Friday, October 19, 2012

Know Your LGBT History - Christine Jorgensen

I'm guilty of something that I am ashamed of. Sometimes when I talk about lgbt equality, I forget about "t" - our transgender brothers and sisters.

Therefore, I thought I should feature Christine Jorgensen, the first person to become widely known for receiving sexual reassignment surgery. Jorgensen was not the first person to receive sexual reassignment surgery, but in 1952, a cover story in the New York Daily News made her a celebrity and her willingness to be open and forthcoming with such dignity and poise made her an icon as far as I am concerned.

But what particularly makes Jorgensen a heroine of mine is her determination to live her life on her own terms, particularly in a time in which such things weren't as open as they are now.

She teaches us a lesson we should all remember.

Past Know Your LGBT History posts:

'NOM strategist has a breakdown during interview' and other Friday midday news briefs

Frank Schubert, Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment Mastermind, Crumbles Under Questioning (AUDIO) - This is HUGE! Frank Schubert is the NOM strategist behind the Prop 8 campaign and is behind the "marriage equality will harm children" lie. However, during an interview with Michelangelo Signorile, Schubert seems to have what can be called a breakdown under intense questioning. This has to be heard to be believed.  Try to listen to it all, but the real good stuff starts at 10:00. According to Signorile:

Schubert seemed to crumble when I played a clip of Marc Mutty, his campaign manager in Maine in 2009, admitting in the new documentary Question One that the campaign had used hyperbole and engaged in distortions and untruths (and saying that he was worried that he would be remembered for that ugly campaign). Schubert responded to me by oddly distancing himself from the campaign while also saying that Mutty was "misrecalling" events.

... Several times he said he is not trying to stop gay adoption because he just wants to "protect" traditional marriage and is not "on a crusade" to take away the rights of gays -- including those of his own sister. (I raised the fact that she, a Sacramento deputy district attorney, is a lesbian in a relationship and has children, as has been reported in the media.) But why isn't he on that crusade if he truly believes that children do better in heterosexual households, as his campaign rhetoric claims? The only answer is that his money is coming from the folks trying to ban gay marriage, not from those trying to ban gay adoption. And that's what it seems to be all about for Schubert: money.

In other news: 

 Video: Maggie Gallagher's friend and former boss says vote NO on MN marriage ban- Former marriage equality opponent says NO to voting for Minnesota's anti-marriage equality bill. 

 Knights of Columbus’ Financial Opposition to Marriage Equality Revealed - Guess who much the Knights of Columbus shelled out to stop marriage equality? Who knew they had THAT much money?

 A Brief History Of Fox News’ Support For Anti-LGBT Bullying - Brief but repulsive. 

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Religious right leader blames marriage equality for attacks in Libya.

Apparently according to religious right leader Rick Scarborough, marriage equality is one of the reasons for that awful attack in Benghazi, Libya which left four American, including Ambassador Chris Stevens dead.:

In Isiah 5:5, God warns Israel of the punishment which will befall the disobedient nation: “Now I am going to tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard, I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed. I will break down its wall and it will be trampled.” And again in Deuteronomy 28:25: “The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: Thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.” Like Biblical Israel, America is mired in sin – 1.2 million abortions a year, the assault on God’s institution of marriage, an explosion of pornography, children robbed of their innocence, skyrocketing rates of divorce and out-of-wedlock births, the Church persecuted – need I continue? And yet we blithely go on as if there was no connection between this and the way we violate God’s commandments? Too many Americans act as it the Bible’s prophecies are charmingly poetic, but bear no relation to today’s events? How many more 9/11 attacks, how many more wars, how much more turmoil – how many more Benghazis – will it take before we finally begin to make the connection between our behavior as a nation and the horror unfolding before our eyes?

If you recognize this awful stream of thought, it's because it was the same one that the late Jerry Falwell used to partly blame gays in the aftermath of 9/11:

And, I know that I'll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say "you helped this happen."

It was nauseating when Falwell did it and its equally nauseating when Scarborough does it.

It's sad when anyone exploits tragedy for their own agenda. It's especially sad when so-called religious leaders do it.

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