Friday, November 16, 2007

Spinning the Big Wheel...

Another week of 2007 is passing before my eyes and I keep spinning the big wheel of life. It's round and round and round until it stops on...Well, I never know until i reach the keyboards and let my fingers do the walking or do the talking, you decide. Neverthless, there's updates, breaking news, commentary, and so much stuff to talk about, so let the chips fall where they may!!...

The Democratic Seven: In case you missed it, and probably you did. Another Democratic debate took place last evening at UNLV's Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas. Of course, what happens in Vegas didn't stay in Vegas because it was replayed and analyzed by Team CNN featuring The Blitzer (Wolf Blitzer) and Mr. 360 ( Anderson Cooper). I found this round to be rather informative as well as forcing me to listen even more closer to the responses. I realized that it was a "all eyes on Hillary" night, but I didn't hang on her every word. But rather preferred to observe her answers within the context of the field of candidates overall. I felt that she was by up to par and handled the questioning in her articulate and efficient manner. There were a few highlighted moments such as Chirs Dodd's reply in spanish to a audience member, Mrs. Clinton's response to Campbell Brown's question concerning whether she was playing the gender card and later her stance that "she was running for President not because she was a women but rather the one with the most experience." Barack Obama kept it real and steady with point/counterpoint statements ranging from nuclear waste to Iraq. John Edwards didn't sway from his pointed attacks on Clinton meanwhile getting booed by Hill supporters. Believe it or not, it was not quite "must see TV" but for political junkies like myself, it hit all the right spots. Next up the Republicans later this month and back to Demo land in Iowa in December.

Political Cornelius: In previous post I've encouraged most of you to get political or involved on what ever level you feel most comfortable. With all that said, I'm stepping to the plate and registering(11.16.07) to be an Elector at the Democratic State Meeting being held Dec. 8 at the Clinton Library Great Hall. Ultimately, the goal of this "outwit, outplay, outlast" survivor type excercise is to be an official delegate to the National Convention in Denver, CO, August 25-28 2008. At this stage of the game, I'm not sure what it will take, but I hope that I will be able to count on your support and encouragement. We must learn to play the game and stop thinking that some one else will do it for us. Stay tuned for more interesting updates to come! Are you registered? January 4 is the deadline for the primary!

We are Family,Too: Transgender Voices, a panel discussion led by transgender people will share their personal stories and triumphs in honor of National Transgender Day of Remembrance. The recent ENDA debacle has spotlighted transgender individuals whom come from all walks of life and have many challenges to share about what it's like growing up and living as a transgender person. The event will feature the perspectives from both female-to-male and male-to-female transgender people of different ages. Monday, November 19, 20077:00 PM Farris Hall Lobby (residence hall)**8:30 PM- a candlelight vigil will be held at the UCA Chapel steps for National Transgender Day of Remembrance to remember and honor the transgender individuals who have been killed as victims of hate crimes this year. The term "Transgender" is an all-encompassing term for people whose anatomiesand/or appearances do not conform to predominant gender roles. They have physical and/or behavioral characteristics that readily identifythem as having a non-conforming gender identity and can be someone of anysexual orientation.

WORD UP: As I research for this forum I found an interesting article concerning the language of tweens and teens in reference to the words, "gay" and "fag" which appartently have taken on new meanings and allude to very different things, yet these "mash ups" have become coded to mean nothing positive. Author C.J. Pascoe, recently stated at Pacific Universtiy in Forest Grove that,
"... in the end, neither have as much to do with homosexuality as it would seem, according to C.J. Pascoe, author of "Dude You're a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School."
The use of the slurs starts around sixth grade, she said, and peaks in middle school, then continues in high school.
Pascoe's book is based on her 18-month observation of a California high school in a working-class suburb. She observed students in a variety of settings and interviewed 50 students.
"Gay" is used by both boys and girls to mean "stupid," she said. "Anything could be gay. A laptop could be gay. A haircut could be gay.
"But only a boy could be a fag," she said.
The epithet is used primarily by heterosexual boys in a joking context to establish masculinity, she said. But heterosexuality is just one part of being masculine, according to boys Pascoe interviewed. It is equally important to be unemotional, dominant, powerful and not "too nice."
The epithet has little to do with being gay, one boy told her: "If you're trying to turn a wrench the wrong way, you're a fag. Even if a piece of meat drops out of your sandwich -- Dude, you're a fag."
One boy told Pascoe that he would never use the slur against someone who is gay "because that's just mean."
Even though the terms are not usually meant as epithets against gay people, Pascoe still considers them anti-gay. "It's like saying something is so 'Latino' and meaning something really bad by it."
Some boys use girlfriends to protect themselves from such epithets, Pascoe said.
That, along with sex talk and mock physical dominance of girls are forms of what Pascoe calls "compulsive heterosexuality" -- another way to establish masculine credentials.
During her 18 months at the high school, Pascoe said she only heard one teacher address the use of those homosexual terms. That was when the drama teacher lectured his students about not using the word "gay" to mean "stupid." Hmmmm? I don't remember these words deflecting the hurt or humilation I often felt as I made my way through the education system. Futhermore, I don't recall anyone using the words as a double meaning, but rather a direct insult to degrade, defame and deflate one's self-esteem. I know that we've come a long way baby. Especiallywith the development of phrases that have now evolved into "Alternative," Same-Gender Loving and Questioning monikers that have become more descriptively hip and inclusive in the lexicon of lavender living. Boy, times they are a changin!....

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