In light of it being June 28, the anniversary of the beginning of the Stonewall Riots, let's take a moment to thank and remember some of our predecessors in the LGBT rights movement:
Harry Hay, founder of the Mattachine Society in 1950, the first gay rights organization in the U.S.
Richard Leitsch, who became president of the New York chapter of the Mattachine Society around 1965, for his bravery in protesting the NYC police department's entrapment of gay men and raids on "gay" bars (any establishment knowingly serving three or more homosexuals at once).
The transwomen of the Compton Cafteria Riot, in 1966.
Heterosexual folk singer, Dave van Ronk, who was walking through the area the night of the Stonewall Riots, grabbed by police, taken into the Stonewall Inn and beaten. Thank you for making a strong case for the inclusion of sexual orientation in hate crime legislation, showing that gay people aren't the only unnecessary victims of violence against gay people.
The 2000 so-called "butch" women and "effeminate" men who stood up to the 400 officers that night.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy pride this year!
Saturday, June 28, 2008
In light of it being June 28, the anniversary of the beginning of the Stonewall Riots, let's take a moment to thank and remember some of our predecessors in the LGBT rights movement:
Posted by Jane Know at 9:48 AM
Monday, June 23, 2008
[Editor's note: Because I believe in this initiative, and because those involved contacted me, I have agreed to post official information regarding the Office of the National Nurse Initiative in an article today. Thank you.]
Nurses United Behind Office of the National Nurse Initiative
For nearly three years a grassroots campaign has been underway to establish an Office of the National Nurse. The National Nurse will:
· Serve as a prominent nurse icon for prevention.
· Complement the work of the US Surgeon General.
· Strengthen preparedness and prevention within the MRC units.
· Guide nurses to promote prevention in their local communities.
· Generate interest in nursing careers and other health professions.
* Strengthen partnerships among existing national, state, and local public health services.
Opportunities for change in healthcare are becoming a political reality. Creating the Office of the National Nurse, will uniquely position nursing to promote prevention, the prominent cornerstone for healthcare reform in the platforms of the Presidential candidates. As reports continue to be published about the demise of our healthcare system, we believe the nursing profession has the expertise, the skills and the commitment needed to shift the tide towards prevention and begin to improve our nation's health.
The nearly 3 million nurses in this nation cross all our cultural communities, and annual Gallop polls show nurses are repeatedly "the most trusted profession." With Congressional sanction of a National Nurse leader, the existing nurse workforce, including students and retirees, can effectivly begin shifting our nation to a culture of prevention and reducing the health disparities found in many racial and ethnic communities.
To create the Office of the National Nurse, it is recommended Congress strengthen the position of the existing Chief Nurse Officer (CNO) of the USPHS, making it more visible and aligned with the Office of the Surgeon General. This will avoid creating a new entity, replication of existing services, and will not require new funding. Providing the CNO with the unique title of National Nurse will assure the prominence and public recognition needed to promote prevention at the national level. Also, the National Nurse would accurately portray nursing leadership (as opposed to media portrayals) and will enhance public awareness of the varied roles nurses play to protect public health.
As a visible professional spokesperson, the National Nurse will be a valuable beacon for recruitment and will promote volunteerism of nurses and other health professionals within existing frameworks such as local Medical Reserve Corps. Presently, about 30,000 nurses serve in the MRC, a mere 1% of the nurse workforce. "MRC units are community-based and function locally to organize and utilize volunteers who want to donate their time and expertise to prepare for and respond to emergencies and promote healthy living throughout the year. MRC volunteers supplement existing emergency and public health resources." Retrieved on November 2, 2007 from http://medicalreservecorps.gov/About
We are amazed at the amount of grassroots support the Office of the National Nurse proposal is receiving from nurses on the frontlines, members of the public, and members of Congress. A complete list of endorsers can be found at http://nationalnurse.org/endorsements.shtml
To get involved:
1. Visit http://nationalnurse.org/takeAction.shtml for links on ways to contact your Representatives or Senators.
2. Contact Teri to sign up for email newsletter updates and forward these to your family, friends, and peers.
3. Ask organizations you are a member of to endorse the Office of the National Nurse initiative.
4. Write a letter of support to the Presidential candidate you are supporting and urge him to put language about the Office of the National Nurse proposal into their platform statement on nursing/healthcare.
5. Purchase a button or a bumpersticker at http://www.cafepress.com/nationalnurse
6. Make a donation to the National Nursing Network Organization. We are a non-profit organization, but are not tax exempt; therefore contributions are not tax deductible.
Posted by Jane Know at 11:50 AM
Thursday, June 12, 2008
In case people were worried that there are "activist" judges and governors out there, that isn't really true.
New York Voters backed their Governer 53-40% on his decision to recognize same-sex marriages performed outside the state.
Breakdown of the stats:
Democrats approved the measure 64-30%
Republicans opposed it: 57-37%
Posted by Jane Know at 7:31 PM
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I recently ventured, as I sometimes do, over to the Opine Editorials to post a comment or two on some particularily distasteful topics they pretend to know about. As per usual, the mass assault and misdirection towards me started the minute I entered the room, as they practically foam at the mouth for anyone besides themselves to enter the homophobic (yet strangely homoerotic) confines of their little echo chamber.
It began like it always begins when a pro marriage equality commenter ventures to their chamber.
Someone posts a comment defending gay people and marriage equality against their baseless accusations and illogic, and the gang bang of malaprops, new definitions, propaganda, and cut-and-paste answers from other homophobic websites starts. All whilst screeching and complaining that no one has yet addressed their brand of "logic."
Chairm and R.K. were the first to appear this time, blathering their typical "wise-old-yoda-master" spiels, "teaching" John Hosty-Grinnell and myself their lies and "lessons" of logic, reason, and analogy. Renee soon joined in with her "scientific" obsession with coitus and "biology." As if maybe for once we will change our minds about the entire issue if she preaches about oxytocin and orgasm just a little bit more.
And then, in jumps Fitz. The "hero" to his fellow circle-jerkers, now that The Condescending Authoritarian (Professor Alexander T. Riley) Culturologist has left the building.
I'm sure it is only a matter of time, really, until Senora Solano stops writing her next Concerned Woman for America speech and teaching her little thespians long enough to go on a new tirade about the religious evils and anal perversions of which is the epicenter of her life. 3-2-1...
But I digress. This article is about Fitz, the 38 year-old lawyer from Detroit, who is "discerning a call to the priesthood (& considering the Jesuit order).." Goddess help us all. He is obviously a very religious man. His public profile states, "I believe in the primacy of culture, (When I’m not espousing the primacy of Christ & his Church)." Yet like most self-ascribed "religious" folks, the ones who feel the need to shout it from their rooftops (or their cyber rooftops) are usally among the most judgmental, condemning, least tolerant, and most arrogant.
Not only does this fellow usually display deeply paranoid anti-communist and anti-feminist rantings, his articles go beyond any semblance of being able to be understsood. In short, while we all make the occasional typo, he has a remarkable tendency to, in nearly every piece of writing, mix up his homonyms and mis-use apostrophes as though he completely missed a few key classes in grammar school as a kid. Like so many things the Opiners touch on the internet, an article or comment thread quickly turns into a hot mess whenever Fitz is involved.
In fact, if I were him, I wouldn't be so quick to continuously start sentences with "as an attorney..." Because every time he writes a comment or article, I become a little more convinced that he got his law degree from the inside of a crackerjack box.
Who else would title an article "You'll know them by their Tactic's," and go on to say, "It called deviousness or subterfuge." Um... a-wha? I have no idea a.) what his paranoid mind is referring to, and b.) what he is talking about, since per usual, his article is completely incomprehensible. Perhaps, "as an attorney," he should venture to this website before publishing poorly written and hardly proof-read articles. It is obvious he relies a little too much on his, perhaps self-thought, special status as an attorney, to make up for his lack of command of the English language and writing ability. Something that, one would think, would be greatly valued "as an attorney."
The purpose of this critique serves a greater purpose than poking fun at Fitz, however. It also demonstrates how completely out of touch with reality the Opiners are if they believe that Fitz's writings demonstrate anything close to intelligible, reasoned, or comprehensible arguments.
Hold on to your hats and glasses folks, for here is a compilation of my favorite Fitzisms:
Responding to one pro-gay commenter about something that isn't really important as Fitz's comment is utterly indecipherable, he states with no further explanation: "Chiefly individual adult want over the common good and the good of children." Erm. Okay. Since I don't know any intelligent person who could counter such an "argument" I suppose you win, Fitz.
And for homonym fun with Fitz, embedded within the very same comment as above, here are a couple of his usual mix ups (I have faith in my readership to know that the [sic]'s are unnecessary): "Of coarse I have found no better concise statement for this view than the following..." and "You can lead a hoarse to water but you can’t make him drink." So true. However, I must admit that that last statement gave me the surely unintended image of a feverish man stubbornly refusing a glass of water in a nurse's outstretched hand, which now that I think about it, sort of works. I guess some concepts aren't lost in translation.
Observe this latest comment, as well. I WAS going to give it a good 'ol college try. Yet, try as I might, I could not decipher the point(s)? he was trying to make. He says:
"The needs of society's [sic] change all the time. It is exatly [sic] those amendments that prove my point. There [sic] existance [sic] is the mechanism a free people exercise when they deem it neccesary to exert a fundemntal [sic] right into the constitution.
If African Americans [sic] fought a civil war and have three amendments, or consider the 19th Amendment [sic] . (That comes after the 14th) It took a generation of women to convince men to give them the right to vote.
Why should your cause supersede democracy?"
Um. After sifting through all that garbage, I am not really sure what he said, or even intended to say. So honestly, Fitz, I can not answer your question. I guess that means you win, again. Also note his proud display of his knowledge of the fact that 19 comes after 14, numerically. Given the amount of mistakes he has already made, even I was rooting for him to get that one right.
Sometimes, because of their deceptive, misleading, or irrelevant articles and comments, I am not quite sure if the Opiners are computers or humans. Like those Magic 8-Ball toys, you can ask them an endless number of questions and present them with numerous different arguments, but they will always reply with the same 6 carbon-copied answers.
Opine Editorials, will your website ever be credible, honest, or respectful of human dignity?
"Outlook not so good."
So that is why, after a handful of comments, I usually retreat back to the confines of my own blog. Or to other, more respectful blogs. Not because I'm being beaten by their "superb logic or reasoning skills." Rather, it is no great feat to "win" an argument with them.
Or, to borrow from the Adam Sandler movie, "Billy Madison," I fear each time a person enters their website, they all become a bit stupider for having read any of what they have to say.
Posted by Jane Know at 11:29 AM
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
The thing about bigotry is, if you have say, "I'm not a bigot, but [insert negative statement about out-group or minority]" you usually are a bigot.
You know. Kind of like when someone says, "No offense, but your ass looks huge in those pants." Yeah. It's along those lines.
Often in encounters with internet personas, bloggers claim their opposition to gay marriage, or any pro-gay measures is out of necessity, to protect some inherent (the buzz word is "natural") family form. For they are not bigots. They are religious people who love the sinner and hate the sin. They claim to care about "The Family" conveniently forgetting that often, families are not all biologically related. Anything "less than" a biological mother-father-child unit is unacceptable and evil. But I digress, that is not the point of this article.
The thing about opposition to a group, especially homosexuals, is that it unnecessarily harms groups of people who are innocent. Or at least innocent of any wrongdoing based on the trait or characteristic that they are being judged on. Simply by virtue of their same-sex relationships, they are enemies of America, evil, unnatural, perverted, vile, and more.
While it is true that gay people can be bad people, just like straight people, it is not BECAUSE they are gay that makes them bad. It is not a reason to discriminate, and it is especially not a reason to devote one's life to the abolition of rights and protections for gay people.
Bigotry is the "intolerance "of opinions, lifestyles, or identities differing from one's own."
While one can (claim to) be against things like gay marriage on grounds that are not rooted in bigotry (though I can't think of any), many anti-gay bloggers/activists/protestors claim that even if their views are bigoted, it does not negate the unbigoted views so their views are correct, as well.
Further, try as they might to rationalize their anti-gay stances, the truth of their bigotry often eventually slips out to stand on its own two feet. Hmm, for a blog (like the one that is linked to several times in this article) that is concerned with "Defending marriage on the firm ground of reason and respect for human dignity, Encompassing the marriage related topics of gendered biology, kin anthropology, family law and policy" [sic] they sure talk a lot about anal sex in between cheap shots at same-sex couples and families.
So, while claiming to "defend marriage," most "pro-family" groups are actually more concerned with deconstructing same-sex relationships and their families.
That is the problem with bigotry. No one willingly admits to being a bigot. They will often go to great lengths to mask their intolerance under the guise of something "noble" like families or children. To an untrained or uneducated reader, this can appear righteous. Who wouldn't, after all, want to help save families or children?
The blog above recently posted an article complimenting a religious website's piece on gay marriage. An author named "R.R. Reno" over at First Things: The Journal of Religion, Culture, and Public Life, wrote it, titled "Personal Freedom Without Liberty."
Similar to every other anti-gay piece written, it blathers on about the special union of a man and woman as a religious, natural spectacle:
"In other words, in the old system, the state presumed the existence of a substantive, natural reality that required legal adumbration: the union of a man and a woman, and the children resulting from their sexual relations. Now the Canadian government sees that it must intervene and redefine marriage and parenthood in order to give fixed legal standing to otherwise fluid and uncertain social relations. When the gay friend donates his sperm to the surrogate mother hired by a lesbian couple, the resulting “family” is a purely legal construct, one that requires the power of state to enforce contracts and attach children to adoptive parents."
Yes. All while claiming that their opposition to gay marriage is not (because they said so!!!) rooted in bigotry.
It gets better. This (surprise) Catholic blog goes on to say:
"Edmund Burke saw that revolution motivated by the unattainable ideal of equality would destroy the deep, pre-political social mores that restrain the will, including the political will; and this restraint is essential for the preservation of liberty. Our contemporary cult of tolerance differs from older fantasies of equality, but the notion that we can accommodate everybody’s desires is just as unrealistic."
Though we are never really told why. But I suppose if it comes from a religious reference, it is true.
And, predictably, the piece ends with a trusty ole appeal to tradition. (When the state can rise up to redefine marriage, then the counterweight of tradition is diminished, the political instruments of power are emboldened, and our collective liberty is at peril.)
Instead of laying down solid evidence and/or reasoning, the article makes bold claims and generalizations of "liberals," "conservatives," and "progressives." Not only that it speaks of limiting liberties in order to preserve our "collective liberties." Something every conscientous conservative should supposedly do. What one can read between the lines is the 800 lb gorilla in the room that is an appeal to tradition.
A long time ago, I discussed each major argument a bigot will use. Read it here, if you wish.
A long time ago, I also discussed why homosexual unions are not, in fact, unnatural (as this article claims) and should be legally protected and recognized.
While I can respect a so-called philosopher if he or she has solid reasoning to back up his/her claims, this piece stands alone as a propaganda appeal to its own conservative, religious echo chamber. A piece that many anti-gay people will praise, not because of its (lack of) quality, but more so because it preaches an unspoken bigotry against gay people.
And that is what truly speaks to the heart of of every gay marriage opponent.
Posted by Jane Know at 12:06 PM
Monday, June 2, 2008
Shoutout to Fannie's Room for bringing this day to my attention.
Along the same vein, I would like to blog about my family. This is the way I will show that my family, though different from a fundamentalist family or a mother-father-child unit, is still a family.
While some anti-gay characters often claim that gay people are merely "playing house," I believe that my life, career, and relationship are actually very real. Their prejudices, far from their hypothetical situations they present on a daily basis, affect my life in far greater ways than theirs are affected by my choices and way of life. Yet, they insist upon intrusion into a private sphere. They insist on judgment, call gay people horrible names, accuse them of worse, yet their "knowledge" of gays and lesbians is built on the lies of their religions, their own families, their prejudiced worldviews, and their own sexual insecurities. The more they spout their ignorance, the more I become convinced that they do not actually know (m)any gay people at all.
Here is an extra special glimpse into my family life. Decide for yourself whether it's "real" or not. ;-)
First, my dogs. Well, okay, the fat one is my girlfriend's dog. Pugs are weird. But I do love the thing. The black and white one is mine. I don't think they care that they have two mommies. Sometimes, they don't even notice. Honestly, they are just concerned about eating, pooping, peeing, playing with toys, barking at every little noise, and going on walks:
In order to support any future fake family or children that I have while "playing house," I will need to increase my income (all monopoly money, of course). I am well on my way, as I reach the half-way mark of a two-year post-master's program. This quarter has been particularily busy, as I am enrolled in 3 classes and working more than full time. Here are the books that make up some of my classes:
Sometimes we gays get romantic. Sometimes we like to give each other roses, just like straight couples, in order to show each other that we are in love. This a rose I gave my girlfriend this weekend:
Okay, this is just weird. And cute. But I won this giant dog at a festival this weekend, playing (surprise) a basketball game. We lesbians are good at sports.
When not recruiting gays and lesbians, advancing the homosexualist agenda, and destroying heterosexual marriages, my girlfriend and I like to work on puzzles, play Rock Band, and go running with our i-pods.
This is one of many pics from my recent vacation to Puerto Rico. My girlfriend and I had a wonderful vacation.
And finally, because she always has to have the last word, white-black dog says, if you mess with her family, you mess with her. And trust me, that is no laughing matter.
Posted by Jane Know at 8:30 PM