May 9th – Leadership

Standard

It’s funny because I was going to post something on my political site about the one issue that has disappointed me with this President in terms of lack of courage and leadership.

No need for that post anymore 🙂

Really – is there anything else to say about the day? Being the political junkie that I am it pretty much dominated my world in the hours leading up to the announcement. Reading reactions after just solidified to me why this needed to happen. So many heart warming from people whose lives were touched so positively by hearing a sitting President state his support for them. Sure, I worked. I went out to dinner with the boyfriend. I had the usual tussle with 15 over how he is preparing  for his AP exam. But all of that happened somehow in the background. The boyfriend and I walked about this and how it is such a no brainer to us but then, we live in So Cal. Even though voters in our state made a huge mess of things in ’08, in our experience personally this is no big deal.

In fact, we’ve come so far that at one point last night I saw a tweet go by that pretty much summed it up (wish I could remember who it was but they were flying so fast & furious it was impossible to keep track:

“Openly gay Congressman Barney Frank is talking to openly gay TV host Rachel Maddow about POTUS supporting marriage equality. LOVE”

 

 

May 8 – of running and deep thoughts and dinner

Standard

I did it – woke up and ran the 3.2 mile loop along the trail near my house. And oh, was it hard! I purposefully didn’t wear the heart monitor because I wanted to go slow and not even look at my time along the way. I have enough of a touch of OCD or inner competitiveness that I know if I saw how slow I was going (vs running by how I felt) I would push it too fast. Still – dang!! My feet hurt so much after only 2 miles that I doubted I would be able to make it up the final uphill mile. And yet, I did. Found things around me to focus on and take my mind off my feet (like my truly achy abs that HURT when I took deeper breaths and tortured me all day if I sneezed – dang circuit class!)

Normally I feel pretty pumped from doing a morning run but for some reason I didn’t get that today 😦

Ah well – work was brightened by the news that Adam Lambert’s 2nd album which releases in the US in a week was streaming on his website. I listened to it twice and chair danced the whole time 🙂 Oh how that voice makes me smile.

So – the deep thoughts – well first it was following the efforts today in North Carolina where a pretty odious Amendment was unfortunately voted into place to define marriage in their state constitution as the only type of legal domestic partnership the state will recognize – and of course they limited marriage to only being between one man and one woman. So they effectively did away with ANY type of non-marriage relationship having any legal definition or rights recognized. It eats away at adoption rights and even domestic abuse laws outside of a marriage. Makes me so sad. The rights of a minority should NEVER be voted on my the majority. Also? I really really loathe discrimination and labeling people as “less than” or “other”.

OTOH I was thrilled to hear that San Diego will be the first city in the nation to have a street named after Harvey Milk! That will happen sometime this month for a street in Hillcrest. You can bet I’ll head up there to take a picture when it is dedicated!

So I was going to mention that a co-worker in another department has a really cute sticker on her car that I first noticed yesterday. It’s a little girl kneeling in from of a cross and it says “God answers knee-mail” Hah! Cute huh? Knee mail. Love it.

But then….well, this gal is young and a very overtly devout Christian clearly..and she and I had a debate over evolution last year that was respectful but I remember thinking at some point that she certainly was set in her beliefs so I went pretty easy on her. No point in challenging her that much. Anyhow…she walks during lunch with another co-worker who is pretty non-religious like me. The other day she apparently wore a t-shirt that said “I started out as a fetus so I don’t believe in abortion” (or something along those lines..can’t remember the exact phrasing). Fine – but – she actualy asked my co-worker if she liked the shirt! Lord…it’s one thing to wear a potentially divisive t-shirt, it’s another to draw attention to it and challenge someone to indicate their support or disagreement! Thankfully the other co-worker is more mature and very very sweet and just managed to shrug and not answer and change the subject gracefully. However, she said later she thought of the perfect response and I have to agree it would have been perfect:

“I am pro-choice so I fully support your choice to wear that shirt”

Awesome!

I’d like to chalk this up to the gals youth. But I hope she learns someday that it isn’t necessary to challenge other people on their beliefs like that. I know a lot of Christians who feel like they can’t express their faith in the open – but – like that? The knee mail sticker? Fabulous. The t-shirt? Borderline. The question about the t-shirt? Crossed the line IMHO.

Moving on…

Walked in the door after work to a glorious smell – a roast – in the crock pot! 26 had gone shopping and also has white corn on the cob on the grill. Fabulous! Except?  He did all this at around 3pm so we have to wait until 8 to eat!!! I’m dying in here smelling this!! But – it’s always nice to come home to dinner being prepared for you 🙂

This day must, of course, be rainbow in honor of Equality. Which will happen in my lifetime! It must!

 

Stonewall Riots 40th anniversary

Standard

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Judy Garland – Over the Rainbow 1955“, posted with vodpod

I remember a fine June breeze swishing its way up Christopher Street from the river and the sweet aroma from the joint in my hand as I sat on a stoop up the block with some friends, the night New York’s finest raided the Stonewall Inn (“Stonewall bar riot was clarion call for change,” Monday). The Stonewall had been there for years. A pub, it is said, built before the American Revolution of the granite blocks from which it took its name. In my time it had been the best speakeasy dance bar in the West Village. By that June night in 1969, its faddish heyday had passed and it had become the party bar for drag and its fans. It was run, as were all the queer bars in New York City at that time, by the mob and its minions.

Remember, in those days, it was almost illegal to be queer, to congregate, to drink together, much less dance. We paid the mob in our private clubs and they paid the cops so we would be left alone. And that’s why that night, as I sat with my friends blowing a joint up the block, the cops raided the Stonewall. They raided it over a “bump in the pad,” an increase in their bribe. The Stonewall wouldn’t pay, so it got raided. (One of New York’s dirty little secrets.)

Go read the rest of this brilliantly written letter to the editor sent to commemorate this anniversary. Open it in a new tab while you listen to Judy singing the song he refers to in the letter to set the mood.

What do you mean it’s not Adam Lambert Tuesday?

Standard

I know I know, give it up right? Sigh..fine…but I’m taping all of the interviews they are making them do this week to get my fix.

I have to say though, that it’s turned out to be quite the eventful/historic Tuesday hasn’t it?

President Obama makes his first ever Supreme Court Nominee – Sonia Sotomayor:

080725_justices_sotomayor

What I know about the law and judges you could fit on the head of a very small pin so I wont opine too deeply other than to say that what I have read about her since this opening came up was very impressive and what I heard from her today at the announcement made me feel confident this is a very wise selection. And whether I agree with what Obama does or not, I always know he has put great thought into things and consulted with many voices first.

Then the California Supreme Court released it’s ruling to uphold the passage of Prop 8 but also to uphold the 18,000 marriages which took place between the first court ruling legalizing same-sex marraige and the passage of prop 8 in Nov.

prop8cartoon

It’s an old cartoon, but it still applies and the decision is extremely disappointing but not unexpected. So, the fight continues. There will most likely be another initiative introduced in 2010 which will be more CLEAR about what people are voting on. I am also confident that the groups supporting equal rights will do a much *better* job about getting the word out than they did in ’08. Of course, even state recognition is just a part-way answer. As my friends explained who did get marriage in that window of opportunity, they still had to file taxes seperately on the federal level since all marriages are not recognized with them. *sigh* Gotta keep chipping away!

Today is also the 7 year anniversary of a guy just starting his own blog to release his frustration at the direction our country was going in:

1st_post

Well, now, that little sideline endeavor seems to have turned out pretty well, dontcha think? Happy Blogiversary Markos!

So I guess there is enough going on to distract me from missing the lack of a new Adam Lambert performance tonight.  Allow me one thought on him: I swear that kid is the second coming of Elvis! Perusing some fan boards this weekend the level of passion devoted to him is pretty stunning and it’s not all young girls and boys. It’s international and multi-generational and really pretty phenomenal. As was said to him in one interview this weekend – he will never be anonymous again.

Happy Maine Marriage Day!

Standard

The Governor signed the bill! 10% of our states now provide full marriage rights to ALL citizens! They do face a special election hurdle similar to what we had in California as there will be an initiative introduced to strike this down. Hopefully the pro-rights crowd in Maine has it’s act together better than the California group did. I think they will. As I said right after Prop 8 passed here – California’s example WILL lead the nation – only not to continue restricting rights, but to get the message out there that this is something that cannot continue to be ignored and considered to be political poison.

And this just in: New Hampshire is now just one signature away from Maine! Their state house just passed their own marriage rights bill and is waiting for the governor to sign.

So there you go Harvey 🙂 There’s another chink in the armor of prejudice. We’ll get it done. One state at a time. And always giving them hope!

In the news

Standard

What started out as a reply to a Facebook thread has evolved into a blog post 🙂 But first, BREAKING NEWS for all of my LGBT friends. IOWA….freaking IOWA just broke through as the first non-New England state to stand for marriage equality. As I said on twitter – cheering the state with a generous helping of corn today! Woot! Like I said after the election, the backlash of Prop 8 in CA is that gay marriage became a national topic of conversation. I firmly believe that the smaller states one by one are going to tip the scales towards equality and lead the way on this issue.

Now on to my original topic. GOP insanity. Sigh….here’s what I wrote on Facebook:

“Lunch hour perusal of blog sites reveals that conservative media bypassed being good opposition reporting right to Loonville. Not shocked.”

and the longer follow up:

“Here’s the thing – I absolutely gladly listen to their take on issues because I love understanding all sides of things. But when the major spokespeople from the party cannot even make an *attempt* to make sense? That is just sad. I have some quite articulate *reasonable* conservative friends who should be the ones on TV/Radio/politicians – not this current crop of buffoons. Fox News is more of a joke than ever. Rush/Bill/Sean & Glen – oh especially Glen – are leading the way into insanity and ridiculousness. For heaven’s sake my sane GOP friends – take your party BACK! Please!”

I ran out of space to even get into how ridiculous the GOP *politicians* have been! The budget/not really a budget announcement? A joke! Seriously, if I was a Republican, I would be utterly ashamed at the leadership right now. I love our two party system – it is *supposed* to spurn healthy debate on all issues. Only right now the GOP is decidedly UN healthy.

Here is what I would love – a REAL debate show. Not that piece of crap Crossfire which was thankfully put to rest just after Jon Stewart tore it a new one. I hate the programs that feature blowhards from both sides just trying to shout louder over the other. Throwing out lies and straw men and personal attacks and playing the fear card at every turn. No, I was serious, knowledgable, respectful debaters. Here – I will even nominate someone from the left: Rachel Maddow – no one smarter, quicker on her feet or classier on our side.

Now, conservatives – tell me who YOU would want to see. No Big Egos only in it for the face time (Ann Coulter, Bill Maher and their phony touring debate come to mind).  Do you have a Rachel Maddow out there? Because I have yet to see/hear one. But I really would LOVE to.

And because all of this really started with my dear friend Bill in Portland Maine rounding up the recent mess of GOP insanity – I shall copy/paste it here as evidence of why I think they are in serious need of assistance:

Party leader Joe the Plumber doesn’t like the Employee Free Choice Act but he doesn’t feel like explaining why. Mainly because he hasn’t bothered to read it. He’s a busy boy, you see, and it’s very time-consuming to travel around the country explaining why he doesn’t like things he doesn’t know anything about.

Party leader Sarah Palin was invited and then uninvited to be the headliner at a national GOP dinner and was replaced by Newt Gingrich. Even though the Alaska governor claimed it was an innocent communication error, organizers refused to re-invite her because, of course, they only have two more months until the event and have already moved on to the blowing-up-balloons stage. But at least now Palin can devote more time to not accepting federal funds for wasteful things like schools and help for the unemployed.

Party leader Rush Limbaugh is using the flooding in North Dakota to make “dyke” jokes as residents of Fargo cope with the possibility that their town could be wiped out. Levity is important in times of crisis, especially jokes that makes fun of minorities. LOL, ladies and gentlemen!

Party leader Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina says that accepting federal money for schools is a form of child abuse. And party leader Bill O’Reilly says people who use the internet are child molesters. Just a hunch, but I bet the dedicated medical and mental health professionals who deal with actual child abuse and molestation cases every day might beg to differ. Probably with their middle finger.

Party leader Rep. John Boehner approved a GOP budget proposal that basically says, “Let’s give the Bush plan another 50 years to work.” He was too embarrassed to unveil it himself, so he sent out his second-stringers to twist in the wind.

Party leader Senator John Cornyn hopes that Minnesota continues to suffer the consequences of having only one sitting senator, and threatens to launch World War III if Al Franken is seated. He’ll need a declaration of war from Congress for that, but I’m sure he’s got the clout to push it through. The tricky part will be drawing the rest of the world into a global fisticuffs over a U.S. Senate seat.

Party leader Rep. Michelle Bachman puts words in the Treasury Secretary’s mouth and then warns that America will cease to exist if he is allowed to do what he never considered doing in the first place. Got that?

And party leader Glenn Beck—who famously said, “[W]hen I see 9/11 victim’s family, you know, on television, or whatever, I’m just like, ‘Oh, shut up.’ I’m so sick of them. Because they’re always complaining”—continues to flog his “9/12” campaign which, as Stephen Colbert notes, “…is not for families directly affected by 9/11. Just people building their careers on it.”

I used to wonder what a political party would be like if it consisted of all the crazy aunts and uncles people keep locked away in their basements and attics. Mystery solved.


Can a straight girl fall in love with a gay man? Oh, a dead one at that?

Standard

Because I am head over heels right now with Harvey Milk:

harveymilk

Ok, well to be honest about the new love of my life, this is the version I fell for tonight:

sean-penn-as-harvey-milk

Photo by Greg Hefner

::swoon::  <thunk>

OK, I’m back now. Can you tell I just saw Milk? Have you seen it? GO! NOW!

(Clearly anyone who has read my site before knows how I feel about gay rights. This movie was not putting me out of my comfort zone in the least. But I sure do HOPE that some minds be stretched by it. One man walked out at the beginning. Otherwise the half full theatre never moved)

I was only 13 when he died. I have…a very vague memory of hearing the news of the shooting. I *know* that I had zero knowledge that he was gay, or his significance in the political arena. Yes, this movie is a dramatic representation of his years in California leading up to his assasination. But if it is even 50% accurate then this was man was so amazingly heroic. The fact that he made those tape recordings to document his activism in the event he was killed…he knew. And he kept on fighting. Given how long it takes to make and release a movie, there is no way they knew how appropos the timing of it’s release would be.

The passage of Prop 8 in California has put gay rights back on the map nationally. I’ve documented that a bit already and talked about how I think it will end up being a good thing in the long run for the movement. Well, in this movie Harvey says much the same thing as he loses election after election and across the nation Anita Bryant leads her charge against gay rights one state at a time. With each loss in another state, the Milk just works harder to get the message out.  Finally it all converges around him. He wins his state supervisor seat and the fight comes to California with the truly insane Prop 6 trying to oust all gay teachers. Milk challenged the state senator sposoring the bill to debates. He called on all gays to come out and identify themselves so that straight voters would realize that yes, they DO know gay people which would hopefully put a familiar human face to the cause. “Never blend in” was his rallying cry. Never blend in. Oh, do I believe in that! I’ve been asked in my own life as I sit here in GOP-land why I have ‘outed’ myself in the community as a Democrat. I usually shrug it off saying “I am what I am and why should I hide it?”  I think I will now answer with “never blend in” 🙂 During a conversation with the state senator sponsoring Prop 6, the senator says “the voters are with me” and Milk responds “For now they are. But when they realize that they know us, they will change their minds.” I love that he went on the road to debate this. Into (gasp!) “Orange fucking County” and his campaign worker said it – the least friendly county in the state. Oh yippee – where I grew up! But hey, 30 years ago my state did the right thing and voted down Prop 6. And for that moment in the movie when they celebrate it, I felt good about it again.

Beyond the Prop 8 connection though, there is another theme weaving through the movie that has a real life parallel with this year. You see, Milk was a community organizer as it’s finest. One who saw the needs of his surrounding area and stepped into the leadership roll to meet those needs. He rebuilt a neighborhood nearly single handedly. The self annointed “Mayor of Castro.” He used that as a launching pad into politics and was very open about the changes he wanted made once he got into office. He equated his movement with the larger Civil Rights movement for racial equality and he reached out to anyone who needed to feel like an “us” and not a “them”. He inspired people across the country. He was the first member of his social minority group to rise to elected office. In the film, the final words he speaks into his tape recorder are “You gotta give ’em hope.” Where have we heard that before? Think of the audacity 🙂

I am not sure why the gay rights movement tugs at my soul the way it does. I really don’t know, nor does it matter I suppose. All I know is that I felt myself getting hot with anger every time Anita Bryant or anyone arguing against gay rights was on the movie screen. I know that my heart was singing with joy when he won his election and then when they showed the celebration at the defeat of Prop 6. And I know my face was wet with tears as the showed the candelight march after his death, and that those tears turned to sobs when the credits finally showed the real Harvey Milk on screen. Because I realized that I am just hopelessly in love with a dead, gay man and all he did and all he fought for.

Go see the movie. Please.