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Sun May 31, 2015 at 04:30 PM PDT

LGBT Literature: Stonewall

by Chrislove

LGBT Literature is a Readers and Book Lovers series dedicated to discussing books that have made an impact on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. From fiction to contemporary nonfiction to history and everything in between, any book that touches on LGBT themes is welcome in this series. LGBT Literature posts on the last Sunday of every month at 7:30 PM EST. If you are interested in writing for the series, please send a Kosmail to Chrislove.
Next month, we will mark the forty-sixth anniversary of the Stonewall riots. I could not think of a better topic for this month's edition of LGBT Literature as we prepare to celebrate LGBT Pride Month.

Nearly half a century later, Stonewall has begun to enter the public lexicon as we do a better and better job of teaching what used to be a hidden history. For the first time in our history, mention of Stonewall found its way into a presidential inaugural address when President Barack Obama symbolically named the riots along with Seneca Falls and Selma in a recognition of American social change that has occurred in the last century. And next month, Pride celebrations will take place across the country, in the wake of a likely Supreme Court ruling establishing marriage equality as the law of the land. Many will remember and invoke Stonewall in the process, making the books I'm going to discuss this evening quite timely. Follow me below the fold...

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TopCommentsRedux

You know, you'd think that since I'm now only writing for Top Comments every other week, I'd actually be able to write diaries. I had just the topic in mind for tonight, but it was apparently just not the day to write it. I finished my latest dissertation chapter draft today, which took the better part of the day. Then, I went to the Sprint store for what I thought would be a quick upgrade to the iPhone 6...yeah, it only took them two hours to transfer all of my stuff from my old phone. Needless to say, a diary ain't happenin' tonight. But thankfully, President Obama has written one for me. THANKS OBAMA!

As I'm sure you know, we're approaching June, which of course is LGBT Pride Month. I don't know about you, but I always get goosebumps (or, as Chris Matthews might put it, a thrill up my leg...sorry) when President Obama issues his LGBT Pride Month proclamation. Today, while I was away fretting about what I was going to write about tonight, he issued his 2015 proclamation. Follow me below the fold for the full text...

But First, A Word From Our Sponsor:

Top Comments recognizes the previous day's Top Mojo and strives to promote each day's outstanding comments through nominations made by Kossacks like you. Please send comments (before 9:30pm ET) by email to topcomments@gmail.com or by our KosMail message board. Just click on the Spinning Top™ to make a submission. Look for the Spinning Top™ to pop up in diaries posts around Daily Kos.

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I hope all of our Houston Area Kossacks are relatively dry after our storm last night!

This is just a final reminder about our upcoming meetup, which is scheduled for this Saturday, May 30, at 1:00 PM. We'll be meeting at Fadi's Mediterranean Grill in Meyerland. As a reminder to those who haven't joined us at Fadi's before, it is a Mediterranean restaurant that is cafeteria-style (although that's not a very good descriptor for such delicious food). So come prepared to make difficult choices! Fadi's is also very supportive of local Democrats, so it's a good place for us to spend our money.

Here is the meetup info:

Date: Saturday, May 30
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: Fadi's Mediterranean Grill (Meyerland Plaza), 4738 Beechnut Street
And here is our current RSVP list:
Chrislove
nomandates
scott5js
cosette
NoBlinkers
Baby NoBlinkers
Mary
JJR1971
Blood
jmbar2

Maybees:
Mr. cosette
Mr. NoBlinkers
Deja
TDDVandy

We hope you can make it, too! Guests are welcome, but please let me know in your RSVP how many are coming. Please RSVP by no later than Thursday, May 28. You can RSVP either by commenting in this diary or by sending me a Kosmail. I need to give Fadi's a final count on Friday. If you need to be on the "maybe" list, please try to let me know by Thursday if you can make it. If you can't, it's okay, I'll include you in the count.

Also, if you're from the Houston area and haven't joined the Houston Area Kossacks group, feel free to send me a Kosmail to request to join. We do all of our communication via e-mail, however, so please also include an e-mail address so we can keep you in the loop!

Hope to see you at Fadi's!

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Need a bit of inspiration this morning? I've got just the story for you.

On Tuesday, two men showed up on a street corner in Tillamook, Oregon, with signs reading "Homo sex is sin" and "Jesus said unless you all repent you will likewise perish." Apparently, this was not the first time these bigots protested in Tillamook. This time, however, their hateful display provoked a response.

Makaila Ragan, a high school junior, happened to notice the men on Tuesday standing outside her mother's workplace with their signs. She told the Tillamook County Pioneer:

I was so irritated because I see them all around town and all they ever do is make people feel like crap about themselves.
Unlike most people, she wasn't content to simply ignore the protesters.
I went inside and asked her and her boss if it would be all right if I made a poster that stands up for what I believe in. They were totally all for it.
And so she did. Her message? A simple one: "I <3 Gays."
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As you may know, Ireland will make an important decision on May 22 (or, should I say, 22 May). Voters will decide on whether or not same-sex couples, who are currently only allowed to enter into limited civil partnerships, should have full marriage equality under the constitution.

I'm watching Ireland with great interest.  Of course, the Irish are being subjected to the same type of hate-fueled scare tactics that continue to be used here. There is some crazy shit coming from Irish anti-gay hate groups, as you might expect. But there have also been some really amazing messages of support, which I have very much enjoyed seeing as we get closer to the vote. This one may be my favorite. It's by Patrick Corr, a straight Irish dad who is about to get married. Anti-gay groups have made this campaign, in large part, about the children...as in, protecting children from the nasty gays. In Corr's short, very watchable video, he also makes it about the children: his child, and the kind of Ireland he wants his son, who just may grow up to fall in love with another man, to inherit. Along the way, it skewers the haters and their increasingly laughable arguments. It's a heartwarming message, so give it a watch:

Apologies for the short diary tonight. I'm still battling my sickness, so energy was not in great supply today. But I think I'm in the homestretch, so hopefully by tomorrow or Sunday I'll be 100 percent again. On a related note, if any readers are also suffering (there seems to be something going around), consider this a wholehearted endorsement of Alka Seltzer Severe Cold and Flu...when nothing else seemed to work, it cleared me out and let me sleep like a baby last night. I'm not a paid shill, I promise, although after the relief it gave me last night I might consider it for the right dollar amount.

Follow me below the fold for the tops...

But First, A Word From Our Sponsor:

Top Comments recognizes the previous day's Top Mojo and strives to promote each day's outstanding comments through nominations made by Kossacks like you. Please send comments (before 9:30pm ET) by email to topcomments@gmail.com or by our KosMail message board. Just click on the Spinning Top™ to make a submission. Look for the Spinning Top™ to pop up in diaries posts around Daily Kos.

Make sure that you include the direct link to the comment (the URL), which is available by clicking on that comment's date/time. Please let us know your Daily Kos user name if you use email so we can credit you properly. If you send a writeup with the link, we can include that as well. The diarist poster reserves the right to edit all content.

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If you've been following the record-breaking flurry of anti-LGBT bills being filed by Republicans in the Texas legislature, you probably know about HB 4105, introduced by Rep. Cecil Bell, Jr. (R-Magnolia). Bell is the author not one, not two, not three, but four such bills, possibly making him the most actively anti-gay legislator in Texas. HB 4105, however, may take the cake as a frighteningly asinine attempt to preempt a Supreme Court ruling in favor of the right to marry that most seem to expect. I'll let you read the bill text:

SECTION 1.  This Act may be cited as the Preservation of
     Sovereignty and Marriage Act.
            SECTION 2.  Section 2.001, Family Code, is amended to read as
     follows:
            (c)  State or local funds may not be used for an activity that
     includes the licensing or support of a same-sex marriage.
            (d)  A state or local governmental employee may not
     recognize, grant, or enforce a same-sex marriage license.
            (e)  State or local funds may not be used to enforce an order
     requiring the issuance or recognition of a same-sex marriage
     license.
In other words, in the very likely event of a SCOTUS ruling striking down marriage bans across the country, clerks in Texas will be faced with a choice: Follow federal law and risk repercussions from the state or follow this mean-spirited, unconstitutional piece of legislation. It would essentially create chaos, which is exactly what Bell and his ilk want--much like the chaos we saw in Alabama following their own marriage equality ruling. More from the Texas Observer:
The bill would bar state and local employees from issuing, enforcing or recognizing same-sex marriage licenses—and prohibit public monies from being used to do so—regardless of any court order.

LGBT advocates say if the high court rules in favor of same-sex marriage, HB 4105 would set up a showdown between state and federal law, costing Texas millions of dollars in litigation and potentially delaying the effectiveness of the decision by years. They say the bill would unleash chaos similar to what’s been seen in Alabama over same-sex marriage, and generate the type of business backlash associated with passage of an anti-LGBT religious freedom law in Indiana.

[...]

In addition to Bell, HB 4105 is co-authored by 88 other House Republicans. Only nine Republicans hadn’t signed on as co-authors as of Monday morning: Rodney Anderson (Grand Prairie), Sarah Davis (Houston), Craig Goldman (Fort Worth), Todd Hunter (Corpus Christi), Linda Koop (Dallas), Morgan Meyer (Dallas), John Smithee (Amarillo), Speaker Joe Straus (San Antonio) and Jason Villalba (Dallas).

None of the chamber’s 52 Democrats were listed as co-authors.

While HB 4105 was slated for the floor yesterday, it was delayed. It will have to be passed by the end of the legislative session, which is rapidly approaching, barring a special session. If it passes the House, it is expected to sail through Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's Senate, of course. And while Greg Abbott hasn't publicly taken a position, I think we all know where he is going to come down on this.
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Last week for Top Comments, I wrote about a very happy story involving a gay couple going to prom in rural West Virginia. The story signified progress exactly because it was such a non-story. The two boys danced with each other and enjoyed their night without so much of a peep of protest from other students or the broader community.

Tonight, I have another prom progress story out of rural America. This story, while not without controversy (it's not quite the "non-story" the West Virginia prom was), also demonstrates how far even some of our most rural of enclaves have progressed in a relatively short amount of time. And this one hits close to me, because it's from my home of Warren County, Pennsylvania. I remember being gay in Warren County all too well. While there are certainly worse places to be LGBT, it is also not a particularly easy place to be open about being gay or transgender. And it is not at all a place that I would expect such a warm, hopeful affirmation of LGBT dignity and equality. This story just goes to show that Warren County, too, is moving with the rest of the country on LGBT issues.

Tidioute, in particular, is sort of isolated and backwoods even by Warren County standards. That's not a negative judgment of Tidioute or its residents (everybody I know from Tidioute is wonderful and far from bigoted), it is just to say that this ain't Manhattan. A small, tight-knit town of a little under 700 people on the edge of the Allegheny National Forest, Tidioute is just about as small-town America as it gets. Just how tight-knit the community is has been proven by recent events surrounding the Tidioute Community Charter School prom, where transgender teen Oliver Morgan will be prom co-king. (And this is also a good story right before Mother's Day, because it involves an awesome mom!)

Picture I took in November 2014 of downtown Tidioute from across the Allegheny River.
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Thanks to those who came out to meet Smoh last month. We had a great time and a wonderful visit with Smoh at Fadi's Mediterranean Grill.

We're back to our regularly scheduled meetups again, and the people have (overwhelmingly) spoken: It looks like we want to meet at Fadi's in Meyerland again this month. As a reminder to those who haven't joined us at Fadi's before, it is a Mediterranean restaurant that is cafeteria-style (although that's not a very good descriptor for such delicious food). So come prepared to make difficult choices! Fadi's is also very supportive of local Democrats, so we could do a lot worse than to give them our money.

Here is the meetup info:

Date: Saturday, May 30
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: Fadi's Mediterranean Grill (Meyerland Plaza), 4738 Beechnut Street
And here is our current RSVP list:
Chrislove
scott5js
cosette
NoBlinkers
Baby NoBlinkers
Mary
JJR1971
TDDVandy
Blood
jmbar2

Maybees:
Mr. cosette
Mr. NoBlinkers

We hope you can make it, too! Guests are welcome, but please let me know in your RSVP how many are coming. Please RSVP by no later than Thursday, May 28. You can RSVP either by commenting in this diary or by sending me a Kosmail.

Also, if you're from the Houston area and haven't joined the Houston Area Kossacks group, feel free to send me a Kosmail to request to join. We do all of our communication via e-mail, however, so please also include an e-mail address so we can keep you in the loop!

We hope to see you at Fadi's!

Discuss

TopCommentsRedux

Top Comments recognizes the previous day's Top Mojo and strives to promote each day's outstanding comments through nominations made by Kossacks like you. Please send comments (before 9:30pm ET) by email to topcomments@gmail.com or by our KosMail message board. Just click on the Spinning Top™ to make a submission. Look for the Spinning Top™ to pop up in diaries posts around Daily Kos.

Make sure that you include the direct link to the comment (the URL), which is available by clicking on that comment's date/time. Please let us know your Daily Kos user name if you use email so we can credit you properly. If you send a writeup with the link, we can include that as well. The diarist poster reserves the right to edit all content.

Please come in. You're invited to make yourself at home! Join us beneath the doodle...

Continue Reading
LGBT Literature is a Readers and Book Lovers series dedicated to discussing books that have made an impact on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. From fiction to contemporary nonfiction to history and everything in between, any book that touches on LGBT themes is welcome in this series. LGBT Literature posts on the last Sunday of every month at 7:30 PM EST. If you are interested in writing for the series, please send a Kosmail to Chrislove.
Unfortunately, I must begin this diary with an apology. You see, I had grand plans for a diary on a book that I love very much. But due to technological issues beyond my control, my plans went out the window, leaving very little time to write another diary. And this, kids, is why you don't wait until the last minute--although with dissertation writing this month, I had little other choice.

Which brings me to my diarist beg: I am deep in the throes of writing my dissertation, and I have less time than ever. Technological issues aside, I can write LGBT Literature diaries, but the end of the month is a crunch as I finish up chapter drafts, so of course I always appreciate the help. Over the course of this series, we have had an incredibly diverse array of writers cover a variety of different pieces of LGBT literature. I'd love for your voice to be heard here, as well. You don't have to be an academic, a writer, a prolific reader, or even LGBT. You just have to be a person with an interest in a piece of literature covering LGBT themes. As I said when I took over this series, we have a broad conception of LGBT literature here. If you have something in mind, please get in touch with me, even if you're a lurker who has never written a diary. I am more than happy to put you on the schedule and, if necessary, guide you through the steps of writing a diary. We look forward to hearing your voice here at LGBT Literature!

When I rebooted this series, I did promise a substantive diary every month, and an at least somewhat substantive diary you shall get. After I had my diary disaster, I looked around frantically for something I could cover fairly quickly--in other words, not a complex book that was going to take a while to unpack. As is often the case, the answer was literally under my nose and was actually sitting on my coffee table.

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Sat Apr 25, 2015 at 07:00 PM PDT

Top Comments: Carbonara Edition

by Chrislove

TopCommentsRedux

In tonight's installment of Chrislove is fucking exhausted from dissertation writing and has no idea what to write about Dinner with Chrislove, I'm making...drumroll...spaghetti alla carbonara! The BF and I were talking earlier in the week about carbonara, and it gave me a craving that can only be satisfied one way.

Carbonara, of course, is a Roman dish that is said to have gotten its name from the copious amounts of black pepper that resemble flakes of coal (it is said to have originated as a dish consumed by coal workers). There are competing theories as to the origin of the dish, however. Wherever it came from, it's one of my favorites--easy enough and rich enough to be a perfect end to a very long week.

Now, last year for Kitchen Table Kibitzing, I wrote about a vegetarian riff on a standard carbonara using zucchini and fresh herbs. That's a great weeknight dish because of its relative lightness compared to the "real" thing, but sometimes I want the classic. Not that this is necessarily a super traditional version, as you'll see, but it's close enough for my tastes. Follow me below the fold...

But First, A Word From Our Sponsor:

Top Comments recognizes the previous day's Top Mojo and strives to promote each day's outstanding comments through nominations made by Kossacks like you. Please send comments (before 9:30pm ET) by email to topcomments@gmail.com or by our KosMail message board. Just click on the Spinning Top™ to make a submission. Look for the Spinning Top™ to pop up in diaries posts around Daily Kos.

Make sure that you include the direct link to the comment (the URL), which is available by clicking on that comment's date/time. Please let us know your Daily Kos user name if you use email so we can credit you properly. If you send a writeup with the link, we can include that as well. The diarist poster reserves the right to edit all content.

Please come in. You're invited to make yourself at home! Join us beneath the doodle...

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