Monday, April 06, 2020

Randy Rainbow salutes America's actual leader during the COVID-19 pandemic

As usual, Randy Rainbow astutely nails the point. To the tune of  'Sandy' from the musical Grease, he salutes the one person who has shown some semblance of leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic - New York governor Andrew Cuomo. Hilarious as always.  If Trump's smart, he will keep his mouth shut.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

'How Trans and Nonbinary people are coping right now' & other Mon midday news briefs

How Trans And Nonbinary People Are Coping Right Now
- It's a needed question. 

Franklin Graham points the finger at 'sin' for the coronavirus. Fails to see the three fingers pointing back at himself.

Franklin Graham

Franklin Graham on Saturday night talking with Jeanine Pirro on Fox:

. . .  Graham was asked to make sense of Covid-19’s worldwide devastation, and the Fox host wondered “How could God allow this thing to happen?” “Well, I don’t think it’s God’s plan for this to happen. It’s because of the sin that’s in the world,” Graham answered. “Man has turned his back on God, we have sinned against him, and we need to ask for God’s forgiveness and that’s what Easter’s all about.” After recalling the story of Easter, Graham continued to say “this pandemic, this is the result of a fallen world. A world that has turned its back on God.”

Also from Franklin Graham, but not last night when pontificating about sin. This was last year when he was defending Donald Trump (yet again):

“I don’t think the president is sitting there behind the desk trying to make up lies,” Graham said. “I don’t believe that for a second. Has he misspoken on something? Sure, all of us do that, you do it, I do it. So I think the president is trying to do the best that he can under very difficult circumstances,” the pastor added. 
At the time, Trump had been shown to have lied over 8,000 times. And then there are tweets from Graham about Trump like so:

It's the first time I have ever seen a supposed man of God calling out sin for the world's calamities while hoping that people forget how much sympathy he's shown for the devil.

Thursday, April 02, 2020

'Religious liberty' argument, once hindering LGBTQ rights, is now endangering COVID-19 prevention

It took a pandemic to bring home the fact that the LGBTQ community was attempting to tell America for the longest - the concept of 'religious liberty' is being distorted and used as a weapon. In the same manner that racists began claiming that they weren't "anti-black," just "pro-white," the religious right portrayed themselves as victims who would be "compelled" to go against their "deeply held personal beliefs" if they were supposedly forced to serve LGBTQ people, follow rules having to do with taking tax dollars, or basically afforded us the respect we are due  as taxpaying American citizens etc. Critical questions in terms of how far "religious liberty" should go were generally ignored by the media as they fell for narrative after narrative of a 'Christian bakers, florists, faith-based adoption agencies or other entities falsely portrayed as victims of LGBTQ people who simply wanted fair treatment. But now, we see how far the concept is being pushed. And it endangers more than just LGBTQ  rights. It still endangers our safety,mind you, but along with the safety of pretty much everyone else:

From The Center for American Progress:

Collective efforts to flatten the curve of COVID-19 through social distancing are critical to spreading out the rate of infection over time so that America’s health care system is not overwhelmed. “If we don’t make substantial changes, both in spreading the disease over time and expanding capacity, we’re going to run out of hospital beds,” Harvard Global Health Institute Director Dr. Ashish Jha told The New York Times. “And in that instance, we will not be able to take care of critically ill people, and people will die." 
However, at a time when it is crucial to respond thoughtfully and prudently to this pandemic, there is an alarming trend of government officials ignoring public health warnings and refusing to call on houses of worship to close. Establishing religious exemptions—in this case, by freeing houses of worship from public health order compliance—will only result in more cases of COVID-19 and greater numbers of death from the disease.
Thankfully, many religious communities, which sit at the nexus of caring for people and being a focal point of community gatherings, are leading efforts to flatten the curve. A diverse group of religious organizations, including the National Association of Evangelicals, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the newly established National Muslim Task Force on COVID-19, have called for suspending in-person services. Many religious organizations have found new and creative ways to gather for worship, pray together, and continue community social service work. Faith community leaders deserve praise for their efforts to combat the coronavirus; they serve as trusted messengers who affect the daily lives of people of faith outside faith-specific spaces.

The publication also noted that there are churches who have chosen to vigorously ignore this. The New York Post goes into more detail:

An Evangelical pastor mocked the “pansies” who are scared of the coronavirus — as he insisted his packed church will only shut its doors “when the Rapture is taking place.” “If you cannot be saved in church, you in serious trouble,” Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne told Florida’s River Tampa Bay Church, as he encouraged congregants to hug in defiance of health warnings. 
Howard-Browne has continued to wage war against stay-at-home regulations until he was finally arrested. He has since announced that he is canceling services, but not for the sake of safety. Instead he lays the blame on the "tyrannical government." And he is not the only religious leader raising a fuss over the situation. Several Texas pastors are suing  for a religious exemption to the coronavirus stay-at-home regulations. In addition, Florida and several other states are allowing some type of exemption. In Ohio, one church is deliberately holding large services in defiance. Another church in California did the same thing. And another in Louisiana.

The irony is that VP Mike Pence and Family Research Council president Tony Perkins - both big promoters of exploiting "religious liberty" against LGBTQ people - are now pleading with people to follow stay-at-home regulations or speaking against large church gatherings.

Whatever, guys. You let the beast out of the cage. Now, you can't control it. You encouraged people to believe that their "religious liberty" matter more than the rights and dignity of LGBTQ people.  Why act so surprised when folks are now deciding that their "religious liberty" matter more than the very lives of people in general?

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

'White House blames 'radical left' for rise in homophobic hate groups linked to Trump' & other Thur midday news briefs

White House shamefully blames the ‘radical left’ for sharp rise in homophobic hat
e groups linked to Trump - Say what? And the person doing the lying is a gay man. Sad.

The Women (1939) - The movie which should have been made with gay men

With this situation regarding the coronavirus and social distancing, I think it is important for LGBTQ people to keep abreast of the news regarding our lives and rights. And take a respite every now and then from it all by immersing ourselves into  things which can be seen as frivolous or funny. We can't be serious all of the time because if we were, the community would go stark raving mad. Doing things you enjoy, especially things which make you laugh, is wonderful medicine for the blues. So this post isn't going to be about anything serious. I want to show scenes from one of my favorite movies of all time and a movie which should be made one day with gay men instead of women. The younger generation in our community have RuPaul's Drag Race and the Bring It On movies. Folks my age have The Women.

The Women (1939) is one of the funniest and cattiest motion pictures ever made. Based upon a Broadway play, it told the story of how women in high society deal with their lives and relationships.  The main character, Mary Haines, finds out that her husband has been cheating on her with a perfume counter girl, Crystal Allen. How she loses her husband to Allen and eventually wins him back using the tactics first used against her forms the story. The irony is that for a movie which talked about relationships between men and women, the cast consisted of only women. The director, George Cukor, was male but he was one of the only few.  As you can see from this trailer, there is a reason why The Women is a favorite with my generation of gay men and the generations of gay men before me. We know the words to several  scenes by heart:

And then there is the behind-the-scenes story, which just about every gay fan of the movie knows; a story which could be a movie in itself. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

'Anti-LGBTQ hate group will defend pastor arrested for defying coronavirus measures' & other Wed midday news briefs

Anti-LGBTQ hate group will defend megachurch pastor arrested for defying coronavirus measures - Why of course it will. 

 Coronavirus Hospital In Central Park Sparks Backlash Over Anti-LGBTQ Ties - Franklin Graham has claimed that gays "recruit" children. We want assurances that his group and volunteers won't be jerks to potential LGBTQ patients. It's not an unreasonable request.

Parents of transgender youth give advice for new parents starting the journey

In spite of what we have to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, our fight for equality still goes on. March 31 is The Trans Day of Visibility. And though this should be done more often, today is a wonderful time to spotlight the faces and voices of the trans community and their loved ones. I think that if the media would take the time to do this more often instead of spotlighting phony experts from anti-trans groups, this issue would be simpler:

These parents are part of HRC Foundation’s Parents for Transgender Equality National Council. The council is a coalition of some of the the nation's leading parent-advocates working for equality and fairness for transgender people, with the intention of connecting, mobilizing and amplifying many of the most powerful voices of love, inclusion and support for transgender equality.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Evangelicals undermining fight against coronvarius via similar tactics used against LGBTQ people

Anti-LGBTQ evangelical Todd Starnes is now undermining the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

LGBTQ people have told folks.

Hell, even I've told folks how conservative evangelicals either go overboard or use their religious beliefs as a way to absolve from following rules. Usually though, their actions have to do with cases of LGBTQ rights, so they tend to get away with successfully pulling the "it's a deeply held personal belief of my faith" card. But recent incidents involving the coronavirus pandemic should give pause to anyone wanting to believe that narrative. Utilizing tactics which they've worked against LGBTQ people, certain anti-LGBTQ figures are undermining the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The hashtag #FilmYourHospital trended on Twitter Sunday, encouraging people to travel to ​nearby hospitals and record video of the exterior to supposedly show that media coverage of chaotic and overcrowded hospitals ​is untrue. 
 It appears that right-wing radio host Todd Starnes may have inspired the trend, although Starnes has not used the specific hashtag in any post. Starnes uploaded a video Saturday afternoon that he filmed wandering around outside of the Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City. Starnes is heard off-camera telling viewers that he wanted to expose the “war zone” that an emergency room doctor at Brooklyn’s Brookdale Hospital described to CNN last week.

For those not familiar with him, Starnes is a homophobic conservative talking head who, when he is not targeting LGBTQ people, freely makes up stories of anti-Christian persecution. At this particular time, he is attempting to blunt the fact that the coronavirus is causing chaos in New York by creating a ridiculous narrative. Not only is the narrative a sick lie but, as People for the American Way points out, Starnes's "investigation" is being copied by other right-wing activists dumbasses. This could serve to create more disbelief in the seriousness of this pandemic, thereby causing more people to foolishly expose themselves to danger.

And Starnes isn't the only anti-LGBTQ figure interfering in the fight against the pandemic:

A group of pastors and an outspoken conservative activist filed a petition with the Texas Supreme Court on Monday arguing that Harris County’s stay-at-home order, which closed churches and limited worship services to video or teleconference calls, violates the First Amendment, according to a Houston Chronicle report. 
 The petition was filed by Steven Hotze, a Republican activist known for his backing of anti-LGBT causes, and pastors Juan Bustamante, George Garcia and David Valdez, according to the Chronicle. The group also argues that Judge Lina Hidalgo’s order violates the Second Amendment by not listing gun shops among “essential” businesses. The March 24 order requires residents to stay home and closed most businesses except those deemed essential, such as grocery stores and hospitals. On Friday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said gun stores are essential business and should be allowed to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When it comes to homophobic rhetoric, Starnes - as vile as he is - doesn't even begin to match the level of venom spewed by Hotze. According to Media Matters:

Steven Hotze said that “‘Satanic cults’ were driving the ‘homosexual movement,’” compared LGBTQ people to “Nazis,” and said Houston residents should "drive them out of our city.”

Hotze claimed that a “key point of the homosexual agenda” is “overturning the laws prohibiting pedophilia.”

Hotze prayed that lawmakers who “support, promote and practice sodomy and other perverted, sexually deviant lifestyles” would “receive just retribution from God for their evil actions.” 
 Hotze said LGBTQ equality gives gay people “a free hand to come and have relations with a minor, molest a child.”

And now, Hotze is claiming that a "stay at home" order is violating his religious beliefs, much like others like him have claimed the same about LGBTQ rights in the past.

 In this particular case, however, we aren't talking about a gay vs. Christian false narrative. Now, it's a matter of people's lives being at stake. And that is not a euphemism as these two examples from The Christian Post points out:

1. At least three separate pastors have died in recent days after testing positive for the new coronavirus, including two who raised concern that the virus was being used as a tool of the devil to manipulate the masses or silence Christians. One thought God would use His infection to spread the Gospel or give him “a little rest.”

2. Several members of an Illinois Pentecostal church are either at the hospital or in home quarantine after at least 43 congregants fell ill following a revival service two Sundays ago, and at least 10 of them have tested positive for the new coronavirus.

I hate to say "I told you so" to those who have bought conservative evangelical narratives in the past when it came to LGBTQ rights but . . .well you know.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

'Gay congressional candidate faces new challenge after COVID-19 diagnosis' & other Mon midday news briefs

Gay candidate’s congressional campaign faces new challenge after COVID-19 diagnosis - Interesting article about Congressional candidate attempting to campaign from quarantine.

COVID-19 Severely Tests LGBTQ Organizations, But Work Continues - Damn right it does.

LGBTQ people urged to ‘get counted’ in Census - Don't forget the Census!

17 Grindr Messages That, Yes, People Actually Sent - This is so wicked, but what the hell. Wicked is good right now.

Top 10 LGBTQ Superhero Couples

For LGBTQ people who enjoy comic books - like me - here is a video which should interest you. It's also a great thing to watch as we ease into Monday while practicing social distancing because of the you-know-what.

Number one on the list doesn't surprise me. But number two - Wolverine and Hercules - does and not because of who it is. Marvel included a huge loophole which made this possible. The surprising part was the fact that Wolverine and Hercules were "undercover lovers" because Hercules's father, Zeus, forbade gods and mortals from having relationships. Obviously a certain comic book storyline creator hasn't kept up on Greek mythology. Zeus literally tried to screw everything that moved. I'm just saying.