Tag Archives: heterosexists

James Woods is dead to me

James Woods played closet case Roy Cohn dying of AIDS in “Citizen Cohn” (above) yet today spews homophobic bile and venom via Twitter.

It is sad when a performer whose work you have enjoyed (or at least didn’t hate) in the past turns out to be another fucking wingnut. It ruins whatever work that he or she did that you enjoyed (or at least didn’t hate).

On that note, perhaps James Woods, given his now-public obsession with gay sex, wasn’t acting very much when he portrayed closeted wingnut Roy Cohn in 1992’s “Citizen Cohn.”

Woods has attended at least one AIDS benefit; played the museum director defending controversial gay photo artist Robert Mapplethorpe’s work in 2000’s “Dirty Pictures”; and did a great job as the voice of Hades in Disney’s 1997 “Hercules,” and Disney isn’t known for hiring known homophobes, so at one point in his life, anyway, Woods appeared to be fairly gay friendly (or at least not publicly homophobic).

Somewhere along the line, though — Alzheimer’s, maybe? — Woods has changed his tone dramatically and drastically.

These days, he’s scatologically homophobically tweeting about CNN’s openly gay Anderson Cooper wearing (or rather, losing) a butt plug while on air, and he recently tweeted of the upcoming film “Call Me By Your Name”: “24 year old man. 17 year old boy. Stop. As they quietly chip away at the last barriers of decency. #NAMBLA.”

Woods — who, again, I suspect, is battling dementia — mindlessly trots out the old right-wing lie equating homosexuality with pedophilia.

Of course, there are only seven years between a 17-year-old and a 24-year-old, and actress Amber Tamblyn publicly has testified that when she was 16 years old, James Woods tried to “pick [her] and [her] friend up,” and that when she told him her age, he replied, “Even better.” (I believe her.)

Let’s do the math: Tamblyn now is 34, so she was 16 about 18 years ago. Woods now is 70, so he was about 52 when he very apparently tried to fuck a 16-year-old, but he blasts the movie “Call Me By Your Name” because it’s about a romance between a 17-year-old and 24-year-old. “NAMBLA!” he cries.

Clearly, this is about homophobia and heterosexism — as well as a colossal amount of fucking hypocrisy — and not about some concern for our “children.” Equating homosexuality to pedophilia always is only a cover for one’s own homophobic bigotry.

On that note, 17 is not a “child” (or a “boy”) in my book. A 17-year-old is a young adult.

The age of consent in Canada is 16, and in the United States of America, the age of consent is between 16 and 18.

In the more-sophisticated-about-sexuality Europe, where “Call Me By My Name” takes place, the age of consent is between 14 and 18.

So comparing the romance depicted in “Call Me By Your Name” to pedophilia is bullshit, but, of course, wingnuts never care about logic, reason or facts.

I’m not sure if Woods ever got to fuck a minor, as he very apparently at least had wanted to, but he did date a 19-year-old when he was 59, and when he was 66 he started dating a 20-year-old.

So these, um, rather significant age differences are A-OK if you’re a heterosexual male, you see, but not if you’re a homosexual male. Then, it’s “pedophilia.”

I’m going to see “Call Me By Your Name” (it’s due out on November 24), and from the early buzz, I’m probably going to enjoy it.

And I’ll never be able to watch anything with James Woods in it again. (Except maybe for “Hercules,” since it’s only his voice… And maybe I’ll watch him die again in “Citizen Cohn.”)

In the meantime, the sooner that we can say “the late James Woods,” the better.

Whatever worthwhile contribution he was going to make to the culture, he already made it years ago.

P.S. For full disclosure, even if I were single and not in a decade-long relationship with another man who is six years older than I am, I can’t see myself ever attempting to have sex with someone who is young enough to be my son.

A young man might be tempting to pair with, but I don’t know how I’d keep up with him, and I don’t know how fair the age difference would be to him.

That said, I’m not troubled by a 17-year-old and a 24-year-old having a sexual relationship as long as it’s consensual and healthy, and, of course, unlike the hypocritical, homophobic and heterosexist (and unhinged) Woods, I’m not at all concerned about the configuration of the pairing (male-male, female-female, female-male or whatever other possible permutation). Their ages and what’s between their legs and what they do in the bedroom (and, within reason, in public) would be their fucking business.

And my definition of “pedophilia,” I think, would necessitate that the “child” (the “girl” or the “boy”) were younger than 16. (The United Kingdom’s age of consent is 16, which seems OK to me.)

P.P.S. Armie Hammer, who plays the 24-year-old in “Call Me By Your Name,” is 31 years old, and Timothée Chalamet, who plays the 17-year-old, is 21 years old. So no minors were “harmed” in the making of this film.

And I’m not a “pedophile” for finding both of those actors to be attractive young men. No more so than is James Woods for having dated a 19-year-old and a 20-year-old (and for apparently having tried to fuck a 16-year-old).

P.P.P.S. How could I have forgotten this one? In July, Woods attacked a family with a gender-fluid son, tweeting in response to a photo of the family, “This is sweet. Wait until this poor kid grows up, realizes what you’ve done, and stuffs both of you dismembered into a freezer in the garage.”

Classy!

(And what have the child’s parents “done”? They have allowed him to be who he is and who he wants to be, rather than to cram Woods’ backasswards, wingnutty worldview down his throat. Yes, they’re awful parents!)

Again, I question Woods’ mental state. I suspect some form of dementia.

Or maybe it’s possible that he long had planned to wait until his acting career had dried up before he finally would unleash his far-right-wing, bat-shit-crazy, incredibly hateful views on the world…

Or maybe he felt ambivalent about retiring, but knew that after he repeatedly had tweeted his cray-cray, he’d never get work again, and so he forced himself into retirement by doing so (able to tell himself that it only was the “alt-left” who had “forced” him into retiring)…

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Throw ‘Christian’ ‘martyr’ Kim Davis to the lions! (Or, A Modest Proposal)

Kim Davis, meet Cecil’s cousin! Cecil’s cousin, meet Kim Davis!

Kim Davis, the insane Kentucky county clerk and shameless attention whore who has made a name for herself by staunchly refusing (in the name of “God”) to do her job of granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples, has achieved the “martyrdom” that she had been seeking; for having violated the will of even the U.S. Supreme Court, a federal judge today finally put her treasonous, theocratic ass in jail, where she belongs.

I have a better idea: Let’s really make Davis a “Christian” “martyr” and throw her to African lions!

After all, an American wingnut killed Cecil the African lion; we Americans owe it to the African lions to feed them an American wingnut, do we not?

But seriously, I have zero sympathy for Davis, who, in typical “Christian” fashion, claims victimhood for herself while she victimizes others.

The Bible – which was written centuries ago by ignorant people – might be against same-sex marriage, but who ever was trying to force Davis (who infamously has been heterosexually married herself four times) into a same-sex marriage?

Same-sex marriage is now the law of the land, but the haters still get to hate non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals (in the name of “God” or not), and they still get to shun same-sex marriage for themselves. The U.S. Supreme Court’s quite-correct ruling in June that prohibitions against same-sex marriage violate the equal human and civil rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution doesn’t violate anyone’s religious beliefs – it only prevents theocratic haters like Davis from discriminating against those of us who don’t share their knuckle-dragging, backasswards religious beliefs.

And it is our First-Amendment right not to share their antiquated and dangerous religious beliefs and to not have their antiquated and dangerous religious beliefs shoved down our throats.

This is the central problem: So-called “Christians” believe that the rest of us must follow their beliefs. It’s not enough for them that they believe their bullshit; the rest of us must, too. They must expand their Bible-based lunacy, these lunatics believe.

This is theocracy, and it is no more acceptable for “Christians” to attempt a theocratic takeover of the United States of America than it would be for theocrats like those of the Taliban, al Qaeda or ISIS to do so.

Kim Davis does not work for a church. She works for a county government, and county governments (as well as all state and local governments) are bound by the U.S. Constitution, by U.S. Supreme Court case law (the U.S. Supreme Court is the final arbiter on the U.S. Constitution), and by federal laws.

Kim Davis is no martyr, no victim, and she does have a choice: Do her job or quit her job — or remain in jail for her refusal to do her job.

This is justice.

God bless America!

Update: It’s being reported that five of the six of Davis’ deputies will begin to issue same-sex marriage licenses starting tomorrow. (The lone holdout is her son; the Podunk County clerk’s office reeks of nepotism, among other things.)

The federal judge who put Davis behind bars for her blatant contempt of court has indicated that he intends to keep her behind bars for a while to prevent her from trying to stop the issuing of the licenses.

Indeed, the constitutional rights of the many are far more important than is Davis’ bullshit claim that she’s simply defending her right to her religious beliefs by imposing them on others.

She can rot in jail for all that I care.

Or be thrown to the lions.

Either one.

Here’s her booking photo, by the way:

As others have noted, it’s ironic that she’s so homophobic, because she really could use some gay men to update her look to this millennium.

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The pink-triangle bullshit continues

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. arrives to pose for photographers in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 11, 2015. The rookie Republican senator leading the effort to torpedo an agreement with Iran is an Army veteran with a Harvard law degree who has a full record of tough rhetoric against President Barack Obama's foreign policy.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Associated Press photo

Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas (he looks like such a nice guy, doesn’t he?) recently took time out from his important task of treasonously sending letters to the leaders of other nations meant to undercut the foreign policy of the twice-democratically-elected U.S. President Barack Obama to essentially tell us non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming Americans that we should sit down and shut the fuck up already and just be grateful that we aren’t executed, like non-heterosexuals are in Iran, and that speaking of which, A nuclear-armed Iran! is all that we Americans should be thinking about anyway! After all, we need to get our priorities in order!

Same-sex marriage now is the law in 36 states and in other jurisdictions, covering more than 70 percent of the American population. Not that same-sex marriage is the be-all and end-all for equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals, but it’s not a bad start.

So, of course, the heterosexist and homophobic “Christo”fascists are agog and apoplectic.

Losing the battle of same-sex marriage — for which I expect the U.S. Supreme Court to rule for all 50 states this summer (arguments in the matter of the constitutionality of denying same-sex marriage are to begin in the court late this month) — the wingnutty haters now are focused on trying to legally allow businesses that serve the public to deny service to non-heterosexual and/or non-gender-conforming individuals on the basis that the business owners’ religious belief is, in a nutshell, that God hates fags. And surely the most important right that we Americans possess is the right to hate and to discriminate against certain groups of people. It’s apple pie, man!

I’m not a lawyer (I probably should have been), but, as I have noted, my reading of Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states that businesses serving the general public legally may not refuse to serve customers based upon those customers’ race, color, religion or national origin, is that the act does not expressly prohibit discrimination based upon sexual orientation or gender expression, because those minority statuses are not listed in the act as protected classes. (Indeed, in 1964, which was more than 50 years ago, non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals were considered so lowly, so subhuman, that their protection by the Civil Rights Act was not even a possibility.)

While it’s beyond pathetic that an historically oppressed minority group should have to be listed expressly on a do-not-discriminate list in order to be treated with dignity, respect and equality — you know, as Jesus Christ taught that we should treat everyone else — federal law does need to be updated in order to add non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals to the list of protected classes. (That won’t happen as long as the Repugnican Tea Party traitors control both houses of Congress, but they won’t be in control forever.)

The “Christo”fascists also are losing the battle (at least in the court of national public opinion, if not in the courts of law) to enable businesses serving the general public to discriminate against non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals, but never fear, “Christo”fascists! We have Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas on the front lines of the battle!

Apparently the new “argument” against equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals in the United States of America is that everything up to the point of their execution for their “crime” of not being heterosexual and gender-conforming should be tolerated.*

After all, Tom Cotton, a U.S. senator, defending states’ “right” to enact “religious-freedom” laws that are meant to allow business owners to discriminate against non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals, proclaimed on CNN on Wednesday:

“I think it’s important that we have a sense of perspective about our priorities. In Iran, they hang you for the crime of being gay. They’re currently imprisoning an American preacher for spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ in Iran. We should focus on the most important priorities that our country faces right now.”

Cotton went on to say that “a nuclear-armed Iran” is “the most important thing that we be focused on.”

There is a lot in there, so let’s unpack it:

We Americans have priorities, and we have to have a sense of perspective about our priorities. Equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals — equal human and civil rights for all Americans, which are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution — is not one of our priorities. (Duh!) We have to have perspective!

After all, it’s a crime to be non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming, and in Iran, they hang you for that crime! Non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming Americans should sit down and shut the fuck up already, and just be thankful that here in the U.S., we’re not executing them for their crime of being non-heterosexual and/or non-gender-conforming (yet)!

Besides, an American preacher is imprisoned in Iran, and his rights are far more important than are the “rights” of all of the millions of sodomites in the United States of America combined! (We have, after all, established that they are criminals!)

And besides all of that, a nuclear-armed Iran is all that we really should be focused on anyway! For the love of God, why are you just sitting there, reading this? Why aren’t you doing something right now to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran?

That is, more or less, the propagandistic spirit of Cotton’s remarks. What a fucking neo-Nazi Tom Cotton is. (Recall that the Nazis put tens of thousands of gay men into their concentration camps.)

The attitude that an historically oppressed minority group’s equal human and civil rights aren’t at all one of our national “priorities” is the slippery slope that leads to slapping inverted pink triangles (or the yellow Star of David) on us and putting us into concentration camps. And even executing us, because it’s well-established fact that God hates fags (as well as Jews).

When Cotton referred to “the crime of being gay” on CNN, I don’t believe that he was referring only to the Iranian perspective that being non-heterosexual is a crime. I believe that Tom Cotton and his ilk — being as theofascist as any Iranian could be — also hold that being non-heterosexual and/or non-gender-conforming is a crime (indeed, for years and years it wasyou know, in the good old days), and I’d call Cotton’s wording on CNN a dog whistle to his fellow “Christo”fascists except that every mammal could hear his message loudly and clearly.

Besides trying to advance the “Christo”fascist agenda, which includes the persecution of non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals (because that’s what God wants), Tom Cotton, whose letter to Iranian leaders of last month already has demonstrated that he is an anti-democratic traitor (the majority of the American people twice elected Barack Obama, not Tom Cotton, to represent us and our interests on the world stage), also is trying to advance the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party’s tactic of having Americans so terrified over Iran that the Repugnican Tea Party can do whatever it wishes, just like the good old days when the unelected, treasonous regime of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney used 9/11 and Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction” (replete with the “threat” of “mushroom clouds” here at home) as political cover with which to ram their treasonous, right-wing agenda down distracted, terrified Americans’ throats.

It’s classic George Orwell: The fascistic oligarchy always has an enemy nation with which to terrify and distract the masses. The designated enemy nation sure changes a lot over time (such as, here in the U.S., first Russia, then Iraq, now Iran), but that’s not the point; the point is that there perpetually is an enemy nation that (we, the masses, are told by the oligarchs) threatens the very existence of our home nation. This is critical to the oligarchic fascists’ grip on power.

And it’s funny that the likes of Tom Cotton (who, pathetically, very well might be a closet case himself) should try to spook us Americans with the bogeymen of the Iranians, when Cotton and his Repugnican Tea Party ilk are just jealous that they can’t get away with executing non-heterosexuals for the “crime” of being non-heterosexual.

Iran? No, I’m much more concerned about the enemies here at home, such as the “Christo”fascists who comprise the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party. They’re a far bigger threat to our national security than those evil Iranians ever could dream of being.

*Not to pick on just Tom Cotton, of course, it’s important to note that the intention of the proponent of the widely-reported-upon “Sodomite Suppression Act” of California, on which I blogged here, also might have been (at least in part) to raise the specter of the mass execution of non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals because once that specter has been injected into the public consciousness, then anything else short of execution that is done to non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals will seem, by comparison, to be no big deal at all. (After all, we have to have our priorities!)

And I want to provide this update on the “Sodomite Suppression Act”:

Last month California Attorney General Kamala Harris asked a superior court to kill the “Sodomite Suppression Act” by relieving her of the obligation to issue it a title and summary, after which the proponent of the “act,” a right-wing, bat-shit insane and evil lawyer who should be disbarred, could begin to gather the signatures of registered California voters who want the proposition to appear on the ballot. (I rather doubt that the proponent ever has had any actual intention to significantly try to gather the required amount of signatures [365,880 of them], by the way.)

In a March 25 press release, Harris proclaimed:

“As Attorney General of California, it is my sworn duty to uphold the California and United States Constitutions and to protect the rights of all Californians. This proposal not only threatens public safety, it is patently unconstitutional, utterly reprehensible, and has no place in a civil society. Today, I am filing an action for declaratory relief with the Court seeking judicial authorization for relief from the duty to prepare and issue the title and summary for the ‘Sodomite Suppression Act.’ If the Court does not grant this relief, my office will be forced to issue a title and summary for a proposal that seeks to legalize discrimination and vigilantism.”

On that note, I neglected to note in my original piece on the “Sodomite Suppression Act” that one of its lovely provisions does indeed call for vigilantism. It reads that:

The state has an affirmative duty to defend and enforce this law as written, and every member of the public has standing to seek its enforcement and obtain reimbursement for all costs and attorney’s fees in so doing, and further, should the state persist in inaction over 1 year after due notice, the general public is empowered and deputized to execute all the provisions hereunder extra-judicially, immune from any charge and indemnified by the state against any and all liability.

I know of no other way to interpret that language other than that should the “Sodomite Suppression Act” be passed by the voters (it would not be, even if it actually makes it to the statewide ballot), and the state of California does not start executing non-heterosexuals as the “act” requires, after one year Californians may take it into their own hands to execute non-heterosexuals on their own (the “act” calls for non-heterosexuals to “be put to death [by the state of California] by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method”) — with impunity.

Again, the lawyer who explicitly wrote in a ballot proposition that the extrajudicial execution of an already oppressed group of persons in California should be allowed should be disbarred. Not only has the lawyer, a Matthew McLaughlin, advocated for the patently unconstitutional and thus patently illegal (and, indeed, reprehensible) execution of a whole class of persons, but he has advocated for extrajudicial actions (a.k.a. vigilantism), demonstrating his contempt for the legal system of California and of the nation. (Yes, the U.S. Constitution prohibits vigilantism/extrajudicial “remedies.”)

McLaughlin has demonstrated that he has no place within the legal system of the state of California — or, indeed, of any state in the nation. He doesn’t get to hide behind “free speech.” Lawyers are admitted to the bar only on the condition that they uphold the respectability of the legal profession as well as the state constitution and federal constitution under which they practice law.

You can, and if you haven’t yet you should, sign the petition to the California State Bar to disbar McLaughlin here.

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There is no greater love than NOT reproducing

Pope Francis waves as he arrives for a special consistory with cardinals and bishops, in the Synod hall at the Vatican, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. Pope Francis met with cardinals and bishops who will take part in the upcoming Feb. 14, 2015 consistory during which he will elevate 20 new cardinals. Francis will formally elevate the 20 new cardinals at a ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica in the second such consistory of his pontificate. Like the first, Francis looked to the "peripheries" for new cardinals, giving countries that have never before had one — Tonga, Myanmar and Cape Verde — representation at the highest level of the Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Associated Press photo

Pope Smiley Face (pictured above at the Vatican yesterday) recently pontificated that “The choice to not have children is selfish.” Of course, Pope Smiley Face himself has never reproduced (that we know of, anyway).

Pope Smiley Face is all over the map.

First, he proclaims to heterosexuals that they don’t have to breed “like rabbits.”

Now, he says that to not have children is “selfish.”

What we need from Il Papa now, I suppose, is the Goldilocksian number of exactly how many children one “should” have. You know, that magic middle between being “selfish” and breeding like a rabbit.

In my book, most if not practically all instances of having a child are incredibly selfish acts.

This is quite a taboo thing to say in a heterosexist world, but I look to science, to truth and to reality, not to “scripture” written by ignorant men eons ago.

You see a little bundle of joy; I see yet another carbon footprint.

Fact is, most heterosexuals who have children (I’m being charitable and politically correct here by not referring to reproducing heterosexuals as “breeders,” by the way) do so mindlessly — they’re blindly obediently following the script that society has handed to them (be born, reproduce, die, repeat) and have no eye toward the larger picture at all.

That’s at best.

At worst, heterosexuals have entirely egotistical reasons for having children: they care what others think and say, and so they want to fit in by having children; they want to live through their children, who are only little extensions of their own outsized egos; they want someone to take care of them in their old age (which is, of course, a crapshoot anyway, isn’t it?).

More children means more mouths to feed, more schools and hospitals and roads to have to build, more food and drinking water to have to produce, more poverty, more disease, more starvation, more misery, more carbon emissions, more pollution, more land swallowed up for human use, more species that go extinct because of humankind — all in all, a worsened quality of life for everyone.

Births today significantly outstrip deaths today, and the planet isn’t going to expand magically to accommodate all of these new human beings. The results are quite predictable. I think of it as putting more and more fish into an aquarium or more and more rats into a cage. Again: The results are quite predictable.

When the ignoramuses of ages ago wrote that “God” commanded that we should be “fruitful and multiply,” there were far, far, far, far, far, far, far, fewer people on the planet than there are today. There still was plenty of room ages ago to be fruitful and to multiply.

Now, however, at more than 7 billion human beings on the planet (and counting), not only is the species Homo sapiens nowhere near being on the endangered species list, but, ironically, the long-term survival of Homo sapiens is endangered if human reproduction doesn’t slow down.

The most loving thing that one could do for the world is not to have any children, yet the backasswards Catholick Church — and others, of course — insist that to not have children is “selfish” (or, at least, that to have children actually is virtuous).

Of course, the Catholick Church, as well as humankind in general, apparently, always has loved misery, and misery loves company, and thus, overpopulation…

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I am Barack Obama’s ex, too!

Fire and ice!

You come on like a flame,

Then you turn a cold shoulder!

Fire and ice!

I want to give you my love,

But you’ll just take a little piece of my heart…

— from Pat Benatar’s “Fire and Ice”

A younger Barack Obama and his former girlfriend, Genevieve Cook, the daughter of an Australian diplomat, are shown in a photo from the 1980s, when they were a couple.

It was interesting to read the remarks of one of Barack Obama’s pre-Michelle girlfriends about her experience of him in the 1980s. While I didn’t see that anyone else made the overt comparison, it certainly struck me that Barack’s modus operandi in love is the same fucking one that we’ve seen in his politics.

“His warmth can be deceptive,” Obama’s ex-girlfriend, Australian Genevieve Cook, wrote of Barack in her diary years ago, adding, “[Though] he speaks sweet words and can be open and trusting, there is also that coolness. …” AFP reports that Cook’s diary chronicles “how [Cook and Obama’s] romance grew and then cooled when the couple moved in together.”

Fuck. I’ve had the same damned experience with Barack Obama. He courted me madly but then became a cold fucking fish. Does that make me one of his exes, too?

I remember one of my first exposures, if not my very first exposure, to Barack Obama’s first campaign for the White House. When I was visiting San Francisco for the Castro Street Fair (no, that’s not a sex fair [not that there’s anything wrong with that…]) in October 2007, an Obama campaign operative gave me an Obama campaign sticker that had the rainbow morphed into the ubiquitous “O” logo:

I was happy to see a Democratic presidential candidate courting the gay, lesbian, bisexual and non-gender-conforming vote.

But I also remember that the campaign sticker fucking ruined my faux-sueded shirt. (Seriously — the adhesive never came off completely.)

Maybe that was a sign of what was to come.

Barack Obama, you see, despite his rather unequivical embrace of same-sex marriage in 1996, today claims that on the topic of same-sex marriage he still is “evolving.” Today, he refuses to advocate for legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, even though that is the right thing to do. Apparently he believes that to do so will cost him too many “swing votes.”

This issue has an awful lot of relevance to me. Let me give you a fresh example of how I have been relegated to a different drinking fountain because I am gay.

My same-sex partner and I are in our fifth year together. We consider ourselves to be, for all intents and purposes, married. We do maintain separate apartments (largely because both of us hate moving, and also largely because he doesn’t want to move to my city and because I don’t want to move to his suburb), but we are together on weekends and on holidays and on other days that we have off in common, and we speak on the phone every day that we are not together in person. And certainly, there are heterosexually married couples who, for whatever reasons (such as having jobs in different cities, states or even in different nations), see each other in person much less often than my partner and I do, but the validity of their marriages is never called into question — because they enjoy heterosexist favoritism.

Whether or not my partner and I have legal or social recognition of the fact that we consider ourselves, for all intents and purposes, to be married, this fact is our reality, is our truth, and as such, while recognition of our relationship from others is nice — and while such recognition, at least from our local, state and federal governments, is our pathetically and sickeningly unfulfilled constitutionally guaranteed equal human and civil right — it’s not essential for us to have others’ approval or recognition for us to know what we have together. We know that we are, for all intents and purposes, married; anyone who disagrees is a mean-spirited, fucking heterosexist, homophobic bigot who can go fuck him- or herself.

Recently, I claimed some “family” sick leave (time off for caring for an ill family member; in this case, for my partner) in my California state job. Whether I claim sick time for myself or for a family member, it doesn’t really matter, as it comes out of the same sick leave bank. There is not a separate sick leave bank for myself and for my family members.

My employer — the state of California, which should know much, much better — this past week mind-blowingly questioned whether or not my partner really is a family member. After all, my employer essentially stated to me, my partner and I do not have a domestic partnership. (The only legal protection that same-sex couples in California have, outside of such legally protective documents as wills and living wills, is the domestic partnership. [The marriages of those same-sex couples who married when same-sex marriage briefly was legal in California* remain legal, but today, all that same-sex couples in California have in terms of seeking state recognition of their partnership is the domestic partnership.])

My employer also, unethically if not also illegally, asked whether my partner and I live together full-time, and suggested (or at least implied) that because we don’t, my partner is not actually my family. Of course, California’s domestic partnerships, one of which my employer at least semi-faulted me for not having, don’t require that the two individuals share the same residence all of the time, and allows them to have two residences yet still be registered as domestic partners, so the invasively personal question was way out of bounds. And again, whether or not two heterosexually married individuals share the same residence all of the time never is used to determined whether or not their marriage is valid.

Sure, I told my heterosexist employer, my same-sex partner and I could get a domestic partnership, but to do so, of course, is to give tacit support to something akin to having to drink from a different drinking fountain or having to swim in a different swimming pool.

Real marriage, you see, is reserved for heterosexual couples. Non-heterosexual couples in the United States are lucky to get even second-class, separate-but-unequal marriage, such as a civil union or domestic partnership.

This bullshit is blatantly unjust and unfair in a nation that promises “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and “liberty and justice for all.”

If I were heterosexually married and stated that my wife were ill, or even if I just claimed to be heterosexually married and claimed that my “wife” were ill, would my employer have asked to see the marriage certificate? Would my employer have questioned the validity of my heterosexual relationship/marriage?

Fuck no, because of widespread heterosexism, even within the supposedly “progressive” and “liberal” California state government.

(My employer advised me, by the way, in the future to claim sick time for myself only, whether or not the reason for my use of sick leave was for me or for my partner. In other words, my partner, according to my employer, the state of California, is not my family because we have not bought into the separate-but-unequal institution of the domestic partnership. I have a real fucking problem with my employer dictating to me who is and who is not my family. Especially when California state government explicitly prohibits discrimination based upon sexual orientation.)

I still am torn on the subject of getting a domestic partnership. The legal protections that come with it are good, and all couples deserve such legal protections, but it still rankles me that in the supposedly “liberal” and “progressive” state of California, my partner and I, if we want those legal protections, are forced to drink from a different drinking fountain than the fountain from which heterosexual couples drink. It’s unfair, it’s un-American and it’s fucking wrong.

To bring all of this back home: Does Barack Obama give a flying fuck about any of this?

Hell fucking no.

He is, indeed, as Genevieve Cook described him to be: a cold calculator. He says what he figures he should say in order to get what he wants from you.

He lures you in with pretty promises, such as of “hope” and of “change.” He gives you a pretty rainbow sticker. Then, once he has your money and your vote, he leaves you high and dry.

Instead of delivering upon his relentless, ubiquitous campaign promises of “hope” and “change,” Barry for the most part has maintained the status quo and has told us dreamers of full equality for all that our dream must be deferred.

No, it doesn’t have to be deferred. It’s that Barack Obama lacks the character, the courage and the moral conviction to deliver upon what he promised (explicitly and implicitly, and it goes beyond much more than just same-sex marriage; it goes into such other areas as combatting poverty and the growing gap between the haves and the have-nots, and combatting the corporate thievery that is responsible for this growing gap, and ceasing the bogus warfare for the military-industrial complex, which is looting the U.S. Treasury while Americans go without adequate health care, higher education, environmental protections, etc.).

Barack Obama has found going along to get along to be the easier, more politically expedient route. He is a moral sluggard. He can trumpet what the right thing to do is — like a trumpeter on crack. He just can’t bring himself to actually do the right thing.

Which is why, like Genevieve Cook, I broke up with Barack Obama a long time ago.

I gave him hundreds of dollars in Round One. His sweet talk swayed me that he’d be a significantly more progressive president than would Billary Clinton, but he turned out to be just another Clintonista, a Repugnican-ass-kissing Democrat in name only. I’m giving him not a single fucking penny in Round Two.

I also gave Barry my vote in Round One. He made me regret that vote, so in Round Two I most likely will cast my vote for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.

I don’t care that she can’t win the White House. I would much rather vote for the person I actually would like to see in the Oval Office than be punk’d by Barack Obama, the sweet-talking cold calculator, once again.

*The California Supreme Court ruled 4-3 on May 15, 2008, that the state’s Constitution as it was written at that time guaranteed legalized same-sex marriage to residents of the state, so Proposition 8, in response to the state’s highest court’s ruling, wrote the prohibition of same-sex marriage into the state’s Constitution after the proposition passed narrowly on November 5, 2008, and became effective the very next day.

The window period during which same-sex couples could legally marry in California in 2008 — after the California Supreme Court’s ruling until the passage of Prop H8 — was less than six months.

My partner and I had been together for just over a year when the window for same-sex marriage in California slammed shut on November 6, 2008. While we consider ourselves essentially married today, it was too early for us to get legally married then. We wanted to know each other for longer than just a year before making such a serious commitment, a commitment that we take much more seriously than do many heterosexual couples who marry and divorce willy-nilly — and whose marriages’ validity is never questioned simply because they are heterosexual.

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Clint Eastwood’s ‘J. Edgar’ is not your father’s gangster movie

Film review

Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer J. Edgar

Clyde Tolson (played by the Adonis Armie Hammer) and J. Edgar Hoover (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) have a lovers’ quarrel in Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar.”

Woe to the heterosexists who don’t bother to research the movies that they see who stumble into Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar” thinking that they’re going to see an action-packed gangsta movie (he-man Clint Eastwood is directing, after all) but who instead get “Brokeback Mountain” meets “Bonnie and Clyde” — in which “Bonnie” is the late long-time FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.

As others have noted, “J. Edgar” isn’t going to wholly please either side. The heterosexists don’t want the slightest flowery whiff of male homosexuality contaminating their gangster movies, as evidenced by the male homophobe behind me in the audience who twice uttered “faggot!” (and who once uttered “AIDS!”) during the movie and the female homophobe behind me who vocalized her disapproval during the scene in which a distraught J. Edgar Hoover dons his recently deceased mother’s dress.

And gay men like me are going to feel, as I do, that screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (who won an Oscar for his screenplay of “Milk”) and/or director Eastwood wussed out by having portrayed the very apparent real-life same-sex relationship between Hoover and his long-time “assistant” Clyde Tolson as essentially sexless.

No, I didn’t need a steamy sex scene, although I can’t say that I would have minded one; Armie Hammer, who plays Clyde Tolson in “J. Edgar” (and who played the “Winklevi” twins in “The Social Network”) is achingly beautiful, and much more handsome than was the real-life Tolson, just as the real-life J. Edgar never looked anything like Leonardo DiCaprio, even with all of that makeup piled atop his baby face.

But are we really to believe that although the real-life Hoover and Tolson were inseparable and never heterosexually married — and that although Tolson inherited Hoover’s estate after Hoover’s death and later was buried near Hoover — that the two of them never did more than hold hands and share just one (bloody, very conflicted) kiss?

“J. Edgar” apparently would have us believe so, and while many movies about gay characters have a closeted feel to them, this closeted feel can be artful if it is intentional and thus helps us to understand the characters and their sufferings better, but if this closeted feel is a result of the filmmakers’ own cowardice and/or discomfort with the material, then it diminishes the film, and this appears to be the case with “J. Edgar.”

“J. Edgar,” as others have noted, also tries to do too much. Hoover’s time as head of the FBI, which spanned from 1935 to 1972, can’t be captured in one film. Not that it has to be; “J. Edgar” is a fictionalized film, after all, not a documentary, but because “J. Edgar” portrays so many of the historical events during Hoover’s decades-long tenure at the FBI, it has lent itself to be criticized for what it leaves out — such as the “Lavender Scare” of the 1950s, which surely was relevant to the real-life Hoover and Tolson.

And because “J. Edgar” tries to capture so many historical events, the examination of Hoover’s psyche gets short shrift.

Judi Dench is good as Hoover’s mother, even if she is portrayed as a textbook case of the overbearing mother who lives through her son so that of course he turns out gay.

Perhaps the most memorable scene in the film is the one in which Hoover’s homophobic mother tells him the story of another young man who turned out to be gay and who killed himself, which was a good thing, in her eyes. Many of us gay men (my husband included) have been told by a homophobic parent that he or she could never accept a gay son, as Hoover is told by his mother in “J. Edgar,” so I expect that scene to resonate with millions of gay men.

Still, “J. Edgar” doesn’t go far enough with the examination of J. Edgar Hoover’s homosexuality. My guess is that that is a result of the combination of Dustin Lance Black’s upbringing as a Mormon, which, I surmise, keeps him on the “safe,” conservative side, and of the generation of Clint Eastwood (he’s 81 years old), who, while he reportedly is pro-gay, on other issues leans to the right (he reportedly can recall having voted for a Democrat only once, and that was former California Gov. Gray Davis in 1998), and who might be one of those individuals who is much more intellectually accepting of homosexuality (that is, in theory) than he is viscerally accepting of it (that is, in practice) — you know, the kind of person who says that he’s OK with gays as long as he doesn’t ever actually have to see two men kissing. (Thus, we could see Tolson and Hoover kiss in “J. Edgar” only if violence was involved. [The scene, by the way, is fairly reminiscent of a similar scene in “Brokeback Mountain” in which our two conflicted lovebirds who live in a homophobic place and time pummel each other.])

“J. Edgar” probably should have picked one path and stuck with it: the documentarian path or the psychoanalytical path. Hoover’s professional life alone was interesting enough to carry a film. It was because of Hoover’s gross abuse of power, including his notoriously illegal monitoring of prominent individuals, that directors of the FBI need the Senate’s approval to serve more than 10 years, indicates Wikipedia.

But also interesting are the psychological dynamics in which those who have something to hide — such as homosexuality in a society in which homosexuality is stigmatized — react to their inner conflict and their self-loathing by becoming anal retentive and relentless moralists who viciously attack others in order to ease their own self-hatred. We saw this not only in J. Edgar Hoover, but in Roy Cohn, the gay assistant to Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who isn’t portrayed in “J. Edgar.” (I’ve wondered about the sexual orientation of McCarthy, too, since he was an alcoholic who viciously attacked others and since he picked Cohn to be his assistant, but that’s purely conjecture on my part.)

If I had made “J. Edgar” and were focusing on Hoover’s personal life, I’d have left out all of the Lindbergh baby stuff and focused more on the relationship between Hoover and Tolson, and I especially would have focused on the “Lavender Scare,” which bizarrely gets no real mention in “J. Edgar.”

And I would have left out the scene in which Hoover tries on his dead mother’s dress. The account that the real-life Hoover was seen in a dress is dubious, and in any event, it wasn’t as it is portrayed in “J. Edgar,” and we gay men have enough problems as it is for Black and Eastwood to give homophobes the idea that all gay men like to wear women’s clothing (not that there is anything wrong with that; it’s just that it’s a tiresome stereotype, and Black’s screenplay shows keen gay sensibility except for this fairly unfortunate scene).

Still, despite its flaws — which include the fact that it tries to do too much and that Armie Hammer’s old-man makeup is bad (maybe there’s just no way to make such an Adonis look unattractive) — and despite the fact that it doesn’t belong in the pantheon that includes “Brokeback Mountain” and “Milk,” “J. Edgar” is worth seeing.

My grade: B

Update:I don’t think that I’ve been unfair here to Dustin Lance Black. In a recent interview with the Advocate, he remarked, “I grew up in a military family, which was also Mormon and conservative, so he [J. Edgar Hoover] was seen as a bit of a hero.” Again, Black’s conservative upbringing seems to have greatly colored his portrayal of Hoover in his screenplay. And of the historical Hoover and Clyde Tolson’s relationship, Black stated:

I don’t know how much sex they were having. I couldn’t anchor that in anything provable. I also didn’t need it for what I was trying to say. They may or may not have [had a sexual relationship], but frankly, I wouldn’t want to see it. What’s important to me is they were not straight. They were two gay guys, in my opinion.

What is it with this phenomenon of de-sexing gay men, of stripping them of human sexuality? We don’t do that to heterosexual people! I can’t say that I would have wanted to watch the historical J. Edgar Hoover (who, again, was not an attractive man) getting it on with anyone, either, but was the only alternative to making “J. Edgar: The Gay Porn” making a film that portrays him as a celibate, frustrated closet case?

True, we cannot “anchor” the assertion that Tolson and Hoover had a sexual relationship “in anything provable” — we have only the very strong circumstantial evidence that they had a decades-long sexual relationship — yet the scene in which Hoover puts on his deceased mother’s dress very apparently was fabricated from whole cloth. Why was that liberty OK, but we couldn’t take the liberty of having the two of them ever do anything more than occasionally hold hands and share only one frustrated kiss? 

Critic Roger Ebert also apparently has jumped on the no-sex-for-gay-men bandwagon, proclaiming in his review of the film:

Eastwood’s film is firm in its refusal to cheapen and tarnish by inventing salacious scenes. I don’t get the impression from “J. Edgar” that Eastwood particularly respected Hoover, but I do believe he respected his unyielding public facade.

So to have made the two men sexually active human beings, I suppose, would have been “cheapening,” “tarnishing” and “salacious.” Since they were gay, much better to make them celibate! And apparently “[respecting Hoover’s] unyielding public facade” means going along with Hoover’s having been in the closet, because to do otherwise would have been “disrespectful.” (Fuck the truth!)

Ebert also notes in his review:

In my reading of the film, they were both repressed homosexuals, Hoover more than Tolson, but after love at first sight and a short but heady early courtship, they veered away from sex and began their lives as Longtime Companions. The rewards for arguably not being gay were too tempting for both men, who were wined and dined by Hollywood, Broadway, Washington and Wall Street. It was Hoover’s militant anti-gay position that served as their beard.

That reading of the film is correct, because indeed “J. Edgar” intended to keep the two lovers celibate, since gay sex is so dirty, you know, and while we can posit that Hoover was gay, we just can’t go so far as to assert that he ever actually had gay sex (ick!).

Again, the real film in the story of Hoover and Tolson’s relationship is the one indicated by Ebert’s assertion that “It was Hoover’s militant anti-gay position that served as their beard,” and I still find it rather stunning that the film glosses over the Lavender Scare of the 1950s. Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn should be in any film about the very-most-likely-gay relationship between Hoover and Tolson, it seems to me.

And speaking of McCarthy, I’m not the only one who has wondered about his sexual orientation. David K. Johnson, author of The Lavender Scare (The University of Chicago Press, 2004), notes (on page 3) that although McCarthy in early 1950 first raised the specter of Communists and gay men having “infiltrated” the U.S. government, McCarthy went on to pursue only the Communist angle, having “mysteriously recused himself” from the witch hunt against gay men. Johnson goes on:

A knowledgeable observer at the time suggested that [McCarthy] did not pursue the “homosexual angle” more aggressively because he was afraid of a boomerang. As an unmarried, middle-aged man, he was subject to gossip and rumor about his own sexuality.

I find the parallels between Hoover and Tolson and McCarthy and Cohn to be striking. Maybe Dustin Lance Black can redeem himself somewhat for his wussy “J. Edgar” screenplay and pen a movie with balls about Joseph McCarthy and his relationship with Roy Cohn, the latter of whom we know for sure was gay. I’ll even give Dustin a highly creative working title: “McCarthy.”

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