Tuesday, January 26, 2010
A year ago if you had asked me where I would be at this very moment I would have looked at you and said, "Huh?"
I've spent the last five days with over 40 LGBT activists from around the country on a mountaintop in someplace called Tennessee.
Hint: Limit your time with activists to four days.
I'm jes sayin'.
It's like not swimming for a couple of hours after eating. It's just safer for everyone.
We have spent the past few days talking.
I've actually learned a new rather strange language called "P.C".
It seems you actually have to care about another persons' feelings when you speak.
I was laughing.
You also must make sure that you use the correct verbiage when describing "Bitches" and "Whores".
"Bitches" evidently don't exist outside of kennels.
Tell that to Joan Collins who has built a career away from the kennel.
"Whores" are "Sex Workers".
"I told that whore to get over here with my gas money, now!" Said the Congressman.
"I respectfully request that you, non gender specific, Sex Worker join me at my side with sufficient funds to fill the gas tank on my Escalade", said the Congressman.
Of course you do.
Where was I?
I've been to the mountaintop.
I have been surrounded with some of the most brilliant people I have ever had the pleasure of spending time with.
On a mountaintop.
We have had workshops on how to organize and strategize and pyschedelicize our movement to attain full equally as citizens of the United States.
We have talked (Lord knows) ourselves until we are Blue in the face (which is not an attractive color on me at this time of the year. I look like Latoya Jackson ordering a Jumbo Jack at a drive thru at 3:00 am. But. I digress.). We have fought like brothers and sisters. We have learned so much about each other that I could write a book on everyone here.
I also have learned that on occasion, rare, but, on, I might be a teensy bit difficult to deal with.
Last night we got word that our little camp of linguists was being touted on the Blogs as a "Rich Gays cigar and Champagne Secret Meeting!"
Not because they were so off base with what they said about us.
Because they were so off base`with what they said about us.
I drank generic Vodka!
That I poured myself!
That's French for, "Uh, is there a VIP section up in this Bitch?"
I said "Bitch".
Outside of a kennel.
Where was I?
Look nosy Bloggy peeps, I would be the first to tell you if we were reinventing the wheel up here in a place so cold my cojones went into hibernation.
What we are doing is taking the Bull by the horns and doing something to make our world, our country, a better place for all of us.
If anyone has an issue with that because they didn't get an invite to an all expenses paid trip to a historic place (did I mention that THE ROSA PARKS used ta kick it up in here? Did I? Well. She did.) to actually do something other than moan about what hasn't been done, well, I don't know what to tell you.
Actually I do, but, that kind of language should only be used in a kennel.
An amazing woman, Robin McGehee and a really smart and somewhat hot, young man, Kip Williams, invited me to come and I am honored to have attended this amazing retreat. I got to learn from Dan Matthews of PETA (by the way, let a resident of a kennel throw blood on my ratfur coat. I'm jes sayin'.) and I got to meet the legendary Anne Northrup who has looked after me and told me to shut up in the nicest possible manner.
The others are a blend of something you NEVER see in leadership positions in the major "DONATE NOW" Gay inc organizations.
I won't name them.
You probably don't know them anyway.
But. Some descriptions.
We got us some:
Angry,beautiful,poetic and smart Black lesbians who are damn proud of all of the proceeding.
Seniors who think like 25 year olds.
Law enforcement folk.
Black Men! Yeah, tell me how often we're included in Gay Inc discussions? Can you say "Prop 8"? Of course you can't. Unless it's followed by "It was the Black Men. DONATE NOW".
White guys! No waiting, we got several, step right up!
Youth of color and those lacking in melanin. All brilliant.
And here is the kicker! We got us some Transgender folk! And we actually see them as people, not just another, "DONATE NOW", push button, make money drop out. How very modern of us.
We've got insiders and outsiders.
Tops and bottoms.
Pajamas. That is. What were you thinking?
Here's the kicker.
It's my last night here and the elitist camp full of Champagne and Cigars is abuzz.
It seems that President Obama (the Black Guy)is maybe just maybe going to make a major announcement about the absurd "Don't ask Don't Tell" policy that throws perfectly good heroes out of the Armed Forces because they are Gay.
SIDEBAR: Aren't we in a war? You know, the Bush war? Why then are we throwing away war heroes like Lt. Dan Choi who is fluent in Arabic and is decorated?
Not like a tree. Like a Hero.
The government has spent millions of dollars training folks like Dan and then because some bigot is afraid that some dude (or `dudette) is going to look at him or her in the shower, we throw taxpayer dollars down the drain by getting rid of them when all they want to do is serve the country that they love?
Is that the magic "Fiscal Responsibility" I've heard so much about from the nattering nabobs of negativity on the right screech about, oh so very often?
Well, we don't know what will happen, but, if this stupid policy is done away with, I want to personally thank my Senator, Harry Reid, the Majority Leader of the United States Senate for leading the way.
Okay, what had happened was, I invited Lt. Dan Choi out to Moiself's sunny little burgh of Las Vegas to drum up support for The National Equality March. My good riend and sometime mentor, Gwen Migita of Harrahs corporation facilitated Dan and I getting backstage at a fancy dress ball to actually have a few private moments with Senator Reid. Upon seeing Dans' chestful of gleaming medals and ribbons, the Senator said that he wanted to get rid of the DADT policy and that the President and he were working on it. Since Harry Reid has personally promised me a couple of things and had always kept his word, (including promising to endorse the National Equality March , which he did.)I knew that soon, DADT would end.
I'm hoping tomorrow.
Tomorrow is The President's State of The Union address and our little exclusive and elitist mountaintop is abuzz because we know that without a "DONATE NOW" button, we, the grassroots, were able to push history forward just a touch. We, the real grassroots, were able to do what Americans are supposed to be able to do.
We met with one of the most powerful men in the country and he told us he supported us and to just keep up our fight and to get in the streets and march until we had our rights. He also told us he would do all that he could to help.
If DADT ends soon, I want you to remember a few things.
Without Robin McGehee and Kip Williams and Dan Choi and a woman named Laura Martin (who arranged a major meeting in D.C. with Senator Reid)and all the grassroots activists who came to Washington D.C. (thank you David Mixner!)on a gorgeous Fall day, we would be a lot further back from our goals of full equality for ALL U.S. citizens.
We did it without fancy dinners and parties where people didn't wear shirts (what's up with that? Put your damn shirts back on, I'm not trying to ruin cashmere with your sweat!. I digress.)OR a huge "DONATE NOW BUT WAIT A FEW MORE YEARS FOR ANYTHING TO HAPPEN CAUSE WE HAVE NEEDS AT OUR GAY INC.HQ" button affixed to our butts.
And you know what?
We're still doing it from our mountaintop aerie with free flowing lemonade and coffee!
We're doing it at the LOCAL LGBT center near you.
We're doing it at high schools and park benches and in the middle of the night in places GAY Inc. won't go.
We , the grassroots activists are doing it.
Are you Gay Inc.?
Get up stand up! Stand up for your rights!
And remember a man named Harry Reid and when people tell you he doesn't know or care about you or your community, you tell them, yes he does.
And you tell 'em, I said so.
Photo Credit: Chris "Causing a Ruckus" Miller
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Well, it seems that the media losers have decided to do a bunch of instant "polls" in regards to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The RepubliBan have jumped all over these like John Ensign on another man's wife.
Well, if you're feeling like pushing a few keys, here's some polls that you can go to and vote up a little support for the only Senator from Nevada who you don't have to worry about an ethics investigation with, Harry Reid.
Help show your support for Senator Reid by voting in some of these online polls!
KVVU Poll - Las Vegas
KRNV Poll - Reno
Las Vegas City Life Blog
Monday, January 11, 2010
Much has been made by the party of no lately about a simple sentence that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in regards to then Senator Obama before the 2008 elections.
The haters on the right and their lapdog hacks in the media are making much ado about nothing in regards to the Senators' statement before the 2009 elections that, "Obama could succeed as a black candidate partly because of his "light-skinned" appearance and speaking patterns "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."
I'm sorry, I seem to be missing what he said that was either offensive ,or, wrong?
I myself have gotten pretty far in my life partly because of my "light-skinned" appearance and speaking patterns "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."
So have millions of other Black folk.
Anyone who tells you any different is lying.
Or in serious denial about the reality of race in America.
Let's be honest here, light skin, "talking white" and "good hair" go a long way round these parts.
Lots of people and organizations that have never dealt with Black folks have seen fit to work with me in no small part because of my appearance and mannerisms.
Actually, most people of ALL colors get ahead in life because of their appearance and mannerisms.
Well, never a group to let common sense get in the way of a good story to take the light off of their own lack of ideas and the fact that they hate America and what it has become, the thugs on the right are raising Cain as if they actually could care less about Black folks, or racial sensitivity.
The rethugs have now trotted out their "Spook By The Door", Michael "I'm an embarrassment to every Black person in America" Steele to admonish Senator Reid for telling the truth.
Steele is everywhere these days shaming his mother , father and every Negro who ever fought to get us all the rights that he has gladly sold his "soul" for. He bleats across the airwaves about how Reid's statements are somehow the same as Trent Lott praising Racist, KKK segregationist Strom Thurmond who never met a lynching he wouldn't have a picnic by.
I have met both Michael "I should be ashamed of myself" Steele and Senator Reid.
One lied to me.
One made a promise and kept his word to me.
One is a what my deceased father would have called an "Uncle Tom".
The other is a man whom I have heard praised by the old guard of Black Nevada on so many occasions that I can't count them all.
One told me that the Republican party would stop it's unrelenting laser focus on destroying the lives of LGBT Americans. In fact, he said, "don't worry Derek, a change is gonna come."
How's that going?
I'm just sayin'.
The other one I have heard about from the Negroes of West Las Vegas (Yup, I said Negro. What?)many times about how when it was extremely unfashionable, Senator Reid marched with and canvassed for Negro candidates.
Sidebar: I'm going to let you all in on a little secret that we Black folk know.
NO Black / Negro has EVER referred to himself or another Black / Negro as "African American" unless there was white people or a check around.
That's something we say around you all to make you feel better or to get a job where someone wants to prove how "diverse" their organization is.
Go ahead, ask your Negro friends.
Just as I thought.
On more than one occasion, Senator Reid has put himself out on a limb for me and my causes and in EVERY single instance, he has kept his word.
He has never cared that I am of color or Gay.
Senator Reid is a man of honor and character.
Michael Steele, at long last Sir, have you know shame?
More importantly, why don't you have any honor or character?
You're just another "Spook By The Door".
Shame on you.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
THE MORAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL CASE FOR A RIGHT TO GAY MARRIAGE (by Robert A Levy reprinted from the NY Daily News)
I have said it a million times, I could care less about Gay marriage.
Anybody crazy enough to want to get on the psycho train with me should probably not be allowed to get married, Gay or Straight.
I'm jes sayin'.
I do, however, take major umbrage with the denial of basic constitutional rights by way of this unholy ban on Gay marriages.
Btw, if marriage is so sacred, why are there three (!) drive thru wedding chapels within four blocks of me?
"I'll have that supersized with an extra order of tears. No, not the fake ones, this is a sanctified affair."
And why can Britney Spears do it and change it out as often as she wears panties?
Not a good analogy.
You know what I mean.
Well, I came across a rather concise article written by Roberta Levy for the New York Daily News and since it pretty much nails the idiocy of the anti-Gay marriage wing nuts, I decided to just steal, uh, reprint it in it's entirety.
The moral and constitutional case for a right to gay marriage
BY Robert A. Levy
Thursday, January 7th 2010, 4:00 AM
Following bitter defeats in California, Maine, and New York, the gay and lesbian community has a New Year's victory to celebrate. New Hampshire joins four other states - Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts and Vermont - in legalizing gay marriage. And the nation's capital is also onboard. Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty put it this way: "Marriage inequality is a civil rights, political, social, moral and religious issue."
He covered all the bases, except one: It's a constitutional issue as well.
Thomas Jefferson set the stage in the Declaration of Independence: "[T]o secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men." The primary purpose of government is to safeguard individual rights and prevent some persons from harming others. Heterosexuals should not be treated preferentially when the state carries out that role. And no one is harmed by the union of two consenting gay people.
For most of Western history, marriage was a matter of private contract between the betrothed parties and perhaps their families. Following that tradition, marriage today should be a private arrangement, requiring minimal or no state intervention. Some religious or secular institutions would recognize gay marriages; others would not; still others would call them domestic partnerships or assign another label. Join whichever group you wish. The rights and responsibilities of partners would be governed by personally tailored contracts - consensual bargains like those that control most other interactions in a free society.
Regrettably, government has interceded, enacting more than 1,000 federal laws dealing mostly with taxes or transfer payments, and an untold number of state laws dealing with such questions as child custody, inheritance and property rights. Whenever government imposes obligations or dispenses benefits, it may not "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." That provision is explicit in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, applicable to the states, and implicit in the Fifth Amendment, applicable to the federal government.
Of course, government discriminates among its citizens all the time. By the 1920s, 38 states prohibited whites from marrying blacks and certain Asians. Until 1954, all states were allowed to operate segregated schools. Thankfully, the Supreme Court invalidated both interracial marital restrictions and school segregation. The court applied the plain text of the Equal Protection Clause despite contrary practices by the states for many years even after the 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868.
To pass constitutional muster, racial discrimination had to survive "strict scrutiny" by the courts. Government had to demonstrate a compelling need for its regulations, show they would be effective and narrowly craft the rules so they didn't sweep more broadly than necessary. That same regime should apply when government discriminates based on gender preference.
No compelling reason has been proffered for sanctioning heterosexual but not homosexual marriages. Nor is a ban on gay marriage a close fit for attaining the goals cited by proponents of such bans. If the goal, for example, is to strengthen the institution of marriage, a more effective step might be to bar no-fault divorce and premarital cohabitation. If the goal is to ensure procreation, then infertile and aged couples should be precluded from marriage.
Instead, most states have implemented an irrational and unjust system that provides significant benefits to just-married heterosexuals while denying benefits to a male or female couple who have enjoyed a loving, committed, faithful and mutually reinforcing relationship over several decades. That's not the way it has to be. Government benefits triggered by marriage could just as easily be triggered by other objective criteria, leaving the definition of marriage in the hands of private institutions.
For instance, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee recently voted to extend employee benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees. The qualifying criterion, which could also apply to heterosexual couples, is an affidavit identifying the domestic partner and certifying that the partnership is intended to be exclusive and permanent, within a common residence, with shared responsibilities.
Similarly, some states dispense benefits to qualifying gay couples joined in predefined civil unions. Even private-sector employers are increasingly offering same-sex "marital" benefits. According to the federal Office of Personnel Management, nearly 60% of Fortune 500 companies confer employment benefits on domestic partners.
Yet our politicians, unwilling to privatize marriage, seem congenitally unable to extricate themselves from our most intimate relationships. One would hope, in the coming months and years, that more enlightened federal and state legislators will have the courage and decency to resist morally abhorrent and constitutionally suspect restrictions based on sexual orientation. Gay couples are entitled to the same legal rights and the same respect and dignity accorded to all Americans.
Robert A. Levy is chairman of the Cato Institute.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
BLACK OR GAY? WHICH AM I AND WHEN?
Recently, much has been made of Harold Ford XIV (or whatever) eyeing the New York senate seat of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a fellow Democrat.
While I am usually supportive of young Black men who are making their way in politics in my chosen party, I have to call out Mr. Ford for what he is; a carpetbagging, homophobe who comes from a corrupt Southern political dynasty and feels that equality is not something that should be extended to homosexual Americans.
The Ford family of Tennessee has for years reigned as the cafe au lait definition of decrepit old school Southern politics. Ever so often they pop a new legacy out and unleash that spawn upon their constituents with the regularity of a Black widow devouring it's trusting mate. They are not above using the “race card” in their Machiavellian maneuvers either. Though able to pass the “paper bag” test with flying colors, the Ford's will cry racism to the highest heavens when they are denied anything they deem their right as Southern Negro Poverty Pimps.
Now, Harold the younger has decided (along with his new Wall St cronies) to aim for the seat of Kirsten Gillibrand who made the fatal mistake of not stepping aside when party elders had decided to give what became her seat to dilettante Caroline Kennedy as a sort of “knighthood” for her family's service to the Democratic Party. From the day she was appointed by Governor David Patterson, she has had a big target painted on her political back.
In a decidedly cynical move, the powers that be are now backing a Southerner with less than four years in New York (and that has been spent on Wall St.. Remember Wall St? Yeah, that's why you're reading this from your foreclosed home.). Why, you may ask?
He's a Negro.
Plain and simple.
Worse part is that Ford knows this ,and yet, his ambitions (petite bourgeois that they are) allow him to be used in this way in order to get what he wants. His backers know that Blacks want a Black face in the Senate and will probably vote for him in all of his high Yella splendor regardless of the fact that neither he nor his family could care less about them.
Now, my dilemma.
Personally, I am often confronted with the question of what I am.
I am both.
However, as a Black man, I have certain rights that are protected by the laws of this great nation. They can not be taken away.
As a Gay man, I am less of a citizen than an illegal alien from anywhere in this world.
I can not get married to another man.
I can be fired in Nevada because I'm Gay regardless of my job performance
I can not serve in the military.
I can not adopt in most states even if a child has been with me since birth.
The list goes on.
I am a Democrat because that “other” party has stated clearly that they don't want my kind (Black or Gay) under their “big tent.”
Fine. I don't go where I'm not welcome.
Mr. Ford has continuously voted against every piece of pro-equality legislation that would give me the full rights that I would enjoy if I denied who I am and just “played straight'.
Now, will I sit idly by while MY party anoints someone who feels that I don't deserve the very same rights that his carpetbagging ass has as a matter of course?
MY party needs to understand that the days of LGBT Americans just sitting back ad taking and indignity thrown at us because we have no other choices politically, are over.
We LGBT Democrats are no longer going to sit idly by while homophobes are promoted to the top while we sit outside and beg through the windows for any equality scraps we are given.
For those of you considering promoting this homophobe Ford to the big time, I suggest you reconsider. While I am a loyal Democrat and a Black man, I am a GAY LOYAL DEMOCRAT AND BLACK MAN and will not just take one more insult.
I don't care if it seems disloyal.
I urge everyone who cares about equality to reject, to put a stop to, to disavow Harold “homophobe” Ford and his ego driven bid to become a New York Senator.
Sometimes, you just have to do the right thing regardless of what your “friends” think.