Zack and Peterson have new stories to tell about foreign worlds. Peterson’s new projects addressing climate change are not getting the warmest reception in LGBT spaces, nor are there many LGBT people at the climate change conferences he’s attended. Likewise, Zack attended his first atheist conference, speaking at the American Atheists national conference in April, […]
It seems these days that everyone is talking about vaginas, except of course for those folks who are offended by people talking about vaginas. Zack and Peterson talk vaginas and the Michigan state representative battle over women’s bodies and rights to their bodies that is also happening all over the United States right now. Depending […]
Freshly back from Creating Change and AWP, Zack and Peterson are energized to be advocates and writers. This week’s episode focuses on a roundup of news related to the transgender community, including unfunny sketches on Craig Ferguson and SNL, hate crimes, and a big new study that reveals “Injustice at Every Turn” for the trans […]
Individuals who try to regress societal norms through state constitutions, as was attempted in Iowa, should be viewed as opponents of the state itself. They are not patriots; they are traitors who don’t respect their own founding documents.
Alright, so we admit we have an agenda, but what is it? Lots of people, like straight pastors and well-funded Glb(t) political operatives, think they know. Zack and Peterson try to suss out who sets the agenda and what it happens to be today. What are the bars by which we measure the success of […]
The manifest destiny of a Christian American theocracy took a bold step towards the light this week with the inauguration of Alabama’s new governor, Robert Bentley. The day before taking office, Bentley, a deacon at First Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, spoke at Dexter Street King Memorial Baptist Church, once led by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther […]
Peterson is back with stories to tell about South Africa! But Zack has been monitoring the pulse back in the United States, and their juxtaposed observations about gender and sexuality bring Queer and Queerer back in 2011 with a bang! This week we discuss the public perception of LGBT people nationally and globally and particularly […]
It seems these days that everyone is talking about vaginas, except of course for those folks who are offended by people talking about vaginas. Zack and Peterson talk vaginas and the Michigan state representative battle over women’s bodies and rights to their bodies that is also happening all over the United States right now. Depending on where you get your news, of course, you will hear completely different stories about these issues and more. What is news? What is ideological propaganda and how on earth do Zack and Peterson end up talking about butt sex by the end of the program??? This and more on this episode of Queer and Queerer.
We are interested in where you get your news. Please let us know in either the comments here or on Facebook what you find to be a reliable news source. Also, let us know how you feel about pride and we might incorporate your thoughts into our next episode!
I want to give President Obama credit for this change, I really do. But he still opposes same-sex marriage! That’s kind of a problem.
He could have done it for political reasons. It wins him some favor from the left and puts it to the right to deal with. Many have already noted the irony and hypocrisy of Speaker Boehner’s response. Given that his first order of business as Speaker of the House was to address a controversial social issue (defunding Planned Parenthood), it’s absurd that he would complain that the President is doing the same. If he or other Congressional Republicans tried to intervene in the defense of DOMA, it would be all the more obvious how disingenuous they are about their intentions.
So, I don’t know. I don’t have some grand point to make. There are a lot of folks who complain about people like me for always putting down the President and not giving credit where credit’s due. But if my rights are just being used as a political strategy and my equality isn’t really being favored, I guess I just feel like I have to call that out.
Freshly back from Creating Change and AWP, Zack and Peterson are energized to be advocates and writers. This week’s episode focuses on a roundup of news related to the transgender community, including unfunny sketches on Craig Ferguson and SNL, hate crimes, and a big new study that reveals “Injustice at Every Turn” for the trans community. We also share our experiences from our conferences and, of course, an erotic poem!
This latest attempt to enshrine (and in Iowa’s case, like California’s with Prop 8, impose) discrimination into a state’s founding document got me thinking. Anyone who tries to manipulate a Constitution in such ways really has no respect for the document at all.
“Constitution” is a word we don’t really use in the vernacular much anymore. But we can still talk about a person’s constitution. What is at a person’s core? What is that inner essence that makes a person tick? A person’s constitution is a measure of fortitude, an aggregate of all inherent characteristics. A constitution as a founding document is much the same. It’s the foundation upon which the laws and norms of that constituency can be built.
To change a constitution is to admit that it was not good enough in the beginning. To change a person’s constitution would require a life-changing event, a revelation, or lots of intense therapy. Similarly, a governmental constitution should be very difficult to change, and any change must be very carefully considered.
I’ll always carry a little bit of Iowa with me, in no short part because I was there through its achievement of marriage equality. When I think about all the anti-marriage equality folks still causing a stir, in addition to everything I might think or feel about them as a gay man, I also find their rhetoric to be particularly insulting to great state of Iowa.
And then, the anti-gay folks have the gall to try to impose a change to the state constitution just to get their way. Think about what they’re doing. They are trying to change the very fabric of the state. Either the constitution protects people’s equality in society or it doesn’t. Anybody who wants to change it because they don’t like the outcome has no respect for the document to begin with.
People who try to punish people for doing their jobs are bullies. People who try to impose a regressive societal change in complete opposition to the inherent values of that society are traitors.
Whoa, there’s a sentence that will get quoted out of context some day. Maybe even in the comments of this post.
But that’s just the thing with all these “social agenda” issues. It’s not yes or no. It’s not black or white.
It’s forward or backward.
A constitution is a foundation, but then we build upon it. If we can just go in and alter the infrastructure on a whim, then none of what we built upon it had much meaning to begin with. How can a state thrive if its constitution is so fluid that it has no general consistency?
Just look at California.
So when we face down opponents who are trying to use a constitution to hold back the progress of equality, we should be honest about who stands where. We shouldn’t be painting these folks as manipulators or suggesting they have any tactical advantage, regardless of their potential to use the public’s fear to suit their malevolent bigoted purposes.
We should be laughing them down as the anti-government turncoats they are. They want to dismantle the progress of society. Their motives are malicious against the state as much as against same-sex couples.
It’s funny how many of them call themselves “patriots.” They couldn’t be more wrong; they insult the term.
Gays, lesbians, and bisexuals are emerging as the newest full citizens of this nation. (Trans folks are still a few steps behind, and we really have to work on that.) While I will face down heterosexual and cisgender privilege (including my own) my entire life, I think I will at least see the day when I see full legal equality as a gay man. On the day that I do, I know it will be because of those who made sure that the foundations of our society were set up to favor movement forward, not backward. Anybody who thinks constitutions serve a different purpose ought to expatriate.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Last night’s State of the Union was fine. It was certainly an interesting experiment to have the members of Congress intermingled and I doubt anyone was bothered the applause was greatly muted as a result.
For everything President Obama said that I liked, I felt there was something else he said or something he didn’t say that canceled it out. If his goal is to appear more centrist, then I suppose the speech was a success. His quip about not thinking about the next election—we just had one—was perhaps a bit too obvious.
I liked how he put pressure on parents and defended teachers. I didn’t like how he didn’t say anything about supporting education infrastructure so the teachers have something to work with nor how he didn’t say anything about making schools safe and conducive to learning. (It’s hard to win either the football game or the science fair if you experience every day feeling like your life has no value.)
I liked how he talked about bringing troops home, but I didn’t like how he talked (with almost a sense of pride) about the importance of continuing to fight. Similarly, I appreciated his call to reduce—nay, freeze—excessive spending, but don’t understand why it didn’t involve ending the two wars that destroyed the surplus Clinton left us 10 years ago. If the US is so grand and important, shouldn’t domestic spending take precedent over unnecessary combat?
I like how he emphasized renewable energy, but don’t understand why clean coal deserved mentioning. The State of the Union should be an important enough speech to not include oxymorons.
And while I appreciated his follow-through on certifying repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell this year (another year of discrimination isn’t hurting anyone), I was appalled by his rebuke of college campuses. Let recruiters on? I’m sorry, but while things might be clearing up for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals in the military, trans folks are still quite unwelcome. If a campus didn’t welcome recruiters because the military discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation, why should a campus welcome recruiters if the military still discriminates on the basis of gender identity? It sounded pompous and desperate, and as someone working to be a better ally for the transgender community, I was really bothered by it.
Of course, there was nothing new for LGBT folks, just a rehash of last year’s talking point. I would have loved to hear the President say that gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity should no longer be valid criteria for employment decisions, but apparently we’re not there yet. A lot of people seemed to want a mention for marriage, but his opinion on that must still be “evolving.” Hopefully with all the pressure growing about his 1996 support for marriage equality, he’ll evolve a little quicker. Maybe it’s something we can hold out for in the 2012 State of the Union.
But it didn’t take long for Republicans and Tea Partiers to jump right back to blaming Obama for things that started happening in the economy before he even took office. It’s just another day in the United States of America. The state of our union is… meh, okay, I guess.
Alright, so we admit we have an agenda, but what is it? Lots of people, like straight pastors and well-funded Glb(t) political operatives, think they know. Zack and Peterson try to suss out who sets the agenda and what it happens to be today. What are the bars by which we measure the success of the LGBTQ movement? We also talk about folks who are trying to bridge gaps, but might just be helping to maintain them. From Egypt to Hollywood to Washington, D.C., we look at who is shaping the agenda and chime in with our hopes and concerns.
The sudden departure of Keith Olbermann from MSNBC on Friday (so sudden that the network was still running promos for his show after his final sign off) requires, I think, that we consider the notion of speech in society.
Olbermann was obviously quite a raucous voice, and there was that little “violation” of his with the political donations (the same “violation” Joe Scarborough seemed to get away with—twice). Some say he wasn’t easy to work with; that may be. But he and his show were smart and provocative. They were also the top-rated show on MSNBC, a fact that remains unchanged even if his viewership had “peaked.” Regardless of who made what decision or why, we can conclude that someone thought that MSNBC (or Comcast/NBC/Universal) was better off without his top-rated show than with it.
It’s no secret that liberal perspectives are usually not in the best interest of people with lots of money, like heads of corporations. So, our best guess about Olbermann’s departure must be that what Olbermann says is not worth as much as Olbermann’s show made.
Speech isn’t free.
It’s amazing to me the way the United States has embraced a new royalty: capitalism. And the way we’ve decided speech ought to be limited or conditioned doesn’t even violate the 1st Amendment, at least not at face-value. Congress hasn’t directly abridged the freedom of speech; we’ve done it to ourselves.
When our old white forefathers were writing the Bill of Rights back in 1789, I wonder what they were thinking. Did they imagine a society with a “media” controlled and distributed by huge corporations? Or an Internet? Or were they thinking about a society where a pamphleteer like Thomas Paine can cause as much trouble as anybody else?
Sure, a modern day Paine could find some readers. If this little ol’ blog of mine reached a proportional audience in 1790, I’d have 10 weekly readers. But the difference today is trust. Who does the average citizen trust for information? In general, the answer is the organization with the most power to distribute it.
Mix in the Citizens United decision from last year, and it’s actually quite alarming how oligarchical we’ve become. We are right now living through the flashback scenes from the science fiction dystopias in which the people trusted the companies just a little too much. (Have you seen Visioneers with Zach Galifanakis? Watch it on hulu.) If the company says there’s a voice that should be heard, we hear it, and if there’s a voice we shouldn’t hear anymore? Well, gosh, I guess it’s their decision; it’s their company.
Our ability to have our ideas heard in the mainstream should not be conditioned on our ability to make other people money. It’s no secret that much of journalism has been reduced to this. If all the “breaking news” updates for the most mundane things (remember Balloon Boy?) weren’t enough, all you had to do was watch AC360 Friday night. Just one hour after Keith Olbermann signed off, Anderson Cooper devoted a whole third of his show to talking about Keith Olbermann! CNN decided they had more to gain by bringing attention to a competing network by having on a bunch of random people to gossip about it than to actually report on other news!
The situation is spiraling, primarily because the mainstream doesn’t see a problem. The only rays of light seem to be The Daily Show and Colbert Report, and despite their biting media commentary four nights a week, they don’t want to take much responsibility, because hey, they’re just comedy shows.
Until we demand greater regulatory control over big business, corporations are going to continue amassing power over our communications. Why are conservatives always trying to shrink the federal government? To give more power to the corporations. Think it’s just a coincidence Republicans want to privatize social security or cut funding for public radio? I don’t. I think any obstacle (including federal regulation) to corporations doing whatever they want to do to make as much money as they can is one Republicans want to eliminate.
And if we keep buying into the fear-mongering and propagandist lies of FOX News, they just might.
We need more Keith Olbermanns, and we need more platforms for them. Let’s keep asking the questions until the truth comes out.
The manifest destiny of a Christian American theocracy took a bold step towards the light this week with the inauguration of Alabama’s new governor, Robert Bentley.
The day before taking office, Bentley, a deacon at First Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, spoke at Dexter Street King Memorial Baptist Church, once led by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. An occasion meant to honor Dr. King on his holiday seemed to have quite the opposite effect. Said Bentley:
But if you have been adopted in God’s family like I have, and like you have, if you’re a Christian and if you’re saved, and the Holy Spirit lives within you just like the Holy Spirit lives with me, then you know what that makes? It makes you and me brothers. And it makes you and me brother and sister.
Now I will have to say that, if we don’t have the same daddy, we’re not brothers and sisters. So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother.
Maybe he was just getting it all out of his system while he could.
What’s worse, if you read the news article, you’ll see plenty of people (the Anti-Defamation League notably excepted) are open to defending him or at least equivocating about his intentions. It must be really bad for non-Christians in Alabama if they’re afraid to even say, “Yeah, I was pretty damn offended” on the record.
This is ridiculously offensive. We’re a nation with a history of denying groups of people a role in their government, and here’s a newly elected official who seems eager to govern in just that way.
And who says “daddy”?
I don’t think folks realize how fragile the separation of church and state is. They’re not non-overlapping magisteria; they both deal with serving the people, so we have to try our hardest to maintain the boundaries we can. Electing religious leaders to government positions does the exact opposite, and Bentley is a shining example.
If you pause and consider the phenomenon of the religious right, you realize how bizarre it is that a political point of view so concerned with the constitution is the most concerned with violating the intentions behind it. Of course, snap back to reality and remember that integrity has nothing to do with it; it’s all about power. Try to make rhyme or reason out of it and you’ll get nowhere (If it weren’t for my horse, I wouldn’t have spent that year in college).
We’re not a Christian nation. That meme is just the largest-scale example of the George W. Bush approach to truth. Say it enough and act like it enough and people will buy into it.
Alabama, you have my sympathies. Maybe all you Jews, nonbelievers, and other non-Christians can be at least counted as 3/5 of a brother or sister.
You know what would be great? To hear some Christian groups condemn him, to stand up and say, “This was not Christian behavior and we disapprove of infusing such evangelism into state government.”
Peterson is back with stories to tell about South Africa! But Zack has been monitoring the pulse back in the United States, and their juxtaposed observations about gender and sexuality bring Queer and Queerer back in 2011 with a bang! This week we discuss the public perception of LGBT people nationally and globally and particularly in the media. There are a ton of links below that inform our conversation, so check them all out, and of course, enjoy this week’s erotic poem!