Equality For All Americans

It’s time #EqualityForward #GetInvolved #ItsOnUs

You Think You Know

FACT: One of the survivors of the Orlando shooting could be fired from their job or kicked out of their apartment simply for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Throughout most of Florida, it is legal to fire someone or deny them access to housing or public accommodations because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).

But it’s not just Florida.  In 33 states across the country, hardworking Americans can be fired from their jobs or denied housing simply because of who they are or who they love.  While in many places it is illegal to discriminate in employment, housing and public accommodations based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap or marital status, the LGBT community is currently left out of nationwide and many statewide non-discrimination protections.

At the federal level, the Equality Act would establish explicit, permanent protections against discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation…

View original post 1,203 more words

Advertisements

Yes, we still need Pride

posting here because it’s important.

You Think You Know

For every time someone has told you that you are sinning.  For every time someone told you that what you’re doing is immoral.  For every time someone told you that what you’re doing is gross or sick or unnatural.

For every time someone asked you “why do you need to get married?”  For every time someone asked you “why should you have ‘special rights’?”  For every time the government has denied you your unalienable rights.  For every time you’ve been denied the right to visit a sick boyfriend/girlfriend/partner/spouse in the hospital.  For every time society has denied you for who you are, for who you love, and for how you love.

For every time you’ve wondered “will my boss fire me for being gay?”.  For every time you’ve been nervous to put a picture of your girlfriend/boyfriend/partner/spouse on your desk at work.  For every time you’ve wondered “will my landlord…

View original post 178 more words

Do We Still Need Pride?

You Think You Know

Wayne Dhesi published the following article on Huffington Post called “Do We Still Need Pride?” a few weeks ago.  It’s a valid question; after all, President Obama just yesterday declared June “LGBT Pride Month.”  It may make us think our work is done.

I guess the topic comes to mind for several reasons, mostly because my friends in Boston will be celebrating Pride this weekend, and here in New Orleans we will celebrate next week.  But yesterday’s airing of “The Fight Against AIDS” on CNN’s documentary series The Eighties and the documentary How to Survive a Plague are great reminders of a time when our community had to stand up, speak out, and act up to get the rights, recognition, and the dignity we so deserved.  That struggle continues today, especially for our trans brothers and sisters.  Perhaps need to celebrate Pride each year because we as…

View original post 875 more words

It Doesn’t Matter

Absolutely loving this!

Watchout! Designs is a brand of unique watches, apparel, and accessories designed for men, women and children by Boston-based designer (and friend) James Bishai.  In addition to this season’s upcoming line, Bishai has added a great new design that is available online.

Given the controversial “bathroom bills” and “religious liberty” laws that have cropped up, this design is everything.  Available both as a tank top and t-shirt.  Seriously go online and scoop one up!  https://teespring.com/itdoesntmatter

13179009_10100105178473710_4082948818746144330_n

overread

As seen on Facebook, posted by Teddi Sakellarides (not sure if that’s who originally posted)…

Woke up this morning to a storm of online hysteria regarding Target’s recent decision.  I wonder: Do people realize that their fear/disgust about trans people using the bathrooms isn’t actually about trans people but rather about rape culture?  Fear is a serious thing, but let’s be precise in our definitions.  You’re not actually afraid of trans people.  You’re afraid that men will take this as an opportunity to rape or sexually assault girls/women.  Considering we live in a world where 1 in 6 women will be assaulted in her lifetime, this is actually a justifiable fear, but this tragedy existed long before any public bathroom decided to change a sign on the door, and it actually has very little to do with trans people; in fact, trans people are often victims of terrible violence themselves.  Let’s get to the root of it.  “Gender fluidity” isn’t the enemy.  Critique male privilege.  Talk about sexual violence.  Hold men accountable for their actions.  Refuse to stay silent about a society that breeds this culture of violent, hyper-masculinity.  Ask why everyone ignores it or wants to pin it on something else.  I am ready for that conversation.

Dancing in the Dark

Given recent events in North Carolina and Mississippi, the post below may be more relevant than ever.  By Hardy Haberman, the post comes from Leatherati – a site dedicated to the leather community – but provides amazing insight into the trans community as well.  I think the best line is probably “Most of the trans folk I know don’t set themselves apart as ‘trans’, they identify as the gender they present.”  It would seem that the only people these days who suggest that the trans community should be set apart are politicians.  Enjoy the read, and share your thoughts.

I enjoy the dance, the sometimes subtle and sometimes brazen choreography of cruising.

He was about 5’4” tall, and slim, but still had enough muscle on him to be interesting. Dressed in jeans with heavy wear on the knees, a leather vest with no insignia and a leather ball cap pulled low over his eyes. His boots shined like glass, military polish. He was a tempting target.

I no longer drink, so I don’t hang out in bars very much, but I do attend a lot of leather events and this one had just become more promising. In the decidedly non-cruisy foyer of the hotel, he and I had already made contact. We hadn’t spoken, but by the way he stayed just far enough away from me to be polite, but close enough wherever I went, I knew I had him hooked.

Or maybe he had me. That’s the thing about cruising, predator and prey are mutually amenable to the whole experience, so it sometimes becomes hard to tell who is pursuing who.

Finally I made eye contact and nodded toward him. He approached and stood at a respectful distance. I knew his name, thank God for events that have name tags, and I asked him if he had plans for the evening. He responded with a wonderfully military, “Sir, no Sir.”

After a little negotiation which involved the usual “what are you into” conversation as well as talk about health issues, limits and intimate details I won’t go into here, we agreed that having a scene together was what we both wanted.

The event had three dungeons set up for the nightly parties. One was “pansexual”, one was for men only and one for women only. At this event the pansexual dungeon was pretty much the venue of heterosexual folks and he was uncomfortable with that energy, so we entered the men’s space. It was dark, and mostly abandoned, but it would do well for what we had in mind.

The boy removed his boots while I got my set floggers near a suitable St. Andrew’s Cross. He put his boots and socks aside and presented himself to me. I removed his leather vest and unbuttoned his jeans. In moments I had undressed him to his leather jock and had him against the cross. His muscular back was a perfect playground for me and he responded well to my work. Before long he had bright raised welts in a herring bone pattern across the pale expanse of his shoulders and his ass was glowing pink. I could tell by his body language he was having a good time, as was I.

After a very exciting and exhausting 45 minutes, I hugged him and pulled him away from the cross. As he sat squirming on my knee, I felt the energy flowing off him. He was in that blissful afterglow and it was intoxicating.

We decided to adjourn to somewhere more private, since the room had become more busy than when we started. As he was dressing, I was approached by one of the men who had watched our scene.

“Damn that boy is hot!” he said.

I had to agree, and he nodded at me as we left the dungeon.

I tell this story not as a tale of conquest, but as a testimony to the delights of male energy in a space for men. The scene wouldn’t have been nearly as exciting or as intense in the pansexual space. I much prefer having a scene with a man in the company of other men. Playing in “men’s space” eliminates the curiosity element which often intrudes on a gay scene in a pansexual space. There it can feel like a show, and though I sometimes enjoy my exhibitionistic streak, I like a sexually intense scene with another man in “men’s space”. We get it! There is an understanding among brothers that transcends the play and makes the whole scene feel more intimate.

Anyone who saw that scene would agree, the male energy of that boy and I was palpable, and that was the point.

Now, time for full disclosure. Though I considered the boy every bit the man I enjoyed playing with had he removed his jock things might have been different. He was a transman, and the jock was one of his hard limits. We negotiated that and it didn’t make our scene any less hot or less intimate or less infused with male energy. We also discussed where he would feel most comfortable playing. He was hesitant about the men’s dungeon, but the pansexual space was a non-starter. In the end we agreed to “go for it” and also understood that we might be asked to leave.

That is something we were willing to accept.

I know that this might anger some men who feel the sanctity of the men’s space was violated, but I would note that the only comments we got were from men who thought the scene was indeed hot, and from men who thought the boy was worthy of lusting after. I have never told the organizers about this, and I don’t feel a need to. The boy I played with identified as male, and to me he was every bit a man with the exception of his genitalia and as per our negotiation that wasn’t going to be a factor anyway.

The point of this whole story is this, I feel strongly that we as a community need to understand our transsexual brothers and sisters. Most of the trans folk I know don’t set themselves apart as “trans”, they identify as the gender they present. Who am I to disagree?

In the leather/fetish realm we need to be clear about the distinction between “fetish” and gender identity. Since we play in both areas, we should be even more aware of the distinctions. The transmen and transwomen I know do not fetishize their gender identity. That is a totally different issue and since it is not my fetish, I can’t speak to it.

I sincerely hope I am not stepping on anyone’s toes, but I am expressing my opinion. As leatherfolk, I feel we should recognize people who identify as men as men and who identify as women as women. It’s a simple thing, and unless I plan on getting more intimate which would be subject to negotiation anyway, why not take things at face value? Besides, I know more than a few leathermen who seem much more feminine than many of the transmen I know. I suspect the reverse is true as well.

For me, I fully embrace my friends who are transgender as whatever gender they present. And my gender-queer friends, I embrace them as the rebellious and wonderfully non-gender binary.

Unless we are going to start having genital exams at the door of every dungeon, (which might be fun but that is another issue), it’s time we stopped balkanizing and started enlightening ourselves. And as to those toes I might have stepped on. Well, I hope you don’t carry that limp too long, but you will recover.

#marriageequality #lovewaitsnomore #lovewins

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention today’s historic events at the US Supreme Court.  Again, I promised this blog wouldn’t be all marriage equality all the time (you can see my other blog for that stuff), but I’d like to quote Justice Kennedy’s opinion below.  Because ultimately, marriage is about love – one of the topics of this blog. To all of our LGBT brothers and sisters out there – we have a lot more work to do, but for now, enjoy what has occurred today.

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.
It is so ordered.

-Justice Kennedy, joined by Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, Ginsburg, and Kagan

%d bloggers like this: