Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Anti-LGBTQ mayoral candidate once encouraged husband to attend Pride event clad in Speedo

Franklin, Tenn alderman, mayoral candidate, and MAGA Republican Gabrielle Hanson this year tried to block a Pride festival because she felt it was dangerous to the innocence of children. She is also the same person who in 2008, according to her husband, encouraged him to attend a Pride festival in Chicago while clad in nothing but a tiny red, white and blue speedo.

News Channel 5 in Nashville has the story, including 'the receipts."

It's an image that goes against everything that Franklin alderman and mayoral candidate Gabrielle Hanson has claimed she believes — an image of her own husband wearing nothing but an American flag Speedo at a Pride event. And if her husband, Tom Hanson, can be believed, Gabrielle Hanson not only supported the decision, but pushed him to go through with it.

Hanson, a first-term alderman, bolstered her MAGA credentials earlier this year and launched a campaign for Franklin mayor after leading a bitter, but unsuccessful battle to block a Pride festival from being held at a city park. She claimed it was necessary to protect innocent children. Yet, NewsChannel 5 Investigates obtained a 2008 photo of Tom Hanson, wearing only the tiny red, white, and blue swimsuit in the middle of a downtown Chicago street during the city's annual Pride Parade. Other images depict scenes that Gabrielle Hanson has insisted should not be occurring in public, including flamboyantly attired drag queens. 

 When confronted with the picture during a board meeting where she successfully avoided a censure vote for ethics violations (having nothing to do with Pride), neither Hanson nor her husband had any comment.

News Channel 5 added the following:

Hanson is trying to unseat incumbent Mayor Ken Moore, lambasting her fellow Republican for casting the tie-breaking vote to allow the Franklin Pride event. She has been endorsed by a far-right political action committee that calls itself Williamson Families and cites her opposition to the LGBTQ+ event as one of the reasons for its support. 

 “Franklin deserves leaders that will courageously defend our state and federal constitutional rights, champion local business owners, protect the innocence of our children, practice transparent accountability and fiscal responsibility, and thoughtfully listen to residents rather than cater to radical left agendas," Williamson Families said.

And apparently, according to News Channel 5, the controversy about Pride is the latest in a string of interesting revelations about Hanson, including promoting prostitution.

'Florida school district orders purge of LGBTQ+ books from all libraries and classrooms' & other Wed midday news briefs

Florida school district orders purge of LGBTQ+ books from all libraries and classrooms - This is the desired end result for all of those "leave our children" alone fanatics and Moms for Liberty gangs. They don't actually want to protect kids. They want to erase LGBTQ people, our kids, and our families from the schools (and other places if they can get away with it.) 

Instagram has allowed Gays Against Groomers to spread harmful rhetoric about LGBTQ people - We haven't forgotten about this bigoted group or the entities who amplify them. 

As Muslims' status as political punching bag fades, some are fighting against LGBTQ+ acceptance - While this is not the entire Muslim community of America, it is still rather sad that some folks who were targeted by religious prejudice are turning on the LGBTQ community who stood by them. And using the same excuses of religious prejudice. I would tell them to be careful. As soon as they are no longer useful to the religious right, they will be betrayed.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Federal judge declares Texas anti-drag law unconstitutional. Various bigots have online meltdowns.

From The Texas Tribune:

Texas cannot enforce a new law that restricts some public drag shows, a federal judge said Tuesday in declaring the legislation unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge David Hittner found Senate Bill 12 “impermissibly infringes on the First Amendment and chills free speech.” The struck-down law prohibited any performers from dancing suggestively or wearing certain prosthetics in front of children. Hittner ruled that language discriminated based on viewpoint and is unconstitutionally overbroad and vague. 

 . . . Critics of the bill, though, say that Republican lawmakers and officials this year have incorrectly — and unfairly — portrayed all drag performances as inherently sexual or obscene. While SB 12 was originally billed as legislation that would prevent children from seeing drag shows, the final version did not directly reference people dressing as the opposite gender. 

 However, Republican leaders, including Gov. Greg Abbott, made it clear that drag shows were the bill’s target — comments and history that Hittner wrote “the court cannot ignore.” Last month, Hittner temporarily blocked SB 12 from taking effect on Sept. 1 after a two-day hearing for a lawsuit filed against the state by a drag queen and LGBTQ+ groups.

LGBTQ+ Texans, advocates, artists and business groups who sued the state, argued that the law discriminates against the content of performances and restricts equally protected free expression that is protected under the First and 14th Amendments. In Tuesday's 56-page ruling, Hittner noted a survey of court decisions "reveals little divergence from the opinion that drag performances are expressive content that is afforded First Amendment protection." 

 "Drag shows express a litany of emotions and purposes, from humor and pure entertainment to social commentary on gender roles," the ruling reads. "There is no doubt that at the bare minimum these performances are meant to be a form of art that is meant to entertain, alone this would warrant some level of First Amendment protection." Other states have passed similar legislation restricting drag performance, which have also been struck down by federal courts.

Basically, supporters of the bill claimed that they were merely trying to keep children from seeing sexually explicit performances.  However the bill defined drag performances as being sexually explicit, even if the drag queen is doing something as innocuous as reading to kids. 

Therein lies the rub so to speak. 

Texas will probably attempt to appeal the ruling, but this is still a tremendous victory. It sends a strong message to those who are constantly trying to undermine our lives in an effort to force us to live in accordance to their lurid prejudices. And speaking of those folks, they aren't happy. In fact, several of them have been busy raging on Twitter, accusing us (yet again) of "sexualizing children."

Poor babies. It's all they have.

 I actually like this one below. It's always good when the opposition gets so defeated that they put no effort in their lies. These are merely drag queens with kids. Nothing sexually explicit.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Anti-LGBTQ, 'pro-family' Congressman Jeff Duncan's wife files for divorce while accusing him of multiple affairs

Anti-LGBTQ SC Congressman Jeff Duncan's wife has filed for a divorce while accusing him of multiple affairs.

Last year, South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan publicly accused the Democratic Party of trying to destroy families by "going after children." This year, Duncan's wife is filing for divorce while accusing him of having multiple affairs. It's a story as old as the hills and remade more times than the motion picture A Star is Born.

 From Business Insider:

A politician who promotes the importance of family has abandoned them. This time, it appears to be US Rep. Jeff Duncan, a Republican in South Carolina. Duncan's wife, Melody Duncan, filed for divorce last week, citing her husband's multiple affairs. Melody Duncan, his wife of more than 30 years and mother to his three sons, accused her husband of at least two affairs in the divorce filing, which was first obtained and published by the Index-Journal, a local newspaper in Greenwood.

 Duncan has been in office for 13 years and has long advocated for conservative Christian values. "As a life-long social conservative, I am a strong advocate for life and traditional family values," Duncan writes on his website. Accompanying the post is a stock image of the Holy Bible, a book famous for its views on infidelity. He then pledges himself to the anti-abortion cause: "The most basic component of our society is the family." 

 The family, plus a few mistresses, it would seem. 

 The divorce filing described Melody Duncan as a "dutiful wife" who "wholeheartedly supported" Duncan in his career. It cites a political event last month where Duncan echoed his wife's sentiment. At a "Faith and Freedom BBQ" on August 28, Duncan described his wife as "supportive and loving" while portraying himself as a "dedicated, dutiful husband," according to the divorce filing. Duncan then "left the next day and went directly" to the home of his mistress, it says. 

 Melody Duncan also says that her husband admitted his affair to their sons and congressional staffers, adding that she believes he has had at least one other affair.

This is the same Jeff Duncan who published a piece last year accusing Democrats of trying to destroy families and marriages:

Conservative policies are pro-child, pro-family, pro-parent, and most importantly, pro-life. Democrats, however, promote policies and ideologies that ultimately impair children in the long run, vilify concerned parents as “domestic terrorists,” and attack the most vulnerable. Conservatives believe that parents, not the government, should have the primary say in their child’s life and that a child’s rights must be protected first and foremost. For conservatives, when it comes to protecting children, that is the hill to die on.

The following is what he reportedly said about marriage equality in 2010:

I BELIEVE in family. I believe that children develop best when they have loving parents. I believe that marriage is sacred, and should only be defined as a union between one man and one woman I believe in protecting family values, and that is part of the reason why I am running for United States Congress.

And in 2015, he cosponsored a resolution to amend the Constitution to ban marriage equality.

So here we go again.  A 'pro-family' Congressman who makes a big deal about his morality and opposition to marriage equality has shown himself to be a huge hypocrite.  It happens so often that there simply is no shock value anymore. Worse than that, not only have we come to expect it, but we all have come to accept it. And with that acceptance comes the ability of hypocrites like Duncan to get away with it. 

Thursday, September 21, 2023

'Right-wing try and fail to stir outrage over trans teen homecoming queen' & other Thur midday news briefs

Missouri Transgender Girl Wins Homecoming Queen and the Right Loses It​ - And leading the horde is Chaya Raichik of Libs of TikTok. Just so ugly to attack a trans girl who fairly won homecoming queen. Her peers voted for her so that should be the end of it. Raichik can't help herself though. She's a sad bully. 

Right-wingers tried to stir outrage over trans teen winning homecoming queen. They failed miserably. - And it's wonderful to see people standing up for the young lady. 

Many Workers Leaving States That Pass Anti-LGBTQ Laws - Sometimes you gotta let bigots hurt themselves for them to get the message. 

Global anti-LGBTQ rights backlash overshadows UN General Assembly - The struggle is real, and it is worldwide.

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

While DeSantis's campaign is "going through some things," a drag show he targeted has just settled some mess which he helped to cause.

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.” 

 Don't let neither DeSantis nor his supporters try to claim this as a victory. In reality, it underscores just how DeSantis is willing to waste time and taxpayer monies to further his presidential ambitions. In the end, this situation has been resolved like it probably should have been before DeSantis sniffed an opportunity to appeal to a bigoted conservative base and decided to create a phony war on drag shows. He claimed to be protecting the children, but what he was only interested in protecting was his so-called place in the Oval Office.

And how it is going for him?

For all of the threatening and appeals to fear, the attack on drag shows have been a colossal flop for his presidential ambitions. DeSantis is still far behind in his quest for the GOP presidential nomination. He's been steadily losing ground and it has been enjoyable to watch.

 It comes down to the fact that in spite of all of his bluster and choreographed moments, DeSantis is simply not a likable person. His attempts at being cordial makes me miss his sneers. His attempts at being friendly comes across as distasteful as a python strangling a baby rabbit.  And don't even get me started about when he attempts to laugh.

Perhaps it would help DeSantis to campaign with drag queens instead of against them.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Deja Vu - Anti-gay tactics are now being used to harm the trans community

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.

In 2020 conservative author Abigail Shrier published Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. Shrier claimed that being transgender is a "social contagion." but her book was called out for numerous errors, including:

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.

 2. Repetition 

This is the easiest technique to note. Anti-trans spokespeople and organizations have a wonderful resource in the conservative ecosystem. On networks such as Fox News and places like the Daily Wire, they tend to get interviewed and amplified continuously without anyone speaking for the trans community to debate them. A good example would be Fox News's Shannon Bream who, before she replaced Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, weaponized her segments as an attack on LGBTQ people at large and specifically against trans people.

3. Conspiracy Theory 

How often have we've heard nonsense about plots to "make kids believe that they are transgender." Or a plot to "erase women."  They are no different than claims that LGBTQ people are attempting to "jail Christians" or "destroy marriage." Claiming that groups of people are trying to do harm dehumanizes them. They are not seen as individuals with simple goals of trying to better their lives. Instead, they become mindless, faceless hordes i.e an invading army. Like locusts.

4. Dire Consequences 

This when the anti-LGBTQ industry spin lies about children being "castrated" or "men trying to take over women's sports." This is where the right-wing ecosystem plays in. When they are able to repeat these lies without challenge, they become commonly heard and easily repeated. The truth - trans athletes are not stealing awards and victories from cis females and gender-affirming healthcare for kids has nothing to do with mutilation or castration - gets drown out. 

5. Phony Experts 

As seen recently with an excellent article in the Huffington Post, the anti-LGBTQ industry create their own experts on gender-affirming care. It is similar to how they did the same in the past to hinder pro-gay laws and ordinances. Back then, they used such (now discredited) people as George Rekers (who got caught coming from a European trip with a male escort) and Paul Cameron (who once claimed that gays stuff gerbils up their rectums.)

Now there are new people such as Paul Hruz, Patrick Lappert, and several others. Very few - if any - have ever dealt with gender-affirming care (Lappert for example is a former plastic surgeon) and all have personal biases against the trans community.

Also, there is the use of destransitioners, or folks who claim they are no longer transgender. This mimics the past (and ultimately disastrous) technique of relying on so-called ex-gay spokespeople to claim that being homosexuality was a choice and that laws protecting gays from discrimination is needless. 

 For present purposes, the anti-LGBTQ industry relies particularly on one person - Chloe Cole. Cole claims that she was tricked by physicians to transition, and it harmed her physically. Subsequently, she travels throughout the country speaking for anti-trans laws. Cole provides confirmation bias for those who think that gender-affirming care is harmful even though there are several unanswered questions to her claims.

 6. Dehumanizing Semantics
This is a matter of phraseology. And it also relies on repetition. We refer to transgender healthcare as "gender-affirming" care. The opposition always refers to it as "castration" or "mutilation." Or they falsely imply that gender-affirming care for kids is something rushed through when in fact it is a slow, monitored process by physicians and parents alike. 

Take for example the recent incident involving former VP Mike Pence when he was asked what he would do to protect the trans community from violence.

Instead of answering the question, Pence said 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."

In using dehumanizing semantics, the point is to scare and distract - 

Scare people into thinking that gender-affirming healthcare is being rushed on kids and they may later regret it as adults and 

Distract from the fact that gender-affirming care is a complicated process or, in the case of Pence, the question of what he would do to protect trans Americans from violence.

The general point is that these tactics belie any claim that anti-trans laws are being created to save women's sports, protect kids, or anything else the anti-LGBTQ industry says. Just as when they used these tactics in the past specifically to target gays, the anti-LGBTQ industry's goal remains the same - to undermine the rights, health, and safety of a group of people who they deem as "unworthy."

'BUSTED! Huff Post exposes cottage industry of 'experts' paid handsomely to defend anti-trans laws' & other Monday news briefs

Inside The Cottage Industry Of ‘Experts’ Paid To Defend Anti-Trans Laws​ - This is a HUGE expose about the 'experts' chosen to testify for anti-trans laws in courts. Not only are they completely clueless on what they testify about, they are racking up big bucks. This should be seen as a big scandal in light of all of the anti-trans legislation being passed around the country. And it will be because we will make it known. 

Mayor speaks out after LibsofTikTok publishes video of him getting spanked by drag queen - Master class in handling bullies - you don't back down. Not an inch. 

Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert Dates Bar Owner Who's Hosted Drag Shows - The same one she was playing "happy hands" with in public. Hypocrisy foul and foul for being generally nasty. 

Tennessee elects its first transgender lawmaker - In case you haven't heard. Good for Tennessee!

Thursday, September 14, 2023

GOP presidential candidate Mike Pence sidesteps a question about protecting transgender Americans from violence


 When specifically asked what about what he would do as president to protect transgender Americans from violence, GOP presidential candidate Mike Pence gave an answer which completely ignored the question.

And while it shouldn't surprise anyone, it should get us all angry.

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?"

This was Pence's answer: 

 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." 

 Good Lord! That was a deliberate blow-off of her question.

 She didn't ask Pence about his personal beliefs. 

She didn't ask about gender-affirming healthcare.

And she certainly didn't ask for his thoughts and prayers.

She asked about action. She asked him what he would do to prevent violence against transgender Americans. 

How difficult would it have been for Pence say something generic about every American having the right to lead lives free of violence? How difficult would it have been for Pence to at least verbally denounced acts of violence against trans Americans?  

But no. Pence chose to repeat completely detached, obviously rehearsed (and very inaccurate) anti-trans talking points which have nothing to do with what McCloster asked. Pence claims to be a "Bible-believing Christian," but he can't give a constituent an honest answer or give her some assurance that he will protect her community from violence?  Excuse me? Mr. Pence, you are not running for Pastor of the United States. As president, you have a duty to protect all Americans from violence; not just the ones you deem worthy. And if you can't at least say that you would protect all Americans from violence, you need to drop out and let someone who will make that assurance take over.

Pence used his faith as a shield like the presidential candidate in the Stephen King novel, The Dead Zone, held up a child to dodge an assassin's bullet, but he didn't sidestep the question because he didn't have an answer. He sidestepped the question because he didn't want to give an answer. 

To remind folks, the question had nothing to do with his personal beliefs about transgender Americans. It had to do with how he would protect them from violence. And by his dodging, Pence gave us the unfortunate answer to the question.

Editor's note - This isn't the first time Pence has dodged direct questions when it comes to the rights and safety of LGBTQ people. In 2015 while he was Governor of Indiana, he was asked eight times by George Stephanopoulos​ of ABC's This Week if he opposed LGBTQ discrimination.

He would not give an answer:

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Minnesota library won't ban LGBTQ-oriented book after community steps up

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'

'GSA are giving LGBTQ+ students a place to fight for their rights' & other Wed midday news briefs

GSAs Are Giving LGBTQ+ Students a Place to Fight For Their Rights​ - Good cause they need it. Big time. 

The "Parental Rights" Fanatics Have Descended on LA - Mostly because these people right here who don't give a damn about kids, no matter what they claim. 

Will LGBTQ curriculum push Muslims, like conservative Christians, toward Republican Party? - The answer is more varied, but if I were members of the Muslim community, I would still be careful. Conservative Christians will stab you in the back and then claim that God told them to do it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Happy 17th anniversary to Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters!!!

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.

'New CA law will block schools from banning LGBTQ+ books' & other Tue midday news briefs

A New California Law Will Soon Block Schools From Banning LGBTQ+ Books - I fully support this because of (see next news brief item) . . . 

Monday, September 11, 2023

The rights of trans kids are being ignored in the argument about 'parental rights'' & other Mon midday news briefs

Trans kids need right protections: It’s a privilege, not a right, to know your kid’s gender identity - People refuse to acknowledge that some trans kids are put in danger if their parents find out their gender identity. But it is a sad reality which NEEDS to be included in the 'parents' rights' conversation.

This drag performer called bingo at her local county fair for years. Then came the backlash.​ - This one has a happy ending. The backlash don't seem to be lasting. 

Queer History Lecture Prompts Vengeance From Alabama GOP - Trying to so hard to erase our history and not WHO gets hurt by it.

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. 

The Proud Boys have been busy lately invading our events and threatening our people with their false claims that we are trying to 'sexualize' children. 

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." 

When I listened to these audios, I didn't laugh because it's sad to hear to these folks weep uncontrollably about the harsh, but much deserved, sentences. 

You, however, do what you need to do. 

In light of all the bullshit our community has had to deal with lately - which the Proud Boys contributed greatly to - maybe it's good therapy to hear these people reminded that they are the criminals and not us. These same folks weeping about supposed injustice were also the ones falsely branding us as pedophiles.

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.


 The video below shows how the network itself helped Trump spread COVID misinformation.

'Tucker Carlson and Megyn Kelly reduced to spewing Obama gay sex lies and other sad conspiracy theories' & other Thur midday news briefs

Tucker Carlson

Tucker Carlson and Megyn Kelly’s Conspiracy Theories Show How Unhinged Right Wing Media Has Become​ - Become? Fox News covered their inanity up. We are now seeing it as it is. 

California judge halts district policy requiring parents be told if kids change pronouns - Queer children put in potential danger from violent parents is a reality. And folks need to talk about it. 

Prattville council rejects new library rules after Ivey questions LGBTQ books for kids - I made a reference to this in my last post. This is good news . . . for now.

Wednesday, September 06, 2023

Banning books, censoring school lessons resemble psychological crack addiction

“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).

 These insane attempts at book banning and censoring LGBTQ - inclusive curriculum taking place throughout the country under the guise of 'protecting the innocence of children' is a fraud.  How many of us have been confronted by these hysterical "child savers" online and in real life? How many times have we allowed ourselves to engage in a debate with them only to be called a "pedophile" or a "groomer" when we made points they couldn't refute?

Those who constantly claim that they are trying to stop the "sexualization of children" don't actually care about the kids. Okay, that's not fair. Maybe some of them actually do in the deeply twisted vestiges of their pathetic minds. But included with them are others cynically exploiting the fear of child predators for clout, money, and attention. 

And they all have one ugly thing in common. 

They've weaponized smearing people as pedophiles. Whenever faced with how reality contradicts their claims, they attempt to shut down the conversation by questioning the motives of those challenging them. God forbid that they are wrong even just a little bit. And admitting that they are wrong is tantamount to committing the original sin which got Adam and Eve kicked out of the Garden of Eden.

 To them, actually protecting children from predators is unimportant. To them, it's more satisfying to watch audiences shift uncomfortably as they, with fake shock, read the most salacious portions of books they (often times falsely) claim are present in school and public libraries and are being taught from in classrooms. To them, it's more satisfying to watch others tremble with anger and fear when they accuse them of some of the most sordid crimes against kids. And it only takes a few words for it to happen in the same manner that it only takes a few dollars for someone to get high on crack.

These folks claiming that they merely want to "protect the kids" resemble psychological crack addicts. They are addicted to the high which comes from their attempts to control what others read, teach, and especially fear.  

Meanwhile children are suffering from actual problems such as gun violence, illiteracy, hunger, etc - problems which come from living in a society full of idiots more concerned with them reading dirty words than actually being able to live free from violence and pain.

'Sen Marsha Blackburn suggests that bipartisan bill would be used to censor trans content online' & other Wed midday news briefs

Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn

Senator appears to suggest bipartisan bill would censor transgender content online - This is a serious issue happening our noses. More folks need to pay attention. 

California Mom Blames Bullying for Gay Son’s Death​ - In all of the talking about 'parental rights,' isn't it convenient how the parents of LGBTQ kids are more often than not omitted.

Celebrating the LGBTQ+ celebs who got married in 2023! - Not bad. I love this because - again here I go - I grew up during a time when things like this simply wouldn't happen. Posting stuff like this reminds me of how far we have come as a community. At least so far. 

Tuesday, September 05, 2023

TX Gov Greg Abbott misleads in responding to temporary restraining order against his drag ban law

TX Governor Greg Abbott misleads the public about his drag ban law.

Texas governor Greg Abbott reacted in anger over a temporary restraining order against his statewide drag ban law. But he wasn't angry enough to forget to mislead about it.

 From News Nation

 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.

 Abbott left out one crucial detail about the law. It categorizes drag itself as a "sexually oriented performance." That in itself is the problem because not all drag is sexually oriented or explicit:

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.

This means that possibly under this law that a drag queen could be arrested for sexually explicit performance even if he was dressed as the Robin Williams character, Mrs. Doubtfire.  It's those little details folks like Abbott hope people will overlook. Luckily, at least for now a federal judge didn't.

'GOP lawmakers trying to keep businesses from promoting themselves as LGBTQ+ safe spaces' & other Tue midday news briefs

GOP lawmakers take aim at LGBTQ+ 'safe places' program in small Florida town - Let's be clear. These lawmakers are trying to stop businesses from promoting themselves as LGBTQ+ safe places. 

Daria Kasatkina beats Greet Minnen in ‘LGBTQ landmark’ at U.S. Open - Two openly gay players competing against each other in a tournament. Only one can win the match, but we are all winners. When I was a child, something like this would have never happened. I love progress.

Monday, September 04, 2023

How Donald Trump's incompetency made the COVID pandemic worse, told as a motion comic


As we return from the Labor Day holiday, I want to post something different, and I ask that you bear with me. The 2024 elections are coming up and though the campaign a little over a year away, folks have been predicting things. One prediction is that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee four years after he lost the presidency. I don't particularly care for Trump or his chances, so no one should assume that I'm pushing the above motion comic from Business Insider as some desperate attempt to stop his supposed ascendancy.

I hope you can take nine minutes out of your day to view it. AND share it. What I want is people to remember what this man caused with his inept response to the COVID pandemic. Donald Trump is responsible for the deaths of scores of Americans. He may not have personally touched them, but his shitty and highly selfish leadership is partly the reason why COVID's death toll is high.  And even though President Biden did what he could after winning in 2020, but patterns were set and they couldn't be eliminated completely before more lives were lost.

Please bear in mind that I said Trump was partly the reason why the COVID death count is high. He had help from Fox News as the above video will show.

And aside from Trump, this is the saddest part of it all. Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Kayleigh McEnany, Maria Bartiromo, Mollie Hemingway, and so many others at Fox News bear responsibility for the COVID deaths. 

Far-right Christian evangelicals such as Mike Huckabee, Robert Jeffress, Alveda King, and Franklin Graham, though not mention in the video, also have blood on their hands. None of these folks did anything but kiss his ass and reap the benefits of making Trump their golden calf.

All of them knew that the things they were saying and the narratives they pushed were lies, but none of them cared. And what's worse is how they are presently pretending as if none of this stuff ever took place. They are pretending that Trump did not botch the COVID pandemic response, and that people didn't die because of it. Even when some of those people worshipped in their faith, sent them money, were fans of their network, or followed them on social media.

Even if Trump faces some sort of punishment for what he's done, these bottom feeders will be allowed to sneak away and continue to do the things they do which undermines this country and puts so many people in mortal jeopardy. They will continue to collect their paychecks, get their notoriety, and amplify the next bloodsucker.

In their minds, the people Trump's incompetence hurt never existed.