Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Gay Haiku



I don't understand

You love it when I do that--

Wait, no.  That's Stephen.


Remember when I

Said I disliked oral sex?

I meant just with you.


My seventh birthday;

I weep at Barbie's Dream House.

How could you not know?


The salmon's divine,

But I'm afraid we can't stay--

I screwed our waiter.


He's gorgeous, witty

And stimulating.  Please, God,

Let him be a top.




EDIT: These are all from "Gay Haiku" by Joel Derfner. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Habit of Making Historical Figures Gay or Trans Is Problematic


With Transgender Day of Visibility and the GLAAD Media Awards occurring during the same week and with Pride Month just a few months away, it made me reflect on LGBT history and historiography. If you don’t know what historiography is, it can be defined as “the writing, methods of scholarship, and selection of materials to create a narrative of history that will stand the test of critical review.” It’s the work that historians engage in to help us understand our past. There are numerous approaches to it that have risen and fallen in popularity over time from Great Man, Annales School, and Marxist to Consensus and New Left, each with its own merits and followings. However, the challenge they all share is how to reconcile their views with the complexity of human existence and its past. As part of that, LGBT history faces the same dilemmas and the same issues with reconciling the past without falling subject to fallacies commonly found in historical thought.

It’s only been in the last few decades that being LGBT has moved beyond being seen as merely a sexuality or way of expressing yourself but a genuine group identity. As with any emerging group, there is a drive to create a historical narrative of where we came from, to create a mythology that includes virtuous heroes, and to place us within the greater society. This is nothing new or special, as every group in history has done it — nations, ethnicities, genders, religions, and even various professions. To want to find a place in the historical narrative of humanity is simply an act of being human, yet as such can be entirely flawed and problematic. This is not to say that what LGBT people are doing is wrong — far from it — it’s just that we need to be aware of these problems and work to correct them, as the process can ultimately work against our goals of acceptance.

The major problem where this occurs is the same problem that has plagued other groups, which is forming a selective narrative and projecting our current worldviews into the past. The first part is forming a selective narrative that tends to emphasize the good and play down or ignore the bad. A good example for Americans would be the issue of race. For example, while much focus is placed upon the South’s Jim Crow laws and slavery in our collective history, we tend to overlook that American finance and industry were funded and supported by the slave trade. Additionally, we have yet to fully resolve the contradictions of our hero Founding Fathers with their claim “All men are created equal,” while many still fought to own slaves themselves. In this regard, the LGBT community is quick to proclaim virtuous obvious heroes such as Harvey Milk, Alan Turing, and Bayard Rustin, but tends to play down those that are far less virtuous such as Roy Cohn, a man who helped persecute LGBT people and helped Donald Trump escape greater punishment for his racist housing practices. Another great example of this is J. Edgar Hoover, who helps highlight the second great problem in developing an LGBT history.

J. Edgar Hoover was never proven to be gay, though rumors circulated his entire life. Allegations about his relationship with his assistant Clyde Tolson, whom he was extremely close to, were around for years, along with Hoover’s suspiciously coincidental associations with other closeted gay men like Roy Cohn. Now, while Hoover’s sexuality will likely never be proven to a general satisfaction and many people will debate it for years, it raises a particular issue for LGBT people — that of appropriating historical figures. While there certainly are historical figures we can cite as being part of the LGBT population, such as the Emperor Hadrian, Gustave Flaubert, or Oscar Wilde, it’s when we start to take on those who have more ambiguous histories that we run into issues that may actually end up working against us. For example, it’s often said that Abraham Lincoln was gay and Joan of Arc was transgender because of the behaviors they exhibited that we see now as fitting those identities. Historians have a word for it: “presentism.”

With LGBT people, the issue is that in trying to paint many historical figures who behave in ways that seem to be “gay” that are familiar to us — or err on the side of favorable historical rumors — we run contrary to the contemporary arguments about gender and sexuality that we use to foster our own acceptance. We regularly argue that gender roles and behaviors are a social construct and therefore are constantly evolving. For example, we point out that at one point in Western history it was acceptable to be bisexual or to exhibit same-sex attraction, yet we fail to note that people of the time viewed sexual behaviors in a vastly different than we do, and the period often included complex social values and norms. We also seem to sometimes place modern views on same-sex nonsexual relationships to these figures in that “no true straight person” could have such feelings for a person without it being sexual. We cite letters and poems that express a fondness we consider romantic or sexual, when we know well that in those times and in different cultures expressions of closeness were different. Even in today’s world, while Americans might find men kissing or holding hands an overtly homosexual act, in many parts of the world, it’s simply a sign of affection and closeness, just as men sharing a bed for long periods of time in the past was completely common but seen as “queer” today. The same goes for expressions of gender behavior that we have deemed masculine or effeminate, like dress and occupation, including those that served a specific purpose. When we place a pattern of gendered behaviors from our contemporary culture onto the past, we contradict our own arguments against gender expectations.

LGBT people are not special nor really stand out in misinterpreting, appropriating, or revising history to suit their purposes over any other groups. Reconciling the good and bad LGBT figures from history will come with time and from a more reflective position when values have changed. People project their own values and views so regularly onto the past, it’s practically expected. A huge portion of the work historians do is to counter that. However, there is a unique interest in LGBT history to avoid viewing the past through our current frameworks. If we are to advocate for diversity of expression, to work against toxic views of gender and sexuality, and to show that society is better for embracing such beliefs, we cannot rewrite or whitewash history along those lines, as we end up working against our self-interest. 


AMANDA KERRI is a writer and comedian based in Oklahoma City. Follow her on Twitter @EternalKerri.


Source: http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2017/4/05/habit-making-historical-figures-gay-or-trans-problematic

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Boasting About Tomorrow


Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"-yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
James 4:13-17

There is so much depth to these five verses. In the big picture, do we include God in all of our plans? Do we include him in our career or educational plans? Do we pray about the path He wants us to take?  When we make plans and exclude God, no matter what the plans are, it is as if we are boasting in our own abilities.

Verses 13 and 14 refer to making future plans for prosperity without consulting God. Even if the plans are honorable and righteous, God may have other ideas. Our lives are but a blink of God's eye, "a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes." God wants us to consult with Him for all plans.

I plan ahead.  If I do not have the next step or two thought out before I get to them, I feel behind and unorganized.  However, God does not work this way.  Ever since I gave Him full rights to my life, I cannot seem to plan anything too far in advance.  He is the ultimate schedule shifter.  James notes, "you do not know what tomorrow will bring."  I have to remind myself of this.  Life throws sudden changes at you.  Yes, I still plan ahead to the best of my ability, but I now make flexible plans instead of rigid ones.  This is one way I submit my life to God, by giving Him free reign to jumble my schedule.  In the end, I trust God has a better idea of what I should do with my life than I do since He sees the entire picture.

I remind myself that God has a plan for me in my prayers.  I begin by asking God to forgive me of my sins, then I ask Him to guide me down the path He has chosen for me before asking Him to bless my family and friends.  I pray for guidance down the path God has chosen for me, because I know it is not an easy path.  In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus says, "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few."

I've learned to use verse 15 in all planning. "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." There is so much each of us wants to do with what time we have left in our lives, right? Personally, I would love to travel to Europe again, write a book, get in better shape, and be healthier. With each thing I want do to, I pray about it and say, "Lord, if it is Your will that I do this, then I will do it."

Psalm 37:4 states: Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. This is a Scripture of hope.  We think, "I love the Lord and so He will give me whatever my heart desires." That sounds great and all, but what about this:  if we love the Lord and become very close and intimate with Him, very soon His desires become the desire of our hearts. Ask the Lord if your desire is His will and you may find that His will truly becomes your desire.

Verses 16-17 remind us that boasting in our arrogance is evil, and goes on to say that if we know the right thing to do and fail to do it, we are sinning.  If the Lord places something upon your heart, and you do something else instead, verse 17 tells us that it is sin.  In 2 Corinthians 1:12, Paul writes, "For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you."

Boast in the Lord and proclaim to everyone: "My God has blessed me abundantly, and He directs my path."  In Matthew 5:6, Jesus said: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." There is satisfaction in doing God's will. To actually do good is filling food. The more we eat the keener our appetite becomes. Dissatisfaction is a sure sign that we are not eagerly doing the will of God. It is a symptom of spiritual immaturity. The only way to discover the point of Christ's teaching is to practice it. The only way to godly contentment is to hunger and thirst after righteousness.

Friday, April 21, 2017

A Day Off



I have today off because I have to work Saturday. Since I have today off, I'm sleeping in. There isn't much more to write about, so I'll leave it at that.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Roy Moore Lost His Appeal


The Alabama Supreme Court today upheld the decision that removed Roy Moore from his position as chief justice.

Moore in a press conference after the decision called the prosecution "politically" motivated and declared that he remains Chief Justice despite the suspension regarding an administrative order against the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

"I have done my duty under the laws of this state to stand for the undeniable truth that God ordained marriage as the union of one and one woman," Moore said during the press conference with reporters in the Old Supreme Court Chambers at the Alabama State Capitol. 

Moore can't appeal the ruling to the federal courts because there are no federal issues. "This is it," he said.

Moore also said he would reveal early next week for any plans he may have to run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by former Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, who was appointed to replace Jeff Sessions who is now U.S. Attorney General.

Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center which had filed the ethics complaint against Moore issued this statement after the court's ruling today:

"Roy Moore's violation of the Canons of Judicial Ethics was egregious. He got what he deserved. We'll all be better off without the Ayatollah of Alabama as our chief justice," Cohen stated. 

The Alabama Court of the Judiciary on Sept. 30, 2016 suspended Moore for the remainder of his term as chief justice after finding him guilty of six charges of violation of the canons of judicial ethics. The charges were brought and prosecuted by the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission.

Moore's term is to end in 2019, but because of his age, 69, he cannot run for the office again. Moore appealed the COJ's ruling to a special supreme court of retired judges appointed to hear the case. 

"We have previously determined that the charges were proven by clear and convincing evidence ... we shall not disturb the sanction imposed," today's order stated.

Moore's current suspension was focused on a Jan. 6, 2016 administrative order he sent to the state's probate judges regarding the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses.

Prosecutors with the JIC said Moore's in his order urged probate judges to defy the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in 2015 that declared gay marriage legal nationwide and halt their issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Moore testified that it was only a "status report" to probate judges regarding Alabama litigation regarding same-sex marriage that remained active.

They also have argued that only the Alabama Supreme Court has jurisdiction over administrative orders issued by a Chief Justice and that such orders cannot serve as the basis for ethical charges.

"This opinion and the entire case against Chief Justice Moore is a tragedy," Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, which represents Moore stated in a press release after the ruling.

"For the first time in the history of Alabama, a justice has been disciplined for issuing an Administrative Order. Under this system, no judge is safe to issue orders or render dissents. The system has to change, and politics should be removed from judicial decision making and disciplinary actions," Staver stated. 

Moore also said today that a federal judge in Mobile had agreed with his legal basis for the administrative order. 

Both Moore and one his attorneys, Phillip L. Jauregui, called the Judicial Inquiry Commission's decision to prosecute him, the COJ's verdict and suspension, and the special supreme court's decision "illegal."

"This case was a politically motivated effort by the Judicial Inquiry Commission and certain homosexual and transgendered groups to remove me from office because of my steadfast opposition to same-sex marriage," Moore read from a prepared statement.

Moore contrasted his career-ending suspension to that of a probate judge - Leon Archer - who got a six-month suspension from the COJ for transmitting sexually explicit photos of himself to a litigant before his court. 

In March cancelled, at Moore's request, the planned April 26 oral arguments in the case. Instead, the court will consider Moore's appeal based on written arguments already presented by the Judicial Inquiry Commission and Moore's attorneys at Liberty Counsel.

Moore had argued that setting oral argument nearly three months in the future has imposed a "substantial financial hardship" on Moore because he has had no income or benefits since his suspension.

Moore's attorneys with the group Liberty Counsel have said that the "suspension" imposed against Moore is the longest suspension in the history of the Court of the Judiciary. The COJ illegally removed him de facto from the bench "because political opponents disagreed with his legally accurate analysis," his attorneys have said.

Moore has questioned the COJ's suspension and argues that court violated its own rules. The COJ couldn't get the nine votes necessary to outright remove him from the bench, but did get the votes needed to suspend him from the bench for the rest of his term.

Jauregui and Moore also questioned the timing of today's ruling to affirm Moore's ouster. The press conference was originally going to be about the delay by the special court and only an hour or so before it happened, the court ruled, they said.

From: al.com

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Business Email Glossary



thanks in advance: get this done by the time i press "send"

thanks for your interest: why'd you have to bring this up

would you be so kind: fucking do it

best: i have never physically met you

all best: this conversation is over

all my best: i wish you would die

happy to help: this is the easiest thing in my inbox

i hope this helps: i've done all i'm willing to do

i did a bit of research: i googled it, because you're too lazy to

sorry to chase: answer my email

so sorry to chase: answer my FUCKING email

i am really sorry for being a pest but: i am LIVID that you are ignoring me

please contact my colleague: this isn't my problem

i'm copying in my colleague: this isn't my problem and i am thrilled about it

i'll check and get back to you: i might forget to

i'll let you know when i hear anything: i will forget to

can you check back with me in a week?: i'm hoping you will forget to

per our earlier conversation: i just yelled at you on the phone

great to chat just now: you just yelled at me on the phone

thanks!: i'm not mad at you

thanks!!: please don't be mad at me

thanks!!!: i'm crying at my desk

please advise: this might be your fault

kindly advise: this is entirely your fault

mind if i swing by?: i'm already in the elevator

can you confirm for me: you told me before and i deleted the email

sorry if that was unclear: i think you're an idiot

let me know if you need anything else: please never contact me again