Hillary crosses Ts and gets panned
A comment to a BBC reporter was all it took for Hillary Clinton to open a can of “outrage-mob” whoop-ass on herself. She was asked about some cisgender women’s discomfort with sharing locker rooms with transgender women, and Hillary said, “I do think there is a legitimate concern about women’s lived experience and the importance of recognizing that, and also the importance of recognizing the self-identification. This is all relatively new. People are still trying to find the language for it.”
Commentators of all political stripes criticized her for thought crimes ranging from insensitivity to transgender women’s self-identification to implying approval for male predators to invade women’s safe spaces. Ignored by the “Mob” is Hillary’s public support for transgender equality expressed as early as 2015 and her support for the Equality Act which is pending in the U.S. Congress.
Mayor Pete leads polls and gets front runner treatment
Gay political heartthrob, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, holds a 7-point lead in Iowa Democratic voter preference and is in a three-way situation with co-front runners, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, in the New Hampshire primary. With front runner status comes a bulls-eye target posted on his back.
Erstwhile, California sharp-shooter candidate, Kamala Harris criticized him as “naïve” for him to compare his struggles as a gay man with the struggles faced by African-Americans. During the most recent Democratic Candidate Joint Appearance, Amy Klobuchar claimed he was a lightweight because he hadn’t won an election any more important than the two he won for mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
National Cathedral honor for Shepard
The remains of Matthew Shepard, a victim of a 1998 hate crime whose death became a landmark moment, were interred in the National Cathedral last year. This year the grave was marked by a monument, in the Episcopal Church in Washington D.C., paid by the Matthew Shepard Foundation after a worldwide fundraising effort. The ceremony was officiated by Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith of the National Cathedral and Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde. Attending were, Judy and Dennis Shepard (Matthew’s parents), singer Mary Lambert, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington and Rev. V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church.
‘Show Me State’ shows up
Delegates to a conclave of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri overwhelmingly elected the Rev. Deon K. Johnson to be the next bishop. The Barbados born bishop currently lives in the Detroit area with his husband and two children. The Episcopal Church (the U.S. version of the Church of England) has been divided over LGBTQ rights in recent years, with some individual churches boycotting the Lambeth Conference of Anglican Communion — which takes place every 10 years — over the inclusion of gay bishops. Dioceses in New Hampshire, Maine, and Michigan have also elected partnered gay bishops, as has the Diocese of Toronto in the Anglican Church of Canada.
Fiddle dee-dee, Billy Dee says “I’m fluid”
You know a new Star Wars feature is coming out when the Disney PR department cranks out some harmless gay content. This time, an 82-year-old. Billy Dee Williams, who returns to the Star Wars series as Lando Calrissian in The Rise of Skywalker, told Esquire Magazine he is “gender fluid.” He told the mag, “And you see I say ‘himself’ and ‘herself,’ because I also see myself as feminine as well as masculine. I’m a very soft person. I’m not afraid to show that side of myself.”
He said the 1971 TV movie Brian’s Song, where he played American football great Gale Sayers was, “A love story, really. Between two guys. Without sex.” In an earlier Star Wars PR blitz, the actor portraying a younger Lando in a prequel, Donald Glover, claimed he portrayed Lando as “pan-sexual”, but again, harmless, “without sex.”
Word of the year
A four-letter word beat “quid pro quo,” “impeach,” “snitty” (used by A.G. Barr describing a letter he received from Robert Mueller), ”crawdad” and “tergiversation (evasive language or activity).” The use of “they” in a nonbinary context was named Word-of-the-Year by Merriam-Webster.com. The dictionary website saw a 313 percent increase in look-ups of the word. The increased searches surprised the company as, “It’s a word we all know and love.”
The word’s use by entertainment figures and in U.S. Congressional testimony drove the increase. Merriam-Webster added a new definition to reflect nonbinary gender identity. Other words in the Top 10 List of searched words are “camp” (thanks Susan Sontag) and “exculpate (“to clear from alleged fault or guilt)”.
Greed doesn’t pay
A Sean Cody performer, who went to jail for blackmailing a big donor to the Republican Party has been released from prison after 70 months. Don Teofil Brank (or as Sean Cody fans know him, Jarec Wentworth) was an active sex worker for the high-profile Republican donor both personally and as a pimp. He got greedy and demanded the donor to Romney, Bush, Giuliani and Scott Brown, Donald Burns, give him $1.5 million, an Audi worth $100,000 and an apartment in downtown LA. The FBI set-up a sting and Brank ended up in jail for more than five years of free food and a lot of sex.
Facebook on the hot seat
Over 50 LGBTQ and health nonprofit organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, amfAR, and the Gay Men’s Health Crisis are asking Facebook to take down ads by a personal injury attorney firm. The firm is looking for people using Truvada who believe their health has been compromised by the drug’s use. The law firm’s ads suggest Truvada has harmful side effects, including issues related to bone density and kidney function.
Truvada has been shown to be up to 99 percent effective in HIV prevention when used correctly. The groups claim the ads are, “causing significant harm to public health,” because information may incite public mistrust in PrEP.
Facebook says the ads do not violate any policies and the information has not been found to be false by the company’s third-party fact-checkers. The warning on the packages does mention kidney and liver issues as possible side effects.
Filipino gay agenda in California
Two gay men with antecedents hailing from the Philippines, though on different sides of the political spectrum, are poised to be highly placed public officials in California. San Diego city council member, Todd Gloria is a leading candidate for San Diego mayor in the 2020 election. Patrick Bumatay considered to have a conservative judicial philosophy was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to the California 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Gloria’s election would make San Diego the largest U.S. city to elect an openly gay man as mayor. Gloria has been in the state legislature and SD’s interim mayor prior to the election. Bumatay becomes the highest-ranking federal judge from the LGBTQ community though there is a pending appointment of a lesbian nominee in Illinois. Bumtay’s confirmation came on a party-line vote: all 53 Republican senators voting yes and all 47 Democrats voting no.