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.
Time to get caught up with another of F.C.’s “June Jour” suggestions. This one asks flat-out, “What does the word ‘pride’ mean to you?” Hmmm…
As you can guess from the end of that last paragraph, I have to scratch my head sometimes to come up of a time when I’ve experienced a sense of pride (what F.C. also asks in that prompt). Perhaps the times when I’ve felt the most proud of myself have been when I made a significant accomplishment. Graduating from high school so many years ago is the most obvious moment of pride in my life… although that was tempered a bit by the future that would await me. Oh, I knew what my post-high school plans were; it’s just that I was scared to death of it (the less I have to think about what awaited me, the better). Then there’s the times when I worked toward gainful employment, especially the moment when I was offered the job that led me to moving to Madison, this after several months being jobless.
I want to tell you about what I did — and didn’t — do this past Thursday night. First off, what I did do was attend a little get-together that raised funds for the LGBT pride parade in Madison this August. It was a rather simple party, with just under a couple dozen supporters and Board of Directors membership of Madison’s LGBT community center, held in the home and garden of one of the center’s longtime supporters in one of Madison’s more cozier and aesthetically pleasing neighborhoods (lots of shade trees, narrow and winding streets, beautifully manicured yards).
“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 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.
Yeah, I was angry last Thursday. And not because I heard about how lawmakers in North Carolina repealed that infamous “Bathroom Law” law that not only required transgender people in government and public buildings to use the restrooms that goes with the gender on their birth certificate, but also prevented local municipalities (like, say, Charlotte) to enact anti-discrimination policies — which, in turn, led to North Carolina losing a lot of lucrative business (like, say, college sports championships).
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.
An open letter to my supervisor at work (I know who they are, and by the end of this post, you, in a way, will know her as well):
First off, thank you for the annual bonus. I know everyone in our company receives one every year, and I know the money will give my bank account a boost. But this letter isn’t about that. I should advise you that though I will be at work tomorrow (March 8), my mind won’t be. Why, you ask?
That’s right, I’m sure you’ve heard about A Day Without a Woman by now. I’m sure, too, you’ve heard about that big march that happened back in January, not only here in Madison but in Washington and around the world. Continue reading
I don’t need to tell you that we live in a time where it seems that everyone’s at each others’ throats, figuratively speaking, of course. It’s become so easy for anyone to to deliver an unwarranted word or two (or several) filled with prejudice, misogyny, and downright hatred toward someone based on their viewpoints and beliefs well as their actual or perceived backgrounds or life experiences, not to mention gender or sexual identity.