- I have a summer project, and it's both a commute and "regular" hours... I've been dog-tired these past few days. 1 hour ago
- I love it when a plan comes together! nytimes.com/2013/06/20/hea… (Vaccinate your sons, too!) 1 hour ago
- Or the sort of language you would use if you were making a point of being NOT reductionist and NOT exclusionary. 3 days ago
- And learning to code-switch is a communication skill. To understand humor, you have to know where it separated from academic language... 3 days ago
- And, I don't think of myself as particularly reductionist. I would argue that we all use some form of code-switching in casual conversation. 3 days ago
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Lyn on Protected: Bridging the G… Lyn on By the Numbers Lyn on Steam tammy b on Steam single lesbian on Butch-throb!
Category Archives: News Items
WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — Cadet Chapel, the Gothic church at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, hosted a lesbian wedding on Saturday. It was the first same-sex wedding in the chapel’s more than 100-year history.
Penelope Gnesin and Brenda Sue Fulton, a West Point graduate, exchanged vows in the regal church in an afternoon ceremony attended by about 250 guests, and, in military tradition, exited the chapel under crossed sabers.
The women have been together for 17 years. They had a civil commitment ceremony that didn’t carry any legal force in 1999 and have long hoped to formalize their vows. Two landmark decisions made it possible: Last year New York legalized same-sex marriage and then President Barack Obama lifted the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy prohibiting openly gay people from serving in the military.
The brides both live in New Jersey and would have preferred to have the wedding there, but the state still doesn’t allow gay marriage.
“We just couldn’t wait any longer,” Fulton told The Associated Press in a phone interview Saturday.
Cadet Chapel was a more-than-adequate second choice, she said.
“It has a tremendous history, and it is beautiful. That’s where I first heard and said the cadet prayer,” Fulton said, referring to the invocation that says, “Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half-truth when the whole can be won.”
The ceremony was the second same-sex wedding at West Point. Last weekend, two of Fulton’s friends, a young lieutenant and her partner, were married in another campus landmark, the small Old Cadet Chapel in West Point’s cemetery.
Fulton has campaigned against the ban on gays in the military as a member of two groups representing gay and lesbian servicemen and servicewomen. She graduated from West Point in 1980, a member of the first class to include women.
She served with the Army Signal Corps in Germany and rose to the rank of captain, but left the service in 1986 partly because she wanted to be open about her sexual orientation. Obama appointed her last year to the U.S. Military Academy’s Board of Visitors.
Fulton said the only hassle involved in arranging her ceremony came when she was initially told that none of West Point’s chaplains was authorized by his or her denomination to perform same-sex weddings.
Luckily, Fulton said, they were able to call on a friend, Army Chaplain Col. J. Wesley Smith, the senior Army chaplain at Dover Air Force Base.
There is a growing collection of “Praise the Vagina” songs on this site (here, here, and here). In response to the Michigan flap about Rep. Lisa Brown’s use of the word “vagina” on the floor (best snark here), I offer this one, by a man, but still worthy of your attention:
This is the first of a series of comic strips cartoonist Garry Trudeau planned for this week which deal with the recent spate of anti-abortion ultrasound bills. (Click to enlarge the strip.)
Several newspapers have made plans to run repeat Doonesbury comic strips in lieu of the strips.
“We thought the strips were over the line for the comics pages and won’t be running them,” said Oregonian features editor JoLene Krawczak “We’ll tell readers where they can read them online.”
(Note to newspaper editors: This is not a time to send your readers to other online sources to get what they want, in case you haven’t noticed.)
The more controversial strips, expected to run Tuesday and Thursday, contain the lines “Do your parents know you’re a slut?” (directed at the strip’s protagonist by a “state legislator” after she tell him she’s been using the health clinic’s contraceptive services) and “By the authority invested in me by the GOP base, I thee rape” (announced by the doctor administering the pre-termination trans-vaginal sonogram).
This will be the first time in Doonesbury‘s 42-year history that Trudeau has used the strip to sound off about the abortion debate.
“I chose the topic of compulsory sonograms because it was in the news and because of its relevance to the broader battle over women’s health currently being waged in several states,” Trudeau told The Washington Post.
“For some reason, the GOP has chosen 2012 to re-litigate reproductive freedom, an issue that was resolved decades ago. Why [Rick] Santorum, [Rush] Limbaugh et al. thought this would be a good time to declare war on half the electorate, I cannot say. But to ignore it would have been comedy malpractice.”
The rainbow-hued wires have been buzzing this week with bitching and tsking over actress Cynthia Nixon’s interview with the New York Times Magazine, where she told writer Alex Witchel that for her, being gay is a choice.
Her comment was made while telling a story about how she prepared an empowering speech for a gay audience, and was counseled to edit out the line, “I’ve been straight and I’ve been gay, and gay is better”. Event organizers felt that Nixon’s statement implied that homosexuality can be a choice which was not a message they supported, to which she replied, “And for me, it is a choice. I understand that for many people it’s not, but for me it’s a choice, and you don’t get to define my gayness for me.”
Immediately, Nixon began to be pecked at by the self-righteous peckers of gay rights organizations and the gay press, who hopped up and down and said her statement fuels the conservative belief that gay can be prayed away.
Today, Nixon made a statement to The Advocate, in an attempt to clarify and contextualize her comment:
“My recent comments in The New York Times were about me and my personal story of being gay. I believe we all have different ways we came to the gay community and we can’t, and shouldn’t be, pigeon-holed into one cultural narrative which can be uninclusive and disempowering. However, to the extent that anyone wishes to interpret my words in a strictly legal context I would like to clarify:
“While I don’t often use the word, the technically precise term for my orientation is bisexual. I believe bisexuality is not a choice, it is a fact. What I have ‘chosen’ is to be in a gay relationship.”
So there. We made her turn in her gay card so she could be reissued a bi card. Now that we’ve forced the woman into clarifying her sexual orientation for us, we can all feel better about our own gayness.
Why does the LGBT community continually act like it’s Gay Day at Disneyland and the gayest amongst us will go to the front of the line at Space Mountain?
Nixon, 46, was in a 15-year relationship with a man that started in her early 20s. The two have two children together. Since 2004, she has been in a relationship with education activist Christine Marinoni. Marinoni gave birth to the couple’s son in 2011.
Nixon’s story isn’t that different than mine (well, except for all her talent and fame). I also came out in my 30s. I was married to a man, and together we had a child. Since I’m confessing: it was actually my second marriage to a man. I was involved in two opposite-sex relationships that totaled nearly 27 years, the first a right-after-college-graduation marriage to my high school sweetheart.
No one, especially not a reporter, has ever sat me down to ask if I think my lesbian identity is a choice. But I’d probably say “yes”.
Make no mistake, I’m as gay as the next dyke. But somewhere back before the turn of the century, I made a clear-cut decision to come out and live the rest of my romantic life in the company of women. Life with men wasn’t awful. I suppose I could have kept doing it – and millions of women have, for reasons of security, religion, and fear of being ostracized.
But the question of could I do it again is a much tougher one. There are just too many variables. I’ve never identified as bi because I never pictured myself returning to relationships with men. And, admittedly, I’m the first one to rankle when Dan Savage starts talking about the sexual fluidity of women. I don’t think of my sexuality as all that fluid. Before I came out, I just hadn’t considered my options.
I thought of myself as perfectly straight, right up until I met a woman who rang my chimes harder than any man ever had. While I didn’t have a relationship with her, I was so unnerved, I was compelled to look deeper into myself. It was my own dark night of the soul. But unlike Jonah, I wasn’t coughed up in a ball of whale spit. Instead, I landed on the beach covered in lube and waving the rainbow flag.
So I was married to men. Does that make me less gay now?
Consider this: With the exception of a very few Gold Star Lesbians, every lesbian woman I know has slept with more men than I have (three).
I understand why we don’t want to give haters any more ammunition to use against us, but the sort of backlash aimed at Nixon fractionates us. It divides our own community into gay, gayer, gayest, bisexual, and so forth. It’s a complete waste of energy that could be better spent scaffolding our community, not tearing it down.
This type of reactionary thinking panders to conservatives and will ultimately hinder the gay rights movement.
For example, in a 2006 article in Pediatrics: The Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics supporting gay marriage, the Academy stated that the vast majority of children with parents in same-sex relationships were conceived in heterosexual relationships. So when we talk about gay families, should we exclude them from our numbers? Make them draw a bi card? No, we need to coax these moms and dads out to be counted. We need to encourage them to come out to their family doctors. Then, perhaps the estimated number of kids being raised by gay parents won’t be so wide-ranging, anywhere from 1 million to 10 million in the U.S., and will settle near the higher end (and probably more realistic) figure.
That’s how we gain political clout.
For political recognition, we don’t need fractions, we need whole numbers. We need to throw our gay arms open and embrace the entire damn rainbow.
While we’re at it, let’s all apologize to Cynthia Nixon. She tries to do right by our community. And, she’s more than gay enough for me.
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, the recent solstice, the Pastafarian‘s Holiday, or Seinfeld’s Festivus, have a happy one. Let’s keep hoping for peace on Earth and equality for all.
Recently, when I packed to move, I found a copy of Katherine Forrest’s first novel, Curious Wine, on my bookshelf. Published in 1983, the novel about two women sharing a room in a Tahoe cabin is still considered the classic lesbian romance. It was given to me by my first girlfriend, who said it reminded her of my own coming out story. She, in turn, had received it from another lesbian.
Before the days of the internet, the lesbian community could only find literature that reflected their culture in women’s bookstores. You were lucky if your community had one. Or, you were gifted books passed hand-to-hand through friends. Continue reading
Sweet Baby Jesus, I’ve agreed to read some of my writing in public tomorrow night, as part of San Francisco’s Writers With Drinks series.
I’d be thrilled if even one of you came by to say hello.
I’m flattered to have been included amongst a group of writers who actually have a clue what they’re doing. This means you’re guaranteed to hear some good stuff.
When: Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011, 7:30 to 9:30 PM, doors open at 6:30 PM
Who: Rebecca Solnit, Jillian Lauren, Cameryn Moore, Geek Porn Girl and
Where: The Make Out Room, 3225 22nd. St. between Mission and
Valencia, San Francisco
How much: $5 to $10 sliding scale, all proceeds benefit Seven Teepees.
About the readers/performers:
Rebecca Solnit’s books include Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas, A
California Bestiary, A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary
Communities that Arise in Disaster, A Field Guide to Getting Lost and
Wanderlust: A History of Walking. She’s received a Guggenheim
Fellowship, a Lannan literary fellowship, two NEA Fellowships for
Literature, and a 2004 Wired Rave Award.
Tomas Moniz is the co-editor of Rad Dad, a zine about parenting, and a
new anthology, Rad Dad: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Fatherhood.
Jillian Lauren is the author of the novel Pretty, as well as the
memoir Some Girls: My Life in a Harem. Her writing has appeared in The
Paris Review, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Flaunt Magazine, Opium
Magazine, Society, Pale House: A Collective and in the anthologies My
First Time: A Collection of First Punk Show Stories and Tarnished:
True Tales of Innocence Lost.
Cameryn Moore is the creator of the award-winning one-woman shows
Phone Whore and slut (r)evolution.
And, of course, me.
About Writers With Drinks:
Writers With Drinks has won “Best Literary Night” from the SF Bay
Guardian readers’ poll six years in a row and was named “Best Literary
Drinking” by the SF Weekly. The spoken word “variety show” mixes
genres to raise money for local worthy causes. The award-winning show
includes poetry, stand-up comedy, science fiction, fantasy, romance,
mystery, literary fiction, erotica, memoir, zines and blogs in a
It’s been pretty clear these past few weeks that the man who stood on “Hope” and had the blue states chanting “Yes We Can” is still using semantics to drive his campaign.
Staring into the face of a re-election campaign, President Obama is once again using a catch phrase, only this time he’s “evolving”.
(Now, I’m a science-y dyke, Mr. President, and I know that “evolution” doesn’t always mean a change for the better. You’re buying time, the way a pestered parent does by saying “let me think about it”.)
I expected better from a man who was born at a time when anti-miscegenation laws would have prevented his own interracial parents from marrying in parts of the United States.
I expected him to know that “granting rights” and “recognizing equality” are not the same thing.
Over this past Pride weekend, the New York Times editorial staff took President Obama to task on his wishy-washy stance on same-sex marriage:
Fundamental equality, however, is hardly the equivalent of a liquor law that can vary on opposite sides of a state line. Why is Mr. Obama so reluctant to say the words that could lend strength to a national effort now backed by a majority of Americans?
You should read the whole editorial.
There are two themes on my blog recently: Evolution and vaginas.—
Geek Porn Girl (@GeekPornGirl) June 28, 2011
One can't happen without the other. (Which doesn't mean I'm calling the President a pussy.)—
Geek Porn Girl (@GeekPornGirl) June 28, 2011
Or does it?—
Geek Porn Girl (@GeekPornGirl) June 28, 2011
The self-professed “science geek” seemed like an unlikely winner in a field of pageant queens who gave unclear, muddled, confused, and conservative answers to the interview question, “Should evolution be taught in schools?”.
In a sea of Sarah Palin-wannabes, Campanella’s strong affirmative interview answer stood out. While most of the contestants hedged their bets by saying evolution should be taught as “one of many theories,” three were flat-out opposed: Miss Kentucky USA from the home state of the Creation Museum; Miss Alaska USA, who assures “each of us was individually created by God for a purpose,” and Miss Alabama USA who doesn’t believe in evolution.
The scariest thing is realizing that most of the pageant candidates don’t know that religion isn’t taught in public schools. Many said they believe evolution should be taught along with the biblical creation story. Others appeared to not understand what evolution is, and many of them clearly don’t understand the difference between a scientific theory, which is based in quantifiable and observable phenomena, and the more casual use of the word “theory”.
Listening to this montage of all 51 contestants’ answers makes me realize how much our schools need good, basic, science education. (If you can’t stand hearing all of them, Campanella speaks at 1:15.)
It’s worth pointing out that Campanella’s title going into the pageant wasn’t Miss California, but rather Miss California USA. (You can read about the distinction in this post.) The next title for which she competes will be Miss Universe, not Miss America. The Miss California USA title was briefly held by Carrie Prejean, whose stated belief in “opposite sex marriage” made her a darling of the political right until she fell from grace dressed as briefly as she held the title.
The Miss USA pageant is owned by Donald Trump, who is obviously working hard for this nation, grooming the next wave of embarrassing female candidates.
The internet community is still reeling from the news that lesbian Syrian blogger “Gay Girl in Damascus,” Amina Arraf, who built a reputation on writing vivid accounts of revolt in Damascus, is actually a man.
After Gay Girl’s reported detention fueled internet and media attention, this identity was revealed to be an elaborate hoax. Tom MacMaster, a 40-year-old American man living in Scotland has apologized for inventing, and posing as, the blogger.
It’s amazing how the internet can seem so vast and impersonal, and yet has an ability to pull people together in the weirdest possible ways. Continue reading
Earlier this week, LGBT bloggers and the Twitterati erupted in “huzzahs” at the announcement Old Navy would carry Pride t-shirts in its stores and on the company’s website*, beginning June 1. Furthermore, it was announced, 10 percent of the sales would be donated to the It Gets Better Project. The project is near and dear to the hearts of many of us lesbihomogays, especially those that grew up outside of gay Meccas where gay visibility is almost non-existent and there’s little support or acceptance for queer teens.
But June 1 came and went, with nary a shirt to be seen on the website.
It turns out Old Navy is limiting the distribution of these shirts to those same gay Meccas where they are sure-fire sellers and where their display won’t roil the retail waters for the heartland-targeted chain. The shirts are being carried in just 26 of the companies 1,030-plus stores.
I think it’s really sad that the parts of the country most in need of queer visibility won’t be able to easily access these shirts.
After a police officer advised students at Osgoode Hall Law School to avoid rape by not dressing “like sluts,” students responded by organizing Toronto’s first SlutWalk.
“Sluts and allies” went for a skimpy walk around Toronto to protest the officer’s victim-blaming rhetoric.
“We are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result,” reads the SlutWalk manifesto. “Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence, regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or work. No one should equate enjoying sex with attracting sexual assault.”
Additional SlutWalks are reportedly planned for other parts of Canada.
In a move that could have been lifted directly out of Pink’s “Raise Your Glass” video, a London ice cream parlor, Icecreamists, is selling human breast milk ice cream for £14 a scoop (that’s about $22.50 U.S.).
The breast milk was reportedly purchased from new mothers found through online ads. Icecreamists founder Matt O’Connor told the BBC that the product is pasteurized and donors undergo the same health screenings as blood donors.
He added, “it’s pure, organic, free-range, and totally natural.”
(Free-range mothers. Imagine that!)
One donor said she gets £15 for every 10 ounces of milk she donates to the company, and that it was a great “recession beater”.
“What’s the harm in using my assets for a bit of extra cash?” she asked, adding that if adults realized how tasty breast milk was more new mothers would be encouraged to breastfeed.
O’Connor said “If it’s good enough for our children, it’s good enough for the rest of us.”
Good as it may be, it remains to be seen if this milkshake will bring all the boys to his yard.
At Easter, some people hunt for eggs. On Valentine’s Day, gays and lesbians hunt for marriage licenses:
However, the love between Gaga and Target is dependent on Target’s good behavior.
Take a moment and check out this beautiful video montage of photos of real life “Rosie the Riveters” at work. They’re clearly staged photos, and have the Kodachrome beauty of movie stills, but they also give a great peek into a time past. (Thanks to Twitter pal @ChrisAPaul for the link!)
This Library of Congress film on “Rosie” is less gloss and more history: