Two Tune Tuesday: Adam Ant Turns 55

& Here are some Ants tracks you probably haven’t heard (unless you’ve known me a long, long while).

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It’s really a lot easier to understand how I turned out the way I did, what with listening to songs about BDSM and fetishes when I was 14. I think I was reading Joe Orton’s diaries around the same time.

So happy birthday, Adam Ant, however & wherever you are. Thanks for the education.

Aung San Suu Kyi

Make her viral folks: this image was created by Shepard Fairey, the same person who made that Obama image that became so important in his campaign.

The colors are so beautiful, & appropriately so.

The one thing people forget about Aung San Suu Kyi is how much a child of privilege she could have been. She was from the 1st democratic family of Burma, & could easily be living elsewhere. She could have left Buma, & more than once. Instead she’s under house arrest because she was democratically elected into office even though she has never been allowed to rule.

(via, via Andrew Sullivan)

No More Abstinence Only Funding

This morning, the House Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (Labor HHS) eliminated traditional sources of funding for abstinence-only programs by passing the appropriations bill for FY 2010.

The Labor HHS subcommittee and the Obama Administration has recognized what we already knew: abstinence-only sex education programs do not work. The evidence is irrefutable that spending for abstinence-only education is not only wasteful, but also the programs put young women’s health at risk. A 2004 study by the House Committee on Government Reform, conducted at the request of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-30-CA) found that over 80% of the curricula used in the largest federally funded abstinence-only programs contained “false, misleading, or distorted information about reproductive health.” >In addition to pulling the plug on funding for failed abstinence-only sex education programs, the bill eliminates a ban on syringe exchange programs, which have been proven to be a highly effective strategy for preventing HIV.

(via email from

Trans Salon

In today’s Salon, a nice piece about the failure of Thomas Beattie, and another about the romantic failure of Jennifer Finny Boylan.

Mara Keisling, quoted in the first piece:

Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, resents the way that the Thomas Beatie flap has overshadowed more important developments. “The media hasn’t gotten a message yet that they ought to get a life,” she snaps. Last week, Congress held its first-ever hearing on discrimination against transgender employees, and on June 17, the American Medical Association passed a resolution stating that it “supports public and private health insurance coverage for treatment of gender identity disorder,” but these items have received nowhere near Beatie’s media attention.

& Boylan, quoted in the second:

The women I knew, for their part, liked the fact that I had a feminine streak, that I seemed to be sensitive and caring, that I didn’t know the names of any NFL teams, that I could make a nice risotto. A lot of straight women love a female sensibility in a man, an enthusiasm that goes right up to, but unfortunately does not quite include, his being an actual woman.

The romances didn’t last, of course. Because, let’s face it: I was keeping the basic fact of myself camouflaged. How are you supposed to fall in love when you’re so frequently lying?

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.)

June Starts With a T

As far as I can tell, President Obama’s press release starting Pride Month is the first time the T has been mentioned as part of the gig! Back in 2000, Clinton used the “gay & lesbian” terminology.

What’s interesting to me is that this change in terminology IS a sign or progress. It can be hard doing the work, waiting for things to change, & while having the POTUS acknowldged the T may seem like small fry (say, compared to a gender-inclusive ENDA passing), but it is something.

(h/t to Josie!)

Five News Stories

Fairfax High School elected a male student Prom Queen.

Tom Ackerman, a gay man, has vowed to call his friends’ wives their girlfriends, because he’s decided his religious views don’t allow him to recognize opposite-sex marriage.

The New Scientist tells you everything you ever wanted to know about female ejaculation (& maybe a few things you didn’t want to know).

A woman named Brenda Lee got dragged bodily off of Air Force One when she tried to give President Obama a letter asking him to stand up for heterosexual marriage.

Publishers Weekly reports from the BEA that US Publishers have vowed to fight digitized piracy.

Obama’s 100 Days a la Facebook

On Slate.

Gave Him an A

Republicans are flooding this MSNBC poll and giving Obama straight Fs. Give him the grade you think he really deserves.


Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

You’ve gotta love the fact that conservatives against Obama’s tax policies have inadvertantly introduced the nation to an obscure sex act. Happy tax day everyone!

Gender Variance 280

I’m very happy to go back to teaching on Monday, & this time around, I’m teaching a class on Gender Variance which fulfills a writing requirement, to boot.

Included on the syllabus: Hirschfeld’s Theory of Intermediaries, The Member of the Wedding, “Dazzle” by Truman Capote, Venus Boyz, a couple of Halberstam chapters, Orlando, & Kiss of the Spider Woman.

I’m really looking forward to it.

Change We Can Believe In

QUESTION: “But on AIG, why did you wait — why did you wait days to come out and express that outrage? It seems like the action is coming out of New York and the attorney general’s office. It took you days to come public with Secretary Geithner and say, “Look, we’re outraged.” Why did it take so long?”

OBAMA: “It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak.”

= the best bit of Obama’s press conference tonight.

Gainesville Says No

Unofficial results from Gainesville are that the good citizens of the historic Florida town voted no to turning back the clock and getting rid of LGBTQ discrimination protections.

58% No on Amendment 1 (and 42% Yes) according to Mara Keisling of NCTE & Allyson Robinson of HRC.

Good news! Not only that, but the “keep crossdressed men out of bathrooms” schtick didn’t work. Go Equality Gainesville!

The Love

Okay, so I’m going to say it: I love Barack Obama. There are days I come home & worry about the uncertainty of my own life for the next couple of years, & then I see him and his rapidly-graying hair, & it consoles me to know that what I’ve got to deal with is nothing in comparison.

He’s a truly remarkable man. His talk tonight in CA was so reassuring. It amazes me that he has room to be funny while he’s dealing with all this bullshit we’re neck-deep in.

1 of 100 Women

Pam’s House Blend reports that Mara Keisling is one of the many women who have been invited to participate in an announcement ceremony.

Mara Keisling, for those of you who don’t know, is a lesbian-identified trans woman who is also the executive director of NCTE.

(Toldja he was trans-inclusive.)

(Thanks to Pam & Diana in CT.)

Prop 8 Goes Back to Court

Today the opposing sides face off in California State Supreme Court about Prop 8. In their corner, the detestable Ken Starr; in ours, the inimitable Shannon Minter.

My friend Megan has already sussgested the headline: Minter Blows Starr Away.

I have absolute confidence in Shannon Minter.

Laughing & Smiling

Every day I wake up & read the news & every day I smile:

Obama Pledges Restoration of US Funding for UNFPA

President Obama Signs Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Senate Approves SCHIP Expansion Bill.

It’s like a dream, really. These things that caused so much sadness and chagrin in past years, just fixed, just like that.

This Is What?

How hot is this?

You can get a year’s subscription to Ms. Magazine AND this nifty poster for $35.

The other day while writing my Blog for Choice post, I realized it was the first time I wrote one with a pro-choice president in office.

& The Global Gag Rule has already been repealed.

There is nothing sexier than a guy who is a feminist & who backs it up with legislation.

(I promise I’ll stop posting about President Obama soon. Okay, maybe not. But I’ll try not to, promise.)

Blog for Choice

Today is Blog for Choice Day. It’s been 36 years since Roe V. Wade, & while a lot of feminists are breathing easier as a result of Tuesday’s inauguration of Barack Obama as our new president, you can’t really ever stop worrying about the way they get our laws all over our (female) bodies.

In a nutshell, I’m pro-choice because

  • because this planet is too crowded
  • because abortion will always be available, but it will only be available to wealthier women if it’s illegal, which is class discrimination
  • because women deserve to decide their own lives & when & how they want to have children
  • because they never, ever report on where the father is when a teenaged girl leaves her baby on someone’s doorstep (or in a local dumpster, etc).
  • because women don’t always choose when they’re having sex, even if they’re not raped
  • because younger women, especially, may not have the self-confidence to insist on safe sex

(But it really is a huge relief to have a pro-choice president. At last.)

More Wow

It’s really incredible: watching the Obamas walk hand-in-hand (which is beautiful in & of itself) to the White House just blows my mind. I’m not sure it’s actually sunk in yet that we actually pulled this off. Damn.

& What a mess he inherited, but still it’s incredible.

Here are some of the references made today, either directly or indirectly:

  • Lowery opened with the words of what’s called the “negro national anthem” – called “lift every voice and sing” – originally written to introduce Booker T Washington.
  • tanks into tractors = swords into plowshares. Interesting choice for a wartime president.
  • the reference in the poem not just to picking cotton but to picking lettuce, which was a reference to the UFW & Cesar Chavez.
  • Feinstein mentioned the ballot or the bullet, which is Malcolm X’s most famous speech.

Anyone catch any others?