For a different perspective on the repeal of DADT, young trans activist Danielle Askini writes that she’s sad about it:
The last bastion that forced SOME poor queer youth to avoid the military has been pealed away; we too can now be exploited and brain washed by the American military machine. The fact that queers have fought so hard to be part of such an evil institution is beyond me. I feel no joy. Only sorrow for the queers who will die needlessly on the American killing fields for Capitalist profits.
…which is an opinion I share, to some degree, even if I’m also pleased to see the repeal happen.
That said, crossdressing & trans identities are still on the list of mental health disorders for the military, so if you want to avoid a draft that might come along, there you go.
There’s also an article from Vanity Fair about how DADT could provide the platform for ENDA.
NCTE has updated its travel advisories and information for trans people based on reports they’ve been getting.
A very happy Solstice to one & all. Let the light return!
Despite being up at the time of this rare lunar eclipse – as I am most nights, especially when I’m writing – I didn’t get to see it: snow clouds padded the sky. I did, however, have a lovely if cold conversation with my next door neighbor who came out to see if she could see the moon. We talked about the eagle’s return to the small island in the river near our apartment building, and about the raccoons in the garbage, and the different dives of ducks.
Something called “ice pellets” are predicted for tomorrow’s weather.
Sometimes I feel like I’ve moved to a new planet, not a new state.
This is more like a four-tune Tuesday, or a 17+ tune Tuesday, depending, but I found this lovely list of 2010’s best queer indies and thought I should share it, but I also wanted to share some cool stuff I’ve discovered this year as well. So in addition to those, here’s a preview of some tracks by one of my favorite discoveries of the year: British Sea Power. You can hear some of the tracks, but it’s the Zeus EP I’ve been loving – “Kw-h” in particular. If you like The Kills, definitely check them out, too.
Thank you, Ben Harrison, as always, for tuning me in. His band Etc. has a super(hero) track out, too.
The NYT did get around to covering the firing of that lesbian/pregnant coach in Nashville I reported last week. Here’s the part that baffles me:
Asked if having openly gay faculty and staff members could create a conflict with the university’s Christian character, Mr. Dickens said, “there could be.”
Here’s the bit I can never work out: what about the other sinners? Homosexuality is not the only sin in Christianity. Are they going to start firing people for greed or gluttony? For not attending church services? The bullshit of targeting homosexuals – and not other “sinners” – seems obvious to me, and I don’t understand why no one seems to understand that singling out one kind of sinner – amongst so many choices! – is where the discrimination becomes apparent.
From TAVA, the Transgender American Veterans’ Association:
We are proud of our democracy that Congress passed this monumental repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Even though transgender people are still going to be separated from military service, Transgender American Veterans Association salutes this passage. We who have served our nation proudly now anticipate our own progress to freedom and equality.
Monica Helms, President of TAVA said, “For 17 years the US has made their gay lesbian and bisexual service members second class citizens and caused them to have to lie about who they are and who they love. No longer will that be the case. We now turn our attention to allowing transgender people to serve openly.”
“It should be recognized that DADT has never included directives concerning Transgender people serving in the military.” Angela Brightfeather, TAVA’s Vice President stated, “Therefore, there was no call from Transgender Americans to equally serve in the military of their country, without persecution and discrimination. However, Transgender people who have and still do serve under the same pre-DADT conditions, still find it necessary to lie and hide who they are, contrary to the best traditions of the military. We now press our GLB brothers and sisters to finish the job and help provide the means for Transgender people to be able to serve their country openly and equally as do all Americans.”
Many of America’s allied nations have long since allowed open transgender service along with the service of those with alternate sexual orientation. The next frontier is for the United States is to progress to full and complete inclusion of the right to serve our nation. It is TAVA’s expectation that now that DADT has been repealed that all those involved in achieving the repeal will now turn their attention to help transgender Americans also be able serve openly.
The Senate has now voted to repeal DADT as well. It’s just Obama’s signature that’s needed now.
I seemed to have missed this news, as did my outraged friend who sent me the link (it must have been an otherwise busy news week), but did you know that the UN elected Iran to be on the Commission on Women’s Rights? What the hell?
The letter draws a dark picture of the status of women in Iran: “women lack the ability to choose their husbands, have no independent right to education after marriage, no right to divorce, no right to child custody, have no protection from violent treatment in public spaces, are restricted by quotas for women’s admission at universities, and are arrested, beaten, and imprisoned for peacefully seeking change of such laws.”
The Commission on the Status of Women is supposed to conduct review of nations that violate women’s rights, issue reports detailing their failings, and monitor their success in improving women’s equality.
You can read more about Iran’s stunning record on women’s & human rights abuses – there’s plenty more to read, believe me – but this is horrific.
I’m going to be on the Dan Savage LoveCast tomorrow at 2PM PST, talking about crossdressing & crossdressers. (Hint: that’s 4PM Appleton time & 5PM NYC time.)
Update, 2:44 PM PST: I recorded the call with Dan a few minutes ago, & from what I can tell, this podcast will go up this Tuesday, 12/21.
Correction, 3:09 PST: It’ll go up on the Savage Love website on 1/4.