Today's Mighty Oak


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



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



We’re a third of the way through the month already!  I’ve been enjoying writing every day, and really enjoyed the more free-form blogging over the weekend (as well as the time to work on the site a bit), so I’m certainly glad I’m doing this.  However, if other NaNoWriMo projects are any indication, this is where it starts to get hard!

Anyway, first up today, it’s illegal for the Pride flag to be displayed in Russia.  But these World Cup fans have found a way around that!

The Governor of Maine has vetoed a ban on gay ‘conversion therapy torture.’  No word on if the state legislature will overrule him.

Various LGBT groups have come together to help stop the SCOTUS pick.  If he’s confirmed, we will most likely lose any kind of discrimination protection and will probably lose marriage equality as well (in addition to legal and safe abortion, contraception, voting rights and the list goes on and on).

The trailer for OITNB has arrived:

 



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



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.  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!



Alright, let’s see what’s been going on.  First up, did you know that Harry Potter makes you more understanding of others?  It’s true!

Joseph Gorden Levitt writes about Star Wars: The Last Jedi (spoilers,obviously).

Like me, do you need a chart to see who owns the rights to which superhero?  Well this chart is handy (but won’t be accurate for long, I’m sure).

Super Mario Bros. in ragtime:

These are really bad times for queer people.  Just recently, the federal government has taken steps to allow doctors to deny services to anyone because they’re part of the LGBT community.

A new study has shown that 40% of LGBT high school students have considered suicide due to bullying because they’re queer.

The majority of people still think it’s okay for businesses to discriminate against queer people.  And the Supreme Court denied an appeal and Mississippi’s law allowing businesses to discriminate is able to stand.

Waste of oxygen and poor excuse for a human being, Mike Pence, will officially lead the US Olympic delegation and openly gay figure skater Adam Rippon is having none of it.

And in other slightly better news, Senator Doug Jones’ son, who is gay, stared down Mike Pence at his father’s swearing in and it made my day.

Here’s the Star Wars Cantina Theme played with pencil and paper, writing out a math equation:

In better news, a new ruling from the International Court of the Americas (didn’t know that was a thing) is bringing marriage equality to a lot of different countries (potentially)

And new year’s resolutions for gay men (and everyone, in some cases).  And speaking of resolutions, Surviving the World has a great coming about them.

Watch a Katana disappear.  Makes me think of the novel, “The 50 Year Sword”

Quite possibly the best thing ever, a T-Rex conducts the Jurassic Park theme music.

Pittsburgh non-profits come out hard against the PG and it’s owner’s racist editorial, published on MLK Day.

And finally, a great little comic about our place in the universe.



Alright, let’s see what we have today.  First up, Mark Hamill pays tribute to Carrie Fisher in a wonderful way.  Joe Manganiello remembers the time she glitter bombed him.

This optical illusion is blowing my mind!

USA Today did not hold any punches when writing an editorial about Drumpf.

Jessica Jones is coming back, and I”m very excited:

We have a new chapter of Harry Potter!  Kind of.  Not really

DeRay McKesson is suing FOX news after being constantly slandered, good for him.

2 Political Junkies has an amazing icon of Darlene Harris, Defender of Faith and and Small, Noncompliant creches.

Did you know Wikipedia has a list of individual dogs?  They’re all very good boys.

A great take on being gay for the holidays:

In horrifying legal news, SCOTUS has declined to hear a case about employment discrimination, leaving a split in circuit court decisions.  This will be the followup to the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.

Also in bad news for us, gay people are more likely to have trouble sleeping.  But some good news, we tend to have happier relationships.

More scientific evidence about why some people are born gay, and the correlation to having older brothers.

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



Another NaNoWriMo is in the books (ha) and I’m catching up with everything, so this is a long post  Here’s what we have today.  First up, a friendly reminder:

A reminder, ‘ex-gay’ isn’t a thing.  You can’t pray away the gay.  Although this man thinks he did.

A South African judge won’t let a gay couple adopt since they aren’t out, it would be damaging to the child.

Just to put in perspective how insane and bad things are, the President’s World AIDS Day proclamation didn’t mention gay people  Let that sink in.

An amazing comic from Surviving The World about the holiday wars.

And of course:

Sarah Silverman has a great response to the many, many famous men being outed as sexual predators.  Give it a read.

In a big step in the right direction, a judge has paved the way for sexual orientation to (finally) be a protected class in Pennsylvania.  For over a decade, legislation hasn’t been able to make it through Harrisburg, so this would be a really good step forward.

Painting restoration is amazing to watch!  It’s pretty much like magic!

Steve Grand has a new music video.  It’s a good song, the video is a bit forgettable:

Pinky and the Brain meets “Silence of the Lambs” is hysterical.

Men with muscles and money are more attractive.  A study was done about this.  That study was a waste of money.

Very important news!  Disney’s Star Tours will stop mixing eras up during the program.  A wrong has finally been righted!

Speaking of Star Wars, here’s a recap:

The trailer for season 3 of The Magicians has me very excited!

Now you can make the English Triffle from Friends that doesn’t taste disgusting.

Have you set up your gaytivity scene yet?

In case you forgot, OK Go is amazing:

This year, the GayVN awards (for porn, apparently) have put all non-white actors into an ‘ethnic’ category (and keeping them out of other categories).  And thankfully, some actors are speaking out and taking them to task for it.

A second actor speaks up here.

Just in case you’re one of the few who haven’t seen it, the new Avenger’s trailer:

For all your mass shooting ‘thoughts and prayers’ needs, just fill in the blanks.

Justin Trudeau gave an amazing speech apologizing to the Canadian queer community for how they were treated in the past by the government.

And finally, the Supreme Court will hear a huge case about business’ right to discriminate.  I’m really nervous about it, but hoping Kennedy pulls out a win:

Have a great one!



I hope everyone is enjoying their post-Thanksgiving turkey comas.  Let’s see what we have today.  First up, an insane 360-degree water slide.

I’m sure you voted in this last election, and if you live in Allegheny County, you can check out amazing statistics about how everything went (you can drill down to you voting district)

And speaking of voting, need help getting people registered for the so, so important 2018 election?  Indivisible has you covered.

And lastly in politics, this amazing song from Randy Rainbow:

The Player’s Tribune has an awesome article up about the crime of running the Boston Marathon while female.

I’ve talked about it before, but an amazing article from The Good Men Project about straight people trying to make things like National Coming Out Day about themselves, and how hurtful it really is.

And lastly, I just finished it, but here is the trailer for Season 2 of Lady Dynamite.  Maria Bamford is one of my favorite comedians, but she is a very acquired taste:

That’s it for today, I’ll be back with more soon as November wraps up, have a great one!

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