kottke.org posts about GLBT

Raising a "gender creative" sonSep 06 2013

Matt Duron is a self-proclaimed "guy's guy" who has a son who is "gender creative" (love that phrase) and wants to be treated like a girl.

My wife also gets a load of emails from people asking where our son's father is, as though I couldn't possibly be around and still allow a male son to display female behavior. To those people I say, I'm right here fathering my son. I want to love him, not change him. My son skipping and twirling in a dress isn't a sign that a strong male figure is missing from his life, to me it's a sign that a strong male figure is fully vested in his life and committed to protecting him and allowing him to grow into the person who he was created to be.

I may be a "guy's guy," but that doesn't mean that my son has to be.

More parents like this please.

NBA player comes out of the closetApr 29 2013

NBA player Jason Collins is the first active player in a major US sport to come out of the closet. He explains why in a piece for Sports Illustrated.

Loyalty to my team is the real reason I didn't come out sooner. When I signed a free-agent contract with Boston last July, I decided to commit myself to the Celtics and not let my personal life become a distraction. When I was traded to the Wizards, the political significance of coming out sunk in. I was ready to open up to the press, but I had to wait until the season was over.

A college classmate tried to persuade me to come out then and there. But I couldn't yet. My one small gesture of solidarity was to wear jersey number 98 with the Celtics and then the Wizards. The number has great significance to the gay community. One of the most notorious antigay hate crimes occurred in 1998. Matthew Shepard, a University of Wyoming student, was kidnapped, tortured and lashed to a prairie fence. He died five days after he was finally found. That same year the Trevor Project was founded. This amazing organization provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention to kids struggling with their sexual identity. Trust me, I know that struggle. I've struggled with some insane logic. When I put on my jersey I was making a statement to myself, my family and my friends.

The strain of hiding my sexuality became almost unbearable in March, when the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments for and against same-sex marriage. Less then three miles from my apartment, nine jurists argued about my happiness and my future. Here was my chance to be heard, and I couldn't say a thing. I didn't want to answer questions and draw attention to myself. Not while I was still playing.

The Chickens and the BullsJul 17 2012

Writing for Slate, William McGowan tells the story of the Chickens and the Bulls, an extensive and brazen extortion ring that targetting prominent homosexuals (admirals, Congressmen, entertainers, etc.) and the NYPD & FBI investigators and prosecutors who put the kibosh on the whole thing with minimal exposure to the victims.

Though now almost forgotten, the case of "the Chickens and the Bulls" as the NYPD called it (or "Operation Homex," to the FBI), still stands as the most far-flung, most organized, and most brazen example of homosexual extortion in the nation's history. And while the Stonewall riot in June 1969 is considered by many to be the pivotal moment in gay civil rights, this case represents an important crux too, marking the first time that the law enforcement establishment actually worked on behalf of victimized gay men, instead of locking them up or shrugging.

The coda of the case is surprising...one of the members of the extortion ring became one of the gay movement's most powerful leaders.

How Cuomo delivered same-sex marriage legalizationJun 28 2011

A few days after the fact, but still a fascinating read on how the political sausage gets made.

Over time, however, championing same-sex marriage had become personal for Mr. Cuomo. He campaigned on the issue in the race for governor last year, and after his election, he was staggered by the number of gay couples who sought him out at restaurants and on the street, prodding him, sometimes tearfully, to deliver on his word.

The pressure did not let up at home. Mr. Cuomo's girlfriend, Sandra Lee, has an openly gay brother, and she frequently reminded the governor how much she wanted the law to change.

Something else weighed on him, too: the long shadow of his father, Mario, who rose to national prominence as the conscience of the Democratic Party, passionately defending the poor and assailing the death penalty. During his first few months in office, the younger Mr. Cuomo had achieved what seemed like modern-day miracles by the standards of Albany - an austere on-time budget and a deal to cap property taxes. But, as Mr. Cuomo explained by phone to his father a few weeks ago, he did not want those accomplishments to define his first year in office.

"They are operational," he told his father. Passing same-sex marriage, by contrast, "is at the heart of leadership and progressive government."

"I have to do this."

Our lefty militaryJun 22 2011

The US military is often thought of by many Americans as being identified with conservative politics, making it an unlikely blueprint for progressive reform. But a recent pair of articles demonstrates that the US as a whole might have something to learn about the US Armed Forces' liberal leanings. In the NY Times, Nicholas Kristof argues that the US military's universal healthcare and focus on education is worth looking at as a model:

The military is innately hierarchical, yet it nurtures a camaraderie in part because the military looks after its employees. This is a rare enclave of single-payer universal health care, and it continues with a veterans' health care system that has much lower costs than the American system as a whole.

Perhaps the most impressive achievement of the American military isn't its aircraft carriers, stunning as they are. Rather, it's the military day care system for working parents.

While one of America's greatest failings is underinvestment in early childhood education (which seems to be one of the best ways to break cycles of poverty from replicating), the military manages to provide superb child care. The cost depends on family income and starts at $44 per week.

And the WSJ recently covered remarks made by Sgt. Maj. Micheal Barrett, the top non-commissioned officer in the Marine Corps and general all-around hardass, about gays in the military:

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution is pretty simple, It says, 'Raise an army.' It says absolutely nothing about race, color, creed, sexual orientation. You all joined for a reason: to serve. To protect our nation, right? How dare we, then, exclude a group of people who want to do the same thing you do right now, something that is honorable and noble? ... Get over it. We're magnificent, we're going to continue to be. ... Let's just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let's be Marines.

Now that's some semper fi I can get behind. (thx, meg)

A gay HalloweenNov 04 2010

Here's the story from a blogger at Nerdy Apple Bottom: her five-year-old son dressed up as Daphne from Scooby Doo for Halloween and mom & boy get shit from some of the other moms at their church preschool, thinking that the boy's gonna catch The Gay for dressing up like a girl. The mom's not having any of it:

But here's the point, it is none of your damn business. If you think that me allowing my son to be a female character for Halloween is somehow going to 'make' him gay then you are an idiot. Firstly, what a ridiculous concept. Secondly, if my son is gay, OK. I will love him no less. Thirdly, I am not worried that your son will grow up to be an actual ninja so back off.

Right on. Without really thinking about it this year, we dressed my son in a "girlie" costume (he was a butterfly, at his request, and not a knight or robot or Batman like most of the other three-year-olds I saw) and our daughter was a Frenchman. Not an eyebrow was raised, which is unsurprising as lower Manhattan is pretty much ground zero for It Gets Better. (via @choire)

Asexuality documentaryAug 17 2010

Over on Kickstarter, Angela Tucker is trying to raise the last $1500 she needs to edit her documentary on asexuality.

In 2000, David Jay came out to his parents. But they were surprised by what he told them. He was asexual. David knew he was not alone in his feelings. He bought the url for asexuality.org and soon, the forum he created for people to talk about their experiences as asexuals was abuzz around the globe online and on talk shows like The View. Inspired by the LGBT movement of the 1960s, Jay is growing the asexual movement. Other members of his community are skeptical that they are a part of the LGBT community. But Jay and experts, like Dan Savage, agree that asexuals are a sexual minority and therefore eligible. But are members of the sex-positive PRIDE march going to accept a group that has rejected sex?

Coming out in middle schoolSep 29 2009

Gay and lesbian teens are coming out of the closet earlier and earlier with responses ranging from acceptance to "but you're so young".

Though most adolescents who come out do so in high school, sex researchers and counselors say that middle-school students are increasingly coming out to friends or family or to an adult in school. Just how they're faring in a world that wasn't expecting them -- and that isn't so sure a 12-year-old can know if he's gay -- is a complicated question that defies simple geographical explanations. Though gay kids in the South and in rural areas tend to have a harder time than those on the coasts, I met gay youth who were doing well in socially conservative areas like Tulsa and others in progressive cities who were afraid to come out.

Eight questions for Jonathan RauchJun 04 2009

A wide-ranging interview with the always interesting Jonathan Rauch. Topics include blogging, introversion, politics, and gay marriage.

America is divided on the meaning of marriage and is understandably cautious about tampering with an age-old, embattled institution. On the other hand, Americans are increasingly sympathetic to gay couples who are pledged to care for each other (and their children) but who are legal strangers to one another, a situation which just makes no sense.

On gay marriage, activists on both ends of the spectrum conspired against radical incrementalism. One side tried to ban gay marriage forever on every inch of American soil; the other side dreamed of mandating it nationally by court order. To its great credit, the country refused to be hustled. Instead it is taking the truly conservative approach, which is to try gay marriage in some places, without betting the whole country.

Gay marriage trends in the USApr 08 2009

Nate Silver says that "voter initiatives to ban gay marriage are becoming harder and harder to pass every year" and uses a regression model to produce a listing of when the voters of each US state would vote against a marriage ban if given the chance. Some notables:

New York - 2009
Iowa - 2013
Utah - 2013
Kansas - 2015
Texas - 2018
Mississippi - 2024

Missed conceptionJan 13 2009

Sperm travels up a dark tunnel and then...saying more would ruin the ending. Just watch:

I seriously LOL'd at the reveal. Slightly NSFW, I guess. (via house next door)

Update: The video was down earlier for some reason but now it's back up.

Somebody who's imaginaryNov 14 2008

Transgender Americans are finding increasing support for their gender identities in unusual places: the so-called red states. In a small Colorado city, parents and the school administration were initially upset with the transition of a student's gender from boy to girl, but other students were not.

But on the first day of school, nothing happened. No flood of calls, no angry protests, and no bullying. Michelle was "happy and shocked" that M.J.'s classmates seemed to get it. When one student made a mocking comment to another using M.J.'s former name, one eighth-grade boy dismissed him with a simple insight. "That person doesn't even exist anymore," he said. "You're talking about somebody who's imaginary."

(via clusterflock)

CA to gays: no marriage for youNov 05 2008

Today is bittersweet...Obama got elected but it looks as though Proposition 8 will pass, banning gay marriage in California. Fuck you, California.

Update: Fuck you too, Arizona and Florida. Also, several people objected to the strong language I used here, saying that I can't curse an entire state where many voted against the ban, it was all the Mormon Church's fault, and in one case, that it was hypocritical of me as a New York resident to complain. You know what? I'm *upset* about this and a little profanity, a little lashing out, is totally fucking warranted.

Tyson HomosexualJul 02 2008

You've likely seen this by now but I've got to link it up anyway because whenever I think about it, it makes me LOLL (laugh out loud, literally). The American Family Association automatically replaces words like "gay" with "homosexual" in the AP stories they display on their news site. When an American sprinter named Tyson Gay is in the news, the practice leads to hilarity.

Homosexual eases into 100 final at Olympic trials
Tyson Homosexual easily won his semifinal for the 100 meters at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials and seemed to save something for the final later Sunday.

And on it goes..."On Saturday, Homosexual misjudged the finish in his opening heats...", "Homosexual runs wind-aided 9.68 seconds to make Olympics...", "Close call: Homosexual barely averts major flop in 100..." Fox News has applied the same technique to stories about suicide bombers...they changed all instances of that term to "homicide bombers".

Clayton James Cubitt's photographs of a manufacturedApr 01 2008

Clayton James Cubitt's photographs of a manufactured vagina.

Male to female transsexual. This is a manufactured vagina. A Neovagina.

This is genital origami, the cock cut open, carved and folded, crafted by techniques with names like Penile Inversion, the Suporn Technique, and the Wilson Method. The head of the cock morphs into the neoclit. In some methods the scrotal skin becomes the neovaginal canal.

I don't know which methods were used in the creation of this particular neovagina, but surely this is art of the highest caliber. Sculpture in flesh tissue and nerve bundles.

Amazing and NSFW.

This blog is collecting pictures of menNov 14 2007

This blog is collecting pictures of men who look like old lesbians. More amusing than I thought it would be.

Order your Dumbledore pride tshirts, now availableOct 22 2007

Order your Dumbledore pride tshirts, now available in rainbow "I always knew" and "Wizards Are Gay" varieties.

Rita Skeeter J.K. Rowling: Oct 21 2007

Rita Skeeter J.K. Rowling:

Albus Dumbledore is gay and had fallen in love with fellow wizard and friend, Gellert Grindelwald.

Fan fiction writers, you know what to do.

100 hot women chosen by lesbiansJun 08 2007

Hot 100 women chosen by lesbians. A nice counterpoint to similar lists from Maxim and People.

Admit it, you already knew flamingos were gay. (thx, john)May 24 2007

Admit it, you already knew flamingos were gay. (thx, john)

Ariel Levy tells us about her lesbianMay 01 2007

Ariel Levy tells us about her lesbian wedding that wasn't really a wedding (it was "a party about love") and her struggle to find something she could wear for it. "I also didn't feel okay about spending all my free time on the phone with the flower guy and the tent man, or about making little checklists of who was coming, and who was not coming, and who was staying at the Goodstone Inn. And I definitely did not feel okay about telling the sales staff of half the better clothing retailers in New York City that I needed something fetching to wear to my big fat gay wedding."

Lots of discussion online about this GarrisonMar 16 2007

Lots of discussion online about this Garrison Keillor piece in Salon where he seems to assert that gay parents shouldn't be flamboyant and immigrants, while siring lovely children, don't hold a candle to the white cowboys riding the plains. More than anything, this piece just confuses me...is he being truthful about his opinions or is he taking a less-than-successful swipe at himself and his outdated views? I can't really tell...more than anything, it seems poorly written.

Jargon watch! Gaysted (adj.): "when heterosexual peopleFeb 01 2007

Jargon watch! Gaysted (adj.): "when heterosexual people get so wasted, they slip into seemingly gay acts".

Some couples are waiting to get marriedDec 04 2006

Some couples are waiting to get married until gays and lesbians have the right to marry.

A gay couple on a recent AmericanSep 19 2006

A gay couple on a recent American Airlines flight was told by a flight attendant to stop kissing and touching, then got the run-around from the chief flight attendant (who first told them that their behavior was perfectly fine and then reversed her stance after being asked if their sexuality is at issue), and was finally told by the captain to behave the plane will be diverted. The whole "shut up or you'll get the full you're-a-terrorist treatment with no recourse" vibe on the plane creeps me out. Something tells me this won't get coverage in American Way next month.

Re: Jim Emerson's list of films youMay 18 2006

Re: Jim Emerson's list of films you should see to consider yourself movie literate, what are the essential gay/queer movies?

Star Trek's Sulu, George Takei, comes out.Oct 28 2005

Star Trek's Sulu, George Takei, comes out. First Swoopes and now this...the self esteem of young, gay, basketball-playing Trekkies must be skyrocketing. (I keed, but seriously, pro sports and sci-fi geeks could benefit from more confident & successful gay role models for young people who're feeling less than confident with their sexuality.)

Sheryl Swoopes, a WNBA superstar, is theOct 27 2005

Sheryl Swoopes, a WNBA superstar, is the most high-profile team sports athlete to come out of the closet.

Jimmy Swaggart: "I've never seen a manSep 23 2004

Jimmy Swaggart:

I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I'm gonna be blunt and plain; if one ever looks at me like that, I'm gonna kill him and tell God he died.

How Christian of him.

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