May 2011

Oprah Is Gone; Long Live Oprah

Oprah has finished her ages-long run on television and bowed off the stage, only to reappear on another, more personally-branded stage. The public reaction is absolutely predictable, with some people in tears, and others in high snark mode. Oprah is nothing if not controversial, a difficult subject for any population segment.

Only the most vitriolic can deny that Oprah did a lot of good. During her reign she not only brought the issue of GLBT rights onto the public stage, she was one of the first to do so.

It was Oprah who first not only brought AIDS patients into the public eye, but humanized them by giving them a voice. In 1987 she visited a small town in West Virginia which had been scandalized when an AIDS patient swam in a public pool, and she gave that town a solid dressing-down.

"One Man and One Woman," Really?

During the span of nearly three decades of living, I have attended and been a part of many different weddings. One was Catholic; another was very casual and at home. One was almost pagan; another was in a Baptist church. All of them (save for my own performances, of course!) were pretty darn boring, as you might expect weddings to be. I don’t think they should be this way, but for some reason, people think it’s just the tradition to go with. A wedding must induce sleep! It’s good for the digestion.

About face!

Navy Reverses its Stance on Same-Sex Marriage And Goes Back In Closet

Well, we knew it was too rational to last. The Navy has reversed its decision to allow Navy Chaplains to perform same-sex marriages in those states that permit same-sex marriage.

A new memo from Navy Rear Admiral M. L. Tidd, the Chief of Chaplains, has suspended his previous memo from April 13, 2011 which authorized same-sex marriages. His new memo reads:


My memorandum of 13 April 2011 is hereby suspended until further notice pending additional legal and policy review and inter-Departmental coordination," Tidd wrote on Tuesday to all Navy chaplains and "religious program specialists.

Navy Chaplains Authorized to Perform Same-Sex Marriages

In States that Allow Same-Sex Marriages

The US Navy has authorized its chaplains to perform same-sex marriages on military bases in states where same-sex marriages are legal. The chaplains are not required to perform the same-sex marriages, any more than they are required to perform any marriage ceremony.

You can see the official Navy memo, from April 13th authorizing chaplains to perform same-sex marriages. The central paragraph strikes me as reasonable, and equitable:


Grey's Anatomy is our biggest queer ally on ABC


I’ve been excited about the lesbian wedding on Grey’s Anatomy since I started seeing photos of the two brides leaked around the Internet. Grey’s Anatomy has had a pretty good track record with gay and lesbian characters and actors since its beginning, with only a few snafus mixed in.  Queer visibility on a major network is always a huge asset to gay normalcy (for those of us who want it), so let’s take a look at the history of queers on Grey’s Anatomy.

Song of the Day: Alexi Murdoch, "All My Days" now has a series called "Song of the Day."  Some of the songs you may have heard, others you may have not.  This series will try to help you, the music fan, in finding some new artists, or give you a chance to listen to a song you've hopefully already grown to love.  It will also bring an opportunity to buy some CD's, and give the information you'll need to see some of the featured artist's shows when they come around your area. 

Language, Sex, and Gender

Working with words that mean two things at once

There has been a lot of discussion in online trans spaces about the proper way to refer to the gender one was assigned at birth. Activists have problematized phrases like “born female,” “biologically male,” and so on. The idea is that trans people sometimes identify as a given gender from birth, despite the gender in which they were raised. So a trans man could very well be “born male” if he has felt male from day one. Just because a doctor writes “female” on a birth certificate doesn’t mean a child will ever identify as such. The preferred terms for assigned gender now seem to be “female assigned at birth” (FAAB) and “male assigned at birth” (MAAB).

A history of the "sanctity" of marriage


With the constant hoopla surrounding marriage as a union between one man, one woman and involving God in the equation, it’s hard not to think that marriage has been an unchanged thing since the beginning of time.  In fact, marriage has changed a lot—ever heard that some guy added in the idea of “love”? People against gay marriage make the argument that letting gays in will ruin the sanctity of marriage as if “sanctity” were some untouchable concept. In fact, marriage and its sanctity has been touched—and prodded and manhandled and mistreated—a lot more drastically than it would be by adding a few queers into the mix. 

Love, marriage and religion: