This looks great.
Queens all over the country were the ones who got the crossdressing laws off the books.
This looks great.
Queens all over the country were the ones who got the crossdressing laws off the books.
And… Minnesota gives me the best 44th birthday present!
(Yes, those are two moms reading their Mother’s Day card together.)
Qween Amor was assaulted in Union Square on May 7th, 2013. The suspect is now in custody. Immediately after this video was taken, her suitcase (pictured, red) was stolen. It contained her amplifier, laptop, and all other possessions.
S/he needs help to purchase a new amplifier/boombox, so that she can continue performing & sending her message of love. Contributions can be made via paypal to: QweenAmor@gmail.com.
There have been some interesting articles turning up some interesting facts in light of Jason Collins coming out.
For starters, he wasn’t the first. Glenn Burke was:
Burke made no secret of his sexual orientation to the Dodgers front office, his teammates, or friends in either league. He also talked freely with sportswriters, though all of them ended up shaking their heads and telling him they couldn’t write that in their papers. Burke was so open about his sexuality that the Dodgers tried to talk him into participating in a sham marriage. (He wrote in his autobiography that the team offered him $75,000 to go along with the ruse.) He refused. In a bit of irony that would seem farcical if it wasn’t so tragic, one of the Dodgers who tried to talk Burke into getting “married,” was his manager, Tommy Lasorda, whose son Tom Jr. died from AIDS complications in 1991. To this day, Lasorda Sr. refuses to acknowledge his son’s homosexuality.
And then this one, about Vince Lombardi:
“My father was way ahead of his time,” Susan Lombardi said. “He was discriminated against as a dark-skinned Italian American when he was younger, when he felt he was passed up for coaching jobs that he deserved. He felt the pain of discrimination, and so he raised his family to accept everybody, no matter what color they were or whatever their sexual orientation was.
Now *there’s* an argument for why I should be a Packers fan – if there is one. (Which there isn’t. But still, this one’s better than any. No one told me the famous Packers coach was born in Brooklyn, either. He was only about 15 years older than my dad, and got his start in the NFL working for the Giants.)
I love the way one person comes out and the whole thing pretty much implodes. It’s really, really great to see this happening in professional sports.
Of course the ladies – Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova – both came out in 1981.
(Sadly, in the meanwhile, LGBTQ allies Kluwe and Ayanbadejo have been sacked. So much for the NFL.)
Okay, maybe not queer Wisconsin, but definitely LGBTQ Wisconsin, at least. There are two interesting articles out about the state of gay rights and marriage equality and non-discrimination in this state.
One is mostly about Fair Wisconsin: its history, current goals, and what kinds of policy and legislation they’ve been addressing.
The details of how Action Wisconsin, the predecessor to Fair Wisconsin, got started are sketchy, though there seems to be consensus it coincided with the election of Tammy Baldwin to the state Assembly in 1992.
The story is that the newly elected Baldwin, then the first out lesbian elected to the Assembly, was in great demand as a speaker around the state. Belanger says Baldwin would go to these speaking engagements and collect names and contact information in a spiral notebook.
“The legend is that those lists started Action Wisconsin,” says Belanger. John Kraus, spokesman for Baldwin, now a U.S. senator, confirms the story.
The second is about the change of attitude about marriage equality and gay rights in the state:
Yet Wisconsinites are now out of sync with the rest of the country.
The latest poll from Marquette University shows that 42% of Wisconsinites support full marriage equality, while 26% support civil unions and 28% oppose any legal recognition of these partnerships.
That’s a positive change from 2006, when 59.4% of voters approved a constitutional ban on marriage equality and civil unions.
Although it’s the law of the land, the constitutional ban is at odds with Wisconsin’s long tradition of tolerance, said Katie Belanger, executive director of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights group Fair Wisconsin. She noted that in 1982 Wisconsin was the first state to make sexual-orientation discrimination illegal and voters clearly supported the election of Democrat Tammy Baldwin, a lesbian, to the U.S. Senate in 2012.
“We may disagree on all of the issues of importance to the full LGBT community, but a Wisconsin value is that we treat people fairly and with respect,” Belanger said.
And people wonder why we moved here! There’s so much to do! You can donate to Fair Wisconsin to help us keep moving things forward.
A friend of mine, Jennifer Levenhagen, heard the news about Jason Collins and found herself happy – with reservations. Read on, in her own words:
A note from Queerlandia: Change is happening, but it’s not perfect, and it’s still frustrating.
In response to Jason Collins, and having dinner with my parents:
1) The Good News is that with all this talk about “gay this” and “gay that” in the media, from our President, other elected officials, etc….The word “Gay” is becoming more and more a positive or neutral word in our collective lexicon. (Hoorah!) As people increasingly include “Gay” in conversation — have conversations that INCLUDE “Gay” as a reality — it does, increasingly, become part of our collectively accepted social mores and culture.
For instance, tonight, over dinner, I heard both my parents say the word “gay” in neutral terms, regarding two different people: Jason Collins, and Daniel Hernandez, Jr.
2) Now here’s the frustrating part:
First, I am excited for the slow revolution that “Gay” is becoming more of a household word…but I am incredibly bored with our insistence on binary and our tendency to look at things mainly at surface-level. There are more people in this world than “Gay” and “Straight”. It doesn’t much matter who/what/where/when/why, but it DOES matter that we exist.
Second, is that I’ve never heard my parents say “GLBTQ”. Ever. And I identify as the Q part, which they’ve known for 13 years. My mom watches Ellen and my dad came to PFLAG, but the most they say is Silence, and headlines from the news. Perhaps it has to do with that binary I just mentioned. My parents knew from the get-go, that “I’m not straight”, and they have since heard me identify as “Queer”, as I’ve made multiple attempts at starting discussion – filling them in on my life, and offering resources for them.
Maybe it still seems too confusing. Maybe my terms have rocked their boat too permanently. “Not straight” may be too vague, and “Queer” may be too volatile.
In the end, though I was happily shocked to hear both my parents utter the word “Gay”, in a country where FINALLY there is more and more talk and consideration about “non-straight” lives…
I was still invisible at their table.
The discussion has skipped me.
I am their daughter, and I KNOW they Love me, but they discuss other people, instead of me – instead of us. I am not straight, but I am also not gay.
This is the literal table, but the same is true for the figurative.
We all have a place.
We should all be invited. We could have such an interesting conversation if we would genuinely see, listen, and be interested in each other; if we would practice this every day with every person.
Nine years later, three states had done so.
President Wilson started supporting the right in 1918.
In 1920, the US recognized suffrage for women. At that time, 9 states & 1 territory (Utah!) had given women the right to vote.
Nine years later, 10 states have done so.
President Obama started openly supporting it in 2012.
So then — when?
Today is LGBTQ Equality & Justice & Day in New York. It’s long overdue.
Back when they passed SONDA, they promised they’d come back. So tell our legislators it’s long over due: include gender identity in New York State’s non-discrimination act.
It shouldn’t be a big deal, but it is, because the machismo of professional sports keeps so many of these guys in the closet. Not anymore: Jason Collins of the Washington Wizards just came out, and I expect a lot more will follow.
Glad someone took the first leap.
Collins says he didn’t set out to be the first out gay athlete playing in a major team sport, “but since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, ‘I’m different.’ If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand.”
Interestingly, he was motivated to come out due to the Boston bombing: life is short.
Also, I love this tidy summation from Fair Wisconsin‘s Katie Belanger:
Just this week alone,
(1) France became the 17th nation in the world to recognize marriage equality,
(2) the Delaware House voted in support of the freedom to marry, sending the bill to the Senate,
(3) Nevada kicked off the process to repeal its constitutional amendment banning marriage equality, and
(4) Rhode Island is poised on the brink of becoming the tenth state in the US to extend the freedom to marry to committed gay and lesbian couples – only one more procedural vote and on to the Governor!
(5) a fully inclusive federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) was introduced in the House and the Senate. If passed into law, ENDA simply would make it illegal to discriminate in employment based on gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation.
Really, the Philadelphia City Council just passed an amazing equality bill. According to Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club the LGBT Equality Bill will:
• Make Philadelphia the largest city in the nation to end discrimination against transgender people in its employee health-care plan.
• Make Philadelphia the first city in the nation to offer a Transgender Health Tax Credit to companies that offer transgender-specific health coverage.
• Make Philadelphia the first city in the nation to offer a Life Partner Health Care Tax Credit to companies whose employee health plans treat life partners and their children equal to heterosexual families.
• Clarify that life partners of city employees have authority equal to heterosexual spouses for hospital visitation and medical decision making, and access equal to heterosexual spouses for pension, retirement and survivor benefits.
• Protect the rights of workers to dress and groom consistent with their gender identity.
• Require that individuals be permitted use of restrooms in accordance with their gender identity.
• Require city buildings to provide gender-neutral restrooms.
• Make it easier for transgender Philadelphians to update their name and gender on city documents.
This is very exciting stuff, a whole new plateau the rest of us have to catch up to.
New Zealand has made same sex marriage legal. They’re the 13th country in the world to do so. & Guess what? The US isn’t one of them.
(I can’t quite sort if they are the 13th or 14th. Seeing conflicting #s from good sources, so here’s a list.)
Or, as one Nadia from Brooklyn put it, “Do I really have to sign a petition telling women not to participate in an event that discriminates against women?”
C’mon, MWMF. Get on the right side of history already. You’re better than this.
And in the meantime, ENDA is being reviewed again with hopes of it being re-introduced.
In all seriousness, this is why I went to the GLAAD Media Awards this year: their president announced that they will no longer use the actual words of the acronym because it doesn’t represent all the groups they are working for. They are just GLAAD now – the LGBT media advocacy organization.
And can I just repeat for the 8 millionth time that I love Janet Mock? Mel Wymore was on the Melissa Harris Perry show, too, when they made this announcement, and I was happy to get to meet him that night as well – he’s the guy who is running for City Council on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in a hotly contested race.
Mostly, though, I have watched as GLAAD became more hip to trans issues over the past few years, and I’ve been happy to see it. So congrats to them and their name change, of course. And a word of advice? Trans community politics change fast, so keep up.
I was lucky enough to meet Zach Wahls at a recent fundraiser and awards gala for Fair Wisconsin. He gave such an amazing talk and was such a cool guy that I couldn’t help but ask him a few things.
(And how can you not love the adorable cover of his book? It’s good, too. )
1) You are sometimes referred to as an “ally” of the larger LGBTQ communities but I don’t think you see yourself that way. Can you talk a little about what it means for you to be called an ally as opposed to being a community member?
I’m most often referred to as a “straight ally” by both the public and members of the LGBTQ community. And that’s usually fine, I don’t correct people or feel that it’s necessary for me to do so. But personally, I don’t feel as though I’m truly an “ally” because, in my mind, I’m a member of the LGBTQ community even though I’m not, personally, LGBTQ-identified. I know that the last thing any of us want to do is add another letter to the acronym, but the reality is that I do feel as though I’m a member of the community. Like LGBTQ people, I was born into this community. Like LGBTQ people, I have felt the shame and humiliation of being in the closet. Like LGBTQ people, I am regularly stigmatized by those who oppose LGBTQ rights as inferior, defective and sinful. The parallels are not perfect, of course, but as a community, we need to figure out a way to create spaces and community for those of us who have grown up with queer parents. So, to be clear, it’s not that I’m LGBTQ-identified, but that I feel the LGBTQ community includes its children, and that, to the extent that that’s true, kids like me are a part of the community. More
So you can take a quiz about LGBT issues to find out what state you should live in. I took it, and said Yes to all of them, and rated them all a 5, or “Very Important”.
And here’s what’s interesting. When it came to where I should live based on my beliefs, the Top 5 goes like this:
So first off, I love that Iowa’s on there, because no other midwestern state shows up until #9 (Illinois) but then not again until #20, which is … Wisconsin.
And believe me, this state’s laws are nothing near what I believe should be the case – we’ve got a super DOMA in place, after all – so there must be a huge drop-off somewhere.
Please let the SCUS come through. Pretty please.
Kate Bornstein is fighting cancer. Help her kick its ass by donating something to help her pay her bills and for her treatment.
I can say for one thing: I don’t know that I’d be around without her. Please let’s keep her alive. She blew the roof off this trans thing for so many of us; she continues to do amazing work year in and year out, and her heart is about as big as they come. I know that every time I see her, or talk with her, I have a renewed sense of my own dedication to this movement.
So give until it hurts. Masochist that she is, she’ll love that.