TLDEF: Queens (Trans) Woman Beaten in Bias Crime


We’re sad to bring you the news of another brutal attack on a transgender woman, this one coming during the height of LGBT Pride month. On June 19, 2009, at approximately 2:30 am, Leslie Mora was walking home from a nightclub on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens when she was accosted by two men who brutally beat her with a belt. They stopped only when a passing motorist threatened to call the police.

Throughout the attack, Leslie’s assailants called her a “faggot” in Spanish. The attack left Leslie with multiple injuries, including bruises all over her body, and stitches in her scalp. Police called to the scene found Leslie nearly naked and bleeding on the sidewalk. They also recovered a belt buckle from the assailants that was covered in blood.

We want you to know that we’re working with Leslie to ensure that the perpetrators of this attack are brought to justice.

The full story, along with other resources, photos of Leslie Mora, at TLDEF’s site.

New Hero: Biologist Matt Aresco

CNN did a condescending story about the turtles being saved in Tallahassee a little while back; the newscaster (Abbie Boudreau, I think) who delivered the story was obnoxious, unsympathetic, & completely failed to present the benefits of the project in anything resembling objectivity. Yes, she pissed me off.

But today The Washington Post did a much better job covering the story & the project.

The one question no one has asked: why did we need the road to be right there? Couldn’t we have gone around the lake altogether? Or over it? We are such arrogant bastards, assuming that what we need is the most important thing. Turtles do not interfere in our lives, but our lives end turtles’ lives on a regular basis. I saw a turtle that had been run over on a lake road near Appleton last week, and honestly there is nothing sadder: it’s not like the turtle’s got a fighting change, being the slow, lovely critters they are.

Does anyone else ever look at all the cars on the 8-lane highways we have these days and just wonder, where the hell do we think we’re going? Because we don’t seem to be getting anywhere much. One stretch of road is much like the next; one town is much the same as the next. I feel a little better knowing I use mass transit here in NYC and walk to work in Appleton, but how do you animal lovers otherwise justify driving around in your cars knowing that what you’re doing contributes to x number of violent animal deaths a year? Maybe I’m getting old, but I just can’t handle it.

You can assuage your guilt by donating to the Lake Jackson Ecopassage Project. This guy, Matt Aresco, has his priorities in order.

Shame on Law & Order: CI

(spoiler alert for tonight’s episode)

Continue reading “Shame on Law & Order: CI”

Iran’s Revolutionary Women

Roger Cohen followed up his column mentioning the women of Iran with a column about them entirely:

A friend told me he no longer recognizes his wife. She’d been of the reluctantly acquiescent school. Now, “She’s a revolutionary.” I followed as she led us up onto the roof. The “death to the dictator” that surged from her into the night was of rare ferocity.

Very much worth reading – go check it out.

Pride Month: Honoring Emma Goldman

Emma Goldman has always been one of my heroes, and that’s despite the fact that she never quite said that famous quote attributed to her about dancing & revolution. Or rather, she didn’t say the t-shirt version. What she said was:

“At the dances I was one of the most untiring and gayest. One evening a cousin of Sasha, a young boy, took me aside. With a grave face, as if he were about to announce the death of a dear comrade, he whispered to me that it did not behoove an agitator to dance. Certainly not with such reckless abandon, anyway. It was undignified for one who was on the way to become a force in the anarchist movement. My frivolity would only hurt the Cause. I grew furious at the impudent interference of the boy. I told him to mind his own business. I was tired of having the Cause constantly thrown into my face. I did not believe that a Cause which stood for a beautiful ideal, for anarchism, for release and freedom from convention and prejudice, should demand the denial of life and joy. I insisted that our Cause could not expect me to become a nun and that the movement would not be turned into a cloister. If it meant that, I did not want it. “I want freedom, the right to self-expression, everybody’s right to beautiful, radiant things.” Anarchism meant that to me, and I would live it in spite of the whole world — prisons, persecution, everything. Yes, even in spite of the condemnation of my own closest comrades I would live my beautiful ideal.”

Which doesn’t fit on a t-shirt as readily as “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” (If anyone can make a t-shirt out of what she actually said, I want one!)

It’s from her memoir Living My Life, Pt. 1, page 56. Definitely a book worth reading, and you can read it online, for free, at the Anarchist Archives.

She was, as many know, a pro-choice, family planning advocate (for which she was arrested several times) but what a lot of people don’t know is that she disagreed with the majority of leftist contemporaries in her outspoken support for LGBT people way back when. (She was also a free love advocate, which we might call poly these days.)

Appleton > Brooklyn

In the next two days, we’ll be driving back to Brooklyn, so I may not post here much.

Colbert Report’s “Stonewalling”

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word – Stonewalling
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Mark Sanford

(I got myself in trouble a long time ago for writing a short story about a lesbian teenager who went to her first support meeting at The Gay Center & who found her voice silenced by the voices of the young men around her. I called it “Stonwalled” and my gay but closeted writing professor was not happy with me about it.)

(h/t to Lena Dahlstrom)

MJ, Again

& Then there is the issue of whether Michael Jackson was trans or not. I don’t think it’s anything we can know, but it wouldn’t have surprised me, or Betty, if he had announced a transition at some point.


It’s a lot of death in a week: first Ed McMahon, who we knew was ailing; then Farrah Fawcett, who was fighting her illness with bravery and in the spotlight, and then Michael Jackson – who was always ailing, invisibly.

Maybe it’s unexpected that I should admit I liked Farrah Fawcett, pinup as she as for the dumb blonde, but I was a tomboy in the 70s, and Charlie’s Angels were fantastic. They really were, in those crazy velour shorts and flippy hair. But I had the trading cards, and I remained a fan even through the Cheryl Tiegs season(s?). I became a fan of Fawcett’s when I saw her in Extremities and in Between Two Women – both of them, believe it or not, cementing what I would articulate as my first feminist awareness.

But Michael Jackson’s death is unreal, much like his life was. Keith Olbermann used the word “human” a lot tonight in talking about Jackson’s death, which is something we all need to be reminded of. He was a person, a broken, fucked-up soul, maybe wrong and bad in criminal ways, maybe just broken and sad. We don’t really know, and won’t really know, I don’t think.

As someone who loves to dance, though, there is no denying his talent: Off the Wall is a perfect gem of pop music, and it dances from track to track. I have it on vinyl from way back when – the secret perfect dance music of a punk rock child. I was a little surprised tonight to remember exactly how many “world premieres” of his videos I saw – “Thriller” I remember, as many Gen Xers do, but also “Bad” and even “Remember the Time,” which is a hokey but perfect little romantic song. It’s impossible to deny a man’s talent who was – despite your best efforts – a major soundtrack of your life. His music had something so perfectly immediate about it; I remember where I watched all of those world premieres, and I remember the first time I saw, and held, a copy of Off the Wall, and the party I was at the first time I heard the tracks on Thriller.

It’s hard to explain to younger people than me that MTV never ever showed videos by black artists before MJ (and that hip hop had its own special show in the late 80s, because hip hop was just too *whatever* to mix with the rest of what they played). & You can’t hate a man who obviously took notes on every move James Brown ever made & every sound he could make.

So goodbye to Ed, to Farrah, and to Michael. As the duo Yazoo once put it, a little early, Goodbye Seventies, too.

Latin LGBT Bloggers

They certainly don’t get enough credit, in general, but here are’s “7 GLBT Bloggers to Watch” – including Charlie Vázquez (who I read with for the Queer + Catholic readings last year).

How can you not read someone who calls herself a Post Pomo Nuyorican Homo?

(via Audacia Ray)

Korean FTM Documentary

It’s the 1st Korean film about the FTM experience, & it’s called 3xFTM. Here for more details.

(h/t to Matty)

ENDA on the Move

ENDA is being introduced tomorrow in the House! Our next step is to call our Representatives and ask them to cosponsor of ENDA.  Below is a script to use. It is essential that we flood their lines to let them know how many of their constituents support ENDA! Once you’ve called, let United ENDA know what the staffer said by emailing Then ask all of your friends and family to call their Representative too.

Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and have them connect you to your Representative (based on your zip code). Tell them:

I am a constituent and I would like you to please tell Representative _______ that I would like him/her to become a cosponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. ENDA would ban discrimination against all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the workplace. Can you tell me whether or not Representative _______  has cosponsored  the bill?

Just go ahead & do it. Find your House Rep at (On the upper left side, put in your zip.)

Spelling is Hard

“English Only” advocates at their own conference standing under a banner where the word “conference” is spelled wrong.

Maybe that explains why they’re so adamant: they need to master their first language, first.

(via Think Progress and The Atlantic, & thanks to Betty)

Not Atypical Father

My friend Willow directed me to this narrative written by a woman on Father’s Day. I’ve heard too many similar stories for one lifetime.

It made me think of that line uttered by Dmitri Karamazov: “There are fathers and there are beasts who only sire you.” That’s probably a paraphrase from the novel, but it’s a direct quote from the film version (in which Dmitri is played by Yul Brynner. Really.)

NYPD Stonewall Documents Now Online

Wow: Jonanthan Ned Katz & David Carter filed an FOI (Freedom of Information Act) to get NYPD documents for the days of the Stonewall uprising, and has put those documents up at The New York Times has done a great article about those documents. They’ve also posted photos taken on the last day of the uprising.

This is very cool stuff. Get your queer history geek on, & go see the police documents & the photos.

Triple Threat

Not only is it Father’s Day, but it’s the Solsitice and my friend Lara’s birthday!  At least here in Appleton, Wisconsin, the weather is great for celebrating any and all of these.

So happy father’s day to the dads out there (male female or otherwise), and a peaceful Solstice, too.

Women in Iran

I also know that Iran’s women stand in the vanguard. For days now, I’ve seen them urging less courageous men on. I’ve seen them get beaten and return to the fray. “Why are you sitting there?” one shouted at a couple of men perched on the sidewalk on Saturday. “Get up! Get up!”

Another green-eyed woman, Mahin, aged 52, staggered into an alley clutching her face and in tears. Then, against the urging of those around her, she limped back into the crowd moving west toward Freedom Square. Cries of “Death to the dictator!” and “We want liberty!” accompanied her.

From Roger Cohen’s Op-Ed in the NYT (which is worth reading in its entirety), & via Andrew Sullivan. If you haven’t seen the photo of the woman who is becoming the trigger point for this revolution, you can see it on Sullivan’s blog. But I’m warning you, it’s hard to see. She died on the street.

I hope the Burmese can see what’s going on, I really do, just so they know they aren’t alone. June 19th was Aung Sun Suu Kyi’s 64th birthday, which she spent in jail. Their next elections are in 2010.

With Them.

There are so many articles about the protests in Iran, but in a sense, this photo says it all for me. (Image from the TimesOnline.)

Pixar’s UP

Pixar shows the world how it’s done:

Colby Curtin, a 10-year-old girl suffering from terminal vascular cancer, told her mom that she wanted to live to see Pixar’s Up. But before she could visit the theater, her condition became too unstable for her to be moved. Colby’s family called Pixar, guessed a name of an employee to break through the automated operator and explained the situation to the first person they reached. A Pixar employee flew out immediately with a DVD, toys and posters in hand.

What a story, no?

Cartrouble Oh Yeah

No kidding, we bought a car. I don’t even drive, which makes it kind of hysterical, but we were tired of spending a buttload moving back here & returning to NYC, & it had grown increasingly difficult to live here without one. Since Betty is moving here next year to live with me – so that our whole family can be together! – neither of us could imagine a year asking friends to take us to buy groceries.

So, a car. A Honda Fit Sport in bluish purplish black, for those who need to know. It’s a stick, which means I’ll be learning to drive x2.

(The post title is from an Adam & the Ants song, which I’ve been humming under my breath for a few weeks no.)