Thursday, February 19, 2015

Toss Up Chinese New Year Thursday

Senior Gays Talking Out Loud


It's apart of the process that everyone will eventually have to deal with or are currently dealing with. Its call aging, long in the tooth, getting old, going "golden pond," you get the picture. In our youth oriented crazed day of the "young and the beautiful," those of us who didn't quite fit that description or maybe at least didn't want our vanity to show, have a tendency to dread being assigned the tag of "the old girls."

Nevertheless, I've embraced this fact especially when a younger persons ask me, "hey did movies have sound when you were in school?" Or wonderful bits of youthful queery, "you are one of the oldest friends I have." And then there's the "just what did you all do back then for fun," questions that often leave me going WTF? No matter, I'm not sure that I was this insensitive or outright crass to chat up my then elders with such  conversation. I was more interested in how they survived, what was their emotional state and what advice if any they could advise me about. I will say that I didn't get much sage advice for those folks. There was no LGBTQ community center, focus groups, outreach or any significant programming that I can even remember. Let me make it real clear, Nothing.

Yet somehow I as Maya Angelou advises, "I walked the path and kept walking," through triumphs and tragedy to discover the authentic me. In the anthology project, 'Reflections of A Shattered Mirror," I hope to share some of those twist and turns of this journey such as those in the above video.

I've been asked that perhaps I should do a "Cornelius Master Class," similar to that Lady O show which features Icons and important folk. I like that idea much and will seek to build out the Reflections project to keep it on track with current trends. Although we have closed the submission window, If you have a pressing item that you think just needs to be apart of the project, please feel free to send it to . Until then, enjoy this poignant and heartfelt production from The LGBT Community Center of the Desert:
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Arkansans for Equality Seeks Content Contributors

Calling all bloggers, writers, ect. Anyone with a voice that wants to be heard! is the Call to Action from Arkansans for Equality in a recent Facebook post. According to organizers Christina Wang,
"I'm looking to share some equality stories for my group's webpage and facebook. We can't pay, but we offer a way to have your voice heard in the name of equality. They can be rants, blogs, opinion pieces."

Wang started Arkansans for Equality with Cathey Shoshone, who she states, "is one of the greatest co-chairs ever! "  Wang an frequent social media poster has expressed that she is"back and pissed off at how Arkansas has been turned into Arkanistan."
Continuing, "we want people to be heard. It's 2015 and we are still having to fight for rights as women, as lgbtq (allies, too), and as human beings.

Currently Wang and Shoshone, are working on numerous approaches and campaigns to amplify local voices through social media platforms with possible other media outlets to demonstrate the creativity around messaging about human, civil and social justice issues in Arkansas. Hit them up on Facebook for more information and watch this platform as we consider some partnership opportunities with this group.

Florida Lawmakers Wants Transgenders Not in his Bathroom

Florida State Rep. Frank Artiles (R) has introduced a bill that would prevent transgender people from using the restroom that matches their gender. According to HB 538, a trans person using the proper bathroom would commit a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by up to a year in jail or a $1,000 fine. This criminalization would “secure privacy and safety for all individuals.”

In addition to making it a crime to use the restroom, Artiles’ bill would also make it so that when transgender people use the restroom, they become “liable in a civil action to any person who is lawfully using the same single-sex public facility.” So, too, would the owner of any public accommodation be liable for civil action for allowing such usage.

Artiles rejects the idea that his bill paints the transgender community as “dangerous,” but he worries that Miami-Dade County’s new transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance “creates a giant loophole for criminals, sexual deviants and sexual predators to walk into a shower, a woman’s locker room under the cover of law.”
He explained to the Miami Herald the situation he envisions: “A man such as myself can walk into the bathroom at LA Fitness while women are taking showers, changing, and simply walk in there. Someone can say, ‘What are you doing there?’ Under the ordinance, I don’t have to respond. It’s subjective. If I feel like a woman that day, I can be allowed to be in that locker room. I don’t know about you, but I find that disturbing.”

In a statement posted on his own blog, Artiles further explained that the bill is “not intended to discriminate against transgender [sic] or transsexuals.” Instead, he believes the gender identity protections include a “loop hole” that would protect “criminals, sexual deviants, pedophiles, and voyeurs.”

Gender identity is something that is consistent day-to-day. A man who only identifies as a woman only when he wants to engage in voyeurism would not be protected, and indeed, laws that protect against such invasions of privacy — and certainly those that protect against harassment — can be enforced against such a person as much as they ever were. Meanwhile, it is transgender people who actually worry about harassment in facilities like locker rooms, and they choose the gender designation that matches how they identify and present themselves for their own safety.

The Florida Democratic Party issued a statement Friday from openly gay Rep. David Richardson (D) condemning the “extreme bill.” Richardson noted that the bill would not only persecute trans people, but it would also deter business, concluding, “Putting the transgender community in harm’s way and hurting Florida’s economic competitiveness for partisan political reasons is simply unacceptable.”
Experts in states across the country where transgender protections have already been in place have debunked the myth of sexual predators exploiting these laws as “beyond specious.”


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