... The core gay experience throughout history has been displacement, a sense of belonging and yet not belonging. Gays are born mostly into heterosexual families and discover as they grow up that, for some reason, they will never be able to have a marriage like their parents’ or their siblings’. They know this before they can tell anyone else, even their parents. This sense of subtle alienation—of loving your own family while feeling excluded from it—is something all gay children learn. They sense something inchoate, a separateness from their peers, a subtle estrangement from their families, the first sharp pangs of shame. And then, at some point, they find out what it all means. In the past, they often would retreat and withdraw, holding a secret they couldn’t even share with their parents—living as an insider outsider.
And this, in a different way, is Obama’s life story as well. He was a black kid brought up by white grandparents and a white single mother in Hawaii and Indonesia, where his color really made no difference. He discovered his otherness when reading an old issue of Life magazine, which had a feature on African-Americans who had undergone an irreversible bleaching treatment to make them look white—because they believed being white was the only way to be happy. He wrote:
I felt my face and neck get hot. My stomach knotted; the type began to blur on the page ... I had a desperate urge to jump out of my seat, to show [others] what I had learned, to demand some explanation or assurance. But something held me back. As in a dream, I had no voice for my newfound fear. By the time my mother came to take me home, my face wore a smile and the magazines were back in their proper place. The room, the air, was quiet as before.
Barack Obama had to come out of a different closet. He had to discover his black identity and then reconcile it with his white family, just as gays discover their homosexual identity and then have to reconcile it with their heterosexual family. The America he grew up in had no space for a boy like him: black yet enveloped by loving whiteness, estranged from a father he longed for (another common gay experience), hurtling between being a Barry and a Barack, needing an American racial identity as he grew older but chafing also against it and over-embracing it at times ...
GOProud wroth with Romney for pandering to "big government theocrats." (They plan to vote for him anyway.)
A very cool experiment with slime mold.
What's Audra McDonald up to?
Why is The Avengers making so much damned money?
Mayor Bloomberg delivers commencement address at University of North Carolina; blasts Amendment One.
Daily Mail: Colombian drug apparently turns people into mindless zombies. (Story neglects to mention that the same claim has been made of weed, LSD, ecstasy, PCP ...)
Gawker didn't get Rand Paul's joke either.
The Family Research Council's Tony Perkins might or mightn't have got it; either way, he thinks Paul should be nicer.
Face The Nation: Clay Aiken vs. Tony Perkins, AFTER THE JUMP ...
Posted May. 13,2012 at 10:19 PM EST by Brandon K. Thorp in 2012 Election, Clay Aiken, Film, GOProud, Michael Bloomberg, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, Science, Theatre, Tony Perkins | Permalink | Comments (24)
Last Wednesday, the Argentinian senate voted 55-0 in favor of a law which allows individuals to change their legal gender simply because they want to. Again, that's 55-0 for. No dissent. This makes Argentina the most trans-friendly country in the world.
In the United States and Europe, transgender people must submit to physical and mental health exams and get past a series of other hurdles before getting sex-change treatments.
Argentina's law ... is the first to give citizens the right to change their legal gender without first changing their bodies, said Justus Eisfeld, co-director of Global Action for Trans Equality in New York.
"The fact that there are no medical requirements at all — no surgery, no hormone treatment and no diagnosis — is a real game changer and completely unique in the world. It is light years ahead of the vast majority of countries, including the U.S., and significantly ahead of even the most advanced countries," said Eisfeld, who researched the laws of the 47 countries for the Council of Europe's human rights commission.
Argentina legalized same-sex marriage two years ago, and predictably the still-large Catholic Church in Argentina is unhappy with the country's liberal drift. From the AP:
"The Argentine lawmakers are introducing profound changes in society that don't respond to any social demand and without taking into account the real consequences," Nicolas Lafferriere, who directs the church-sponsored Center for Bioethics, Personhood and Family, complained Thursday in "Religious Values," an online publication sponsored by the archbishop of Buenos Aires.
We have found ourselves faced with the most permissive law in the world in this area. Now, to change all the civil registries you don't need any more justification than a personal desire, based on someone's self-perception. It won't be easy to predict the consequences." Lafferriere warned.
... fewer and fewer Argentines regularly attend Mass, and priests and bishops don't have the same power of the pulpit anymore ... The Catholic hierarchy also has been inexorably linked with the military junta that killed as many as 30,000 people during the dictatorship. Both enforced conservative social values at the time.
... which has had a predictably withering effect on the Church's political power. That number again: 55-0.
Here's the cover of the new Newsweek:
The headline tries for wit in its unsubtle recollection of a profile of Bill Clinton authored by Toni Morrison, entitled "Clinton as the First Black President," which appeared in the New Yorker in 1998. In it, Morrison wrote:
Years ago, in the middle of the Whitewater investigation, one heard the first murmurs: white skin notwithstanding, this is our first black President. Blacker than any black person who could ever be elected in our children's lifetime. After all, Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald's-and-junk-food loving boy from Arkansas.
Andrew Sullivan's Newsweek story has yet to be posted to the web, so there's no telling if he's written similarly of Barack Obama. Hard to imagine he would. I'm pretty sure Obama's never "displayed" any gay "tropes," if such things exist at all.
Mariela Castro, noted sexologist and daughter of Cuban president Raul, led a gay rights march in Havana on Saturday. From the AP:
The daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro said ... that her father advocated eliminating sexual discrimination, and reiterated her own hope the country would soon legalize same sex marriage.
Mariela Castro, a noted gay rights advocate and head of Cuba's National Center for Sex Education, also repeated her praise for U.S. President Barack Obama's public remarks in favor of same sex marriage, saying the American leader's words "have great value because of the influence they might have" on others.
Castro moderated her praise of the president, noting that although his words are lovely, there is as yet no federal push to legalize same-sex marriage in the United States.
Castro claimed that her father supports marriage equality as well, even though he's never spoken publicly on the subject. She insists he's "working behind the scenes" to bring about change in the island nation's marital law:
"[Working quietly] is surely part of his tactics and strategy; it is his style," she said. "I am not going to pressure him to say things publically, because I am more interested in concrete results."
Castro is hopeful that the Cuban parliament will address marriage equality when they convene in July. If they do, it will represent a rapid evolution in Cuba's stance on same-sex relationships: as recently as 2004, Havana's police were still raiding gay and drag parties.
Here's a Mother's Day message from Sabrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, made in partnership with "Second Chance on Shoot First" -- an organization which combats laws, such as Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, that encourage nervous gun owners to shoot in haste and repent at leisure.
Watch the video AFTER THE JUMP, and pay a visit to Second Chance on Shoot First, which allows American visitors to see where their states stand on Stand Your Ground, and provides links to the appropriate state webpages so visitors can tell their governments how they feel about it.
The freshman legislator from Florida's 22nd congressional district was approached in Washington on Thursday by Think Progress, and asked whether he might support legislation that would make it "illegal to hire or fire people because they're gay."
That don't happen out here in the United States of America.
Asked to clarify, he said:
Well, I don’t see that as being a big issue with small businesses. I sit on the Small Business Committee. You know what they’re concerned about? They’re concerned about onerous tax policy, regulatory policy, and lack of access to capital because Dodd-Frank is absolutely decimating small community banks.
... which doesn't clarify anything. Those small businesses inclined to fire a person based upon sexual orientation wouldn't be concerned with legislation curtailing that behavior, would they?
West always does this. When faced with a question of LGBT rights, he pretends that the question means something it doesn't, or imagines that the subject under discussion is something it isn't. When DADT was debated last year, he pretended its repeal would legalize sex in military barracks. Last August, he told Fort Lauderdale's Sun Sentinel that "sexuality is a behavior," and therefore mutable -- and when asked if gays should therefore change their sexuality, he said this:
You know, I like chocolate chip ice cream. And I will continue to like chocolate chip ice cream. So, there's no worry about me changing to vanilla. I like to, you know, ride my motorcycle. What do you want me to do, change my behavior and ride a scooter?
Watch West's brief conversation with Think Progress AFTER THE JUMP ...