A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘glbt issues

[LINK] “Why Ukraine needs its own Harvey Milk”

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Open Democracy’s Anton Dmytriiev argues that, to start to make headway, LGBT Ukrainians need to start engaging with wider civil society.

Let’s start with copying: during Gay Pride in Kyiv this summer, there was a lot of talk about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person to be appointed to public office in the USA in 1977. But what’s important here is that this only happened eight years after the Stonewall Riots in New York. During those years, the American public had gradually become aware of LGBT rights.

Milk served just 11 months in office in San Francisco, but in that time he sponsored an important anti-LGBT discrimination law for the city, and prevented the passing of a discriminatory amendment to Californian state law. This campaigning led to the assassination of Milk along with San Francisco’s mayor George Moscone in 1978.

Now here’s a question: how many Ukrainian and Russian gay activists – not just ordinary guys but the ones that give media interviews, lead organisations and spend grant money – were assassinated in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed? The answer is: none.

Do you know why? Because none of these gay activists and their organisations present any threat whatsoever to public life, the government or the ethical values of any part of the population, and nor do they bring anything new to the political or everyday life of their fellow Ukrainians.

None of our gay activists or organisations present any threat to our public life or government.

This is not to say that people should aim for martyrdom,. But it’s all very simple – not one gay rights organisation represents the interests and hopes of even 1,000 people. It can aspire to this, but in Ukraine, more often than not, NGOs (including LGBT ones) are like Potemkin villages – pure facades, set up to satisfy somebody’s own personal interests.

It’s an interesting argument.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 8, 2015 at 8:43 pm

[LINK] “Tories dump candidate who touts therapies to turn gay youth straight”

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The CBC carries Jennifer Ditchburn’s Canadian Press article reporting on the Conservatives’ dropping a candidate who wrote in favour of anti-gay therapies. This, as noted on Facebook, likely means the riding has been lost for the Tories.

The Conservatives have dumped Jagdish Grewal, a candidate in suburban Toronto who defended therapies that attempt to turn gays straight and who penned an editorial that referred to homosexuality as “unnatural behaviour” and heterosexuals as “normal.”

“These comments do not reflect the views of the Conservative Party of Canada. We believe that all Canadians — regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation — deserve to be treated with respect and dignity,” the Conservative Party said in a statement. “Mr. Grewal is no longer an official candidate for the Conservative Party.”

Grewal, running in Mississauga-Malton, wrote an editorial in the Punjabi Post earlier this year entitled “Is it wrong for a homosexual to become a normal person?”

He describes an NDP private member’s bill passed unanimously in the Ontario legislature in June that removed public funding for services designed to “change or direct the sexual orientation or gender identity of a patient.”

Grewal writes in the piece that some psychologists blame a “shock” during childhood for causing a person to become gay, but that the change “can be corrected.”

Written by Randy McDonald

October 7, 2015 at 9:02 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • blogTO reports on 12 great regional Chinese restaurants in Toronto.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes eccentric hot Jupiter HD 17156b.
  • The Dragon’s Tales reports on the Ukrainian war.
  • Joe. My. God. notes Ben Carson’s claim that homosexuality brought down the Roman Empire.
  • Language Hat shares a language map of France circa 1847.
  • The Map Room’s Jonathan Crowe shares maps of Ceres.
  • Marginal Revolution makes judgments about Uber.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Casey Dreier reports on five NASA proposals for space probes.
  • Peter Rukavina reports on a nice quilt show in Charlottetown.
  • Spacing Toronto considers the potential of parks to build communities.
  • Window on Eurasia notes pressure on Russia to take in Circassian refugees and considers the costs of Crimea.

[LINK] “The Rise & Fall of Monosexuality”

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I would be intensely curious as to what you think of Mark Simpson’s essay.

‘There is no middle ground – you are either het­ero­sexual or homosexual.’

Until quite recently, this state­ment was regarded as com­mon sense. More than this, it was a kind of widely-shared art­icle of quasi reli­gious faith, as pre­script­ive as it was descript­ive. An Eleventh Commandment.

Heterosexuality was the default, nor­mal, right, set­ting and any­thing that strayed from that was homo­sexu­al­ity. That is to say: sin­ful, wrong, ill, odd, hil­ari­ous, niche.

This het­ero­centric, essen­tially mono­sexual world-view was not just con­ven­tional wis­dom for many straight people. It was also shared by sur­pris­ingly large num­ber of (usu­ally older) gay people, who some­times regard bisexu­al­ity as a kind of heresy, or at least a cop out. What’s not straight must be gay, oth­er­wise you’re just kid­ding your­self and let­ting the side down.

But com­mon sense can change. And art­icles of reli­gious faith can fall. There has been a revolu­tion in atti­tudes in recent years that has shaken sexual cer­tain­ties to the core. Compulsory het­ero­sexu­al­ity, and the idea that any ‘devi­ation’ from it is homo­sexual, is no longer so com­puls­ory. People have lost their faith in monosexuality.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 1, 2015 at 9:53 pm

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • blogTO notes that Toronto’s old City Hall may yet become a shopping mall once the courts move out.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that worlds without plate tectonics are doomed to stop being habitable, and looks at different kinds of cosmic ray environments.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the Iranian buildup in Syria.
  • A Fistful of Euros has a reading list for Jeremy Corbyn.
  • Otto Pohl talks about the historic role of German minorities in Africa and Asia.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog shares a map of the Middle East’s Kurdish populations.
  • Spacing Toronto looks at campus safety in the age of threatening tweets.
  • Towleroad notes Michael Sam stating he could have had a better NFL career had he not come out.
  • Transit Toronto notes the TTC has taken its tenth new streetcar into service.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy looks at intersections between assisted suicide and religious liberty.
  • Window on Eurasia notes controversy in Belarus over a Russian military base and looks at Circassians in Syria.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • blogTO notes a proposal to make the Gardiner Expressway an equivalent of New York City’s High Line park and observes the dropping of charges against Toronto rooftopping photographers.
  • Crooked Timber notes that Trump is a consummate populist.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze maps the WASP-33 system and suggests Uranus was formed by a planetary collision.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes progress has been made on synthetic telepathy.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money examines the myth of the failure of public housing in the United States and notes the perverted minds of anti-sex conservatives.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog links to scenarios for Jewish population growth.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at the vulnerability of Belarus and notes anti-German sentiment in Kaliningrad.

[LINK] “Alan Poul To Helm ‘Dancer From The Dance’”

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Towleroad notes that Andrew Holleran’s novel Dancer from the Dance, a classic from pre-AIDS late 1970s New York City, is set to make it to film.

Director Alan Poul is teaming with Brazilian-based RT Features for a feature film based on Andrew Holleran’s cult novel Dancer From the Dance, considered a cornerstone of 1970’s gay literature. The book chronicles the search for love and pleasure in the mid-seventies dance-club subculture of New York, centering on the unlikely friendship between the charismatic and mysterious Anthony Malone and the wildly flamboyant Andrew Sutherland.

I’ve touched on Holleran before. I look forward to see what will come of this.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 24, 2015 at 9:23 pm


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