Not Mine

I just found out that my publishers missed the deadline to nominate my book She’s Not the Man I Married for a Lambda Literary Award. Considering that it’s probably the only award that has a Transgender category at all, I’m – well, beyond words about how shitty this is.

It’s like the last kick in the ass from 2007 arriving a little late.

But congrats to all my friends & fellow writers on the list: Reid Vanderburgh, Eli Clare, Julia Serano, Mattilda, Virginia Ramey Mollenkott. May the best person win.

Humorless Feminist

Like everyone, people frequently forward me dumb jokes that someone has forwarded to them, & on & on.
And often I’m offended by jokes that other people laugh at.
There’s this one, say:

A woman from North Dakota and another from the East coast were seated side by side on an airplane. The woman from North Dakota, being friendly and all, said: “So, where are you from?” The East coast woman said, “From a place where they know better than to use a preposition at the end of a sentence.” The woman from North Dakota sat quietly for a few moments and then replied: “So, where are you from, bitch?”

I understand that the joke is based on the woman’s rudeness, but I’m also tired of jokes about East Coast women, and educated women, etc. They tire me. I’m an educated East Coast woman, you know?
Don’t get me started on blonde jokes.
But what amazes me is that someone would actually send me these jokes. Not a stranger, either. Someone who knows well enough that I’m blonde, from the East Coast, and educated. Shoot, they even know I’ve taught grammar.
And I can’t figure out if this is weird passive-aggressive stuff, or if people just don’t think.
Either way, I get pissed off – probably more pissed off than necessary – and if I say anything about it (to the person, or to someone we both know) I get accused of being “too touchy” or “humorless” or “sensitive.”
Well, yeah, so I am. When people tell jokes that I’m the punchline of, remarkably, I feel offended. So sue me. But either way, it’s very hard for me to like the person who sent it much.

Worried Like This Forever

I’m generally having a problem with the way things are going these days, what with the South Dakota bill and the news that the US Government didn’t only fuck up New Orleans and the other areas that got hit by Katrina at the time but are continuing to fuck it up now, & that Paul McCartney is trying to keep people from beating baby seals to death. It’s the last one that got to me the worst – I mean, didn’t we highlight how barbaric that crap was like 20 years ago? I was almost surprised to find out it’s still happening; I thought Canada was cooler than that. Then Megan delivered the news that increased air travel – accelerated by cheap fares – will eventually guarantee that we can’t see the stars.
I keep hoping we human beings take ourselves out before we wipe out every other species that calls this planet home.
But something Sandy posted made me feel a little better:

I sometimes feel so weighed down by everything that is so wrong, and so bad, about how we humans treat each other and the world.
I worry.
I worry about an all-out, probably nuclear, war between the Muslim world and everyone else. I worry about bird flu. I worry about resistant strains of bacteria (and would everyone PLEASE quit using “anti-bacterial” soap, you’re making the problem worse, and gaining no benefit in the meantime). I worry about overpopulation and food and water supplies. I worry about the crazy rise in the incidence of all types of cancers in our country. I worry about plastics and pesticides and volatile organic compounds. I worry about all the no-money-down mortgages and credit card debt that people are getting into and not out of. I worry about the incredible, collossal amounts of waste in every aspect of our fat American lives. I worry about how stupid and sinister our government is, and how just plain stupid we citizens appear to be. I worry about the dubious role of huge corporations in society. I worry about children whose parents are mean to them. Now too, I worry about the demise of astronomy as we know it. I’m not being facetious. I care about all of this stuff.
My husband even worries about living on the East coast, downwind of all the air pollution in the rest of the country. I don’t go quite that far. But if we moved to the west coast, I’d probably worry about missiles from North Korea.
There’s no automatic healthy dose of “fuckit” attitude in my life anymore, that feeling that used to kick in when the world looked too cruel. All I can do these days is limit the amount of news I take in. (Ah, parenthood. It takes away some humor, for sure; thank God it installs some new kinds as well.)
One thought that eases my mind a bit is that people have worried like this forever… and life continues, and it’s mostly really, really good.

Thanks, Sandy.

If You Haven't Heard

South Dakota has just made abortion illegal, state-wide. No exceptions – not for the health of the mother, for rape, or for incest.
So I think South Dakota needs a new state slogan, yes? Here’s my entry:

South Dakota: The Inbred State

I’m sure some of you clever folks can come up with better ones.
This law is an attempt to take Roe down, absolutely. And in the meantime, women in South Dakota will now have to travel across state lines, at much greater expense, to have a safe, legal abortion. Greater expense often means delay, which means abortion later in the pregnancy, which means great health risks to the mother.

Back to Ohio

No matter who wins Ohio, I’m pretty clear that there are at least 10 states in this country that don’t want me or my trans-husband in their midst and at their malls.
Residents of Oklahoma, Georgia, North Dakota, Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, Utah, Mississippi and Arkansas all came out to vote in record numbers, and they voted to keep gays and lesbians from their rights as Americans.
I wonder if they know any gay men or lesbians, any bisexuals, any Ts. I wonder if the CDs in those states voted for or against those bans. I wonder why it is that the legal marriage of a gay man to the man he loves scares some people so much that they vote with hate & inequality in their hearts.
I’m deeply saddened, and I don’t know who is going to be President. Right now, I’m not sure anyone who is sane, forgiving, and who believes in equality, a secular government, or the rights of ALL citizens should even be President of this country. God knows I don’t feel welcome here anymore, when so many of those states that voted for those bans passed it by raging majorities.
Now back to Ohio….

FMA Defeated

From The Washington Post:
Senate Scuttles Amendment Banning Same-Sex Marriage
By David Espo
The Associated Press
Wednesday, July 14, 2004; 12:56 PM
The Senate dealt an election-year defeat Wednesday to a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, rejecting pleas from President Bush and fellow conservatives that the measure was needed to safeguard an institution that has flourished for thousands of years.
The vote was 48-50, 12 short of the 60 needed to keep the measure alive.
“I would argue that the future of our country hangs in the balance because the future of marriage hangs in the balance,” said Sen. Rick Santorum, a leader in the fight to approve the measure. “Isn’t that the ultimate homeland security, standing up and defending marriage?”
But Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle said there was no “urgent need” to amend the Constitution. “Marriage is a sacred union between men and women. That is what the vast majority of Americans believe. It’s what virtually all South Dakotans believe. It’s what I believe.”
“In South Dakota, we’ve never had a single same sex marriage and we won’t have any,” he said. “It’s prohibited by South Dakota law as it is now in 38 other states. There is no confusion. There is no ambiguity.”
Supporters conceded in advance they would fail to win the support needed to advance the measure, and vowed to renew their efforts.
“I don’t think it’s going away after this vote,” Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said Tuesday on the eve of the test vote. “I think the issue will remain alive,” he added.
Whatever its future in Congress, there also were signs that supporters of the amendment intended to use it in the campaign already unfolding.
“The institution of marriage is under fire from extremist groups in Washington, politicians, even judges who have made it clear that they are willing to run over any state law defining marriage,” Republican senatorial candidate John Thune says in a radio commercial airing in South Dakota. “They have done it in Massachusetts and they can do it here,” adds Thune, who is challenging Daschle for his seat.
“Thune’s ad suggests that some are using this amendment more to protect the Republican majority than to protect marriage,” said Dan Pfeiffer, a spokesman for Daschle’s campaign.
At issue was an amendment providing that marriage within the United States “shall consist only of a man and a woman.”
A second sentence said that neither the federal nor any state constitution “shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.” Some critics argue that the effect of that provision would be to ban civil unions, and its inclusion in the amendment complicated efforts by GOP leaders to gain support from wavering Republicans.
Bush urged the Republican-controlled Congress last February to approve a constitutional amendment, saying it was needed to stop judges from changing the definition of the “most enduring human institution.”
Bush’s fall rival, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, opposes the amendment, as does his vice presidential running mate, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina. Both men skipped the vote.
The odds have never favored passage in the current Congress, in part because many Democrats oppose it, but also because numerous conservatives are hesitant to overrule state prerogatives on the issue.
At the same time, Republican strategists contend the issue could present a difficult political choice to Democrats, who could be pulled in one direction by polls showing that a majority of voters oppose gay marriage, and pulled in the other by homosexual voters and social liberals who support it. An Associated Press-Ipsos poll taken in March showed about four in 10 support a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, and half oppose it.
Democrats said that Bush and Republicans were using the issue to distract attention from the war in Iraq and the economy.
“The issue is not ripe. It is not needed. It’s a waste of our time. We should be dealing with other issues,” said Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut.
But Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee said a decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court had thrust the matter upon the Senate. The ruling opened the way for same sex marriages in the state, and Frist predicted the impact would eventually be far broader.
“Same-sex marriage will be exported to all 50 states. The question is no longer whether the Constitution will be amended. The only question is who will amend it and how will it be amended,” he added.
He said the choice was “activist judges” on the one hand and lawmakers on the other.
� 2004 The Associated Press