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The Church issued the following statement today:

It is disturbing that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is being singled out for speaking up as part of its democratic right in a free election.

Members of the Church in California and millions of others from every faith, ethnicity and political affiliation who voted for Proposition 8 exercised the most sacrosanct and individual rights in the United States — that of free expression and voting.

While those who disagree with our position on Proposition 8 have the right to make their feelings known, it is wrong to target the Church and its sacred places of worship for being part of the democratic process.

Once again, we call on those involved in the debate over same-sex marriage to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility towards each other. No one on either side of the question should be vilified, harassed or subject to erroneous information.

Let me get this straight. It is "wrong" for protestors to make Church worship places part of the democratic process. These would be the buildings owned by the Church, the buildings which host those who fund the Church, the buildings which serve as symbols of bigotry enacted into law. But it is not "wrong" for the "Church" to pay for the removal of the right for loving couples to marry? Does a protest at a Temple make the matter too personal for Church members? Does the Church now say this should be the most civil and depersonalized of public discourse? I've never really had reason to agitate against this Church, but it has now bought itself and its membership a front row seat on the wrong side of this civil rights battle. It cannot claim to be innocent.



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Sometimes I get all huffed up and idealistic. While I look back moments later with a slight grimace, I like making grandiose statements I believe in. I also like being challenged. How else would I learn? I replied to a post on The Bilerco Project discussing how we define and who we include in the alphabet soup that are the queer communities (I like a point someone made in the thread that we are a collection of communities somewhat united, rather than a singularly definable community.). The discussion naturally led to how we relate those definitions of community to the struggle for equality. Cindi Knox illustrated the dysfunction of the manner in which we have endeavored to attain equality:


One thousand starving people will band together to demand food.


One thousand starving people will fight with each other over one hundred meals.


The best way to get one thousand people to stop begging for food is to give them one hundred meals and let them fight over them.


My reply: )
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I need to start writing again.  So, below is my response to Jill Wagner's Out on the Town blog entry on a pregnant man:

(Jill, this comment is not an attack on you, noting your bravery in sharing your gut response to this situation and your stance as a queer (and trans) youth advocate.  Thomas Beatie obviously causes us all to question gender role issues.  Please view it as a continuation of the conversation, and possibly a bit of devil's advocacy--Scratch that--trans-advocacy.)

Cheating?

Queer.  But not cheating.  How smart and loving to have the foresight, in the middle of an intensely personal, emotional and physical transition, to plan for children.

I appreciate the gut response of awe and amazement.  Obviously this situation is nowhere near the norm.  But since when has the queer community been about endorsing the norm? 
Please consider the ignorance and offensiveness of the below:
"If she identifies as a lesbian and goes to the effort to legally register as a domestic partner, doesn't she give up the chance to bear children? Isn't it philosophically anathema to being lesbian?"

I know, I know.  How horribly anti-feminist, anti-queer, anti-woman to even suggest such a thing.  Can you imagine a queer-friendly blogger putting such a thing in writing?

Imagine reading this blog entry from the perspective of someone who doesn't conform to society's "normal" gender roles.  Oh, that's right.  You don't have to imagine.  Lesbians (and gay men and bisexual people) don't typically conform to those established gender role norms (that whole same-gender-loving thing).

I let my imagination run wild here.  I'm not a lesbian, but I imagine being the parent of a lesbian.  When a daughter comes out, I might wonder if I'm going to miss out on having grandchildren.  Then I hear about Melissa Etheridge and her partner (former?--I don't really keep up with it) have children with the help of David Crosby.  Once over the shock of perpetuating David Crosby's genes, I imagine the elation of discovering the possibility that my child, in spite of her gender-abnormal situation, could one day also bear a child with David Crosby's help (or maybe some other donor).  What a moment of awe, confusion, clarity, and optimism!

Now I imagine being a teen "girl", torn between the desire for family and  my real identity as a boy.  I imagine the relief, upon hearing the news about Thomas Beatie, that I don't have to choose between being myself and bearing my own children.  Especially after SRS to bring my physical body inline with my gender, is a Caesarian section at all "unnatural"?

Thomas Beatie's story is a cause for celebration.  His bravery in going public is phenomenal.  How many confused or distraught teens and adults will hear this story and find a reason to be proud in the face of trans-phobia, rejection, ridicule, and cruelty?  How many lives will Thomas Beatie save?

Her "Out" column today for the Spokane Review's Seven elaborated on her thoughts.  I encourage you to read it.

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May 2009

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