Today's Mighty Oak


All right, let’s see what we have today. First up, Billy Porter delivers the Queer State of the Union:

A great piece over at Pittsburgh Lesbian Corespondents about the fractions of the local community and how seemingly good causes can actually be a detriment. Also, a reminder that Jackie Evancho sang at the last inauguration: she and her family can be safe, but ignore the plights of other minority communities, and that’s not okay.

The situation is getting worse in Chechnya, and it continues to be horrifying.

Some happy news, a neat queer take on a favorite show of mine, Critical Role!

Why yes, Fox News, that is in fact what racism looks like. Your hosts.

Health and Human Services has granted a waiver to an adoption agency to discriminate because “Jesus.”

Brazil’s only gay member of Congress had to flee the country for his safety.

Can we please just be done with Bernie. Please?

USA Hockey has an great new trans and non-binary policy, they seem to always be out in front of the other major sports.

Related, why is the current administration obsessed with erasing trans people?

Alright, sorry for most of the sad and infuriating news. Only up from here, I hope!



Alright, let’s see what we have today. First up, these adorable parents who play a game of Mario Kart every morning to see who has to put on the kettle for their tea.

This dog responds to Harry Potter spells. Something to strive for in a pet!

A version of Fahrenheit 451 that can only be read when heat is applied to the pages.

Billy Porter is a treasure. He gives it to Kevin Hart and I’m all for it.

Christian Bale credits Satan for him being able to play Cheney. And it’s perfect.

Brazil elected their own far-right politician, and he spent his first day in power stripping rights from the queer community.

For something a bit lighter, here’s the Powerpoint presentation as to why Belle should have picked Gaston instead of the beast. Spoiler: The French Revolution.

The cast of The Magicians talks about their commitment to diversity, another reason to love that show!

Liberty Counsel, a hate group, is lobbying against an anti-lynching bill because it protects the queer community.

And in sweet, sweet hypocrisy, an anti-gay preacher wants you to know that he still hates gays, even though he was caught with sex workers.

Federal courts have blocked the horrific ‘citizenship’ question that was going to be added to the census.

The nominee for the next Attorney General ran HIV internment camps at Guantanamo.

In horrifying, saddening and infuriating news, the gay purge in Chechnya has resumed.

And after all of that horrible news, we need some comedy:



Elections have consequences.  The Justice Department filed a brief to support of businesses being able to fire workers for being trans.

And the presidential administration has fired HIV+ Airmen, because of their status, right before Christmas.

The administration also shut down a study looking to cure HIV.

President Obama is featured on the final Hamildrop:

Steve King says that Nazis from Austria would be Republicans here…and he’s not wrong.

A Florida man was kicked out of his apartment because he’s gay, and has no legal way to fight it, the sad reality most of the country lives in.

The first teaser for Avengers: Endgame has dropped:

A gay professional wrestler in Australia is using his OnlyFans account to raise money for suicide prevention, and I think that’s both wonderful and admirable, as well as a great use of the platform (and his physique)!

And the teaser trailer for the Downton Abbey movie has also dropped:

NASA’s new Mars lander, Insight, has sent back selfies from the surface of the red planet!

And finally, the president of the company that owns Grindr, thinks gays shouldn’t be allowed to get married.



Alright, let’s see what we have today.  First up, in case you forgot, the TEA party didn’t actually care about deficits.  They were just racists.

Also, Debra Messing is not messing around.  Good for her, a fuck Susan Sarandon.

Brett Kavanaugh, who is incredibly anti-gay, won’t say on the record his opinions about same-sex marriage and anti-discrimination laws.  But his court writings reveal he’s as far, if not further right, than Scalia.

In that vein, 16 states are petitioning the US government to let them fire workers for being gay, after that executive order was struck down.

The Russo Brothers put out an awesome video that goes over all the deaths in the MCU:

Kipchoge broke the World Record in the Berlin Marathon this morning.  Dumb Runner, always spots on, weighs in.

I wrote a while back, at least I think I did, about the article ‘the epidemic of gay loneliness,’ and a recent Savage Love column looks at that as well, a good read for everybody.

In case you need some positive news, a heartwarming letter from a gay man’s little brother went viral.

Okay, that’s all for now, but I’ll be back soon!



Alright, let’s see what we have today.  First up, it’s almost time for NaNoWriMo!  This will be my 13th year!

Dominic Monaghan has joined the cast of Star Wars: Episode IX!

In case you (for whatever reason) thought otherwise, the SCOTUS nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, is opposed to same-sex marriage and would certainly rule against it (if there is a conservative majority on the court, it will be back and I’ll lose my rights).

In other horrifying news, the administration has now directed federal contractors that they can discriminate against LGBT people based on ‘religious beliefs.’  Remember when I said that elections have consequences?  Yeah, this is not good.

The anti-gay baker from the Masterpiece decision is back, and now is saying he doesn’t have to serve trans customers.

2 Political Junkies covers the grand jury report about the Catholic Church:

While the Catholic Church was protecting and covering up the sex-crimes of some of its members, let’s all remember that it was also lecturing everyone else on the evils of:
Birth control
Abortion
Masturbation
Sex outside of marriage
Not being straight (i.e. being either “L” or “G” or “B” or “T” and so on)
Any number of other issues regarding “sexual morality”

The word you’re looking for is hypocrisy. Huge blatant hypocrisy.

No amount of contemporary apologies will change that.

Okay, onto some better and more beautiful news, there is a fake final image sent by the Cassini probe, which is beautiful (but fake because it wasn’t the last photo sent).  The last photo is also breathtaking:



Alright, let’s see what we have today.  First up, a high school valedictorian was thrown out of his house for being gay, and raised money so he could attend college, all while being homeless his senior year.

Jake Shears is back with a new single.  it gets more fun as it goes along:

Someone put together an Iron Man tribute video.  He was always my dad’s favorite character growing up, so this was neat to watch!

Topher Grace edited the three Hobbit movies down to one, two hour one.  Yes to all of this:

Grace told IndieWire that he undertook the ambitious fan edit project in part to unwind from his newest role in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman. Grace indicated that he felt stressed from having to portray white supremacist David Duke, and diving into Tolkien’s cinematic world was something of a version of therapy. (He also shared his belief that The Hobbit shouldn’t have been so greatly expanded upon for the big screen in the first place

The Aquaman trailer looks really good, and it’s great to have a minority director at the help and in the lead role!

And the next Harry Potter movie has a new trailer:

Leslie Jones’ latest live twitter was Infinity Wars, and it did not disappoint.

Jeff Session’s new “religious liberty taskforce’ is just a thinly veiled anti-queer commission.  And surprise, it’s being spearheaded by an anti-gay activist group.

A Buffy reboot was announced, but it’s actually more of a continuation, just twenty years later.  How this will fit in with the comics, we’ll have to see.

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



In June, SCOTUS ruled on the Masterpiece case, handing down a ‘narrow’ ruling.  Basically, they said that how Colorado handled the legal case was in appropriate.

This is still very troubling, and will for sure just open the door and be the first shot across the bow, as it may, The latest tactic against equal rights is the so-called ‘religious liberty’ argument, as we’ve seen with racist house elf Jeff Sessions even putting together a religious liberty commission, specifically to stamp out queer rights.  At the end of the day, this ruling, while narrow, still means that two men were denied service because they’re gay.  But there are larger implications; the court, incorrectly, said that a lawyer for the men was critical of religion, when instead he was critical of what religion was being used to justify (as well as it’s use to justify slavery, segregation and more):

If saying something true, yet critical about religion as an institution is an example of expressing hostility toward religion, then is every comment critical of religion evidence of bias? Are we never allowed to say anything negative about the harms that can be wrought by fundamentalism? It’s now hard to imagine the forces of equality getting a fair hearing if no one can say anything negative about the forces of bigotry when they use religion to justify their hatred.

And of course, the insanity continues.  A GOP lawmaker from South Dakota has said that Masterpiece means business can discriminate based on race.  In good news though, a lower court in Arizona stood by the narrow ruling and refused to allow a a non-discrimination ordinance to be struck down.

We will see more of these, and honestly, I think we are lucky that a larger ruling was prevented due to the technicalities of the legal system.  With a conservative court, without Kennedy, it will only be a matter of time when non-discrimination ordinances are a thing of the past.  As it stands right now, doctors are allowed to refuse to treat patients (for anything, including emergency services) if it conflicts with their ‘deeply held religious beliefs,’ which is why, on all of my race bibs in the emergency information, I have to specify to not be taken to Mercy, the local Catholic hospital.  I have to play the odds, and hope if the worst were to happen and I was already unable to speak for myself, that I could actually get the medical help I need.

All my best,

Mike



Two bits of legality today, one good (but currently probably futile) and one bad.

First the bad.  A jury in South Dakota condemned a man to death because he’s gay.  There’s an additional step in there, but that’s what it comes down to.  A gay man is a convicted murderer, but the jury sentenced him to death because they felt “he would enjoy” life without parole in an all-male prison.

Jurors cited his orientation with disgust and said they didn’t want to send him ‘where he wants to go,’ and the Supreme Court refused to step in to take up an appeal.  Currently (and I just learned this) jury deliberations are kept secret, except when there might be racial bias involved in sentencing.  The same does not apply for sexual orientation or gender expression.

Putting aside the sickening notion of the death penalty, the entire episode is disturbing and vile and quite frankly sickening.

But onto some better, if unlikely to pass legal news: Democrats have put forth a bill to put a federal ban on the ‘gay panic’ defense.

A few states already bar it, but this would ban using ‘gay panic’ as a defense in federal court.  Gay panic, for those unaware, is the idea that someone can be found innocent of a crime (usually murder or the like) if they were hit on by a person of the same sex and they ‘acted out of panic.’  So total bullshit.

Do I think this bill has a chance: no.  But, it’s good to see at least recognition that these things need fixing.

All my best,

Mike



Alright, let’s see what we have today.  First up, I might have actually linked to this before, but did you know that we have a plan in case we ever find Nessie?  Now you do!

If you haven’t seen it already, stop everything you’re doing and watch the new Randy Rainbow song:

There’s going to be a Baby Groot Chia Pet!

The Downton Abbey movie is finally confirmed and moving forward!

Remember all that money Jill Stein raised for a recount, yeah, she’s spending it on her legal defense for her involvement with Russia.  Raise your hand if you’re surprised.  Nobody?  I didn’t think so.

Gay ‘conversion therapy’ is torture.  Full stop.  And there’s a feature film about it and it looks powerful:

Queen Elizabeth II is a master stateswoman.  She greeted the President last month while wearing a brooch given to her by the Obamas.

Speaking of Britain, an artists has created a portrait of Princess Diana using diamond dust and HIV+ blood:

And in infuriating news, the Health and Human Services have removed all LGBT references from the ObamaCare website.  The erasure continues.

Integrity USA celebrates progress made at the General Convention.

And finally, Stranger Things 3 has a great new promo!



Yesterday it was announced that the magazine/journal “Hello Mr.” will publish one final issue before shuttering their doors.

Over and over again, through six years and their soon to be published tenth issue, “Hello Mr.” provided the widest breadth of queer writers and I was always impressed with the quality of the writing.  Combine that with innovative photo spreads and entertaining layout, and it was always something I looked forward to.

From their announcement:

From the start, Hello Mr. was a space to understand each other better through a deeper understanding of ourselves. But I was determined to create something bigger than that. With the support and validation from this community, we built a platform to showcase new stories on a global stage. We may not have “rebranded gay,” but we exposed some flaws in the existing models, and opened the door for queer people to demand more, by showing them how.

Whether you contributed or consumed it, the content we produced, issue after issue, amounted to something truly powerful. I can’t thank you enough for believing in it unconditionally. The world we live in today is a very different place than the one that originally afforded me the space to subvert gay media through a branding exercise. “Marriage can wait” meant something different in 2012 than it does now. After six dedicated years pushing our queer stories forward, I’ve learned a few things about my place in this conversation. When I came out a decade ago, for instance, I could have never imagined that my visibility, the thing I feared most, would become such a powerful form of activism.

It’s certainly a sad day, but also a time to look back on what they were able to produce an where we are now as compared to 2012.  The world has changed, and the world continues to change.  I’m happy to have been along for the ride as a dedicated reader.

Looking back helps move us forward. Decades of various kinds of activism paved a way for me to make the most of the chance I was given. Now, it’s up to you to continue defining the future you want to live in. You already know what’s possible, so trust yourself and manifest that shit already! I’ll be seeing you.

Back issues are available at hellomrmag.com, I’d suggest anyone looking for some amazing writing to check it out.

All my best,

Mike

Social Links

Archives

How I’m Resisting

What I’m fighting for

What I’m running from

What I’m reading

What I’m drinking

What we’re writing

What I’m writing