First a letter from one RenaRF to the President which was also posted on Daily Kos. It sums up how I’m feeling, too.
RenaRF also provided a list of organizations that are focusing their efforts on the Gulf.
Also, here’s a good article on the funding issue, & why the region wasn’t prepared.
& Another one that appeared in Salon
There is *no reason* that in this country, with our resources and technology, the poor folks of the South were left to evacuate by their own means, except for the short fall of empathy.
And God bless that man who had to let go of his wife’s hand.

Five Questions With… Rosalyne Blumenstein

Rosalyne Blumenstein is the formerRosalyne Blumenstein directer of the Gender Identity Project at the GLBT Center in Manhattan, and is the author of Branded T.
1. You emphasize the non-inclusion of bisexual and transpeople in your book Branded T by writing it “GLbt.” Do you think this still holds true – are bisexuals and Ts still left out of the majority of “gay activism”?
I currently live in LA. In June they have their Pride Weekend. It is called Gay Pride, need I say more? …Well I will anyway.
I think we have gone backwards just like the larger system. I believe there to be a parallel process going on with the way in which government is running things and the way in which our social movements are following. Here’s the deal and my swing on it. (Not that I know anything… opinions are like assholes – everyone has one, well mostly everyone has one).
Again this is only my opinion.
I believe everyone should be able to live they way they want, experience some semblance of freedom, love, be loved, feel fulfilled, dream, and be on a journey. However, within the gay agenda it is all about mimicking a Christian heterosexist mentality. Mind you, take this apart there is nothing wrong with Christian…having a certain belief system and having faith which is grand and extremely helpful in life…
And as far as Heterosexuality is concerned, there is nothing wrong with someone who identifies as male loving someone who identifies as female. I for one would love to be in another relationship with a man. Right now I would love to be in a relationship with someone breathing let alone what damn gender they identify as.
But from my understanding of a sexual minority movement it‘s about many different kinds of loves, not just the sanctity of marriage. It’s about not buying into just the white picket fence and the 2.3 kids.
So the Gay Agenda has become about wanting the same things everybody else wants which is not a bad thing but is not the voice of the whole queer movement. In fact most voices that are silenced within the movement are those

  • that are either getting their ass kicked on the streets because they don’t blend
  • or those with little power within the political system
  • or those that care less about identity politics, they just want to be, live, have great sex, explore, be.

So the gay agenda doesn’t give voice to all concerned. Well maybe these groupings get some quality TV time during Pride since that is what media wants to show and that is what the larger gay movement does want to be viewed as. I think it is all about oppression and many times the oppressed (gay community) become the oppressors (the rest of us that don’t identify as gay).
So in answer to your question my dear I think B and T folk within the gay movement have the opportunity to participate within the movement but in the larger scheme of things and what is portrayed to the Universe is Gay= LGBT.
Continue reading “Five Questions With… Rosalyne Blumenstein”

So Sorry

The more coverage we see of Katrina, the more our hearts go out to the folks down south who are going through this.
My guess is that Southern Decadence is cancelled, but I haven’t heard/seen anything official about that.

Two Year Anniversary

Hey folks! Today is the 2nd Anniversary of my blog, and I wanted to take a minute to thank you all for reading, for recommending the site to others, and for linking from your own.
It means a lot to me.

New Orleans

I hope that hurricane moves on, and quickly. NOLA is one of my all-time favorite cities. Laissez les levies tenez!

Artist Matt Rinard, who owns a business in the French Quarter, holed up on the fifth floor of a Canal Street hotel and watched the storm roll in.
He said pieces of sheet metal and plywood, billboards and pieces of palm trees flew down Canal, which borders the Quarter, as huge gusts of wind blew through the city.
“It’s blustery. You can see the speed of it now, it’s unbelievable,” he said. “The power went out about an hour and a half ago and so now I’m just watching the occasional dumbass walking down Canal Street.”

The Aggressives

Betty and I got to see a documentary called The Aggressives on Friday night at BAM, which is screening a weekend of the best of NewFest.
“Aggressive” is the term used by women of color, much like the way “butch” is used to describe some lesbian women. (In fact, the only thing the film didn’t do which I would have liked is mention the use of the word, how it came about, how it’s different or perceived as different than butch by the women who use it to describe themselves.) Effectively “aggressive” describes women who are more masculine in both appearance, physique, and attitude. Some of them identify as trans, yet many were also very clear about the fact that they are women and lesbians.
The film told the stories of five different aggressive women over a five-year period. One was Korean, the others of African-American descent. There were interviews with some of their mothers (one of whom seemed hell-bent on insisting her daughter was going through “a phase”); they talked about who they liked to date (lesbians for the most part, though one also dated transwomen, and got fed up with dating them by the film’s end, and wanted a “real girl” for a girlfriend instead); how they experienced their identities, and what it was about them that was masculine, and how they made it work.
Tiffany talked about how, in school, one teacher in particular would ask her nearly every day if she was a boy or a girl, and after Tiffany stated she was a girl, the teacher would continue to say things like, “Tiffany is a funny name for a boy.” Another’s presence in the women’s showers in the military inspired all the women to cover up until she left the room. With the exception of one, most of these women “passed” as male and in most social situations were assumed to be male – and didn’t correct people necessarily – unless it came to “the ladies,” i.e. the women they dated.
Aside from shining a light on a population that’s rarely discussed or even known, the film was moving for both me and Betty. For Betty, of course, because she understood the issues of passing even when you don’t mean to, the sense of being differently gendered. For me, it was difficult to watch sometimes, because my own relationship with my own masculinity still touches on places of pain and rejection. And yet the film was really inspiring – from very young ages, these women talked about realizing they were lesbian and aggressive, and finding the courage to be who they were. (One had a child from the days where she was trying to prove to herself that she was het, so the self-acceptance didn’t come easy, necessarily.) For the most part, they all had difficult lives in terms of family, economics; more than one was abandoned by one parent or the other at a young age, either through departure of the parent or death. Some sold drugs; one was a fashion model and messenger; another went into the military; another came to work in construction – the only female person at her job. I think they all used the phrase “wearing the pants” at one point or another.
What impressed me the most was how their lives – invisible but for this documentary – contained not just the usual problems faced by those gender variant and GLBT, but that they did so along with discrimination, little to no education or opportunity, and uncertain family relationships. Most seemed to find a real home in lesbian spaces and in drag ball culture, instead.
I did talk with the director, Daniel Peddle, afterwards, who said there is a plan to release the film on VHS or DVD; if and when I can get hold of a copy I’ll be happy to make it a “loaner” for people interested in seeing it. If you can find a screening in your area, do go see it.


Thanks so much to all of you who came to the SRLP fundraiser tonight! I’m always especially pleased when there are so many trans-couples who come.
Hopefully I didn’t suck, or if I did, my neckline was an interesting distraction.
But more hopefully, SRLP got a nice influx of funds from the event. Special thanks to Cynthia for organizing the event and rounding up the talent.