Thursday, September 21, 2023
'Right-wing try and fail to stir outrage over trans teen homecoming queen' & other Thur midday news briefs
Wednesday, September 20, 2023
Settlement of drag show complaint is loss for DeSantis, highlights how attack on drag shows isn't helping his campaign
|Fl Gov Ron DeSantis|
A Miami restaurant has settled a legal dispute over a drag queen show with the state of Florida, ending a yearlong case that became tinged with partisan politics as Gov. Ron DeSantis accused the venue of trying to sexualize children. The owners of the restaurant, R House, agreed to pay a $10,000 fine to end the dispute. In a statement Tuesday, the owners said the payment of the fine “did not result from the finding of any violation of any administrative or criminal laws.. . . Those cases — against the Hyatt Regency Miami and the historic Plaza Live theater in Orlando — are ongoing. But records show that in the Orlando case, state regulators filed their complaint even though they had found no evidence of lewd acts at the drag show.In the case of R House, the dispute stemmed from a video on social media that showed a drag performer leading a young girl during a brunch performance. The performer said the parent had asked her to take the girl’s hand and walk with her because it was her birthday. The performer accepted, walked with the child briefly and then returned her to her parents.On Tuesday, R House owners said their drag show performances were “never specifically intended for minors,” but that a few parents in the past had “felt they were uniquely qualified to evaluate what was appropriate entertainment for their children and brought their family to our shows.”“Be that as it may, in January 2023, we did introduce a mandatory age limit of 18+ and will continue that moving forward,” they said. “We are a small independently-owned business and never wanted to become a lightning rod for divisive political or cultural issues but unfortunately that is exactly what happened.”
Tuesday, September 19, 2023
'GOP candidate facing multiple child cruelty charges promises to protect kids from LGBTQ+ people' & other Tue midday news briefs
Monday, September 18, 2023
Over a decade ago, I wrote about six tactics of distortions used by the anti-LGBTQ industry to inhibit pro-gay laws and demonize gays in general. Bear in mind all of this was before my knowledge of the LGBTQ community's diversity, hence me using "gay" as a general term when I meant all of us
These tactics haven't changed. They've simply been applied specifically to trans people.
Below is the list with examples:1. Using nonrepresentative or out of date studies to make generalizations or distorting legitimate studies to give misleading conclusions.
Shrier claims that “in most cases—nearly 70 percent—gender dysphoria resolves," and thus youth should not be provided gender-affirming medical care. That statistic is false.Shrier incorrectly uses this statistic to claim that trans youth shouldn't be offered gender-affirming medical interventions because most will change their minds and later regret their decision. The studies Shrier refers to used an old diagnosis of “gender identity disorder,” not the DSM-5 diagnosis of gender dysphoria.The reason this is a problem is that one could meet this diagnosis without being transgender. The old criteria largely focused on gender expression (think a tomboy or a cisgender boy who likes “feminine” toys). Those kids aren’t transgender, so it’s not surprising that most of them weren’t transgender at follow-up. This problem with the “gender identity disorder” diagnosis from the DSM-IV was fixed for the DSM-5.Furthermore, those studies were of very young prepubertal children. Under the current medical consensus, gender-affirming medical interventions are not offered to prepubertal youth. They are only offered after youth have reached adolescence. Once youth reach adolescence, it’s rare for transgender youth to later decide they are cisgender.
"For me, what adults do in their lives, decisions that they make, including transgender adults, is one thing, but for kids under the age of 18— there’s a reason why we don’t let you drive ’til you’re 16. In the state of Indiana, you can’t get a tattoo until after you’re 18, you can’t drink until after you’re 21, that’s because we understand that kids don’t fully understand the consequences of their actions … When it comes to surgical or chemical procedures, I just— I really believe that we’ve got to protect our kids from decisions that will affect them, the balance of their lives, while at the same time saying adults can make decisions according to the dictates of their own conscience."
'BUSTED! Huff Post exposes cottage industry of 'experts' paid handsomely to defend anti-trans laws' & other Monday news briefs
Thursday, September 14, 2023
GOP presidential candidate Mike Pence sidesteps a question about protecting transgender Americans from violence
A mother of a transgender child broke down while confronting former Vice President Mike Pence about his LGBT policies during a NewsNation town hall on Wednesday. After Pence declared that as president he would “protect our kids from that radical gender ideology that’s taken hold in too many public schools,” moderator Leland Vittert called on a member of the audience, Melissa McCollister, to ask Pence a question.McCollister, who could be seen crying, said:"Good evening, vice president. I am an LGBTQ member and I have trans individuals in my family. Recent anti-LGBTQ bills have been signed into law all around this United States, including here in Iowa. So far, in 2023, 15 transgender individuals and gender-nonconforming people have been murdered. The vast majority of those people have been Black and Latinx transgender women. It is very hard for me to ask these questions after just hearing what I heard. What is your policy plan to protect the transgender community, specifically Black and brown trans women from historically high levels of violence?"
Pence replied, “Well, Melissa, let me say I’m deeply grieved to hear about those tragic circumstances, and I hear your heart, and I’m moved by your emotion, I truly am,” before continuing:"I’m a Bible-believing Christian. I have particular views of these matters and you have a different view of those, perhaps, but I want you to know I believe in the freedom of religion, I believe in the freedom of conscience, I believe in the right of every American to live, to work, to worship according to the dictates of their conscience and I’ll respect that. But I hope you also hear my heart on this.For me, what adults do in their lives, decisions that they make, including transgender adults, is one thing, but for kids under the age of 18— there’s a reason why we don’t let you drive ’til you’re 16. In the state of Indiana, you can’t get a tattoo until after you’re 18, you can’t drink until after you’re 21, that’s because we understand that kids don’t fully understand the consequences of their actions … When it comes to surgical or chemical procedures, I just— I really believe that we’ve got to protect our kids from decisions that will affect them, the balance of their lives, while at the same time saying adults can make decisions according to the dictates of their own conscience."
Wednesday, September 13, 2023
We have heard so many negative stories about libraries banning book. How about one with a happy ending for a change: This happened at the Carver County Library in Chaska, Minnesota:
It could have been a war of words, but instead it was a collective call from the community to keep a book on the shelves. "Gender Queer: a Memoir" By Maia Kobabe has become the most challenged book in the United States, according to the American Library Association. In July, a Waconia woman raised concerns about the book which detailed the author's gender identity journey. She then went on to file a request for removal which was at first denied, but after another appeal, the board discussed the book further during a meeting Tuesday night. Dozens packed the usually-empty meeting to make their voices heard on the issue.
. . . Erin Busse, the woman who advocated for its removal, did not speak during the meeting. During a meeting on Aug. 8, she described her concerns with the book saying, "This book is shameful and harmful, and to put it and allow it to be in the hands of children is sexual grooming."
Parents disagreed Tuesday. One resident said, "If you don't like it, don't read it. If it makes you uncomfortable, maybe you should examine why that is."
This was the first time the Carver County Library Board considered removing a book. Nationwide, attempts are on the rise. The American Library Association says there were almost 1,300 demands to remove library books last year, the highest ever in its 20-year recording history. In Minnesota, 22 demands were made with "Gender Queer" being the top title for removal. By the end of the meeting, the demand was unanimously denied by the board who had all read the book over the last month. "I was really quite amazed at how touching I found the book. I found it really, quite moving and also extremely informative," Secretary Frank Foss said.
"Gender Queer" will remain in the adult-fiction section in Carver County.
This was nice. No noisy adults calling people groomers, no lies about "sexual instruction," no reading sexual book passages in order to shock people. Just calm and rational discussions. This is what the book banners fear. And what we need more of.
Below is the standing ovation the Carver County Library Board received when they voted to keep the 'Gender Queer'
Standing ovation for the Carver County Library Board after they voted to KEEP the book Gender Queer: a Memoir in circulation. It comes after a request for removal from a Carver County resident. More at 10pm @WCCO pic.twitter.com/pC1lr05Vt7— Kirsten Mitchell (@Kirsten_TV) September 12, 2023
Tuesday, September 12, 2023
September is the birthday month of this blog, Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters. Seventeen years ago, I created it as a way of announcing a self-published book of the same title.
The book - badly written and edited - died quickly but got me introduced to many folks. The blog, as it turns out, has lasted longer and has been monumentally successful. My entire goal was and continues to be calling out anti-LGBTQ tactics, lies, and junk science which threaten LGBTQ rights and health. I've seen a lot, gotten into a lot of national fights, lost some battles, and ultimately took part in a lot of national victories. And it has all been wonderfully brutal.
(Editor's note - for a good idea of how many fights I've been involved in, check out the 'Best of Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters Part 1 and 2' posts to the right)
I'm older now, my hair is grayer, my movements are slower, and I'm constantly besieged with primal doubts about this entire project.. Meanwhile, fake 'policy analysts' from religious right groups have been replaced by big money thinktanks funding a vast right-wing ecosystem with tendrils connected to so many parts of our government. Also, social media bloodsuckers . . . I mean influencers have been infesting the online world like computerized lice. They can always be counted on to amass an army of dumbasses via a distorted incident or mindless memes.
Now it's all directed to taking down the trans community. The anti-LGBTQ industry have gone after the community's rights, their safety, and their healthcare. Using the same tactics they've used in the past against the gay community - lies about kids being harmed, verbal detransitioners (in my day, that type was called 'ex-gays,'), fake spokespeople, cherry-picked and junk science, and saturating the media with their narrative - the anti-LGBTQ industry have been pretty effective.
So what do we do?
The first thing we do is to not be silent. To continue to tell our stories. Hell, continue to live our lives to the fullest. Don't allow fear to control us. Don't let these haters buffalo you. This is your country, your state, your city. You have a right to be here and a right to live. And also, educate yourselves on the community. Don't assume that your definition of being an LGBTQ is the only one. Listen to each other before you talk. Be vocal, especially in your community and to those elected officials who are supposed to be working for you. And help your trans brothers and sisters in any way that you can. When they come after one of us, they come after all of us.
And that's only a first step. But it's an important one which many of us don't do.
On the risk of sounding jaded, this is an old battle. The scapegoats are new and the techniques are new. But the tactics are still the same. We've beaten it before and will do so again.
But it won't be pretty. None of our victories in the past have ever been pretty. But they've been victories. And sometimes that's all that matters.
Monday, September 11, 2023
The rights of trans kids are being ignored in the argument about 'parental rights'' & other Mon midday news briefs
Sunday, September 10, 2023
Former employee claims anti-LGBTQ group fired him for reporting alleged sexual harassment by another male employee. Now he is suing them.
The American Family Association has made a name for itself over the years with its attacks on the LGBTQ community. Now the group is being sued by a former employee who claims it looked the other while he was sexually harassed by another male leader.
A former vice president of the American Family Association, a Mississippi-based conservative group that promotes “the biblical ethic of decency in American society,” has sued the religious-right group, accusing leaders of firing him after he reported alleged sexual harassment and financial irregularities.
In a complaint filed Tuesday (Sept. 5), Robert Chambers, former vice president of policy and legislative affairs for AFA from 2015 to 2022, alleges that another staffer, Ron Cook, made repeated sexual advances toward him, beginning in January of 2022.
Those advances allegedly included grabbing hold of Chambers’ face and ear and making comments about masturbation, according to the complaint. “I see you’re really good with that wrist action,” the complaint alleges that Cook told Chambers. “You’d really like me to take you and get a hold of you.”
Chambers claims he was fired for reporting the harassment. The complaint alleges that AFA and its leaders violated federal law by retaliating against him as a whistleblower, creating a hostile work environment, unlawfully terminating him and slandering him.
The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, names Cook, along with AFA President Tim Wildmon, several of Wildmon’s family members who are on AFA’s staff, AFA Vice President Ed Vitagliano and others. AFA denies all of Chambers’ claims.
AFA did not respond to a question asking if Cook was still employed at AFA. Cook’s LinkedIn profile describes him as AFA’s director of localization. His Facebook page describes him as a former director of localization. Cook declined to comment by text.
In 2010, the Southern Poverty Law Center called AFA a hate group for its various false claims about the LGBTQ community:
The AFA has been extremely vocal over the years in its opposition to LGBT rights, marriage equality and allowing gay men and lesbians to serve in the military. The group’s arguments are filled with claims that equate homosexuality with pedophilia and argue that there’s a “homosexual agenda” afoot that is set to bring about the downfall of American (and ultimately, Western) civilization. In one October 2004 article, the AFA Journal suggested that gay influences are leading to a “grotesque culture” that will include “quick encounters in the middle school boys’ restroom.”For years, until 2010, the AFA had a section on its website that supposedly exposed “The Homosexual Agenda.” There, a reader could find articles and other AFA publications that claimed LGBT people were trying to force the acceptance of homosexuality on children through sex education programs in schools; condemned companies like Disney for supporting LGBT rights and programming; and, also until 2010, featured a particularly noxious booklet the AFA had published in 1994.
That booklet, Homosexuality in America: Exposing the Myths, included the bogus research of thoroughly discredited psychologist Paul Cameron as a source. One of the publication’s authors, Richard Howe, used Cameron’s “research” to claim that LGBT people don’t live as long as heterosexuals, that they’re more promiscuous and that the “disgusting details of the homosexual lifestyle explain why so many diseases are present in the homosexual community.” Another claim was that “prominent homosexual leaders and publications have voiced support for pedophilia, incest, sadomasochism, and even bestiality.”
Friday, September 08, 2023
Audio - Proud Boys supporters weep uncontrollably when reminded that they are the criminals (instead of LGBTQ people)
Let's talk about crime, punishment, and justice.
But don't forget while this group likes to claim that we are lawbreakers, it is them who are the actual lawbreakers. Especially when it comes to the infamous insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The audios below are from a podcast which took place in May when several of their supporters learned the trial verdicts of members who took part in the Jan 6th insurrection.Since the insurrection, several Proud Boys have been given long sentences for their part in it and their stupid decisions afterwards to turn down plea deals which would have cut their sentences in half. This includes former leader Enrique Tarrio. Tarrio was found guilty and then sentenced to 22 years for his role in "masterminding a seditious conspiracy aimed at derailing the transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden."
Thursday, September 07, 2023
Video - How Fox News helped Donald Trump bungle the COVID pandemic response (and kill scores of Americans)
On Monday, I posted a video explaining how Donald Trump bungled COVID pandemic response and thus caused scores of Americans to lose their lives. Now I want to talk about those who aided him.
Trump is a moron who shouldn't be in charge of cleaning an outhouse, much less running our country. He was at best an immature child put in a position which he didn't have the acumen or maturity to hold. Sort of like a baby being put behind the wheel of a running car.
But his incompetence was helped by those should have known better. The folks at Fox News played cheerleader for Trump as he stumbled his way through the pandemic. When he tripped, they pretended not to notice. When he said something utterly stupid, they made it sound like he was a genius or let him prattle on without any correction. And when he did utterly stupid things, they reframed it.
Worse yet, as one video below illustrates, Fox News pundits politicized the pandemic and sent out contradicting messages because they seemed to be more interested in helping Trump than helping the country.
What's worse than jackass whose incompetence caused death and injury to scores of people he swore to protect? A cadre of folks helping him along even though they probably knew people were dying and would continue to die because of it.
'Tucker Carlson and Megyn Kelly reduced to spewing Obama gay sex lies and other sad conspiracy theories' & other Thur midday news briefs
Wednesday, September 06, 2023
“With your help, we can put a stop to the sexualization of children in the Autauga-Prattville Public Library . . . If the Mayor and City Council vote to fund the library without requiring the library to stop giving children access to inappropriate books, they are just as guilty of sexualizing children as the people who put the books on the shelves. . . .So please click here to contact Mayor Gillespie and the City Council and urge them to stop the library from sexualizing children! . . . The people pushing the sexualization of children are playing a long game. … Those who hate traditional American values are working tirelessly to subvert our culture by targeting children and will stop at nothing to accomplish their agenda — including exposing children to sexual content.” - an email from Clean Up Pratville, an Alabama group in the center of a controversy involving the local public library (via The Alabama Political Reporter).
'Sen Marsha Blackburn suggests that bipartisan bill would be used to censor trans content online' & other Wed midday news briefs
|Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn|
Tuesday, September 05, 2023
|TX Governor Greg Abbott misleads the public about his drag ban law.|
Gov. Greg Abbott slammed a federal judge’s issuance of a temporary restraining order against Senate Bill 12, a Texas law that could criminalize drag performances statewide. In a statement on social media Monday, Abbott referred to the temporary restraining order as “absurd.”“Federal judge in Texas blocks a law I signed that bans sexually explicit drag shows in front of children. This is absurd,” the governor posted on his personal account on X, formerly known as Twitter. “We will fight to have this overturned & to protect our children from this indoctrination.”The bill itself does not mention the word “drag” but specifies it is targeted at “sexually oriented performances.” U.S. District Judge David Hittner issued the temporary restraining order against SB12 on Thursday, just before the law had been set to go into effect Friday. Hittner granted the request following a two-day hearing early last week over a lawsuit brought forward by five plaintiffs. Those plaintiffs included Austin-based performer Brigitte Bandit and Extragrams, a local drag production company.
Under the language of the law, “sexual conduct” is defined as the exhibition or representation, whether actual or simulated, of sexual acts, genitals, devices designed to stimulate genitals, breasts or buttocks, or “sexual gesticulations using accessories or prosthetics that exaggerate male or female sexual characteristics.” This could mean that performers wearing padded bras or prosthetic breasts could be found in violation of the law.
'GOP lawmakers trying to keep businesses from promoting themselves as LGBTQ+ safe spaces' & other Tue midday news briefs
Monday, September 04, 2023
Thursday, August 31, 2023
'Report outlines eight flaws with the New York Times's coverage of trans issues' & other Thur midday news briefs
Wednesday, August 30, 2023
. . . an estimated 250,000 people gathered for the March On Washington, a peaceful protest advocating for the civil rights of African Americans, a day that forever changed the course of our country’s history. Though the march is remembered as an important chapter in work of the late, great Martin Luther King, Jr.—culminating in his triumphant, unforgettable “I Have A Dream” speech—many may not realize that a large part of its success was due to an openly gay man: Activist and social organizer Bayard Rustin. Alongside A. Philip Randolph, Rustin organized the March On Washington, and dedicated his life to advocacy, humanitarian outreach, and fighting for the civil rights of all people, especially for Black and LGBTQ+ Americans. He was a hero.. . . Tony Award-winning playwright and director George C. Wolfe comes Rustin, the story of the history-making activist, co-written by Julian Reece (When They See Us) and Dustin Lance Black (Milk). Taking on the eponymous role is fantastic gay actor (and recent Queerty Pride50 honoree!) Colman Domingo, finally getting the star turn he’s so long deserved. Naturally, Domingo’s the film’s center of gravity and its spark—and we don’t want to jink it, but the part’s already garnering him some early Oscar buzz. Fingers crossed!
As a black gay man, this movie means the world to me. I hope it is very successful.
Tuesday, August 29, 2023
Folks who are aware of the close relationship between homophobia, transphobia, and racism shouldn't be surprised by this recent incident. We should be disturbed of course, but not surprised.
From CBS News:
An emailed bomb threat at Chabot Elementary School in Oakland resulted in the evacuation of the school Tuesday, according to authorities. The bomb threat was received at about 7:30 a.m. before the school day started, Oakland Police said.
Only a few dozen students and staffers were present when police evacuated the school, located at 6686 Chabot Road in the city's Rockridge neighborhood. Police were working with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office and the office's K-9 and bomb teams units to sweep the school and clear the campus. The email sent to the school principal had "racial undertones," but an Oakland Police spokesperson would not elaborate further on the content of the email. Police were also working with the FBI to determine the source of the email.
The bomb threat came only a day after a tweet by Libs Of TikTok, a controversial X (formerly known as Twitter) account run by far-right activist Chaya Raichik, about a playdate for “Black, Brown or API” students and family organized by the school’s equity and inclusion committee. “Come hang out while we get a chance to know each other and build our community as we kick off this school year,” the flyer read.
The tweet also included a statement apparently from a parent of a child at the school, upset about the event, which they deemed a “no whites allowed” playdate. The post was picked up and reported by conservative media outlets such as Alex Jones’ InfoWars. This led to the organizers receiving a volley of threats, they said.
Monday, August 28, 2023
Transphobia is some insidious shit.
There is a 55 second clip from 2012 going around on Twitter featuring a trans child and her mother supposedly implying some pretty negative stuff about the child being confused and such. Granted, the folks pushing this mess don't know this family and don't care. Nor have they provided any recent footage. It simply underscores just how much these culture zombies who chant "leave the kids alone" really don't give a damn about these kids or any other child.
It also underscores how the voices of trans kids and their families are being muffled or ignored. Instead, most of the attention seems to be paid to bottom feeding bloodsuckers like Matt Walsh and Chaya Raichik, astroturfed right-groups, or celebrities such as rapper NeYo and Alice Cooper.
And that last group just drives me insane.
What do NeYo and Alice Cooper know about gender-affirming care for trans kids? How does being a simple rapper or rock star who sang about necrophilia while having a snake wrapped about his body qualify one to be an expert on gender-affirming care for trans kids? We need to hear more from these kids and their families instead of outsiders exploiting the issue for money and fame or celebrities who simply don't know what the hell they are talking about.
Below are several videos featuring trans kids and their families. These video detail their journeys and talk about the difficulties they have getting the support and care they need.
Sorry if these videos aren't clipped and distorted. Sorry if they don't include some right-wing talking head from a fake medical group distorting statistics. Sorry if these videos don't include shocking pictures of medical procedures or lurid testimony from "former-trans" people with unvetted stories. Sorry if these videos don't include statements from athletes who claim to want to talk about fairness but end up talking about naked people in locker rooms. Sorry if these videos don't include social media influencers hiding their perverted mindsets behind phony concern for kids.
Instead, these videos feature the folks who should be listened to first when it comes to trans kids and their needs.
Friday, August 25, 2023
'Court rejects motion for 'opt-out' policy regarding LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum' & other Fri midday news briefs
Thursday, August 24, 2023
Matt Walsh, Chaya Raichik from Libs of TikTok furious at being linked to Pride flag shooter Travis Ikeguchi
It's been a week since the murder of Laura Ann Carleton. Carleton was a business owner in California who was murdered by a man, Travis Ikeguchi, after a dispute about a Pride flag hanging in her shop. Ikeguchi, who was later killed by the police that same day, was discovered to have had a history of posting of disgusting and violent anti-LGBTQ messages on social media.
A Thursday article on NBC Out delved deeper into Ikeguchi's history of posting this ugliness on social media and how it ties into far-right conservatives smearing the Pride flag itself and the LGBTQ community as pedophiles:
The far right has repeatedly linked the flag to the decades-old trope that links gay and transgender people to child abusers who want to “groom” or sexualize children, a trope that has recently had a resurgence.
“The pride flag does not deserve our respect or deference,” right-wing provocateur Matt Walsh declared in March to his 2.4 million followers on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Nearly all of the most depraved attacks on children, tradition, and common sense in modern society happen under the hideous banner of the pride flag.” A day later, Walsh dedicated an over hourlong episode of his podcast, “The Matt Walsh Show,” which is produced by the media company The Daily Wire, to the Pride flag. The episode was titled “The Pride Flag Deserves Our Disrespect.”
Chaya Raichik, who runs the far-right X account LibsOfTikTok, has repeatedly prompted conversations among her nearly 2.5 million followers that appear to take aim at the Pride flag. “Imagine walking into your kid’s elementary school and this is what greets you,” she wrote on X in June, along with an image of what appear to be teachers wearing rainbow Pride clothing and a person dressed in drag. “What do you do?”
You will notice that the article mentioned two prominent anti-LGBT activists - Matt Walsh and Chaya Raichik of the infamous Libs of TikTok. Needless to say, neither was happy it. Both took to Twitter to voice their disapproval: