Today's Mighty Oak


Note: Yesterday’s Camp NaNoWriMo writing was a recap for one of my DnD games, so it’s nothing published here, but I’m still on track for the month!

This morning was the Second Annual Pittsburgh Frontrunners Back of the Pack Fourth of July Run and Brunch (For a Cure).  Note, it’s not really ‘For a Cure,’ I just add that.  Anyway, our little pace group is wonderful.  The tradition started last year when the Fourth fell on one of our normal running days we go out with the Frontrunners, and instead of skipping the day, we got together, and a tradition was born.

There’s something to be said for being with groups of the same people.  Yes, safe spaces are vital and needed, but that’s just one step.  Actually being with other people that are also considered ‘other’ is hugely gratifying.  It helps us remember that we’re not alone, that we’re not wrong in any way.

As brunch continued, the conversation turned to queer theory, and in this case, the actual use of the word, ‘queer.’  We were able to discuss, in a candid way that I think would have been prohibitive if there weren’t other queer people there, the evolution of the word, it’s use in the lexicon and how different generations view and use the word.  That spawned side conversations that spanned coming out stories, workplace discrimination, travel, safety precautions, family dynamics, therapists and Netflix specials.

We talked freely about going to different parts of the county and being cognizant of hiding who we are in order to remain safe.  Even in places like San Francisco, the world is dangerous, and though we’ve come so far in the 49 years since Stonewall, we still have a ways to go.

But maybe, just maybe, earnest conversations, with friends and way too much food, will help to bring us all a little closer together.  A little tighter community.

All my best,

Mike



There’s new Firefly comics coming out!  This time, a new studio, Boom!, who did the Munchkin comics, will be publishing them.

I’ll be writing at length about the MasterpieceSCOTUS decision, but of course, a member of the South Dakota GOP has said that because of that case, businesses can discriminate based on race.

Students from Majory Stoneman Douglas performed a song from RENT at the Tony’s:

New research shows that anti-gay views correlate with lower intelligence.  Of course.

The trailer for the new Matt Groening’s new show.  It’s definitely the same art style as Futurama, and I’ll give it a chance.



I’ve been a local volunteer (municipal liaison) for National Novel Writing Month for a few years now.  It’s so amazing and I love helping participants and kids (through the Young Writers Program) unlock their creative potential and write for 30 days with literary abandon.  NaNoWriMo also runs two camp sessions: participants get to choose what they work on and how they measure success.  This year, I”m jumping in with a great group with the goal to write each day.

A lot of that writing will be here, some of it will not, but getting back into that discipline is something I’d like to practice a bit, and what better way than with an amazing team of writers (all of whom identify as Slytherin but they’ve adopted this Hufflepuff to create the ‘Drunkest Slytherpuff” cabin once again)!

Today’s writing (and many of them, I do have a big backlog) is a ‘normal’ blog post for me, so here we go!

Nerdist asks if George Lucas’ idea for the sequels is what you imagined.  No.  No it is not.  But, in retrospect, it gives more credence to some of the things I hated about the prequels (and again, Star Wars is his creation, he can tell whatever story he likes, we get to choose if we like it or not.  Well…Disney does now).

An amazing parkour video for Pride month:

The next season of American Horror Story will mash up Murder House and Coven.  This is exciting!

The creator of Godwin’s Law has suspended Godwin’s Law.  That’s should tell you where we are in this country right now.

That’s it for now, I’ll be back very soon!



Today marks the 49th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which launched the LGBT-rights movement.

If you’re not familiar with the riots, here’s what happened:

We owe so much to those brave trans-women of color, homeless youth and drag queens who launched the riots and the queer revolution.

People ask why we celebrate pride.  NoFo writes it much more eloquently than I ever could, here is an excerpt:

We’re proud because despite relentless persecution everywhere we turn—when organized religion viciously attacks and censures and vilifies us in the name of selective morality, when our families disown us, when our elected officials bargain away our equality for hate votes, when entire states codify our families into second-class citizenship, when our employers fire us, when our landlords evict us, when our police harass us, when our neighbors and colleagues and fellow citizens openly insult and condemn and mock and berate and even beat and kill us—we continue to survive.

We’re proud because—thanks to the incredible bravery shown by gay people who lived their lives openly in the decades before us—we can live our lives more and more openly at home, at work, with our families, on our blogs … and even on national television.

We’re proud because after all we’ve been through, the world is starting to notice and respect us and emulate the often fabulous culture we’ve assembled from the common struggles and glorious diversity of our disparate lives.

We’re proud because this weekend we’ll celebrate with drag queens, leather queens, muscle queens, attitude queens and you’d-never-know-they-were-queens queens, and together we can see through the “pride” in our parade and enjoy the underlying Pride in our parade.

Quite simply, we’re proud that we have so much to be proud of.

We can take some time, and even in the face of hatred, bigotry and discrimination, we can carve a place in this world, claim it our own and celebrate.

We can celebrate, because this is our party.  We don’t need anyone’s permission to celebrate:

Because even if Pride doesn’t change many minds in the outside world, it’s our PARTY, darlings. It’s our Christmas, our New Year’s, our Carnival. It’s the one day of the year that all the crazy contingents of the gay world actually come face to face on the street and blow each other air kisses. And wish each other “Happy Pride!” Saying “Happy Pride!” is really just a shorter, easier way of saying “Congratulations on not being driven completely batshit insane! Well done, being YOURSELF!”

We can celebrate the community that we have, the radical acceptance that we embody and the fact that we’ve survived.  We have a chance to come together, remind ourselves we belong to a larger community, have some fun and take back our city; just for a little bit.  We know that hatred will continue, but still we march forward.  We have pride because it helps those coming after us.  In the words of Harvey Milk, it gives the next generation hope:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWo8BKJCxYQ

And this is a chance to celebrate the fact that I’ve survived.  A chance to celebrate the fact that I’m a proud gay man.  And even that act, powerful unto itself, has hopefully made a difference.

The most important and powerful action a person can make is to come out to those around them.  Then the LGBT community isn’t a scary abstract anymore, it has a face.  If you know someone who is openly LGBT, you see their humanity.  You can understand that we’re not asking for anything special, just the same rights everyone else is guaranteed by the constitution.  A chance to be happy.  A chance to live the life we want, surrounded by those we love.

When will we stop talking about coming out?

“Many of us want to, and will: when a gay, lesbian or transgendered kid isn’t at special risk of being brutalized or committing suicide.

“When a gay person’s central-casting earnestness and eloquence aren’t noted with excitement and relief, because his or her sexual orientation needn’t be accompanied by a litany of virtues and accomplishments in order for bigotry to be toppled and a negative reaction to be overcome.”

We will stop talking about coming out when it’s not news anymore, when the last barriers have finally been broken down.  We’ll stop screaming for our rights when we’re finally treated as equals by our government.  We’ll only stop telling our stories when they don’t matter.

The anniversary of Stonewall comes just two days after marriage equality came to all 50 states (and the anniversary of decisions in Lawrence v. Texas and Windsor v. United States), a major piece of the equality dream the drag queens, homeless youth and the rest of Stonewall protesters had less than 50 years ago.  In 11 years, we’ve gone from no marriage rights to full equality across the country.  We still have a lot to fight for, ENDA being at the top of that list, but for now, we can celebrate the ‘thunderbolt’ of equality that we have achieved:

So we keep fighting for progress, wherever we can.  We celebrate our advances and keep chipping away at our obstacles: and this month we can celebrate both, as well as the individuals that make up our amazing community.

In light of the Orlando massacre, it’s more important than ever to celebrate Pride.  To not be intimidated by the hate, but to instead keep rising, demand equality and fight for our very right to exist.  What hurts the most about Orlando may be the reminder that even our own spaces, which we thought were safe, aren’t.  Or maybe they never really were, not while hatred and prejudice still exist.  But as we face, united, the epidemics of gun violence and homophobia, we can at least take solace in the fact that we, as a community, know how to win epidemics.

We’re proud of how far we’ve come.  We’re proud to keep fighting.  We’re proud.



Alright, been a bit, but let’s see what we have today.  First up, would you like the sheet music for the THX deep note?  Here it is.

In the news that has me so excited, Idris Elba is going to start in, produce and direct Netflix’s new, live-action Hunchback of Notre Dame!  Hunchback is my favorite animated Disney movie and in my top five stage musicals so I cannot wait for this!

Overwatch has partnered with You Can Play, marking that non-profits first foray into eSports!

Alone in the Game explores what it’s like to be gay or trans in sports.

Because his is where we all said we were headed: GOP congressmen want to make it legal for people to not sell houses to queer people.  Because fuck this world.

And a reminder, they’re far from perfect, but the Democrats every now and then pull out a great win when it’s needed.  In South Carolina, a clutch filibuster helped prevent an abortion ban from being passed.

A favorite web comic of mine, Surviving The World just wrapped up, but here is his last Pride comic:

The new Smash Bros. looks amazing (although I actually don’t like the art direction on the character models):

And of course, the CDC will roll back the collection of data from queer communities, which will lead to decrease in funding and more deaths from diseases that affect us more than other communities.

I’ll be talking about the Supreme Court decision in Masterpiece Cake in a later post, but this executive order from May is also really, really dangerous.  We’re quickly moving into a world where the few rights I have are being superseded by the ability for people to use their bigoted “religious views” to discriminate against me.  And yes, even if you’re using religion, it’s still bigoted.

Alright, that’s it for now, sorry for all the depressing things, but sometimes, that’s just what the world deals you.  I’ll be back with more soon!



Alright, let’s see what we have today, little bit of a video heavy one, but let’s go with it!

For Star Wars Day, Heathrow added flights to destinations in the Star Wars galaxy to their boards.

In good news, Ireland is looking to prosecute practitioners of gay conversion torture.

The trailer for POSE looks so good:

Spoilers for Infinity War, but here’s a great break down of the real villain.

In that vein, want to see if you survived the final events of Infinity War?  Click here.  Spoiler, I didn’t make it.

Also related: straight people shouldn’t write about gay ‘culture’ if they don’t know what they’re talking about.  Bad NYTimes.

The music video for Deadpool 2 is amazing:

It’s a little heavy handed, but good on AIG and the All Blacks for these awesome new jerseys!

Two classic Mega Man games are being re-released….on cartridges!

I ran the marathon a few weeks ago and had a blast!  I talked with the guy filming this, but we didn’t make it in, but still a really cool video!

Required reading: Dan Savage eviscerates a gay republican and it’s so perfect.

Also, conservatives are sad because people don’t like them.  If I wasn’t busy trying to save the world, I still wouldn’t give a shit.

Arrested Development is coming back for season 5, and I’m so, so excited:

That’s it for now (hopefully these video links work, Youtube was acting strange for me), have a great one!



Alright, let’s see what we have today.  Oh hey look, Drumpf is rolling back transgender health care.  We keep fighting.

And a gay teacher in Kansas was run out of town due to death threats for being gay.  When we say this country still hates us, we’re not lying.  We keep fighting.

Republicans introduce a bill to allow anti-queer discrimination in adoption agencies nationwide.  We keep fighting.

Thank you, to Garfunkle and Oates for hitting it out of the park with this song:

This makes me laugh, but it’s what we deal with all the time.  A person makes some bigoted remark about how he thinks gay people are going to hell and then gets all upset when the pushback happens.  The hypocrisy is staggering.

The trailer for the new Ryan Murphy show Pose, about the ballroom scene.

Let’s talk about gun control.  Thankfully, America’s Best Christian, Betty Bowers is here to have the conversation:

In case you forgot, PA state Rep (from north of Pittsburgh, so not my elected official) Daryl Metcalfe is a bigoted, misogynistic,, racist waste of oxygen.  He’s also been single handedly holding up the bills that would give me some equal rights in the Commonwealth.

HRC is hitting hard against Mike Pence, which is good to see them going on the offensive as he starts campaigning across the country for the midterms.

The BBC released a really good video about what homophobia feels like in 2018.

From a favorite youtube channel, Ask a Mortician, let’s talk about funeral strippers:

A bartender who was organizing a drag show that was “supposed” to be a satirical look at Hitler has apologized.  How does someone even think that is a good idea?  Words escape me.

Are you excited for Infinity War?  Do you like to crochet?  I have the link for you!  Crochet your own Infinity Gauntlet!

Speaking of The Avengers, the new movie will have an Arrested Development reference in it!  I must admit, I was so excited I decided to blue myself early and I have a little bit of a mess on my hands.

Randy Rainbow hits it out of the park again:

A Neural Network created new DnD monsters, and the results are pretty awesome.

Speaking of DnD (and crochet from above), would you like to make your baby look like a Beholder?  I mean, please don’t, Beholders are the worst.

GLOW comes back this June!  Check out the trailer:

And finally, it looks as though Labyrinth is going to become a stage musical!



Let’s see what we have today.  First up, this amazing Samsung ad from the Winter Olympics featuring (my fake boyfriend) Gus Kenworthy:

A drag queen dressed as Elsa single handedly pushed a police van out of the snow in Boston.

Emma Gonzales, one of the Parkland survivor, discusses how being bi has influenced her gun violence activism.

And here is Ben Platt and Lin-Manuel Miranda performing their song “Found Tonight” which benefited the March for Our Lives:

Here is the duo performing it at the march itself.

There’s going to be a ‘music only’ cut of The Last Jedi.

Speaking of The Last Jedi, Laura Dern said ‘pew’ every time she shot her blaster.

There’s a new trailer for the next Fantastic Beasts movie.  And the upcoming Avengers movie.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?:

All of Wes Anderson’s protagonists ranked by how quirky they are.



One of my recurring posts.  Happy Easter!



Alright, let’s see what we have today!  First up, The Department of Education will no longer investigate complains from trans students.  Heartless.

At my old job I celebrated Bow Tie Tuesdays, here is a history of the bow tie!

I did not realize HBO was making a Fahrenheit 451 movie:

Also in movie news, two kids literally tried hiding under a trench coat as one person to get in to see Black Panther and my life has been made!

One man ate all the food from The Lord of the Rings as a tribute to his late father.

NBC straight-washed the opening ceremony, and it’s a problem.  Gus Kenworthy was with Adam Rippon and Shawn White almost the entire time, and never once was the fact that Gus or Adam are gay came up, although both were some of the highest profile athletes of the games.

But, speaking of, Gus’ tweet from the opening ceremony was wonderful.  And the kiss he shared with his boyfriend, aired on TV, and that’s really huge.

The Smithsonian unveiled the official portraits of the Obamas, and they are stunning.

Randy Rainbow is back and as good as ever:

I’m all for the queering of the Oscars.  In particular, Gus Kenworthy and his boyfriend looking to ‘connect’ with Ricky Martin and his husband, and Adam Rippon in his harness tux.

As a reminder, it’s never been about cake (or wedding dresses).  Just like it was never about water fountains, seats on a bus or a group’s work ethic.  It’s about bigotry.  A Pennsylvania bridal store will close, rather then sell dresses to lesbians.

But of course, the Republicans are back with a push to legalize anti-gay discrimination across the country.

HUD has removed all anti-discrimination language from its policies and website.

And just in case you wanted to see how bad it really is.  Here is a list of everything the current administration has done to roll back all the rights we’ve fought for.  This is why it’s so important to vote in every single election.  Our work is not done and these are real policies wreaking havoc on people.

Also, on a stupid note, Republicans in South Carolina want non-straight marriages to be called ‘parody marriage.’  Because apparently not only are they evil, bigoted, heartless bastards, they’re also children.

But, it’s not all doom and gloom, I promise.  As always, children will save us:

And a federal appeals court has ruled that the civil rights act applies to anti-gay discrimination, which is a great step!

And in a touching moment, survivors of both Parkland and Pulse meet in solidarity:

That’s it for today, have a great one!

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