The end of gay history

I’ve been watching the latest unjustified assault on gay activist and writer Dan Savage, and it’s gotten me thinking more and more about a troubling theory I came up with last year, watching the “gays in the military” group OutServe-SLDN implode.  I worry that we’re witnessing the beginning of the end of gay history. And I’m not entirely convinced that it’s something to celebrate.

I’ve written before about the history of the abbreviation “LGBT” (an acronym, btw, is something you can pronounce, like OSHA), and how at one point we were homosexuals; then gay; then gay and lesbian; then gay, lesbian and bisexual (or GLB); and sometimes GLB got transposed to LGB; then we became GLBT, and more recently, LGBT; and then LGBTQ (which can either mean queer or questioning); LGBTI (meaning intersex — this abbreviation is often used by non-American groups); and so on.

I worry sometimes, and increasingly, whether the contuing expansion of our community, or at least our nomenclature, isn’t coming at the expense of the letters that are already there. To use a crude example, if you’re going to have a three-way, or a permanent triad, you’d better make sure that A&B are paying enough attention to each other before you start welcoming C, D and F.

While the entire story has never been made public, we know that the nation’s premier anti-“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” group OutServe-SLDN basically went bankrupt.  And while people can argue over the extent to which poor management played a role in the organization’s budget morass, I think the fact that we won (at least the gay part of the battle over the military ban), played a huge role in OutServe-SLDN’s demise.  The organization was the canary in the coalmine of what gay life will be in America after we’re free and equal. And that America will (one hopes) have far less need for civil rights group than it does today, even if OutServe-SLDN’s end came before its time.

Which takes me back to Dan Savage.

Photo by © LaRae Lobdell

Photo by © LaRae Lobdell

Dan is one of America’s premier gay and LGBT rights activists and advocates, and among other things, is the creator of the widely-acclaimed “It Gets Better” project. I met Dan, virtually, back in the year 2000 when he offered to help us on our StopDrLaura.com campaign against anti-gay “Dr.” Laura Schlessinger. Since that time, Dan has been a bottomless well of support for countless gay advocacy projects I’ve worked on. Dan is also probably the best LGBT spokesman on television today.

But, a few years back, a vocal element in the transgender community decided that Dan Savage was public enemy number one, and they set out to destroy him and his work. They’ve been harassing and haranguing him ever since, culminating in the most recent brouhaha surrounding Dan’s appearance at an off-the-record student discussion series at the University of Chicago.  During the talk, Dan discussed, among other things, the recent controversy over the use of the word “tranny,” and his theories on appropriating, reclaiming, slur words in order to empower ourselves.  (Some, but not all, trans people have objected to the word “tranny,” even when used by allies in a positive way.) Because Dan used the word “tranny” in discussing the controversy over the word “tranny,” a University of Chicago student named Hex, and who goes by the pronoun “it,” launched a campaign to censure Dan and the university, because, the student claims, Dan’s use of the word “tranny” was in fact Dan “threatening” the student to the point that Hex had to run out the room in tears. According to witnesses, the claims are simply untrue.

Dan Savage official wedding photo, courtesy of Nate Gawdy (Seattle Gay News). Dan told me I could post it. :)

Dan Savage official wedding photo, courtesy of Nate Gawdy (Seattle Gay News). Dan told me I could post it. :)

While the notion that any of this matters might in isolation be questionable, this latest collective panic attack against Dan is part of a larger years-long campaign by some, but not all, in the trans community to destroy him. The animosity towards Dan is part of a (often younger) group of vocal activists on the left who subscribe to “critical theory.” They believe, among other things, that fighting for marriage equality is wrong (that’s one of the reasons an LGBT activist glitterbombed Dan a few years back, because he’s been a lead advocate of gay marriage), and that men, white men, and especially gay white men have done little to nothing to advance civil rights and equality — and in fact, those men have been the major force holding back other minority communities.  (Harvey Milk, Peter Tatchell, Cleve Jones, Frank Kameny, Chad Griffin, Victor Fehrenbach, Wayne Besen (who photographed “ex-gay” Jon Paulk in a bar), Matt Foreman (former head of the Task Force), Barney Frank, Richard Isay (who helped end anti-gay discrimination at and by the American Psychological Association), Larry Kramer, Randy Shilts, Vito Russo, Tony Kushner, Troy Perry (famous gay religious leader), Gene Robinson (another), Mike Signorile, Harry Hay (who founded the Mattachine Society), all the other gays in the military boys from the early 90s and today, all the guys who created ACT UP, and so many more might disagree).

Of course, gay history, LGBT history, has not been exclusively the domain of gay white men. But since Dan’s critics suggest that those men in particular are the source of all evil, it’s important to remind ourselves of a history already forgotten. A good example of someone who isn’t white, and who took a huge risk by going public for our community at a time when being pro-us wasn’t nearly so cool, is African-American gay drag queen RuPaul. It’s still not easy being a gay African-American man who dresses as a woman, but that’s exactly what RuPaul did in 1989 when he appeared in the B-52’s music video for the hit song “Love Shack.”  (RuPaul is the woman in white, to the right.) That took guts that most of us still don’t have today.

RuPaul is also roundly reviled by the same people who discount Dan’s contributions to the community.

RuPaul appearing in the video for the B-52's hit song "Love Shack."

RuPaul appearing in the 1989 video for the B-52’s hit song “Love Shack.”

It is in this context that the ongoing attacks on Dan have been taking place. They are happening, in large part, because Dan is a gay man.  And with every attack on Dan, another thread is removed from the sometimes-tenuous quilt that is holding the LGBT community together.

I’d written years ago about my concerns that we’d never had an open discussion about what makes lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people (and intersex people, and asexuals, and many others) all one community. It’s a question I’d been asked a lot privately by friends and colleagues, gay and straight, but one that people didn’t feel safe asking publicly. And because I think unanswered questions sow the seeds of future discord, I asked, and in response got the same kind of response that Dan gets on a regular basis.

At the time, I was concerned that a lack of discussion about what makes us a community would ensure that in many parts of the community, we would never be seen as one community.  And while the issue then was whether gays, lesbians and bisexuals fully accepted trans people as members of the same community, it never occured to me that lesbians, bisexuals and trans people might all have issues with the other elements of the community as well.

I think we are at a crossroads. While critical theory advocates have been around for decades, they’ve recently been empowered by (at least) two things: the Internet; and activists like Dan Savage. Dan came out to his family in 1980, and was out at college as an openly-gay political activist in 1983, during the beginning of the AIDS crisis when it was a scary time to be openly-gay in southern Illinois, and most of America. Many of Dan’s most vocal critics weren’t even zygotes by the time he was busy publicly talking about, advocating for, and defending our community in an era when it was far less safe to be openly gay (or openly anything) than it is today. In a very real way, Dan Savage, and others like him, took a risk, came out, and helped create a world in which his critics are finally safe to publicly loathe him. Now who’s privileged?

I’m Dan Savage’s age (well, okay, maybe I’m a few months older). I just found out last night that we were at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign together in the early 80s. But while Dan was busy coming out, I was planning my suicide. I knew I was gay from day one, and “knew” that by the time I reached 30, if I wasn’t married, everyone would figure out that I was gay, my boss would fire me, and my family would disown me. So I decided, at the age of 17, that the “safest” thing to do was simply kill myself by the time I reached the age of 30, maybe 35, since by then people would figure out my secret.

Yes, those white gay males have no concept of what it’s like to be oppressed.  (Other than all their friends dying in the 1980s and 1990s.)

One of the first successful openly-gay people I’d ever heard of was Andrew Sullivan. I read about him in a NYT story, shortly after coming out to friends (but I was still too scared to go into a gay bar). I wrote Andrew a letter at the New Republic, and six months later he wrote me back and invited me for coffee.  I’d never met anyone gay who had an “important” job, who was publicly openly-gay, and successful, and popular/famous/loved (some people weren’t as upset with Andrew back then ;-)  I was around 29 years of age, right before the time that 17 year old boy had “known” his life would end, and here was this cute young skinny kid with the adorable accent who had the world in his hand, and nobody gave a damn that he was queer.

There were a number of other critically influential gay people in my life, all white males, who are the reason I’m here today, and have been so good at doing the advocacy that I do.  There was my friend Paul Clark from Billings, Montana, who died from complications related to AIDS in 1991 (or was it 92?). There was my friend Michael, who worked for Senator Kennedy, and who didn’t care that I was still working for a Republican Senator. I wanted to work on gay rights, Michael trusted me (though he had no reason to), and he put me to work. Nearly every night I’d leave my job in that other office, go over to Senator Kennedy’s committee, and work until midnight on ENDA, DADT, writing hearing testimony, researching anti-gay hate groups, penning op eds and more. Michael taught me that anything in politics is possible. It was the most amazing time of my life, and I gained experience that I’ve used every day since in the work I do on gay rights, and all my progressive advocacy.

The reason I’m here today is because of a lot of gay white men who were there for me when I needed them (not to mention a number of gay white men I never met, but who were there for all of us, like Harvey Milk).  I’ve had a pretty good life of pro-gay successes, helping gay sailor Timothy McVeigh beat AOL and the military; galvanizing the community around Matthew Shepard’s attack and death; successfully taking on Dr. Laura and Mary Cheney and Jeff Gannon and Ford Motor Company and Microsoft; and working with Joe Sudbay on AMERICAblog and doing our part in getting DADT repealed and marriage equality revealed. All of that, and so much more, happened because a number of gay white men, some still living and some long dead, were there for me when I needed them most.

Dan Savage is one of those men.

So I take it personally when a fringe group of vocal activists make it their mission to malign all gay men, and destroy in particular one of our (and arguably their) most effective civil rights advocates,  Dan Savage. I worry that not only are those activists wrong, and not only are they harming the battle for our civil rights, but I fear that they’re risking the nascent sense of community that necessarily must be built and reinforced if one wants to successfully add new letters to the abbreviation, and truly forge ahead as one big, happy, effective family. What does it say when today’s young activists are more upset about Dan Savage speaking at the University of Chicago than Rick Santorum, who appeared only days before Dan, and who has compared being gay to having sex with a dog?  (In contrast to his critics’ silence, Dan challenged Rich Santorum’s anti-gay hate, and won.)

Which takes us back to OutServe-SLDN.

The Stonewall Inn, NYC.Glynnis Jones / Shutterstock.com

The Stonewall Inn, NYC.Glynnis Jones / Shutterstock.com

Everybody knows our larger civil rights battle isn’t over (and may never be over — after all, the Civil Rights Act passed in 1964, and full equality is still not a certainty for anyone covered under that law, while Roe v. Wade was the “end” of the oppression of women all the way back in 1972 — how’d that work out for them?). At the same time, the never-ending gay marriage victories, like this weekend’s rather stunning and surprising news from Wisconsin, is making a growing segment of our community feel like our days are numbered, and in a good way.

If we don’t figure out how to continue the mission, if we don’t foster the relationship between Ls, Gs, Bs and Ts; between younger members of the community and their elders; between our brethren of different races and genders and sexual orientations and gender identities — if we don’t stop being, and making people, afraid to ask questions and talk about the things we might not understand and might not even agree on — I fear that, sometime soon, a good and important chunk of our community is going to take its big pink ball and go home.  And while the Dan-haters would probably call that a celebration, asks the folks at OutServe-SLDN how watching their community dissipate before their eyes worked out for them.

________________

You can, and should, read Dan’s knockout-punch response to the most recent controversy, “About That Hate Crime I Committed at University of Chicago.” It’s a brilliant must-read.

UPDATE: I’ve just written about another issues, related to this one. It seems the victims aren’t only gay men.


CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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247 Responses to “The end of gay history”

  1. SereneBowrageyel says:

    my buddy’s sister makes $87 every hour on the internet
    . She has been unemployed for 6 months but last month her payment was $19402
    just working on the internet for a few hours. go right here M­o­n­e­y­d­u­t­i­e­s­.­C­O­M­

  2. Tyler Albertario says:

    You’re a horrendous person. Take your TERF bullshit and go somewhere else.

  3. Someof us got that ;-)

  4. Dudicicon says:

    Admittedly, I see both definitions for acronym.

  5. Dan actually does a ton of work on trans issues, for example, and growing up as a middle class white boy from Chicago that’s definitely not his milieu, as it were ;-). Having followed Dan’s career for a good 14 years, I’ve been really impressed at how diverse he is in terms do the issues he covers.

  6. LucySinclairsyk says:

    My Uncle
    Riley got an almost new red GMC Canyon just by some parttime working online
    with a laptop. visit their website F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­

  7. Nicky says:

    I second that and support the LGB’s in kicking the Trans OUT of the LGB tent

  8. Nicky says:

    I second that

  9. Nicky says:

    I totally agree with you and as an Intersex/DSD person, I will no longer allow the trans to steal the Intersex/DSD community from us. It’s time to Dump the trans and let them fend for themselves.

  10. Nicky says:

    It’s clear that the Gay community is finally waking up to see the fallacy that the trans community have done. They are now waking up to seeing why the women, lesbian and feminist are fighting against the trans community and are waking up to seeing how this was a mistake to included the Trans community. Trans attacking Ru Paul is one thing, now going after Dan Savage is now showing how lunacy and psychotic the trans community is. If they wind up going after Ellen, that clearly mean the Trans community have completely lost legitimacy within the LGB community.

    This is why your seeing many gay people waking up and seeing what kind of crap the Trans community has been pulling on people in the Name of the LGB. There slowly realizing how much damage the trans community has done to the LGB community and realizing the mistake they made in the first place.

    I pretty much will bet you all within time, say 5 to 10 years down the road, you will see mainstream and high profile LGB people will band together and throw the Transgender community out from the LGB community. They will simply not tolerate the transgender community’s crap and dump them like a Hot Potatoe in an instant and force them to fend for themselves.

    It’s already happening and all the signs point to the fact that the Gay, lesbian and bisexual community has had enough with the Trans community and doesn’t want anything to do with the trans community anymore. Gay marriage, Ending of DADT and wider acceptance of LGB people is clearly showing signs that they have moved on and don’t want anything to do with Trans people or the trans community. That’s why your seeing more LGB people who are fed up with the transgender crap and nonsense.

  11. future_man says:

    After reading your posts I don’t think anyone can fault you for not being an ally of transgender people.

    Yet one notable thing about allies is they are rarely perfect…and to expect them to be is not really very mature….for example of imperfections….someone like Sen. Feinstein…definitely an ally…yet when she was Mayor of S.F. during the early days of HIV/AIDS savvy gay activists such as Bill Kraus (who worked for Congressman Phil Burton) tried to convince her to support Domestic Partners legislation as one means of supporting gay men who were immersed in the “sexual outlaw” “get-it-while-you-can” zeitgeist.

    Dianne opposed it…and it didn’t happen till much later. Hard to believe that you could get a common sense thing like Domestic Partners passed in liberal S.F. during an sexually transmitted epidemic. That’s how bad the timing was on HIV/AIDS….So I can’t say I was happy when I read that in “The Band Plays On” by Randy Shilts. Nor was I too happy when Obama invited Rick Warren to the first inauguration…yet I now recognize both the Senator and the President as allies and quite good ones too.

    That said…I think most allies are going to be imperfect….that comes with the territory…they can’t know all of your lived experience…they have their own lives and their own views, needs and agendas….and someone with a mature or seasoned viewpoint will understand that when working together.

  12. Jade says:

    Ahh! No, now I understand what you were referencing. OK, totally get it now. Thank you.

  13. Jade says:

    haha! My last sentence was a poor attempt at sarcasm. :-)

  14. BloggerDave says:

    You just wrote a whole paragraph contradicting your last sentence…

  15. Perley J. Thibodeau says:

    I have 9 gay themed books cataloged for check out in the New York Public Library, Bangor, Maine Public Library, Fogler Library at the University of Maine: Orono, Maine, and 5 of them in The Center Library on West 13th Street, NYC. Most of them have cover pictures of me doing my female Impersonation act on them. They are being very well received, and I seriously doubt that as long as I’m on Google and Twitter Gay History will always be upfront and fully accounted for!

  16. Rebecca Juro says:

    I’ve actually tried to dig it out without success. What I do remember is that Savage said it playfully. Perhaps he thought he was making a joke, but it’s not the kind of joke a lot of working class LGBTs would find funny. Interestingly, Olbermann was the first cable news host (I know of) to actually do an on-air feature that covered a trans-specific (as opposed to LGBT) political story, long before Melissa Harris-Perry or Anderson Cooper started covering us.

    That’s one of the most off-putting things about Savage: His worldview really doesn’t seem to extend beyond those in his own social and economic strata or outside of the issues directly relevant to himself and others like him. or if they do, he certainly does an excellent job of hiding it.

  17. 2karmanot says:

    It’s soooo hard for an observer to discern with blinders on.

  18. As I like to tell them, they should tell my dead friend Paul how privileged he is. Actually, tell his parents how privileged their dead 29 year old son is. These folks need to watch some AIDS films, and read some gay history, then get back to us on what a privilege it is to watch your friends die and live through a plague, in addition to rampant discrimination (the Holocaust was pretty privileged too).

  19. Oh god, that’s a huge topic. And I can’t even swear to the biggest expert on them. Goes back a LONG time. We even had a crit theory class in my law school, back in 1985. I’m loathe to post this, because I didn’t even understand this, but here goes:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queer_theory

    Queer theory is a field of post-structuralist critical theory that emerged in the early 1990s out of the fields of queer studies and women’s studies. Queer theory includes both queer readings of texts and the theorisation of ‘queerness’ itself. Heavily influenced by the work of Lauren Berlant, Leo Bersani, Judith Butler, Lee Edelman, Jack Halberstam,[1] David Halperin, José Esteban Muñoz, and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, queer theory builds both upon feminist challenges to the idea that gender is part of the essential self and upon gay/lesbian studies’ close examination of the socially constructed nature of sexual acts and identities. Whereas gay/lesbian studies focused its inquiries into natural and unnatural behaviour with respect to homosexual behaviour, queer theory expands its focus to encompass any kind of sexual activity or identity that falls into normative anddeviant categories. Italian feminist and film theorist Teresa de Lauretis coined the term “queer theory” for a conference she organized at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1990 and a special issue of Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies she edited based on that conference.

    Queer focuses on “mismatches” between sex, gender and desire. Queer has been associated most prominently with bisexual, lesbian and gay subjects, but analytic framework also includes such topics as cross-dressing, intersex, gender ambiguity and gender-corrective surgery. Queer theory’s attempted debunking of stable (and correlated) sexes, genders and sexualities develops out of the specifically lesbian and gay reworking of the post-structuralist figuring of identity as a constellation of multiple and unstable positions. Queer theory examines the constitutive discourses of homosexuality developed in the last century in order to place “queer” in its historical context, and surveys contemporary arguments both for and against this latest terminology.

  20. That’s not the definitions I’ve read. I used to call it an acronym, was corrected, checked the definition, and in fact it’s an “initialism” when you can’t pronounce it. But I find that word silly, so I don’t use it :)

  21. Jade says:

    Seconded.

  22. Jade says:

    Heck, just watch The Normal Heart.

  23. Jade says:

    Ask Dan Savage, because he was attacked for the same thing: telling gay men to get the fuck out of the bathhouses and to stop having so much sex, especially unprotected sex.

  24. Jade says:

    Oh my God you are stupid and selfish.

    And you’re sexist too.

  25. Jade says:

    You’re a racist.

  26. Jade says:

    Dan Savage once received a call on his podcast from a very young, very ignorant gay kid who, in an aside, said that he and his friends didn’t hang out with lesbians because they “couldn’t stand” women. Dan let him have it with both barrels, called him a “cliche fag,” and one of the things he said is that it was the LESBIAN who stepped up during the AIDS crisis, nursing gay men, feeding them, bathing them, wiping their butts, and marching in the fucking streets to get the government to do something. He tore that kid a new one. It’s one of his best shows.

    But, you know, all Dan cares about are gay white men and he’s a fucking sexist, so…

  27. Jade says:

    This is very, very wrong.

  28. Jade says:

    And unfortunately, they’ve had a lot of lesbian and bi women enabling them. Don’t know how much longer that will last though.

  29. Jade says:

    No. As a bisexual woman, don’t lump me in with your agenda. I’m perfectly fine with GLB or LGB. I don’t consider this a game to score petty points off of. It’s just childish.

  30. Jade says:

    Yeah, I’m kind of tired of the NALT argument. If they all “aren’t like that,” then the sane ones need to get their shit together and take control. But I’ve only ever seen this kind of attitude, from the very beginning it’s always been this.

  31. Jade says:

    A friend of mine said recently: “If I’m in a conversation and someone says, ‘you need to check your privilege,’ I automatically know who the richest, most educated person in the room is.”

    John, can you explain what you mean by “the critical theorists”? Or you can point me to a past article if that’s easier and quicker.

  32. Jade says:

    I wish that I could put all of this on a t-shirt, especially this:

    “We will support you on that journey, but we no longer need to feel
    guilty about not making every pronouncement you dictate our first and
    most important national priority. You should feel free to do the same,
    which you already do.”

    which you already do.

    which you already do.

    which you already do.

    which you already do.

  33. Dudicicon says:

    An acronym is an abbreviation, but it does not have to be pronounced like a word; the letters just have to come from the start of words, just like in LGBT.

  34. future_man says:

    Personally I can’t relate to the idea that any gay men born in America are privileged, white European or not. I also don’t relate to the idea that our heterosexual friends and family are that privileged either….and I mean it in this important sense…outside of the “theory” view.
    I mean it in the sense that we live in a world that is highly polluted…physically and emotionally toxic to the point that it’s often very difficult for people to relate to each other enough to have a simple conversation. Daily life is also quite stressful for everyone….even the most wealthy….they still live in the collective planetary mess that gets recreated every day….and have all kinds of weird stuff going on in their bodies and lives because of it…..so until that is handled can anyone claim that another person is so much more privileged than anyone else?
    Oddly enough, someone who lives in a rural environment in a non-industrial country is probably the most privileged person at this point in history. A healthy, happy indigenous person…! Maybe a gay man….they must be out there somewhere!

  35. PeteWa says:

    hope you’re having a good day!

  36. pappyvet says:

    Thanks Pete. I greatly enjoy yours as well. Been in combat , didn’t like it. I know that it was one person and that is who I was addressing. But not just that one. If we need to talk then lets talk. I sometimes think that people enjoy snarkiness.
    Isnt going to get us anywhere except backs to one another with folded arms. Thanks again.

  37. 2karmanot says:

    Indeed! GLB Bye bye ‘T.’

  38. PeteWa says:

    I was very unclear as to whether it was snark, or what.
    LLM made a very muddy comment.

  39. Since a few of the new visitors are attempting to claim that AMERICAblog never writes anything in favor of, or helpful to, trans people, I thought I’d share a few links that took me about 2 minutes to gather. These are just a handful — only the posts from the last few years — but I think you’ll agree they’re quite eye-opening.

    Sadly, the Internet has empowered an angry vocal fringe in a number of movements on both the left and right. On the right they have the Tea Partyers; on the left practically every movement has its equivalent. But like the Tea Party, the facts often don’t coincide with the rhetoric, so they simply make stuff up. But the existence of a few bad apples will never justify ignoring injustice directed towards any community. AMERICAblog has always fought for the civil and human rights of everyone, including trans people, as you’ll easily see below, and we will continue to do so.

    With that in mind, here’s a sampling of our relatively recent trans coverage — keep in mind, this is only a small sample of our extensive trans library of work:

    Transgender woman takes over lead “gays in the military” group
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/10/transgender-military.html

    AP exposé on the plight of homeless gay, trans youth
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/03/ap-expose-on-the-plight-of-homeless-gay-trans-youth.html

    The trans Navy SEAL who (almost) helped catch bin Laden
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2013/06/trans-woman-catch-bin-laden-kristin-beck.html

    The anti-gay right’s new target: Transgender kids
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2013/09/noms-new-target-transgendered-kids.html

    “Heroes,” a Portuguese PSA about trans families (video)
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/10/heroes-a-portuguese-psa-about-trans-families-video.html

    Transgender video – “Injustice at every turn”
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/04/transgender-video-injustice-at-every-turn.html

    Transgender homecoming queen in tears after brutal YouTube bullying
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2013/09/transgender-homecoming-queen-tears-brutal-online-hazing.html

    It’s a little weird that the Pentagon is celebrating “transgender” Pride considering it bans them
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/06/its-a-little-weird-that-the-pentagon-is-celebrating-transgender-pride-considering-it-bans-them.html

    Transgender woman shot and killed in DC
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/07/transgender-woman-shot-and-killed-in-dc.html

    Chrissy Lee Polis, victim of brutal McDonalds attack, speaks out
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/04/chrissy-lee-polis-victim-of-brutal-mcdonalds-attack-speaks-out.html

    Transgender work rights SLOWLY improving
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/04/transgender-work-rights-slowly-improving.html

    Adam Carolla’s offensive rant, his lame apology and the transgender community’s outreach
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/08/adam-carollas-offensive-rant-his-lame-apology-and-the-transgender-communitys-outreach.html

    Very Cool Interactive Map of Gender Diverse Societies
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/05/very-cool-interactive-map-of-gender-diverse-societies.html

    Russians film brutal video of attack on transgender woman
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2013/08/5-russians-film-their-horrific-attack-on-transgender-woman-video.html

    In Argentina, “going for more equality” with gender equality legislation
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/08/in-argentina-going-for-more-equality-with-gender-equality-legislation.html

    Dumped by her own community on Valentine’s Day
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2014/02/dumped-community-valentines-day.html

    Biden: Transgender discrimination is the “civil rights issue of our time”
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/10/biden-transgender-discrimination-is-the-civil-rights-issue-of-our-time.html

    Pat Robertson: Being transgender is a real thing, and it’s not a sin (video)
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2013/07/pat-robertson-transgender-is-not-a-sin-video.html

    Queen Elizabeth excludes gays, trans from “non-discrimination” charter
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2013/03/queen-elizabeth-gay-charter-discrimination.html

    LAX TSA undergoing transgender sensitivity training
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/08/lax-tsa-undergoing-transgender-sensitivity-training.html

    14 races for gay and trans people to watch today
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/11/14-races-for-gay-and-trans-people-to-watch-today.html

    The balls to be a trans activist on national TV in Uganda (video)
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/12/the-balls-you-have-to-have-to-be-a-trans-activist-on-tv-in-uganda.html

    Rally for trans girl barred from running for homecoming queen
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2010/10/rally-for-trans-girl-barred-from-running-for-homecoming-queen.html

    Bangor Daily News blasts anti-trans legislation, would “put them at risk of harassment”
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/05/bangor-daily-news-blasts-anti-trans-legislation-would-put-them-at-risk-of-harassment.html

    NYT looks at trans candidates
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2010/10/nyt-looks-at-trans-candidates.html

    Trans woman asks anti-gay bigot if he’d like to stone her (video)
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2014/01/trans-woman-asks-anti-gay-bigot-hed-like-stone-video.html

    CT’s Governor signs law providing protections for “gender identity or expression”
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/07/cts-governor-signs-law-providing-protections-for-gender-identity-or-expression.html

    TNR asks “What will it take for America to accept transgender people for who they really are?”
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/06/tnr-asks-what-will-it-take-for-america-to-accept-transgender-people-for-who-they-really-are.html

    Anti-transgender bill defeated in Maine legislature
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/06/anti-transgender-bill-defeated-in-maine-legislature.html

    Lawrence, Kansas adds gender identity to non-discrimination laws
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/09/lawrence-kansas-adds-gender-identity-to-non-discrimination-laws.html

    The time Archie Bunker gave mouth-to-mouth to a trans woman (video)
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2013/11/time-archie-bunker-gave-mouth-mouth-trans-woman-video.html

    Robin Tyler is organizing in support of Chaz Bono
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/09/robin-tyler-is-organizing-in-support-of-chaz-bono.html

    CT governor signs law providing protections for gender identity or expression
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/07/cts-governor-signs-law-providing-protections-for-gender-identity-or-expression.html

    Now that DADT is gone
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/09/now-that-dadt-is-gone.html

    Nasty anti-trans SNL skit
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/01/nasty-anti-trans-snl-skit.html

    Trans in the military, has their time come?
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/01/trans-in-the-military-has-their-time-come.html

    Gay/trans rights bill voted down in Florida
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/08/gaytrans-rights-bill-voted-down-in-florida.html

    In Kalamazoo campaign, opposition resorts to trans bashing
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2009/10/in-kalamazoo-campaign-opposition-resorts-to-trans-bashing.html

    DC government to run pro-trans ads at bus stops
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/09/dc-government-to-run-pro-trans-ads-at-bus-stops.html

    ExxonMobil against consider proposal to bar anti- gay, trans discrimination
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/05/exxonmobil-against-consider-proposal-to-bar-anti-gay-trans-discrimination.html

    Carnival Cruise: You can dress in drag if your drag looks like your photo ID, which would be NO ONE
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/11/carnival-cruise-ban-drag-gay.html

    Study: Trans people 10x more likely to attempt suicide
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2014/02/study-trans-people-10x-likely-attempt-suicide.html

    Argentina now leads the world in trans rights
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/05/argentina-now-leads-the-world-in-trans-rights.html

    Trans man wins UK Big Brother competition
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/08/trans-man-wins-uk-big-brother-competition.html

    Transgender beauty queen gets okay for Miss Universe pageant
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/04/transgender-beauty-queen-gets-okay-for-miss-universe-pageant.html

    Poland elects first openly-transgender member of parliament
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/10/poland-elects-first-openly-transgender-member-of-parliament.html

    Bravo’s anti-trans swipe
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/07/bravos-anti-trans-swipe.html

    ABC’s controversial new show has men dressing up as women
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/12/abcs-controversial-new-show-has-men-dressing-up-as-women.html

    Trans civil rights bill about to go to governor in Mass.
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/11/trans-civil-rights-bill-about-to-go-to-governor-in-mass.html

    Top Romney aide gleefully outed transgender woman, ending her political career
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/05/top-romney-aide-gleefully-outed-transgender-woman-ending-her-political-career-2.html

    Transgender advocate talks about trans in the military to CNN
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/06/transgender-advocate-talks-about-trans-in-the-military-to-cnn.html

    A tale of two West Point cadets: One gay, one trans
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2013/03/outserve-sldn-dinner-gay-trans-military.html

    Bradley Manning: “I am Chelsea Manning, I am a woman”
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2013/08/bradley-manning-to-live-as-a-woman.html

    Was advice columnist right to tell woman to divorce transgender husband?
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/11/advice-columnist-advises-woman-to-divorce-transgender-husband.html

    Big transgender ruling from EEOC
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/04/big-transgender-ruling-from-eeoc.html

    Gloria Allred unhappy with Donald Trump following overturn of trans ban at Miss Universe
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/04/gloria-allred-unhappy-with-donald-trump-following-overturn-of-trans-ban-at-miss-universe.html

    Chinese grandpa becomes sensation after modeling teen-girl clothes for grandkid’s store
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/11/chinese-grandpa-becomes-sensation-after-modeling-womens-clothes-for-grandkids-store.html

    Uplifting transgender teen article makes front page news in Tulsa
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/05/uplifting-transgender-teen-article-makes-front-page-news-in-tulsa.html

    Growing up gay or transgender in Appalachia
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/05/growing-up-gay-or-transgender-in-appalachia.html

    Crowd of 300 showed up at McDonald’s to protest anti-trans violence
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/04/crowd-of-300-showed-up-at-mcdonalds-to-protest-anti-trans-violence.html

    White House holding secret meeting with trans leaders, activists not pleased
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/04/white-house-holding-secret-meeting-with-trans-leaders-activists-not-pleased.html

    Aloha state passes employment protections for transgender Hawaiians
    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/04/aloha-state-passes-employment-protections-for-transgender-hawaiians.html

  40. Hi John,
    We aren’t dead. Happy to discuss Outserve-SLDN, past, present, and future.

    John Gillespie
    Co-chair, Board of Directors
    Outserve-SLDN

  41. KellyWalderfuu says:

    like Jacqueline implied I’m
    taken by surprise that a mom can earn $8130 in 1 month on the computer . see
    post F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­

  42. dcinsider says:

    Sadly, you are the poster child for the gender identity movement today. Basking in your victimhood, you would rather criticize your friends than actually do the hard work it takes to build a civil rights movement for yourself and your friends.

    I think we LGB’s have carried the gender identity movement on our backs long enough, and it is high time we gave you the space you need to find your own path to equality.

    We will support you on that journey, but we no longer need to feel guilty about not making every pronouncement you dictate our first and most important national priority. You should feel free to do the same, which you already do.

    I believe that no one should be discriminated against based upon gender identity, and I believe that you are entitled to every civil right this country has to offer. However, I will not allow you to dictate the agenda, or to interfere with my quest for full equality. You will no longer be permitted to act as political anchor to the LGB civil rights movement.

    Your are free to pursue your own legislative agenda. You are free to form your own organizations, to raise your own money, and to spend it on whatever it is you deem most important. We will not stand in your way.

    From this point forward, I will no longer use the LGBT acronym. I invite others to do the same.

  43. Jade says:

    I’m sorry, but all I ever saw from the trans community about the right to marry were complaints that we in the gay community spent too much time and money on it.

  44. caphillprof says:

    It’s not about any particular word it’s about the utter lack of leadership in your community.

  45. Jade says:

    Well, they don’t even know how to use “it’s” and “its” correctly. So I’m not surprised by this political pettiness.

  46. Jade says:

    “I’m sure it does have exemptions for cultists. After all, it comes from Democrats.”

    Nothing of substance to add, except that this made me laugh.

  47. Jade says:

    That’s exactly what I was going to say. It’s common knowledge that lesbians were indispensable in caring for the sick during the crisis. I don’t know what the fuck she’s going on about.

    Herstory, huh?

  48. Jade says:

    Yes. Everything you say is true. This is why having an entire other community join us, only to hound us so loudly and virulently that we’re forced to change our focus and course of action to something altogether different has been so frustrating.

    What’s even worse that that is to acquiesce and jump through all the hoops, be successful at it, and still be told “not good enough.”

  49. Jade says:

    “as an outsider to the lgbt community i hope they don’t turn on each
    other and make the haters job easier to isolate them and portray them as
    different from the whole.”

    Too late.

  50. Butch1 says:

    Thanks.

  51. No I didn’t. Dan said that, and it’s okay for him to advocate that, as it’s hardly a controvesial proposal, whether one ends up agreeing or not. You again seem to be getting very hung up on this notion of people disagreeing with you, and disagreement somehow serving as prima facie proof that they’re your enemy. It really doesn’t work that way in most of the movement, the country or the world. Disagremeent is healthy. And it’s also their right.

    And please don’t bully the other commenters, by telling them they don’t have the right to express their own opinion about their own civil rights. The comment you’re responding to was nothing but polite in tone. Trinu simply disagreed with you, and again, that it Trinu’s right. You’ve been permitted to say your say here all day; other members of this forum, and this community, are permitted to have their say here as well, even if they don’t fully agree with you, me, or anyone else here.

  52. I think it does matter what you say, particularly since your concerns are becoming a self-fulfiling prophecy. Your animus seems to be creating enemies where there once were friends. And I think that’s sad, and counterproductive. You seem to have some longstanding personal issues with gay people, and gay men in particular, and I doubt there’s much anyone can say to assuage it, as prejudice is a difficult obstacle to surmount in this kind of venue. As for your concerns that you’re being told to sit down and shut up, you seemed to do fine speaking here without interruption. And no one is stopping you from advocating your own legislation, or even your own separate movement, which seems to be the undercurrent of many of your comments, if that’s your ultimate goal. But gay people have the same right to self-determination as you. And if legislation, or policy, is going to mention sexual orientation, then lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals have just as much a right as you to express an opinion as to how that legislation, or policy, should proceed. I don’t think it productive to question the motives and pysche of, and ultimately try to shut down, people who simply disagree with you about issues affecting their futures. Lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals have the right to disagree with you. It’s doesn’t mean they’re the enemy, it doesn’t mean they hate you. It’s just part of being an adult in a free and healthy society :)

  53. Which is ironic, when you consider all the fuss over the *ahem* “T-Slur.” I don’t like “cisgender” either, I think it sounds idiotic.

  54. “Queer” is just so loaded though, Strepsi.

  55. LilahJ says:

    He did not, he only told us to reclaim the word. His and Dan Savage’s opinions are noted and filed. At this time the majority of the vocal minority (the voice) has opted to not reclaim, asked the larger community not to use the word. As for ENDA it has not even been voted on because a small vocal minority does not endorse the idea of protections for anyone that doesn’t fit in to the GOP box. Now stop trying to shout us down.

  56. I like “GLBT” because it can be pronounced: “glibbit.” I suppose BLGT, “bliggit” is pronouncable, but sounds too much like bigot, and looks like someone stuck guacamole on a BLT.

  57. LilahJ says:

    Things have changed in thirty years. I wonder, did it bother you when your allies told you to sit down and shut up they know what’s best for you? How does it feel to tell people to sit down and shut you know what is best for us?

  58. Click and read, long story.

  59. To wit:

  60. “Privilege” is something every gay person was aware of decades ago. It’s what permitted straight people to put a picture of their opposite sex significant other on their desk at work, but if we did it with our same-sex s.o. we were “flaunting.” So the concept is not unfamiliar to us. Having said that, the most successful gay advocates, and I’d argue our movement overall, does not have a history of throwing privilege in the face of others, especially our friends. Today the word “privilege” is used as a slur, an easy out, a way to dismiss someone you disagree with, without really responding to the details of what they’re arguing. And it’s intended to shut the other person down entirely, just like when Dolores Umbrage shut down Prof. Mcgonagall by invoking the Minister. It’s a comment intended to shut down the entire conversation, rather than risk having a conversation and perhaps not winning on the facts. That’s my problem with the word privilege. It’s become a weapon, and crutch for actual thought and discourse.

  61. Butch1 says:

    I hate that name and refuse to be labelled it myself. It’s insulting.

  62. Butch1 says:

    You had best watch your mouth with the expletives. None of us appreciates the name calling.

  63. Butch1 says:

    Delusional. You were never first in this lineup.

  64. Butch1 says:

    That doesn’t make a bit of sense. I think YOU need to provide the “evidence” you seek.

  65. 2karmanot says:

    Got that right.

  66. Butch1 says:

    And there aren’t enough nails.

  67. Butch1 says:

    Just because you say it doesn’t make it so. I so hate revisionist history.

  68. 2karmanot says:

    The minute read your “gay white men’ meme I thought, “That worn out old cannard won’t fly.” BTW, you are part of the problem.

  69. Butch1 says:

    Your reading comprehension amazes me.

  70. 王仙賜 says:

    There should be a house rule “thou shalt not invoke privilege”. If you’re using a computer, have had an education, have , clean food and water, and a roof over your head. You have nothing to complain about. It seems the trans* community is fixated on the slightest of grievances which trivialize all of the real problems out there that trans* people face, especially in developing countries. I have a great idea: instead of attacking people who are on your side, how about you do some real activism?

  71. Amen. (Oh, and Robin was one of the marriage equality plaintiffs in California that got marriage originally rolling right before Prop 8 wiped everything out.)

  72. Butch1 says:

    I do not remember that segment, though I can guess that perhaps Dan may have only been asked to comment about the two subjects you mentioned which were hot topics back then: marriage and DADT. Perhaps, ENDA and the working class did not enter the picture due to the time constraints of the segment allotted him. Who knows, Keith controlled the questions he asked. It’s disingenuous to expect Dan to try and run through all of the letters of our group into a nicely tied up bough and do it justice in a wonderful sound-bite and please everyone. Ask John how much time he has been given when he’s on as a guest on programs. You never get to say would you would like to in the amount of time you are given.

  73. Butch1 says:

    Why is this? I must have come late to the dance. This is the first I’ve heard of this.

  74. Correct. And in fact, I only used the word the same way Lilah just used it – in a discussion about the controversy over using the word.

  75. I don’t use the wrong “tranny.” I never have, so I didn’t need to stop. I only have ever used it the same way Dan uses it, which is the same way you just used it — to discuss the contoversy over the word “tranny.” If it’s a threat and offensive to even use it in a discussion over the use of the word, then why did you just do it?

    Second, watching my friends die from complications associated with HIV/AIDS wasn’t privileged. Planning to commit suicide wasn’t privileged. Coming out at a time that it could have endangered my career wasn’t privileged. And turning down lots of job offers that paid me a heck of a lot more than gay rights advocacy, which I generally did for free, is not privileged. I think there’s a basic lack of respect, and animus, and homphobia really, in your comments, and I don’t think that’s productive, or ever right, in anyone, let alone a civil rights movement.

    And I don’t think this is about respect. It’s about animus. It’s about pain. It’s about hurt. And it’s about a need to find someone to blame. And while the gay community has generally targeted the enemy, you have chosen to target friends and allies, and even your own community. And I just don’t think that’s a road to victory.

    I’ve said it before, I realize that the truth is inconvenient, but feel free to search our archives and find all the things we’ve written about, and advocates for, trans people, including leading the campaign against TN’s repeal of the gay and trans rights ordinances in that state, something the trans leadership and community did not significantly help us with. Joe and I were fighting your battle, and we were glad to. It just would have nice for you to have offered to help.

    We can all throw around words like privilege until we’re blue in the face. I prefer to stick to the facts, and move forward.

  76. trinu says:

    When did John ever say that the word “tranny” is generally acceptable? I was under the impression that he was talking about using the word to discuss whether it’s ever acceptable to use the word. It’s also interesting that you talk about the “selfish desire to have it all for yourself” when the reason ENDA didn’t pass is that a vocal minority refused to support it if transgender bathroom protections were dropped even if it still protected trans people from general employment discrimination. So they not only stopped gay people from getting employment protections, but trans people too.

  77. alistaircrane says:

    You would suspect wrong.

  78. LilahJ says:

    “However I do not consider our Trans friends part of my community of gays (plus L and B)” The truth shall out.

  79. LilahJ says:

    I suspect, sir, that we never really had your support to begin with.

  80. LilahJ says:

    John,
    I agree with very little of what you wrote I have been open under the
    alphabet rainbow umbrella for a very short time compared to many
    here. But I do agree whit the main point of this sob fest. We need to
    break up. This relationship is not working. The whole abbreviation
    thing was never a good idea. Because one particular letter wants to
    be in charge. One particular letter has the privilege to control
    everyone and take what they want.

    The money comes from mostly gay white men, and there tends to be where it
    stays. Part of the implosion of SLDN Outserve was the fact that once
    DADT was repealed the trans community was left on its own after
    firing the only transgender leadership. I watched it John. I watched
    it from inside. I watched the donors walk away when they flatly
    rejected us.

    Clearly you and all of the other gay men that still consider the use of
    Tranny as okay are not seeing the bigger picture. You have so focused
    on the revocation of your privilege that you can’t see the fact that
    we are asking for a modicum of respect. Not only is the continued use
    of the word disrespectful it is hypocritical.

    As you pointed out, it is the younger generation of transgender
    advocates that have demanded respect. The future has spoken and you
    don’t seem to be listening. You don’t like it when the uppity
    trannies won’t let you have your privilege. And honestly that is what
    this is about you loss of privilege. You selfish desire to have it
    all for yourself. Because Gay history is, whether you like it or not,
    inextricably linked to our shared history. I think this comment made
    by a gay man to shut us down works well here. John you are not a
    special snowflake.

  81. pappyvet says:

    Context Becky. I could say that the only thing Grandmothers care about is baking cookies. Clearly it is not but it does affirm a very important aspect of the Grandma.

  82. Houndentenor says:

    I’m old enough to remember the embarrassing representatives that gays often had on talk and news programs in the 70s and 80s. I am not going to blame all trans people because the people the media decides to focus on (usually for the controversy, not to have rational discussions of important issues) on certain individuals.

  83. alistaircrane says:

    Trans people have done a great job of alienating people like me who are sickened by their anti-Dan Savage ridiculousness.

  84. Jeannette Ford says:

    My recollection from the 80’s is we had GL and LG centers and groups and potlucks, and B got added onto the string of letters, sometimes concurrently w/ Q for Questioning, since “we” figured that overlapped strongly w/ the B’s. This is all written with a smile. Thanks for an interesting discussion. Fwiw, I find very few people actually leave such unambiguous trails of slime as it seems when they first offend me…

  85. PeteWa says:

    ignoring that individual is on the top of my list as well.

  86. KirstenMundayafy says:

    just before I
    looked at the receipt ov $8130 , I didn’t believe that my sister woz like
    actualy bringing in money part-time from there pretty old laptop. . there aunts
    neighbour has been doing this 4 only about 22 months and at present repayed the
    mortgage on their appartment and bought themselves a Chrysler . see here M­o­n­e­y­d­u­t­i­e­s­.­C­O­M­

  87. Okay, but now you’re getting into that larger divide in the community over those who want to work on what have traditionally been our top goals, and those who want to shift it more to social justice, which many people support, but don’t feel is a gay, or lgbt, issue. There are already groups working on housing policy, and poverty, and many of these issues. It’s understandable why a gay, or lgbt, group would focus on specific legislation addressing wrongs that specifically affect our community, but don’t affect other communities.

    AndI’ve been working on ENDA since 1993. The issue has never had as a good as campaign or strategy behind it as marriage, or DADT. It’s not going nowhere because no one cares. It’s going nowhere because the strategy has so far stunk. To wit: We’re now calling on Congress to kill the version of the bill we’ve been demanding they pass for 7 years now. That kind of flip-flopping risks making us not look serious, and it risks losing support, as, after all, exactly what should members of Congress do now? They’ve been told to vote for a bill that some very vocal community members are now telling them to vote against. So how should they vote, how does the bill go forward? If you’re a member of congress in the middle, you take a pass, and go work on other issues.

  88. Becky, from my experience at least, you’ve been a good middle of the road voice on a number of issues, just wanted to let the readers know that. As for Dan, I’d like to see the segment first. It’s a fact that in 2010 our top two priorities were DADT and marriage, because ENDA was going nowhere. That doesn’t mean we don’t care about ENDA, it just wasn’t one of the top two priorities because it wasn’t going anywhere. That’s not anti-trans, anti-employment, or anti-anyone, any more than pushing for the repeal of DADT was anti people who aren’t in the military.

  89. 2karmanot says:

    You can still be fired for being Gay in many states, so get of the cross, it’s getting crowded.

  90. 2karmanot says:

    If you are indeed older than god,then perhaps some divine intervention is applicable.

  91. 2karmanot says:

    Agreed, but I will avoid a pain-in-the-ass, who insults my support.

  92. 2karmanot says:

    It was called AIDS John, a term which was denied reality by the Reagan administration.Kramer was the primier voice in putting the plague before the public consciousness and pilloried for it.

  93. BeccaM says:

    Your point is taken but I had that particular word thrown at me repeatedly as an insult. Too many negative connotations. ‘Gay’, I can deal with.

  94. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    One reason for paying more attention to marriage is state laws. When my husband and I moved from Philadelphia to Minnesota, our worries about anti-discrimination protections in the workplace, housing, and public accommodations ceased to be worries for us. We didn’t forget those things, and we have signed petitions, made contributions (small), contacted our Senators and Representative. They are very liberal (Klobachur not so much) and their votes were probably already positive.

    Our children were our top priority, and they are my top priority. It’s just me now since becoming a widower. Not being married in the eyes of the law created problems for our children. A lot of the problems were monetary. My employer covered the children’s medical and dental insurance. My husband’s employer couldn’t have done that (had they offered insurance) because I was the only legal parent. My employer also covered my husband, but my employer’s contributions for him were taxed as salary. That set us back a couple of thousand each year. We wanted both of them to attend college, and they did. However, we needed the scholarships, grants, children working part time, and fortunately only a small loan.

    Another problem was if I died while the children were underage, my husband would legally have had no rights concerning them. In my will, I had appointed him as guardian, but that’s not the same as being a parent.

    That is one reason marriage became important to us.

  95. trinu says:

    None of the trans people I know in person are like the vocal ones online, although I realize that’s just anecdotal, I’m guessing that the “activists” we’re talking about here are a VERY vocal minority.

  96. trinu says:

    Why do you think people have been so vocal about getting ENDA passed? It would be much harder to pay the bills if you got fired for being gay.

  97. dcinsider says:

    My, my that’s quite a rant. Gee whiz, thanks for the help on marriage and DADT. We could not have done it without you (except we did). And thanks for killing ENDA, and demanding that the New Hampshire legislature not include sexual orientation protections in the New Hampshire Constitution because you perceived yourself as not included.

    In other words, stop with the helping. Any more “help” form the trans activists and we’ll be back in 1950.

  98. dcinsider says:

    Well it was anything but perfectly obvious.

  99. dcinsider says:

    That may be true, but where are they? Who is speaking for trans people with a clear, rational voice? Who is condemning this nonsense? The answer is no one at all. Crickets.

  100. robintyler says:

    Thanks for your wonderful feedback John. Please know that almost all leaders, visionaries, or ‘loud activists’ who have worked in this movement have been subject to terrible criticism from our own people. It isn’t just gay men (although caucasian gay men seem to be a favorite target). I once did a ‘joke’-“you can tell how many years someone has worked in this movement by counting the arrows in their back.’ It is impossible to win a fight with anyone who has such rage. That anger does is not constructive dialogue. Those of us who want to heal, help and grow must be able to walk away from those who want to harm us, for any reason. The only way to stay sane, is to disengage, leave the room, and work with people who like and respect you.

  101. Rebecca Juro says:

    What I mean by issues of the working class are things like antidiscrimination protections in the workplace, housing, and public accommodations, issues that have far greater impact on lower-income workers than marriage or DADT.

    The reality is that while some wish to marry and others don’t, pretty much everyone needs a place to live and a way to pay the bills. When that reality isn’t reflected by those who find themselves cast as our mainstream media spokespeople, it’s fair to call it out.

    To be blunt, making it all about happy gays getting married is irresponsible. Families aren’t just about getting married, they’re about what happens after the honeymoon. For most of us, that means securing jobs and housing. As I think gay and lesbian Pennsylvanians are about to discover, having the right to marry is one thing, but being able to exercise that right without the fear you could be legally fired because of it is entirely another.

  102. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    I question using that bit about Dan Savage. He didn’t say that those were the only two issues that he cared about. He was reporting on something. I’m certain what he said was true. That was probably true for 80% of the LGBs. The other 20% of us have trans friends.

    I actually have a question. What did you mean by “the issues of the working class”? Do you think that the LGBs are all people of leisure?

    Now about Rupaul – I know who he is, and that’s about it. I can find quite a few gay man who are in the same boat.

  103. Houndentenor says:

    I think it’s rather obvious that there is not a singular lbgt community. There’s not even a singular gay male community. Nor is there a single African American community, Korean-American community, etc. We are a coaltion of communities with (a) common interest(s). That’s all. I thought that was perfectly obvious.

  104. Houndentenor says:

    Yes, and there are plenty of trans people who would not agree with what those few said and did. How many trans people have you listened to?

  105. Rebecca Juro says:

    I’ve done a little writing on this and covered it on my show, so let me lay it out as starkly as possible:

    1. Dan Savage: Here’s a gay guy who went on “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” in 2010 (I think, maybe ’09 )and actually said on national television that the only two issues the LGBT community cares about are marriage and the repeal of DADT. In other words, completely and utterly oblivious to the issues of the working class.

    You want to know why Savage is thought of by trans people and allies the way he is? Stuff like that. If Savage were a little more inclusive and responsible during his on-air media appearances, I doubt he’d get half the crap he does.

    2. RuPaul: No one cares how long he’s been around. What people care about is that the man is a total hypocrite who will speak out against use of the term “fa**ot” as bigotry but celebrates and profits from the use of the word “tra**y” and even the term “sh**ale”, which has been considered offensive for decades.

    What trans people are reacting to with Rupaul is his claim to the right to determine what the rest of the community can and should be offended by. What trans women are saying is that having a television show not only doesn’t give you that right, but in fact adds the responsibility to ensure that your show’s content doesn’t actually harm the community it purports to serve and celebrate.

  106. Strepsi says:

    This is why I never stopped using “Queer” — it includes all of us.

  107. Strepsi says:

    The same type of abuse we give to the GOProuds and Oscar Lopezes today – that he was a quisling and a self-hating kapo who was working with our enemies.

    Because he was trying to get gay men to stop having sex, because it was clear that AIDS was sexually transmitted. But because at that time gay liberation was built around the sexual revolution (there was ZERO notion of getting amrried and building a gay suburban ‘family’, that would be heteronormative), this was seen as against the core values of the ‘community’.

    Larry Kramer — and Dan Savage — and Andrew Sullivan — share the trait that they are all bigmouths who talk a lot, are contrarian, sometimes shoot themselves in the foot, usually refuse to apologize when they are wrong, and cause a lot of their own kerfuffles. But guess what? We need the bigmouths. We NEED the bigmouths. Each of these 3 complicated men has made incredibly valuable contributions to our civil rights movement.

  108. Pleasure_activist says:

    Its my experience that Trans people are generally straight people. Straight men who want to be strait women, and the reverse. Straight people unfortunately stuck in the wrong gender. But not gay. L or B.

  109. Pleasure_activist says:

    I have every sympathy for Trans issues, and note how they mirror Gay issues in many ways. However I do not consider our Trans friends part of my community of gays (plus L and B). Allies certainly, but not ‘us’. In my experience these are straight men who want to be straight women, or vice versa. Not Gay, not Lesbian, not Bi. Strait people who have unfortunately been deposited in the wrong bodies. More power to them in fighting for their rights. Everyone should have equal rights. Good luck to them. They have my support. But they are not ‘us’.

  110. emjayay says:

    Dan’s column on this is interesting. Also: he’s a pretty bright guy.

    http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2014/06/07/about-that-hate-crime-i-committed-at-university-of-chicago

  111. Fwiw, Pat’s been quite a reasonable and welcome voice in our little community here at Ablog. I realize this argument lends itself to getting heated, but he’s always been one of the good guys.

  112. Art Dahm says:

    Uh oh. You said “Drama queen”. Don’t you know that’s on the (very long) list of phrases that are now forbidden?

  113. We can still be fired for being gay since there is no national ENDA law covering gays either. As for not fighting for trans rights, in fact Joe and I on this site were the only people fighting for trans rights at the national level when Tennessee, at the urging of the US Chamber, decided to attempt, and then succeed, at repealing gay and trans rights ordinances in the state (and banning new ones). HRC, of all groups, finally got involved as well, as did state groups in TN and NJ. But the national trans groups and trans advocates, sadly, offered us no assistance. (Did you help on TN?) But we persevered and caused a lot of pain to a lot of companies, and while the anti-gay and anti-trans law passed, those businesses, and the US Chamber, were put on warning.

    It’s a free country, you’re entitled to your animus towards gay people, however misguided. You are not however entitled to your own set of facts when the truth fails to substantiate your animus. A simple search of this blog will show our extensive work on TN and lots of other trans issues.

    I just did a quick search in our archives and found the following stories fighting for trans rights. These are just the first ones I found.

    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/03/ap-expose-on-the-plight-of-homeless-gay-trans-youth.html

    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2013/06/trans-woman-catch-bin-laden-kristin-beck.html

    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/11/14-races-for-gay-and-trans-people-to-watch-today.html

    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/12/the-balls-you-have-to-have-to-be-a-trans-activist-on-tv-in-uganda.html

    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2010/10/rally-for-trans-girl-barred-from-running-for-homecoming-queen.html

    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/05/bangor-daily-news-blasts-anti-trans-legislation-would-put-them-at-risk-of-harassment.html

    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2010/10/nyt-looks-at-trans-candidates.html

    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2014/01/trans-woman-asks-anti-gay-bigot-hed-like-stone-video.html

    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2013/11/time-archie-bunker-gave-mouth-mouth-trans-woman-video.html

    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/01/nasty-anti-trans-snl-skit.html

    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/01/trans-in-the-military-has-their-time-come.html

    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/08/gaytrans-rights-bill-voted-down-in-florida.html

    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2009/10/in-kalamazoo-campaign-opposition-resorts-to-trans-bashing.html

    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/09/dc-government-to-run-pro-trans-ads-at-bus-stops.html

    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/05/exxonmobil-against-consider-proposal-to-bar-anti-gay-trans-discrimination.html

    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2014/02/study-trans-people-10x-likely-attempt-suicide.html

    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/05/argentina-now-leads-the-world-in-trans-rights.html

    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/08/trans-man-wins-uk-big-brother-competition.html

    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2011/07/bravos-anti-trans-swipe.html

    http://aravosis.wpengine.com/2012/06/transgender-advocate-talks-about-trans-in-the-military-to-cnn.html

  114. What kind of abuse did Larry face in his day?

  115. BloggerDave says:

    LOL… That’s hilarious… Not only are you threatening misinformation as way to retaliate but you’re under the delusion that placing “conservative” in front of ‘transgender’ will make the religious bigots take you seriously and accept you… Good luck with that… They don’t even get ‘gay’ let alone ‘transgender’…..

  116. BloggerDave says:

    I just saw two documentaries on Netflix over the weekend: We Were Here and How to Fight a Plague… One thing that I noticed was the tremendous support AND leadership of the Lesbian community during the early stages of the crisis… I had no idea… And I am very grateful….

  117. TheAngryFag says:

    Thank you for proving my point. I accept your surrender.

  118. PeteWa says:

    hey karmanot…
    3) confusing an angry, vocal minority with a larger group is a trap to be avoided.
    the trans community will continue to have my support. we are all stronger together.

  119. PeteWa says:

    it’s good to remember it is one person and not the entire group.
    I always enjoy reading your comments, pappy.

  120. pappyvet says:

    I am sure that I am getting old. I simply do not understand why anyone would not want an open conversation to strengthen bonds instead of weakening them. Unless of course the game plan has more to do with piggybacking than asking family to do more. I would love the opportunity but I’m not going to be spat upon and then be expected to beg for the right to help. This whole thing has gotten way out of hand. The attacks are so absurd but the effects so harmful that I can find nothing sane in it.

  121. pappyvet says:

    Figures. We openly want a conversation to take place and that is the kind of venom we get. Real mature. Will solve everything.

  122. 2karmanot says:

    Well done John—-excellent article. Some observations; 1.) There is no end to Gay history. We have preserved our history for thousands of years, often at our extreme peril. We endure and we pass down the stories as our artists pass down our multifaceted history. 2,) Dan Savage is a brilliant example of our diverse communities at their best. Bravo Dan! In my generation it was Larry Kramer, who endured no end of abuse because he told the truth loud and clear. 3.) I for one, am sick and tired of the trans community, their whining and bigoted Sis nonsense. They have lost my support in general, but not when it comes to civil rights.

  123. Well, she threw the word “fags” at us below, so I’m not sure she’s going to have the keys to the blog any time soon.

  124. pappyvet says:

    I’m asking you right now.

  125. pappyvet says:

    When did John show this lack of support?

  126. PeteWa says:

    “Until you stop seeing oppression as a contest, you won’t be a very effective activist for change.”
    quote worthy.

  127. pappyvet says:

    snort…guffaw

  128. pappyvet says:

    I have tried repeatedly to make the point that what should be drawing us together is not our differences but the similarities as seen those hateful beings who still inhabit many corridors of power. We are so different from them as to be deemed a threat. None of us in the LGBT community threaten anybody.

    And yet as a long time activist ,marcher and survivor of some of the worst of times I can tell you that I am fearful of what I see as the realization of what Lincoln referenced as “death by suicide.”

    I even had one young man who claimed to be gay tell me on this blog that I am just an old fag who should just go away and be quiet. I would love to find that comment. It tells much more than the poster imagined. On Veteran’s Day I had many thank me for my service. Very few younger people. Some even acted as though it was a blow to their ego if they had done so. A very strange situation is developing as a cold fog seems to be forming in many areas of society. None more shocking or sad than the way some Trans folks have been reacting with great venom to even the slightest of perceived insults by LGB folks. But the truth that some of our trans family seem not to want to acknowledge is the fact that as they were slamming us all those years ago and as they continue to slam us , they slam you also.

    It is not a blow to the collective ego of the Trans community that we fought and yes died to get to this stage of history. And I for one will not apologize or soft sell the blood sweat and tears it took. We were there. Our Lesbian Sisters were there. Our Bi family was there. And our Trans family was there also. I have marched with all of you. Hugged on Polk and share stories with you at the Black Rose.
    Don’t f==king tell me that the LGB folks are anything but supportive. It’s a lie period. Try talking instead of this silly outrage that does zero good for anyone except those in the shadows who still after all that everyone of us in the LGBT community has gone through would love to hang us all in a bunch.

  129. AnObserver says:

    Then bring it up before your local LGBT center BOD at the next meeting. Lobby the rest of the LGB to show up to that vote and make it happen. If you fags really want this divorce and think it is ok to say tranny in polite conversation then screw you. We don’t need you. We would like to have the drivers seat for awhile if the alliance is to be preserved.
    We put in time to get the right to marry and the right to serve, now it is your turn to pull for us.
    If you intend on reneging on your collective obligations we can work with that. We are used to lies and being fucked over.