• Autumn, no part of my statement was “derailing” since I actually addressed the substance of what you said.

    No “Trans issues aren’t my issues” personally, bt I’ve always been supportive of Trans causes.

    However, the title of this very post is that the “President Obama Didn’t Fold Trans People Into The American Family” which is utter nonsense.

    You may not be “hurt” but you are clearly either upset or in someway dissatisfied that the President did not specifically name check transgender or gender identity in his inaugural address. Were you not in someway emotionally invested in that percieved slight you would never have made such a preposterous statement. Hell its not even acurate at a basic level given that you yourself acknowledge that Stonewall…the event that he tied to other pivotal civil rights events, was as much a trans centered event as an LGB moment. You sy words, matter, but clearly context does not.

    You’ve taken upon yourself to conclude that someone is not including you because they specifically did not mention you even if your inclusion was clearly inferred.

    The President was not making an LGBT speech…he was making an inaugural address which is just as much about style as it is substance. You acknowldge that Trans folk are part of Stonewall. However you fail to acknowldge that to the vast majority of America that knows nothing about the toungue twisting alphapbet soup that is the LGBTIQA… community…gay is equally all encompassing. You were not being excluded…you just were not the primary focus…nor, for that matter, were you the primary audience for that message. You may only feel properly acknowledged if a speaker spits out a long all encompassing acronym….but the truth is that for John and Jane Q Public living in Podunk Mississippi or North Dakota….its all gay. Ask how many LGB folks have been asked if they want to change gender by confused straight friends, relatives or aquainteces when they come out. Out there amongs the unwashed not activist masses…its all gay or queer if they’re feeling particularly nasty.

    When the goal is to use a prominent speech to draw in those masses and get them to see the coomunity as a whole as being a valued part of the Amerian family…you don’t need to necessarily fuss about with terms. You go where they are, use the language that they know and start painting that big picture.

    What you did with this post comes across, as others have noted, like whining. I found it insulting because I know that you are way to intelligent to seriously think that you were intentionally being excluded.To even suggest that based on nothing more than a rhetorical flourish makes you look small an petty.

  • I’m sorry, this just comes across as feeling hurt for the sake of feeling hurt, and its really getting annoying.

    …he did not take the opportunity to talk about LGBT civil rights to a national audience…

    You’re right, its not an LGBT education session, its THE INAUGURAL ADDRESS. He also does not mention the word “lebsbian” either…oh how scandalous.

    Maybe, just maybe he is talking to the American people where they are using language that they know to convey the idea that this community (and whether you like it or not that alphabet soup of terms in the public consciousness is easily abbreviated as “gay”) is part of the larger arc of civil rights history in America.

    On top of that, your argument is itself devoid of historical accuracy given that the Stonewall Riot, which was explicitly mentioned was as much about trans people (many of whom were people of color) as it was about LGB people.

    The implicit argumnet of the totality of the President’s remarks was that America is better and we are better when EVERYONE is included. It helps no one when some people feel the need to get defensive just because they were not personally name checked in something that was neither a list nor meant to be an all inclusive recitation of every aggrevied/marginalized group to ever set foot on America’s shores.

    Strangely enough, the bulk of the American people who are not a part of the groups that went unmentioned specifically, probably understood better the idea that it was implied that said groups were included in the larger narrative of the speech. Why is it that its a good bet that every bigoted conservative commentator over at Fox News probably felt like trans folk and in their minds “cross dressers” were included in Obama’s thinking on equality, but some Trans folks do not.

    The idea that if they are not saying my name specifically then they must not be thinking of or including me really needs to stop. It drives otherwise sympathetic people away.

  • Pam…

    Thank you for writing this. I’ve struggled with weight all my life. I’ll admit that I had a gastric bypass 2 years ago and have lost around 150lbs. I workout almost obsessively (I’m now going 3x a DAY 6 days a week). I’m certainly thinner, and clearly in better shape, but I’ll never be THIN, and realistically, no matter how much weight I lift, how much time I spend on the eliptical, it will never matter because I’ll never look like one of hard bodied adonises that fill most gay venues. It does not help being black, so your stock is already lower in the gay market place. It is sometimes hard to stomach the fact that I workout more than the average person, and can at times get paranoid about food…but because I’ll never have the washboard abs or look good with my shirt off…I’ll never get the same respect from other gay men as guys that don’t have to work nearly as hard.
    I makes one want to simply give up

  • I second the notion that the NAACP is no longer relevant for most black Americans. This move just solidifies that in the eyes of many black folks such as myself.

    The NAACP had no business wading into this. Black Americans would have been better served by having them stay out of this. Its not our issue. For the NAACP to be supporting a community that openly hates black America makes this even more insulting.

    We as African Americans have bigger issues to deal with. If the rich white boys want to run off and get married, that’s their business. Leave us out of it.

  • Its almost sad that they only person they could use as an example is FORMER Vice President Cheney since the current GOP candidate (in fact all of them) opposed gay marriage.

  • The whole notion of a vible third party candidate is a waste of time.

    The reason tha the US does not have a viable one is because the US has a first past the post winner take all electoral system. A third party candidate simply CANNOT win and it has nothing to do with the system being rigged its just the nature of the system. Third parties only serve to split off votes from one of the two main parties. Its the same reason that the Lib Dems in the UK will also never have control over parliament and thus never have a Prime Minister. The ONLY way a third party could win the Presidency is if 1) every Democratic voter, en mass, defected to the third party ro 2) if the third party had the capacity to siphon off enough votes from both the Democrats and the Republicans. When you factor in the electoral college, the possibility gets even more remote.

    People interested in third parties would be better served by trying to get representatives of said parties in Congress or state legislatures.

    I just wish that people understood the electoral process better. Yes gerrymandering has solidified many seats in legislatures. However the duopoly exists because the US does not use proportional represntation and is not a parliamentary system. Introducing PR would require a fairly radical change in the Constitution.

  • So then you DO recognize that it might be problematic having the GOP run everything.

    I mean how was 2010 a disaster if they are both the same?

    Given what just happened in North Carolina (not to mention the crap that has happened all over the country to ordinar citizens that had their states taken over by the GOP…how EXACTLY were the Democrats punished? It seems to me that their “punishement” was not having control over the government. Yet the people that have actually suffered as a result of them not being in power are YOU and every other ordinary American. How’d that strategy work out for ya?

    In order for your strategy to be sound, you need to explain how you are punishig Democrats and the President. Right now, your punishment is looking a lot like self flagellation.

  • We had Democratic control of everything 2 years ago, and look what little got us. Why fear GOP control of everything (or perhaps another split)?

    I wonder how LGBTs is North Carolina feel about GOP control over everything since 2010.

    Oh wait, we don’t have to wonder:

    I slept for about 3 hours. Cried a bit, fell asleep, woke up congested, wishing I could roll the clock back to 2010 and stop the turnover of our legislature to the GOP. That’s where the nightmare began on a host of issues here in NC.

  • This right here is what we call damned if you do damned if you don’t.

    The same people that hated the President for laying low on this will be the same people that hate him for speaking up.

    Its kind of sad.

    I won’t be voting for him either, but I won’t be supporting him because he wandered into this mess in the first place. A smart politician would have steered clear of this and let the activists duke it out to the bitter end.

    Instead he is about to please NO ONE and further alienate other voters.

    If he comes out in support of gay marriage, we better all get used to the idea of President Romney and Republican control of everything.


  • How about this….STOP FOCUSING ON MARRIAGE!

    Its this myopic obsession with marriage that is hurting you. How about pusing for something that actually has a chance of public support…like employment non-discrimination.

    The marriage uber ailles crowd is sabotaging the larger cause of LGBT equality by prematurely pushing an issue that A) lacks public support and B) really on helps a privelledged few with in your community.

    Here’s a novel idea, instead of making more empty symbolic pushes for marriage, use that vast network of support built for this boondogle to push for real and inclusive employment protections. That is a far better message to youth than saying that the only way they are equal is if they get married.

    I swear, if LGBT activits put as much energy into getting (G)ENDA laws on the books as they’ve wasted on marriage there would probably be federal protections in place covering all 50 states. But no its OMG MARRIAGE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE WORLD AND THEY HAVE TO DO IT NOW OR ELSE…!

  • This really was not surprising. EVERY TIME gay marriage has been put to a vote, it has been voted down. I don’t care what the actual language of the Amendment stated, at the end of the day, as far as the public was concerned, it was a referendum on gay marriage.

    Everytime someone points to a poll saying that gay marriage has popular support, remember this. It does not matter what people say to pollster, it matters what they don in a polling booth or who shows up to vote. Thus far, gay marriage does not have the popular support necessary to survive a popular vote. This is why elected officials in swing states stay away from this subject. They know that it is not popular with likely voters anywhere.

    Gay marriage will be on the ballot in a few more states soon…will it be a clean sweep?

  • SciFi Geek commented on the blog post Watching the results in North Carolina…

    2012-05-08 16:40:13View | Delete

    Come on folks, we already know this is going to pass.

    The question I have is what is pam going to do once its passage is final?

  • Pam I totally get what you’re saying, and I find these creams disturbing (primarily because its clear that they are destructive to the skin).

    That said, is it possible that this is an issue that you will never fully “understand?” As a light skined woman of color (and one who married a white woman and not a dark skinned sister I might add) you find yourself on the proverbial “right side” of this issue. That is, this is one of the areas where you do not have to expeirence the social stigma that is associated with colorism. So to others it comes off like those “perfect” looking white folks that like to pontificate about how people should like themselves when they’ve never had to experiece what its like to be outside of the preferred group.

    As a “light skinned” black man (i’ve always found that disticntion silly myself since we’re all just as likely to equally get treated like crap by the outside world) I don’t personally get the skinlightening thing either. Especially since its clearly damaging. Tanning may not be good for you (and being orange makes tanners look odd not attractive) at least being tanned is a natural process that most peoples’ skin is designed to do. Skin whitening requires you to actually harm the body and do things it was never intended to do. I worry about the people that engage in this, but I try to be sympathetic to the reasons they feel the need to do it.

  • Its funny that you mentioned the elevator…I had something interesting happen to me a few years ago.

    For context, the area of the Northside Chicago that I live in is VERY diverse. We’ve got it all including a large arab/muslim population.

    One day I was headed to the gym after work and I was in a full business suit. I walked over to the elevator and saw that waiting there were three obviously muslim guys with robes and long beards and an older white woman (at least in her 50s). The elevator comes, we board and all ride up to the gym. When we get to the level with the gym, the muslim guys get off and walk quickly over to the gym. I’m fiddling with my back pack so moving more slowly. Once the muslim guys were clearly out of ear shot, the white woman wispers to me (of course with a southern accent)…”Thank god you came along…I don’t think I would have gotten on the elevator if you had not been there.” She smiled and walked on ahead…and I stopped and realized what had just happened. I almost started laughing because in someways I found the whole thing a tragic reflection of how times had changed to some degree. Here was an older white souther woman who suddenly felt that she had more in common with me, a younger large black man, than she did with three harmless muslim guys. She felt so much commonality that she felt comfortable sharing her racism/islamophobia with me. It was like a window into what it must be like to be white and hear all the comments that they would never have the nerve to say around me. It was also funny to consider that had this happened a few years earlier, she probably would have been afraid to get on the elevator with me.

    It was an eye opening experience to be on the “inside” for once.

  • No, he is an unprincipled, risk-averse politician. He decides his position based on a carefully calculated, political cost-benefit analysis

    The term you are looking for is SMART POLITICIAN. Any politican that actually wants to get reelected takes into consideration how their actions will be viewed by the voters.

  • I won’t vote for Mitt Romney, but I can say with certainty that I will not vote for a President that would foolishly imperil the rest of the agenda at the altar of gay marriage. That just shows poor judgement on his part. I simply will not vote. For me that is a HUGE step to take. As a black American I consider voting a sacred responsibility that those that came before me bled and died for. I don’t like trashing their legacy by failing to use that right.

    At the same time I cannot support a reckless and irresponsible President. Fortunately I have enough faith in the President to know that he wont squander his reelection chances on this. He should keep focusing on the economy and pushing his populist message. I know that alot of black Americans feel the same way.

  • The fact that the Advocate give a forum to a right wing racist jerk like Michael Lucas from which to spew his hate say everything you need to know about their integrity.

  • Why is it so difficult for otherwise-intelligent people to understand Amendment One is about adding discrimination into NC’s constitution NOT “a vote on marriage equality”? Marriage equality is nowhere on this state’s radar, trust me.

    As HunterC said, this is about articulating a position the administration already holds (purportedly) — that he approves of civil union, which this amendment bans, and his administration has come out against discriminatory amendments. Thus he is not staking out a “new” position, just specifically appealing to North Carolinians to dump this crap amendment.

    Pam surely you are not this naive. The letter of the law in question is about government recognition of relationships. The voting public will see this as nothing more than a referrendum on gay marriage. In that light, no matter how you look at it, voters will see this as being about gay marriage. The fact that you and other opponents of the amendment keep having to clarify the point proves this. Thus no matter how you try to frame it, from the public’s view (especially nationally where the details are not likely to be covered), this would be the President wading in to yet another debate about gay marriage.

    From a political and strategic perspective, President Obama and the Democratic Party gain nothing by getting into this fight. In fact they stand to lose a great deal by antagonizing not only independent voters but also more socially conservative members of his own base that are strongly opposed to gay marriage. The President has seen his support grow by staying away from divisive social issues and focusing on a more populist economic message. The Republicans running right into social policy landmines and blowing off a foot in the process.

    Given than 2012 may be a tight race, the President’s team have decided quite wisely, to do the opposite of the GOP and stay away from divisive social issues that can only hurt him come election time.

    I’ll say this much though…personally I could never vote for a candidate that would allow himself to be drawn into this debate. I would never vote for a Republican, but I would simply not vote. I’m not religious or conservative, but I do know alot of other black voters, who largely support the President, that are DEEPLY concerned about him being enthralled to the gay lobby. There is a story on The Root right now about how the GOP could peel off some of these voters from the Democrats because they oppose these issues.

  • And their consultants would be correct.

  • The President would be wise to stay away from this one. He’s benefitted from the GOP’s inability to keep their mouth shut on social issues. They’ve made themselves look like fools on social issues while the President and his team that appropriate umbrage and then get back to talking about the economy and economic justice. From a strategic standpoint, there is no reason for him or his surrogates to allow themselves to get tripped up on gay marriage. It will NOT under any circumstances be part of the party platform and Amendment One will have long since passed by the time of the convention and won’t be a issue for national attention. Remember, Democrats are no where near united on support for gay marriage.

    He gains nothing by antagonizing independents in a swing state by wading into a purely local matter.

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