Today is Independence Day here in the United States, the day commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by thirteen of Great Britain’s North American colonies, who would unite and form what is now the fifty United States of America.
“There’ll be 100 million people right here in this country who will be shocked and offended and appalled and the two of you will just have to ride that out, maybe every day for the rest of your lives. You could try to ignore those people, or you could feel sorry for them and for their prejudice and their bigotry and their blind hatred and stupid fears, but where necessary you’ll just have to cling tight to each other and say ‘screw all those people!'”
– Matt Drayton to his future son-in-law in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
As important as it was to remember the one-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub tragedy on Monday, another important anniversary that also occurred on Monday should not be forgotten: June 12 was also “Loving Day.” What’s that, you ask? Well, it has to do with probably one of the most important decisions ever made by the United States Supreme Court — the case of Loving v. Virginia, which was cited as precedence for a much more publicized case 48 years later. Continue reading
I had started work on another post about a different subject this morning, but the significance of this particular day (June 12) has ordered me to take a different direction tonight. Today is, of course, the one-year anniversary of the tragedy at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in which 49 lovely lives were cut short in horrific fashion.
I made passing mention in my last blog post about this, but it’s time to finally give it the spotlight here: Last Thursday morning (June 1), three members of the Wisconsin State Legislature introduced to assembled media and the public a new piece of legislation currently seeking co-sponsorship from fellow legislators. The proposal, as with any piece of legislation (federal, state, or otherwise), has a grand name: The Privacy Protection and Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act. And a press release announcing the proposal succinctly sums up the bill’s importance:
“A bill that would add protections to Wisconsin statutes against discrimination based on a person’s gender identity or gender expression.”
If you saw some of my retweets on Twitter a couple of days ago, you learned that there was a significant bill introduced in Wisconsin’s state legislature that, if it becomes law, would prohibit discrimination based on one’s gender identity or expression. I’m trying to formulate a post devoted solely to that piece of legislation (which you can learn about here). But in the meantime, I want to highlight a couple of interesting LGBT-related items.
The first was another piece of big Wisconsin news this week involving Ash Whitaker, a student at Kenosha’s Tremper High School who received disrespect from the administration of both the school and the school district just because he is transgender. Originally, Ash made news for wanting to run for prom king, but was rebuffed by Tremper High officials who dictated that he run for prom queen or be dropped from consideration for prom court altogether. The school relented, allowing anyone who qualified for prom court to run for prom king or prom queen, whichever one matched the gender they identified as.
My previous post, which you can read here, had me talking about a place of higher learning not too far from my old neck of the (literal) woods establishing a LGBT resource and support center. After I added it to this blog, I couldn’t help but think about it further…
First off, I can’t say enough how great it is for the University of Wisconsin—Marinette to establish a LGBT center. I’m happy, of course, that it’s happening in the area where I spent the later years of my adolescence. More than that, though, I’m happy for those in Marinette and vicinity who identify as part of the LGBT spectrum or are LGBT allies, for they finally — finally! — have somewhere where they can find resources; obtain information on healthcare, transitioning, support, etc.; or just find a safe, welcoming place where they will not be judged for who they identify as or who they may be attracted to.
Please don’t let the title of this post make you think I’ve become blasé about the opening of a center dedicated to those who identify as part of the LGBT community. That’s not the case, for any office or center, large or small, that’s dedicated to providing support, resources, or just a conversation place to our community is a vitally important thing to have, wherever it may be. Now more than ever, it seems that these centers and the resources they can provide are important, even as our community has made great strides towards rights and acceptance.
I really, really wanted to write about another topic in this post, but it’s a somewhat complex topic that can wait for another day. But I will be able here to clear out a couple of bookmarks related to..
Yep, Supergirl! I must be upfront that although I will watch an episode or two of a comic book-inspired show or motion picture on television, I don’t make a regular habit of tuning in, Supergirl included. (Note to self: It’s good to diversify your TV habits away from all sports all the time.) Part of the reason is that I’m preoccupied by other adult things, sorry. However, I must single out Supergirl for the route it has taken in its second and current season, with episodes obliquely or downright directly tackling real life issues we mortal earthlings are currently facing. Earlier this month, Supergirl aired an episode that had vividly clear and unadulterated parallels to the real life issue of welcoming and tolerating immigrants in the United States. And back in November — right after You Know Who was elected You Know What — one of the show’s significant characters, Alex Danvers (AKA the adoptive sister of Kara/Supergirl), disclosed her attraction for another woman in an episode that was a real pick-me-up from a distressing and horribly impacting election.
I want to devote this post to something that completely escaped my attention last month, and it’s about that “intersection” of two things I’m so cool about: LGBT support and the sporting world. Over a year ago, I wrote a post about this:
Yes, that’s rainbow tape covering those stick blades. Or as it’s officially called, Pride Tape. It was launched in December 2015 by the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies & Services (ISMSS) at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Not long after it was first unveiled, the Edmonton Oilers became the first National Hockey League team to use Pride Tape (or at least a prototype) in an on-ice event. Not too long after that, Pride Tape started being sold through an informational and transactional website (PrideTape.com), with portions of the proceeds going to support the ISMSS as well as You Can Play, an organization “dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation and/or gender identity.”
Just a couple of posts back, I noted that in these dark and scary times, it’s good to get away from it all and indulge in things that are nowhere near dark and scary. And that’s exactly what I did Friday night.
The first thing I did Friday morning was reserve a seat for Friday night’s performance of “Queer Shorts 2.1: Queer Love.” And as I indicated by the above tweet, it was indeed a pleasant evening to do so, weather wise; it was a springlike day in Madison (sunny skies, temperatures just above 50 degrees, not a drop of rain or flake of snow). Continue reading