Late Night Open Thread

It’s Pride Saturday night here. What this means for me is that I’m home alone making fussy green tea and reading Iain M. Banks. Fortunately, I’ve got the company of Nature’s Perfect Killing Machine.

It’s been a smidge hot lately; that’s how much energy Samwise could muster for greeting me after brunch. We keep the AC on in the bedroom, but I guess he decided the muggy living room was more his speed.

Happy Pride! How are you all? Got any Netflix/Hulu/Prime recommendations? I’ve been watching Neon Genesis Evangelion, which holds up surprisingly well.

Parting observation: Marianne Williamson has suddenly taken on a huge memetic presence in my Twitter feed. One of my Very Online friends even bought her shirt. You know, ironically.








Thursday Morning Open Thread: It Gets Better

Gotta admit, I’m really glad I contributed what I could to Rep. Davids’ campaign last year!








Little Big Things

Pete Buttigieg has officially announced:

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg officially launched his presidential campaign on Sunday, formally vaulting the Midwestern Democrat who was largely unknown over a month ago into the large — and growing — field of Democrats vying to take on President Donald Trump in 2020.

Buttigieg cast his candidacy as a direct rebuttal to Trump’s campaign — including his slogan “Make America Great Again” — and highlighted his belief that the country needs both a generational change and an entirely different political figure to lead the country past Trump. Buttigieg’s argument is that he, a gay, veteran mayor from the Midwest, is just that kind of different politician.

“My name is Pete Buttigieg. They call me Mayor Pete,” Buttigieg said to cheers. “I am a proud son of South Bend, Indiana. And I am running for President of the United States.”

He said: “I recognize the audacity of doing this as a Midwestern millennial mayor. More than a little bold—at age 37—to seek the highest office in the land. … But we live in a moment that compels us each to act.”

It almost seems like no big deal that a gay man has a real chance at one day becoming a major party’s Presidential or VP nominee, but it kind of is a big deal. It was only 25 years ago that my then roommate and best friend, who was closeted, spent so much time and energy making sure the mirage of his heterosexuality remained in place. I mean, I feel like I just blinked it happened so fast, but it really didn’t- it took a long time and a lot of hard work and there are still are swaths of the country who are just as bigoted as they were decades ago. It’s just such a big deal.








Guest Post: Transgender Day of Visibility

(This is a guest post by valued commenter Sister Golden Bear.)


As I mentioned in the comments, today is Transgender Day of Visibility, held every March 31, intended to honor and celebrate transgender and gender non-conforming people (GNC) — both those visible and those invisible.

It started a decade ago but only took off a few years ago, and is intended as a complement to the annual Nov. 20 Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors the memories of that year’s victims of anti-trans violence — usually always all trans women, the vast majority of them trans women of color, in particular Black trans women. For years, TDOR was the only national/international event for trans people, and while it is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this, it’s also, needless to say, more than a bit depressing. Hence TDOV, which focuses on the living.

It’s all too rare that trans/GNC people have chance to celebrate who we are, and it’s also a chance to express our defiance of attempts to eradicate us from public life (the Talibaptists have a literal five-point plan to do so, and under the Trump administration, and red state governments,  they’ve made significant progress on several fronts).

But perhaps the most important aspect is being visible. These days roughly 37 percent of Americans know someone who’s trans/GNC. Think you don’t know someone trans, well you actually probably do. There’s still an unfortunately-huge number of us who never leave the closet, and for those who do, there’s can often be a desire to fly under the radar, to blend in. For those in red states, this can be a matter of literal survival. But it’s also because — unlike coming out as LGB, which tells who people who you are — coming out as trans, invariably puts the focus on who you were. At least for a binary trans woman like me, i.e. I’m someone who prefers to be seen as a woman who’s trans. Read more








Open Thread: Warren / Buttigieg 2020!


(I read this anecdote to my Norwegian-American Spousal Unit, linguistics major, who replied, “And nobody ever bothers to learn Maltese… “)

Seriously, though… I was kinda meh about ‘Mayor Pete’ at first, but his campaign is growing on me. Presumably Buttigeig (mayor, Navy vet, served in Afghanistan) and Warren would complement each other’s skill sets. And as much as we all despise the electability argument, there’s something to be said for the every-four-years voter appeal of “Your Favorite Teacher + That Nice Neighborhood Eagle Scout” as a ticket, yes?

The Navy veteran with a hard-to-pronounce name, from a city small enough to fit every resident in a college football stadium, seems to be winning the argument at the moment. Weeks after declaring his interest in challenging President Trump, he has become, if not exactly well-known, a subject of interest for many Democratic voters, buoyed by a breakout performance at a CNN town hall on March 10…

Even in a Democratic field full of nontraditional candidates, Buttigieg stands out in many ways. A military veteran who deployed to Afghanistan, he is openly gay, and his husband, Chasten, maintains a lively Twitter presence. He would be the youngest president in history. No mayor has ever ascended directly to the presidency, let alone from a city of about 102,000…

Some Democrats say privately Buttigieg may not be prepared to be president, given his youth and that he’s never served in national or even statewide office. (Buttigieg is a decade younger than O’Rourke and was not born when former vice president Joe Biden was first elected to the Senate.) Trump’s tenure, they say, has soured Democrats on the notion of inexperienced candidates jumping into the presidency.

Buttigieg responds that, having been South Bend mayor since 2012, he has longer government experience than Trump and more executive credentials than Pence, who was Indiana’s governor for four years…


Read more