Point of Information: Blog Commenter Etiquette

Today, I put someone, who made her first comment yesterday, on moderation.

This is pretty much a politically oriented blog.

When it started four and a half years ago I made a point of saying I was sick and tired of all the “Intersex” bullshit.  This Blog is for TS/TG folks and their allies.  Too often the label intersex seems to be used by TS/TG people in denial, people who are searching for a legitimizing reason for being TS/TG.  After all they can’t be just another garden variety TS/TG person, they have to be special.

Unfortunately for most of these folks being intersex is supposed to make them some how more real than garden variety TS/TG folks.

My attitude is, “Okay you’re intersex, so what?”

I’m bisexual, which means I’ve slept with men and women.  I’ve also slept with TS/TG people with all sorts of different combinations of sex characteristics.  I don’t sleep with people’s genitals, I sleep with people.  Make that one person these days as I have become monogamous in my old age.

When some one comes here and starts talking about their genitals, I’m like why the fuck do you feel compelled to share that level of intimate information with me, a total stranger.  I mean we aren’t even freaking Facebook friends.  This is like an unsolicited sext from some one I don’t know.

I feel like my blog has been slimed by some exhibitionist flashing stranger.

It isn’t like some one using the word “fuck” or anything like that.  It’s the whole To Much Information thingie.

If you feel compelled to tell me intimate information about your medical conditions, think twice, then take up those conditions with your doctor or therapist.

Don’t come here and dump that information.

I wind up thinking you are a wanker getting off on exposing this sort of information.

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Laverne Cox: Trans people should not put their dreams on hold because of who they are

From The New Statesman:  http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2013/08/laverne-cox-trans-people-should-not-put-their-dreams-hold-because-who-they-are

The breakout star of Netflix’s Orange is the New Black is a trans woman raised by a single mother in Alabama. She talks race, gender and politics with Paris Lees.

By Paris Lees
Published 11 August 2013

It’s tempting to introduce Laverne Cox as ‘the star’ of Orange is the New Black, the latest hit series from streaming service Netflix. Alhough she doesn’t play the lead, Laverne is that rarest of rarities in Hollywood – a black transgender actor playing a black transgender role. She has been featured everywhere from Time to GQ. Laverne, like the show, has earned mainstream appeal. 

As a trans woman myself, I’m particularly keen to control my image – how do you let go of that and give yourself completely to the role?

That’s my job as an actor, I’ve just learned that when it’s time to act that it’s not about me and it’s not about my aesthetic it’s about the character . . . it’s really freeing to be able to not worry about how I look and just disappear into a character, you know? When I show up as myself, there’s a lot of angst and there can be a lot of anxiety particularly on camera about looking a certain way, but as a character I can forget about that so it’s actually really liberating.

Does pushing yourself outside your comfort zone strengthen you?

Absolutely. It’s important to push myself into zones where I’m not comfortable, and I think that’s where the drama is. So I sort of look – at least as an artist – for places where I am not comfortable. And, also, as a human being, as a person who wants to challenge people’s ideas of what it means to be a woman, what it means to be a man, I have to push myself to have those conversations in different ways so I can reach people. I spend a lot of time thinking about how I can construct a message so that people can hear it. A lot of that is about the tone that I take, so that’s a process.

You and many other trans women of colour, like writer Janet Mock and model and designer Isis King, are enjoying great success. Do your experiences of race influence your trans activism?

For me it’s about having multiple voices and multiple stories. I think that Isis, Janet and I just give a different portrait of who trans people are. We all transitioned pretty young and that’s a different experience, we transitioned earlier and we’re all working class and that’s a different experience how those identities intersect. I think there are a number of trans women of colour who have seen their stories reflected in Isis or Janet or me and I think that’s important for those people to be able to look at mainstream media and see people who look like them and have stories that are similar to them whether they’re trans or not.

Continue reading at:  http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2013/08/laverne-cox-trans-people-should-not-put-their-dreams-hold-because-who-they-are

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As a gay parent I must flee Russia or lose my children

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/11/anti-gay-laws-russia

Draconian new laws brand homosexuals second-class citizens in Putin’s regime

The Observer, Saturday 10 August 2013

The first time I heard about legislation banning “homosexual propaganda“, I thought it was funny. Quaint. I thought the last time anyone had used those words in earnest I had been a kid and my girlfriend hadn’t been born yet. Whatever they meant when they enacted laws against “homosexual propaganda” in the small towns of Ryazan or Kostroma, it could not have anything to do with reality, me or the present day. This was a bit less than two years ago.

What woke me up was a friend who messaged me on Facebook: “I am worried about how this might impact you and other LGBT people with families.” This was enough to get my imagination working. Whatever they meant by “homosexual propaganda”, I probably did it. I had two kids and a third on the way (my girlfriend was pregnant), which would mean I probably did it in front of minors. And this, in turn, meant the laws could in fact apply to me. First, I would be hauled in for administrative offences and fined and then, inevitably, social services would get involved.

That was enough to get me to read the legislation, which by now had been passed in about 10 towns and was about to become law in St Petersburg, the second-largest city in the country. Here is what I read: homosexual propaganda was defined as “the purposeful and uncontrolled distribution of information that can harm the spiritual or physical health of a minor, including forming the erroneous impression of the social equality of traditional and non-traditional marital relations”.

Russia has a lot of poorly written laws and regulations that contradict its own constitution, but this one was different. Like other contemporary laws, it was so vaguely worded that it encouraged corruption and extortion (fines for “homosexual propaganda” are backbreaking) and made selective enforcement inevitable. But it also did something that had never been done in Russian law before: it enshrined second-class citizenship for LGBT people. Think about it: it made it an offence to claim social equality.

St Petersburg passed the law in March 2012. I no longer thought it was funny. I actually choked up when I saw the news item about the bill being proposed at the federal level. My girlfriend had recently had a baby and this, among other things, meant we needed to sell our tiny cars and trade up to something that accommodated three kids and a pram. I asked her: “Are we doing this or do we just need to get out of the country?” We decided we were doing it. We are fighters, not quitters.

Continue reading at:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/11/anti-gay-laws-russia

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Putin’s anti-gay Olympics – Should we participate and condone the hate?

From LGBTQ Nation:  http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2013/08/putins-anti-gay-olympics-should-we-participate-and-condone-the-hate/

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Much has been written about Russia, their new anti-gay laws and the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The debate: Should the U.S. go and compete, or should we boycott?

President Obama said Friday: “I do not think it’s appropriate to boycott the Olympics.”

So I suppose that means the U.S. will be going to Putin’s Russia.

The President wants us to win medals: “One thing I’m really looking forward to is maybe some gay and lesbian athletes bringing home the gold or silver or bronze, which I think would go a long way in rejecting the kind of attitudes we’re seeing there.”


Did Jesse Owens winning the gold change the attitude of Hitler and his killing of Jews, gypsies, gays and whoever else he deemed not worthy to live?

Of course it didn’t – just like the U.S. going to Putin’s Russia to win medals will make absolutely no difference in the treatment of homosexuals.

Allowing the Olympic Games to stay in Russia, and not boycotting, is telling the Russians that it’s okay they kill homosexuals.  It doesn’t matter that they (the Russians) promise not to enforce their awful anti-gay law during the Olympics. What matters is that they have the law in the first place.

Perhaps it’s because the United States is so divided on the issue of gay rights that, as a country, we are so divided on the Russian anti-gay, Olympic issue.

Continue reading at:  http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2013/08/putins-anti-gay-olympics-should-we-participate-and-condone-the-hate/

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How Olympic Sponsors and the IOC Could Have Stopped Russia’s Anti-Gay Law — And Didn’t

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/how-olympic-sponsors-and_b_3731878.html


The ugly truth about Russia’s law against gay “propaganda,” now the subject of worldwide protests and boycotts, is coming into view. And that includes the role of American companies sponsoring the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, as well that of the International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic Committee, in allowing the heinous law to get passed.

The law, passed in early June of this year and signed by Vladimir Putin on June 30, didn’t just come out of nowhere. It worked its way up the legislative chain over a long period of time, beginning in the provinces, where similar local laws were passed as far back as 2006, and following on several years of crackdowns against LGBT activists and against pride parades in Moscow, St. Petersburg and elsewhere.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) notes that before Sochi was chosen for the 2014 games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other stakeholders, including American multinational sponsors of the Winter Olympics, as well as NBC Universal, which has the broadcast contract, carefully tracked the path of the legislation, which is a clear violation of the Olympic Charter.

“This piece of legislation worked its way up through the legislative system,” Minky Worden, HRW’s Director of Global Initiatives, told me in an interview (listen to the full interview below). “The International Olympic Committee, the United States Olympic Committee, the so-called top corporate sponsors — Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble — these companies all, as [HRW] did, tracked the progress of this law.”

“And because it is so clearly in complete violation of the Olympic Charter,” she continued, “it’s also clear to us at Human Rights Watch that if any of the major Olympic stakeholders who have a hotline to the Kremlin — because the Olympics are very important to Putin personally, he has a deputy prime minister, [Dmitry] Kozak, who is tasked with making them come off perfectly — that if any of the Olympic stakeholders, the sponsors who are literally paying for the Games, or the International Olympic Committee, the U.S. Olympic Committee or the other Olympic committees, if they weighed in on this, I don’t think this law would have been signed by Putin or passed by the Duma. If they had leaned on [Russia] before the law was signed, it would not have been signed. That is absolutely true.”

Worden is so confident that the IOC and American sponsors could have stopped the law because of the impact that the IOC and multinationals have had on governments in past Olympic Games. (OutSports’ Cyd Zielger notes this as well, with some clear examples, in his recent post about how the IOC should now ban Russia from its own Winter Olympics.)

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/how-olympic-sponsors-and_b_3731878.html

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Don’t be fooled. Pope by name, pope by nature

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/10/pope-francis-is-not-liberal

Forget what liberal Catholics and the liberal media think the pope said on the papal plane and read what he actually said

The Observer, Saturday 10 August 2013

The relief when the latest pope said that he did not want to judge gays was as palpable as it was pitiable. Conventional liberals do not want to overthrow or even reform oppressive institutions. They want to “respect” religion while blocking out the darkness within. I often think religious leaders can treat them as PR men treat gullible consumers. All they need to do is look cuddly and speak in soft voices.

Or, in the case of the pope, mouth contemporary pieties about avoiding “judgmental” prejudices. We once assumed that being judgmental was what popes did. Not this one, apparently.

An embarrassed silence has descended on one and all since that moment of euphoria, because Jorge Bergoglio has spoilt the story by carrying on as if nothing has changed. The Vatican announced that Catholics would receive remission from the punishments of purgatory. The good deed they had to perform was not to defend children from abusers, to pick an example at random, but to follow Pope Francis on Twitter. Bergoglio shows the way to salvation on his @Pontifex account. He has millions following him but, like a true narcissist, follows only himself.

Meanwhile, the behaviour of the church under his leadership has remained as disgraceful as ever. Buried by the praise for the pope’s humility was the news that Irish Catholic orders were refusing to compensate “fallen” women, who toiled in their Magdalene laundries. The Sisters of Mercy, the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, the Sisters of Charity and the Sisters of the Good Shepherd belied their names by benefiting from the proceeds of what I can only call slave labour.

They kept women working for nothing behind locked doors in sweltering laundries . This is not some half-forgotten abuse from before most of us were born. With the complicity of Ireland’s quasi-theocratic state, women were condemned to sweat for nothing into the 1990s. Yet the church refuses to pay them the wages it stole, and the Irish government will not even strip the thieving orders of their charitable status by way of retaliation.

Continue reading at:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/10/pope-francis-is-not-liberal

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N.S.A. Said to Search Content of Messages to and From U.S.

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/08/us/broader-sifting-of-data-abroad-is-seen-by-nsa.html?_r=1&

Published: August 8, 2013

WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency is searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans’ e-mail and text communications into and out of the country, hunting for people who mention information about foreigners under surveillance, according to intelligence officials.

The N.S.A. is not just intercepting the communications of Americans who are in direct contact with foreigners targeted overseas, a practice that government officials have openly acknowledged. It is also casting a far wider net for people who cite information linked to those foreigners, like a little used e-mail address, according to a senior intelligence official.

While it has long been known that the agency conducts extensive computer searches of data it vacuums up overseas, that it is systematically searching — without warrants — through the contents of Americans’ communications that cross the border reveals more about the scale of its secret operations.

It also adds another element to the unfolding debate, provoked by the disclosures of Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor, about whether the agency has infringed on Americans’ privacy as it scoops up e-mails and phone data in its quest to ferret out foreign intelligence.

Government officials say the cross-border surveillance was authorized by a 2008 law, the FISA Amendments Act, in which Congress approved eavesdropping on domestic soil without warrants as long as the “target” was a noncitizen abroad. Voice communications are not included in that surveillance, the senior official said.

Asked to comment, Judith A. Emmel, an N.S.A. spokeswoman, did not directly address surveillance of cross-border communications. But she said the agency’s activities were lawful and intended to gather intelligence not about Americans but about “foreign powers and their agents, foreign organizations, foreign persons or international terrorists.”

“In carrying out its signals intelligence mission, N.S.A. collects only what it is explicitly authorized to collect,” she said. “Moreover, the agency’s activities are deployed only in response to requirements for information to protect the country and its interests.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/08/us/broader-sifting-of-data-abroad-is-seen-by-nsa.html?_r=1&

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