The Supremes Got it Right! And a Timely Reminder that Elections Matter

ZOMG YOU GUYS! WE CAN GO TO ALL THE SAME-SEX WEDDINGS!!! SOME OF US CAN EVEN GET MARRIED AT THEM!!!!!!

I hope you’re satisfied, my QUILTBAG friends.

See, I’d hoped to protect you from this shit. Y’know, like, having to buy a ring, and pop the question, and choose the date, and venue, and get a cake (which we all know can go horrifically wrong, even if you’re baker loves same-sex weddings), and deal with all the family drama what with Aunt Margaret not talking to Cousin Leslie anymore, and then the humdrum ordinariness of married life, and the house, and the kids, and the bills, and the harsh reality of what “til death” and “in sickness and in health” really means. I’d thought you had a good deal, avoiding all that shit. It was kinda like back in the nineties when we thought the military wasn’t accepting pagans, and I was really glad, because I didn’t want any of my pagan friends to die in some bullshit war. I was against same-sex marriage before I was for it, because I figured you didn’t need the aggravation. But, since you wanted it so very much, I changed my mind, just like I did with my pagan friends who wanted to serve our country without having to hide who they are. And I’m getting happily drunk for you right now.

I’m still not sure why some of ya’ll want to sign up for the military when you don’t have to, but I’m old enough now to see why marriage is a big deal, and I’m just sorry it took so fucking long for our country to say, “Oh, hell. If you want it, go on, you crazy kids! Get hitched!”

Even if some of you crazy kids aren’t exactly kids, on account of having to wait so damn long. [Read more…]

It’s Time to Make a Barbaric Practice Illegal

Hello, heterosexual person! We love you! We just hate your sin. Look, we know you’re very strongly attracted to people of the opposite sex, and many of your kind say there’s nothing wrong with it, but as you know, it’s an abomination unto Glod for a man to lie with a woman. Interestingly, the Big Holy Book™ doesn’t say anything about women lying with men… but we here at (Make You) Fit the Mold Therapy Group figure it goes both ways. [Read more…]

Some Queer Ally You Are, Jesus

Alex Gabriel makes a convincing case against Jesus as an LGBTQ ally, and for keeping supportive spaces secular. Here is a lengthy excerpt: there’s far more at the link, and you should definitely read the whole thing, so that you can be prepared to reply to all of those folks who blabber about how wonderful it is to have gay-friendly Jesus all up in everybody’s business. [Read more…]

Oh, Sochi, No!

Good job, Russia. Arresting the first openly trans* legislator in Europe for waving a “Gay is OK” flag is fantastic PR. I’m sure all the people in the world who love to persecute LGBTQ people are salivating over you right now. Those of us who are actually decent human beings, on the other hand, aren’t at all impressed.

But, actually, thank you for showing your true colors. [Read more…]

No. I Won’t Give Churchgoers Cookies For Doing the Minimally Decent Thing.

A friend pointed me toward this story by telling me a Methodist church got a new pastor, who promptly ran the gay choir director out, and guess how many in the congregation left the church over it? I knew what she was fishing for. She wanted me to feel the warm fuzzies that a bunch of religious folk had protested the treatment of one of their own.

No.

“Eighty percent!” she said, as if the number would change my mind.

Nope. Not impressed.

The conversation stalled shortly after as I refused to debate further whether or not one should encourage such basic human decency by praising it, lest the people involved give up trying to be good due to lack of kudos. I don’t like to have these conversations over chat to begin with, and when it’s chat at my job and I’m trying to work, I like it even less. It takes more time than I have to hammer the point home that I’m not going to give them cookies for doing the minimally decent thing.

Image is an irritated dark gray cat, with the caption "No cookie for you."

Kitty courtesy Isabel Bloedwater via Flickr.

So let me unsling my Smack-o-Matic™ now: [Read more…]

Ding Dong the Wicked DOMA’s Dead!

Now seems like a good time to let my LGBTQ friends know that they can call upon me should they need a writer’s services in crafting wedding-related stationery items. Despite the fact that our Supreme Court is full of conservative shitheels like Scalia who like to stomp all over important rights, most of DOMA is dead. Prop 8 is pretty much perished. The non-bigoted portions of the wedding industrial complex are screaming for joy, while the Jesus-cries-angry-tears-at-gay-weddings crowd is wailing and gnashing their teeth. Same-sex couples, those who may become such couples, and those who support them in their quest for equal rights are cheering. Sweet sounds all.

Marriage = Love. Image courtesy Fibonacci Blue via Flickr.

Marriage = Love. Image courtesy Fibonacci Blue via Flickr.

It’s over. The religious right has lost. There will be a few scattered skirmishes in places where bigoted assclowns good Christians outnumber kind people, but I’m betting on a full defeat of the anti-equality forces within my lifetime. Probably before I’m eligible for AARP membership. And that ain’t that many years away.

About bleeding time same-sex marriage rights were recognized. Long past time, actually, and there are still far too many states that still refuse same-sex couples the right to marry. Let’s get crack-a-lackin on this marriage equality thing. There’s absolutely no reason why consenting adults of the same sex shouldn’t get married, aside from bullshit religious ones. Fuck religion. None of these delusional anti-equality shitlords have a hotline to God (or Allah). Until Jesus shows up in person on daytime talk shows saying Daddy don’t want no gays getting hitched, I’m gonna say that any ratfuckers saying that God hates gay weddings are functionally full of shit and should be shuffled off into a corner to rant to themselves. The rest of us have cake to eat and rice to throw.

The Supreme Court didn’t go far enough, but they opened the door to the clerk’s office. Up to us to ensure all of our same-sex couples get to walk through it.

Happy weddings!

On Tides, Visibility, and Quiet Revolutionary Acts

There was a time, back when I first began seriously aiming at a life as an author, that I thought I’d have to select a pseudonym. Well, I knew I’d have to – writing under my birth name would lead to far too much potential violence, and it is never good PR for a writer to thump readers over the head with their latest bestseller during signings. Any of you who have last names that inspire tired old jokes repeated as if they were a comedy revolution will know exactly what I mean.

But that wasn’t the main reason why I planned to change my name. Nor was it the fact one of my characters had filched my first name and refused to give it back.

I’m a woman. This is why I felt I had to use a pseudonym.

[Read more…]

Correct an Injustice

CeCe McDonald, who will be thrown in prison for defending her life. Image Credit: Support CeCe McDonald.

CeCe McDonald didn’t ask to be attacked, but she was. Some vicious assholes decided a transsexual woman of color was fair game for abuse. They assaulted her, they harmed her, and chased her down when she tried to flee. She had a pair of scissors in her purse. She took them out to ward off her attackers. One of them impaled himself on them, and died, and apparently self-defense and stand your ground don’t apply to transsexual women, because she’s now facing prison time for daring to live.

This is wrong on more levels than I can count.

Our society is tough enough on women lately. Misogynistic assclowns with barbaric notions of godly morality would like to see women reduced once again to the status of chattel, and are doing their level best to ensure that reproductive rights are taken away as a prelude to locking women away in their homes, where they can be kept as breeding stock for manly men of faith. And that’s bad enough. I certainly don’t want that life. But it looks like a cakewalk compared to what transsexual women face. Too many people, including those sworn to serve and protect and administer justice blindly, see them as disposable defects.

I want you to look at CeCe’s face. Look at her. There is a human being with hopes and dreams and love and laughter, who has been through plenty of tough times, and yet managed a brilliant smile. And because a group of men decided she was something less than human, and attacked her, and discovered they hadn’t chosen a completely helpless victim but one who fought for her life when cornered, she’s now being shipped off to prison. A men’s prison, mind you. How well do you think a transsexual woman will do there?

People who defend themselves from assault, who did their best to get away but couldn’t run far enough or fast enough and ended up cornered with no way out, people who chose not to become victims but to defend their lives, shouldn’t have to go to prison, where they’re going to be repeatedly assaulted and possibly killed, just because our justice system is horribly broken.

Sign the petition asking for her pardon. Write the governor who has it within his power to set her free. Support CeCe.

Let’s give back the life they tried to take.

Blaming the Victims (Yet Again)

This sickens me so much I’m at a loss for words:

Fifteen year-old Larry King (no relation to the CNN interviewer) was shot twice in the back of the head by his classmate Brandon McInerney while sitting in school in Oxnard, California. Now that McInerney is on trial, the boy’s legal team and the school administration are using the tried and true “he was asking for it” defense. This is totally disgusting.

According to a story in the L.A. Times today, “McInerney’s defense attorneys… acknowledge that the boy pulled the trigger but say that he was pushed to the breaking point by King’s taunts.” Yes, it’s the tried and true “gay panic defense” that preys on juries’ homophobia to get confessed killers cleared for murdering gay people. It was even used against Matthew Shepard, when one of his killers said he was driven to kill the gay college student because he hit on him.

It only gets worse from there.

I know that defense attorneys have very few avenues they can take with an obviously guilty client. But this tactic is beyond reprehensible. What they’re basically trying to argue is that, should you suffer an unwanted advance, it is perfectly right and fine to shoot a person in the head. You should be able to murder a human being and walk free just because you were briefly inconvenienced and made to feel a bit icky.

I don’t imagine they’d be arguing that women have that blanket right to murder men who come on to them. But, y’know, gays. Ew. Of course it’s all right for a straight guy to shoot a transsexual or a gay dude, because that’s a threat to manhood. Kinda like when your wife sleeps with some other dude. It’s okay to shoot ’em in the heat of passion – why not be able to shoot queers, too?

One can only hope that the jury is not so morally bereft as to buy this argument. But we need to have a conversation, a very long and unflinching conversation, about the kind of society in which arguments of this sort can even be entertained. We’re supposedly a first-world nation, and yet there are not insubstantial numbers of people who don’t see much wrong with demonizing and victimizing gays, lesbians, and transsexuals. When a little girl gets raped, an entire town rallies round the rapists, because, y’know, she wore makeup and was obviously asking for it. How dare those sorts of people lure nice, upstanding young men into performing savage acts?

Some folks, otherwise decent, may claim that the defense attorneys are only doing their job. Sure, they have to blame the victim – how else can they defend their client? I don’t know the answer to that. I know this, though: that sort of tactic is devastating to victims, survivors, and the culture at large. There’s probably nothing we can do to prevent defense attorneys from using such tactics, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept them. We can speak out against them. We can tell our society that murdering a person because they made the mistake of flirting with a homophobic sociopath, that raping a girl because she wore makeup in the presence of men, is not justifiable. There are certain things you just do not do in a civilized society. There are some actions that cannot be excused on the grounds that the victim wasn’t a perfect, straight, chaste person.

This dehumanizing bullshit may be a tactic defense attorneys feel comfortable using, but society at large never should. Victims have shouldered too much of the blame. Time to pass that blame to those who have earned it: the victimizers.