Kaepernick

I’ve gotten a few requests for my thoughts on this whole faux scandal. I say faux because I love how people go out of their way to “out American” others. It is just another in a series of sad stories showing our growing ignorance as a nation. Anyway, since I work for a law-enforcement related agency, people often assume I’m always gonna side with the police. Wrong. While I certainly have insights that others might not have at times, I always strive to be on the side of fairness and truth. 
First, Kapernick has the right to not stand. He has that right because of the men/women who have fought for it. Being a free American means you can criticize your country’s failings, perceived or otherwise. Actually calling out your leader’s failings is as American as one can get if you read our constitution. As to Kaepernick, he certainly isn’t immune to fallout from said behavior, but stop trying to shame him for it.

As to the man himself, I find his behavior a bit hypocritical. For someone who often uses racial slurs,1 it seems a bit disingenuous to suddenly find a moral compass now. And considering his influence and place in society as a famous football playing millionaire, I’m struggling to find the sincerity in his actions. Rumor has it his new girlfriend is big in the BLM movement and I can’t help but wonder if that has influenced his ideas, not that her influence is necessarily a bad thing. Being enlightened by others is perfectly fine; however, what else is he doing? Is he meeting w/local police agencies? Is he donating money to community groups? Is he doing anything besides his now infamous ‘sitting’ exercise? I don’t need to disparage the man to show the contrast of his actions. 

At the end of the day, there is a very real problem between minority communities and police agencies. But it isn’t always about racism. There are many social, cultural, & economic variables affecting the divide. Trying to conflate it all into one giant polarizing idea of black & white2 is simplistic and often the tool of the biased. As I’ve said before, acknowledging failures by law enforcement doesn’t make me support law enforcement any less. Nor does calling out the bad players within the BLM movement make me any less supportive of fair and equal treatment for minorities.  And  speaking of the bad players, am I only the only seeing the irony here? We proclaim loudly that BLM and others can protest peacefully w/o resorting to violence and the moment someone does, we attack him as anti-American. So what we really want is to completely avoid the inherent problems still festering in our society. 

The sensationalized style of our media and news consumption only lends itself to dividing all sides even further apart. The focus isn’t on truth or even honest reporting. It’s solely on generating outrage which turns into ad-clicks. 

So I accept his right to sit and protest. Just as I accept he probably isn’t doing it for the right reasons. Either way, those are my feelings on the subject. 




  1. He has been fined for them before []
  2. see what I did there? Hehehe []

Dump

​Dump

I usually avoid talking a lot about politics on da blog as a rule.  I do often encourage folks to get out and vote. However, this year is just insane. In previous years, ideologies might have been at work, but this year I honestly feel like our very democracy is at stake. If “He Who Shall Not Be Named” were to win, I fear we wouldn’t have another election. Our devolution into chaos would be complete. It still astounds me that such an absolutely insane man could even win the nomination much less have a chance at the presidency.1 

Facts mater and he seems to not care about facts or reason. That should concern everyone, regardless of party affiliation. He says whatever occurs to him and then just denies or recounts it later. He has even admitted in interviews he often just says whatever he thinks the crowd wants to hear. I’ve yet to hear a sound well-reasoned argument as to why this man would be a better choice than anyone, much less Hillary. 

I get there are some reasons many feel he will ‘shake things up’, but the overwhelming cognitive dissonance involved with such reasoning cannot be denied. You cannot make misogynistic, racist, homophobic, sexist, bigoted, and/or just plain ignorant comments on a regular basis and follow it up with “oh, you misunderstood me.” He has yet to put forward a single explanation on how he will get anything done. “Just trust me”, he says. Uh, no. I don’t trust you because you haven’t given a single reason, other than rhetoric, why you should be trusted. He has never held any sort of political office. He has run basically every company he owns in bankruptcy, and then brags about it. And that is the tip of the iceberg. The only claim to fame he has is his daddy’s trust fund and a reality TV show. That is not a qualification to be President. And frankly, I wouldn’t let him be president of my fan club.2  

You may not like Democrats as a rule. Or you may not like Hillary as a rule, but voting for this man would be a vote for chaos. And if you think that would be good for America, you clearly haven’t thought the real world ramifications through very well. The idea of having a child, prone to wild tantrums, in control of our nuclear codes scares the shit out of me! Don’t even get me started on the damage to the world economy or our own. 

As for Hillary, you don’t have to particularly like her, but you do have to respect her years of service. After roughly 30 years, she is still in public service and has not only survived as a woman but thrived.  She is by far the most qualified candidate for president I’ve witnessed in my lifetime. And while I do not agree with all her policies or decisions, she is the only choice to Trump.3  

The lining on the cloud here is that Trump’s insanity is turning away most centrist voters. Hell, he is even alienating a huge chunk of his own party. His campaign is becoming more and more chaotic and his rhetoric is off the rails. First the Japan comments and now the sad ‘Obama founded ISIS’ nonsense.  What a maroon! He might appeal to the crazies and fundamentalists in the base, but that won’t win him an election.  Right now the election is Hillary’s to lose. And that is a good place to be. Let us all hope it stays that way. 




  1. It is fun watching the extremist and hypocrites inside the Republican party eat themselves alive []
  2. If I had one mind you. Hehee []
  3. And throwing your vote away on the Anti-vaxxer, wifi-kills-you Stein or the bizarre Johnson is not a moral stance no matter how one might try to twist it that way. []

GHHD

The first GHHD1 of the season is just around the corner and I’m still grappling with the Pulse massacre. How do I even begin to describe my feelings? It affected me deeper than I thought it would. In many ways, I’m leery now even here in SF. I find myself more watchful of strangers and I’m more mindful of people around me. It makes me angry that I’ve been affected this way. It also made me realize the fight for equality is not over. As long as fanatics think they can go around hurting others in the name of [insert stupid religious extremism here], our fight is not over.

Because of my job I tend to disassociate from big public events, even in the gay world. It isn’t that I don’t care; in my line of work it’s mostly a protection mechanism. But this awful tragedy cut me to my core. I couldn’t ignore it, I couldn’t put it out of my mind and forget about it. I was in tears pretty much the whole week after. I didn’t know a single soul but these are my people. They grew up fighting the way I fought, just to survive and be. Our straight brethren can sympathize but they can never truly understand what we go thru. And that isn’t to bash them. It’s a testament to how we as humans are wired. We tune into ideals and actions that resonate in our own lives. Well this resonated in mine. And worst of all, not in a good way.

Worst of all, it brought back survival fears from my early years of growing up gay. East Texas wasn’t the friendliest place to be gay, let’s face it. I got bashed a few times and witnessed others get bashed as well. It’s funny because I used to tell myself that the hate crimes against me were “minor” because I came away with a few bruises. The sadness in that statement does not escape me now. This tragedy brought back the fear of not only being attacked but also just daring to live openly. I had put that fear away and now it’s come back. I don’t know for how long honestly, but I feel it again. Fears I thought long dead and forgotten. I’m sad, ashamed, and angry all at the same time.

GHHD #1 approaches this weekend and I volunteered to work. I normally make sure I’m off so I can attend the parade or fair. This year I thought I’d do one better and work. It’s not much but I feel like I’m contributing to keeping everyone safe. (I’ll be working remotely from the medical command booth)

I refuse to be afraid to live my life. I refuse to fear being out in public. And I sure as hell refuse to be intimidated into avoiding my own safe places. More of us may die. And I certainly hope it is never me, but I won’t go back in the closet. I won’t pretend to be something I’m not. I can’t think of a better cause to die for honestly. I’m probably being a little dramatic but I’m all worked up right now.

I hope that you celebrate Pride this week. Not because you have to, not because you feel obligated, but because you want to. You want to show that we are united in this. No matter how diverse, we are united in this fight. We will not be intimidated with fear. For my generation, we grew up living/breathing fear and we won’t go back. For the new generation, this might be their first taste of it. We all need to make sure it is their last.

No matter what you do, be safe and know you are loved. If your in big cities or small towns, know that you are not alone and your voice is one of many. I wish you all the safest and happiest Pride. Celebrate in whatever way brings you joy.

Hope springs eternal…




  1. Gay High Holy Day []

Cait

Unless you live under a person who lives under a rock, I’m pretty sure you already know where I’m going with the title. hehehe Everyone is up in arms (repeatedly) pretty much anytime Cait opens her mouth these days.

And if you have been under the rock, Caitlyn (Cait) Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, is transgendered and came out to the world not so long ago. Her ‘coming out’ was a big revelation and brought the fight for our transgendered brethren to the national stage. Then the problems began. Our shining new role-model had a different secret. She was a life long Republican and those views ran contrary to her new existence.

As her public appearances increased in her new role, her continuing support for those views showed a conflicting mess of greed, entitlement, and indifference. Our new model was saying and supporting many of those in politics who are against her existence. The backlash has been swift. For myself, I’m not really surprised. A lifetime of affluence has bred a selfish desire to maintain her own status.

Cait should be a lesson to the rest of us though. We have a chance to learn from her. We, as a society and a community, often conflate being famous w/being a good role model. Even after repeated and re-repeated scandals in the news almost daily, we still seem to hold onto this belief. Life and people people don’t exist in the absolutes of black & white. They exist in a spectrum of greys. Good people can do bad things and bad people can do good things. That distinction, as always, is important.

Cait as a famous figure, has brought a lot of welcome and needed attention to the fight for trans folks. Her willingness to come out was and is a big deal. It pushed the trans movement that much further into equality. We should celebrate and take advantage of it. Her continued appearances as a trans person lends authenticity to their existence and also reduces fear. It normalizes an otherwise normal existence made scary by ignorance.

Cait’s acceptance is separate from her conflicted and often shameful views. I can accept her as she is and still condemn her views. Further, Cait doesn’t have to conform anymore than gay men had to to gain equality. She is allowed to have her own beliefs, however hypocritical. She is no different from a gay republican. She is still entitled to acceptance. The distinction between the two is important because it defines the very right of equality. It is not ok to attack her status or existence simply because she is a hypocrite and blithely unaware of the struggles many less affluent trans folk face. Condemn her hypocrisy. Call her out on it any and every time but don’t resort to demeaning her existence. By doing so, you legitimize the idea that trans folk are not worthy of equality.

The lesson we can learn here is equality is not based on how well you behave, believe, or conform.

Parent

I had a chance to observe good parenting the other day and I just had to share! hehehe

It was my day off and I was having lunch in the Westfield Center. As I’m sitting down to eat, I notice this lady with a kid that was acting up. The kid was probably 4-6 years old and throwing a fit over what appeared to be the child not getting what he wanted. The mother was trying to soothe the child and keep him in line but he kept getting louder and louder. The mother was not having any of that. She finally spun him around got down to his level and spoke directly to him. "If you do not stop acting up, we will go home right now and you will get absolutely nothing." I guess the child thought this was a good time to challange her because he got louder. The mother then grabbed him by the arm, got out of line, and headed for the front door. The kid realizing his error suddenly got quiet right before they exited but she didn’t fall for it. They left.

If I could have, I would have given her a hug. It is so rare to see parents make any real effort to control their children in public these days. I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve been in restaurants with kids basically ruining everyone else’s enjoyment. There are even a few times where I’ve actively spoken to a child (and it’s so called parent) when the behavior was particularly heinous.

When I was young we typically got one verbal warning. It was often accompanied with a very stern glare. If that didn’t work, we got a very hard hand to the leg, arm, or backside. It was firm and often strong enough to rattle one’s teeth. In the unlikely event said slap didn’t work, oh it was on! Depending on where we were, my parents would stop and give me a full whoopin’ right there on the spot or we left. And you simply did not want to be the cause of your parent(s) having to leave a place due to your behavior. When you got home, your backside remembered the unfortunate event for days.

Children are children. They get boisterous, loud, obnoxious, and even mischievous; it’s what they do. I always try to be accommodating to such behavior. That said, it is the parent’s responsibility to curb over the top antics. The world is not your personal romper room. If you are parent who thinks it is, you are directly responsible for the selfish, entitled adults your children will become. I’m not implying you have to beat your children either. Many parents are against corporal punishment completely. That is fine but you still need to maintain control. The mother above demonstrated quite well how it can be done. I applaud her!

Scalia

I’m still digesting the news Antonin Scalia has died. I know in today’s environment of fast-moving news, this is old news for sure. That aside, my instinctual reaction was one of joy. I’ll be honest the realization I was joyful over someone’s death bothered me a bit. The initial idea was a man w/so much influence to harm me and mine was gone. This sort of visceral reaction reminded me of my step-mother’s death. Unlike my foster mom, I was ecstatic when my step-mom died. She was the only person on this planet I’v ever felt true malevolence toward and I threw a party when she died.

Why did I associate a man who has never personally done me any direct harm with a women who delighted in abusing me daily as a child? Yes, his influence did harm me in very indirect ways but it wasn’t a direct connection. Why would I associate him with my step-mother? I mean I didn’t care for Scalia but I never hated him.1 I don’t really have an answer yet but distinctions matter and I’m working my way thru the grey areas. (pun intended)

If you know me, you know I try not to see the world thru the lens of absolutes. It has become one of the defining characteristics of my id. It is easy to believe in simplistic right/wrong, good/bad actions. It requires no sense of self or morality to avoid delving beyond the idea of ‘you wronged me’ mentality. I am fond of saying the devil is in the details. While part of me is glad the man is no longer in a position to do me harm, I’m not celebrating his death. He had a right to life as much as I did. I can’t bring myself to celebrate his life but I’m working on disentangling my emotions over his death.

People like Scalia truly believe their ideologies. He wasn’t an ignorant follower. He was well-educated and even respected as judge for decades. While he deftly avoided any real-world interactions with the LGBT community, he believed what he was doing was right. Of course, it is much easier to marginalize people when you avoid getting to know them as human beings. History is littered with examples over and over. This by itself is often a marker for a failed ideology.

While I won’t mourn Scalia’s passing, I don’t hate him. I try not to take joy in his death. It should be beneath me to feel that way. I am grateful he will no longer be in a position to influence my very existence. I will remember the lesson he taught us. We cannot let our own ideological beliefs blind us to the suffering of others. We cannot become so rigid in our thinking we forget human beings do not require permission or conformity to exist.




  1. Contrary to what you read, the act of hating someone takes a lot of energy. It is a dedication of sorts. []

Destroy

I’m in a mood today.

Why is it anytime something happens the so called "devout christians" don’t like god is going to destroy America?’ Every other day now there is some hypocritical blow-hard declaring we are going to be destroyed if [abc person] gets elected or [xyz law] passes. SMDH

Out of all the atrocities occurring in the world on a daily basis ‘god’ is going to smite us because they don’t get their bigoted way? I guess having a monopoly on the idea of what a god would/wouldn’t say means one gets to deftly ignore everything else in favor of cause de jure. These folks always ramp up their rhetoric during elections. They can’t use common sense or logic so they fall back on fear and ignorance. They are utterly predictable now.

What is sad in all of this is they are gaining influence. As we let our children continually be deprived of a decent education in this country, ignorance and anti-intellectualism are on the rise. The ignorant are often easily swayed by emotions. Add in the mind-numbing influence of social media these days and it is a perfect platform.

Here’s a newsflash for said folks. Your god isn’t going to do anything. We; however, will most likely wipe ourselves out. It won’t be because of who won/lost an election or what law passed or didn’t. No, our blind indifference to the devastation we are causing this planet will mostly likely be a contributing factor. And we’ll never do anything about it because our greed is too powerful. Our never-ending obsession with wealth and control will be our end.

In brighter news, [insert choice] sports team won something! That is totes more important than any tree-hugging hippie news right?

Q-word

I ditched one of my regular news reads today.

Based on what appears to be a completely internal narrative, the Gay Voices section of the HuffPo1 decided to change their name to Queer Voices. The explanation is that gay is too limiting and Queer is somehow more inclusive. Really? Are you effin’ kidding me? One of the most vile hateful words out there and it’s more inclusive? Hell naw! Even the normal definition is divisive.

I just can’t bring myself to support a news org that willingly uses a derogatory slur to describe us. Actually, I can but I won’t. I am the last person to be the word police but this isn’t about being politically correct at all. The rambling article they put out to announce the decision was full of self-serving justifications. If anything the tone was we refuse to every be considered normal or part of the whole so we are changing our name to prove it. The entire piece felt insulting and condescending wrapped in a smile of ‘we’re just trying to stay current.‘ Well, they can stay current w/o me and go straight to hell. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, go directly to hell.

I normally don’t put much stock in hearing people talking about how ‘offended’ they are at [action of choice]. Being offended usually just means you don’t like something. As with a lot of things these days, people conflate ideas/actions/behaviors that are considered offensive to society at large with general every day actions they don’t like. Regardless, I was offended and deeply. I grew up listening to that awful word being hurled around as an insult and slur. While I was fortunate enough to escape childhood with only a little physical gay-bashing, I did not escape the jeers, taunts, and never-ending cruel names. ‘Queer’ was front and center and I will never willingly refer to someone that way. It has not lost its bite or derogatory meaning.

The argument that we are somehow reclaiming the word is absolute bullshit. It is not slang, it is a slur!2 Even here in SF said term is not accepted. Oh there is a contingent that feels the need to refer to themselves that way for sure. And that is their right. You can call yourself whatever you wish but don’t presume to speak for the whole. It’s flat out disgusts me we could consider naming a section of an online publication with global recognition with such a shameful slur. And I’m not alone. The reaction was swift and almost unanimous. The decision is not being met well at all. At last count the article was up to 200 comments and almost all were against it. At one point comments appeared to disappear; however, the site is notorious for outages and glitches with the FB commenting tool.

I am not queer, I am a man who happens to be gay. My orientation adds to my uniqueness but it does not define me. The idea that being queer somehow exclusively makes me special or different is foolish. Call it the LGBTI voices, rainbow voices, etc but don’t call it queer and pretend it’s OK now.

So far there have been no updates, no apologies, no "we had the best intentions" acknowledgments, nothing. I’ve taken them out of my news reader and told FB to not ‘show me stories from HuffPo’ at all. There are plenty of welcoming places online that don’t decide, based on the ideas of a few, renaming themselves an offensive slur is "looking to the future." I won’t be going back to that site as long as they demean us.

end of line




  1. Huffington Post []
  2. I’m struck here by the irony we can’t say tranny anymore which is just simple slang but we can use a slur to refer to ourselves. SMDH []

Bash

I can understand the Repugs eating their own but I’m struggling with the Dems doing it now as well. More and more lately, I’m seeing vitriolic and viscous attacks online between the Hillary and Bernie supporters. Even more surprising is seeing a lot of it from within the LGBT umbrella.

I don’t get it. Since when is it ok to disrespect people because they like a different candidate than you? Having a difference of opinion or even a healthy discussion on the pros/cons of [candidate] is great. However, resorting to baseless accusations, name calling, and personal attacks is counter productive at best. Last time I checked this was still a free country where every citizen had the right to freely vote or support the candidate of their choice. And for the few I’ve seen making comments like, "well if [candidate] wins, I won’t vote", you don’t deserve a vote. Voting is a privilege for adults not petulant children. And how is it helping the situation by alienating people who might be convinced to support your candidate of choice? I know I sure as hell don’t feel sympathetic when someone tries to shame me into changing my opinion. If anything, it solidifies my thoughts. I blame the lack of face to face interactions that social media creates. People are emboldened to behave poorly w/o fear of retribution.

I rarely unfriend or unfollow folks but I’m reaching a point where I just don’t care anymore. And it’s never folks I know personally because they honestly wouldn’t remain in my life as a friend with such behaviors. Anyway, I unfollowed several folks today and even unfriended two who were just awful. The comments ranged from insults, personal attacks, and even threats. I just don’t have time for that. Rather than starting a flame war, it is easier to just unfollow or unfriend said folks.

Politics is always a sensitive subject because most folks often project their own views onto others. When they abruptly discover said view isn’t shared, discord arises. That’s perfectly fine and acceptable. However, when your behavior is in question, you take away any chance of success at winning your case in the minds of others. And if you really really really want your candidate to win, get off your ass and join their campaign. Get out and shake hands, talk to people, share your thoughts on how great said candidate is. Don’t whine and bash others on social media who don’t agree with you. Frankly, said behavior does way more harm than good.

Hero-less

Well, it looks like the City of Houston will be the only large city in the US to not provide protections for LGBT folks in a variety of areas, including housing and employment. It was a unexpected blow to be honest. I just knew my old stomping ground had moved into current times after electing a gay mayor, not once but twice. It doesn’t help that the initiative should never have been put to a vote anyway.1 Contrary to the established process and even though there was no doubt the appealing side didn’t garner the necessary signatures, the Texas Supreme Court, full of Repugs, sent it to a vote anyway.

My rant today isn’t so much about the failure of the initiative but some of the aftermath. I’ve seen several comments and posts on various social outlets lamenting the initiative included Transgendered protections. It wasn’t so much that people didn’t want transgendered folks included as much as the old argument it was too much too soon.2 And to be fair, there was a time when winning a few protections at a time was a worthwhile pursuit. We carved out rights for the LGB part of the community slowly and often one piece at a time because it was the only way to win then. But that time is over and we are way past it now. It is time for us to change our thinking. We are no longer groveling for whatever we can get. The tide of the law and public opinion has shifted to our side. We need to turn and bring the T in the umbrella forward and stand with them. We need to show the world that like us they too are just humans with lives and dreams of their own. They deserve it as much as we do. They’ve patiently (and not so patiently at times) waited as we gained piece after piece of equality. They sat behind us watching our progression hoping for their chance. And that chance is now. The sad tired argument about their fight being different from ours is pure BS. They get marginalized, discriminated against, assaulted, raped, and murdered just like us. They’ve stood with us since our movement started and it is time for us to stand with them.

Having lived in Houston and the surrounding area for a big percentage of my young adult life, the loss was disappointing on a very personal level. However, the fight continues as Houston now finds itself in a very public view. The mayor and others continue to work on bringing equality to Houston.




  1. In case you missed it, the initiative was enacted legally. It was appealed. The appealing side cheated and when they got caught cheating and turned down they decided to go to court. []
  2. I’m deliberately excluding the article from the homocon over at Breibart. That level of stupid doesn’t even merit an argument []