NAME THAT SERIES: Thanks for participating!

The good news: You had lots to say about your choice as well as about alternatives.

  • The bad news: Not everyone can win a free copy.

  • The weird news: The number of votes for each choice was exactly the same.

  • The surprising news: The series name will not be one of the choices I gave you to choose from, and I'm still giving copies away.

Orlando: Phoenix Rising

From the ashes of destruction, so the legend goes, rises the Phoenix, renewed and reborn. The horrible, burning agony—physical and emotional—of the tragedy in Orlando will give rise to a glorious spirit. We can see it appearing already.

Since the Stonewall riots of 1969, the spirit within LGBTQ people has been glowing brighter and stronger every year. The last few years have been the most remarkable yet, because the spirit has been spreading to people who are becoming advocates.

Fear the Gay!

Although the discriminatory laws passed in recent days in North Carolina and Mississippi (with a close call in Georgia) claim to be about religious freedom, there is no question that the primary target is members of the LGBTQ community.

 

These three laws have subtle differences; NC's law seems to focus sharply on transgender individuals and bathroom usage; GA's law would have focused largely on marriage; and MI's law shoots squarely at the heads of all LGBT individuals. But they, and all recent "religious protection" laws passed in the last several months (such as Indiana, Arkansas, the list goes on), have the same goal: Protect good Christians from ... from what, exactly?

Hypocrisy, thy name is Mormonism

There is a wonderful group called Mama Dragon on Facebook, for members only, that supports Mormon and ex-Mormon families who have lost a child to suicide. Since the Mormon Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) announcement last November outlining their draconian approach (see below) to LGBTQ church members, Mama Dragon has reported thirty-two suicides of young Mormons between the ages of fourteen and twenty, most of them from Utah.

“Ex-gay” “reparative therapy” (quotes used to connote the lack of veracity and validity for both terms) has been the cause of untold numbers of suicides, especially among teens. The organization TruthWinsOut.org has ample documentation about the suicides of LGBT individuals, and teens especially.

Through a lens darkly

On January 14, the Anglican Communion sent U.S. and LGBTQ Episcopalians into the corner for a time-out. They did it because they don’t know how to bring a large part of the Communion into the 21st century. They did it because too many church leaders are trying to read their scripture through a dark lens.

This time-out consists of three years’ worth of the United States Episcopal church having no say in any internal matters pertaining to doctrine, and U.S. church members cannot be appointed to any committees, and anyone on committees already must participate no more than a fly on the wall, and (if that’s not enough) U.S. members can no longer represent the Communion to any organization or effort outside the Communion. U.S. church leaders must sit in the corner with their thumbs up their proverbial bums. Oh—except that might be a “gay” thing to do. Very well, then, they must sit there and suck their thumbs.

Women: Wake up! LGBTQ+ rights are yours, too!

Have you noticed how often some group or some individual with an anti-gay screed, proposal, project, rant, etc. is advocating policies that repress women at the same time that they’re repressing LGBTQ+ individuals?

A God Worth Worshipping

I can’t open my Twitter newsfeed or my Facebook page or, it seems, almost any other source of information, without seeing something new about a religious “Christian” extremist in the U.S. (especially those running for the GOP presidential nomination) who thinks his or her god condemns every LGBTQ individual on the face of the planet to hell.

Here are just a few recent examples.

Mike Huckabee says that as president, he would ignore Obergefell v. Hodges because, “there is nothing in the Constitution that gives the Supreme Court power to make a law.” Of course, he’s ignoring the fact that this case did not, in fact, make a law. What SCOTUS did was what the Constitution says SCOTUS is supposed to do: interpret existing law and issue a ruling about how it’s applied across the country. It’s difficult to tell whether Huckabee is ignorant of the Constitution, is ignorant of what SCOTUS did, or is lying through his teeth. But it has to be one or more of those things.

Jurassic Park comes to Houston

The voters in Houston, Texas recently set LGBTQ rights back. The irony is that they didn’t do it because they have a problem with gays. Their problem? Bathrooms. The cause? Lizard brains.

 

This setback was the rejection of HERO, or the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which would have put in place state-based anti-discrimination prohibitions already covered by federal law, would also have prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, for which there is no federal law.

Wrapping my mind around transgender

Simon Fitzroy-Hunt very much wanted to write this post, considering his experience coaching Toby/Kay Lloyd for the Scripps National Spelling Bee a couple of years ago.

Simon? You're on.

Thanks. As all of you know from reading my journal (yes, it was private, but I'm over that), I was shocked when young Toby Lloyd confessed to me, the first time we met, that "he" was a girl. I'd already seen "his" bedroom, which had the foundations of a little boy's room with a lot of pink overlay, so on one hand this made a certain amount of sense. But—was he biologically a girl dressed like a boy, or a biological boy with a girl trapped inside?