Queer: June 2003 Archives

Almost all of my posts are in the Queer category lately. Go figure.

The inimitable Patric King has a beautiful post filled with advice for the newly out.

These people are heroes -- photos from the gay pride march in Calcutta. About 35 men marched yesterday. Thanks to the British Empire-era laws, homosexuality is illegal in India. I've seen some articles, such as the 365gay.com one, say it's the first one, but I have seen an older report from 1999.



(both photos: AP Photo/Bikas Das)

The 1999 article has a link to an interview with Indian gay activist Ashok Row Kavi by Perry Brass.

I don't know if it's because of Pride Weekend or the Supreme Court, but Chelsea certainly is a friendly neighborhood today. A muscled latin Chelsea boy just held the door for me and smacked his lips as I was leaving the gym.

Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian -- so close to Jesus, the other members of the Trinity refer to her as "Yoko Bowers" -- asks, "is Bush gay"?

She even provides a handy e-mail form for contacting the White House.

On the heels of the Supreme Court decision killing sodomy laws, the ACLU isn't going to just celebrate and party, like most homosexuals. They realize the fight isn't over and they're "getting busy". I like the play on words.

Get Busy. Get Equal.

From the site:

After this decision, it is unconstitutional for states to make same-sex relationships a crime. That does not mean that governments, businesses and other institutions have to treat LGBT people and LGBT relationships equally. But it does mean that the law no longer gives them an excuse to refuse.

That means we are in a better position than we have ever been before to insist that governments, business and schools treat us with dignity and respect, and give us equal treatment in day to day life.

This website provides tools to: 1) get better treatment for same-sex relationships; 2) get safe schools; 3) get civil rights/discrimination policies that include LGBT people. The tools include simple but important steps that will take only a few minutes–like sending an electronic message to your representatives in Congress supporting a law to protect LGBT people from discrimination. The tools also include more ambitious things, like a step-by-step guide showing how to get a an anti-harassment policy from your school district or a domestic partnership policy in your town or your workplace. There are also tools to help you protect your own relationship, or to get a gay/straight alliance at your school. And more.

No one who cares about equality and dignity for LGBT people should let the opportunity this Supreme Court decision has given us pass without doing something to bring us a step closer to equality. So go to the tools. Take the easy steps, and check out the rest.

Equality is up to us.

There I was, checking out the Keds at my local gay activewear store on Eighth Avenue, and what do I see? You guessed it: trucker hats!

Gay.com has an interview with Lady Bunny, the drag queen/DJ/thinker. The best part is at the end when the interview says, "Tell us something nobody knows about you."

Whether it's drag shows, being a DJ, writing music or organizing outdoor festivals, everything I do is in the realm of entertainment. And it's very difficult for me to focus on the lighthearted and entertaining when the world is in such a mess. I don't know if it's that I'm more aware of the situation because of the Internet, but these are the saddest times that I've ever lived in. I've experienced a general malaise for a couple of years now due to world affairs. Part of it is guilt -- I remember being so tired of the last presidential election's outcome flip-flopping that at one point I said "Oh hell, just give it to Bush and be done with it!" -- even though I'm a staunch democrat.

Now that a moron has run the country for a few years, I realize how dangerous my apathetic attitude was. The few people in this country who have any sense must care, must get involved and must speak out, regardless of how unpopular their views may be. The truth isn't being heard. It's as if George Orwell's "newspeak" has arrived: "Reality" shows aren't real (and we don't want to see what is), bombing Iraq is called "Operation Iraqi Freedom" (how about freedom from bombs?) and idiots outside the Dixie Chicks' concerts hold signs that say "freedom" (what about the Chicks' freedom of speech?). And easing the FCC's restrictions will only intensify the trend for "news" to equal the administration's spin -- so it's going to get worse.

After 9/11, everyone asked "What should we do?" I asked "What have we done -- to inspire such hatred towards us?" Americans view Muslims as religious fanatics who condone suicide bombings. But what if the USA has made their life hell for so long that they really have no other choice? Most of the American public isn't aware (or doesn't care) that we've been screwing around in the Middle East (and other parts of the world -- like Columbia, where we bomb poor coca farmers with insecticides so poisonous that they're forced to leave their tainted, unworkable land and roam the countryside sick and dying) for way too long.

The hatred that other nations feel for us is coming home to roost. And to have someone as stupid and greedy as Bush at the helm during this tense international situation is tragic. A few months after he turned his back on the world by denouncing the Kyoto Treaty (which would have benefited the health of the Earth's atmosphere, not just one country's corporations), he has the nerve to cry "You're either for us or against us."

And the dunces who populate this country actually buy that as diplomacy and proudly order "freedom fries." As if France should still be so beholden to us for past military aid that they aren't able to, decades later, evaluate our rotten foreign policy and criticize it! And easing the FCC's restrictions will, in the name of corporate greed, ensure a whole new generation of even more ignorant dunces! CNN did a poll before we bombed Iraq, which determined something like over 70 percent of those polled wanted to go to war. The reason was Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction, which, post-Operation Iraqi Freedom, they're still hunting for. Whoops!

Well, you asked to know something about me that no one knows, and you find that I'm deeply disturbed (though answer number two might have clued you in to that) by world affairs. And for those of you who are thinking "I liked her short, funny answers better!" -- I agree. And I truly wish I hadn't been jolted out of my carefree existence by a bomb in my backyard. It's a royal pain, but the world's turned upside down, and we've all got to pitch in to try to rectify it before that bomb hits our house. Or before it hits another house of someone in a country that has oil we need. This "Christian" country is killing people. Whatever happened to "Thou shalt not kill"? Where were the Christian leaders of this country during this "war"? Even the pope spoke out against it; I think that's the first time we've ever agreed on anything.

As I have said before, drag queens are higher-evolved beings, since they can't really buy into the "but if I act like a straight white middle class male I'll be OK" version of gay politics. That's the reason I went off on such a rant after SONDA passed without out transgender protection.

I am reminded of a Bastille Day celebration at Florent in the mid-90s. It was during the time when France resumed nuclear testing in the South Pacific. While Chi Chi Valenti was performing, she unrolled a sign that said, "STOP FRENCH BOMBS!" The crowd jumped to its feet, cheering. I have always been much more of a fan of this school of drag queens than of the "just give us showtunes" variety.

According to 365Gay.com, the gay pride celebration at the Department of Justice will be allowed to happen after all. I bet there are some angry fundies out there.

The NY Times has a few more interesting details:

"The president believes everybody ought to be treated with dignity and respect, but he does not believe we should be politicizing people's sexual orientation," said Scott McClellan, a White House spokesman.


Mr. Ashcroft, socially conservative and deeply religious, was known for his strong views against homosexuality during his days in the Senate. He said then that he considered homosexuality a sin, and he opposed legislation to protect gays.

But in his confirmation hearings in 2001, he pledged not to tolerate discrimination against gays in the Justice Department. Critics said today that the decision to bar the gay pride event amounted to his backpedaling.

Senator Russell D. Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, said in a statement today that he had asked Mr. Ashcroft before confirmation about DOJ Pride's use of government facilities. Mr. Ashcroft said then that he had "no intent to treat this group differently than any other."

Regarding Bush's "not politicizing sexual orientation", I refer you to my earlier post on queers and the GOP.

On a similar point, I'm always annoyed by people who think a gay man in the office who puts a photo of his lover on his desk is "flaunting his sexual orientation." I was reminded of it when I saw this photo of Blanche Lincoln, a Senator from Arkansas, in the Times:


Doug Mills/ The New York Times
Senator Blanche Lincoln has a photograph of her twin sons, Reece and Bennet, 7, on her desk, facing visitors.

The original photo in the print edition showed about 5 such photos of her husband and children in a row at the front of her desk.

Apparently, the lifestyle choice of being Christian and having prayer meetings at the Department of Justice is OK, but having an event for Gay Pride Month is not:

The Justice Department has barred a group of employees from holding their annual gay pride event at the department's headquarters, the first time such an event has been blocked by any federal agency, gay rights leaders said yesterday.

Justice Department officials told the group, called DOJ Pride, that they could not hold their annual event this month at the department's Great Hall because the White House had not formally recognized Gay Pride Month with a presidential proclamation, said Marina Colby, a Justice Department policy analyst who is president of the group, which represents several hundred gay and lesbian department employees.

"This sends a real chilling message to Justice Department employees who are gay and lesbian," said David Smith, a spokesman for Human Rights Campaign, the country's largest gay advocacy group.

"This says, 'You're not welcome,' " Smith said. "It says that employees can celebrate Asian American heritage month, and Hispanic heritage month and so on, but you cannot."

Barbara Comstock, spokeswoman for the Justice Department, declined to comment.

The gay pride event has been an annual tradition at the Justice Department since about 1997, organizers said, and many other federal agencies have held similar events since the mid-1990s, when President Clinton first declared a Gay Pride Month.


I think Hillary Clinton is a secret double agent for the Republicans. It's the only explanation that makes sense. I've written before about how she's no friend of homos, and the NY Times has written about how much she's being attacked from the left. In that article, we learn the charming fact that she's afraid to meet with the family of Barry Winchell, a gay soldier who was beaten to death with a baseball bat as he slept in his cot. The Senate Armed Services Committee, of which Hillary is a member, has decided to hold a closed door session on the promotion of Major General Robert T. Clark to Lieutenant General. MG Clark is former Commanding General of Fort Campbell, where Winchell was murdered in 1999 by fellow soldiers. Targeted because he was believed to be gay, PFC Winchell endured constant anti-gay harassment in the months leading up to his murder.

Now, as the media could be talking about the mass deception involving weapons of mass destruction that Iraq doesn't seem to have had, instead we are treated to a repraisal of the blowjob scandal that nearly led to Bill Clinton's impeachment, thanks to the release of her new memoir. While doing very little of use to New York or anyone else, Hillary has managed to find time to write a memoir. Its release gives the press another chance to remind us that lying about sex is an impeachable offense, but the treason of lying about weapons to start a war to distract us from the corporate scandals of Enron and Worldcom is just business as usual.


Updated: I left out the fact that the GOP uses the threat of Hillary becoming President in its fundraising letters.

This page is an archive of entries in the Queer category from June 2003.

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