July 8, 2014
reading up on job protection stuff in the US


Depending on how some stayed court rulings go, I could end up living somewhere where I could get married but also I could get fired for being gay and/or get evicted for being gay. Which is pretty mind-blowing, you know? Like, obviously I’m not the queer who needs the most legislative protection (as a healthy white cis guy with a graduate education) but wow this seems like the total opposite of the hierarchy-of-needs type civil rights protection you’d expect.

LTMC: This snippet highlights (another) objective downside to homophobic public policy: highly skilled gay migrants will tend to avoid jurisdictions where they don’t think they can live and work free from meaningful prejudice (It’s one thing if someone in the street calls you a fag.  It’s quite another to live in constant fear that you could lose your home or your job because your landlord or boss is uncomfortable with your sexual orientation.  Words can be ignored, but everybody needs to eat.).

June 20, 2014
Yanis Marshall And His High-Heeled Boys Slay The World To Beyoncé Megamix: WATCH - NewNowNext @NewNowNext



If you want to watch three bearded men absolutely destroy a complex dance choreography routine in high heels, this link is for you.

I don’t know about anyone else but I find men who wear heels to be incredibly attractive. 

Historically heels were standard menswear as well, so why not.

LTMC: Confession: I cross-dressed last year for Halloween and I had a blast doing it.  I went all-in: I wanted to look as much like a real girl as possible.  

To be perfectly honest, it was liberating.  Gender roles are pretty strict when it comes to appropriate dress for men and women, so it was kind of cool to be able to have a “feminine” experience in that sense. Things like learning how to wear make-up, how to select clothing to hide some of my “unflattering” contours, how to walk in heels, and so on.  It was fun.  And I enjoyed being able to break out of the “masculinity bubble” for a night.  I even fooled a couple people, which I was pretty proud of.  I’d also be lying if I didn’t like the way my eyes looked with a little bit of eye-liner.

On a slightly more serious note, I also had a lot of eye-opening experiences while shopping in women’s clothing stores and women’s sections of department stores to put my outfit together.  I definitely noticed the uncomfortable stares, customers avoiding me, odd looks from staff members, and so on.  It was almost like a crash course in gender policing and homophobia/transphobia.  Even though I consider myself fairly progressive when it comes to acknowledging that sort of discrimination, it’s a very different thing to be aware of something in the abstract, and to experience it directly.  It made me glad that I decided to do it, because it helped me more deeply appreciate what many people in the LGBT community have to cope with every day.

I guess the bottom line is that I’d totally be ok with a world where men can wear “feminine” clothing or wear make-up and nobody gave a damn (same in reverse for women, of course).  The gender binary is stifling.  And we’d all be happier if everybody could find it in themselves to just stop giving a damn about it.

June 12, 2014
It Got Better, Episode 5 - Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox sits down with the It Gets Better campaign and tells her story.  Click on the link above for the interview.

May 16, 2014
"The world simply is going to have to get used to seeing two men kissing…it’s naive to believe happy gay couples don’t kiss each other regularly, just like happy straight couples do. To say you stand for equal rights but that you don’t want to ever see or hear about moments of our intimacy is to deny us again a fundamental aspect of our humanity–the expression of that very love. And guess what? Same-sex marriage ceremonies end in a kiss, so if you’re for marriage equality in principle, you’d best be prepared for some homosexual ritual smooching in practice."

George Takei

May 10, 2014

Michael Sam reacts to the news that he’s been drafted by the St. Louis Rams.   Sam is the first openly gay man to be drafted into the NFL.

h/t Think Progress

February 14, 2014
Male prostitution on the rise in Lebanon

From the article:

When talking about his life “Hassan” hesitates, the words coming out with difficulty as he chain-smokes cigarettes and fiddles with his sweatshirt. His work could have him arrested, beaten up and jailed. Hassan, a 27-year-old Sunni from Iraq, is a male prostitute and has been selling himself for money in Beirut for a year.

This was not a lifestyle that he ever wanted, but something he says was forced upon him. He insists he would have chosen another path “had I been given the choice”. Hassan - who asked his real name not be used - was forced to leave his country after his family found out about his homosexuality and threatened to kill him. Fearful for his life, he fled Iraq and was smuggled into Lebanon, along with five other refugees, by an NGO he refuses to name. After a few months, he was evicted from his flat after getting involved in a fight.

Alone, still unemployed and desperate for any way to make money, he heard about bars in bourgeois areas of Beirut where men would pay high prices to spend a few hours with young men like him. A couple of days later, a wealthy entrepreneur from Turkey picked him up at a gay club located in the heart of the capital. After a drink and a short discussion about prices, they left together. The next morning Hassan was given $400 from the first of what would become many “clients”. He was now a male escort.

Read More

February 13, 2014

The best defensive player in college football’s best conference only a third to fifth round NFL pick? Really? That is shocking, and I guess that other thing is, too. Michael Sam would be the first openly gay player in the NFL; [he] says he knows there will be problems, and they’ve already started…

It wasn’t that long ago when we were being told that black [football] players couldn’t play in “our” games because it would be “uncomfortable.” And even when they finally could, it took several more years before a black man played quarterback, because we weren’t “comfortable” with that, either…

I’m not always comfortable when a man tells me he’s gay; I don’t understand his world. But I do understand that he’s part of mine. Civil rights activist Audre Lord said: “It is not our differences that divide us. It’s our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” We’ve always been able to recognize them. Some of us accept them. And I want to believe that there will be a day when we do celebrate them. I don’t know if that day’s here yet. I guess we’re about to find out. But when I listen to Michael Sam, I do think it’s time to celebrate him now.


Dale Hansen

I liked this monologue, but I wonder if Hansen understood the irony of saying that he’s “not always comfortable when a man tells me he’s gay,” followed by a quote from Audre Lorde, who was a lesbian and gay rights activist.  On the other hand, it was surprising to see an old white dude from Texas name-dropping Audre Lorde in a monologue about diversity.  Progress is progress.

h/t metamorphoseandbodhi

February 9, 2014

Being Gay in Russia: A Reading List

LTMC: Definitely worth a perusal, if only to catch the headlines of the articles.


Being Gay in Russia: A Reading List

LTMC: Definitely worth a perusal, if only to catch the headlines of the articles.

February 5, 2014
Lawmaker who thinks gays a threat to children crashes boat into children

Early contender for best headline of the year.

Update: This apparently happened last year and I missed it.  Still a great headline, though.

10:49pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZMMjnx16Zqu-w
Filed under: politics gay rights 
November 4, 2013
Dan Savage, Ctd.

In response to this post, a reader writes:

Dan Savage is a mysoginistic, trans*phobic, and biphobic piece of shit, jsyk before you herald him as a savior for queer people

I never intended to appoint him as such.  I’m sorry if I gave that impression.

To be sure, Dan Savage is an asshole.  He’s made his career off being an asshole.  His Savage Love column is brusque, to the point, and often insulting.  He’s not afraid to tell off audience members in his public appearances, nor is he afraid to offend people who might otherwise be in his corner.  He’s burned his fair share of bridges over the course of his career, including with the Feminist community.

As far as Savage’s misogyny, transphobia, and biphobia are concerned, all I can say is: fair enough.  But I think we can still recognize the good things that Dan Savage has done while calling him out for his misguided positions.  As Ta-Nehisi Coates put it, "Virtues do not excuse sins—they co-habit with them."   

I think if nothing else, he deserves credit for the It Gets Better project, which has been one of the most visible awareness campaigns for the plight of LGBT youth I can think of in recent memory.  The campaign makes a conscious effort to include bi-sexual and transgender youth in its advocacy, so Savage’s opinions on bi-sexual and transgender people don’t appear to be one-dimensional. He doesn’t get a pass for whatever misguided statements he has made, but thankfully his actions seem to be speaking louder than his words to at least some degree.

8:49pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZMMjnxzWy1La
Filed under: dan savage gay rights 
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