Category: news

‘Gabo’ Flies Away on a White Sheet While Hanging Laundry

Posted by – April 17, 2014

Gabriel Garcia Marquez died and left us with an outstanding legacy of beauty and politics.

Dunn Verdict

Posted by – February 15, 2014

Holy crap, you have got to be kidding me.

Some days I really do want to believe we might make progress on racism in the US. Not today, apparently.

If I Had a Hammer…

Posted by – January 29, 2014

… I’d want to use it just like Pete Seeger used his. In response to questions from HUAC (The House Unamerican Activities Committee), he said this:

“I decline to discuss, under compulsion, where I have sung, and who has sung my songs, and who else has sung with me, and the people I have known. I love my country very dearly, and I greatly resent this implication that some of the places that I have sung and some of the people that I have known, and some of my opinions, whether they are religious or philosophical, or I might be a vegetarian, make me any less of an American. I will tell you about my songs, but I am not interested in telling you who wrote them, and I will tell you about my songs, and I am not interested in who listened to them.”

He didn’t even plead the 5th, which he had the legal right to do and which many did.

I’ve never been a fan of folk music – I’m just not. But I’m awed and inspired by the lives of some of the remarkable men and women like Seeger who didn’t just sing about it – they lived it.

Turing Officially Pardoned

Posted by – December 24, 2013

Well that’s overdue, but Merry Christmas Eve! Queen Elizabeth has finally officially pardoned Alan Turing. He was convicted of being a homosexual despite his amazing work breaking the Enigma Code during WWII.

 

4 Indicted in Steubenville For Attempted Cover-Up

Posted by – November 25, 2013

Some good news:

Now, , Steubenville City Schools Superintendent Michael McVey has been “charged with tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice and falsification.” Also charged: elementary school principal Lynette Gorman, for alleged failure to report child abuse; wrestling coach Seth Fluharty, for alleged failure to report child abuse; and volunteer football coach Matthew Bellardine, “who faces charges allowing underage drinking, obstructing official business, falsification, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.”

Wow. Actual people being held accountable. What a breath of fresh air.

Some Justice in Ohio

Posted by – November 10, 2013

A jury put Cemia “Ce Ce” Dove’s murderer in prison for 15 years. (In previous articles she was referred to as Cemia or CiCi Acoff and/or Dove.)

(The article isn’t great on the pronouns – but justice, at least.)

Renisha McBride

Posted by – November 7, 2013

So what the fuck is going on in this country? A woman’s car dies so she stops in a suburb (of Detroit) and knocks on a door for help and is shot in the back of the head when she turned to leave.

Her body is found nearby, except nope, it wasn’t, it was found on the front steps of this house.

I’m assuming I don’t have to tell you the suburb was white & the woman was black.

Horrifying, sickening, frustrating, and saddening. I’m tired of these stories, tired of people resolving everything with guns and violence.

& Ugh, her poor family.

 

 

This New Pope

Posted by – September 19, 2013

I’m liking him more & more every time he speaks or does an interview.

Pope Francis, in the first extensive interview of his six-month-old papacy, said that the Roman Catholic Church had grown “obsessed” with preaching about abortion, gay marriage and contraception, and that he has chosen not to speak of those issues despite recriminations from some critics.
An Interview with Pope Francis

In remarkably blunt language, Francis sought to set a new tone for the church, saying it should be a “home for all” and not a “small chapel” focused on doctrine, orthodoxy and a limited agenda of moral teachings.

And that’s after he was asked about gay priests and said “Who am I to judge?” Kind of mind-blowing, and a welcome change.

NYC Editorial Board Calls for Manning’s Humane Treatment

Posted by – August 28, 2013

This is what I call a Big Fucking Deal: The NYT Editorial Board wrote a piece calling for medical transition care for Private Manning and for other trans prisoners like her, making the important point too that her housing should be safe but not isolated due to the heightened risk of sexual assault in prison for trans people.It begins:

When Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Pfc. Bradley Manning, declared that she wanted to live as a woman, the Army’s response was callous and out of step with medical protocol, stated policies for transgender people in civilian federal prisons and existing court rulings.

and then ends:

Private Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, said last week that he hoped military prison officials would voluntarily provide hormone treatment, without a lawsuit. It should not take a court order to get officials — including Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel — to do the right thing. They should give Private Manning appropriate medical care and safe but not unduly isolated housing, which should be available for all transgender prisoners.

What is most remarkable to me is that I read and edited a draft by trans activist Danielle Askini of Seattle’s Gender Justice League which will run in tomorrow’s Seattle Times – and its ask and major points are essentially the same as the Times’ letter.

Very, very exciting stuff.

 

Chelsea (nee Bradley) Manning: Being Trans and in Prison

Posted by – August 22, 2013

As many of you know, a photo of the person we know as Bradley Manning presenting as female was released by the Army before she was sentenced. As you also probably know, Manning is to serve 35 years for leaking information. She has now stated that she would like to be known as Chelsea Manning.

What you may not know is how unlikely it is that she will get anything but psychiatric treatment around the trans issues, despite her now stated desire to start receiving hormone treatments:

Ft. Leavenworth spokeswoman Kimberly Lewis told Courthouse News that treatment for transgender inmates does not extend beyond psychiatric care.

“All inmates are considered soldiers and are treated as such with access to mental health professionals, including a psychiatrist, psychologist, social workers and behavioral science noncommissioned officers with experience in addressing the needs of military personnel in pre- and post-trial confinement,” Lewis said in an email. “The Army does not provide hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery for gender identity disorder.”

A growing number of federal judges have ruled that rejecting such treatment for transgender prisoners constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

Indeed, the jurisdiction of the Maryland courtroom where the WikiLeaks source has been tried is subject to a 4th Circuit decision from Jan. 28 this year guaranteeing the possibility of sex-reassignment surgery for all federal inmates in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and North and South Carolina.

The Chicago-based 7th Circuit ruled similarly in 2011, striking down a Wisconsin law banning such medical care. A Boston federal judge granted surgery to a convicted wife-killer last year, and the 1st Circuit is currently mulling that decision on appeal.

Manning, however, is being held in a military prison in Ft. Leavenworth, out of reach for all of these jurisdictions.

It’s too bad she didn’t come out as trans while in the US military long before any of this ever happens, as she would have been dishonorably discharged for it. The repeal of DADT didn’t cover trans people, only gays and lesbians. Still, I’m thankful for what she did & stand with many others in asking President Obama to pardon her.

 

SCOTUS: DOMA Sucks and So Does Prop 8

Posted by – June 26, 2013

Which many of us knew already, but which the SCOTUS has now, finally, ruled on.

So DOMA is no longer Constitutional – equal protection and all that – and the previous ruling that Prop 8 was unconstitutional has been upheld, too.

It’s a good day to be same sex married.

Even for those of us who are same sex married with hetero privilege – we got married when she was still a boy one – it’s a huge relief. It’s not just about the law – it’s about the message: our marriage is equal.

(The rest of us who live in suck states with DOMAs or superDOMAs in the state constitutions have to move next. That includes Wisconsin.)

Coy Mathis Wins

Posted by – June 24, 2013

At long last, great news: Coy Mathis was being discriminated against when her school stopped allowing her to use the girls’ room as she had been all along.

According to TLDEF:

This is the first ruling in the nation holding that transgender students must be allowed to use bathrooms that match who they are, and the most comprehensive ruling ever supporting the rights of transgender people to access bathrooms without harassment or discrimination.

Great, GREAT news.

Allyson Robinson Fired from OutServe

Posted by – June 23, 2013

A mere nine months into her position, Allyson Robinson was forced to step down as a result of what Bilerico is calling a “board coup”. There does seem to be evidence of board manipulation, but more than anything is the evidence that quite a few other board members – now a third of the board – have resigned in protest.

Because trans military were not included in DADT, and the US military still doesn’t accept openly service trans people, Robinson’s leadership was necessary. We in the trans community will keep watching this closely to see what happened, and where the organization – and the political mission of trans inclusion in the US military – will go from here.

Allyson is both a friend and colleague, and I have no doubt she will go on to do even more amazing things than she has already.

Leslie Feinberg in Hospice

Posted by – June 11, 2013

Oh, this sad news. Please do make sure you read the requests Leslie Feinberg has made about how to send well wishes and respect them.

I want to be the one to tell you that I am failing to thrive very rapidly, and a local hospice expert is working to set up care in our home.

In the meantime, messages of personal support are welcome, but I can’t respond. I can’t do interviews or videos.
Please no commercial inquiries of any kind.

Minnie Bruce and I welcome your messages of support at: minniebrucepratt@yahoo.com

Please do not send these messages to our other e-mail accounts!
And—please do not ask for details or send medical advice.

. . .

While it might not be realistic or possible, I have a fierce determination to get out in the streets with you all at the Central New York Pride March this Saturday, June 15.

We love you, Leslie, for all you have done and for who you are.

ABC News Anchor Transitions: Dawn Ennis

Posted by – May 11, 2013

ABC News Editor Don ‘Dawn’ Ennis Comes Out As Transgender

In a lot of ways, not an atypical mid-life transition, and I wish her well.

She says:

Ennis has not yet undergone a sex change operation, but says her marriage is “wrecked.”

“Despite the heartbreak, [my wife] has encouraged me to start this new life that we both believe better fits who I now am,” Ennis continued. “Trust me, this is NOT the midlife crisis I was counting on — I’d much prefer to have bought a sports car. Even an affair, I think, would have been something we might have recovered from.”

So, yeah. That’s all true.

Love to Boston

Posted by – April 15, 2013

Two Explosions Rock Boston Marathon Finish Line; At Least 2 Dead, 23 Injured: how terrifically sad and confusing and horrible.

You can find people or report information about people at this Google People Finder.

Worrisome Precedent: Chris Wilson Sentenced

Posted by – April 10, 2013

So this is worrying: a man in the UK has just been convicted of fraud for not telling a woman he was having sex with that he was trans: Three years probation and 240 days of community service for non-disclosure with an intimate partner. Unbelievable.

And while he did also say he was 16 in order to have sex with a 15 year old – when in fact he is 22 but looks younger, as trans men often do – that is not the offense he was charged with. I don’t think anyone in the trans community would be upset if that were the case. But no, his charge was “obtaining sexual intimacy by fraud”:

Setting the sentence, judge Lord Bannatyne said he recognized Wilson did not ‘dress’ as a man in order to commit offences, but always dressed that way.

Lord Bannatyne also said Wilson never set out to deliberately harm his ‘victims’ and he would review whether Wilson had broken the terms of his probation order in April 2014.

He added: ‘These are very unusual offences. I have accepted that you genuinely feel that you are male rather than female.

‘I believe this obviously significantly reduces your culpability. I believe that this can be dealt with by the imposition of a probation order.’

That is, he didn’t get put on a list of sex offenders for life, but only for 3 years due to these “unusual offences”.

Imagine if we convicted people who didn’t admit that they were married before sex. Or if they said they had more money than they did, or a different job. Imagine.

But with trans people, the culture of discrimination allows for this prejudiced and bullshit treatment.

In the meantime: what is the punishment for an adult who lies to a minor in order to have sex? To me that’s both fraud and statutory rape, right? But I don’t know what the laws are in the UK, so someone, please fill me in.

French Senate Says Yes

Posted by – April 9, 2013

179 – 157!

RIP Margaret Thatcher

Posted by – April 8, 2013

… and here are a bunch of songs expressing similar sentiments.

Habemus Papam

Posted by – March 13, 2013

It’s really too bad I didn’t put money on it, because I was right,: homophobic from the Global South, as predicted.

He sounds like poverty might actually rate, however, which would be a nice change of pace for the Church, to rediscover poor people again, and maybe focus on that instead of on so-called morality. (So called as morality only seems to matter if people are female or queer; sexual abuse & all that rot they never say a damn thing about.) He is flexible on condoms as contraception – if they’re being used to prevent infection, and hey, he’s a Jesuit, but on the conservative end of Jesuit, which means: expect anything once he’s learned more.