As promised, here’s the second post where I wanted to discuss Memorial Day. Again, this is a day meant to pay tribute to those who died in service of the United States Armed Forces. If you’ve paid your own tasteful tribute today, even if it’s as simple as offering condolences or planting an American flag on a military member’s grave, good for you… for you understand the gravity of this solemn day.
As I indicated in my previous post, one of my Thanksgiving Day traditions (if you could call it that) is to hate-watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from New York City. Well, that is if I’m not preoccupied with something else on Thanksgiving morning such as, say, traveling to see my family, typing my blog, or… I dunno, just recuperating after a short but tiring work week.
Yeah, ever since at least my teen years, I’ve never taken too much of a keen interest in parades. And when I watched the Macy’s Day Parade (whoops, I keep calling it “Macy’s Day Parade”), it was because Mom either wanted me to help prepare our family’s Thanksgiving lunch or just didn’t want me cooped up in my bedroom.
Do you remember my post from September where I added a song called “Don’t Give Up” to “Allison’s Jukebox”? You know the one where Peter Gabriel sings of deep lament and Kate Bush tries to steer him toward the positive? Yeah, I bummed you out with that one, didn’t I?
Well, let’s see if I can brighten up your spirits a little bit with another addition to my jukebox that just happens to have the same title, “Don’t Give Up,” yet has a background that nicely dovetails with the week we’re in right now, Transgender Awareness Week. Please have a look & listen to the Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter/YouTube personality Maggie Szabo:
If I haven’t said so in specific terms before, you’ve likely gained the impression on here that it’s always a thrill for me to get dressed up and venture outside my house as Allison. And while I’m one who normally likes the intimacy of small groups, an awesome feeling always surfaces in me when en femme in a large congregation of people. Such was the case again last Friday evening:
OutReach, the LGBT+ support center here in Madison, staged its annual awards banquet last week. at the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center. As the name implies, the event is a combination of a fine meal, friendly conversation, and awards to those who promote equality and quality of life for the LGBT+ community.
So, peoples, what did you do Friday evening? I went to the theater.
Yeah, Male Mode Me took in a show Friday night. And, yeah, I was tempted to get all dolled up as Allison, but a tight time frame after the end of my work day prevented that. Still, I wanted to take in a show and support queer-oriented theater.
Friday was the second-to-last staging of “Queer Shorts: Unity.” Every year since 2006, Stage Q, the Madison-based LGBT-oriented theater company, has presented a showcase of short plays, usually 5 to 10 minutes in length and culled from a nationwide call for submissions, that showcase LGBT themes, characters, performers, and writers. Continue reading
It’s almost midway through the month of June and I’m way late into acknowledging the fact that this is Pride Month! This, of course, is the month we in the LGBT community celebrate our community as a whole, display our true selves at various events, acknowledge the many figures and allies from around the world who have helped pave positive avenues for us as a community and as human beings, and to remember those in our community who left us too soon and who have handed us the (rainbow-colored) torch to hold high into the future.
I make that note of remembrance at the end of that paragraph in part to acknowledge this sad fact: Two years ago this morning, 49 members of our proud LGBT community lost their lives in a truly senseless act of terror at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. It was heartbreaking to hear the news then. It’s just as heartbreaking to remember it now. And it’s still necessary to remember the lives lost, for they dared to celebrate who they were and their deaths inspire us to stay resilient in the face of those who still desire to keep our community under their thumbs or out of sight entirely.
Despite the tragedies and difficulties and obstacles we still face as a community, it’s still important to celebrate who we are. More importantly, we still need to celebrate how far we’ve come together… and, boy oh boy, we have come a long way, with positive representations in many types of media and with the assistance of a supportive generation who isn’t too quick to judge by sexual or gender identity, unlike the older, more conservative generations who only see us as a “sin” Our community is talented, and we are deservedly valued and recognized for our positive contributions to society, no matter what letter of the acronym we fall under.
Not all of us will have the right and privilege to celebrate Pride Month this month. Indeed, Green Bay (my old city of residence) will have their own pride celebration next month, while we in Madison will have our annual pride event in August. But wherever you are and whenever you have the chance to do so, don’t be afraid to let your own rainbow shine. Happy Pride Month, everyone!
Time for the last recommendation in my list of podcast programs that you should try out and enjoy. Well, last for now, that is. I say that because I’m not above coming back to this topic in the future and adding more entries, or at the very least add a list of “honorable mentions.” And I’m definitely not above trying out something that you, the reader, are open to recommending, so hit me up in the comments section and offer your own thoughts and suggestions.
A bit of a caveat about this entry before you read on: This recommendation deals with a usually dark subject. And by pure coincidence, this recommendation comes at the end of a week (first full week of June 2018) that saw some pretty dark news that involves this pretty dark subject, as so succinctly summed up at this link. You probably saw the last word in the title of this post and already feel skittish about hearing anything more about it. But while I do hope you can hear me out (after all, this is technically a post about a podcast), I don’t blame you for wanting to hit the “back button” or “close button” on your browser or clicking on another post link. So, if you want to do so, go ahead, because I’ll get into the subject matter after the jump. Continue reading
Time to highlight a couple of LGBT-themed advertisements that have been released this spring. Well, they’re lesbian-themed advertisements if you must be specific, but I imagine others in the LGBT+ spectrum might find something they’ll relate to in these ads. The first was released last month in Great Britain for Malteasers, a malted-milk-covered-in-chocolate candy (think Whoppers, my fellow Americans). The Malteasers ad I’ll highlight here features a quartet of women at some café or break area or whatever. One of the four, whose name is Sarah… well, I’ll let her tell her concern.
As I write this (Friday evening in Wisconsin), polls have been closed for a few hours in the Republic of Ireland, where citizens voted on a proposal that would amend the country’s constitution and allow its parliament (the Oireachtas) to relax the country’s strict laws against abortion. Today’s vote comes three years after voters approved an amendment to permit marriage between two people “without distinction as to their sex”; it was also that same year that legislation passed allowing transgender citizens in Ireland to freely request a change in legal gender identification on government documents.
If early exit polls are any indication, today’s proposal will be approved by a sizeable margin of voters, just as the marriage equality amendment passed by a wide margin in 2015. For a country where religiously conservative viewpoints have long held influence on society and laws, it’s sure seems that progressive attitudes are starting to take root in Ireland in the past 20 years or so. But don’t think that Ireland had been a country where everyone had to strictly follow the edicts the Roman Catholic Church would pass down every Sunday regarding, say, what people should think, who people could love, or how people could express themselves. On the contrary, for the Irish are a pretty progressive lot; it’s just that the laws of Ireland have taken some time to catch up to that fact.
You’re probably looking at the title of this post and wondering what those capital letters mean. No, it’s not an amalgamation of Idaho and Tampa Bay. (I mean, really now…) Truth be told, this is a day that even I wasn’t aware of until I saw this tweet:
Naturally, my curious mind did some quick looking around and discovered the meaning of the acronym “IDAHOTB” on this specific day: This is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. The day was first recognized in 2005 as the “International Day Against Homophobia,” with recognition spread to include concerns about transphobia in 2009 and biphobia in 2015.