushrooms.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
1. Do you plan to be at the beach this summer?
Yes, I am dog sitting my brother’s dog and they live in southern Maine a few miles from the ocean, so when I am up there I plan on going to the beach.
2. Do you have a favorite beach?
Yes, North Truro MA. on the bay side. When I was a teenager, we use to go up there every summer. But when I was little we use to go up to New Hampshire’s Lake Winniasquam ever summer.
3. How old were you on your first beach trip?
I was too young to remember, we lived in a town on Long Island Sound, so the ocean was a couple of blocks away.
4. Did your folks own or rent a cottage at the beach?
We use to rent cottages on the beach in North Truro and in New Hampshire, but now we own a cottage on a lake in New Hampshire.
5. Have you or would you bring your kids to the same beaches you went to as a kid?
Well not the same beach, but my nephews and niece bring their kids up to the lake house in New Hampshire.
6. What type of bathing suit do you wear at the beach?
A one piece.
7. Do you have favorite food you like to eat at the shore?
Lobster! Did anyone think I would say anything different?
8. Do you have a favorite drink you like at the shore?
Water, when you are out in the sun all day, I think that it’s a bad idea to drink alcohol all day.
9. When is the next time you will be beach bound?
I am going to the lake house in two weeks and to Maine in four weeks.
Friday, July 11, 2008
1. Oh, I can't wait until I have a _wide angle lens_.
2. _Eggs_ are the first thing I see when I open my refrigerator.
3. I never leave home without _my cell phone_.
4. If I were a condiment, I would be _pepper_ because _I add spice to everyone’s life_.
5. _Tailgaters_ is really high up on my list of pet peeves.
6. The last thing I thought of before I went to bed was _what I needed to bring to the campout for the weekend_.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to _packing_, tomorrow my plans include _going up to
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Teenager finds bat asleep in bra
A teenager who thought movement in her underwear was caused by her vibrating mobile phone found a bat curled up asleep in her bra.
Abbie Hawkins, 19, of Norwich, had been wearing the bra for five hours when she plucked up the courage to investigate.
When she did, she found a baby bat in padding in her 34FF bra. The hotel receptionist said she was shocked but felt bad for removing the "cuddly" bat. "It looked cosy and comfortable and I was sorry for disturbing it," she said.
She was sitting at her desk at work when she decided to investigate the strange movements in her underwear.
"I put my hand down my bra and pulled out a cuddly little bat.Perhaps I should have left it there and given it a good home"That shocked me very much at the time, but it scuttled off under the desk into the dark. I was shaking from head to toe.
"It looked quite cosy and comfortable in there so it was quite rude of me to take it out.
"When I realised it was a bat the first thing that occurred to me was how did it get in there.
"I felt quite sorry for it. Perhaps I should have left it there and given it a good home.
"I did not notice anything as I put my bra on. The night before I had had one or two drinks and I was getting ready quickly.
"The bra was in my drawer but it had been on the washing line the day before.
"When I was driving to work, I felt a slight vibration but I thought it was just my mobile phone in my jacket pocket."
The bat was captured by one of her colleagues and released.
I found this on Helen Boyd’s blog en|gendered
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Bi personals site boots trans memberI just do not understand why they cannot allow trans-people on their site. “LGB” is a sexual orientation; “T” is a gender identity. I am a trans-woman and I am attracted to women. I have trans-women friends who are attracted to men, I have trans-women friends who are Bi, I have trans-men friends who are attracted to women and I have trans-men friends who are attracted to men. I just do not understand what the problem is, do they think that transsexuals are only attracted to other transsexuals?
by Ethan Jacobs
Wednesday Jul 9, 2008
UPDATED July 3 2008
When Nick Teich created a free account on the online personals site BisexualDatingNow.com last week, he decided to disclose that he is transgender. Perhaps he shouldn’t have.
"They say, tell us about yourself in your own words. And I stated, ’I’m a 25-year old trans guy living in Boston.’ ... I didn’t want to mislead anyone looking at my profile, so that’s why I put that," said Teich. Within a day he had received three "smiles," which members send to express their interest in getting to know each other.
Teich thought little of his decision until he wrote to the site’s customer service staff about a problem he was having using the site. He exchanged e-mails with a customer service representative named Kiar Dupuis, and after reading his profile Dupuis informed him that the site does not allow transgender users.
"I am sorry, as a transgender, our site would not meet your needs. I am afraid we have to remove your profile," wrote Dupuis, according to an e-mail provided to Bay Windows by Teich. His profile was deleted shortly after he received the e-mail.
Brian Brown, chief technical officer for TangoWire, confirmed that the company does not allow transgender people to create profiles on the site. When asked why identifying as transgender would exclude someone from identifying as bisexual and placing a personal ad on a bisexual dating site, Brown reiterated that TangoWire’s site does not accommodate transgender people.
"It’s that T side [in LGBT] that we have not been able to fully accommodate within our program. That is shown [by the fact] that in our registration, transgender is not one of the options we provide, and we don’t provide that as such. ... That identity is not an identity we have an ability to support," said Brown.
Brown told Bay Windows that despite TangoWire’s exclusion of transgender customers the company strongly supports the LGBT community.Oh, and that is suppose to make me feel better, that we are being discriminated against by our own community?
"The founder and CEO is gay, and we have an operations person who is gay. It’s a very liberal workforce and company as a whole," said Brown.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
In addition, I am having a problem with my former employer with my benefits. After almost a year, they changed my paperwork back to Donald. I have been emailing them back in forth for over two weeks trying to get it straighten out. I couldn’t understand what was so complicated that it was taken close to three weeks to change my name. I was starting to get really mad because the only thing I could think of was someone had a objection with me being trans. Since the only answer I was getting from them is that we are researching your case and please be patient. AGH! I offered them some suggestion to clear the problem up; I could sent them another copy of the Probate Court order changing my name, they could talk to my old boss, they can check with Social Security or I could go to the HR department here in Connecticut. They told me to contact HR, I contacted my friend in HR and she contacted the Benefits Center, well it seems it was more than just a name change problem. From what she could figure out from the mish mash that they sent her, Diana got laid off on July 11 of last year (that was the date that I sent them my name change paperwork, not June when I was laid off.) and Donald got rehired last month (when my severance ran out). So she is working to straighten out my paperwork and the only thing I really care about right now, is that I still have my health insurance coverage.
I still have an ongoing battle with some of my stocks that they do not want to just change my name, they want to transfer ownership, in other words, sell the stock to myself. Which is a no no because I would have to pay capital gains on the transaction.
Are we having fun yet…
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Who would you like to see on a new banknote (dollar bill, etc.)?
I tell you who I wouldn’t like to see on banknotes is Ronald Regan or George W.
If you were reincarnated as some other plant or animal, what would it be?
A panther, I like their black silky fur and their sleek body.
If you owned your own restaurant, what would you call it?
I am not good at coming up with catchy names so I would to with something like “Diana’s Corner Café.” A quite place where you can sit back and enjoy a coffee or tea to chat with friends or play a game of Backgammon while you listen to a folk singer. Maybe serve fancy sandwiches and desserts.
Last month I wrote about a Metroline editorial about the Stonewall Uprising and the editorial said that, “There were no drag queens there at all. It was gay human beings simply standing up for being who they were.” This month they published a reply to the outcry from the trans-community and they lambasted the trans-community. The editor DaBrow writes in this month’s editorial…
While I hope with every breath that all of you will read with an open mind and glean some new understanding, I am not a fool. I know there is a segment that will not be able to budge from their positions or opinions no matter how short sighted or closed minded they may be. And the true pity here is that this very stubbornness is exactly what we fight against on all fronts. The refusal of people to understand anything they can't, or in my opinion, don't want to understand. Neither I nor Metroline have any agenda other than furthering the cause of the community towards equality. We are not phobic about anything or anyone no matter how many self-appointed demagogues claim otherwise. But I will address that further in my article. My statement was meant to give respect and remembrance to ALL members of the community that have given so much towards what we enjoy today.
Metroline then devoted a large portion of the magazine to defending their position. In the article “That Fateful Night...” DaBrow writes, “
Specific splintered groups weren't a fraction as important then as today, according to many people I have spoken with who were there. Hence my reference to the "gay human beings simply standing up for being who they were." My statement was meant to be inclusive of everyone in the community. Nothing else. Human beings tired of the oppression which prevented them from being the individuals God meant them to be.
The statement “There were no drag queens there at all.” to me does not leave much room to argue that he meant to include the whole LGBT community, if he meant to say that he could have worded it differently. As the editor of the newspaper, he should have a good grasp of the English language and wrote something like “We were neither gay, nor lesbian, nor bisexuals nor transgender that night, but all human beings fighting for our rights”. To me his excuse sounds like the same excuse that Joe Solmonese said about his speech at Southern Comfort last year that he “misspoke.”
DaBrow then goes on and writes…
This is the wrong way to deal with any issue of difference or with another person. Jerimarie Liesegang has attacked me without attempting to fully understand what I truly meant. I am further frustrated that she has accused this magazine and all the good people involved with it of being phobic and exclusive to segments of the community. She seems oblivious to the fact that many of these very men and women over the years who have worked so diligently for the cause in this magazine were in fact some of the actual people fighting that fight in the sixties. I wonder if she can even list all of the names of people involved back then, not just selected excerpts. We can list those names because our founding staff members were there and personally knew most all of them.
As I said before I thought the same thing as her when I read the article and I know that a great number of trans-people came away from reading the article feeling the same way I did. As the Editor he shouldn't have to say what he meant, he should have written it clearly in the first place. I think that if DaBrows actually contacted Jerimarie he would be surprised with who she actually know. Did the staff members know Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, Daria Modon,
DaBrow further writes…
In my statement I was referencing that first night. And what I said was factual. The myth about flaming drag queens (NOT transvestites) antagonizing the police into a fight simply is not true. That first night was when the tempest in the teapot boiled over and everyone there took a stand. TOGETHER, as gay human beings standing up for who they were. No one who was actually there has ever been reported to have been engaged in a turf war of any kind at that time. Why do you have to do it now?
This is the account of Sylvia Rivera as told to Leslie Feinberg in the Worker’s World…
It was street gay people from the Village out front-homeless people who lived in the park in
Sheridan Squareoutside the bar-and then drag queens behind them and everybody behind us. The Stonewall Inn telephone lines were cut and they were left in the dark.
One Village Voice reporter was in the bar at that time. And according to the archives of the Village Voice, he was handed a gun from Inspector Pine and told, "We got to fight our way out of there."
This was after one Molotov cocktail was thrown and we were ramming the door of the Stonewall bar with an uprooted parking meter. So they were ready to come out shooting that night.
Finally the Tactical Police Force showed up after 45 minutes. A lot of people forget that for 45 minutes we had them trapped in there.
That is a very different account from what DaBrow’s wrote and I believe Sylvia Rivera more than DaBrow. He then goes on chastising the trans-community…
If the trans community is so outraged at being excluded from the community by Metroline or anyone, why did this organization feel a need to have a separate pride celebration? Why didn't they include themselves in a more visual manner at any of the other pride celebrations around the State with an eye towards educating a larger segment of our community?
Maybe it is because of people like DaBrow, Barney Frank and Joe Solmonese who keep on trying to marginalize the trans-community by writing us out of our history that we feel the need to speak for ourselves .
In another article by the Joshua O'Connell, called “Language Can Be Such a Drag!” he writes…
Ms. Liesegang responded: "History clearly reveals that Transgender people (Drag Queens and Transvestites in the 1969 vernacular) were visibly prominent and active in the Stonewall Rebellion and to state that 'there were no drag queens there at all' is pure Transphobia and inflammatory!"
I respect the efforts Ms. Liesegang is making to ensure equality for those who are transgendered. However, I must disagree with her assertion that the statement is transphobic.
There is a distinct difference between drag queens and transvestites. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a drag queen as "a male homosexual who dresses as a woman especially for comic or theatrical effect." They state the use of it dates back to the 1940s. This makes sense. Think back to Milton Berle and the Texaco Star Theater (if you can; at my age I've just seen reruns). He dressed in drag fairly routinely, and was very funny when he did it. It was one of the things that kept him popular for decades.
This is why I disagree with Ms. Liesegang. As Metroline's designer, I saw the article before it went to press, and I did not come away with Ms. Liesegang's interpretation. Here's what I took away from it. The people there fighting (the first night, this detail must be stressed, as it was presented in the editor's letter) were not in outrageous outfits trying to incite the police. They were, as Joe said, human beings. Transgender people should be treated the same way as a gay, lesbian, bisexual or straight person should be treated - with respect. They didn't want to be harassed by the police just because of who they were. Drag queens, coming from all parts of the community, get that respect from falling into the aforementioned categories.
I disagree with him that there were no “Drag Queens” as cited above in the interview with Sylvia Rivera. In the accounts of the Stonewall Uprising that I have read, the articles told of the drag queens congregating at the Stonewall Inn after the drag shows closed for the night.
In a fourth article in Metroline entitled, “Truth, Injustice, & the
…I have never seen such outrageous jumping to conclusions. I'm still trying to figure out how people interpreted a statement about drag queens to be anti-lesbian (I personally have never met a lesbian drag queen but if there is one out there please drop me a line at the magazine so I can interview you for an upcoming issue).
Now I fully expect that Metroline will get a whole bunch of e-mails complaining about this article but before you waste the electrons I just want to point out two things - first we have in this country a little thing called Freedom Of Speech and therefore I am entitled to express my opinion, and second before you waste your time demanding that Metroline fire me - as a freelance writer, I don't actually work for Metroline, so there.
True, but the press also has a duty to report the news without distorting the facts. By not doing so you bring down the quality and reputation of the newspaper.
Here are a couple of photos from the weekend…
The ferocious and exotic wild life...
It took us five minutes to go down the lake and forty minutes to come back because the wind calmed to a light breeze and we baked under the bright sun.
Sunset on the Forth of July...
When I got home from the cottage on Friday afternoon, I rushed over to the Forth of July party at an old high school friend’s house. I would guess that there were about fifty people there, most of whom I knew for at least twenty years. I had no problems with anyone, no one made any comments, and some stopped by to say “Hi” but I felt like a two dollar bill, not phony but out of place. Don’t get me wrong, I had a good time but it was like I was out of phase, that I was dancing to the beat to a different drum. I don’t know if I did anything that was different from the other years, I think that I behaved the same way that I did at other 4th of July parties but it just felt odd.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
I am coming home Saturday morning in order to go to a picnic, it is a special picnic for me, and it will be the first time that I have gone as Diana. I have known the husband since first grade, I was in their wedding party and I have known most of the other party attendees since the seventies. I am very nervous about attending the party.
It is one thing to meet a bunch of strangers who only know me as Diana, but it is entirely different to meet people who have knew me as Don and I think it is harder for them also. I think that it is harder for them to “Get their head around it” when for over forty years they knew me as Don and now they have to get use to calling me Diana. It is also hard for me because for some reason I feel that I have to justify myself, I know that I don’t have to prove myself but it just feels that way. It is hard to explain because of all the emotions running through me right now, it is hard to sort them out. I will let you know how it works out on Sunday.