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Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 06:24 PM PDT

Why Pride Weekend matters

by musing85

This weekend marks the height of the annual gay pride celebrations: the weekend closest to June 28, the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Occasionally people, both within and without the gay community, question whether these celebrations are necessary, or whether they serve any useful purpose other than to promote circuit parties, costumes, and corporate sponsorships.

Personally, I've never been to a pride celebration, except by accident. (I had to walk through part of DC Pride last year, on my way to the Folger Shakespeare Library for a performance of Taming of the Shrew.) While I was never one of the voices calling for an end to pride celebrations, I was one of those who didn't really see the need for, or the relevance of, such things.

That changed for me this year. Follow me below the squiggle and I'll tell you why.

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I've actually thought so for some time, and not just because I spent some time today reading the report of the special investigative counsel (the "Freeh report") on the way Penn State handled (or rather, didn't handle) the investigation of allegations that a former football coach had sexually abused minor children on the university campus. However, the conclusions of that report and, even more so, the investigative findings that it presented, certainly lend new weight to my belief that it's time to do away with college sports--at least in their current form. Follow me below the squiggle and I'll tell you why I think so, and what I think things should look like.

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Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 06:04 PM PDT

A Tale of Two (i)Tunes

by musing85

On my commute home this evening, the universe (well, my iPod) apparently felt it was a good night to serve up two powerful women of color making an interesting musical (and philosophical) contrast. Follow me below the squiggly for explanations, musings, ramblings, and a couple of music videos.

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Welcome to Brothers and Sisters, the weekly meetup for prayer* and community at Daily Kos.  We put an asterisk on pray* to acknowledge that not everyone uses conventional religious language, but may want to share joys and concerns, or simply take solace in a meditative atmosphere. Anyone who comes in the spirit of mutual respect, warmth and healing is welcome.

One of the only things (if not the only thing) I agree with the fundagelical set about is that too many of those who celebrate Christmas have forgotten what it's supposed to be about--as witness, for example, some of the more gruesome stories that have been making the rounds of the internets about this year's edition of "Black Friday" (which should, in my opinion, be called "black" not because it's the day on which retailers hope the bottom lines on their balance sheets turn that color, but because, at least for the last several years, at least one person winds up dead while attempting to save a few bucks on a gift that chances are good its recipient didn't really care that much about getting).

Follow me below the swirl to delve a little deeper into what the season is supposed to be about.

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Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 08:38 AM PDT

When memory is lost (updated x2)

by musing85

For GLBT History Month last October, I published a diary about a largely overlooked and under-studied chapter of gay history: the Nazis' persecution of homosexuals under Paragraph 175 of the German penal code. I included in that diary the following video clip which told a part of the story of Rudolf Brazda, one gay man who was sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp--and lived to tell the tale:

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The Courage Campaign is reporting (sorry, it's mainly a donation link--but it's the only one I've been able to find thus far) that, after 25,000 campaign members contacted the White House to urge the president to endorse the Respect for Marriage Act sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (which would repeal the odious Defense of Marriage Act), his press secretary today announced that he had done so. This comes the day before the Senate begins hearings on the bill. Regrettably, those hearings will include many people who oppose the legislation, including two of the usual suspects, Focus on the Family and the Alliance Defense Fund. Neither of those two groups has yet made the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of recognized hate groups, but they're certainly routinely in bed with at least a couple of them (the Family Research Council and the American Family Association--both of which seem to limit their definition of "family" to one white male heterosexual person, one white female heterosexual person, and their legitimate offspring: everyone else, naturally, is cordially invited to go screw. Or, as sfbob pointed out in the comments, not to screw.).

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Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 04:37 PM PDT

Some good news on the HIV/AIDS front

by musing85

ScienceNOW published an encouraging update this afternoon on the results of two pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) trials in sub-Saharan Africa. To quote the opening paragraph of the report:

It's a bad day for the AIDS virus. Results from two studies in sub-Saharan Africa, simultaneously announced today, show for the first time that daily doses of anti-HIV pills taken by uninfected men and women can prevent heterosexual transmission of the virus. Widely hailed as a "breakthrough" in HIV prevention by public health officials, the studies—one of which dropped its placebo arm today because of the convincing effects of the intervention—add powerful new tools to derail transmission of the virus in the population that accounts for most of the 34 million infections in the world.
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Wed Jun 22, 2011 at 06:01 PM PDT

On heterosexual privilege

by musing85

I'm not sure where he got it (he doesn't source it, but makes it clear it isn't original to him), but fitness blogger and gay activist Davey Wavey has an interesting little list of forty things the average heterosexual never has to worry about. Follow me below the squiggle for the list and some more words.

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Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 12:25 PM PDT

SOUL Kos Friday Open Thread

by musing85

We haven't had one of these in a while, and since it's such a lovely day (well, here in the Midwest anyway--first time the sun's been out and the temperature's been above 50 degrees in at least a week, it seems), I figured it was a good opportunity to put one up.

So, how's your Easter Friday/Royal Wedding Day/Feast of St. Catherine of Siena/Wellington's Birthday going?

Talk amongst yourselves. I'm in the midst of getting ready to submit a proposal for research on the debris left behind by the Tohoku earthquake and the subsequent tsunami (and trying to resist the urge to play hooky and go outside), so I'll be in and out as time permits.

Poll

Did you watch the wedding?

20%5 votes
4%1 votes
33%8 votes
41%10 votes
0%0 votes

| 24 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

Why? Because it's not my job to like the president--this one or any other. Of whatever race, creed, color, gender, or sexual orientation. Unless I happen to be in love with him or married to him, in which case, well, I would have a job to do in that respect.

So why is it, I wonder, that whenever I log on to this here website thingy, I'm forever bombarded by diaries and comments demanding that I love him with the burning passion of a preteen girl for Justin Bieber, or acknowledge that he's the bestest president EVAH!, or that because he's done his fucking job, he's somehow entitled to effulgent praise (guaranteed to rocket immediately to the top of the wreck list) that would make P. T. Barnum blush?

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No details yet, just this from the ACLU's LGBT Twitter feed:

BREAKING: King & Spaulding [sic] - firm hired by House to defend #DOMA against ACLU/Edie Windsor lawsuit - withdraws! More soon… #LGBT #SSM

It isn't clear whether this means they won't participate at all in Speaker Boehner's defense project, or if they're only withdrawing from one of the several cases that are currently pending relative to DOMA and its constitutionality.

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Welcome to Brothers and Sisters, the weekly meet-up for prayer* and community at Daily Kos.  We put an asterisk on pray* to acknowledge that not everyone uses conventional religious language, but may want to share joys and concerns, or simply take solace in a meditative atmosphere. Anyone who comes in the spirit of mutual respect, warmth and healing, is welcome.

Tonight is Easter Sunday, the second most joyous and blessed of all nights. (The most joyous and blessed of all nights, according to the ancient proclamation of Easter praises known as the Exsultet, was last night.)

Follow me below the fold for a translation, some more music, and a reflection.

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